News and Headlines. 2/11/2020

Syrian government helicopter bursts in flames after it was shot by a missile in Idlib province, Syria, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020.

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

In The News:

Californians have just days to sign petition to recall Gov. Newsom before Feb. 13 deadline

With just a few days remaining to sign the recall petition against governor Gavin Newsom, organizers are calling on all Californians to take action now.

One America’s Pearson Sharp has more.

Jussie Smollett indicted by special prosecutor in Chicago, source says

Photo: GETTY
Photo: GETTY

CHICAGO – Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was indicted Tuesday in Chicago by special prosecutor Dan Webb, stemming from the alleged racist and anti-gay attack on him that occurred in January of 2019, a source confirms to FOX 32 News.

He is due in court February 24.

Smollett told Chicago police last year that two men physically attacked him and yelled racial and homophobic slurs. But prosecutors insist Smollett faked the racist, anti-gay attack on himself in the hopes that the attention would advance his acting career.

Authorities intercept suitcase containing dead birds from China at DC-area airport

According to WTHR-TV, the suitcase contained dozens of dead birds of an unknown variety ranging in size from 2.5 to 3.5 inches in length.

The suitcase belonged to a traveler from Beijing. Authorities say that the traveler’s final destination was a residence in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The traveler insisted that the birds were to be pet food.

Casey Durst, director of field operations for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Baltimore field office, said that such items are prohibited due to the risk of avian influenza.

Man accused of running into voter registration tent in Jacksonville told police he does not like Donald Trump

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax obtained from a source an unredacted arrest report for a man accused of running into a Republican voter registration tent in Jacksonville on Saturday.

According to a portion of the report, Gregory Timm said he ran into a Republican voter registration tent because someone had to take a stand and that and “he did not like Donald Trump.”

He willingly showed police two videos on his phone, one of him driving towards the tent.

Surveillance Video Shows Ohio Students Tossed Around School Bus During Rollover Crash

A Ford Mustang ran a red light and slammed into the side of the Northern Local School District bus on December 19 in Thornville, Ohio, according to an accident report by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The impact spun the vehicles around, and the bus overturned on its right side and slid off the road, striking a guardrail before stopping, the report said.

In the video, released by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the 30 students on the bus were sitting quietly in the seconds before the accident — some were looking at their phones while others appeared to be sleeping.

Men fought before fatal stabbing in North Las Vegas, police say

Just after 12:05 a.m. Friday, police were called to the 2800 block of Dogwood Avenue, near Pecos Road and Las Vegas Boulevard North.

When officers arrived they found Arellano, of North Las Vegas, lying in a backyard suffering from multiple stab wounds, six of which were to his back, the report said.

He died at the scene, the Clark County coroner’s office said. His death was ruled a homicide.

Dolores’ girlfriend told police that she was in bed when she heard Dolores arguing with her ex-husband in the home. She said she walked out of her bedroom and saw them begin to fight, and she attempted to separate the men, the arrest report said.

Texas Rangers Investigating Death Of UNT Student, Darius “DJ” Tarver At Hands Of Officer

Darius Tarver (Credit: Family Photo)
Darius Tarver (Credit: Family Photo)

The incident, that led to Tarver’s death started at around 3 a.m. at The Forum at Denton Station apartments after residents called 911 about a man banging on doors and yelling for someone to let him in.

They also reported that the man, later identified as Tarver — was shattering light fixtures with a frying pan in the breezeway.

According to police, Tarver got into a confrontation with arriving officers while wielding a cleaver and a frying pan.

Police said he ignored commands to drop the items and started advancing toward officers.

Roommate of Baltimore man who went missing charged with first-degree murder, confessed to stabbing, police say

Epenetus Henrique, 28, was charged with first-degree murder following the killing of his roommate, Isaiah Drummond, 30. (Baltimore police)
Epenetus Henrique, 28, was charged with first-degree murder following the killing of his roommate, Isaiah Drummond, 30. (Baltimore police)

Epenetus Henrique, 28, was charged in the killing of Isaiah Drummond, 30, after he confessed to police on Monday that he fatally stabbed him and then led detectives to where he hid the body.

