Tag: Commentary/Opinion

News and Headlines. 11/20/2019

Spain's conservative populist party, Vox, more than doubled its seats in parliament after winning 3.6 million votes in general elections held on November 10. It is now the third-largest party in Spain. Pictured:

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

In The News:

Two former Houston police officers arrested over a deadly drug raid

Steven Bryant and Gerald Goines in Houston. The former Houston police officers are facing federal charges for their roles in a January  drug raid that left two people dead.
Steven Bryant and Gerald Goines in Houston. The former Houston police officers are facing federal charges for their roles in a January drug raid that left two people dead. (Houston Police Department via AP)

Gerald Goines and his partner, Steven Bryant, along with civilian Patricia Garcia, were taken into custody in connection with the Jan. 28 raid on a home that left two people dead and several officers wounded, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Goines, 55, is charged with seven counts, including making up an informant who he said purchased drugs from the home and lying in a search warrant affidavit. He later admitted to buying the drugs himself, authorities said.

Bryant, 46, is charged with falsifying records, including claiming he’d identified as heroin a substance that was bought at the home before the raid.

Garcia, 53, is charged with giving false information when she called 911, claiming that the people inside the home were drug dealers and that they were using crack and heroin inside, federal prosecutors said.

Fullerton man identified as suspect in sex-related crimes, police say there may be more victims

Kevin Bejarno, 24, of Fullerton was arrested on suspicion of separate sexual battery and child annoyance incidents. Fullerton police believe there may be other victims of his.
Kevin Bejarno, 24, of Fullerton was arrested on suspicion of separate sexual battery and child annoyance incidents. Fullerton police believe there may be other victims of his. (Photo Courtesy of the Fullerton Police Department)

Detectives investigated the case and arrested Bejarno the following day tied to the second incident. He bailed out of jail on Nov. 15, police said.

Three days later he was linked to the child annoyance incident on Walnut and Richman avenues and was arrested. He bailed out again on Nov. 19.

Investigators believe there may be other victims.

Anyone with information about the two incidents or others is asked to contact Detective Lloyd White at 714-738-6762.

Those who want to give information anonymously can call the Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS or can visit occrimestoppers.org.

Brother of Navy SEAL chief blasts top admiral: ‘Two-star is defying an order from the president’

Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher celebrates after being acquitted of premeditated murder at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on July 2, 2019.
Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher celebrates after being acquitted of premeditated murder at Naval Base San Diego, Calif., on July 2, 2019.
(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

A senior U.S. defense official told Fox News on Tuesday that the top admiral in the Navy planned to announce a review in which peers will determine whether to remove SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s Trident pin.

This after last Friday the White House announced that President Trump signed an order reversing the sentence and promoting him to the grade of E-7, the rank he held before he was tried.

Despite the president’s order, the Navy is reportedly considering whether or not to punish Gallagher by removing his Navy Trident pin, which Sean Gallagher described as a highly prized honor for SEALs.

“Right now… we’re awaiting news,” continued Gallagher, “pretty much in a situation where a rear admiral – a two-star – is defying an order from the president of the United States of America… [Eddie] should be let to retire with dignity like the president had ordered.”

Denver man sentenced to prison for murdering his girlfriend’s toddler in 2015

Delonta Crank and Candice Lampley Denver Post file

The child’s death triggered changes to Denver’s child welfare system.

A Denver police arrest affidavit said the child had suffered burns over multiple parts of his body.

Crank had given Javion a bath and the burns were consistent with being placed in scalding water, the affidavit said.

Other children in the home told police that Crank used a stick and belt to discipline them because their “mom doesn’t whoop good enough,” the affidavit said.

And Crank admitted that he had whipped Javion the day before because of a potty training accident.

PG&E begins power outages for 150,000 customers amid wildfire threat

PG&E said it was monitoring weather conditions to determine when to start power outages in several Northern California counties.
PG&E said it was monitoring weather conditions to determine when to start power outages in several Northern California counties.
File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 20 (UPI) — Utility company Pacific Gas and Electric Co. began shutting off power to about 150,000 customers in Northern California on Wednesday amid forecasts of high winds that could spark wildfires in the region.

PG&E said it’s cutting power to 18 counties, including Sonoma, Napa and Nevada, to avoid the possibility of the winds causing power lines to spark a wildfire.

The company announced the planned blackouts Tuesday evening during a news conference.

Former Elizabeth police chief gets no jail time after pleading guilty to stealing heroin from department evidence room

Timothy Butler was sentenced Wednesday to 45 months probation and 325 hours of community service.

The criminal complaint says that, after being questioned about suspicious activity last year, Butler admitted that he had become addicted to heroin after taking prescription Vicodin for neck and back pain.

