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News and Headlines. 8/16/2019

Police are searching for this man after two non-explosive rice cookers were found at the Fulton St. subway station in lower Manhattan on Friday

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

In The News:

NYPD release pic of person seen on video dropping rice cookers at subway station, causing rush hour panic

Police are searching for this man after two non-explosive rice cookers were found at the Fulton St. subway station in lower Manhattan on Friday
Police are searching for this man after two non-explosive rice cookers were found at the Fulton St. subway station in lower Manhattan on Friday. (NYPD/Released)

Investigators now want to talk to the person who dropped the empty rice cookers, which were mistaken for pressure cooker bombs, at the Fulton St. station near Williams St., just a block from the Federal Reserve Bank.

Cops found a third rice cooker on W. 16th St. and Seventh Ave. near a pile of trash, but determined it was not dangerous. They’re now investigating to see if the two discoveries were connected.

“Because of the timing, the placement and the items we are investigating this as a hoax device,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Counterterrorism and Intelligence John Miller. “That is the investigative category. We want to identify him, find him and talk to him.”

Rhode Island mosquitoes test positive for potentially deadly virus EEE, officials say

The news release posted Thursday said the mosquitoes were collected in Central Falls, and that no human cases of EEE had been reported.

Officials said the presences of EEE in Massachusetts and Connecticut mosquitos indicated a “higher-than-average risk summer for mosquito-borne diseases.”

In Massachusetts, officials reported a human case of EEE and enacted aerial spraying.

The patient in Massachusetts is reportedly in a coma. A Thursday Facebook post from his daughter indicated that his status remained unchanged.

Pennsylvania couple accused of faking baby’s birth, death to collect cash and gifts

“I don’t know what their motive was – to hurt your family and everybody? It’s just sick,” Cynthia Dilascio, a friend who organized a baby shower for the couple in May and later reported them to police, told the station.

Photographs of the couple showed them opening gifts at the shower, but Dilascio says Kaycee, 23, vanished around seven months into her pregnancy, claiming she was on bed rest.

Court documents viewed by WTAE say the couple then claimed Easton died on July 3 from respiratory distress syndrome shortly after being born at Conemaugh Health System in Johnstown, yet police couldn’t find any records of the mother or child at that facility or coroner’s office.

Phoenix father beats a man to death for accosting daughter in bathroom

Melvin Harris, 40,
Melvin Harris, 40, Harris initially faced aggravated assault charges, but they were upped to second degree murder after Armstrong died.

Police say Melvin Harris, 40, admitted to beating Leon Armstrong, 26, to death after he attempted to break into the teenage girl’s stall at a QuikTrip convenience store bathroom.

Harris was waiting for his daughter and her two friends in the store’s parking lot when Armstrong approached his car asking for money.

Harris gave him change, then Armstrong walked into the convenience store, police said

Soon after, Harris’ daughter and her friends came out of the store and said the man had harassed them, according to a police report.

Homeowner Awakes to Breaking Glass and Shoots Alleged Intruder Dead

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted South Fulton police spokesman Lt. Derrick Rogers indicated that the homeowner found the suspect by walking toward the sound of breaking glass.

He said, “Gunshots rang out between the homeowner and the subject.

At this time, the subject is deceased on scene.”

Baltimore Trash Cleanup Volunteers Save Two Men from Opioid Overdose

AP Photo/Steven Senne

Volunteer Clint Scherb, 32, said he saw two men struggling to walk as he and his team picked up trash in the area.

He watched as one of the men passed out on the ground, and the other slumped over in a stairway.

Scherb approached them and checked both men’s pulses, which were slow.

Moments later, he realized neither of them had a pulse at all.

Daughters of Philly mayor, NJ city councilwoman arrested after late-night street brawl: police

Nora Kenney, left, and Tara Tolomeo, were charged with disorderly conduct after an alleged fight in a southern New Jersey City (City of North Wildwood)

Authorities say the altercation between 25-year-old Nora Kenney of Philadelphia and 27-year-old Tara Tolomeo took place early on Aug. 11 in North Wildwood.

Tolomeo and Kenney were charged with disorderly conduct, which is punishable by fines, not jail time, NJ Advance Media reported, citing officials.

Da Vinci mystery: ‘Abandoned’ angel and Christ discovered beneath masterpiece

Leonardo da Vinci's "The Virgin of the Rocks",
Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Virgin of the Rocks”, about 1491/2-9 and 1506-8. Tracing of the lines relating to underdrawing for the first composition can be seen.
(© The National Gallery, London)

“The Virgin of the Rocks,” located at the National Gallery in London, revealed its secrets thanks to macro X-ray fluorescence technology that identified zinc in the drawings. Infrared and hyperspectral imaging were also used to reveal the hidden figures.

