News and Headlines: In The News, Politics, World News, Commentary/Opinion.
In The News:
The defendants, Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman, were offered plea bargains on Feb. 11, according to a letter prosecutors submitted to a federal trial court on Saturday. Prosecutors and defense lawyers were set to participate in a status hearing on Tuesday morning, which was rescheduled in light of the new developments.
Mattis is a Princeton-educated corporate lawyer and Rahman attained pretrial release with the help of a former Obama administration official.
Whether the prospective deal includes guilty pleas to felony charges will have significant professional consequences for Mattis and Rahman.
It is an open question whether a Biden-appointed U.S. attorney will continue prosecuting the case against Mattis and Rahman.
Both defendants face seven felony charges, including civil disorder, arson conspiracy, and federal explosives charges. Such convictions could carry lengthy jail sentences.
Healthcare workers in San Diego County are trying to deal with the COVID pandemic but are reportedly being forced to confront their ‘white privilege’ at the same time.
A required Critical Race Training course that takes hours to complete forces the workers to understand that racism is a white problem.
Tori Richards reports at the Washington Examiner:
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Divisive and offensive’ race theory training forced on San Diego County healthcare workers
Government employees in San Diego County are being forced to undergo lectures that claim only white people can be racist, according to an employee who says the training is taking away from their efforts to battle COVID-19 and a homelessness epidemic.
The Health & Human Services Agency required employees to spend six hours watching the online racism course, a training participant told the Washington Examiner. Critical Race Theory classes taught participants “Racism is a WHITE” problem, and,
CBP Field Operations at Pharr International Bridge Discover More Than Produce and Seize $11.5 Million in Methamphetamine
“This is a substantial amount of hard narcotics seized from drug trafficking organizations attempting to smuggle drugs across our border,” said Carlos Rodriguez, Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “This significant interception will keep the drugs from reaching our communities.”
On Feb. 21, 2021, a tractor/trailer hauling a commercial shipment of fresh mixed produce arrived at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility from Mexico.
A CBP officer referred the shipment for further inspection, including a non-intrusive imaging (NII) system examination which led to the discovery of packages of suspected narcotics concealed within the trailer’s floor.
Officers removed 305 packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing 575 pounds (261 kg).
CBP OFO seized the narcotics along with the tractor/trailer and the case remains under investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
LAREDO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Laredo North Station stopped two drug smuggling attempts and seized nearly 1000 Lb. of marijuana in west Laredo.
The first incident occurred early afternoon on February 22, when agents responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle near the Rio Grande River in the west side of town. When the agents arrived on scene, the individuals absconded and were seen swimming across the river to Mexico.
Six bundles of marijuana were seized that had an approximate weight of 446.43 Lb. with an estimated value of $357,210.
The second incident occurred less than two hours later, when agents responded to suspicious activity of an individual carrying a bundle across the river near the west end of Jefferson Street.
As agents approached the area, several subjects were seen absconding back to Mexico and abandoning five bundles of marijuana. The bundles had an approximate weight of 488.32 Lb. with an estimated value of $390,656.
Agents immediately responded to interdict the smugglers and illegal border crossers. As agents arrived at the identified border location, all six drivers fled at high rates of speed.
One driver merged onto 905 freeway against the flow of traffic. Another smuggler, driving a white Toyota RAV-4, veered from lane to lane, nearly striking agents’ vehicles.
This same driver eventually struck the center median and became immobilized in National City, CA. Several people ran from the vehicle and were pursued by agents.
Nearby, other agents were able to stop a black Chevrolet Tahoe that was also involved in the smuggling event. In total, Agents arrested 16 individuals from the two vehicles.
The group consisted of two United States citizens, and 14 Mexican nationals who were illegally present in the United States.
Texas resident has nearly $17,000 deducted from bank account by energy company following winter storm
Willoughby, who had the money in his account to pay the bill, expressed concern that hundreds of thousands of Texas residents will not be able to pay for crippling electrical costs, which average at around $5,000 per household over the course of the seven-day blackout.
