News and Headlines. 11/21/2019

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

In The News

Alleged ISIS murderer in U.S. on ‘Diversity Visa’: I was following Allah’s orders

According to a report from Breitbart, the ISIS terror suspect who appeared in court this past Monday had managed to come into the United States via the infamous “Diversity Visa Lottery”, a program that has now been heavily contested due to its found faults in screening potential candidates.

The man on trial has been accused of murdering eight people in New York City, to which he proclaimed that he was merely “following orders of Allah.”

In October 2017, 31-year-old Uzbek national Sayfullo Saipov allegedly mowed down eight individuals in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City after securing a visa in 2010 through the Diversity Visa Lottery, which President Trump has asked Congress to end.

The October incident was an act of pure sinister intent, where the accused had allegedly drove a Home Depot rental truck onto the wrong of the road, aiming for a busy bike lane filled with cyclists and pedestrians.

After striking several people, witnesses say he crashed deliberately into a school bus carrying at least three children as well.

Undocumented immigrant charged in hit-and-run death of Vietnam vet

Pennsylvania authorities said Nemias Perez Severiano, 31, was living in the U.S. illegally when he struck and killed a Marine Vietnam veteran with his vehicle earlier this month.
Pennsylvania authorities said Nemias Perez Severiano, 31, was living in the U.S. illegally when he struck and killed a Marine Vietnam veteran with his vehicle earlier this month. (Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office)

A detainer request was lodged against Nemias Perez Severiano, 31, of Norristown, on Tuesday, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson told The Philidelphia Inquirer.

Severiano, a Mexican citizen, is suspected of striking Samuel W. Jackson, 67, as he exited his parked car in front of his Norristown home on Nov. 10 and dragging him more than 50 feet. Jackson died at a nearby hospital.

Severiano is charged with being involved with an accident causing death while not licensed, failing to stop and render aid, driving without a license, and other offenses.

Jackson served with the Marines in Vietnam in 1970 and 1971. He was buried in his uniform.

American, Australian freed by Taliban treated at US Air Force base in Germany

FILE: Kidnapped teachers Australian Timothy Weeks, top, and American Kevin King, were abducted at gunpoint in Afghanistan in August 2016.
FILE: Kidnapped teachers Australian Timothy Weeks, top, and American Kevin King, were abducted at gunpoint in Afghanistan in August 2016. (AL-EMARA Taliban via AP)

U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell and Australian Ambassador Lynette Wood met American Kevin C. King and Australian Timothy J. Weeks at the U.S. Air Force’s Ramstein after they arrived late Wednesday, a U.S. official said.

King, 63, and Weeks, 50, were then taken to the nearby Landstuhl Regional Medical Center where they will stay for some time for medical evaluations and a reintegration process.

The two former professors were freed Tuesday in Afghanistan in exchange for three figures in the Taliban-linked Haqqani network: Anas Haqqani, Haji Mali Khan, and Hafiz Rashid.

Ex-Baltimore mayor pleads guilty to conspiracy, tax evasion

Pugh, 69, appeared in court Thursday afternoon to make the plea and surrendered her passport, as part of the terms allowing her to remain free pending sentencing.

She pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of tax evasion.

She has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of wire fraud. Her sentencing was not immediately scheduled.

Pugh was charged Wednesday in a 34-page indictment, which prosecutors said they have been building for years with investigation including FBI raids on her home and City Hall.

The charges say Pugh was involved in a corrupt scheme involving her book sales and used proceeds to fund her political campaign and buy a house.

GM recalling 640k pickups due to carpet fire risk

GM says it uses a small explosion to move a piston that tightens the belts before a crash.

The explosion can release hot gas through an opening in a bracket, possibly setting the carpet on fire. The company reports two fires but no injuries.

Dealers will close the opening at no cost to owners. No date was given for the recall to start.

Trump rolls back Obama-era chemical safety rules

Firefighters were attempting to put out a blaze at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, when it exploded, killing 15 people April 17, 2013.
Firefighters were attempting to put out a blaze at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, when it exploded, killing 15 people April 17, 2013. File Photo by Larry W. Smith/EPA

The Obama administration introduced the rule after 12 first responders died in the 2013 explosion in Texas.

Firefighters were attempting to put out a blaze at the fertilizer plant when more than 80,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate exploded, creating a blast that also injured more than 160 people and damaged or destroyed dozens of buildings.

The Trump administration said it’s rescinding the rule since arson was ultimately to blame for the explosion — not the unsafe storage of chemicals — and because of the burden of the regulation of U.S. businesses.

Additionally, the EPA said it received complaints that having open access to information about chemical storage made such sites vulnerable to terror attacks.

Two Detroit police officers shot, one dead

Authorities say a police officer has been fatally shot and another officer has been wounded while responding to a home invasion on Detroit’s West Side.