“Now for the first time Leonardo’s initial designs for the angel and the Infant Christ can be seen, showing significant differences to how they look in the finished painting,” the Gallery explained in a statement.

“In the abandoned composition both figures are positioned higher up, while the angel, facing out, is looking down on the Infant Christ with what appears to be a much tighter embrace.”

Immigration:

Uber Driver Convicted Of Raping Woman While She Was Unconscious Faces Deportation

A Pennsylvania jury on Thursday found Ahmed Elgaafary — a former Uber driver — guilty of raping an unconscious person, indecent assault, sexual assault, and indecent assault without consent, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The 12-person panel deliberated for more than three hours before reaching their verdict.

Instead of what would typically be a 15-minute ride home, the drive that night instead lasted 53 minutes. Not only did Elgaafary charge her for the extended drive, but he charged her an additional $150 after she thew up in his vehicle.

“She should have been safe,” Cocco argued to the jury Thursday, which was made up of eight women and four men. “He knew she was vulnerable. He knew she was alone. He knew she was too drunk.”

Sanctuary County Will Work With ICE In Wake Of Alleged Child Rape By Illegal Aliens

Mauricio Barrera-Navidad, 29 and Carlos Palacios-Amaya, 28, both illegal immigrants from El Salvador, raped an 11-year-old girl,
Mauricio Barrera-Navidad, 29 and Carlos Palacios-Amaya, 28, both illegal immigrants from El Salvador, raped an 11-year-old girl, the girl said. Police found pictures of the girl with Palacios-Amaya on his cellphone. (Montgomery County Police Department)

“After determining that the suspects are undocumented immigrants, Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requested that the County notify them if and when the two men are scheduled to be released from custody for any reason,” said in a statement issued late Wednesday, according to Montgomery Community Media.

“The County will do so.”

The announcement comes after Montgomery County Police arrested Mauricio Barrera-Navidad, 29, and Carlos Palacios-Amaya, 28 — both residents of Montgomery County, Maryland — for allegedly raping an 11-year-old girl on multiple occasions.

The county executive’s statement comes less than a month after he signed “The Promoting Community Trust Executive Order,” an executive order that effectively bars county law enforcement from working with federal immigration authorities.

Child Rapist, Homicide Fugitive Arrested by Border Patrol

John Moore/Getty

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to the Brian A. Terry Border Patrol Station arrested 37-year-old Carlos Blancas-Rojas for being in the U.S. illegally.

A background check on the Mexican national revealed a conviction from a Washington state court for the Rape of a Child in 2008, according to Tucson Sector officials.

Further investigation uncovered an active warrant in Washington and two previous removals from the U.S.

He now faces federal felony charges of illegal re-entry after removal as an aggravated felon.

If convicted on the charge, he could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

Big Bend Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended a French man who is illegally present in the U.S.

The man is wanted by Interpol on an active warrant for murder.

Sierra Blanca Border Patrol Station agents operating an inland border security checkpoint encountered the man on a bus.

During an immigration interview, the agents discovered 30-year-old Marouana Bah, a French citizen, presented a passport that did not belong to him, Big Bend Sector Border Patrol officials stated.

Appeals court sides with Trump administration on asylum rule, limits injunction

Last month a California federal judge blocked the rule that would require migrants to first apply in one of the countries they cross on their way to the U.S. – with certain exceptions.

The rule is tailored to target Central Americans from the Northern Triangle of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras who would travel across multiple countries, including Mexico, before claiming asylum in the U.S.

But the San Francisco federal appeals court for the 9th Circuit on Friday ruled that the injunction imposed by the California federal judge can only apply in states within the court’s jurisdiction in the western U.S.

The ruling says that the court failed to discuss why a nationwide injunction was necessary to remedy the harm alleged by those immigration advocacy groups named in the lawsuit.

“The district court clearly erred by failing to consider whether nationwide relief is necessary to remedy Plaintiffs’ alleged harms,” the ruling says.

“And, based on the limited record before us, we do not believe a nationwide injunction is justified.”

Tech Watch:

Navy sets sights on new submarine weapons

Tomahawk Cruise Missile being fired. (Credit: Raytheon)

The weapons increase, which has been progressing with prototyping for several years now, will lengthen the submarines with a new section to rev up the firepower from 12 to 40 on-board Tomahawk missiles.

Speaking at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space Symposium earlier this year, Capt. Christopher Hanson, Program Manager, Virginia Class Submarine, indicated that formal construction of Block V will begin this year and continue through at least 2023.

Most recently, the construction efforts have recently been extended through a “follow-on” deal between the Navy and BAE systems.