According to the criminal complaint, evidence envelopes labeled to have originally contained approximately 2,531 bags of heroin were empty.

Lightning bolt strikes near Emirates plane in Christchurch

Lightning was seen in the distance, behind the aircraft. REUTERS

“The view out our window onto the tarmac today!” the company wrote on Facebook. “The Emirates plane [was] waiting for the storm to pass.”

MetService also tweeted that the area saw 700 lightning strikes in the space of two hours.

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Texas robbery suspect killed with own gun after homeowner took it from him: police

The male suspect entered a residential garage in the Westbury neighborhood of Houston just before 3 p.m. and told the homeowner he intended to rob him, according to local authorities.

Two guns were found at the scene, according to KHOU. Both guns had been fired, police believe.

Authorities said the case will go before a grand jury to determine if the homeowner will face any charges.

Politics:

Bill that would federally decriminalize marijuana passes House committee

Whatever one’s views on the use of marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating users at the federal level is unwise and unjust,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said in his opening statement.

The Associated Press points out if the measure comes up for a vote in the full House, its chances are better in the Democratic-controlled chamber than in the Republican-held Senate, where the bill’s future is uncertain.

Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states and it’s legal for recreational use in 11 states, along with the District of Columbia.

Ben Carson slams Maxine Waters: ‘Basic manners elude you’

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

“My mother always taught me that people shouldn’t throw rocks, especially while they live in a glass house,” Carson wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by POLITICO.

“Because of that wise lesson, I was a little surprised to read your hostile letter to President Trump regarding the record number of homeless Americans in California, particularly in your district.”

“To me, the most compassionate, obvious, and logical solution would be to get as many homeless Americans off the streets — with a roof over their heads — as soon as humanly possible,” he said.

“I have sent multiple letters to your office and requested numerous meetings, but each time you’ve refused,” Carson wrote.

“Basic manners elude you and it seems that instead of producing results, you’re more interested in producing cheap headlines at the President’s expense — like a true career politician.”

Ben Carson Blasts ‘Career Politician’ Maxine Waters Over Massive Homelessness in Her District After ‘Shameless’ Attack on President Trump

HUD Sec. Ben Carson.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson blasted “career politician” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) over the staggering number of homeless in her Los Angeles district after thirty years in office in response to Waters’ letter attacking President Trump over his proposals to help get the homeless off the streets in California.

Carson wrote to Waters on Monday, calling Waters out for her gratuitously insulting letter on October 28 to President Trump.

Waters wrote Trump in her capacity as the Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee.Waters’ letter began:

Republicans to Subpoena Whistleblower, Hunter Biden, Alexandra Chalupa

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 20: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) listens as Gordon Sondland, the U.S ambassador to the European Union, testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Edelman/Getty Images)

“Although Speaker Pelosi promised that Democrats would ‘treat the President with fairness,’ you have repeatedly prevented Republicans from fully and fairly examining issues central to the Democrats’ ‘impeachment inquiry,’” House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Oversight and Reform Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan (R-OH) wrote in a November 20, 2019, letter.

“We therefore write to inform you that we intend to subpoena testimony and records in an attempt to inject some semblance of fairness and objectivity into your one-side and partisan inquiry,” they said.

“We look forward to your prompt concurrence.

Your failure to concur with all of these subpoenas shall constitute evidence of your denial of fundamental fairness and due process,” they wrote.

Trump says ‘it’s all over’ for impeachment inquiry after Sondland testimony

Speaking to reporters before departing on a scheduled trip to Texas, Trump claimed that Sondland’s testimony means “it’s all over” for the proceedings and that the House inquiry into Trump should come to a halt.

“I just noticed one thing and that would mean it’s all over,” Trump said on the White House lawn before reading from handwritten notes taken during Sondland’s testimony.

Sondland testified about a conversation with Trump where he asked the president what he wanted from Ukraine.

Confirmation of latest Trump judicial pick tilts balance of 11th Circuit Court

Barbara Lagoa, center, speaks as Gov. Ron DeSantis and Lt. Gov Jeanette Nunez, left, look on, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The 11th Circuit is now the third court to undergo such a transformation during Trump’s presidency.

With an 80-15 vote, the Senate confirmed Barbara Lagoa to the seat formerly held by Judge Stanley Marcus, a Clinton appointee who sat on the appeals court that handles cases from Florida, Georgia and Alabama since 1997.

Lagoa, the first Cuban-American woman confirmed to the 11th Circuit, tilts that court, which was previously split between six Republican appointees and six Democratic appointees, to a GOP-appointed majority.

Trump’s nominees alone now hold five of the 12 seats on the 11th Circuit.

