In The News Today.

US News, Politics, World News, Commentary/Opinion and Video Post.

US News:

Disgraced laywer Michael Avenatti is sentenced to 14 YEARS for fraud

Attorney Michael Avenatti, who rose to fame representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against former president Donald Trump, was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for dodging taxes and stealing millions of dollars from clients.

In a district court in Orange County on Monday Avenatti, 51, was also ordered to pay nearly $8million in restitution after admitting he secretly took settlement money paid to his clients and spent some of it to buy a private jet.

Judge James V. Selna said Avenatti’s sentence will run consecutively – or on top of – the five years he is already serving for convictions in New York for an extortion scheme against Nike, and for stealing from Daniels.


Musk’s ‘Name and Shame’ Strategy Works as Apple Resumes Advertising on Twitter

(Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)
(Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Elon Musk has said that Apple has “fully resumed” advertising on Twitter, adding that the tech giant is the largest advertiser on the platform, as tensions appear to be simmering down between the two companies.

The comments were made during a Twitter Spaces conversation on Saturday, which featured more than 90,000 listeners.

Later on Sunday, Musk said in a post, “Just a note to thank advertisers for returning to Twitter,” which could suggest other companies are also in the process of coming back to the platform after a call for a boycott and public dissociation with Twitter since Musk’s takeover.


State Attorneys General Say FedEx and UPS Help Feds Track Gun Sales

(Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)
(Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, together with 17 other state attorneys general, has demanded that shipping companies UPS and FedEx explain their newly implemented policies to track and record Americans’ firearms purchases, and disclose whether these policies have been coordinated with the Biden administration.

In letters sent on Nov. 29 to FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam and UPS CEO Carol B. Tomé, Knudsen and co-signers wrote that the shipping companies’ policies “allow your company to track firearm sales with unprecedented specificity and bypass warrant requirements to share that information with federal agencies.”

“What both of these companies are saying is that they’re doing this so they can better cooperate with law enforcement,” Knudsen told The Epoch Times. “That’s all fine and well, until you find out that that’s a violation of federal law.”

Based on reports from gun stores, Knudsen’s letter states, FedEx and UPS are now requiring Federal Firearms License holders (FFLs) to provide details of each shipment to the shipping companies, including the contents and recipient, allowing them “to create a database of American gun purchasers and determine exactly what items they purchased.


Moon Shot | Full Measure

NASA’s Orion rocket is nearing the end of its historic unmanned mission to the moon, the first step toward returning man to the lunar satellite, and then venturing where no man has gone before.

Lisa Fletcher has more on the Artemis mission and taxpayer costs.


Crypto Mining | Full Measure

You’ve probably been hearing about the collapse of FTX, an exchange where people could buy and sell cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.

It’s now mired in investigations into alleged mishandling of customer money and founder Sam Bankman-Fried — one of the largest donors to Democrats.

Our next story explores another controversy related to the murky world of cryptocurrency. It has to do with tapping into an age-old power source to create Bitcoin.


Texas troopers continue to pursue and arrest human smugglers

Members of the Operation Lone Star Task Force apprehend a foreign national who is in the country illegally.

Operation Lone Star Task Force, Jackson, Wharton counties, Texas
Members of the Operation Lone Star Task Force apprehend a foreign national who is in the country illegally.Operation Lone Star Task Force, Jackson, Wharton counties, Texas

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers continue to pursue and catch human smugglers as they attempt to transport foreign nationals who’ve illegally entered Texas north to other cities.

In the past week, several DPS traffic stops and pursuits provide a glimpse into the daily reality of law enforcement efforts along the border.

In Hidalgo County, DPS troopers pursued a human smuggler who wouldn’t pull over and led a high-speed chase. Eventually, the driver pulled over and several illegal foreign nationals bailed out and ran into the brush. One trooper apprehended one of them but five ran away, DPS said.

The driver sped on and was eventually stopped after another trooper deployed a tire deflation device. The driver also attempted to run but was caught and charged with human smuggling and evading arrest.

In another traffic stop in Hidalgo County, during a commercial vehicle inspection, a DPS trooper seized more than 45 pounds of cocaine. He first stopped a blue Kenworth semi-trailer on U.S. 281 to inspect the vehicle, then learned the driver had a canceled commercial driver’s license.


