News and Headlines. 3/28/2019

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

In The News:

Midwest floods threaten ethanol supply, could affect prices at the pump

Several people have lost their homes, farms, and livestock. In Nebraska alone, farmers and ranchers face up to $880 billion in losses.

But, the consequences of the devastation are being felt beyond the heartland. Several railroad tracks are damaged, affecting the shipment of ethanol and, in turn, potentially raising gas prices weeks before summer driving season.

“It is going to impact our pocketbooks. It is also going to impact our environment,” said Ramanan Krishnamoorti, chief energy officer at the University of Houston.

Monsignor resigns from Catholic diocese amid sex allegation

The Diocese of Charlotte announced Thursday that Monsignor Mauricio West stepped down effective March 25.

A statement from the diocese says the allegation involves multiple instances of unwanted overtures toward an adult student at Belmont Abbey College, where West was vice president of student affairs in the mid-1980s.

West has denied the allegation. He had served as the diocese’s vicar general and chancellor.

Journalist intervenes, shares story about ‘airplane creep’ who allegedly harassed teenage girl

Joanna Chiu, bureau chief for Star Vancouver, tweeted the entire experience after a man seated behind her asked the teenage girl next to him to show him “dirty photos.”

Chiu said that the man was “obviously delighted to be seated next to a teenager separated from the rest of her family” on the flight with an unnamed Canadian airline.

“He started off by asking about her career plans and laughed when she said she wanted to be CEO and kept giving her ridiculous advice,” Chiu wrote.

In a Twitter thread that went to viral, Chui praised the airline for “handling the situation so well” before saying that other adults need to be aware of similar situations.

California dad charged with murder of missing boy

Bryce McIntosh.
FILE – This booking photo released on March 14, 2019 by the Corona, Calif., Police Department shows Bryce McIntosh. Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said Thursday, March 28, 2019 that McIntosh was charged with first-degree murder with the special circumstance of torture in the death of Noah McIntosh.(Corona Police Department via AP, File)

Bryce McIntosh, 32, was charged with first-degree murder with the special circumstance of torture in the death of Noah McIntosh, said Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin.

Police in the city of Corona, 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles, said they are still looking for the boy but after searching three locations found evidence that Noah McIntosh was killed.

Police said the boy’s mother Jillian Godfrey reported on March 12 that she couldn’t reach her son.

Authorities say they searched the father’s apartment and found enough evidence to arrest him and Godfrey and charge both with child abuse.

Georgia mayoral race event bars non-black reporters from entering

In this Wednesday, March 27, 2019 photo, signs posted on the doors of the Bolten Street Baptist Church are seen during a meeting coordinated to garner support for one black candidate in Savannah’s mayoral race, in Savannah, Ga.(Eric Curl/Savannah Morning News via AP)

Organizers of the meeting at the Bolton Street Baptist Church, which was put on by Rev. Clarence Teddy Williams, reportedly posted signs stating “Black press only” on the doors of the church.

At least two black reporters and the publisher of a local African-American newspaper were allowed inside, the Savannah Morning News reported.

Television crews were also prohibited from entering.

Van Johnson, a Savannah city councilman and one of three black mayoral candidates to have announced campaigns so far, attended the Wednesday meeting at Bolton Street Baptist Church.

Johnson said afterward he relayed “my vision for an inclusive Savannah, a progressive Savannah.”

Court Kicks CAIR Out of San Diego School District

CAIR founder and executive director Awad
CAIR founder and executive director Nihad Awad (Photo: Allison Shelley/Getty Images)

A lawsuit was brought against the district for partnering with CAIR and allowing the Islamist organization to run a discriminatory, unconstitutional propaganda program in its schools.

The court agreed with this assessment.

The program in question gave Muslim students special privileges and gave CAIR the power to change the district curriculum to make sure Islam was looked upon more favorably.

Students and parents were made to watch biased videos, CAIR officials were allowed to teach students and teachers about Islam and students were trained “how to become allies with Muslims students.”

California workers sue union for holding them ‘against their will,’ despite landmark ruling

The two workers outlined their claims in a federal lawsuit filed late Wednesday against the Teamsters and the University of California system.

According to the complaint, exclusively obtained by Fox News, UC administrators are illegally withholding $41 per month from University of California, Santa Barbara finance manager Cara O’Callaghan, and $53 per month from University of California, Los Angeles administrative assistant Jenée Misraje.

The June 2018 decision in Janus v. AFSCME sent shockwaves through organized labor, holding not only that public unions violated the First Amendment by taking money out of unwilling workers’ paychecks to fund collective bargaining, but also that employees must “clearly and affirmatively
consent” before any fees or dues are collected.

