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News and Headlines. 4/19/2019


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

In The News:


‘Miracle child’ thrown from Mall of America balcony ‘showing real signs of recovery’

Photo credit Zariah Hicks

“Our miracle child is showing real signs of recovery.

New test results have been positive, though he remains in intensive care with a long road ahead.

Our faith in God, and our Savior Jesus, is strong, and we are gaining more reason for optimism day by day.

We continue our appeal for privacy as we focus on our son, and thank you for respecting our wishes.

Just know that we absolutely feel your overwhelming love, prayers and support, for they seem to be working.

Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.”

The man accused of throwing the boy, Emmanuel Aranda, 24, is charged with attempted murder.

According to the charges, the boy’s mother said she and her son were with a friend and a friend’s child outside the Rainforest Café on the third floor of the mall around 10:15 a.m. when Aranda, whom they did not know, approached them.

Aranda came very close to them, so the boy’s mother asked if they were in the way and should move. Aranda then picked up her son, threw him off the balcony and fled the scene.


Illinois cop pulls man over — and gives him a ride to his job interview instead of a ticket

Ka’Shawn Baldwin shakes hands with officer Roger Gemoules, who gave him a lift instead of a ticket.Roger Gemoules/Facebook

Ka’Shawn Baldwin, 22, was pulled over on his way to a job interview on Wednesday because he had borrowed a car with expired license plates.

Worse, when Cahokia, Ill., Officer Roger Gemoules asked to see his ID, Baldwin’s license was expired.

“He was very respectful when I pulled him over and you could just tell — I could feel that he really was wanting to get to this job interview,” said Gemoules, a resource officer for Cahokia High School who was on patrol because the school is closed for spring break this week.

He let Baldwin drive the car to a safe place to park, following behind, and then gave him a lift to the interview.


Unemployment Benefits Claims Rate Drops to Another Historic Low, Economy Shows Vigor

President Donald Trump arrives to sign executive orders on energy and infrastructure at the International Union of Operating Engineers International Training and Education Center in Crosby, Tex., on April 10, 2019. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

The initial claims of jobless benefits dropped to 192,000 in the week ending April 13, down 5,000 from the week before. That means less than 59 out of 100,000 Americans applied for the benefits—a record low. Economists had forecast claims would rise to 205,000 in the latest week.

Meanwhile, retail sales in March increased by 1.6 percent—the most in 18 months—as households boosted purchases of motor vehicles and a range of other goods, the latest indication that economic growth picked up in the first quarter.

Fears of an abrupt slowdown in activity escalated at the turn of the year after a batch of weak economic reports.

But those concerns have dissipated in recent weeks amid fairly upbeat data on trade, inventories, and construction spending that have suggested growth last quarter could actually be better than the moderate pace logged in the final three months of 2018.


FDA approves Teva’s generic nasal spray to treat opioid overdose

This is the first approval of a generic naloxone nasal spray for use in a community setting by individuals without medical training, the FDA said in a statement.

Almost 400,000 people died from an opioid overdose from 1999 to 2017, the regulator said, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


David and Louise Turpin sentenced to life in prison for torture, abuse of 12 of their children

The couple pleaded guilty in February to torture and other abuse and neglect so severe it stunted their children’s growth, led to muscle wasting and left two girls unable to bear children.

Two of their children spoke during the sentencing Friday, with powerful messages to both of their parents.

“My parents took my whole life from me, but now I’m taking my whole life back. I’m in college now and living independently,” the couple’s daughter said. “Life may have been bad, but it made me strong.”

The couple’s son who spoke thanked his parents for teaching him about God and faith, adding, “I hope they never lose their faith. God looks at the heart and I know that he sees theirs.”


Man who sent powder-filled letters to Trump sons gets probation

Daniel Frisiello,
This booking photo released Thursday, March 1, 2018, by the Beverly Police Department shows Daniel Frisiello, of Beverly, Mass., accused of mailing five envelopes containing a white powder. (Beverly Police Dept via AP)

Daniel Frisiello, 25, of Beverly, was sentenced to five years of probation, with one year to serve in home detention with location monitoring and restitution, law enforcement sources told Fox News.

Frisiello pleaded guilty in October 2018 to 13 counts of mailing a threat to injure the person and six counts of false information and hoaxes.