Detectives located Drummond’s body around 1:42 p.m. in shallow waters off of 100 Reedbird Ave. in Cherry Hill Park, according to police.

Drummond was reported missing by family members on Jan. 28, according to police. Officers found evidence at Drummond and Henrique’s home in the 2500 block of Cecil Ave. that suggested foul play, officials said.

Student’s parent charged with sex trafficking, forced labor at Sarah Lawrence College

Father of former student charged in alleged sex cult at Sarah Lawrence College
Lawrence Ray, 60, was charged with extortion, sex trafficking, forced labor and other offenses at the New York school.
Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
Father of former student charged in alleged sex cult at Sarah Lawrence CollegeLawrence Ray, 60, was charged with extortion, sex trafficking, forced labor and other offenses at the New York school.Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Lawrence Ray was charged with sex trafficking, extortion, forced labor and other offenses regarding his alleged criminal actions, some of which he went on with for nearly a decade, according to the indictment from federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

He is believed to have laundered about $1 million from his victims, most of whom were teens and young adults that participated in so-called therapy sessions he put on to purportedly help with psychological problems, prosecutors said.

Ray’s alleged criminal activity started through the so-called therapy sessions, which he ran after he was released from a prison sentence for security fraud and moved into on-campus housing at the liberal arts school with his daughter and her roommates.

Hundreds searching for 6-year-old girl who vanished while playing outside her home

More than 250 officers are searching Tuesday morning for a 6-year-old South Carolina girl who has been missing since Monday.

First-grader Faye Swetlik was last seen at about 3:45 p.m., after she got off the school bus and was playing in front of her home in Cayce, just outside of Columbia, according to the Cayce Department of Public Safety.

Authorities said they plan to go door-to-door through the neighborhood on Tuesday.

Area residents have offered to help search, said Sgt. Evan Antley of the Cayce Public Safety Department.

Murder charge dropped against woman in fatal Costa Mesa stabbing

Amber Angelovic, 23, fought back after 32-year-old Derek Valentine struck her and tried to prevent her from leaving his bedroom at a Costa Mesa home, according to the DA’s office.
Amber Angelovic, 23, fought back after 32-year-old Derek Valentine struck her and tried to prevent her from leaving his bedroom at a Costa Mesa home, according to the DA’s office. (File photo)

Amber Angelovic, 23, fought back after 32-year-old Derek Valentine struck her and tried to prevent her from leaving his bedroom at a Costa Mesa home, according to the DA’s office.

Angelovic was initially charged with murder and a sentencing enhancement for the use of a deadly weapon in connection with the March 11, 2017 slaying.

An Orange County Superior Court judge on Monday acted on the request by Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown to dismiss the charges and agreed to drop the case.

Toddler Dancing In Snow To ‘Let It Go’ Will Warm The Coldest Of Hearts

Madelyn has become obsessed with all things related to the hit Disney film after seeing last year’s “Frozen 2,” her mother Kristi told CNN.

So when it snowed 10 inches last week, Madelyn snapped into action by putting on her full Elsa gear and refusing to wear her coat so as not to ruin her dress, much to her mother’s chagrin.

The resulting video has been viewed more than 46 million times. Even the voice of Elsa, Idina Menzel, shared it on her Facebook page.

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Powell: Economy looks resilient despite risk of China virus

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies before the House Committee on Financial Services, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Feb.11, 2020 in Washington.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The chairman made his remarks Tuesday to the House Financial Services Committee on the first of two days of semiannual testimony to Congress.

The Fed is monitoring developments stemming from the coronavirus, Powell said, which he cautioned “could lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy.”

In response to questions, Powell said it was too early to assess the scope of the threat the virus poses to the U.S. economy.

But he observed that the economy “is in a very good place,” with strong job creation and steady if modest growth.