Illinois woman held 33 Guatemalans in basement, forced them into labor, threatened deportation, authorities say

Concepcion Malinek, 49,
Concepcion Malinek, 49, was arrested on forced labor charges following an federal investigation. (Kendall County Sheriff’s Office)

Concepcion Malinek faces forced labor charges following a Tuesday morning raid at her Cicero home, where they discovered 19 adults and 14 children, all believed to be from Guatemala, in the basement, a 12-page complaint filed in the Northern District of Illinois stated.

It’s unclear if the Guatemalans were in the country legally, however a victim told authorities he believed a majority of them had claimed political asylum.

He claimed at least two of them were in the country illegally, the complaint stated.

Federal authorities began investigating Malinek in March after a person who worked with one of the victims contacted the FBI about potential human trafficking occurring at the residence.

New Hampshire standoff ends after 2 found dead in hotel room, man killed by police

A man was shot and killed out a Quality Inn Wednesday night in Manchester, N.H. by police after he engaged Drug Enforcement Administration agents and police. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Manchester Police Department said on Twitter the standoff at the Quality Inn ended at 10:30 a.m. as authorities were seen bringing a person out on a stretcher at the hotel located near Interstate 293.

When authorities finally gained entry to the first-floor hotel room, they found two people dead inside, Boston 25 reported.

Police told the television station the people inside had fired multiple shots out of the room throughout the night.

The incident began around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday when a man with a gun “engaged” with police and Drug Enforcement Administration agents outside the Quality Inn, according to officials.

Killer who spent 27 years in prison is murdered in his car in New York City

Franklin Bello, 48, was pulled over to the side of the road in Manhattan when a gunman approached him and fired off nine rounds, striking him at least five times in the chest, police told the New York Daily News.

The gunman fled after the shooting.

Police described him as Hispanic, in his 20s, wearing a black jacket and baseball cap.

Krispy Kreme employee stabs man in dispute, police say

Julius Irving, 32, allegedly stabbed a man after getting into an altercation at a Krispy Kreme shop. (Gainesville Police)

Police say Julius Irving, 32, got into an altercation with another employee on Wednesday in a Gainesville shop.

The alleged issue? Doughnut prep, according to a Gainesville Police Department press release.

Once the argument began to escalate, the woman said to be at odds with Irving called her boyfriend to come pick her up.

When the boyfriend arrived, according to the police version of events, he confronted Irving, who “took a swing” at him and then used a four-inch knife to stab him repeatedly.

Fox News dominates CNN, MSNBC in Wednesday ratings, topping both networks’ combined viewership

According to Nielsen’s early ratings, across the 8 pm-11 pm primetime slots, Fox News Channel averaged 3,685,000 viewers, including 653,000 in the prized 25-54 age-group demographic.

MSNBC delivered an average of 2,141,000 viewers and 333,000 in the 24-54 demo, while CNN came in last with 904,000 average prime-time viewers, with 235,000 in the demo.

Each of the Fox News Channel’s primetime shows also boasted impressive wins over their time-slot competition on MSNBC and CNN, besting the other shows’ combined totals in each hour.

Tech Watch:

U.S. government slams Facebook with housing discrimination charges

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) filed charges against Facebook for housing discrimination on Thursday.

First reported by The Verge, the charges allege that Facebook’s advertising tools violate the Fair Housing Act because they enable housing discrimination on the basis of the protected classes of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

“Facebook is discriminating against people based upon who they are and where they live,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement.

“Using a computer to limit a person’s housing choices can be just as discriminatory as slamming a door in someone’s face.”

The charge follows an August 2018 complaint HUD issued on the same matter. Since ProPublicla published an investigation into how Facebook’s advertising tools allow for housing discrimination in 2016, Facebook supposedly started working to make changes.

But a follow-up report from ProPublica in 2017 showed that the practice continued despite Facebook’s pledge. Now, the government is taking action.

This African Country Has Had a Yearlong Ban on Social Media. Here’s What’s Behind the Blackout

It’s been one year since access to social media platforms and messaging apps, including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Viber, was blocked in Chad’s latest example of internet censorship.

Initially, mobile operators attributed the problems to technical issues, but have since disclosed that the block was ordered by the government led by President Idriss Déby, according to observers.

Leading the central African nation of 14.9 million people for almost 30 years, Déby was controversially re-elected in 2016, with a similar online blackout lasting for eight months following his victory.

This time round, controls over the Internet appear to have started after proposed constitutional changes were agreed at a conference in March 2018, allowing 66 year old Déby to remain in power until 2033.

The situation in Chad is just one example of how dictatorial governments in the region and beyond are denying citizens access to online information out of fear of uprisings and rebellion.

In China, for instance, tight controls are a hallmark of the ruling regime, where state censors constantly monitor social media sites for posts deemed incendiary or subversive.

Meanwhile in Russia, President Vladimir Putin recently signed two new bills into law allowing authorities greater control over the web.