The suspect also was wounded. (Nov. 21)

California Supreme Court rejects law requiring Trump to release tax returns to get on ballot

Justices in Sacramento said that the law – which required all candidates for president and governor to submit five years’ worth of personal income tax returns in order to be included on primary ballots – was unconstitutional.

“Whatever authority the Legislature may have in defining how presidential primaries are to occur in this state, the challenged sections of the act exceed such authority and are unenforceable,” California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote in the opinion.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla appealed the federal judge’s ruling, in a legal dispute that remains ongoing.

The state court’s decision, however, means the tax return requirement cannot be enforced, even if it were found to be constitutional under federal law.

Accused serial killer faces death penalty in killings of 3 women in Daytona Beach

Robert Hayes

Robert Hayes, 37, who was a criminal justice student at Bethune-Cookman University at the time of the killings, has been indicted in the murders of Laquetta Gunther, Julie Green, and Iwana Patton, Orlando’s WESH reported.

Each woman’s body was found decomposed in Daytona Beach with gunshot wounds between late 2005 and early 2006, according to the station.

Hayes is also suspected of killing a fourth woman, Stacey George, whose body was found in Daytona Beach in early 2008 (and likely killed in late 2007) under similar circumstances, WESH reported.

Trump slams Navy’s attempt to undermine him; tweets SEAL Gallagher will remain a SEAL

Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher and President Donald Trump
(Photos courtesy Andrea Gallagher and the White House)

“The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!” Trump said in the tweet.

Trump’s announcement appears to overrule the Navy’s order – headed by SEAL commander Rear Adm. Collin Green – on Wednesday for Gallagher to appear before a Trident Review Board on Dec. 2. There, Navy leadership was expected to decide whether or not to allow Gallagher to remain in the SEALs.

“Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified,” the White House statement said on Friday.

The order of Rear Adm. Green was received with criticism from the president’s own son, as well as other military members.


‘Homes for all’: Ilhan Omar’s $1 trillion housing plan includes provisions for illegal immigrants

The Democratic congresswoman revealed her “Homes for All Act” on Thursday, which would complement New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal by building 12 million housing units to the highest environmental standards.

In her announcement, Omar, 38, explained that her affordable housing plan would ensure that no one is denied access to public housing, no matter their gender identity, race, sexuality, or immigration status.

“We will prohibit any discrimination against residents based on sexual orientation, gender, criminal history or immigration status,” Omar explained, later adding, “Doing the Homes for All really gets us closer to having the America I imagined be realized and I’m really excited for the opportunity to now be in a position of influence to get that done.”

Omar did not detail how her $1 trillion plan would be funded.

Trump leads in Wisconsin amid impeachment, and Democrats should worry

The Marquette Law survey, which was conducted between Nov. 13 and 17 and surveyed 801 registered Wisconsin voters, shows Trump defeating Biden (47 to 44), Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (48 to 45) and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (48 to 43), and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (47 to 39).

So, what gives? It is probably a combination of information overload and voters being unimpressed with the 2020 Democratic candidates.

Not everyone has the luxury of following every minute detail of the impeachment proceedings (people have full-time jobs, you know). It does not help either that the case against Trump is such that if you lose your place once, it is awfully hard to pick up where you left off.

Or worse, voters in Wisconsin may just have a better idea of the 2020 candidates than they did in August and October. Maybe they just don’t like what they see.


Victor Davis Hanson: Fear of a deep state coup is not just right-wing paranoia

Commentary/Opinion: Recently, former acting CIA chief John McLaughlin proclaimed in a public forum, “Thank God for the deep state.” Former CIA Director John Brennan agreed and praised the “deep state people” for their opposition
to Trump.

Far from denying the danger of an unelected careerist bureaucracy that seeks to overturn presidential policies, New York Times columnists have praised its efforts to nullify the Trump agenda.

Retired Admiral William H. McRaven recently wrote an op-ed for The New York Times all but calling for Trump’s ouster — “the sooner the better.”

No sooner had Trump been elected than Rosa Brooks, a former Defense Department official during the Obama administration, wrote an essay for Foreign Policy magazine discussing theoretical ways to remove Trump before the 2020 election, among them a scenario involving a military coup.

Trump’s opponents often have praised the deep state precisely because unelected career officials are seen as the most effective way to sabotage and stymie his agenda.

A “coup” is no longer proof of right-wing paranoia, but increasingly a part of the general progressive discourse of resistance to Trump.

In these upside-down times, patriotism is being redefined as removing a president before a constitutionally mandated election.

Dana Perino: Democrats would admit they’re not making ‘overwhelming’ impeachment case

Commentary/Opinion: Perino claimed some Republicans may criticize the president’s judgment, but they are unlikely to join with Democrats and vote to remove the commander in chief.