Legal Trouble Looms For Adam Schiff, Politico, CNN & The Biden Crime Family – ‘Ready To Go To War’ – John Paul Mac Isaac

Tens of thousands of NC residents will be without electricity after weekend gun attack on power grid

State, federal and local officials are investigating what they call an apparent criminal attack on critical infrastructure Friday night, according to the Associated Press.

Utility companies said power may not be completely restored until Thursday. 

Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields said Sunday a person breached the substations and opened fire. A motivation is unclear, but he said the attacks were not random.

Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper said: “An attack like this on critical infrastructure is a serious, intentional crime and I expect state and federal authorities to thoroughly investigate and bring those responsible to justice.”


California Teacher with Classroom Library of Books About BDSM, Orgies, and Kinks Says It Helps Students Discover Their Identities

Flint is a teacher who posted about pornographic books in a classroom library.  (Screenshot/TikTok)
Flint is a teacher who posted about pornographic books in a classroom library.  (Screenshot/TikTok)

The books contained sexually graphic content that depicted “sex between women and BDSM, sexual fetishes, and ‘FetLife’ — a social networking site for kink,” Breitbart News reported in September.

Despite receiving backlash from parents, the teacher doubled down on the sexually explicit library in a video she shared on November 21, Fox News reported.

The Capistrano School District responded to the outrage in an email, claiming the books were not promoted in the classroom but were part of an extracurricular club. However, Flint revealed in her own commentary that the library was positioned to be openly available to students in the classroom, Fox News noted.

The San Juan teacher is not the only educator who has promoted perverted “sex education” material in classrooms.


Secret Service: Chinese Hackers Stole Millions in Coronavirus Benefits

BeeBright/Getty Images
BeeBright/Getty Images

The Secret Service said that Small Business Administration loans and unemployment insurance funds experienced theft of taxpayer funds in over a dozen states. Law enforcement and cybersecurity experts added that the theft committed by this hacking group — known as APT41 — may be the tip of the iceberg.

The Secret Service added that there are more than 1,000 ongoing investigations involving transnational and domestic criminals defrauding taxpayer funds and that APT41 is “a notable player.”

The foreign hacking group is considered a “Chinese state-sponsored, cyber threat group that is highly adept at conducting espionage missions and financial crimes for personal gain,” the Secret Service said in a statement.

APT41 had reportedly become the “workhorse” of cyber hacking that benefits the Chinese Communist Party, cyber experts and officials from multiple agencies say.

Cyber experts and officials also noted that the Chinese government may direct a hacking group to attack a certain target.


Former ‘Non-Binary’ Woman Will Sue Medical Professionals Who Provided Her Irreversible ‘Top Surgery’

AP Photo/Armando Franca
AP Photo/Armando Franca

A 32-year-old woman who once identified as “non-binary” said last week that she is suing the doctors who performed her life-altering, irreversible double mastectomy operation two years ago.

Camille Kiefel had her breasts removed in 2020 to align with her chosen “gender identity” after two Zoom meetings with doctors, according to the New York Post. And, the doctors reportedly did not look into her mental health issues. 

Since then, Kiefel is now in a better place mentally and is suing her social worker and therapist and the gender clinics they work for, Brave Space Oregon and Quest Center for Integrative Health. The Post noted that she is seeking up to $850,000 in damages.


Police: Man Attacks Victim from Behind with Baseball Bat in New York City

Authorities say that a 47-year-old male was walking in front of 1770 Amsterdam Avenue in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood of Manhattan at approximately 8:06 a.m. before an unknown individual started to approach him from behind.

The individual can be seen on security footage waiting for a third person, walking in the opposite direction, to pass by before removing an orange baseball bat from his pants and swinging it at the 47-year-old’s head. The victim falls to the ground due to the impact of the blow.

The attacker initially walks away from the victim but then approaches him again. He appears to taunt and stomp on the 47-year-old before fleeing to parts unknown.


Politics:

Op-Ed: Democrats suppress voter turnout in local elections

Mike Stewart / AP Photo
 Mike Stewart / AP Photo

Although the Democrats claim to be the champions of higher turnout and making it easier to vote on Election Day, when it comes to scheduling off-cycle elections, the Democratic Party is the king of voter suppression. Off-year elections have much lower turnouts and Democrats want it that way.

