In the News

News and Headlines.12/28/2020

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

In The News:

The CDC’s Rules Let Teachers, Lawyers, Media Jump to the Front of the COVID Vaccine Line

(Pacific Press/Sipa USA/Newscom)
(Pacific Press/Sipa USA/Newscom)

Education sector “support staff members,” corporate tax lawyers, and magazine fashion editors will all jump to the front of the coronavirus vaccination line ahead of the general population, under recommendations issued in late December by the federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How did we get here? On December 20, a government committee of highly educated, mostly academic experts known as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted about who should get the vaccine first.

The committee has 15 voting members. Twelve of them are medical doctors. One is a lawyer. Nine—a majority—are affiliated with universities, including Stanford, Vanderbilt, Baylor, and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Fauci says he altered public scientific estimates based on opinion polls

In a Christmas Eve interview with the New York Times, Fauci acknowledged he had offered a lower estimate of the level of herd immunity necessary to stop the COVID-19 pandemic because he thought Americans would be discouraged by hearing his true thoughts on the issue. 

He recently raised his estimate on the herd immunity threshold “partly based on new science,” the newspaper reported, “and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks.”

“When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent,” he told reporter Donald McNeil. “Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.”

Fauci admitted that scientists “really don’t know what the real number is,” though he himself estimated that the “real range is somewhere between 70 to 90 percent.”

Nevada student sues high school for ‘coercive ideological indoctrination’ of woke curriculum

Reno, Nevada
(Greg Chapel / EyeEm
Reno, Nevada (Greg Chapel / EyeEm

The student, who is mixed-race, contends that the curriculum forces students at the taxpayer-funded school to connect elements of their identities with oppression.

The student’s mother, Gabrielle Clark, who is black, claims her son was subjected to a hostile classroom environment at Democracy Prep.

She alleges that her child faced discrimination during the school’s year-long, mandatory course “Sociology of Change.”

Clark claims that she and other parents were unaware of the school’s sharp pivot toward a curriculum of “coercive, ideological indoctrination.”

The school’s curriculum had evidently been altered in recent years, but classes kept the same names, meaning some parents were unaware of the substantive change to their children’s education until “they began seeing the detrimental effects it worked upon their children,” reads the suit.

A-list actress blasts Hollywood for trying to turn women into men: ‘If they’re feminine in the way that they used to be … they’re not welcome’

Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Famed British actress Emma Thompson says that far too many Hollywood filmmakers encourage women to cast their femininity aside and behave more like men.

In a recent interview with the CultureBlast podcast on Spotify, Thompson — an Academy Award winner — said that filmmakers are far too focused on portraying a woman as masculine and should, instead, focus on highlighting a woman’s femininity as a source of strength.

She later added, “Why are there no films about giving birth, for crying out loud? Does anyone even know about that? No. No, It’s all hidden.

All our heroism is hidden, because what we’ve done is we’ve just given women the same parts as men, and that’s not the point.

How do we turn into our own lives and make those stories heroic?”

30 shot, 8 killed in Chicago over Christmas weekend

Police secure a crime scene in Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS)
Police secure a crime scene in Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

The most recent fatal shooting took place on the Lower West Side where a 57-year-old man was shot to death Monday morning.

Between 5 p.m. Thursday and 5 a.m. Monday, a minimum of 20 more people were shot within city limits

In the weekend leading up to the Christmas holiday, Chicago saw six people killed and 32 others wounded from citywide shootings.

Report: Massachusetts school bans ‘The Odyssey’ as progressives demand purge of classics

Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images
Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

Meghan Cox Gurdon, in an opinion column for the Wall Street Journal, wrote about a “sustained effort” by “critical-theory ideologues, schoolteachers and Twitter agitators” to “deny children access to literature.”

These activists object to classic texts, such as Homer’s Odyssey or Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter,” because they allege such texts may teach “racism, sexism, ableism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of hate.”

TSA screened nearly 1.3 million travelers Sunday, setting a new pandemic record

A passenger wearing personal protective equipment walks though Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX in November 2020.
A passenger wearing personal protective equipment walks though Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX in November 2020. (Francine Orr/Los Angeles/TNS)

The Transportation Security Administration said it screened 1,284,599 people, many of whom were returning from holiday travel. That beats the TSA’s previous record of 1,191,123, set Dec. 23. On Saturday, 1,128,773 people went through TSA security checkpoints.

