News and Headlines. 5/13/2019


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

In The News:


FBI Releases Pro-2nd Amendment Statement, States the Importance of Armed Citizens in America

There were 50 active shooter incidents in 2016 and 2017 combined, leaving many to question if America is, in fact, safer when armed.

However, a recent investigation by the FBI in April showed that, in numerous incidents involving active shooters, there were people who stopped them by use of a weapon.

“Armed and unarmed citizens engaged the shooter in 10 incidents. They safely and successfully ended the shootings in eight of those incidents,” read the report. “Their selfless actions likely saved many lives.


Officer who put Eric Garner in chokehold faces trial five years later

Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr,
Eric Garner’s mother, Gwen Carr, speaks to the press outside police headquarters as a disciplinary hearing takes place for Daniel Pantaleo in New York City, on 13 May. Photograph: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

Pantaleo has been on desk duty since Garner’s death. In court his lawyer, Stuart London, said in an opening statement the officer was being made a scapegoat in a politically charged atmosphere.

London said it was a misconception that the phrase “I can’t breathe” was uttered when the officer’s hands were around Garner’s neck.

He said it happened when officers were trying to handcuff Garner, who had been selling loose cigarettes.

London also said that “we know he wasn’t choked out because he is speaking”.

Pantaleo, London said, feared Garner was trying to push him towards a plate glass window.


Leader of NXIVM Sole Defendant as Former Members Testify Against Him

In this courtroom artist’s sketch, Keith Raniere, second from right, leader of the secretive group NXIVM, attends his trial in Brooklyn federal court in New York on May 7, 2019. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

At the federal court in Brooklyn, Raniere appeared enthusiastic and high spirited, sporting a slight smile of sorts as witnesses, all former members of NXIVM (pronounced Nex-ee-um), testified against him.

Switching between gray and blue cardigans, Raniere, referred to as “Vanguard” by his devotees, scribbled notes and whispered to his defense attorneys—Paul DerOhannesian to his right and Marc Agnifilo to his left.

He rarely looked at the witnesses.

Two former members described a pattern of manipulation, blackmail, humiliation, and outright deception.

One spoke about being a sex slave in a secret society within NXIVM called DOS, while another spoke about the group’s financial workings and rankings.

Both broke down in tears as they recounted their years in the group.


Americans divided by political party on who to blame for anti-Semitism: Poll

A poll released Monday from Bucknell University found that 54% of Democrats said anti-Semitism is more likely to be expressed by those on the political Right, while 51% of Republicans said they believed it to stem more from the political Left.

Those who aren’t affiliated with a party were divided evenly on the matter.

The poll also questioned respondents about anti-Semitism more generally.

Of all those surveyed, 35% said anti-Semitism or prejudice toward Jews is a major problem, and 52% said it was a minor problem.

The other 13% said it is not a problem at all.


Sexual Orientation Expert: Here’s My Thread On Transgenderism Twitter Temporarily Locked My Account Over

Blanchard’s opinion that transgenderism is a mental disorder aligns with American Psychiatric Association’s official view.

The thread that got him temporarily silenced on the platform is now up again.

“Earlier today I wrote this thread in response to a follower who asked me, ‘What is your actual position on transgender people?’

It looks like my reply has not been delivered to a single person besides the original inquirer, so I am reposting it here,” Blanchard wrote.

He then laid out the “six elements” of his beliefs on transgenderism,


TRANSGENDER LIFTER’S RECORD OUSTED FROM FEMALE RAW POWERLIFTING COMPETITION

Paul Bossi, the president of the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation, said Wednesday in a statement posted to Twitter that Mary Gregory is a biological man but did not reveal this to the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation League.

On the basis of all information presented to the Board of Directors for this particular case, the conclusion made, is that the correct physiological classification is male.”

“Since the lifter’s gender classification for the purpose of our rules is not consistent with female, no female records will be broken by these lifts,” the statement continues.

Bossi also revealed that the 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation is creating a transgender weight lifting division to which Gregory will be transferred.


Facebook now paying $18 an hour to block suicide videos and other controversial content

In February, a report by technology industry news publisher The Verge described difficult working conditions for Facebook moderators, including reviewing disturbing content dealing with torture, bestiality, suicide and murder.