He was arrested early last year after sending a letter filled with white powder to Donald Trump Jr in February 2018.


Florida man arrested over violent threats against Swalwell, Booker, Tlaib

Rep. Eric Swalwell
Rep. Eric Swalwell responded to 49-year-old John Kless’ arrest on Friday by praising law enforcement for “for protecting my staff and constituents.” | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A trio of Democrats — Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Rep. Eric Swalwell of California and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — were on the receiving end of belligerent messages from 49-year-old John Kless, according to a complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Florida.

All three have garnered increasing national attention in recent months:
Booker as he took a starring role in Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing ahead of a presidential run, Tlaib for her vocal criticism of President Donald Trump and ascendance as a voice of Democrats’ rising progressive generation, and Swalwell for assailing Trump and promoting gun control as he pursues his own presidential bid.

According to the complaint, Kless had formerly made “profane/harassing calls” to the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in which he spoke of “Congress taking away his guns, abortion, illegal immigration, and Muslims in Congress.”


Kim Foxx Deputies Resign in Wake of Jussie Smollett Scandal

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx
Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx speaks at a news conference in Chicago, on Feb. 22, 2019. (Kiichiro Sato/AP Photo)

April Perry, the ethics officer for the office, will leave Foxx’s staff on May 3, along with Mark Rotert, a veteran prosecutor and civil attorney who revamped the process the office used to review wrongful conviction claims, according to resignation letters obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Perry was the staffer who announced that Foxx was recusing herself from the case in a Feb. 13 email to other state’s attorneys in the department after it was revealed Foxx spoke with a relative of Smollett’s shortly after the alleged Jan. 29 attack and before he was charged with filing a false report.

Foxx, though, continued to influence the case, later calling her recusal “informal.”

These are the latest in a string of resignations that started about a year ago, a former high-level official in the State Attorney’s Office told CBS Chicago.

The First Assistant State’s Attorney, the head of the Special Prosecutions Bureau, Chief Policy Officer, a Senior Adviser, and a Deputy Policy Adviser all left within the last year and job postings suggest others might be planning to leave in addition to Perry and Rotert.


Florida girl, 8, dies after tree falls on home during strong storms; death toll rises to 4 across South

Sonya Banes looks at damage caused by a large oak tree that crashed through the ceiling of her mother’s house in Learned, Miss., Thursday, April 18, 2019. (AP)

The Leon County Sheriff’s Office said deputies received a call just after 8 a.m. Friday to report that a tree had gone through the house on Old Woodville Highway and had injured two residents.

Two children – an 8-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy – were transported to a local hospital with injuries. The girl was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The strong storms that roared through Thursday night and into Friday morning killed two Mississippi drivers and a woman in Alabama.

It left more than 100,000 people without power across the region.


Parents Found Passed Out in Car While Naked Toddler Wandered Around Parking Lot

Panama City Police are proud to highlight the quick and caring action of the employees of a local restaurant and our officers.

IHOP employees in Panama City noticed a naked toddler wandering around their parking lot around 5:30 a.m. on April 10 and spotted a van in the lot with two adults who appeared to be passed out.

The employees tried but failed, to wake the parents up, so they alerted the police.

When officers arrived, they saw drugs inside the van and also found 9-month-old twins inside.

One of the babies was covered with blankets and pillows.

“All three children appeared to be in good health but needed clean clothes and diapers.


Florida middle school girls arrested after teacher discovered their plans to kill nine people, police say

The teacher reportedly became suspicious when she noticed the two 14-year-old girls acting “hysterical” while looking for a folder at Avon Park Middle School in central Florida.

The teacher later found the folder, which was labeled “private info,” “do not open,” and “Project 11/9,” according to Fox 13.

Inside, the teacher found eight pieces of paper which made reference to guns and listed nine people by their full names or initials that the girls allegedly wanted to kill.

The girls, who are not being named because of their ages, were arrested after school on Wednesday when the teacher reported her findings to police.


Rapper G Herbo arrested for battery, accused by son’s mother of beating her in front of their child

G Herbo performs attends Swervo Tour G Herbo at The Masquerade on October 30, 2018 in Atlanta, Ga. (Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

The 23-year-old rapper, born Herbert Wright, was charged with simple battery by Atlanta Police after the altercation in Atlanta, Ga., according to TMZ. Wright’s ex-girlfriend, Ariana Fletcher elaborated on the alleged incident in now-deleted Instagram stories captured by XXL.