Submarine surge: Why the Navy plans 32 new attack subs by 2034

The Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Indiana (SSN 789)
File photo – The Virginia-class attack submarine Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Indiana (SSN 789) departs Newport News Shipbuilding to conduct Alpha sea trials in the Atlantic Ocean – May 22, 2018. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of General Dynamics Electric Boat by Matt Hildreth/Released)

“Battle force inventory reaches 301 in 2020 and 355 in 2034,” Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Chambers, told Warrior Maven.

New Navy submarines are hosting an array of breakthrough technologies designed to carve a path into future maritime war; these include more firepower such as Tomahawk missiles and torpedoes, added electrical power for emerging systems such as drones and AI-enabled sensors, navigation and ship defenses.

There are many reasons why attack submarines are increasingly in demand; undersea vehicles are often able to conduct reconnaissance missions closer to targets than large-draft surface ships can.

Forward positioning enables them to be “stealthier” in coastal areas, inlets or islands. As part of this, they can also move substantial firepower, in the form of Tomahawk missiles, closer to inland targets.


Trump says Schiff should be forced to resign

“Congressman Adam Schiff, who spent two years knowingly and unlawfully lying and leaking, should be forced to resign from Congress!” the president said in an early morning tweet.

The tweet comes after Schiff told The Washington Post that he believes evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia “undoubtedly” exists and can be found by his committee, even though a summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation said there was not evidence to support that conclusion.

Since Attorney General William Barr released a summary of Mueller’s report, several other Republicans have also called on Schiff to step down.

Sen. John Thune: Adam Schiff has been peddling a false narrative against the president for two years

Perfectly appropriate for Republicans to call for Adam Schiff to step down from chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee, says Senate Majority Whip John Thune.

Nellie Ohr met Christopher Steele at Mayflower Hotel the day before FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation began

A newly released congressional transcript reveals her research on connections between Russia and President Trump, the Trump family, and Trump associates while she worked at Fusion GPS.

She declined to answer most questions about her husband, who served as an unofficial back channel between Steele and the FBI.

“Thus far, I have released four transcripts of interviews related to apparent wrongdoing at the FBI and Justice Department. Today, I release the fifth.

The American people deserve transparency.

They deserve to know what transpired at the highest levels of the FBI and the origin of the probe into President Trump’s campaign,” Collins said.

The testimony focused heavily on her time with Fusion GPS and its relationship with the DOJ.

RNC chair: ‘Alarming’ that no 2020 Democrat candidates came to AIPAC

“It is very alarming to see that the 2020 Democrats, none of those presidential candidates showed up to AIPAC,” McDaniel said Thursday.

“AIPAC is bipartisan, it’s nonpartisan, it doesn’t prefer one party or the other. They won’t even show up. The Democrat party is now anti-Israel.”

Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and others did not attend AIPAC’s annual policy conference, a move that coincided with a moneyed progressive advocacy group’s call to boycott the event., a group that spent around $3.5 million in the 2018 midterm elections, called on the 2020 Democratic candidates to skip the conference, even though in the past all presidential candidates viewed the AIPAC gathering as a crucial campaign stop.

Ocasio-Cortez unknown or unliked by most voters, poll shows: ‘Not A-OK for AOC’

That’s according to a new Quinnipiac University poll that quizzed both Democrats and Republicans on the 29-year-old New Yorker who, at least on Capitol Hill and in the media, is a political sensation.

“All is definitely not A-OK for AOC. Most voters either don’t like the firebrand freshman Congresswoman or don’t know who she is,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement.

The polling unit reported that Ocasio-Cortez received a “negative 23 – 36 percent favorability rating, with 38 percent who haven’t heard enough about her to form an opinion.”

Eric Holder goes on MAGA attack: ‘Exactly when did you think America was great?’

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016. (Reuters)

In pointed terms during an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday, Obama-era attorney general Eric Holder posed the question to MAGA-chanting Trump supporters: “Exactly when did you think America was great?”

The comments echoed those of Cuomo, who took heavy criticism for remarking last year that America “was never that great.”

Together, both off-the-cuff comments amount to stunning statements from public figures who until recently were considered potential presidential candidates.

In both cases, the Democrats took shots at America’s past as part of an effort to criticize President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.


Trump threatens to close southern border, says Mexico and Central America are doing ‘nothing’ to stop migrants

President Trump tweets a threat to close the southern border as CBP warns the crisis has reached a ‘breaking point.’

Migrants from most violent cities in the world are headed for America

With over a million illegal aliens set to cross in 2019, illegal border crossings are on track to hit a 13 year record high.

As One America’s Pearson Sharp explains, these would be migrants are coming from some of the most violent and dangerous countries in the world.

Border Official: ‘We are doing everything we can to simply avoid a tragedy in a CBP facility’

A Border Patrol agent apprehends illegal aliens
A Border Patrol agent apprehends illegal aliens who have just crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into Penitas, Texas, on March 21, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

“With 55,000 families, including 40,000 children, expected to enter the process this month, we are doing everything we can to simply avoid a tragedy in a CBP facility,” said Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan on March 27.