She also said if Democrats felt confident in their case against Trump, it would have dominated Wednesday’s 2020 debate.

“I think that if you look at last night’s Democratic debate… the first questions were definitely about impeachment. But it didn’t dominate the hearing,” she said.

“And if this had been a week where the Democrats felt like they had absolutely nailed President Trump to the wall, and they were going to be able to ride into the election season on impeachment… all of those candidates who want to be president would have absolutely flogged that.

They did not. They quickly pivoted, they moved off of it.”

Senate passes stopgap spending bill to avert shutdown, amid border wall impasse

The bill would fund the government through Dec. 20, setting up yet another late-year showdown over government spending for which border wall funding will likely be center stage.

At that point, it’s likely impeachment will still be at the forefront of Congress’ agenda, whether it is still in the House or is shifted to the Senate for a trial by then.

The measure passed Thursday contains an assortment of technical provisions to ensure spending on the decennial U.S. Census can ramp up despite delays in the agency’s full-year funding bill. It also reverses a planned cut in highway spending next year and offers greater assurances about funding a 3.1 percent pay raise for the military that takes effect Jan. 1.

It also extends surveillance-related provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that expire Dec. 15 for another three months, including a provision allowing the government to gain access to business records and conduct roving wiretaps of people trying to duck surveillance.

Pelosi Attacks Reporter Over “Republican Talking Points”

Sinclair reporter James Rosen asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a simple question about the impeachment hearings, and her response was to attack his character.

‘They barely mentioned us’: Atlanta’s black voters frustrated by Democratic debate

The candidates at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. Sankara Lumumba, who watched the debate, said the debates had largely become about ‘who can beat Trump’.
The candidates at the Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta. Sankara Lumumba, who watched the debate, said the debates had largely become about ‘who can beat Trump’. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

But in a city considered the black American mecca, it took close to an hour and a half for the debate moderators to ask a race-specific question – and even more time to discuss hot-button issues that affect black voters in Georgia and over the country.

The crowd, which started with about 100 black millennials, dwindled to about 20 by the debate’s end.

“I was disappointed at the fact that two of the most controversial issues concerning Georgia – reproductive rights and election integrity – were only discussed in the last 11 minutes of the debate,” Howard student and Atlanta native Keri Felton said.

Council member Khalid Kamau, who represents a district in South Fulton, a city just outside of Atlanta that is among the blackest in the country, initially only said he was “disappointed” with the debate. He elaborated later with a provocative metaphor.

“These candidates and the media came to Atlanta, to the Atlanta University Center [a collection of historically black colleges and universities], Paschal’s restaurant, and told us how important we are.

Then they get on TV and barely mention us.

Liberals Are Turning Their Backs On Democrats

Commentary/Opinion: Happened to run into a liberal Hollywood producer this weekend and he spilled the beans.

A lot of honest liberals are sick and tired of what the Democrats are doing. Here’s the Simple Truth.

Did Obama have a Quid Pro Quo with Iran?

Commentary/Opinion: Here’s a question Iran critics such as U.S. Senators Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) may want to ask:

Did Barack Obama have a secret quid pro quo with Iran in 2008 or 2012?

The question has new resonance, not just because of trumped-up charges that the Trump administration had a quid pro quo with Ukraine, but because of emerging reports Iran did indeed have uranium at a site the country had called a carpet cleaning factory.

World News:

Australian tourist, 35, tied up and beaten by Indian mob had allegedly ‘misbehaved’ around village women

James was pictured lying in a hospital bed with a rope still tied around his wrists. His body was covered in dirt, blood and bruises. (MM Goudar)

The tourist, identified by local media as William K. James, had suffered “grievous injuries” after villagers in the southwest state of Karnataka tied him to a power pole and assaulted him, local police told the Times of India.

James, who had been sightseeing in India since Sept. 17, was traveling alone by bus from the town of Badami to the city of Bagalkot, which is 21 miles north, Jagalasar said.

But just 10 miles from Badami, he got off the bus at the village of Konanakoppa for reasons that are still unknown. Jagalasar said James was drunk when he arrived and was accused of misbehaving with a few women.

Amnesty International: ‘Surveillance-Based’ Google, Facebook Threaten Human Rights

Google CEO Sundar Pichai (left) and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. 
Getty/Business Insider composite

Amnesty claims that the tech firms’ business models, which rely heavily on collecting vast amounts of data from users in order to target ads towards them, threatens users’ right to privacy, as well as freedom of expression and freedom of thought.