Fletcher, a model who shares a one-year-old son with Wright named Yosohn, said that the argument left her with a black eye, bruises, and cuts from allegedly being dragged out of her home by Wright.

She also alleged that he choked her, damaged her house, and then left with their child.


CHIEF JUSTICE REJECTS BID FOR SAME-DAY AUDIO IN CENSUS CITIZENSHIP CASE

A bipartisan coalition of congressmen sent a letter to the chief justice April 12, urging him to make audio of the argument available on the same day as the April 23 proceeding.

“Same-day audio has proven a valuable resource for tens of thousands of Americans interested in listening to the justices weigh the merits of a case in an unfiltered, unbiased and near-contemporaneous way,” the letter reads.

The Supreme Court does not televise its proceedings. Audio recordings of a given week’s arguments are available on Fridays. Transcripts are available several hours after an argument concludes.

In recent years, however, the high court released same-day audio in two marquee cases: the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges argument, concerning marriage equality, and the 2018 Trump v. Hawaii argument over the president’s travel sanctions.

U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman concluded that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by appending the citizenship question in January, and ordered its removal. The Commerce Department supervises the Census Bureau.


Court rules House of Representatives can bar secular prayer from atheist

The Good Friday ruling concerned efforts by Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, to pray in the House chamber as a guest chaplain — only to be turned down by Father Patrick Conroy, the House chaplain.

The court, however, sided with Conroy in determining the House was in its right to require prayers be religious in nature.

“We could not order Conroy to allow Barker to deliver a secular invocation because the House permissibly limits the opening prayer to religious prayer.

Barker has therefore failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted,” the opinion stated.


Ex-Black Panther on death row for 1981 cop killing to get new chance at appeal

Mumia Abu-Jamal
FILE – In this July 12, 1995 file photo, Mumia Abu-Jamal leaves Philadelphia’s City Hall after a hearing. (AP Photo/Chris Gardner, File)

Mumia Abu-Jamal, 64, was sentenced to death for killing Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, who had pulled his brother over during an overnight traffic stop.

He was tried in absentia after attempts to serve as his own lawyer.

Abu-Jamal was given a new chance in December to argue his initial appeal by Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Leon Tucker after the U.S. Supreme Court determined a former state justice improperly heard and appeal in a murder case he had seen as district attorney.

District Attorney Larry Krasner dropped his argument against Abu-Jamal, giving him a fresh chance at a new appeal despite arguing it could affect a large number of other convictions.

Krasner agreed that then-District Attorney Ronald Castille – who presided over the Abu-Jamal case – shouldn’t have worn “two hats.”

A 1990 note Castille sent to then Gov. Robert Casey said “police killers” should get death warrants to “send a clear and dramatic message to all police killers that the death penalty actually means something.


Gina Haspel: CIA Shifting Focus to Russia, Iran

CIA Director Gina Haspel (Jose Luis Magana/AP)
CIA Director Gina Haspel (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

Haspel made her remarks in a speech at Auburn University on Thursday, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“Our Russia and Iran investment has been strengthened after years of falling behind our justifiably heavy emphasis on counter-terrorism” in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, she said.

The Journal reported that intelligence officials have speculated that the post 9/11 reduction in the CIA’s attention to Russia could have contributed to a failure to anticipate that country’s 2014 intervention in Ukraine and the interference in the 2016 presidential election in the U.S.

Tech Watch:


A public database exposed medical records of 150,000 rehab patients

Through the public search engine Shodan, independent researcher Justin Paine found an ElasticSearch database with nearly five million rows of data.

It appeared to include personally identifiable information (PII) of patients who were treated at Steps to Recovery between mid 2016 and late 2018.

Paine notified ElasticSearch, which contacted the owner of the database.

The information is no longer publicly accessible, but in a blog post, Paine said to the best of his knowledge, Steps to Recovery has not reached out to the patients.

While 150,000 people is a relatively small data leak by today’s standards, exposing health records, especially those regarding addiction and with PII, is a serious mishap.


