News and Headlines: In The News, Politics, World News, Commentary/Opinion.
In The News:
Former IDF Officer Speaks to Hundreds of California Students About Israel’s Humanitarian Aid to Syrians
As part of Operation Good Neighbor, Lt. Col. (Res.) Eyal Dror established and led a unit that brought in more than 4,000 wounded Syrians to Israeli hospitals, secured treatment for hundreds of chronically-ill children, oversaw the evacuation of the White Helmets rescue group and delivered basic necessities including food, clothing and diesel fuel to civilians.
The operation ended in 2018 when the Syrian government recaptured territory along the border with Israel in the Golan Heights, and Dror retired this past September after 24 years of service.
He has since dedicated time to educating international audiences on Israel’s humanitarian efforts on behalf of Syrian civilians, along with its security challenges along the northern border.
According to CalTax data, local measures statewide include 119 school bonds (which would be repaid with interest through property tax increases), 52 parcel taxes, 44 sales tax measures and two advisory measures asking voters to decide if revenue should be spent in a specific way if an accompanying tax increase is approved.
Craig Alexander of the Californian Policy Institute argues the taxes mask an underlying problem statewide: unfunded pension and healthcare liabilities.
“Local governments and school districts always tout these measures as necessary expenditures to rebuild crumbling schools, maintain overused parks and provide better police services, but don’t be fooled,” Alexander warns.
In a phone call made from jail earlier while being held in an unrelated case, Kevin Eugene Leeks told the person he was talking to, “We gotta take advantage of these veterans …,” according to a probable-cause affidavit.
Leeks, 29, of Leesburg was apprehended by the U.S. Marshals Violent Fugitive Task Force at a Leesburg hotel without incident in connection with the July 11 attack and robbery of Willard VanOrder, according to sheriff’s Lt. John Herrell.
VanOrder, of Okahumpka, was assaulted after he got home from a trip he made on his riding lawn mower to a nearby convenience store to purchase groceries, he said.
“We expect the United States and the world to understand and to be supportive instead of imposing more obstacles,” said Faisal Saleh, Sudan’s information minister and interim government spokesman, adding that the new government “inherited an empty treasury.”
The previous regime was under the control of Omar al-Bashir, who supported al-Qaeda, which claimed responsibility for the attack.
The settlement is the first step the interim Sudanese government is making in order to be removed from the United States’ list of state-sponsors of terrorism.
Al-Qaeda terrorist Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Badawi was killed in a U.S.-led airstrike on Yemen on January 2, 2019.
US Olympic marathon trials to include first transgender athlete, a biological male competing with women
Youngren, who came out as transgender in 2012 and finalized her official paperwork for the transition in 2019, meets the International Olympic Committee standard of testosterone levels allowable for biological men to compete as transgender women.
Youngren began seriously running in 2013, and pushes back against the claim that qualifying for the women’s trials is easier due to being born male.
The issue of whether biological males who become transgender women should be able to compete against biological women in sports is far from settled.
In Connecticut, some high school girls’ runners have filed a federal lawsuit to prevent transgender girls from being able to compete, citing the inherent unfairness of such an arrangement.
“The dismissal of tens of thousands of old cannabis-related convictions in Los Angeles county will bring much-needed relief to communities of color that disproportionately suffered the unjust consequences of our nation’s drug laws,” said Jackie Lacey, the LA district attorney, in a statement on Thursday.
Prosecutors this week asked a superior court judge to dismiss 62,000 felony cannabis convictions for cases that date back to 1961.
The district attorney’s office also sought the dismissal of approximately 4,000 misdemeanor cannabis possession cases.
Prosecutors in Baltimore, Seattle, Chicago and other cities have said they also would clear eligible marijuana convictions.
Psychiatric Hospitals Can Still Force Patients to Accept Shock Treatment. One Connecticut Patient Has Been Shocked 500 Times in Five Years.
Many recipients voluntarily consent to shock therapy, which is typically given for treatment-resistant depression, and get better.
In 2008, the National Mental Health Association reported that shock treatments tripled to 100,000 a year, a figure that is frequently re-printed in other news publications.
In 2016, Dr. Linda Lagemann, a former associate professor at the University of California, San Francisco, estimated that shock therapy generates $1.8 billion in costs annually, half of which are covered by Medicare.
Corresponding with shock therapy’s comeback, reports of the procedure’s devastating side effects and limited effectiveness re-appeared.
A 2010 review of eight meta-analyses concluded that, because shock therapy causes persistent and permanent memory loss and a slight increased risk of death, “its use cannot be scientifically justified.”
In 2018, as the result of a class-action lawsuit, ECT device maker Somatics added a warning to its instruction manual that in “rare cases, patients may experience…permanent brain damage.”
A month before the 2016 presidential election, the FBI met Christopher Steele in Rome and apparently unlawfully shared with the foreign opposition researcher some of the bureau’s most closely held secrets, according to unpublicized disclosures in the recent Justice Department Inspector General report on abuses of federal surveillance powers.
What’s more, Steele, the former British spy who compiled the “dossier” of conspiracy theories for the Hillary Clinton campaign, was promised $15,000 to attend the briefing by FBI agents eager to maintain his cooperation in their Trump-Russia collusion investigation codenamed Crossfire Hurricane.
That investigation was so closely guarded that only a handful of top officials and agents at the FBI were allowed to know about it.
A New York federal jury on Friday found Avenatti guilty on three counts, including extortion, wire fraud and transmission of interstate communications with intent to extort.
He faces up to a combined 42 years in prison.
During the jury’s decision Friday, Avenatti was seen in court blessing himself before the verdict was read.