Amnesty noted in its report:

The fact that Facebook and Google run continuous analysis and accumulation of information about people, and argued that this is surveillance.
Facebook and Google don’t charge for their services but rely on people effectively handing over their data as a hidden kind of payment.
The two firms are able to collect a wealth of highly detailed data, meaning they can reasonably be claimed to know more about individuals than the individuals do about themselves.
The two firms are able to analyze and predict people’s habits and behaviors.

The report further claims that the companies’ power prevents them from being held accountable by governments and regulators.

France Faces All-Time Record of Nearly 140,000 Asylum Applications in 2019

MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images

According to Senator Buffet, a member of the centre-right Republicans, the government does not forecast any growth in applications in 2020 and claims that the number will largely stabilise after next year as well.

He went on to add that the 9.8 per cent budget increase for immigration, a total of two billion euros, may not be enough and added that asylum applications have “almost quadrupled in ten years”.

“France has fallen to a record low this year in terms of the rate of execution of expulsion decisions,” he added, saying that of the 132,000 deportation orders given in 2018, only 20,000 were actually carried out.

Document fraud, Buffet said, was also an increasingly disturbing trend in France with at least 10,000 cases per year, nearly half of them, 48 per cent, in 2018 being for fake identity documents.

Nine out of ten of those behind the scams are foreign nationals.

‘Too scared to escape’: Isolated protesters hold out on trashed Hong Kong campus

Helmets of protesters are left behind in Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, China November 21, 2019.
Helmets of protesters are left behind in Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong, China November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University is the last campus still occupied after a week that has seen the most intense violence since anti-government protests escalated more than five months ago.

For more than a week-and-a-half, hundreds of protesters had fortified Polytechnic University’s Kowloon peninsula campus and often fought fiery street battles with riot police.

But now the number of protesters has dwindled to fewer than 100, turning the grounds that normally teem with 33,000 students and staff into an eerily empty compound scattered with debris and defaced with political slogans.

Some protesters have surrendered while others were held during escape attempts that included clambering down from a bridge to waiting motorbikes and fleeing through the sewers. More than 1,000 have been arrested or registered by police.


Yesterday a video shared on social media showed a campaigner for the Brexit Party being manhandled by a Morrison’s security guard and another male for what appears to be the crime of wanting a cup of tea while in possession of Brexit Party campaign leaflets. Michelle Dewberry, a Brexit Party candidate, called Morrisons out on their rough treatment of an OAP.

The video generated a lot of anger online, and twitter was awash with complaints directed at Morrisons.

Business owner and online personality James Reality issued a formal request to his 7000 staff to not purchase anything from Morrisons and another twitter account chimed in to say he experienced hatred and intolerance at the same store just for wearing a UKIP badge? Apparently, a UKIP badge is a sign of “fascism”.

Sarajevo Protest Calls For Probe Of Children’s Home After Shocking Photos Revealed

The photos were taken during the past year at the Pazaric Institute for the Mental Care of Disabled Children outside of Sarajevo.
The photos were taken during the past year at the Pazaric Institute for the Mental Care of Disabled Children outside of Sarajevo.

Sabina Cudic, a member of the opposition Nasa Stranka party, said on November 20 that the photos were taken during the past year at the Pazaric Institute for the Mental Care of Disabled Children outside of Sarajevo.

Cudic also told the parliament of the Bosniak-Croat federation that sick children were being treated like prisoners at the facility, and that some young children were being treated with drugs that are illegal for their age.

She said she released the photos as a “shock” tactic because the government has ignored her repeated calls to address the problem, which she blamed on corruption in government employment and the mismanagement of public funds

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged on corruption charges

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds a cabinet meeting in Jerusalem Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool Photo via AP)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit charged Netanyahu with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three different scandals.

It marks the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister has been charged with a crime.

Mandelblit is set to issue a formal statement at a news conference at 7:30 p.m. local time.

The allegations against Netanyahu include suspicions that he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in champagne and cigars from billionaire friends, offered to trade favors with a newspaper publisher, and used his influence to help a wealthy telecom magnate in exchange for favorable coverage on a popular news site.


COP25 – Madrid. Global Carbon Tax Law Has Serious Consequences for Canada and Democracy

COP25 – Madrid.

After rioting and civil unrest in Chile, the intended location of COP-25, Madrid, Spain agreed to take on the challenge of hosting some 20,000 climate change bureaucrats for the 25th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

#GretaThunberg is taking a yacht there, crossing the Atlantic in stormy wintertime. The climate confab takes place December 2-13, 2019.

The ‘climateers’ plan to implement the Paris Agreement “rule book” and there’s a push for a global carbon tax law.

We take a look at what Canadians are already paying in carbon tax equivalents on federal and provincial fuel taxes – and what the rest of the world pays in carbon taxes.

What would a carbon tax law mean for Canada and other democracies.

High School Forces Girls to Share Locker Room with Biological Man