Mark Zuckerberg leveraged Facebook user data to fight rivals and help friends, leaked documents show

The documents, which include emails, webchats, presentations, spreadsheets and meeting summaries, show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook’s trove of user data — including information about friends, relationships and photos — as leverage over companies it partnered with.

In some cases, Facebook would reward favored companies by giving them access to the data of its users. In other cases, it would deny user-data access to rival companies or apps.

For example, Facebook gave Amazon extended access to user data because it was spending money on Facebook advertising and partnering with the social network on the launch of its Fire smartphone.

In another case, Facebook discussed cutting off access to user data for a messaging app that had grown too popular and was viewed as a competitor, according to the documents.


Facebook’s privacy mishaps: Zuckerberg could be held accountable, report says

The Washington Post, which cited two people familiar with the discussion, reported that the Federal Trade Commission is looking into how to hold Zuckerberg accountable for Facebook’s privacy mishaps.

That includes examining Zuckerberg’s past remarks about privacy.

The FTC started investigating Facebook last year after revelations surfaced that UK political consultancy Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of up to 87 million Facebook users without their permission.

The agency is focusing on whether the social network violated a legal agreement it had with the US government to keep its users’ data private.

The investigation is still ongoing, but Facebook could also face a fine that’s larger than the record-setting $22.5 million the FTC imposed on Google in 2012.

This isn’t the first time that the FTC has weighed whether to hold Zuckerberg personally accountable for the social network’s privacy problems.

FTC documents obtained by The Post through a public records request showed that the agency considered but decided not to put Zuckerberg under order during its last settlement with Facebook in 2011.

If the agency had done so, Zuckerberg could have been hit with fines for future privacy lapses.

Experts warn about new generation of fake news from ‘deepfake’ videos

Tech experts are sounding the alarm over developing artificial intelligence technology, which may usher in a new generation of fake news. One America’s Chris Pocock has more.

Immigration:


OTERO COUNTY DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY, DEMANDS NATIONAL GUARD RE-OPEN BORDER CHECKPOINTS

“If this demand is not met by the State of New Mexico in one week’s time, the County of Otero will take action itself to provide security and safety and well-being for the people in this county,” said Otero County Commission Chairman Couy Griffin to the Alamogordo Daily News.

“Otero County will also consider litigation in regards to the State of New Mexico failing to follow its constitutional duties towards the people of Otero County,” Griffin added.


New Mexico militia detains migrants at gunpoint until Border Patrol arrives: report

The militia group, which calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, said it is determined to monitor the border until President Trump fulfills his campaign promise of a border wall or until Congress enacts stronger legislation to make it more difficult for migrants to request asylum, Jim Benvie, a spokesman, told The New York Times in a phone interview.

“It should go without saying that regular citizens have no authority to arrest or detain anyone,” the governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, said in a statement to The New York Times, adding that it is “completely unacceptable” that migrants be “menaced or threatened” upon entering the U.S.

Carlos A. Diaz, a spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection, would not divulge specific details about the scene in the video or about the United Constitutional Patriots, but said in a statement that Border Patrol “does not endorse private groups or organizations taking enforcement matters into their own hands.”


Over 3,000 Fraudulent Family Cases Identified by Border Patrol

U.S. Border Patrol agents detained two large groups of illegal immigrants consisting of over 400 people within five minutes in the El Paso area on March 19, 2019. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

“It’s very clear that the cartel and smugglers know the weaknesses in our laws.

They know that family units and unaccompanied children will be released with no consequences for their illegal entries,” acting Department of Homeland Security chief, Kevin McAleenan, said at a press conference on April 17.

McAleenan, who took over as department head after Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation, was visiting the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas.

He said illegal immigrants are going to great lengths to seek asylum in the United States, by engaging in what he called child recycling rings, reported Texas Public Radio.

“The same child is brought across the border with an adult multiple times to try and gain that release that family units are required under court order,” McAleenan said.

He reiterated that the immigration system is full and again urge Congress to make changes to immigration policies, reported KVEO.


Two MS-13 gang members previously deported re-arrested trying to enter US

Deyly Turcios-Giron, a 37-,Joel Santos-Funes, 30,
Deyly Turcios-Giron, a 37-year-old MS-13 member, was arrested trying to re-enter the U.S. illegally. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) Joel Santos-Funes, 30, was arrested trying to re-enter the U.S. in Arizona. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

CBP said both men have extensive immigration violation histories, including a 2013 criminal conviction for drug smuggling against Turcios-Giron.