Some workers coped with the job strains by smoking marijuana or otherwise self-medicating.

They also reported being unable to access counseling or mental-health services through their employer, a tech services provider called Cognizant hired by Facebook.

Several former contractors have sued Facebook, claiming their work for the company gave them post-traumatic stress order.

The minimum wage for content moderators at the social media company, most of whom work as independent contractors rather than full employees, will be $18 per hour, Facebook announced Monday.

Moderators working in New York, Washington, D.C., and the Bay Area will earn an hourly minimum of $22, while those in Seattle will get $20, the company said in a nod to the higher cost of living in these cities.


Amazon could replace some of its warehouse workers with robots

The machines can pack up to five times as many boxes as a human worker in an hour, per Reuters, so Amazon would theoretically save money over time with this move.

Walmart is among the other companies that have deployed this technology.

Amazon has been sharply criticized for its treatment of human warehouse workers over the years.

Accusations of low pay, inhumane conditions, and workplace injuries followed by inadequate care have dogged the company, which has routinely denied them.

Workers in several countries went on strike on Black Friday last year to protest working conditions.


Kavanaugh sides with liberal justices against Apple, deals blow to tech giant in App Store challenge

FILE – In this Sept. 5, 2018, file photo, then Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, pauses while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kavanaugh’s confirmation is a flashpoint for the November midterms.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

The case, Apple v. Pepper, was brought by iPhone users who complained that the App Store is the only place where iPhone apps are available and that, as a result, Apple has a monopoly on “the iPhone apps aftermarket.”

They claim prices are consequently high stemming from the charges Apple imposes on app developers.

The Ninth Circuit, however, said that Apple is indeed the seller, through their App Store. Kavanaugh agreed, along with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

“It is undisputed that the iPhone owners bought the apps directly from Apple,” Kavanaugh wrote.

He also addressed Apple’s claim that they do not set app prices by pointing out that the company’s practice of charging app developers $99 per year plus 30 percent of sales indeed affects pricing.


Liberal watchdog group sues Commerce Department over Census citizenship question

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross testifies on the census during a House Oversight Committee hearing on March 14. | Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo

Restore Public Trust said in a complaint filed Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that it has filed several requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act that call into question Ross’ justification for adding the citizenship question to the Census, and the group is demanding the release of those documents.

The question, which the Trump administration plans to include for the first time since 1950, is at the center of a legal battle that last month reached the Supreme Court.

Civil rights groups and several local and state governments have sued the administration to have the question struck from next year’s survey, which is used to apportion congressional seats, Electoral College votes and billions in federal funding.


Governor signs bill easing limit on sex abuse lawsuits

“I cannot deny victims the ability to seek redress in court for sexual abuse that often leaves trauma lasting a lifetime,” he said in a statement accompanying his signature.

The legislation allows child victims to sue up until they turn 55 or within seven years of their first realization that the abuse caused them harm.

The current statute of limitations is age 20 or two years after first realizing the abuse caused harm.

The bill also would give a two-year window to victims who were previously barred by the statute of limitation. It also allows victims to seek damages from institutions.

Politics:


De Blasio mocked by protesters at raucous Green New Deal rally inside Trump Tower

Mayor Bill de Blasio holds event inside Trump Tower to announce his Green New Deal saying the city will move to 100 percent renewable energy.

The rally for the city’s Green New Deal was originally scheduled to be held in front of Trump Tower, but was moved into the lobby due to inclement weather.

New York City’s own Green New Deal plan – officially called The Climate Mobilization Act and modeled after the one proposed in Congress by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. – passed the City Council last month in a 45-2 vote. De Blasio has not yet signed the legislation but is expected to soon.

The mayor, though, was forced to shout for much of his speech amid jeers from a crowd of about a dozen protesters inside the lobby of Trump Tower, which also had music blasting over the speakers.

A number of protesters rode up and down the escalator behind de Blasio carrying cardboard signs with slogans like “Worst Mayor Ever,” “Failed Mayor,” and “Trump 2020.”


Lawsuit: Calif. Attorney General Not Eligible to Hold Office

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks to reporters in Sacramento, Calif. on March 05, 2019. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

After 24 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Becerra was appointed California attorney general on Jan. 24, 2017, replacing Democrat Kamala Harris, who was elected to the U.S. Senate.

