News and Headlines. 12/16/2019

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

In The News:

Airmen Awarded Silver Stars for Taking Out More than 100 Enemy Fighters

Gen. CQ Brown Jr., Pacific Air Forces commander, Lt. Col. Douglas Holliday, 58th Rescue Squadron commander, Tech. Sgt. Gavin Fisher, 350th Special Warfare Training Squadron pararescueman, and Staff Sgt. Daniel Swensen, 58th Rescue Squadron pararescueman, stand at attention during a ceremony at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, Dec. 13, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Bryan Guthrie)

While their missions were distinct, Fisher and Swensen faced similar peril:

The two men engaged in heavy fire for two days and sustained battle wounds, but managed to fend off the enemy while treating other casualties on the battlefield.

Together, they saved over 40 lives and took out more than 100 enemy fighters, the Air Force said in a release.

FBI: 19-year-old man charged after mercury spill in west Houston

According to the Houston Fire Department, a “small amount” of the chemical spilled around 1 p.m. Sunday at a Walmart, a Sonic and a Shell station near the intersection of Beltway 8 and Westview Drive. HFD Chief Sam Pena said the amount of mercury at each location is less than a pint.

Up to 60 people were processed for decontamination, including one pregnant woman who was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

At the time of the incident, it was not immediately clear if the spill was intentional or accidental. Houston Police said once the scene was determined to be criminal in nature, the FBI would take the lead.

Exclusive Video: Chaos Erupts in Texas Border Town as Los Zetas Cartel Attempts Complex Smuggling Operation

Shortly after Breitbart News stopped at a well-known river crossing area in Rio Bravo, a monitoring Border Patrol agent quickly drove off in response to illegal activity.

As the Breitbart crew followed, multiple Border Patrol vehicles responded and the AMO helicopter quickly appeared overhead to provide air cover and communications to the ground-based agents.

Breitbart News witnessed the initial runner who led agents on a foot pursuit through the neighborhood.

“This is territory that is controlled by Los Zetas,” Breitbart Border and Cartel Chronicles Projects Director Brandon Darby explained. “This is a neighborhood that is a heavy smuggling neighborhood for Los Zetas.”

“We saw Border Patrol looking for someone and there are multiple things going on,” Darby said describing the chaos that quickly erupted in the neighborhood.

“What’s going on is they use one person to come in and run to distract the authorities while they are doing something else.”

Oldest living married couple celebrates 80th wedding anniversary, credits longevity to lifestyle

Texas pair John Henderson, 106, and Charlotte Curtis, 105, celebrated their latest wedding anniversary Dec. 15.
Texas pair John Henderson, 106, and Charlotte Curtis, 105, celebrated their latest wedding anniversary Dec. 15. (GlynnDevins)

Texas pair John Henderson, 106, and Charlotte Curtis, 105, celebrated their latest wedding anniversary Dec. 15, officially marking 80 years together and further solidifying their Guinness World Record as the oldest living married couple.

The two originally met in a class at the University of Texas, Austin, in 1934.

“Charlotte looked over her shoulder and smiled and I knew I wanted to take her on a date,” John told TODAY of the first time he saw his future wife.

John, who played football for the school, asked Charlotte, who was studying to be a teacher, out on a date — and the rest is a very, very long history together.


Supreme Court refuses to hear challenge to ruling that allows homeless to sleep on sidewalks

The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear the case – which came without comment or a dissent – is a major win for homeless activists, but a blow to city officials across the west who argue that the ruling by a federal appeals court last year hinders their abilities to regulate homeless encampments on city sidewalks.

“The Ninth Circuit’s decision misapplies and radically expands this Court’s precedent, creates conflicts with five other circuit or state supreme courts, and stretches the Eighth Amendment beyond recognition,” the lawyers representing Boise wrote in their petition to the Supreme Court.

“In doing so, it eliminates the ability of state and local governments to protect the health and safety of their residents.”

Last year, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Boise ruled that prosecuting or fining homeless people for sleeping on public property when they have no access to a shelter was in violation of the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

While cities like Los Angeles have begrudgingly adhered to the ruling, other cities have been accused of sweeping homeless individuals out of their jurisdiction and into more tolerant cities – leading officials in cities like Los Angeles to threaten legal action against their neighbors.

Georgia county commissioner’s wife dumps cup of soda on reporter’s head at public meeting

The video doesn’t capture the actual moment, but witnesses told investigators Abbey Winters was responsible — and that Bryant did nothing to provoke her.

Paula Arden, a local teacher who was in attendance at the meeting, said she’s never seen anything like it, telling WTVC: “I looked just in time to see her dump it on Casie’s head, and Casie just sat there — we all were shocked.”

When Summerville police officers tried to talk to the Winters, the couple asked to speak to their attorney first, according to an incident report from the department.

Abbey Winters later told police at an attorney’s office that she accidentally poured the drink on Bryant after she tripped.

Earth Went Through Global Warming, Long Before Dinosaur Extinction


The study is led by Northwestern University and the researchers investigated the state of the Earth during the times when dinosaurs disappeared because of an asteroid.