Officials said the two men will remain in federal custody pending prosecution for criminal immigration violations.


Another line they cut into: Illegals get free public housing as impoverished Americans wait

The Trump administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development is finally trying to put a stop to it as 1.5 million illegals prepare to enter the U.S. this year, and one can only wonder why they didn’t do it yesterday.

According to a report in the Washington Times:

The Times notes that the rules are confusingly contradictary, and some illegal immigrant families are getting full rides based on just one member being born in the U.S.

The pregnant caravaner who calculatingly slipped across the U.S. in San Diego late last year, only to have her baby the next day, now, along with her entire family, gets that free ride on government housing.

Plus lots of cheesy news coverage about how heartwarming it all is.

That’s a lot cheaper than any housing she’s going to find back in Tegucigalpa.

Try the reality that illegal immigrants are routinely given free public housing by the U.S., based on the fact that they are uneducated, unskilled, and largely unemployable.

Those are the criteria, and now importing poverty has never been easier. Shockingly, this comes as millions of poor Americans are out in the cold awaiting that housing that the original law was intended to help.

Thus, the tent cities, and by coincidence, the worst of these emerging shantytowns are in blue sanctuary cities loaded with illegal immigrants – Orange County, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, New York…Is there a connection? At a minimum, it’s worth looking at.

Politics:

Key Takeaways From the Mueller Report

Today on Declassified we deep dive into the special counsel’s report regarding President Trump and Russia, including the details of why Barr believed there was no evidence for an obstruction of justice offense.

Left-wing media uses misleading headlines to bash President Trump

Following the release of the Mueller report, the left-wing media is attempting to discredit President Trump by using misleading headlines. One America’s Pearson Sharp has more.


ANTI-PELOSI IMPEACHMENT WAVE GROWS: Ocasio-Cortez, Omar And Tlaib Call For Impeaching Trump

Getty Images: Mark Wilson/John Lamparski/Tom Williams

Pelosi had told The Washington Post, “I’m not for impeachment. Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”

But Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), who gained a modicum of fame the night she was elected to Congress by screaming, “We’re gonna impeach the motherf*,” tweeted, “Everything outlined in the #MuellerReport is further proof of what I’ve been saying for a long time: it’s #TimetoImpeach.

The first step? The House Judiciary Committee launching an investigation into whether Trump committed impeachable offenses.”

Her compatriot, Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN), now posing as a constitutional expert, echoed, “Impeachment is part of our constitutional responsibility.

We have an obligation to investigate whether the President committed impeachable offenses, including: -Obstruction of justice -Violating the Emoluments Clause -Collusion -Abuse of power.”

And of course, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) had to jump in, too, tweeting:


Buzzfeed, McClatchy Respond After Mueller Report Shows Stories About Trump’s Lawyer Were Wrong

The release of Mueller’s report on April 18 highlighted how wrong the story was.

“Cohen said that he and the President did not explicitly discuss whether Cohen’s testimony about the Trump Tower Moscow project would be or was false, and the President did not direct him to provide false testimony.

Cohen also said he did not tell the President about the specifics of his planned testimony,” Mueller wrote in the report.

He added that while there is evidence “that the President knew Cohen provided false testimony to Congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project, the evidence available to us does not establish that the President directed or aided Cohen’s false testimony.”

Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith wrote a new article after the report was released, attributing the error to the two anonymous sources.

“Our sources—federal law enforcement officials—interpreted the evidence Cohen presented as meaning that the president ‘directed’ Cohen to lie.

We now know that Mueller did not,” he wrote.

Smith did not retract the original article nor did he, Leopold, or Cormier offer an apology to Trump for the article.


Ilhan Omar’s Donation Is Rejected by Congressional District Candidate

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) in Washington, on Jan. 10, 2019. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Campaign finance records show that McCready refunded Omar’s $2,000 contribution on March 30. Omar donated the money on Nov. 6.

A representative said McCready gave back the money because he believes there is no place for divisiveness in politics, and he did not feel it is was fitting to accept the donation.

