News

News and Headlines.5/22/2020

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

In The News:

Secrerary Azar’s grim warning on health risks of prolonged lockdowns

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar addresses worries surrounding U.S. testing capacity.

DeSantis lifts state restrictions on youth activities to let ‘kids be kids’

In this June 21, 2017, photo, players line up to take the field for a baseball game at the Orlando North Seminole County Sports facility in Sanford, Fla.
In this June 21, 2017, photo, players line up to take the field for a baseball game at the Orlando North Seminole County Sports facility in Sanford, Fla. John Raoux / AP

“I hope that this will be good for folks over the summer. I really trust parents. I trust the physicians who work with the kids, the local leaders, coaches, camps,” DeSantis said.

“We trust parents to be able to make decisions” and determine whether they can resume “these activities in a way that is safe.”

“I just think that I’ve seen other jurisdictions, other states, do like 100 rules for, like, how to pick up a tennis ball,” he said.

“When you do that and you overcook it, you end up getting less compliance because people just throw up their hands and say, ‘This is ridiculous.’ ”

US colleges accepted billions in unreported foreign donations from China and Russia: report

Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The DOE has so far found $6 billion in unreported donations as a part of House Republicans’ inquiry into U.S. colleges under investigation for violating Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, Townhall reported Friday.

The inquiry is part of a wider effort to probe the Chinese Communist Party’s influence within the United States. Earlier in April, Attorney General William Barr claimed that China is in a “full-court blitzkrieg” against the U.S., part of which was the strategic infiltration of American universities.

Also in the letter, the DOE noted that certain academic institutions have been dragging their feet in assisting the investigation.

Florida teacher guilty of sexually assaulting students begs judge to have him castrated

Image source: WEAR-TV/Facebook video screenshot.
Image source: WEAR-TV/Facebook video screenshot

Mark Lua, a 32-year-old former English teacher at Booker T. Washington High School in Pensacola, pleaded guilty in October to sex-related crimes against former students.

His guilty plea included multiple charges of unlawful sexual activity with minors and promoting a sexual performance by a child, the Pensacola News Journal reported.

According to the paper, Lua was arrested on three separate occasions last year.

He was alleged to have had sex with an underage student, sexually assaulted an 18-year-old former student, and coerced a student into shooting an inappropriate video and sending it to him.

Big Bear Lake to stop communicating or enforcing state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order

Big Bear Lake, a mountain resort town, has announced that it will stop communicating and enforcing the governor’s stay-at-home order.
Big Bear Lake, a mountain resort town, has announced that it will stop communicating and enforcing the governor’s stay-at-home order.
(Rosemary McClure / Los Angeles Times)

With the announcement, Big Bear Lake, a mountain resort town of more than 5,000 people in San Bernardino County, joined other communities that have defied the state’s stay-at-home order and the governor’s plan to reopen California in an ordered approach to prevent new infections of the coronavirus.

While most counties that have rebelled, such as Modoc, Sutter and Yuba, are located in rural areas with relatively few confirmed infections, officials in Tulare, one of California’s hardest-hit counties, recently decided to reopen more businesses before meeting the health criteria set by the state.

In contrast, communities in the Lake Tahoe region, which heavily depend on tourism as well, have issued reminders before Memorial Day weekend warning that leisure travel is still not permitted.

Gov. Newsom’s ‘Trace Force’ COVID-19 Army

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Clinton Global Initiative video conference. (Photo: youtube)
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Clinton Global Initiative video conference. (Photo: youtube)

During a recent Clinton Global Initiative University livestream, former President Bill Clinton spoke of the need to track people “who are positive” with COVID-19, and described the need for an “army” of young people, Zero Hedge reported.

“California Governor Gavin Newsom agreed, responding that ‘The predicate for getting back to some semblance of normalcy is our ability to identify individuals through testing; to be able to trace their contacts; to isolate individuals that have either been exposed or quarantine people that are testing positive.’”

This can only be accomplished if people “allow for their privacy to be impacted by that kind of acuity of attention based upon where they’ve been and who they talked to.”

After former President Clinton, NY Governor Cuomo, Chelsea Clinton and CA Governor Newsom called for an ‘army of contact tracers’ to monitor citizens who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their contacts, Washington DC posted job openings to become an investigator with “Trace Force.”

U.S. Department of Justice Gives Gov. Newsom Stern Warning Over Church Closings

Governor Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)
Governor Gavin Newsom. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sent Governor Gavin Newsom a three-page letter warning that that state’s house of worship closures are discriminatory and should receive equal treatment under the First Amendment.

The letter from Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband specifically noted that while businesses and film studios are allowed to currently operate in California, houses of worship remain closed.

Dreiband specifically cited this as an ‘unequal treatment of faith communities’.

“Simply put, there is no pandemic exception to the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights,” noted Dreiband in the letter.