Climate science does an about-face: dials back the ‘worst case scenario’

This has thrown a monkey wrench in hundreds of studies and media stories that previously predicted dire climate consequences in the future due to increased carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere.

The consequences were predicted by a computer model called Representative Carbon Pathways (RCP) and the worst case scenario model, RCP8.5 had been cited over 2500 times in scientific journals and in hundreds of media stories as the primary need for “urgent action” on climate.

In a stunning walk-back, climate scientist Zeke Hausfather of the Breakthrough Institute, bucked the climate consensus and said that the RCP8.5 worst case scenario is unlikely to happen. The reason?

We can’t get there given how much fossil fuel is being used now.

The model assumes a 500% increase in the use of coal, which is now considered highly unlikely since coal use has dropped significantly, as seen in Figure 2.

President And Vice President Attend Dignified Transfer Ceremony For ‘Fallen Heroes,’ The First Time Both Have Done So Since 2009

(Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump ended his Monday rally in New Hampshire early to attend the dignified transfer ceremony for two servicemen killed in Afghanistan over the weekend.

“These were fallen heroes and we were close by and the president wrapped his rally early so he could come,” National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told reporters on Air Force One Monday evening.

O’Brien, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz all also attended the ceremony.

Citronelle Police to provide active shooter training to area churches

CITRONELLE, Ala. (WPMI) — Recent shootings in what are supposed to be sacred places moved Citronelle Police Chief Tyler Norris to try and keep Citronelle churches safe.

His department is offering training to church security teams to help prepare them for the worst: how to take down an armed shooter.

Restoration Church in Citronelle was one of the first to sign up.

The training to take down an active shooter will be specific and tactical.

Mississippi prison inmates are dying at an alarming rate — now the DOJ is investigating

Giles Clarke/Getty Images
Giles Clarke/Getty Images

“The investigation will focus on whether the Mississippi Department of Corrections adequately protects prisoners from physical harm at the hands of other prisoners at the four prisons, as well as whether there is adequate suicide prevention, including adequate mental health care and appropriate use of isolation, at Parchman,” a Department of Justice statement read.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced the closing of Parchman’s Unit 29 due to the high rate of deaths. Nine people have recently died in Unit 29.

“The problems were infuriating,” Reeves said. “There is no excuse. We can do better.”

DOJ expected to scale back Roger Stone’s ‘extreme’ sentencing recommendation: official

“The Department was shocked to see the sentencing recommendation in the filing in the Stone case last night,” the official told Fox News.

“The sentencing recommendation was not what had been briefed to the Department.”

The department is now expected to scale that back.

“The Department finds seven to nine years extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate to Mr. Stone’s offenses,” the source told Fox News, adding that the DOJ will clarify its position on sentencing later Tuesday.

Firefighter faces suspension due to his efforts to bring an elderly woman out of a burning home

While firefighters were attacking the blaze, Dwyer was assigned to the search team.

Paul Gerdis, who heads the fire union, said Dwyer made a “split-second” decision to go in, believe the fire to be so intense….every second counted.

He located the resident on her dining room floor. He got her out….but he and the other firefighters could not revive her.

Kidnapped Florida girl, 3, found after Amber Alert; 4 arrested

The girl, Madeline Mejia, was on the front lawn of her father’s home around 6 a.m. when her dad says he forgot his keys and went back in the house to get them.

He heard Mejia screaming and saw her being snatched by a man in a black Honda with a temporary Texas license plate, authorities said.

The father told police he didn’t recognize the man driving the car, and that the child’s mother lives out of state.

The AMBER alert described the driver as a white-Hispanic male with long brown hair and facial hair and wearing a blue shirt and jeans.

Raphael Coleman, ‘Nanny McPhee’ child star and activist, dead at 25, family says

The news was also confirmed in a lengthy Facebook post from Coleman’s stepfather, Carsten Jensen, who said that Coleman died unexpectedly during a jog (via Google Translate).