He looked straight ahead with a sad expression on his face. After the jury read the verdict, his lawyer put his hand on his shoulder as a gesture of comfort to Avenatti.
ICE subpoenaed the State of Connecticut Court Support Services Division for information on three foreign nationals — of all them convicted criminals living in the U.S. illegally — who were arrested, but subsequently released because of state laws that prohibit cooperation with the agency.
At first a novel action, subpoenas are becoming a more common action by ICE as it escalates its fight with “sanctuary” jurisdictions.
“These are the same criminals who’ve already been arrested for crimes by state and/or local law enforcement, often perpetrated against the very immigrant communities these officials claim to be protecting.
Despite these short-sighted, reckless ‘sanctuary-for-criminal-aliens’ policies, ICE will continue to use all available legal tools to safeguard the public.”
A former law clerk to the late Judge Stephen Reinhardt, once a leading light of the federal judiciary, accused him of pervasive harassment and misconduct during stunning testimony before a House subcommittee Thursday morning.
Olivia Warren, who clerked for the judge from May 2017 until his death in March 2018, testified that Reinhardt regularly belittled her physique, scrutinized the physical appearance of female clerk applicants, and exhibited obsessive and paranoid behavior following the retirement of former Judge Alex Kozinski for workplace misconduct.
“Often, these remarks included expressing surprise that I even had a husband because I was not a woman who any man would be attracted to.”
“I Have Been Traduced”: Trump’s Moves Against Impeachment Witnesses Are Neither Unlawful Nor Unprecedented
“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”
Those words, from the fictional Capt. John Yossarian in Joseph Heller’s satiric novel “Catch-22,” could well have come from President Trump.
Trump’s move against two impeachment witnesses (and a third man, the twin brother of one of the witnesses) has enraged and struck many as pure retaliation, and has led to calls for criminal and oversight investigations.
Various experts, such as CNN legal analyst Elie Honig, have described the removals as “criminal” while Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on 74 inspectors general for “immediate action to investigate any and all instances of retaliation” against whistleblowers by the Trump administration.
The replacement of these officials however was neither unexpected nor unprecedented.
Presidents have often distrusted officials from prior administrations, including civil servants.
Thomas Jefferson referred to the administration of his predecessor as the “reign of the witches” and, accordingly, his removal of Federalist sympathizers could be viewed as the “witch hunt” in government.
“Where the hell is the report? Where the hell are the indictments?
Where the hell are the charges against the politically corrupt Deep State within the Justice Department, the FBI, and why in the hell aren’t we hearing apologies from someone in that rancid, corrupt, department about what they permitted?” he asked.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow tells FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo that America’s middle class could see a 10 percent tax cut by September.
The Wall Street Journal senior writer Jon Hilsenrath weighs in.
I worked closely with Steve Bannon on the Trump campaign in 2016. He was terrific.
No one understands the reasons for Donald J. Trump’s victory better than Steve.
His show War Room is a must and so is his interview with me, released today.
America is a great country precisely to the extent that it’s a fair country. Fairness is the most important American idea.
It’s the foundation of all others and equality before the law is the purest expression of it.
That’s why the Roger Stone case ought to horrify anyone who has followed it.
Left or right, Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t matter.
Blue Collar Logic.
“Instead of living up to its name, the UN Human Rights Council is intentionally calling for a boycott that overwhelmingly targets the world’s only Jewish state,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told JNS. “Have we learned nothing from history?”
“These are companies that provide jobs to both Israelis and Palestinians, helping them to work together, which should be commended not reprimanded,” he continued.
“This blacklist does not advance peace negotiations, and in fact, retracts from the overarching goal of achieving long-term stability in the region.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said, “We are concerned that the UN Human Rights Council’s announcement is not in furtherance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Two children burned to death when fire broke out at the orphanage of the Church of Bible Understanding on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince on Thursday night.
Thirteen others died in hospital due to asphyxiation.
Rescue workers arrived at the scene on motorcycles and did not have bottled oxygen or the ambulances needed to transport the children to the hospital, said Jean-Francois Robenty, a civil protection official.
“They could have been saved,” he said. “We didn’t have the equipment to save their lives.”
A Russian soldier has enlisted the help of the military for an unusual marriage proposal.
In footage published by the Defence Ministry, 16 tanks surround the couple in a heart formation as the lieutenant pops the question.
This is the first time China has included the specific numbers for healthcare professionals in the data it has provided on the spread of the epidemic.
“This is a critical piece of information because health workers are the glue that holds the health system and the outbreak response together,” said the WHO’s director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Doctors and nurses in China are having to adopt makeshift measures to try to protect themselves in the face of dire shortages of protective gowns, gloves and masks, according to the New York Times.
On the same day, Egypt reported a case, making it the first country in Africa to do so.
Earlier this month the WHO said it was particularly concerned about high-risk nations with weaker health systems that may lack the facilities to identify cases.
Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talks to Heather Mac Donald, Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of The Diversity Delusion.
Heather gives her thoughts on what she believes is the myth of gender bias and widespread discrimination against women in the US.
She uses examples of institutions without gatekeepers like Wikipedia, Scrabble, and Jeopardy to illustrate how disparities in gender or race are not proof of discrimination, but likely proof of different preferences between the genders.
Is the drive for diversity undermining American culture? Is the extreme focus on race and gender diversity, harming society and making us more divided?
Heather tackles these difficult subjects and more. Heather thinks that a better defense of capitalism, meritocracy and entrepreneurship must be made to save Western Civilization from the threat of identity politics.
Heather makes the argument that the social justice arguments concerning systemic discrimination made by people like Michelle Alexander and Ta-Nehisi Coates can only be defeated by countering the myths concerning bias.