McCready is not the only Democrat who rejected Omar’s donation, Rep. (Lucy McBath, D-Ga.) also rejected Omar’s $2,000 donation that was made on March 27, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


Ilhan Omar once addressed gender-segregated audience in Somalia

The show, which celebrated Omar’s victory, was filmed at Puntland State University in December 2016 and featured prominent shots of women and men being seated separately. (YouTube)

Omar, the embattled freshman Democrat who’s faced numerous controversies over comments decried as anti-Semitic and other statements, appeared on the “Deprani show,” a Somali news show, following her election to Minnesota’s House of Representatives.

The show, which celebrated Omar’s victory, was filmed at Puntland State University in December 2016 and featured prominent shots of women and men seated separately.

During her remarks, Omar praised Puntland, the semi-autonomous regional territory of Somalia, for setting the goal of a 30 percent quota for women in legislative positions.

“There in America [we are] yet to achieve that, so, we’re looking for that justice and the same justices for the different races, genders and everything,” she said, according to the translation.

But Omar’s appearance at the event and lack of comments about the segregation in the room were striking considering her image as a barrier-breaking politician who fights for women’s rights everywhere.


North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper Vetoes Bill to Stop Infanticide, Care for Babies Born Alive

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper

Cooper, a pro-abortion Democrat endorsed by Planned Parenthood, criticized the bill as “unnecessary” and claimed it would “criminalize doctors for a practice that simply does not exist,” Fox News 8 reports.

“Laws already protect newborn babies and this bill is an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients,” Cooper said in his veto message.

“This needless legislation would criminalize doctors and other healthcare providers for a practice that simply does not exist.”

World News:


Protesters in Bangladesh after girl is burned to death

Protesters hold placards and gather to demand justice for an 18-year-old woman who was killed after she was set on fire for refusing to drop sexual harassment charges against her Islamic school’s principal, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, April 19, 2019.(Mahmud Hossain Opu/Associated Press)

Rafi told the story to her brother in an ambulance on the way to the hospital and he recorded her testimony on his mobile phone.

She died four days later in a Dhaka hospital with burns covering 80% of her body.

The violence has shaken Bangladesh, triggering protests and raising concerns over the plight of women and girls in the conservative Muslim-majority nation of 160 million people where sexual harassment and violence are often unreported, victims are intimidated and the legal process is often lengthy.

Many avoid reporting to police because of social stigma.


Iranian girls being forced into child marriage at record rate: report

While exact statistics are difficult to come by in the closed country, Iranian agencies reportedly documented that at least 36,000 girls below 18 wed – with the vast majority taking place in the northeastern Zanjan Province, according to Radio Farda.

UNICEF estimates that 17 percent of girls in Iran are married before reaching the age of 18 and in roughly 20 percent of those below the age of 15 are married to men at least ten years older.

However, experts assert that the number may be significantly higher because many families don’t register underage marriages, especially in border areas and poverty-stricken parts of the country.


Climate group’s attempt to ‘shut down’ London Heathrow airport fails after only a few handfuls of people show up

Police surround environmental protestors near Heathrow Airport in London on Friday. (AP)

Videos circulating on social media showed British cops standing in a ring around activists from the Extinction Rebellion group, while cars streamed a few feet away – undeterred — into London’s Heathrow airport.

The group, which has snarled traffic and public transit in the U.K.’s capital this week through a series of blockades and protests, has been trying to force the British Parliament into accepting their climate action-related demands.

Yet only a small number, estimated to be less than 20 – and all of which Extinction Rebellion claims were under the age of 17 years old — made it out to the airport Friday.

Some, in a video the group streamed on Facebook, were in tears after the police arrived.


Off-Duty Journalist Shot Dead During Northern Ireland Riot

Armed police stage at the scene of unrest in Creggan, Londonderry, in Northern Ireland, on April 18, 2019. (Niall Carson/PA via AP)

Rioting erupted in the Irish nationalist Creggan area of the city late on Thursday following a raid by police, who said they were trying to prevent militant attacks planned for the weekend.

At least 50 petrol bombs were thrown and two cars set on fire.

“Unfortunately at 11 o’clock last night a gunman appeared and fired a number of shots toward the police and a young woman, Lyra McKee, 29 years old, was wounded” and later died, Police Service of Northern Ireland Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton told journalists on Friday.