The post explained that Coleman gave up a career as an actor to become a scientist “to save the planet.”

Coleman would eventually turn his attention to Extinction Rebellion, a climate change movement focused on fighting mass extinction.

Politics:

Former CNBC anchor, fierce critic of socialism to challenge AOC in Dem primary

A registered Democrat and descendant of Cuban immigrants, Caruso-Cabrera has been a fierce critic of socialism and advocate for free markets. According to CNBC, she filed to run late Monday.

Her 2010 book — titled “You Know I’m Right: More Prosperity, Less Government” — calls out both parties for ignoring “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” Americans like herself.

“I’m running for NY-14, to fight for the people of Queens & the Bronx, daughter of Cuban immigrants and living the American Dream,” she tweeted on Tuesday.

Caruso-Cabrera worked for more than 20 years at CNBC as an anchor and international correspondent before leaving in 2018.

DNC vice chair accused of abusing affordable housing program

Screenshot/YouTube
Screenshot/YouTube

State Assemblyman Michael Blake, who was tapped for a state task force investigating corruption in one housing program, “has for years taken advantage of a different homeownership program by improperly subletting a government-subsidized condominium intended for moderate-income tenants, in violation of a host of rules and restrictions,” Crain’s New York magazine reported Monday.

The magazine noted that state and city housing officials pledged to investigate the issue.

Blake, who represents the Bronx in the state legislature, is also a Democratic candidate for New York’s 15th Congressional District. He previously worked in former President Barack Obama’s administration.

Jill Biden steps in to usher husband’s heckler out of room at New Hampshire event

Jill Biden approached a man who appeared to be heckling and recording the former vice president on his iPhone.

She stepped in between the man and her husband and seemed to push him gently toward the exit as other staffers also intervened.

After the heckler was nudged away from the podium, he appeared behind Biden and the crowd surrounding the Democratic frontrunner.
Biden’s supporters chanted in response: “We want Joe! We want Joe!”

Bloomberg heard in 2015 audio clip defending ‘stop and frisk,’ throwing minority kids against wall: report

In an audio clip of a 2015 speech, the billionaire gave to the Aspen Institute, Bloomberg acknowledged that “stop and frisk,” targeted minority “kids” who cops must throw “up against the wall” to disarm.

The Aspen Times reported at the time that Bloomberg representatives asked the Institute not to distribute footage of his appearance.

“Ninety-five percent of murders- murderers and murder victims fit one M.O.

You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops,” he said. “They are male, minorities, 16-25.

That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city (inaudible). And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed.”

Trump criticizes ‘very unfair’ sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone

“This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them.

Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” Trump said, sharing a message from a Daily Caller reporter about federal prosecutors’ recommendation for Stone’s prison sentence.

The tweet marked Trump’s first reaction to the recommended sentence for his longtime associate, who was found guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering last fall.

World News:

France Fines Apple $41 Million for Slowing Down Old iPhones

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

It was first reported in 2017 that the firm was using software updates for older iPhones to limit the performance of the devices, adding to a conspiracy theory that the company was intentionally slowing older devices to encourage consumers to upgrade.

Apple claims that the devices were slowed down primarily to protect them as the phones batteries age.

Agin cell phone batteries have a higher risk of battery drain and unwanted device restarts under high levels of performance, according to Apple.

France’s Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF), however, found that Apple’s lack of transparency breached its guidelines saying in a statement:

Abbas rejects U.S. peace plan at U.N. Security Council meeting

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas addresses the U.N. Security Council Tuesday at U.N. headquarters in New York City.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas addresses the U.N. Security Council Tuesday at U.N. headquarters in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Palestinian leaders also rejected the plan because they weren’t involved in drawing up the proposal.

“I came to all of you today to affirm the Palestinian position which rejects the American-Israeli deal,” Abbas told the council Tuesday at U.N. headquarters in New York City.