He won election to the position in his own right on Nov. 6, 2018.

Eric Early, a Los Angeles lawyer who sought the Republican nomination last year in the AG race, argues in his lawsuit that Becerra is ineligible for the post because he wasn’t practicing law for anything close to five years, prior to his appointment or election to the office. Early lost his case in the initial phase and filed an appeal last week.

“The state’s top legal officer should have at least a modicum of experience as a practicing lawyer,” Early told The Epoch Times in an interview.

What Did Biden and Obama Officials Stand to Gain From Ukraine Influence?

Newly released evidence suggests Ukraine played key role in creating Trump–Russia collusion narrative at behest of Obama officials.

As Ukraine underwent dramatic changes in 2014, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden played a critical role in the Obama administration’s involvement in the revolution that ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Following the revolution, Biden would use his influence to help force the creation of the troubled National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU).

Notably, during the 2016 election campaign, information leaked from NABU about Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort that helped to create the false narrative that Trump colluded with Russia to win the election.

Nadler opposed contempt charges against AG Eric Holder in 2012

While House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler spearheads the campaign against Attorney General William Barr, he opposed the same charges against former Attorney General Eric Holder back in 2012.

One America’s Pearson Sharp explains how Nadler’s long-standing feud with President Trump could be playing a part in his agenda against the attorney general.


Israel’s UN ambassador blasts Rep. Rashida Tlaib over ‘ignorant’ comments

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon,

Danon joined President Trump in condemning Tlaib’s remarks, saying in a Monday tweet that they were anti-Semitic.

“Your words are both grossly #antiSemitic and ignorant.

You should take some time to learn the history before trying to rewrite it,” Dannon tweeted.

She has since defended her comments, saying that critics were “twisting” her words.

Trump criticized the remarks in a Monday morning tweet.

“Democrat Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust. She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said, and says?” Trump tweeted.


STENY HOYER STANDS BY RASHIDA TLAIB’S HOLOCAUST COMMENTS AFTER GOP LEADERSHIP CALLS ON DEMOCRATS TO CONDEMN HER

Rep. Rashida Tlaib
Rep. Rashida Tlaib speaks during an event with activist groups to deliver petition urging the U.S. House of Representatives to start impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Tlaib received massive blowback for both using the word “calming” when describing her feelings toward the Holocaust, as well as incorrectly stating that Palestinians provided a “safe haven” for the Jewish people.

In reality, Palestinians massacred Jews during the Holocaust and started a revolt against the British to prevent Jews from entering.

Arab factions allied with the Nazis during World War II.

After Hoyer released a statement defending Tlaib, Cheney responded that she is “deeply sorry for our nation that the House Democratic leadership continues to enable the anti-Semitism in their ranks.”

World News:


Saudi Arabia says US-bound oil tankers ‘significantly’ damaged in Gulf attacks

An Emirati coast guard vessel passes an oil tanker off the coast of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, on May 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

Authorities in Fujairah, one of the UAE’s seven emirates, declined to speak to The Associated Press on Monday. Officials stopped AP journalists from traveling by boat to see the ships.

Sky News Arabia, a satellite channel partly owned by a member of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, aired footage of a tanker identified as the Al Marzoqah, which it said had been targeted.

The broadcast only showed one side of the ship, which bore no signs of damage, describing it as the closest one to shore in Fujairah.

Al-Falih also said the attack aimed to undermine the “security of oil supplies to consumers all over the world” and emphasized the “joint responsibility of the international community to protect” the safety of maritime navigation and oil tankers.

Underlining the regional risk, the general-secretary of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council described the incident as a “serious escalation.”

“One of the two vessels was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude oil from the port of Ras Tanura, to be delivered to Saudi Aramco’s customers in the United States,” al-Falih said. “Fortunately, the attack didn’t lead to any casualties or oil spill; however, it caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels.”


UN envoy says ‘last chance’ to prevent all-out war in Gaza

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov at a press conference at the (UNSCO) offices in Gaza City, September 25, 2017. (Adel Hana/AP)

Inaugurating a solar power generator for a Gaza hospital, Nickolay Mladenov said a fresh conflict between the two sides could still break out, a week after a ceasefire between Israel and the Strip’s Hamas rulers ended the most intense fighting since the 2014 war.