“But with these numbers, with the types of illnesses we’re seeing at the border, I fear that it’s just a matter of time.”

McAleenan said in the last four days, Border Patrol has encountered infants with 105-degree fevers, a 2-year-old in the desert having seizures, a 19-year-old with a congenital heart defect that needs emergency surgery, and a 40-year-old man suffering from multi-organ failure but trying to refuse medical care.

He said migrants are quarantined in the El Paso Del Norte center with the flu, chicken pox, and lice.

To relieve overcrowding at many facilities, Border Patrol agents have had to start releasing illegal immigrants immediately upon apprehending and processing them.

“For the first time in over a decade CBP is performing direct releases of migrants,” McAleenan said. “This is in a limited capacity, it’s very reluctantly, and it represents a negative outcome for enforcement.”

North Carolina bill to force sheriffs to work with ICE advances

A House judiciary panel approved House Bill 370, a measure sponsored by North Carolina Republican lawmakers unhappy with recent decisions by newly elected sheriffs to stop assisting federal immigration agents.

“These sanctuary sheriffs are putting politics ahead of public safety,” said Rep. Destin Hall, a chief sponsor of the bill, said during a committee meeting.

Hall’s bill would require sheriffs in all counties to fulfill ICE detainer requests, which can be used to hold criminal suspects up to 48 hours. Those holdings currently aren’t mandatory.

Orange County will stop holding inmates for ICE at its jails

The Theo Lacy Facility in Orange,
The Theo Lacy Facility in Orange, a county jail that also houses immigration detainees. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

The ICE contract ends in 2020, and Barnes said his department had informed the federal agency that it would not be renewed.

As a result, ICE detainees will no longer be housed at Sheriff’s Department jails starting Aug. 1. Barnes said it’s likely that those federal immigration detainees would be moved to facilities out of state.

In response, ICE officials suggested that the county’s action would impose new hardships on detainees and their families.

“Now, instead of being housed close to family members or local attorneys, ICE will have to depend on its national system of detention bed space to place those detainees in locations farther away, reducing the opportunities for in-person family visitation and attorney coordination,” said ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley in a written statement.

It’s unclear exactly where the detainees will be moved to, but ICE’s detention options in California have become increasingly limited, according to previous statements by agents.

World News:

Brunei deems gay sex and adultery punishable with death by stoning

After April 3, those found guilty of engaging in homosexual intercourse or adultery can be punished via stoning, according to the country’s new draconian penal code.

A “group of Muslims” must witness a perpetrator’s crimes in order for them to face punishment, according to The Guardian.

The news outlet notes that the code also mandates a hand or a foot be amputated from those guilty of theft.

The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, first ordered the implementation of sharia law, the Islamic legal system that details strict corporal punishments, in 2014.

New laws have been introduced quietly since then to avoid uproar from the international community.

Rescued migrants hijack ship, demand it head toward Europe

Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Salvini, identified the ship as the Turkish oil tanker El Hiblu 1.

He said the tanker had rescued about 120 people and described what was happening as “the first act of piracy on the high seas with migrants” as alleged hijackers.

The new route put the ship on a route to Italy’s Lampedusa island and the island nation of Malta.

The governments of both countries vowed to keep it from their territorial waters in the Mediterranean.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May Plays Her Last Brexit Card: Promising to Resign

As the original March 29 deadline for Britain’s departure approached, patience wore thin on all sides.

An online petition calling for Brexit to be canceled altogether drew more than 5.8 million signatures, after causing the government’s official petitions website to crash at least twice.

At the same time as the march in London, roughly 100 miles north, Brexit supporters gathered to hear Nigel Farage, a figurehead of the movement to leave the E.U., criticize May’s “Brexit betrayal.”

Although a much smaller crowd, the 200 or so marchers claimed to represent the 17.4 million who voted for Brexit.

May staked her reputation on delivering Brexit, but she’s been unable to count on the support of even people who want to leave, let alone those who don’t.

The Latest: Venezuela minister says power mostly restored

Venezuela’s government says electricity has been restored in most of the country following nationwide blackouts this week.

Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez on Thursday gave an upbeat assessment of efforts to restore Venezuela’s fragile grid, though some areas remained without power.

Schools and public offices were still closed, but there was more traffic in the streets of Caracas and many people were able to make electronic payments for the first time in days.


Changing Minds About the Electoral College

Many college students have no idea what the Electoral College is, but they know they want to get rid of it.

Watch them change their minds after Will Witt presents a few simple facts about why the Electoral College is essential.

Tucker: There’s a real collusion story, it doesn’t involve Trump

House Speaker Pelosi asks media to switch focus from Mueller report to health care.