At an emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo this month, Abbas announced plans to cut ties with the United States and Israel and the league unanimously adopted a resolution rejected the peace plan.

The Arab League’s closing statement said the U.S. plan contradicts peace process principles and U.N. resolutions.

Philippines announces plan to back out of U.S. military defense alliance after two decades

Feb. 10, 2020: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the 11th Biennial National Convention and 22nd founding anniversary of the Chinese Filipino Business Club, Inc. in Manila, Philippines.
Feb. 10, 2020: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a speech during the 11th Biennial National Convention and 22nd founding anniversary of the Chinese Filipino Business Club, Inc. in Manila, Philippines. (Toto Lozano/Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division via AP)

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin announced on Twitter that he notified the U.S. Embassy in Manila that the Philippines is pulling out of the 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

The accord allows American forces, along with U.S. military ships and aircraft, to rotate through Philippine military bases for roughly 300 joint exercises annually with Filipino troops.

The agreement will be terminated in 180 days unless both sides can negotiate a way to keep it.

The U.S. Embassy in Manila acknowledged receipt of Manila’s notice and said Washington “will carefully consider how best to move forward to advance our shared interests.”

Swiss Voters Support Making Homophobia A Criminal Offense Resulting In Up To Three Years In Jail

RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Images)
RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP via Getty Images)

Approximately 62% of voters supported the legislation, according to the New York Times.

The prospective law was brought to the populace through Switzerland’s referendum-based direct democracy that allows people to vote on issues if enough of the population demands it.

The right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), the strongest party in parliament, opposed the law, arguing that migrants have imported their “homophobic” views, suggesting that social dialogue and expulsion of foreign perpetrators would be more effective at stamping out discrimination, according to DW News.

Syrian rebels shoot down government helicopter, while counter-airstrike kills civilians, including children: reports

Syrian government helicopter bursts in flames after it was shot by a missile in Idlib province, Syria, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020.
Syrian government helicopter bursts in flames after it was shot by a missile in Idlib province, Syria, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed)

This comes a day after five Turkish soldiers were killed by Syrian government forces in northwestern Syria, according to Reuters, escalating clashes across the region as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad aims to seize control of a strategic highway linking southern and northern Syria for the first time since 2012.

With backing from Russia, Syrian troops have been on the offensive for weeks in the last rebel stronghold in Idlib province and parts of nearby Aleppo.

About 700,000 people have fled their homes, surging north toward the Turkish border, the Associated Press reported.

Commentary/Opinion:

Fighting Homelessness: HUD Program Helps Foster Youth With Housing Like Family Would—Sec. Ben Carson

Just what is it like to suddenly have no place to live when you turn 21?

Every year, roughly 5,000 such foster care youth end up homeless. But a new program is poised to completely change all that, and change it as early as this year.

In this episode, we’ll sit down with Secretary Ben Carson to discuss how the Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative was launched in just 4 months after an ambitious group of former foster youth pitched it to him.

We’ll also speak to program participant Adaora Onuora, as well as two longtime advocates for foster youth who helped make this happen—Ruth Anne White, Executive Director of The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, and Jamole Callahan, one of the founders of ACTION Ohio.

Human Population Explosion Is Over – A New World Lies Ahead

In the near term, a decline in population is a benefit, relieving pressure on the environment and the Earth’s resources. However, the economic models of our future will require a total rebuild.

Even in Africa, there is encouraging evidence of population decline, where Kenya, for example, has halved its birth rate in recent decades.

Woman are marrying later, getting an education and then entering the work force. As a result of these three factors, not a single country in the developed world even has a replacement birth rate (2.1 children per family) any longer.

The United States will continue to grow a little as a result of immigration. India’s rapidly growing population has finally slowed and may one day reach its neighbor, Sri Lanka, which has had a stable population for the past quarter century.

Economically, we can expect countries to struggle with fewer young workers and taxpayers.

Growth in every way has carried economics and industries forward for generations. Job growth will eventually stop and staying much longer in one job will very likely become common.

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