Many off year elections take place for local offices, like city and county commissions and school boards. This also includes referendums to raise property taxes and registration fees.

But only a small number of highly engaged voters participate in these elections, especially those who live in rural areas of the state. Most rural areas are unaware that these elections are even taking place.

Election law expert Rick Hasen notes that there is a philosophical divide between the parties.

For Republicans, some requirements for participation, such as voter ID laws, can help the functioning of a democracy. Republicans believe voter ID laws prevent fraud and foster confidence in the system. They also argue that ID regulations attract voters who are better informed and educated on issues.

Hansen claims that the Democratic philosophy about voting is entirely different. Democrats care far less about “informed voters” and much more about “universal or mandated participation.”


REP. JIM JORDAN: On Who He Supports For House Speaker

Dana is joined by Congressman Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) of Ohio’s 4th district – on Big Tech (Google/Apple) acting as agents of state for the ‘Deep State’, – and China – while Big Government is ‘keeping an eye’ on Twitter.


Every American ‘should be concerned about this’: Sen. Johnson

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., joins ‘Sunday Morning Futures’ to discuss Elon Musk’s Twitter data dump, the politicization of the federal agencies, comments on the vaccine mandate, and woke agendas by the military.


This is a ‘1776’ issue: Ramaswamy

Strive Asset Management’s Vivek Ramaswamy joins ‘The Next Revolution’ to delve into Big Tech’s role in censoring free speech.


Georgia Runoff Sets Early Voting Single-Day Records

State elections data showed that 353,436 people voted in-person on Friday, according to state election data. That brought the total number of early votes overall, in person and absentee, to nearly 1.9 million.

The final day’s total surpassed Tuesday’s one-day record of 304,744 – which, other than the Nov. 28 total of 303,672, was higher than early in-person voting in any other previous election year, ABC News reported.

After Tuesday’s vote, Raffensperger said: “Georgia is a national leader in voter access and security.

We are having historic levels of turnout and those who want to vote are voting — we believe this level of voter participation is excellent, and we’ll keep working with counties to encourage them to open more early voting locations in the future.”


Republicans will get to the bottom of the Hunter Biden Twitter files | Pete Sessions

Texas Rep. Pete Sessions sounds off on the censoring of the Hunter Biden laptop story – via “John Bachman Now.”


Josh Hawley Uncovers Documents Indicating Disinformation Board Far More Advanced than Mayorkas Testimony Suggested

JIM WATSON/NICHOLAS KAMM/Getty Images
JIM WATSON/NICHOLAS KAMM/Getty Images

“I am sure there are documents pertaining to this board – minutes of meetings, communications about who would serve on the board. Will you release those to this committee?” Hawley asked.

“Senator, there are not yet – this governance…” Mayorkas began before Hawley pressed him.

“Wait a minute. There are no meetings about this board? You’ve not created any records?” he followed up.

“It has not yet begun its work,” Mayorkas said.

Hawley continued to press him until Mayorkas submitted that he would turn documents over to the committee.

After finally receiving the heavily redacted documents some six months later, Hawley made them available to the public in a press release on Wednesday. Email correspondence between DHS officials shows the Disinformation Governance Board Steering Group “convened” several times dating back to February – two months before Mayorkas’s testimony. In light of the documents, Hawley penned a letter to Mayorkas on Wednesday, calling his testimony “untrue.”


Mark Levin: We are moving toward a Democratic-run police state

Fox News host Mark Levin lays out how the Justice Department has become politically weaponized in his opening monologue on ‘Life Liberty & Levin.’


James Comer Probes Report of ‘Secret Deal to Boost Oil Production’ Between the Biden Admin and Saudis

Royal Court of Saudi Arabia / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Royal Court of Saudi Arabia / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

On June 2, OPEC+ published new oil output timetables allegedly in “compliance” with the “secret deal” between the Biden Administration and Saudi Arabia. On the same day, Biden said he would travel to meet with Saudi leadership in October, one month before the midterm election.