“For a lot of people that [bill] will impact them devastatingly,” Willoughby said.
“No food on the table for their kids, no rent or house payments or car payments –and there’s no recourse because the money’s gone.”
Despite this, Willoughby remained hopeful that residents will be reimbursed for the excess charges.
The Texas resident said that the state legislature and Gov. Greg Abbott called an emergency meeting Saturday to look into ways that they can help lessen the charges incurred on homeowners and renters.
Fulton, 43, was charged with sexual exploitation of a child, child pornography possession and receipt of child pornography, ESPN reported, citing the indictment.
Tony Morfitt, a spokesperson for the acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, Sean R. Berry, told ESPN that Fulton faces up to 70 years in prison if convicted. Fulton’s public defender Jill Johnston declined to comment on the arrest.
Fulton allegedly attempted to get a minor to “engage in sexually explicit conduct” to produce “visual depictions of such conduct” on a digital camera, according to ESPN. He is also alleged to have a depiction of another minor under 12 on a thumb drive.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto confirmed during a press conference two days after Joshua Williams allegedly shot and killed two people before he, too, was fatally wounded, that the 27-year-old had a legal permit to carry a gun and instigated the exchange of gunfire Saturday afternoon at the Gun Outlet in suburban Metairie.
Joshua Williams walked into Jefferson Gun Outlet in Metairie on Saturday, with his brother, Timothy Williams, and his brother’s two children, ages 7 and 9, purportedly to purchase ammunition, Lopinto said.
“They were in the store for approximately seven minutes, conversing with clerks, picking out ammunition that they needed,” Lopinto said.
Interviews with witnesses and reviews of video indicate Joshua Williams showed no sign of anger or agitation before he walked to the front door as though he were going to exit. But he then fired into the air outside before firing his gun as he went in and out of the building multiple times.
Claire Miller, 14, is facing Criminal Homicide charges as an adult for her role in the incident. Court documents state that she was “hysterical” while on the phone.
According to the criminal complaint, Miller was repeatedly saying, “I stabbed my sister,” and police observed what appeared to be blood on the snow near the driveway of the residence.
Police were directed to a bedroom where they found Helen Miller, 19, with a large knife in her neck, just above her chest.
According to the criminal complaint, Helen Miller was lying on her back with her hands up near her head.
“The Iranian regime engages in what I call an ‘obsessive anti-Semitism,’ and Iran’s former ambassador to the UN is no exception,” Ellie Cohanim, the U.S. State Department’s former deputy special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, told Fox News. “The fact that Oberlin College would hire such a person, never mind give him tenure, is a stain on an institution that is meant to educate young Americans.”
Cohanim, who fled the Islamic Republic as a young child due to widespread regime-sponsored anti-Semitism, added that Mahallati’s “1989 statements at the UN glorify terrorism and what he calls ‘martyrdom,’ he denies the Jewish people the right to live in any part of their ancient homeland, and he attempts to revise history by calling Israel an “Islamic land,” knowing very well that Judaism predated the rise of Islam by thousands of years and that Israel is the birthplace of the Jews.
“This man is no ‘Professor of Peace.’ He is in fact a professor of propaganda and Oberlin College holds a responsibility to fully investigate Mahallati’s anti-Semitic statements and his knowledge of the 1988 Massacre in Iran,” Cohanim said.
“Mahallati has not yet accounted for his role in the cover-up of the 1988 mass extrajudicial killings of political prisoners in Iran, with estimates of 5,000-10,000 Iranians murdered by the regime,” Cohanim said.
“We are concerned about the role AT&T plays in disseminating misinformation to millions on U-verse, DirecTV, and AT&T TV subscribers, and we write to you today to request additional information about what actions AT&T is taking to address these issues,” they wrote in the letter to AT&T.
They sent the same letter to Roku, Comcast, Verizon, Amazon, Dish Network, Cox, Hulu, and others.
Eshoo and McNerney demanded the providers answer these questions by March 8:
According to the Office of Personnel Management, the highest pay grade for federal civil service employees is currently the GS-15 level, which goes up to $172,500.