In addition to an increased weapons capacity, the Block 5 Virginia submarines will be equipped with a host of new mission-performing technologies;

‘Fake’ Amazon ambassadors baited on Twitter

A worker in an Amazon warehouse in Mexico City, Mexico REUTERS

Twitter users are pointing to apparent inaccuracies and “robotic” or “scripted” language as evidence that employees are being “paid to lie”.

Sceptical Twitters users accused the accounts of posting scripted messages in the guise of real experiences.

“Every single tweet by one of those ‘Amazon FC Ambassadors’ has the exact same energy as someone answering the door with a gun to their head, and telling the cops that everything is fine,” wrote one critic.

When asked why she tweeted, @AmazonFCHannah replied: “I get to do this two days out of the week so I get a break from work. Last group of Ambassadors got a gift card, so I might get one of those too.”

Amazon is routinely criticised for poor working practices and in July thousands of workers staged protests about pay and conditions on Prime Day – a day of special offers for subscribers.

Twitter is testing a filter that hides “offensive” direct messages

Today Twitter announced a new test filter that will hide what it determines to be “offensive” direct messages (DMs) two levels deep in the DMs section.

Twitter already hides what it deems to be “offensive” replies to public tweets but this filter has been criticized for hiding content people want to see.

Twitter didn’t provide any details of how many users will get this new test filter or if it’s optional.

Twitter is positioning this new feature as a way to avoid “unwanted messages” and says this test will keep unsolicited DMs “out of sight, out of mind.”

However, the existing technology Twitter uses to filter potentially “offensive” tweet replies often hides innocuous and welcome replies.

Politics:

House judiciary panel will come back early to tackle gun control bills

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-Ny., will bring the House judiciary committee back early to take up several gun control bills. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

The committee will meet Sept. 4 to consider a ban on high-capacity magazines, incentives for states to prevent high-risk people from obtaining guns and prohibit those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from buying guns.

“For too long, politicians in Washington have only offered thoughts and prayers in the wake of gun violence tragedies,” the committee chair, U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a statement.

Nadler also scheduled a hearing Sept. 25 to discuss a ban on military assault rifles.

Elizabeth Warren unveils plan to aid Native Americans

2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren released policy proposals Friday to help the Native American community.
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren released policy proposals Friday to help the Native American community. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI

Her plan aims to address public safety and criminal justice, and cites a 2010 National Institute of Justice study that shows more than half of Native American women have been sexually assaulted, and more than a third raped — which is more than twice the rate of white women.

“I will establish a Department of Justice Task Force to investigate the epidemic of sexual assaults and murders committed against Native women and prosecute offenders,” Warren wrote in her plan.

The release of her plan came a few days before the Massachusetts senator is scheduled to meet with Native American advocacy groups in Iowa.

It also arrived amid controversy of Warren having identified herself as having Native American ancestry.

Who Read Clinton’s Emails?

All but four of the 30,490 emails from Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized email server were forwarded to a private Google email address featuring a name similar to a Chinese company, according to documents released by a Senate committee on Aug. 15.

FBI ignored warnings about Clinton server

New evidence has emerged showing Hillary Clinton’s private email server was hacked and monitored by the Chinese. One America’s John Hines has more from Washington.

AOC-stlye candidates create opportunity for GOP

Commentary/Opinion: Incumbent Democrats are expecting a series of primaries from far-left candidates who are hoping to be the next Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. With a civil war in the Democrat Party,

Republicans are seeing a possibility to make inroads in deep blue states like New York. One America’s Ryan Girdusky has more.

Trump presents stark choice for 2020 voters

Trump hammers Democratic presidential candidates at New Hampshire rally, suggesting the U.S. would go into another recession if he is not reelected; reaction and analysis from Steve Hilton, host of ‘The Next Revolution.’

World News:

Activist emerges as new leader of Moscow election protests

In this photo taken on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, Russian opposition activist Lyubov Sobol
In this photo taken on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, Russian opposition activist Lyubov Sobol gets up after her interview with The Associated Press in Moscow, Russia. Every movement is difficult for the exhausted and frail 31-year-old political activist, who on Wednesday ended a month-long hunger strike. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

MOSCOW (AP) — After a monthlong hunger strike, it’s a struggle for Lyubov Sobol to even raise her hands. Every gesture is difficult for the frail 31-year-old political activist.

This summer’s wave of anti-government protests in Moscow propelled her to the forefront of Russia’s opposition movement.

Her name rang out on the streets of the capital, packed with demonstrators angered by the refusal of election authorities to allow independent candidates, including Sobol, on the ballot for the Moscow Duma, or city council.

Sobol has been the prime target of attacks by both the Kremlin-friendly media and election officials.