He said police were treating the incident as a terrorist attack and had opened a murder inquiry.


Cartel member leads Mexican authorities to secret mass grave

Forensic workers prepare to bury unclaimed bodies in a mass grave at San Rafael cemetery in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, last July. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

Each grave may contain several people, Mexican authorities said, according to The Daily Mail.

The site covers such a large area that Jorge Winckler, the Veracruz State attorney general, said, ‘We will begin the extraction of remains, but we do not know how long it will take us.”

Workers began digging up the area on Wednesday, and have only recovered remains from about 10 percent of the entire area were many more graves are believed to be, the newspaper said.

Secret mass graves have become commonplace in Mexico, where tens of thousands of people are reported missing.

Cartels tend to be behind the secret grave sites, where they discard people they kidnapped or rivals they have killed.

The discovery of the mass grave in Veracruz comes just days after Mexican officials confirmed the discovery of up to 30 bodies in clandestine burial sites in the state of Sonora.


Venezuela’s Guaido calls for ‘largest march in history’ to oust Maduro

Guaido, the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly who in January invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency on the basis that Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate, reiterated his call for the country’s armed forces to take his side in the three-month power struggle.

“They will need to listen to the people saying: enough,” Guaido told a crowd gathered at a plaza in eastern Caracas, setting the date for the march for May 1, International Workers’ Day.

“We call on all the people to join in the largest march in the history of Venezuela to demand the end to the usurpation so this tragedy can end.”


Chinese City Offers Cash Reward for Reporting ‘Illegal’ Christian Practices

Warm approval for the program by Chinese media suggests the practice will spread to other cities as the Communist Party works to “Sinicize” – in other words, subdue and control – all religions.

The South China Morning Post reported the government pays citizens extra money if their tips lead to the arrest of non-Chinese religious leaders or the shuttering of foreign religious groups.


Swedish Journalist Caught on Social Media Celebrating Notre Dame Fire

Expressen‘s Alex Schulman posted an image of the cathedral on fire on Instagram with the caption “at last” using the “stories” feature which posts an image for up to 24 hours, Nyheter Idag reports.

Schulman was slammed on other social media sites for celebrating the blaze by several accounts, including that of Swedish-Assyrian journalist and filmmaker Nuri Kino who is well-known for his reporting on human rights.

“Finally? What have you longed for? That a cathedral should burn up? I hope this is a misunderstanding,” Kino wrote on Twitter.

Schulman has so far not replied to Kino’s criticism, having not posted about the fire at all on Twitter.

Commentary/Opinion:


The Mueller Report becomes a tar baby for the Democrats

Unable to admit they were utterly wrong about sleazy Democratic operative Robbie Mook’s original Trump-colluded-with-the-Russians-to-steal-the-election-from-Hillary-Clinton narrative, they’re now scanning every nook and cranny of the Mueller report to find something useful to use to impeach the president.

A very good analysis from the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Wildermuth and Tal Kopan points to how problematic that is, given that the report had far fewer redactions to holler about than they’d hoped:

Few redactions means less to speculate about. Yet the Democrats can’t stop themselves from focus on impeachment, and the Mueller Report means they have very little fuel for their bonfire. So they are left yelling about nothing and can’t stop themselves.


Ari Fleischer: Trump should move on from Russia, let Dems ‘walk that impeachment plank’

Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer
Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer

“The Democrats are about to walk a plank and fall off of it into the ocean with their conspiracy theories and their truther collusion theories,” he said while appearing on “America’s Newsroom.”

“Let them walk that plank and fall off into the ocean.”

Trump, Fleischer worried, only invited more suspicion as he continued discussing the issue in public.

“If I were the president, I would have basically declared victory with the Mueller report and everything that came out,” Fleischer said after noting Trump’s tweets from Friday morning.

Fleischer argued that Trump’s tweet “suggested he was upset with something in the Mueller report, which only makes it look like he’s got something to worry about.”

Greenwald: Media spent years drowning US in conspiracy theories

The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald weighs in on the media reaction to the Mueller report on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’

Tucker: Two years of Russia hysteria is over

Redacted Mueller report is released and confirms no proof of collusion or conspiracy.

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