Sunday was the sixth day of the Christmas holiday rush to see screenings exceed 1 million per day. Many people began their travel last weekend, when the TSA screened more than a million passengers per day between Dec. 18-20.


‘Nobody Else Was Going to Do it’: Barstool Sports Raises over $6M to Keep Small Businesses Open

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The company announced on Christmas that its fundraising efforts, which started just over a week ago, surpassed $6 million from 57,404 different donors.

Founder of Barstool Sports Dave Portnoy introduced the Barstool Fund Dec. 17 on Twitter. He said he hopes the company can “bridge gap until COVID’s done” and business owners can go back to making a living.

“Is it the best plan? No,” Portnoy said on Twitter.

“The best plan is the government getting off their [butt] and issuing relief, billions of dollars, to these small business owners who are losing their livelihoods and no way to save it through no fault of their own […] That’s the only solution really.

But barring that, we’re going to do what we can.”

YouTube Censors Video by Dr. Ron Paul for ‘Medical Misinformation’

“Very disturbing news: YouTube has pulled an episode of the Ron Paul Liberty Report and issued a “warning” that any more violations will result in our not being able to put up more programs,” said Paul on Twitter.

The former congressman said that YouTube, without warning, targeted a video that was already several weeks old.

In the censored episode, Paul criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci of the CDC, in particular over first opposing the use of masks and then supporting them. The episode is still available on Soundcloud and other platforms.

California Has Worst Coronavirus Outbreak in U.S. — and Some of the Tightest Restrictions

Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Restrictions have become tighter in California even as other states have been able to relax some of their rules. In Los Angeles, even walking has been forbidden except for particular purposes (though the rule is not enforced).

The theory that restrictions might have contributed to the surge suggests that because Californians were not given the same freedom earlier in the year that residents of other states enjoyed, public patience with restrictions has been exhausted and people are no longer obeying the rules.

The poor example set by many public officials has also hurt compliance.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and other officials have come under severe criticism for ignoring their own policies — in Newsom’s case, by joining a dinner party at the French Laundry restaurant.


Once every quarter, the Florida National Cemetery holds a service for indigent and unclaimed veterans, but cemetery officials said they are welcoming services for individuals as well.

Robert Krause served as a Marine in the 1950s. When he died, there were no family and no one to claim him.

”I’ve heard it said that a veteran dies twice: once on the battlefield and the second time when people stop saying his name,” said Nick Morales, a veteran of both the Marine Corps and U.S. Army.

Nick and his other volunteer bikers showed up at Robert’s funeral service to escort his casket from the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital to the Florida National Cemetery.

The bikers  said that it is an honor to participate, because no veteran should be buried alone.

Parents of dead 4-year-old Missouri girl now face charges

Mary S. Mast, 29, and James A. Mast, 28, both of Lincoln, Missouri, were charged Thursday with felony child endangerment resulting in death and are jailed without bond.

The couple’s other children, a 2-year-old son and an infant, were placed in protective custody, Benton County Sheriff Eric Knox said in a news release.

The 4-year-old girl was found dead at the family home on Dec. 20. Knox said she had been severely beaten and dunked in an icy pond as part of what appeared to be a “religious-type episode.”

Deli worker in NYC punches customer following complaint about sandwich: report

Ali Zubaidi, 26, was arrested and charged with assault following the altercation, which reportedly took place in the early morning outside the N&H Deli in the Bronx, the New York Daily News reported.

Zubaidi reportedly became angered following a complaint from the 29-year-old customer, and later followed him outside, where the argument turned physical.

Zubaidi is accused of punching the unidentified customer in the face, knocking him to the ground, and causing the customer to suffer cuts to his hands and neck.

Man punches fellow passenger at Florida airport over canceled flight, racist remark: report

Authorities arrested 20-year-old Efren Dawson at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport after Dawson allegedly punched another traveler in the face.
Authorities arrested 20-year-old Efren Dawson at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport after Dawson allegedly punched another traveler in the face. (Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office)

Authorities arrested 20-year-old Efren Dawson at the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport on Dec. 26, after Dawson allegedly punched the other traveler in the face, WFLA reports.

Dawson was said to be scheduled for an Allegiant Air flight from Florida to Virginia, where he is from.

That flight, however, was canceled, which reportedly upset Dawson.