“California has not shown why interactions in offices and studios of the entertainment industry, and in-person operations to facilitate nonessential e-commerce, are included on the list as being allowed with social distancing where telework is not practical, while gatherings with social distancing for purposes of religious worship are forbidden.”

Janice Dean’s in-laws both died from coronavirus in New York nursing homes

New York has the country’s highest coronavirus death toll, thanks in part to a government policy requiring nursing homes to admit patients who tested positive for coronavirus.

Tucker: For millions of healthy people, coronavirus lockdowns are a life-changing disaster

Commentary/Opinion:
There is precisely no evidence as of right now that the lockdowns saved lives anywhere in this country.

New York Post columnist slammed city shutdown in blistering op-ed

Commentary/Opinion:
New York Post columnist David Marcus called out the risks of keeping New York City locked-down.

Fauci Flips On Lockdown: Staying Home Too Long Could Cause ‘Irreparable Damage’

Screenshot/CNBC
Screenshot/CNBC

Fauci explained during a segment of CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report” that there could be numerous unintended consequences to keeping the country shut down longer than necessary.

“We can’t stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences, including consequences for health,” Fauci explained, adding, “We are enthusiastic about reopening.

I think we can do it in pace that would be reasonable and would get us back as a society from a morale standpoint as well as the economy.”

“I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for prolonged period of time is the way to go,” Fauci continued.

Trump honors US veterans ahead of Memorial Day

President Trump participates in an event “Rolling to Remember: Honoring our Nation’s Veterans and POW/MIA.”

Florida man faces terrorism charge after allegedly coughing at, spitting on police while claiming to have coronavirus

James Jamal Curry faces up to 5 years in prison if convicted. (Pinellas County Sheriffs Office)
James Jamal Curry faces up to 5 years in prison if convicted.
(Pinellas County Sheriffs Office)

James Jamal Curry, 31, was served an indictment by a federal grand jury in Tampa Wednesday for perpetrating a biological weapon hoax, the Associated Press reported.

St. Petersburg police officers responded to a domestic violence call involving Curry on March 27, according to court documents. During his arrest, Curry declared that he was infected with COVID-19 and coughed on an officer’s arm, police said.

Curry bonded out of jail the following day, and police were called later to the same residence where Curry had been arrested a day earlier.

During his second arrest, Curry spit on an officer multiple times, hitting the inside of her mouth with blood-filled saliva, prosecutors said.

Hawaii re-arrests 47 inmates released earlier because of coronavirus fears

Police in Honolulu say they have re-arrested 47 inmates who were granted early release because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Police in Honolulu say they have re-arrested 47 inmates who were granted early release because of the coronavirus outbreak. (Honolulu Police Department)

Prosecutor Dwight Nadamoto says those sprung from jail under court orders included violent offenders, such as one that allegedly attacked a 74-year-old man with a golf club and another that allegedly went after a victim with a sword, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Other cases included an inmate convicted of sexually assaulting a victim under 14 years old.

And despite the coronavirus being a motivating factor in securing their release, there has yet to be a confirmed case of it within Hawaii’s prison system, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

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Michigan care home patient, 75, brutally beaten in attack caught on video; Trump reacts

“Is this even possible to believe? Can this be real?” the president wrote. “Where is this nursing home, how is the victim doing?”

The graphic video shows a younger man, who authorities said was a 20-year-old patient of the same facility, relentlessly punching the elderly man in his face, dozens of times – both while the elderly man is lying on a bed and while he is seated.

“It absolutely shattered my heart. It just broke my heart how anyone could be capable of this kind of brutality,” a Cleveland-area woman who spotted the video on social media and alerted Detroit-area authorities told Detroit’s FOX

Over 4,300 virus patients sent to NY nursing homes, AP counts

AP compiled its own tally to find out how many COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals to nursing homes under the March 25 directive after New York’s Health Department declined to release its internal survey conducted two weeks ago.

It says it is still verifying data that was incomplete.

Whatever the full number, nursing home administrators, residents’ advocates and relatives say it has added up to a big and indefensible problem for facilities that even Gov. Andrew Cuomo — the main proponent of the policy — called “the optimum feeding ground for this virus.”

Boy with autism, 9, found dead in Florida after abduction; Amber Alert canceled

Alejandro Ripley, 9, was abducted from a Home Depot parking lot Thursday night, police say.
Alejandro Ripley, 9, was abducted from a Home Depot parking lot Thursday night, police say. (Miami-Dade Police Department)

One of the Home Depot’s employees had told WSVN that Ripley was abducted after two unknown men rammed their vehicle into his mother’s car.

“The passenger of the vehicle exits the vehicle, approaches the mother, and demands drugs,” Miami-Dade police detective Angel Rodriguez also told reporters.