Despite the scheduled meeting and “secret deal” to boost oil production, Comer says “OPEC+ failed to meet the production metrics outlined in the secret deal by promising to increase output.” The failure to meet the production metrics caused the Biden Administration to further its OPEC+ lobbying efforts before the October summit between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Nevertheless, OPEC+ announced it would cut oil production in November 2022, which was viewed by the administration as a “betrayal” leading up to the midterms.

Comer said the administration’s actions must be investigated to know whether it has engaged “in backdoor market manipulations with adversarial nations while jeopardizing our national security for the sake of securing more favorable election conditions for Democrats”:


SOURCES: McConnell Caves to Pelosi, Schumer, Allows JCPA Media Cartel Bailout Bill to Be Included in Defense Package

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Over objections from House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, the likely next Speaker of the House come Jan. 3 of next year, other congressional leaders acquiesced to lobbyist pressure and agreed to include the JCPA in the base text of the NDAA.

McCarthy was the only member of Congressional leadership to fight back against the inclusion, but was overruled three to one after McConnell caved.

The JCPA has absolutely nothing to do with national defense, so the move—a swan song of sorts for Pelosi, who just announced she is leaving congressional leadership but retaining her House seat after Democrats lost the majority to the GOP in the midterm elections—is an egregious step for an outgoing leader of the past against precedent as the NDAA has generally been reserved just for national security matters.

Proponents of the JCPA have been struggling for over a year to move the controversial proposal through Congress, hitting roadblocks every step of the way in committee hearings and fierce opposition from Republicans like McCarthy and others including Jim Jordan, Steve Scalise, Marsha Blackburn, Tom Cotton, and more.


World News:

Profits of War: Global Arms Sales Reached $590+ Billion Ahead of Ukraine Conflict

 (AP Photo/Jeffrey Schaeffer, File)
 (AP Photo/Jeffrey Schaeffer, File)

While the war in Ukraine has increased demand, supply chain restrictions driven by the same conflict have impacted supply, not least because Russia is a major supplier of raw materials used in arms production, AP reports.

This confluence of supply and demand could hamper efforts in the U.S. and Europe to strengthen their armed forces and replenish their stockpiles after sending billions of dollars’ worth of ammunition and other equipment to Ukraine, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) outlined.

As Breitbart News reported, the U.S. has sent more than $19.7 billion in weapons and other equipment drawn from DoD stocks since the conflict began on Feb. 24.


North Korea Fires Over 130 Artillery Rounds as Warning Amid US-South Korea Military Drill

South Korean soldiers participate in a river crossing exercise with U.S. soldiers in Yeoju, South Korea, on Oct. 19, 2022. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

South Korea said the artillery launch violated the 2018 inter-Korean agreement designed to reduce hostile military activities between the two Koreas because some of the shells landed within a maritime buffer zone near the sea border.

The 2018 Comprehensive Military Agreement (CMA) was the most substantive deal to come from the months of meetings between leader Kim Jong Un and then-South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

In response to the firing, South Korea has sent several warning communications to North Korea, the ministry of defense said in a statement, without giving any further details.

South Korea and the United States have stepped up joint military drills this year, saying they are necessary to deter a nuclear-armed North Korea.

On Dec. 5, the two allied nations conducted a joint land-based firing drill near the border in Cheorwon County in the middle of the peninsula, which will continue on Dec. 6.


Fresh rail strikes planned over Christmas as RMT union turns down pay offer

RMT members at Network Rail are being urged by union bosses to reject new pay proposals and proceed with walkouts on 13-14 and 16-17 December.

The RMT has also announced further strike action from 6pm on Christmas Eve to 6am to 27 December.

RMT members will be asked in a referendum whether they should proceed with strikes – a move that could represent a nod to discontent over lost pay through strikes to date or, on the other hand, demonstrate solidarity over their fight.

The Transport Secretary described the escalation as “incredibly disappointing”


Britain’s Labour Party promises reforms, but won’t reverse Brexit 

Britain's Labour Party leader Keir Starmer
Britain’s Labour Party leader Keir Starmer 

Britain’s main opposition Labour Party has unveiled its new plan to re-start the country’s economy, and bring about major changes in how the country is ruled.  

The new blueprint, drawn up by former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, has already been dismissed by critics, who have raised questions about how many of the recommendations are achievable. 

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has not committed to all of them just yet, instead saying they show the direction his party wants to move in. 