He allegedly reacted to the news by making a scene and using profanity in front of children, which upset another traveler who would have been on the same flight as Dawson, according to reports from WTSP.

Alabama man confessed to killing girlfriend, trying to burn remains: police

Ace Antonio Pierre Belcher was arrested for allegedly killing his girlfriend and trying to burn her remains.
Ace Antonio Pierre Belcher was arrested for allegedly killing his girlfriend and trying to burn her remains. (Etowah County Sheriff’s Office)

Ace Antonio Pierre Belcher, 32, called Altoona cops late Thursday to report that he had an argument with his girlfriend, Traci Melvin Wilemon, that turned physical and led to her death, the Gadsden Times reported.

Belcher initially told responding cops he found Wilemon, 50, lifeless on the floor of their Altoona home, but unusual circumstances at the scene led cops to call investigators from the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Jonathan Horton said in a press release.

Deputies then obtained a search warrant and processed the scene for hours early on Christmas Day before Belcher confessed to killing Wilemon and trying to burn her remains, sheriff officials said.

Georgia corrections officer shot at state prison, another man killed; suspect in custody

Marquaqvious Park was wanted in the shooting of a Georgia corrections officer. (Washington County Sheriff's Office)
Marquaqvious Park was wanted in the shooting of a Georgia corrections officer. (Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

According to authorities, two Georgia Department of Corrections K9 officers were investigating a breach in the perimeter at the jail around 12:20 a.m. Monday when they engaged two individuals on the grounds during what was described as a contraband drop.

During the incident, one officer was shot. The wounded officer was transported to a hospital in Augusta with injuries that are not life-threatening.

One suspect was found dead in a nearby pond.

2020 in scandals: Jeffrey Epstein, college admissions and more

2020 will always be remembered for the coronavirus pandemic, but it was also a year of high-profile scandals.

Some are ongoing, including the college admissions scandal, sex crime allegations against disgraced media mogul Harvey Weinstein, and investigations into sex abuses by associates of deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Here’s a look back at scandals that rocked the nation.

COVID-19 vaccine info you didn’t know (PODCAST)

How do the vaccines compare when it comes to side effects? How long do they last?

Why so much misreporting?

Here’s the information from the CDC, the FDA, and the vaccine makers.


Gun-buying activity shatters records in 2020 amid lockdowns, riots, presidential election

Gun-buying activity shattered records in the U.S. this year, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation recording both the highest number of background checks in its history and the highest increase of checks year-over-year in over two decades. 

Last month was the busiest November on record for FBI background checks in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, according to the Bureau’s month-by-month data. 

Background checks were up 40% from the prior November, with over 3.6 million checks performed throughout the month. 



Louie Gohmert Lawsuit Seeks to Give Mike Pence Power to Overturn Electoral College Vote

AP Photo/Julio Cortez
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

The lawsuit seeks to empower Pence to effectively overturn the election results by selecting alternate slates of electors and counting their votes instead of the votes cast by the state’s official electors based on the states’ certified election results.

In order to enable off this switch, the lawsuit claims that the 1887 Electoral Count Act — which made the vice president’s role largely ceremonial — violates the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution (ratified in 1804).

The amendment merely states that “The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted.”

“Under the Twelfth Amendment, Defendant Pence alone has the exclusive authority and sole discretion to open and permit the counting of the electoral votes for a given state, and where there are competing slates of electors, or where there is objection to any single slate of electors, to determine which electors’ votes, or whether none, shall be counted,” the lawsuit argues.

“Picking Quarrels And Provoking Trouble”: China Sentences Journalist Who Reported On Covid-19 To Four Years in Prison

According to a The New York Times report, the sentence is meant to silence any others who would share information on the failures and responsibilities of the Chinese government for spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Chinese government has denied any such failures despite overwhelming evidence of a cover-up that denied the world critical time to contain and fight the spread of the virus.

At the same time, Democrats have embraced censorship and speech controls.

We have have been discussing how writers, editors, commentators, and academics have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including President-elect Joe Biden and his key advisers.

The erosion of free speech has been radically accelerated by the Big Tech and social media companies.

The level of censorship and viewpoint regulation has raised questions of a new type of state media where companies advance an ideological agenda with political allies.

Tensions on the rise in socialist ‘Squad’

Rising tensions and new faces could see the socialist ‘Squad’ fall apart in the House of Representatives.
One America’s Shane Althaus has more.