“The mother is insisting that she does not have any drugs. And so the passenger at that point reaches in, grabs her cell phone, steals her cell phone, and takes her child.”

Officials described the suspects as two black males – one of which may have been wearing all black clothing and a black bandana over his face. They fled the scene in a light blue sedan.

Politics:

Key Players Tell Different Stories of Obama White House Discussion About Flynn

Top administration officials involved in a key Jan 5th 2017, discussion with outgoing President Barack Obama about incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn provided contrasting accounts of what transpired.

That’s according to recently declassified records.

Ep. 1256 Interview With General Flynn’s Lawyer Sidney Powell – The Dan Bongino Show®

In this episode I interview General Mike Flynn’s attorney, Sidney Powell about the framing of her client. Sidney is the author of “Conviction Machine”,

FBI Director Christopher Wray Orders Internal Investigation Of Michael Flynn Probe

In a statement, the FBI said that Wray ordered the bureau’s inspection division “to conduct an after-action review of the Michael Flynn investigation.”

The review will “evaluate the relevant facts related to the FBI’s role in the Flynn investigation and determine whether any current employees engage in misconduct,” the statement says.

Wray has recently come under intense scrutiny from Republican lawmakers who say the FBI chief has refused to provide documents to Congress about various aspects of the bureau’s investigation of the Trump campaign.

Rubio demands investigation of how abortionists got federal dollars

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called Friday for the Small Business Administration to investigate how 37 Planned Parenthood affiliates received $80 million in coronavirus stimulus loans.

The letter, signed by 33 senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Montana Sen. Steve Daines, and 94 House representatives, called for prosecution of any wrongdoing associated with how Planned Parenthood received the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

The nation’s largest abortion provider came under fire after Fox News’ Tucker Carlson reported Tuesday that the Planned Parenthood affiliates received millions of dollars in coronavirus funding.

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White House press briefing | 5/22/2020

Dems make big push to aid illegal immigrants amid coronavirus crisis

Congressional Democrats and state governments are pushing a range of ways to assist illegal immigrants in their response to the coronavirus crisis, calling for the release of those in detention and lobbying to make them eligible for over a thousand dollars each in stimulus payments.

“Can you believe it? We forgot to have the Treasury Department send money to people here illegally.

My goodness. What an oversight,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor last week.

Sen. Tim Scott: Biden’s new comment on black voters is ‘most arrogant and condescending’ thing I’ve ever heard

Scott, R-S.C., said such comments are not surprising considering Biden’s record in “sponsoring a crime bill in the 1990s that jailed more African-American males than any other legislation.”

“And President Trump comes along, and through his criminal justice reform, corrects the absolute mistakes made by Joe Biden; 1.3 million African-Americans voted for Trump.

He’s saying to 1.3 million African-Americans that you are not black? Who in the heck does he think he is?

That is the most arrogant, outrageous comment that I’ve heard in a very long time and I take offense to that.”

World News:

China announces $178.2 billion military budget

China's Communist Party leaders and delegates, including President Xi Jinping, sit at the opening of the National People's Congress on May 22, 2020,
China’s Communist Party leaders and delegates, including President Xi Jinping, sit at the opening of the National People’s Congress on May 22, 2020, in Beijing, China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

The growth in China’s defense budget would see spending rise from $167 billion last year to $178.2 billion, an increase of about $11 billion.

The country has the second-largest defense budget in the world, behind only the United States.

In real dollar terms, the $11 billion increase in defense spending is the fifth-highest increase ever for the country.

It also shows that China is determined that the People’s Liberation Army, or PLA, will remain insulated as much as possible from the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in China’s economy shrinking by 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same time last year.

Pakistan International Airlines flight crashes, with nearly 100 people on board

Pakistan’s civil aviation authority said the plane carried 91 passengers and a crew of seven.

Earlier, the departure airport in the northeastern city of Lahore had said 107 were on board. Kokhar said the discrepancy was due to confusion in the chaotic aftermath of the crash.

Information on survivors evolved as details emerged about the crash.

Police in protective masks struggled to clear away crowds amid the smoke and dust so ambulances and firetrucks could move through the crash site.

As darkness settled over the crash site, flood lights illuminated the wreckage, where crews were still recovering bodies. A portable morgue was set up.

Gen. Jack Keane: Why China’s new moves against Hong Kong are significant

“[The Chinese government] wants to break the resolve of our allies here in Hong Kong. This is a bold move on their part.

They failed to get an extradition law because of this significant protest en-masse by the Hong Kong people,” retired General Keane told “Fox & Friends.”

“Now they’ve gone to their National Party Congress, the equivalent of our legislature.”

The bill would allow the Chinese government to suppress anti-government movements, like the most recent yearslong protests.

Commentary/Opinion:

Will The Shutdown Flip The Golden State?