Among the 40 proposals in the report — which is called “A New Britain” — are plans to stop politicians from having second jobs and to cut down on foreign money in UK politics. 


Gaza rocket-fire draws IDF retaliation; U.S. cautions looming Israeli coalition TV7Israel News 05.12

1) Palestinian Islamists in Gaza launched a rocket toward Israel’s southern communities – drawing Israeli retaliatory strikes.

2) Tensions are seemingly mounting throughout the West Bank districts of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

3) U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken cautions looming Israeli government over its pre-election pledges.


Eighth child dies after Strep A infection – as parents warned to watch out for symptoms

An invasive form of the Strep A bacterial infection has spread across the UK in recent months, with No 10 warning parents to be “on the lookout” for symptoms.

The infection usually causes a sore throat, scarlet fever or skin rash and is passed by physical contact or through droplets from sneezing or coughing.

The UK Health Security Agency said it was important that “accurate information is shared with the school community” in Hampshire.

Simon Bryant, director of public health at Hampshire County Council, said the authority was “working closely with the school to raise awareness amongst parents and carers of the signs and symptoms of Group A Streptococcal infections”.


Hungary Blocks $18 Billion Aid Package for Ukraine, Puts NATO Status at Risk

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (Getty Images)
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (Getty Images)

In November the EU proposed to give impoverished Ukraine — with over 80% of its nation without electricity, among other necessities — $18.6 billion in critical humanitarian aid, including support for energy and healthcare facilities.

Herbst said that Orban’s defiance in supporting U.S. and EU intiatiave is “certainly a problem for us,” and some believe that U.S. policy makers will have to soon re-assess Hungary’s standing in the Western alliance.

Already the U.S. is carrying the bulk of Western support for Ukrainian, with a bill that could top $100 billion if the latest $38 billion aid package is approved by Congress as part of a year-end government funding bill.

“Getting assistance to Ukraine is critical, especially since the EU hasn’t been doing its fair share. We have provided a majority of the assistance to Ukraine both militarily and economically.”


Ukraine destroys two Russian nuclear bombers in airport bombings

A Russian Tu-95MS strategic bomber and an Ilyushin Il-78 aerial refueling tanker fly over the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow on May 7, 2021
(photo credit: ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images
A Russian Tu-95MS strategic bomber and an Ilyushin Il-78 aerial refueling tanker fly over the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow on May 7, 2021(photo credit: ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images

One of the bombed airports contained a training center for military aircraft and tanks. At the second airport, two Tu-95 nuclear bombers were hit by a drone. In addition, military officials in the Luhansk region in eastern Ukraine said that nine people were killed after the Ukrainian army shelled the city of Alchevsk.

The news came after Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu announced recently that in the coming year, Russia will focus on improving the infrastructure for its nuclear arsenal.

His announcement came amid fears that Moscow might use nuclear weapons in the war in Ukraine.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the presumptive incoming Israeli prime minister, said that the chances were not zero in an interview with NBC on Sunday.

Polls reportedly show that public support in Russia for the “special military operation” has significantly decreased. 


UK Citizens Advice employees push back against ideological email pronouns policy

Last month, the charity’s CEO Dame Clare Moriarty told employees that pronouns are “an important way of affirming their gender identity” and “we shouldn’t assume someone’s gender based on their appearance.”

The internal memo added: “You can help to normalize sharing pronouns by sharing yours. We’ve created some button badges with different pronouns that can be fastened to a lanyard or your clothing.”

Moriarty directed employees to Citizens Advice Liverpool’s “pronouns resources,” which include gender-neutral examples like “Ze/Zir/Zirs” or “Ey/Em/Eirs.”


Commentary/Opinion:

Franklin Roosevelt: The Great Depression

To rescue America from the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt attempted to steer the country on a new economic course. He called his plan the New Deal.

Did it succeed, or did it make matters worse? Amity Shlaes, author of The Forgotten Man, explores this critical question.


Ep. 1907 The Twitter Files Scandal Erupts (Ep. 1907) – The Dan Bongino Show

Steve Hilton: It’s time to call out Apple’s economic betrayal of America

Fox News host Steve Hilton slams Apple for ‘colluding’ with China, following reports Apple restricted AirDrop file-sharing in China on ‘The Next Revolution.’