Hilton: We need Watergate-style Senate hearings to advance anti-corruption reforms

Host of ‘The Next Revolution’ Steve Hilton breaks down how the U.S. should approach establishment corruption.

‘Very disturbing’: Dozens of Georgia witnesses expose election irregularities—Pt 2 | NTD

Over 40 witnesses spoke to the media at Cobb Country Republican Party Headquarters in Georgia on Dec 9, 10, 13, and 14. They presented evidence of election irregularities and fraud they had collected during the 2020 election ballot counts and recount.

Some of them did not get the chance to give their testimonies in person, but sent their video testimonies or did a video interview online.

World News:

Frontline workers snubbed amid dramatic scale back of NYE celebrations

Allocated spots for frontline workers along Sydney Harbour – to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks display – were cancelled after health authorities deemed the event too great a health risk.

People with a dinner reservation will be allowed to keep their bookings in hospitality venues in Sydney’s CBD on the proviso the four square metre rule is in place, and a permit is issued from Service NSW.

A permit will also be required of those planning to visit a CBD household. The news comes despite New South Wales recording a dip in community transmission

China Launches Long March-4C Satellite Mission, Completing 2020 Launch Schedule

At 23:44 on December 27, China successfully put the remote sensing satellite 33 into the predetermined orbit with the long march 4C carrier rocket at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, and the launch was a complete success.
At 23:44 on December 27, China successfully put the remote sensing satellite 33 into the predetermined orbit with the long march 4C carrier rocket at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, and the launch was a complete success.

Chinese media reported that the satellite launched into orbit will be used for scientific research. However, the entire series of the Yaogan Weixing satellites is internationally considered to be more military in nature. 

Along with the larger Yaogan Weixing-33 satellite, the mission also carried up a smaller satellite with the name of Weina Jishu Shiyan, which is also slated to be utilized for scientific purposes according to Chinese state media.

Notably, this news signals the last satellite launch by China in 2020 and the last satellites on their existing five-year satellite plan.

Journalists killed in retaliation for their reporting doubles in 2020, new report says

Afghan men carry the coffin of journalist Malalai Maiwand, who was shot and killed on her way to work in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, on December 10, 2020.
Afghan men carry the coffin of journalist Malalai Maiwand, who was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in Jalalabad, Afghanistan December 10, 2020. REUTERS/Parwiz – RC28KK92FHPD

In total, CPJ recorded at least 31 journalists killed in the line of their work in 2020, with 21 killed as a reprisal for their reporting activity, more than double the 10 killed in 2019. 

Afghanistan and Mexico were the deadliest countries for journalists reporting in 2020. Five journalists were the victims of targeted killings in Afghanistan, according to a CPJ datasheet.

Four more journalists were the victims of targeted killings in Mexico and a fifth journalist in Mexico died as a result of hazards from a dangerous assignment.

Two journalists killed in Mexico were enrolled in the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, a government program that assigns bodyguards and other safety measures to journalists under threat for their work. In both cases, the journalists’ assigned bodyguards were also killed.

US urges China to release 12 Hong Kong fugitives who ‘fled tyranny’ as secretive trial begins

Police are pictured outside the Yantian District Detention Centre, where 12 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists have been detained after they were arrested last August ,
Police are pictured outside the Yantian District Detention Centre, where 12 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists have been detained after they were arrested last August as they tried to flee Hong Kong to Taiwan by boat, ahead of their trial in China’s southeastern city of Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong, on December 28, 2020. (Photo by Noel Celis / AFP)

Ten of the so-called “Hong Kong 12” were in court in the southern city of Shenzhen facing charges linked to an illegal border crossing.

Chinese authorities took them into custody after their boat was intercepted on August 23.

The hearing began as scheduled on Monday afternoon, AFP understands, and was likely to run into the evening, although it was not immediately clear when the verdict would be delivered.

At least two of the group face around seven years in jail for organising the attempted escape from a city where democracy activists last year led massive protests against Beijing’s rule.