They found that the condition of Earth was already unstable due to the increase of carbon in the oceans.

This study is the first to measure the calcium isotope composition of fossilized clam and snail shells.

The researchers found out that the shell’s chemistry changed because of a surge of carbon in the oceans.

This increase in carbon was probably caused by long-term eruptions from the Deccan Traps, which is one of the largest volcanic features on Earth.

Before the asteroid impact, the Deccan Traps spewed a huge amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Instagram to warn users that their post is offensive, before they have a chance to publish it

The Facebook-owned company aims to do so by using its AI-powered tools that analyze the caption before it gets posted and warns users if they think it’s necessary to do so.

Users can however still ignore the warnings and post the captions unchanged if they wish to, but it’s not clear what the punishment will be.

“Today, when someone writes a caption for a feed post and our AI detects the caption as potentially offensive, they will receive a prompt informing them that their caption is similar to those reported for bullying. They will have the opportunity to edit their caption before it’s posted,” said Instagram.

Seattle Homelessness Conference Featured Transgender Stripper

“Last week, Seattle and King County leaders hired transgender stripper Beyoncé Black St. James to perform at their annual conference on solving homelessness,” City Journal editor Christopher Rufo, a former Seattle City Council candidate, wrote in a tweet Saturday.

“Here’s how they’re using taxpayer money,” he added, alongside video from the performance.

“As the video shows, the programming has nothing to do with helping people on the streets — it’s about affirming a radical ideology that puts identity politics above solving real problems,” Rufo wrote in another tweet.

Thousands of Ohio absentee applications denied

Figures provided to the AP through public information requests to Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections show 21 counties rejected more than 6,500 absentee ballot applications because a signature was either missing or didn’t match what was on file.

That requirement is not for the ballot itself, which faces a different battery of requirements, but merely for an application requesting one.

Another five counties reported rejecting about 850 applications combined, for various reasons that the boards didn’t specify.

The few counties that tracked what happened to applications after they were rejected said issues were largely addressed before or on Election Day.

Twelve responding counties recorded encountering no signature issues with the absentee applications. The remaining responding counties said they didn’t track how many applications they rejected.


Trump Supporters Erupt At Democratic Rep. Slotkin Town Hall After Coming Out In Favor Of Impeachment

(Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Slotkin, who was undecided on impeachment until Monday, after taking the weekend to make up her mind on how she would vote, said she has came to the conclusion that she will vote to impeach Trump after reviewing the two articles of impeachment passed by the House Judiciary Committee.

This comes as a group of House Democrats are reportedly considering censuring the president instead of impeaching him.

A group of about 10 Democratic members of Congress, including New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer, Oregon Rep. Kurt Schrader, New York Rep. Anthony Brindisi, and Utah Rep. Ben McAdams, are all reportedly open to a censure resolution of Trump instead of moving forward with impeachment, according to Politico.

Trump says he’ll debate in 2020 but wants to ditch ‘biased’ debate commission

President Donald Trump waves as he exits a motorcade to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019,
President Donald Trump waves as he exits a motorcade to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, en route to Philadelphia to attend the Army-Navy football game. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The president said on Twitter that he will indeed debate his eventual opponent, refuting speculation that he might sit out the traditional debates.

But he said as president, “the debates are up to me.”

“The problem is that the so-called Commission on Presidential Debates is stacked with Trump Haters & Never Trumpers,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “3 years ago they were forced to publicly apologize for modulating my microphone in the first debate against Crooked Hillary.”

He said that in 2020, “there are many options, including doing them directly & avoiding the nasty politics of this very biased Commission.”

On cusp of impeachment, Trump ends year with spree of accomplishments

A striking scene is playing out in Washington as 2019 comes to a close.

While Democrats move swiftly toward President Trump’s likely impeachment, the president has at the same time notched a string of policy victories — some with the help of the same House Democrats trying to drive him from office.

“Despite their partisan impeachment, Trump has remained focused on how to keep our economy growing …” Vice President Pence crowed in a recent op-ed for The Detroit News, pointing to a pending trade deal that is a centerpiece of the administration’s year-end agenda.

IG Report Proves Adam Schiff Has Been Lying About Spygate Since The Beginning

Commentary/Opinion: In addition to the general platitudes of professionalism Schiff spewed, he added several whoppers, such as: “FISA was not used to spy on Trump or his campaign.”

To back up this falsehood, Schiff relied on the ignorance of the general public concerning FISA surveillance warrants, stressing:

“As the Trump campaign and Page have acknowledged, Page ended his formal affiliation with the campaign months before DOJ applied for a warrant.”

Another fabricated theme in Schiff’s “Correcting the Record” memorandum concerned the Steele dossier.

The DOJ “made only narrow use of information from Steele’s sources about Page’s specific activities in 2016, chiefly his suspected July 2016 meeting in Moscow with Russian officials,” Schiff claimed.

But as the IG report made clear, the Steele dossier made the FISA case.

Prior to receiving the dossier, the FBI had consulted the various offices charged with determining the propriety of a FISA warrant. At that point, they “determined that more information was needed to support probable cause that Page was an agent of a foreign power.”