Senators Demand Answers About Epstein

At a hearing with the Director of the Bureau Of Prisons, Senators pressed home their questions about what happened to Jeffery Epstein and how he died in prison.

World News:

Space Command Chief Outlines Advances as Space War-Fighting Threats Mount

General John W. Raymond (R) and President Donald Trump pose during an event establishing the US Space Command in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, on Aug. 29, 2019.
General John W. Raymond (R) and President Donald Trump pose during an event establishing the US Space Command in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, on Aug. 29, 2019. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

A growing number of U.S. officials and government commissions have warned about the growing threat from countries such as China and Russia that have been advancing military and warfighting objectives in space, including developing new anti-satellite weapons.

Experts told The Epoch Times that these threats to the United States’ national security, coupled with the potential loss of U.S. space-dominance, is why a U.S. warfighting space force is necessary.

“Given that the U.S. depends on space for its critical infrastructure … it poses grave national security risks if a country threatens those assets,” Namrata Goswami, an independent analyst and author specializing in space policy, told The Epoch Times. Goswami says that establishing a dedicated space force is in the interest of the United States.

The military committee at NATO has been briefed by Raymond as well, he said, adding that he had been attempting to create a more formal relationship with the alliance.

“NATO is about to declare space as an operational domain. And I think that’s going to be very important, that we have that linkage.”

Ottawa woman attacked at resort in Mexico

Lexie York was on vacation in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula earlier this month when she was attacked in her hotel room, according to her family.
Lexie York was on vacation in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula earlier this month when she was attacked in her hotel room, according to her family. (Mathew York)

On her first night at the Grand Bahia Principe resort in Tulum, York was attacked and beaten to the point she required reconstructive surgery at a hospital in Cancun, her brother, Mathew York, told CBC from Cancun.

According to Mathew, his sister was having dinner at the resort’s restaurant when she met two couples who were also staying there.

Later, when she was in her room, one of the men came and knocked on her door. He claimed his wife had heard a scream and wanted to know if Lexie was OK, her brother said.

When she said everything was fine, the man pushed his way into the room and began to strangle her and hit her in the face, Mathew said.

Report: ‘Phase One’ Trade Deal Could Slide Into Next Year

Getty Images

Talks between the U.S. and China have reportedly stalled as the two sides have pushed conflicting measures.

Beijing wants an extensive rollback of existing tariffs as part of any deal, while the Trump administration’s position is that it would only halt further tariffs hikes in a preliminary deal.

The U.S. also wants China to publicly commit to purchase $50 billion of U.S. agricultural products.

China does not want to set the level in advance, saying it should be free to adjust the amount of its purchases.

Reuters reports that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer believes that rolling back tariffs for a deal that fails to address forced technology transfers and intellectual property will “not be seen as a good deal for the U.S.” The story cited “a person briefed on the matter.”

Many in China’s leadership believe the country is best served by attempting to wait our the Trump presidency, gambling the economy on a chance that Trump could be impeached and removed from office or lose the election in 2020.

Bolivian lawmakers seek election breakthrough as death toll mounts

The South American country’s two chambers of congress will discuss annulling the Oct. 20 poll and appointing a new electoral board, paving the way for a new vote after long-term leftist leader Evo Morales resigned under pressure this month.

Currently led by a caretaker government, Bolivia is grappling to mend stark divisions between Morales supporters and opponents seeking to move beyond his nearly 14-year rule.

He stepped down on Nov. 10 under pressure from protesters, civil groups, security forces and allies, as well as an international audit that found serious irregularities in the election count and cast doubt on his announced outright victory.

Israel moves closer to third election in 12 months after coalition government fails to form

The announcement was made by Benny Gantz, a former military chief, and leader of the centrist Blue and White party.

The failure provided a new lifeline for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is eager to remain in office as he prepares for an expected indictment on corruption charges.

Per Israeli law, parliament now enters a 21-day period where any lawmaker can try to muster a 61-seat majority and become prime minister.

That means both Gantz and Netanyahu will continue their efforts to reach out to smaller parties and explore the possibility of a unity government.

Iceland ‘sneaker waves’ sweep away group of tourists moments after man hurt, prompting safety review

The beach, which features black sand, steep cliffs, and towering Reynisdrangar sea stacks in the distance, is also notable for the powerful waves that can sometimes inundate sections of the beach where tourists like to roam.

Tour guide Thorolfur Sævar Sæmundsson, who filmed the incident from a safe distance, told Storyful the beach is safe “95 percent of the time” but that “sometimes we have high waves. People need to be careful.”

