News and Headlines 12/6/2021: Keeping you informed.

US News, Politics, World News, Videos, Commentary/Opinion, Keeping you informed.

In The NEWS:

Biden administration moves to scrap Cadiz water pipeline right-of-way permit, cleared by Trump

The project is fiercely opposed by conservationists, who say it will dry up desert springs and seeps relied upon by Indigenous tribes and rare wildlife. Cadiz insists its plans won’t harm springs in the area.

The ReBuild SoCal Partnership, a coalition of contractors that advocates for infrastructure work, said it was opposed to the motion, noting it came a day after the State Water Project announced it would deliver no supplies to districts across the state other than what is critically necessary.

“What has to happen for the federal government to understand how dire the situation is for thousands of people who don’t have access to clean, safe drinking water?” Jon Switalski, executive director of Rebuild SoCal, said in a statement.

The project faced another hurdle after Gov. Gavin Newsom in August 2019 signed legislation requiring it to undergo scientific study and gain approval from the State Lands Commission.

Visitor describes what Australia’s COVID camps are REALLY like

Mandatory, supervised quarantine facilities have popped up throughout Australia for any citizen who has been in close contact with a COVID positive patient…which is how 26-year-old Australian resident Hayley Hodgson found herself at the Center of National Resilience in Howard Springs.

During a recent interview with UnHerd, Hodgson — who continually tested negative while there — details what the camps are really like on the inside.

Glenn says stories like her’s show how — from the beginning of the pandemic — Australia has been the perfect example for how a nation can slide into authoritarianism…which is why it’s more important than ever for Americans find their line and HOLD IT.

Sony fires PlayStation exec who allegedly appeared in pedophile sting video

George Cacioppo was allegedly trying to arrange a meeting with a person claiming to be a 15-year-old boy, according to a video posted Dec. 3 by the YouTube channel People v. Preds.

Cacioppo had been a senior vice president of engineering at Sony for the past eight years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was been fired after allegedly appearing in the video. 

“We are aware of the situation and the employee in question has been terminated from employment,” Sony said in an emailed statement Sunday. 

According to a Google Drive link posted in the YouTube video’s description, Cacioppo allegedly spoke with a person who said he was 15 years old on Grindr, the social networking app for gay, bi, trans and queer people.

The two exchanged pictures and discussed sex acts, according to screenshots of the conversation. Cacioppo allegedly told the decoy that his name was “Jeff” and provided his address. The decoy said he would take an Uber to his location, and Cacioppo was allegedly waiting outside. 

Secret CIA Files Say Staffers Committed Sex Crimes Involving Children

Anthony Gerace for BuzzFeed News
Anthony Gerace for BuzzFeed News

Though most of these cases were referred to US attorneys for prosecution, only one of the individuals was ever charged with a crime. Prosecutors sent the rest of the cases back to the CIA to handle internally, meaning few faced any consequences beyond the possible loss of their jobs and security clearances.

The revelations are contained in hundreds of internal agency reports obtained by BuzzFeed News through Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.

One employee had sexual contact with a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old. He was fired. A second employee purchased three sexually explicit videos of young girls, filmed by their mothers. He resigned.

The child abuse revelations are drawn from an unprecedented release of reports by the CIA’s Office of the Inspector General.

BuzzFeed News gained access to these documents after a decadelong pursuit, which included 13 public records requests and three separate Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.

Walgreens Fires Back at AOC: Theft Indeed a Problem

In an interview with The Washington Times, Ocasio-Cortez attempted to dismiss the growing problem, saying that “[A] lot of these allegations of organized retail theft are not actually panning out. I believe it’s a Walgreens in California cited it, but the data didn’t back it up.”

Walgreens, however, told the Times that the problem “has evolved beyond shoplifting and petty theft to the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods online.”

Walgreens added that theft at its San Francisco stores have become so bad that security costs are now 46 times greater than the average Walgreens store.