Newlywed British police officer murdered investigating burglary; boy, 13, among 10 arrested

A police investigator at the scene of an incident where a police officer was killed, near Sulhamstead, England, Friday. (Steve Parsons/PA via AP)

Constable Andrew Harper, 28, was killed around 11:30 p.m. local time Thursday in Berkshire, southeast England, Thames Valley Police said Friday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply shocked and appalled” by Harper’s death, and said his thoughts were with the officer’s family, friends and colleagues.

“It is the most powerful reminder that police officers up and down the country put themselves at risk every single day to keep us safe,” Johnson said.

“They have my absolute support.”

Harper is the first police officer to be killed in incidents involving criminal suspects in England in two years.

The most recent was Police Constable Keith Palmer, who was fatally stabbed in the 2017 terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge and Parliament.

UK Mother Who Drowned Toddlers Gets 10 Years in Prison, Social Media Users Outraged

Samantha Ford, 38, killed her children Jake and Chloe last year after she split from their father, Steven Ford, ITV reported.

Prosecutors said that she killed the children out of “revenge” on her estranged spouse.

The two 23-month-olds were found dead in the bedroom of the home where she lived in Kent, England, the report said.

“The horror of what happened does not need any explanation by me,” Judge Edis said.

“Anyone with any imagination can envisage for themselves what must have happened in that bathroom.”

Hong Kong Protest in Melbourne Turns Violent as Pro-Beijing Demonstrators Seek to Silence Protesters

Victoria Police create barricade between pro-Hong Kong protesters and pro-Beijing demonstrators at a Hong Kong rally in Melbourne, Australia on 16 August, 2019.
(The Epoch Times)

At 7 p.m. on Aug. 16, approximately 500 pro-Hong Kong supporters stood peacefully on the steps of Victoria’s State Library in a show of support for a “Stand with Hong Kong-Power to the People” rally organized by the Victoria Hong Kong Tertiary Student Association.

In addition to the five demands from Hong Kong protesters, the rally called for two additional demands.

Firstly for the UK to declare a Chinese breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a binding international treaty; and secondly for the U.S. Congress and the UK Parliament to legislate and impose Magnitsky-style sanctions upon the persons responsible for or complicit in the suppression of rights and freedom in Hong Kong.

Within minutes of starting the rally, pro-Beijing demonstrators gathered next to the group in approximately equal numbers, chanting slogans and playing music, with some demonstrators then resorting to scuffles and shoves in order to vent their frustrations on the protesters.

Some members of the press were also attacked.

Hong Kong protesters call for boycott of Disney film after lead actress voices support for police force

Demands began this week for Disney to pull its live-action remake of the classic “Mulan” next year after the movie’s lead star Liu took to the Chinese social media platform Weibo to share a post that appeared to show her support of Hong Kong’s police force despite ongoing allegations of police brutality.

Liu posted a state-backed image that read “I support Hong Kong’s police, you can beat me up now” with the hashtag “#IAlsoSupportTheHongKongPolice,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Within 24 hours the post received over 72,000 likes but outside the popular Chinese social media platform, Liu’s comment appeared to spark anger.

The hashtag #BoycottMulan began trending both on Twitter and Instagram.

Cathay CEO resigns amid Hong Kong protest blowback as more rallies planned

The corporate upheaval comes ahead of a weekend where further protests are planned, including what could be a large gathering on Sunday that could test whether a movement that has enjoyed broad support can retain it, even as violence escalates.

Demonstrators say they are fighting the erosion of the “one country, two systems” arrangement that has enshrined some autonomy for Hong Kong since China took it back from Britain in 1997.

Several thousand protesters gathered peacefully at a downtown park on Friday for the “Stand with Hong Kong, Power to the People” rally, which had received police permission. Other protests planned for the weekend do not have police permission.

Democratic, Republican lawmakers back $8 billion F-16 sale to Taiwan

FILE PHOTO: A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter taking part in the U.S.-led Saber Strike exercise flies over Estonia June 6, 2018.
FILE PHOTO: A U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter taking part in the U.S.-led Saber Strike exercise flies over Estonia June 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch, a Republican, said in a statement that he welcomed the sale of Lockheed Martin Corp’s (LMT.N) F-16 jets to boost Taiwan’s “ability to defend its sovereign airspace, which he said is “under increasing pressure” from China.

The deal “sends a strong message” about U.S. commitment to security and democracy in the region, House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot and Michael McCaul, the panel’s ranking Republican, said in a joint statement.

They said the move will deter China as Beijing threatens “our strategic partner Taiwan and its democratic system of government.”

Commentary/Opinion:

Top Ten Contradictions Of The Left

Some of these will make you laugh, and some will make you cry, but all of them should make you wonder why anyone supports the left.

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