Son of former German president killed in knife attack while giving lecture in Berlin hospital

A man is arrested by the police at a hospital in Berlin, Germany after the son of former German Richard von Weizsaecker president was killed while he was giving a lecture.
A man is arrested by the police at a hospital in Berlin, Germany after the son of former German Richard von Weizsaecker president was killed while he was giving a lecture. (Paul Zinken/dpa via AP)

Dr. Fritz von Weizsaecker, 59, was presenting a lecture about fatty liver disease at the Schlosspark-Klinik medical clinic where he worked in Berlin when police say a 57-year-old German man jumped up from the audience and attacked him with a knife.

An off-duty police officer sitting in the crowd jumped in to stop the melee and was seriously injured. He had to undergo surgery as a result of the injuries he sustained.

Von Weizaecker, a prominent medical doctor, died on the scene despite immediate attention from colleagues.

Mexican fitness model, 23, found dead with stab wounds and gunshot to her head in Tijuana: reports

Villaseñor worked as a trainer at a gym in Tiajuana, according to her social media accounts.
Villaseñor worked as a trainer at a gym in Tiajuana, according to her social media accounts. (Facebook)

The body of 23-year-old Alondra Getsemani Villaseñor was discovered by her mother at the home in the city’s Obrera Tercera Sección neighborhood, located in northwestern Mexico’s Baja California state, just south of California, according to The Herald of Mexico.

The unnamed mother reportedly went to check on her daughter after not getting a response to her calls. Villaseñor was already dead when her mother arrived, authorities said. They said she appeared to have been dead for at least 24 hours.

A 9mm bullet casing and two small bags containing what appeared to be marijuana were also found at the scene, according to Mexico’s state-run news agency Notimex.

Spain: Surge in Support for Conservative Populists

Spain's conservative populist party, Vox, more than doubled its seats in parliament after winning 3.6 million votes in general elections held on November 10. It is now the third-largest party in Spain. Pictured:
Spain’s conservative populist party, Vox, more than doubled its seats in parliament after winning 3.6 million votes in general elections held on November 10. It is now the third-largest party in Spain. Pictured: Vox leader Santiago Abascal speaks at an election rally, on October 31, 2019. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Commentary/Opinion: Vox leaders campaigned on a “traditional values” platform of law and order, love of country and a hardline approach to anti-constitutional separatists in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia.

Vox’s meteoric rise is a direct result of the political vacuum created by the mainstream center-right Popular Party, which in recent years has drifted to the left on a raft of domestic and foreign policy issues, including that of uncontrolled mass migration.

Vox (based on the Latin word for voice) describes itself as a socially conservative political project aimed at defending traditional Spanish values from the challenges posed by mass migration, multiculturalism and globalism. Vox’s foundational mission statement affirms that the party is dedicated to constitutional democracy, free-market capitalism and the rule of law.

In foreign policy, Vox is pro-Israel, pro-American and pro-NATO. Party leaders have called for Spain to double its defense spending to meet its commitments to the transatlantic alliance.

In domestic policy, Vox’s stated priority is to enact constitutional reforms aimed at preventing the territorial disintegration of Spain from threats by Basque nationalism and Catalan separatism.

Vox’s growing appeal also rests on the fact that it is the only political party in Spain fundamentally to reject political correctness. Vox leaders speak with a frankness and clarity of conviction long unheard of in multicultural Spain.

Iranian Snipers Killed More Than 100 Protesters, Amnesty International Says

Nov. 20, 2019, as President Hassan Rouhani said the country’s people had defeated an “enemy conspiracy” behind a wave of violent street protests.
Iranians take to the streets in support of the Islamic republic’s government and supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the cenral city of Arak, southwest of the capital Tehran, on Nov. 20, 2019, as President Hassan Rouhani said the country’s people had defeated an “enemy conspiracy” behind a wave of violent street protests.
(Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)

The London-based Amnesty International said snipers shooting from rooftops, and once from a helicopter, shot over 100 protesters throughout the last week.

Protests began on Nov. 15 after an announcement that fuel prices had risen at least 50%, Reuters reported, and authorities said they arrested about 1,000 demonstrators.

“The organization believes that the real death toll may be much higher, with some reports suggesting as many as 200 have been killed,”

Amnesty International said in a statement, adding that reports from witnesses “reveal a harrowing pattern of unlawful killings by Iranian security forces, which have used excessive and lethal force to crush largely peaceful protests.”

Commentary/Opinion:

Venezuelan Who Escaped Socialism Warns Us: Never let America become a socialist country

Daniel grew up in socialist Venezuela and stood in the “bread lines” that Sen. Bernie Sanders once said are a “good thing.”

He escaped the grips of socialism and is now issuing a dire warning to America.

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