Jason Brewer, senior executive vice president of communications of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, told the Times that Ocasio-Cortez “has no idea what she is talking about,” and that “both the data and stack of video evidence makes fairly clear that this is a growing problem in need of solutions.

Journalist records brazen criminals with guns breaking into cars, says she called police — but they never showed up

Image source: Twitter screenshot
Image source: Twitter screenshot

Early Sunday morning, journalist Rebecca Brannon recorded multiple men breaking into cars in a McDonald’s parking lot. One of the men was carrying a rifle and apparently fired shots into the air.

Video of the brazen crime showed the perpetrators were astonishingly calm as they carried out their crime in plain view of nearby people.

About an hour later, Brannon uploaded the video that she captured. She explained that the men saw her, but she pretended to eat in her car, so they did not engage her.

The disturbing video highlights a number of ongoing problems in Minneapolis, the city that ignited the riots of 2020 and the “defund the police” campaign.

VIDEO: Mob invades apartment in Minneapolis, beats woman and her mother

Screenshots from a video showing a mob invading a Minneapolis apartment.
Screenshots from a video showing a mob invading a Minneapolis apartment.

The main video of the incident opens in an elevator as a group of Somali youths, some wearing face masks apparently to conceal their identity, approach their target.

After a minor confrontation with a man walking in the apartment building’s hallway, the majority of the group stands back as two individuals knock on the targeted individual’s door.

After the door is opened, the mob streams into the apartment. “How did you get into my house?” the targeted individual is heard asking before the beating commences.

The mob can be seen raining blows on the young woman and her mother for about a minute. One victim tries to cover her head while she’s attacked on a couch. The other is thrown to the floor.

Supporting Police | Full Measure

Around the country, violent crime is up in major cities, police agencies are short-staffed, and activists are still calling to Defund the Police.

One place where that dynamic is in play is Denver where we recently checked out a new program that sends social workers instead of police on some emergency calls.

Better.com CEO tells about 900 employees they’ve been let go during pre-holiday Zoom call: report

Vishal Garg, head of online mortgage company Better.com, informs 900 workers they’ve been laid off in a pre-holiday Zoom video call. SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE VIDEO
Vishal Garg, head of online mortgage company Better.com, informs 900 workers they’ve been laid off in a pre-holiday Zoom video call. SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE VIDEO

“The market has changed, as you know, and we have to move with it in order to survive,” he said. He told the employees on the video conference that if they were watching him, that means they have been laid off. About 9% of the company was let go, reports said.

The Sacramento Bee reported that the company has offices in three states and has just received a $750 million cash infusion.

The paper said the firm is valued at about $7 billion. The company did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News seeking comment.

SFGate.com reported that one of the employees filming the video conference could be heard saying, “F—k you, dude.”

After Thieves Take Thousands Of Toys, Organizer Vows To Get Christmas Gifts For Kids

Thieves got away with not only merchandise, but thousands of Christmas gifts for kids on the city’s South Side. As CBS 2’s Steven Graves explains, it’s the way they did it that makes it hurt even more.

A young California family died while on a hike. Investigation reports now lay out the timeline of their catastrophic missteps

Provided by Steve Jeffe
Provided by Steve Jeffe

The records, released to The Chronicle under California public records laws, recount a difficult investigation while offering insight into a tragedy that transfixed hiking and outdoors enthusiasts around the world, with many wondering how everything could seemingly go wrong at once, leading to an entire young family and their dog dying together.

The documents also provide new details about Chung, a yoga instructor and graduate student, and Gerrish, a Snapchat engineer, who perished after a pandemic-time move from San Francisco to Mariposa, where they bought numerous properties and embraced the famed Sierra foothills.

The investigation laid out a harrowing timeline that began before the deadly excursion.