If passed and signed into law, the bill would require the commission to “recommend appropriate remedies in consideration” of its findings after studying reparations and the history of slavery.
The top-tier pay grade for civil federal employees is currently GS-15. According to the Federal News Network, GS-15 pay for 2021 maxes out at $172,500 per year, including the 1% pay increase that “the vast majority of federal employees” received.
Beyond GS-15, there is the elite Senior Executive Service, which is comprised of positions “just below the top presidential appointees,” according to OPM.
These positions are part of a performance-based pay system, and the “applicable maximum rate of basic pay for the SES is $199,300.”
The reparations bill specifies that compensation for the commissioners would include pay for each day, including travel time, “during which he or she is engaged in the actual performance of duties vested in the commission.” The total cost of the bill is estimated at $12 million.
In former President Donald Trump’s final month in office, the United States achieved something it hadn’t in more than a generation: In the final week of December, America didn’t import a single drop of crude oil from Saudi Arabia for the first time in 35 years.
For many, it was a testament to Trump’s America-first energy policy, which prioritized reliance on domestic production and drove global crude prices down below $50 a barrel for most of 2020 and U.S. gasoline prices to an average of about $2.30 in December.
Now, a month into the Biden presidency, crude has jumped to $65 a barrel and U.S. gasoline to $2.72 per gallon due to a variety of geopolitical events. Economists and energy-state lawmakers alike fear it will continue to rise as the real impact of Democratic climate change regulation begins to be felt.
Whether or not the news media addresses it, the energy industry already has.
The American Petroleum Institute, the leading oil and gas trade group in the United States, recently completed a study showing that a longer-term ban on new federal energy leases could:
Noem told “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday that she believes the bill “bails out those states that shut down their economies” and “rewards them for making people stay in their homes and for taking away a business’ right to be open and take care of their customers and their employees.”
“So it’s incredibly detrimental to our state because we made the right decisions. We trusted people,” she said. “We have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation and are tied for it with Nebraska and we’re getting through this together.”
“What this bill does is reward New York and Illinois and California for their bad actions and their overstep of our personal liberties and our freedoms,” she added.
House Democrats are on track to pass President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package by the end of the week as Congress races to provide a fresh round of aid to families and businesses still reeling from the pandemic.
On Tuesday Politico reported that Biden wants to make good on this campaign promise to pursue gun control and sees executive action in targeted areas as the way to do it.
Politico noted Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) was pushing the Biden Administration to go further with executive action, saying, “My view is the bigger and bolder the better on gun violence prevention because we have a unique window of opportunity.”
However, the Biden team signaled they are more inclined to wait for legislation to reach his desk on other gun control matters.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) put forward H.R. 125 and H.R. 127 in January 2021. Those two bills alone would create a seven-day waiting period for semiautomatic firearm purchases, create a firearm registry, require gun owners to be licensed, mandate that gun owners pay the federal government $800 for liability insurance (to own a gun), and undergo psychological evaluations, among other things.
What really happened in Texas last week?
Neither side of the political spectrum are telling the whole story, says Bill O’Reilly.
Gas prices have jumped nearly 100 percent in just one month thanks to the Democrat majority’s green agenda, he explains.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office passed the provision for stimulus checks on Monday as part of the state’s new $7.6 billion COVID-19 relief package and said he would sign it into law on Tuesday.
About $470 million in stimulus checks will go to 565,000 Californians with individual tax identification numbers who did not receive federal stimulus payments and whose income is less than $75,000, many of whom are here illegally, The Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
The provision allocates about $2.3 billion for $1,200 stimulus payments to state residents with individual tax ID numbers who qualify for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) — mostly people who earn less than $30,000.
Additionally, $600 one-time grants will go toward households enrolled in the CalWORKS program and recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).
Trey Mendez, mayor of Brownsville, Texas, with reaction on the president’s border agenda.
Sen. Lindsey Graham joins ‘Hannity’ to discuss what he discovered while visiting the Southern Border.
‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ host examines the unintended consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
Joe Biden’s fight against fossil fuels WILL NOT save the world from climate change, but it WILL hurt you.
Michael Burry who predicted the 2008 market crash issues another warning to the American people; Tucker Carlson reacts.
Qatar’s state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera reported the Iranian foreign minister’s demand:
“Whether those compensations will take the form of reparation, or whether they take the form of investment, or whether they take the form of measures to prevent a repeat of what Trump did,” he said in reference to former US President Donald Trump. Trump unilaterally abandoned the nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed harsh, comprehensive sanctions that targeted all the sectors of Iran’s economy.
According to Zarif, Trump reimposed 800 sanctions that were put on Iran before the nuclear deal and imposed 800 new ones, all of which need to be lifted before the US can return to the deal.
Zarif, who personally negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal with then-Secretary of State John Kerry, has perhaps sensed the Biden administration’s desperation to restore the Obama-era agreement.
Even before the nuclear talks have started, the Biden White House has rolled back President Donald Trump’s enforcement of U.N. sanctions and arms embargo.
Because the Obama-Kerry nuclear deal gave Iran access to tens of billions of dollars in frozen bank assets in return for their vague promises, the Mullah regime now hopes for another fat signing amount for agreeing to a similar pact with President Biden.
Iran threatens to up uranium-enrichment to 60%; IDF bolsters military aptitude TV7 Israel News 23.02
1) Israel is significantly bolstering its offensive and defense capabilities – amid growing concerns over the Iranian threat.
2) The Islamic Republic’ Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced that Iran may opt to enrich uranium up to 60 percent purity if his regime deems it necessary.
3) The Iranian-backed Houthi militia is deliberately withholding humanitarian aid –days after the United States removed it from its terrorist list for fear of dire humanitarian consequences.
An Iranian government newspaper warned on Tuesday that overly radical actions in the nuclear wrangling with the West may lead to the country’s isolation after Tehran ended snap inspections by United Nations inspectors. Emily Wither reports.
Mount Etna’s spectacular eruptions reached a peak on Monday when the volcano’s lava fountains soared to 1,500 metres – a display described by one expert as “one of the most striking in the last few decades”.
Europe’s most active volcano has been on explosive form in recent weeks, spewing incandescent magma and a copious shower of ash, reaching as far as Catania.
According to experts, the fireworks show is part of a Strombolian eruption that is among the normal activities of the more than 3,300-metre-high volcano.
In one of its very first policy moves in the Middle East, the Biden Administration focused on war-torn Yemen from two directions.
It announced the suspension of arms sales to the United Arab Emirates; as well as to Saudi Arabia for its offensive campaign against the Houthis in Yemen, enabling only self-defense by Riyadh against Houthi attacks on Saudi soil or naval shipments in the Gulf of Aden approaches to the Red Sea.
Washington has also revoked part of Trump Administration measures against the Houthis by distinguishing between the organization as a whole – which will now be exempt from sanctions, and various leaders who will remain banned.
The rationale is the same: concern over the humanitarian crisis for Yemeni civilians. What does it all portend for Yemen, and is there a lesson to be learned from it regarding Biden’s regional policies?
Naomi Wolf, Feminist Author and Former Clinton Advisor, Says US Becoming a Totalitarian State Before Our Eyes [VIDEO]
Wolf, who once worked as an adviser on Bill Clinton’s reelection campaign in 1996, told Carlson that what she is seeing is the United States is quickly “moving into a coup situation, a police state” as a result of Biden’s ongoing COVID-19-related lockdowns and business shutdowns.
Wolf added that she believes the orders are being improperly extended under the “guise of a real medical pandemic.” In other words, the totalitarianists now in charge are lying to us.
“That is not a partisan thing,” Wolf said. “That transcends everything that you and I might disagree or agree on. That should bring together left and right to protect our Constitution.”
I never in a million years would have thought I would hear Naomi Wolf speak like this because I disagree with her on just about everything but I am having a coming to Jesus moment on my understanding of this brave woman.