Chinese citizen journalist Zhang Zhan jailed for 4 years over Wuhan Covid-19 reporting

A policeman covers a camera to stop journalists from recording footage outside the Shanghai Pudong New District People’s Court, where Chinese citizen journalist Zhang Zhan – who reported on Wuhan’s Covid-19 outbreak and placed under detention since May – is set for trial in Shanghai on December 28,
A policeman covers a camera to stop journalists from recording footage outside the Shanghai Pudong New District People’s Court, where Chinese citizen journalist Zhang Zhan – who reported on Wuhan’s Covid-19 outbreak and placed under detention since May – is set for trial in Shanghai on December 28, 2020. (Photo by Leo RAMIREZ / AFP)

Zhang Zhan, a former lawyer, was sentenced at a brief hearing in a Shanghai court for allegedly “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” for her reporting in the chaotic initial stages of the outbreak.

Her live reports and essays were widely shared on social media platforms in February, grabbing the attention of authorities, who have punished eight virus whistleblowers so far as they defang criticism of the government’s response to the outbreak.

Beijing has congratulated itself for “extraordinary” success in controlling the virus inside its borders, with an economy on the rebound while much of the rest of the world stutters through painful lockdowns and surging caseloads a year on from the start of the pandemic in Wuhan.

Controlling the information flow during an unprecedented global health crisis has been pivotal in allowing China’s communist authorities to reframe the narrative in their favour.

TV7 Israel Editor’s Note: My Brother’s Keeper – Persecution of Christians in Muslim Majority States

Jonathan Hessen and Michael Kerem discuss and pray for the persecuted Christians in Muslim majority states, and reveal the exciting new program “My Brother’s Keeper” that will air on Saturday, 2 January 2021 at 9 PM (Jerusalem Time) on TV7 Israel News!

Each Year 1,000 Pakistani Christian Girls Forcibly Converted to Islam

Fourteen-year-old Neha sits during an interview Wednesday Nov. 11, 2020, in Karachi, Pakistan. Neha’s family forced her to marry a 45-year-old Muslim man, who first made her convert from Christianity to Islam. She’s among hundreds of Christian and Hindu girls from poor families who are forced to convert each year, usually ahead of being married off to older Muslim men. Activists say the practice has accelerated during lockdowns against the coronavirus, when girls are out of school and more visible, bride traffickers are more active on the Internet and families are more in debt. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

The girls generally are kidnapped by complicit acquaintances and relatives or men looking for brides.

Sometimes they are taken by powerful landlords as payment for outstanding debts by their farmhand parents, and police often look the other way.

Once converted, the girls are quickly married off, often to older men or to their abductors, according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Forced conversions thrive unchecked on a money-making web that involves Islamic clerics who solemnize the marriages, magistrates who legalize the unions and corrupt local police who aid the culprits by refusing to investigate or sabotaging investigations, say child protection activists.


Full Measure: December 27, 2020

This week, we look at how the feds made brand new changes to Title IX rules dictating how colleges investigate sexual assault claims.

We dive into the debate and ask Education Secretary Betsy DeVos about it.

We also investigate the millions of Takata Airbags being removed from cars in the U.S. due to allegations they can kill. We explore the recall costs and the dangers that remain behind the wheel.

Adam Carolla says free speech in America is being cancelled. We talk with him about the “cancel culture” and what free speech should look and sound like.


What Is Big Green?

You hear lots of dire predictions these days — the planet is burning, the seas are rising, and so on.

But what is the real purpose of all this doom and gloom?

Is it to protect the environment? Or is there a different motive?

Rogan O’Handley, aka DC Draino, gets to the bottom of these questions in this important video.

Shapiro’s F-Bomb, Dave Meets Trump, Douglas Murray Meets Antifa & More | BEST OF 2020 | Rubin Report

Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talks to Ben Shapiro, Megyn Kelly, Michael Knowles, Ted Cruz, Bryan Callen, Douglas Murray, Glenn Beck, Rob Smith, Nicole Arbour and more in this jam packed best of 2020 special edition of The Rubin Report.

Uncle Tom Snubbed (Again) | Best Documentaries Of 2020 | IndieWire | Larry Elder

IndieWire released their list of the top documentaries of 2020, and once again, ‘Uncle Tom’ didn’t make the cut. Regardless of its high ratings on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

In this episode, Larry takes a look at IndieWire’s review and compares their list with his documentary.

Black Lives Matter, Antifa terrorist using Nazi tactics

Despite claiming to have peaceful intentions, members of Black Lives Matter and Antifa are using the same tactics of terror as the Brown Shirts of Nazi Germany.

One America’s Pearson Sharp explains how their radical leftist ideologies represent a grave threat to a free democracy.

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