Fort Worth School Board Racial Equity Committee co-chair owns up to attacks on parents

Fort Worth ISD Racial Equity Committee defends Norma Garcia-Lopez. (A concerned citizen, sending it via Carlos Turcios)
Fort Worth ISD Racial Equity Committee defends Norma Garcia-Lopez. (A concerned citizen, sending it via Carlos Turcios)

A member of the Fort Worth, Texas, school board‘s Racial Equity Committee has defended her actions releasing the personal information of parents online and leaving a profanity-laced voicemail attacking a mother who sued the school district over a COVID-19 mask mandate. The committee also held a news conference standing by the woman, while the targeted parents called for her removal.

“Some people consider my actions doxxing,” Norma Garcia-Lopez, the committee’s co-chair, said in a statement to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It’s not doxxing when you expose someone who filed a public motion in a public court of law that impacts public school children.”

As Fox News previously reported, Garcia-Lopez shamed the parents who had sued the Fort Worth Independent School District (ISD) over its mask mandate, securing a temporary injunction in August. 

District Attorney faces five years for ‘protecting’ Arbery’s shooter

Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, claims in a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Georgia in February that Barnhill’s ruling delayed the arrest of Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William Bryan Jr.’s arrest by 74 days, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported at the time.

The suit, which seeks more than $1 million in damages, alleges there was a ‘deliberate effort to cover up Ahmaud’s murder,’ alleging: ‘For nearly three months, Glynn County police officers, the chief of police and two prosecutors conspired to hide the circumstances surrounding Ahmaud’s death and to protect he men who murdered him.’

It also claims that Johnson advised police the charges were not necessary, and had helped Gregory McMichael get out of legal situations in the past.

TMTG ANNOUNCES $1 BILLION TO FUND TRUMP’S SOCIAL MEDIA VENTURE, ADVANCES PLAN TO BREAK UP ‘BIG TECH’

President Trump, who is the chairman of TMTG, stated the following about the business venture:

“$1 billion sends an important message to Big Tech that censorship and political discrimination must end. America is ready for TRUTH Social, a platform that will not discriminate on the basis of political ideology. As our balance sheet expands, TMTG will be in a stronger position to fight back against the tyranny of Big Tech.” 

In October, President Trump teased the launch of Truth Social, his recently announced social media platform, which he has promised will not censor or ban anyone for their opinions or political statements.

Right wing builds its own echo chamber

Data: Apptopia; Table: Axios Visuals
Data: Apptopia; Table: Axios Visuals

Many of these efforts couldn’t exist without the backing of major corporate figures and billionaires who are eager to push back against things like “censorship” and “cancel culture.”

  • It’s still not clear whether demand will match supply.

Driving the news: Rumble, a conservative alternative to YouTube, agreed to go public at an implied $2.1 billion valuation via a SPAC merger.

  • The SPAC is sponsored by Cantor Fitzgerald, a financial services firm led by billionaire and Trump fundraiser Howard Lutnick.
  • “I’m excited to support Rumble and its ability to operate the neutral video platform,” Lutnick said in a statement.

Donald Trump’s new social media company, called Truth Social, also plans to go public via a SPAC and on Saturday said that it secured $1 billion in so-called PIPE financing.

Chicago chaos: Public bus driver hospitalized after beaten on street, 21 juveniles arrested

(Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
(Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The bus driver, 49, was inspecting his bus at about 9 p.m. after he heard a loud sound. He was reportedly pushed and punched by both a male and female, police said.

An unidentified 15-year-old boy was charged with a felony count of aggravated battery of a transit employee and disorderly conduct in connection.

Footage allegedly showing the incident has spread on social media. A large group of youths is seen surrounding the bus driver and hitting and kicking him as onlookers cheer and record the incident.

Report: 60 Police Officers Shot, Killed This Year as Ambush Attacks Skyrocket

Officer Down Memorial Page
Officer Down Memorial Page

As of November 30, FOP records state that 314 police officers have been shot since the beginning of the year. One hundred and nineteen of those shootings occurred in the midst of 95 separate ambush-style attacks on officers, resulting in 28 of the total gunfire deaths.

Ambush attacks on officers have increased nearly 130 percent since 2020.