Mladenov told reporters “the next escalation is going to be probably the last one” before the sides descend into a full-fledged war, referring to a series of increasingly violent rounds of fighting that have broken out on the Gaza frontier in the last year.

On May 4 and 5, Hamas and Islamic Jihad launch nearly 700 rockets at southern Israel from Gaza, saying they were frustrated by the slow implementation of a previous ceasefire deal.


Gen. Jack Keane: Iran is trying to destabilizing the Middle East, has ‘political and military alliance’ with Russia

Keane appeared on “America’s Newsroom” Monday and claimed Iran has formed an alliance with Russia that is orchestrating chaos in the Middle East.

“Iran is destabilizing the Middle East.

The military coming in there is about trying to achieve some stability and some security and to push back on the Iranians,” Keane said of the deployment of the Cold War-era bombers.

“Clearly, when it comes to the Middle East, the Iranians and Russians have a political and military alliance,” he continued.

Further, Keane said Iran has taken control of Lebanon, catalyzed the civil war in Syria, “toppled the government” in Yemen and is now turning their attention towards Israel.


US B-52 bombers fly first deference mission in Middle Easter to deter Iran

Fox News senior strategic analyst Gen. Jack Keane details efforts to achieve stability and security in the region.

Pentagon sends Lincoln strike group to Persian Gulf

The Pentagon is sending additional marines and assets to the Persian Gulf as tensions between the U.S. and Iran escalate.

This comes just days after National Security Advisor John Bolton announced that the super carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and its strike group would be deployed to the area.

One America’s Neil W. McCabe has more from the White House.


Arms control a top issue at Russia-US talks Tuesday in Sochi

The U.S. unilaterally pulled out of a 1987 nuclear missile pact this year, accusing Russia of violations.

Putin responded in kind, saying he was suspending Russia’s participation in the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty and accusing Washington of making false allegations.

Trump has said he wants to negotiate new arms control accords that reflect current conditions and to bring in other nations, notably China.

The U.S. president said after he and Putin spoke by phone last week they were considering a deal that would “get rid of some of the tremendous firepower that we have right now” and also include China.


Pompeo’s Sochi summit could help drive ‘wedge’ between Russia, China: source

Pompeo’s travel plans have been fluid.

The secretary of state spent Monday in Brussels, instead of Moscow as originally planned, and held discussions on Iran and other issues with European officials.

Pompeo’s trip to Sochi on Tuesday to meet Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will mark his first to Russia as secretary of state.

A source familiar with the planning of Tuesday’s meetings told Fox News that Pompeo will discuss major issues with Russian officials—such as North Korea, Iran, Syria and Venezuela—but will specifically focus on mutual areas of interest to the U.S. and Russia.

The source suggested this could help highlight Moscow’s differences with Beijing — coming at a time when the Trump administration is taking a hard line toward China, most recently by pursuing tariff increases on their imports.


Trump Says It Would Be Big Mistake for Iran to Try Anything Against U.S

FILE PHOTO – U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during an event to announce a proposal to end surprise medical billing in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

“We’ll see what happens with Iran.

If they do anything, it will be a very bad mistake,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “If they do anything they will suffer greatly.”

Trump’s comments came after the United Arab Emirates reported four commercial vessels had been sabotaged on Sunday near Fujairah emirate just outside the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran sought to distance itself from the incident.


2 East Jerusalem men charged with planning Tel Aviv beach shooting for Hamas

Israelis enjoy the beach in Tel Aviv. August, 2017.
(Miriam Alster/FLASH90/File)

The two planned to carry out a shooting in Hamas’s name at a beach in Tel Aviv following their release from prison, the charge sheets said.

The pair ruled out an attack in Jerusalem, citing the high number of attacks in the capital and its heavy police presence, which made the coastal metropolis a better target.

Following their release in February 2019, Muslemani and Abdel Latif traveled to Istanbul to meet with a Hamas operative, who allegedly suggested they instead target a public figure.