Biden, Sanders neck-and-neck in new 2020 Democratic race poll

According to the poll, tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang is at 5 percent, with Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg each at 4 percent. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and former Obama housing secretary and former San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro stand at 1 percent. Every other candidate else registered at less than 1 percent.

The poll indicates that with a month and a half to go until the Iowa caucuses kick off the presidential nominating calendar, just over three-quarters of those questioned said they could change their minds on who they are currently supporting.

Marist Institute for Public Opinion director Lee Miringoff – who conducted the poll – noted that even though Biden’s consistently led the national polls, there’s been plenty of fluidity in the crucial early-state surveys.

US: Rep. Adam Schiff’s Telephone Subpoenas

The House of Representatives, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will not punish Rep. Adam Schiff for targeting his political enemies with secret subpoenas of their phone records. Unethical, invasive, illegal activity is permissible as long as its focus is against President Trump.
The House of Representatives, under Speaker Nancy Pelosi, will not punish Rep. Adam Schiff for targeting his political enemies with secret subpoenas of their phone records. Unethical, invasive, illegal activity is permissible as long as its focus is against President Trump. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Commentary/Opinion: With the both the Democrats’ furious drive to impeach the president and the Justice Department Inspector General’s report on FBI surveillance abuse swirling on Capitol Hill, it’s easy to miss something that seems to be a footnote or detail.

In “normal” times, the subject would be a banner headline, not a footnote, but we hardly live in such times now.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, targeted his political enemies with secret subpoenas of their phone records and then made those records public.

Were his enemies the subject of the Intelligence Committee investigations? No. The victims of Schiff’s criminal abuse of his subpoena power – his personal political enemies – were the Ranking Member of Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA); veteran, award-winning, journalist John Solomon; and the personal attorney of the President of the United States, Rudy Giuliani.

Did Schiff have the legal authority to target these individuals and obtain their records? Nunes, Solomon and Giuliani were not the subjects of the committee’s investigation.

Thiessen to Comey: You weren’t sloppy, you intentionally falsified evidence

Commentary/Opinion: Fox News contributor Marc Thiessen reacts to former FBI Director James Comey’s response to the FISA report and the latest in the impeachment inquiry.

Steve Hilton: The truth about impeachment

Commentary/Opinion: Steve Hilton recaps another week of Democratic grandstanding on Capitol Hill as impeachment hearings roll on.

In a week that the Trump-hating establishment and ruling class state TV endlessly, breathlessly described as “historic,” we bring you the truth about the Democrats’ hate-driven partisan impeachment.

It’s not so much historic as pathetic.

I’ve got to tell you, my favorite moment of the whole ridiculous week was when California Republican Tom McClintock perfectly captured the mood of an exhausted, exasperated nation towards the end of 14 hours of pompous, sanctimonious, achingly tedious grandstanding by Democrats.

World News:

Lebanon to face Israel’s wrath if Iran attacks – TV7 Israel News 16.12.19

1) Israel vows to unleash its wrath on Lebanon, if the Islamic Republic of Iran would use its territory to attack the Jewish State.

2) Peaceful anti-government demonstrations have turned violent over the weekend, when Lebanese security forces – that were deployed across the capital in large numbers – clashed with protesters, during an attempted police-orchestrated crackdown.

3) Brazil has officially opened a new Trade and Investment Promotion Agency in the city, and signaled the mission’s inauguration as a first step ahead of the Brasilia’s intention to relocate its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Armed Turkish drone lands in Cyprus as regional tensions rise

A Turkish military drone lands at Geçitkale airport, in northern Cyprus, on 16 December.
A Turkish military drone lands at Geçitkale airport, in northern Cyprus, on 16 December. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Bayraktar TB2 drone landed in Geçitkale airport, in Famagusta, at about 7am GMT on Monday, an AFP correspondent said.

The breakaway northern Cyprus government had approved the use of the airport for unmanned aerial vehicles.

It followed a deal signed last month between Libya and Turkey that could prove crucial in the scramble for recently-discovered gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.

Analysts say Turkey was pushing back against rival efforts to claim exploration rights in the area after Cyprus, Greece, Egypt and Israel excluded it from a new “East Mediterranean Gas Forum” that also includes Jordan, Italy and the Palestinian territories.

Mexico violence: 12 police killed in one week in Guanajuato

Four officers were shot dead during an attack on their station in Villagrán.EPA

One of those killed was María Sonia Arellano, a decorated officer who was kidnapped along with her husband and son in the city of Irapuato.

While her son and husband were freed, Ms Arellano’s body was later found dumped and dismembered.

Ms Arellano was not the only female officer to be killed in the city this week.

On Saturday, gunmen opened fire on two officers parked in a patrol car outside a pharmacy.

Gabriela Núñez Duarte died of the injuries she sustained in the attack while her police partner was wounded. Another male officer was killed in Irapuato on Thursday.


If You Hate Israel, You’re No Friend of the Jews

It’s one thing to criticize Israel. It’s another thing entirely to be against the very existence of the Jewish state.

In this clarifying video, Dennis Prager defines the difference and explains why anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are one and the same.