According to ODMP data, three police officers have been killed in the first four days of December. Madison “Skip” Nicholson, a reserve police deputy, was killed in gunfire in Wilcox County, Alabama on December 1.

Likewise, Mesquite, Texas, police officer Richard Houston, II was shot and killed in gunfire on December 3 while St. Louis County, Missouri, detective Antonio Valentine was killed in a vehicle pursuit on December 1.

Politics:

Biden Admin Sues Texas for Second Time in Three Months

Reuters
Reuters

In its complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, the Justice Department said that the 2020 Census showed that Latinos are on track to become the state’s largest population group, and that non-white Latino voters account for less than 40 percent of the state’s population.

“Soon after the release of 2020 Census data, the Texas Legislature enacted redistricting plans for the Texas Congressional delegation and the Texas House through an extraordinarily rapid and opaque legislative process,” the complaint says.

“The Department of Justice’s absurd lawsuit against our state is the Biden Administration’s latest ploy to control Texas voters,” Texas attorney general Ken Paxton said on Twitter.

Two Liberal Immigration Groups Merge In Anticipation Of GOP Takeover Of Congress

(Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP)
(Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP)

The two groups, the New American Economy (NAE) and the American Immigration Council (AIC), gained influence over the past few years, especially during the Trump administration, Axios reported.

The power they have would be diminished, however, if conservatives regained control of Congress.

“I believe our field needs to evolve, and that it’s time to reimagine our work in a way that helps us best serve newcomers while rebuilding a bipartisan and constructive case for what immigration means for America,” Michael Bloomberg, who founded NAE more than a decade ago, told Axios.

NAE has worked to develop economic research alongside building state and local advocacy networks that have a presence in more than 100 communities, Axios reported. These efforts will continue after the merger. 

Deportations under Biden fall to lowest level since mid-1990s, says immigration policy group

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

The number of illegal immigrants removed from the United States under the Biden administration has fallen to its lowest level since the mid-1990s, according to a report.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation records reviewed by the Center for Immigration Studies show that removals dropped by a whopping 80% since last year’s low-point during the COVID-19 pandemic, and by 90% since 2019, “the last normal year for ICE operations.”

CIS reports that the number of illegal aliens removed who had serious criminal convictions has also fallen by over 50% from 2020 and by 65% since 2019.

The report attributes the sharp decrease in deportations to President Joe Biden’s immigration policies.

It’s the Economy | Full Measure

It’s been three decades since a presidential race was won based largely on the slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

And once again, a troubled economy has become a major driver in U.S. politics.

Americans are struggling with a pandemic shutdown hangover, mind-boggling inflation, shocking gas and grocery prices, and shortages of both workers and products.

Today in our cover story, straight talk from two experts with opposing views on a lot of topics… but agreement that we’re not close to out of the woods, yet.

Biden to Blame for Deep Division | Bill O’Reilly

Most Americans blame President Biden for the deep political division and they’re right, says Bill O’Reilly.

He outlines Biden’s actions on his first day in office which set the tone for his partisan presidency.

There is only one of two ways Americans will unite, Bill contends.

Kamala Harris described as a ‘bully’ and ‘soul-destroying’ boss

A staffer called Kamala Harris a “bully” in a new report.
AFP via Getty Images
A staffer called Kamala Harris a “bully” in a new report.
AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris is described as a “bully” in a new report that brands her as the “common denominator” behind a recent exodus of high-level staffers.

Harris’ allegedly “soul-destroying” management style was revealed by staffers to the Washington Post just days after spokesperson and longtime aide Symone Sanders announced her departure.

“Who are the next talented people you’re going to bring in and burn through and then have [them] pretend they’re retiring for positive reasons?” former Harris aide Gil Duran told the paper.

Duran said Harris’ “destructive patterns” were behind the recent turmoil and exit of Sanders and communications director Ashley Etienne.