The indictment said the Hamas member named former Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, ex-police chief Roni Alsheich, and Temple Mount activist and then-Likud MK Yehudah Glick as possible victims.


New ‘populist’ leader takes Denmark by storm, burns Quran, calls for expulsion of Muslims who aim to curb free speech.

37 year old Rasmus Paludan
37 year old Rasmus Paludan

The General elections in Denmark are in June, while elections to the EU parliament are in the last week of this month.

Paludan has taken the public discourse about Islam to levels unseen in the political square, which include his many antics like burning the Quran, wrapping it in bacon and leading demonstrations which have turned into violent riots.

He has advocated the expulsion of all Muslims who “believe they can decide what the limit of freedom of expression should be”, despite being quoted as stating that all Muslims should be expelled.


Chinese Sex Trade in Pakistan: Abuse of Christian Girls

It is welcome that this Chinese trafficking ring in Pakistan has been exposed and is being tackled by authorities of both countries.

The bad news is that it appears to be one of many such operations in Asia dealing in the sale of women to China, where girls are a desirable commodity, due to decades of child-bearing restrictions and the apparent mass abortion of female fetuses.

That women and girls are being abused throughout Asia is sickening enough, and warrants immediate attention by the international community.

But that Christian girls in particular are being targeted in Pakistan makes the current prostitution ring a double human-rights abuse that needs urgent looking into.


Men in China and India Can’t Find Wives Because 71 Million Girls Were Killed in Abortion or Infanticide

As Li told the Washington Post in a story titled “Too Many Men,” “At the moment there aren’t any girls my age around. I am building this new house in preparation, in case I find someone.”

But even with a nice house to attract a bride, there’s no guarantee that Li will ever find one. The reason: There are 34 million fewer Chinese women than men. Indian men share this demographic nightmare: There are 37 million fewer women than men in India.

What’s the cause of this huge gender imbalance?


China Hikes Tariffs on Most US Goods in $60 Billion Target List

Before high-level talks last week in Washington, China tried to delete commitments from a draft agreement that Chinese laws would be changed to enact new policies on issues from intellectual property protection to forced technology transfers.

That dealt a major setback to negotiations.

Trump has since defended the U.S. tariff hike and said he was in “absolutely no rush” to finalize a deal.

Top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Sunday there was a “strong possibility” Trump will meet China’s Xi at a G20 summit in Japan in late June.

A total of 5,140 U.S. products will be subject to various tariff rates starting June 1, the finance ministry said in a statement.

An additional tariff of 25 percent will be levied against 2,493 goods including liquefied natural gas, the ministry said, and an additional tariff of 20 percent will be imposed on 1,078 products.


New Tariffs Show Trump’s Determination to Squeeze China Over Trade

A general view of at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port in Shanghai, China
A general view of at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port in Shanghai, China, on April 9, 2018. JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

In a series of tweets May 13, Trump accused China of backing out from “a great” and “almost completed” deal.

“I say openly to President Xi & all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don’t make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries,” he wrote.

According to analysts, Trump is emboldened by the strength of the American economy and the stock market, as well as his enhanced reelection odds.

He is also confident the U.S. economy can endure all retaliatory measures from China.

Despite renewed tensions, Trump said the negotiations with Beijing would continue.

However, he warned the new tariffs “may or may not be removed depending on what happens with respect to future negotiations!”

Trump also told reporters that Washington was preparing to impose 25 percent tariffs on the remaining $325 billion in Chinese goods, which would cover 60 percent of consumer goods imports from China, according to Citi.

Commentary/Opinion:

Why Don’t You Support Israel?

Israel is one of the most free and most prosperous countries in the world.

Not only is Israel a booming economy and a wellspring of innovation, it is the only democracy in the Middle East.

So why is it so controversial to support the Jewish state?

Stephen Harper, the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada, lays out several fundamental truths about America’s most critical ally.

Trump’s Tariffs Aren’t Hurting Us And Our Market Isn’t Free

The same people who scream that Twitter and Facebook are private companies with the right to ban conservatives are in a fit over Trump’s tariffs.

They say we have to protect the free market. Why?

How is the market “free” with the way China subsidizes its exports and taxes its American imports?

Trump is right to get tough and hit China with tariffs.

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