World News:

Unvaccinated to be denied life-saving medical treatment in Queensland

Annastacia Palaszczuk / YouTube
Annastacia Palaszczuk / YouTube

Vulnerable Queenslanders waiting for a life-saving organ transplant will be denied medical treatment unless they are fully vaccinated, regardless of genuine concerns about vaccine side effects.

All potential organ transplant patients must have a minimum of two doses before surgery – a process that takes more than a month to complete. They fear that this delay will leave them at increased risk of serious harm, even if they agree to abide by the restriction.

Patients are furious about the new regulation.

Dana Ward, a 23-year-old from the Gold Coast, had a pancreas and kidney transplant in 2009. Her body has rejected the kidney, placing her in urgent need of a transplant to save her life.

Tens of thousands protest vaccine mandates, lockdowns across Europe

Protests continue to rock Europe as restrictions and forced medical treatments become normalized by governments and media. One America’s Sam Valk has more on how citizens are trying to get their freedoms returned.

Italy makes life uncomfortable for unvaccinated people

 (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
 (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)

Italian police can check whether diners in restaurants or bars have a “super” green health pass certifying that they are either vaccinated or have recently recovered from the virus.

Smartphone applications that check people’s health pass status will be updated and those who have merely tested negative in recent days for COVID-19 will no longer be allowed into concerts, movies or performances. The measures run through Jan. 15. 

Authorities also imposed a requirement for a “basic” health pass, which can be obtained with a negative test, on local transport and to check into hotels. 

Commentary/Opinion:

Post Covid | Full Measure

As America attempts to pull out of its Covid nightmare, public health experts are already embarking upon Lessons Learned exercises.

Lawrence Gostin is professor at Georgetown University and Director of the World Health Organization Center on Global Health Law.

In his new book, Global Health Security, he sets forth a blueprint for the post-Covid future.

Vaccine Segregation And Quarantine Camps Are Flashing Warnings To Stop Covid Insanity Before It’s Too Late

Europe is the wolf at the door of America’s freedom of choice for vaccines, with Democrats likely to point to the false efficacy of forced vaccination as an excuse to ignore the Constitution.

In Austria, COVID-19 vaccines have become compulsory, and a “lockdown for the unvaccinated” has partitioned society into classes of jabbed and unjabbed. In Greece, those older than 60 without a vaccine are fined €100 ($112) a month.

Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Slovenia have all introduced vaccine passports. In Lithuania, speakeasies and “Soviet-style markets” have opened to sell groceries to those incapable of entering stores without showing a vaccine passport.

Now Germany intends to violate their Nuremberg Code, introducing a “de facto Covid lockdown for the unvaccinated” and possibly mandating vaccines.

When those who would revoke our freedom (supposedly for our own safety) ignore natural immunity and waning vaccine efficacy, any argument for vaccine mandates becomes suspicious. But why would world leaders lie?

Princeton physicist Dr. Will Happer: ‘Is climate change a problem? The answer is NO, it’s not a problem at all & co2 is not a problem at all’

Via CLINTELWilliam Happer, one of the most well-known climate optimists/realists in the world, visited The Netherlands on November 15 and 16, on the invitation of CLINTEL. Happer is a physicist, professor emeritus at Princeton University, former (climate) advisor in the Trump Administration and founder of the US thinktank the CO2 Coalition.

Happer gave a CLINTEL Lecture (full talk with Dutch subtitles) in Amsterdam in which he restated that extra CO2 is no problem for the climate and for humanity. He even thinks that it is beneficial because of the positive effects on plant growth and agriculture.

He also spoke about this theme in two interviews he gave during his visit. The first one, done by public broadcaster Ongehoord Nederland, can be found here.  The second one, by De Groene Rekenkamer, can be found here.

CIA Protected PEDOPHILES?! Why Am I Not Surprised | Louder with Crowder

The CIA has been covering for pedos in its ranks. We want to be surprised. Instead, we’re just infuriated. We also take a look at the new Omicron variant and what most of the cases have in common. And what’s the deal with HBO’s “Santa Inc.