News and Headlines. 12/19/2019

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

In The News:

NSA Allowed To ‘Unmask’ US Citizens Without Surveillance Warrant: US Court

A US court of appeals ruled on Wednesday that the US government may collect information about a US citizen without first obtaining a surveillance warrant, as long as it was done so inadvertently while legally monitoring a non-national abroad, according to Reuters.

The appeal in question was brought by Agron Hasbajrami, a US resident arrested in 2011 who later pleaded guilty to attempting to providing material support to a terrorist organization.

He was arrested at JFK International Airport in New York as he was attempting to board a flight to Turkey, after communicating with a non-American overseas believed to be associated with a terrorist organization.

Hasbajrami asked the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York to toss out the charges after claiming the National Security Agency (NSA) had illegally surveilled him without a warrant, a practice known as ‘unmasking.’

Pennsylvania nurse allegedly recorded hundreds of patients, sexually assaulted woman in ER

Pennsylvania nurse allegedly recorded hundreds of patients, sexually assaulted woman in ER
Pennsylvania nurse allegedly recorded hundreds of patients, sexually assaulted woman in ER

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WPMT) — A Pennsylvania man accused of producing and possessing child pornography following an investigation in April has now been charged with offenses related to the alleged videotaping of patients at UPMC Carlisle and the sexual assault of a patient in the hospital’s emergency room, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday.

Michael Bragg, of Franklin County, a former nurse at the hospital, is accused of recording videos of 206 patients, including nearly two dozen minors, and sexually assaulting a nude, intubated and unconscious woman in the hospital’s emergency room between January 2016 and April 19, 2019.

During that time, 39-year-old Bragg, also touched the breasts of another emergency room patient, the Attorney General’s Office alleges.

Ilhan Omar is called an adulteress in court as her Democratic aide lover and his wife formally divorce –

Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was called an adulteress in divorce court Thursday by her lover’s former wife as the couple formally ended their marriage.

Beth Jordan said she wanted to ‘make a statement’ about her husband Tim Mynett having an affair with the radical Democrat, during the 16-minute hearing in Washington D.C.

Mynett left the court after the hearing grinning and clapping his hands in glee.

He said he was happy with the proceedings but would not comment further.

The hearing ended abruptly shortly after Jordan, 55, spoke publicly of 37-year-old Omar’s affair with Mynett, 38. first revealed the affair in July, a week after revealing that Omar had split from her husband.

US to send Mexican migrants to Guatemala as part of asylum deal

The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that Guatemala has agreed to take Mexican nationals seeking asylum as part of a “safe third country” agreement signed with the U.S. earlier this year that sees migrants sent to the Central American country to claim asylum.

“The United States and the Government of Guatemala are working closely together to continue implementation of the Asylum Cooperative Agreement,” Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement.

“We are building protections that will be available to the region’s vulnerable populations closer to home — eliminating the need to make the dangerous journey north and lining the pockets of transnational criminal organizations.”

Indiana woman sentenced after killing 3 kids trying to board school bus; mom charged for lunging at her in court

Alyssa Shepherd, 25, was sentenced to four years in prison on Wednesday for killing twins Xzavier and Mason Ingle, 6, and their sister, Alivia Stahl, 9, in 2018.
Alyssa Shepherd, 25, was sentenced to four years in prison on Wednesday for killing twins Xzavier and Mason Ingle, 6, and their sister, Alivia Stahl, 9, in 2018.

Alyssa Shepherd, 25, was sentenced to four years in prison, three years of house arrest and three years of probation after she killed the children — Xzavier and Mason Ingle, 6-year-old twin brothers, and Alivia Stahl, their 9-year-old sister — on Oct. 31, 2018.

In the Fulton County courtroom Wednesday, Shepherd was sentenced and her driver’s license suspended for 10 years.

The children’s’ mother, Brittany Ingle, lunged toward Shepherd during the sentencing and was escorted out in handcuffs then charged with misdemeanor battery.

The victim’s family said they were disappointed in the sentencing, adding that Shepherd should’ve received the maximum sentence, which was 21.5 years in prison.

4 gunned down in Texas mall shooting, statewide manhunt underway for suspects

(Photo – ABC News Broadcast Screenshot)

Texas – Police in Texas are desperately searching for information that could lead to the arrest of five suspects wanted for their involvement in a shooting that took place in a San Antonio mall on Wednesday night.

Four people were wounded by the gunfire, but police have not reported any fatalities as of this time.

Here’s what we know so far.

Ohio police rescue boy, 13, from freezing Lake Erie after he fell off break wall, video shows

The unnamed boy fell off a break wall in Rocky River Park, about 10 miles west of Cleveland, while on a field trip, FOX8 Cleveland reported. The air temperatures hovered near freezing that day.

The body camera video shows Flowers and Rocky River Patrolman Monte Hamaoui racing along the shore to rescue the boy, but the officers grew alarmed when they didn’t see him in the water.

They continued looking until they found the teacher and a group of students on the break wall of a private lakefront property they had wandered onto, the station reported. The boy was in the water near the wall.

Superyacht slams into bridge in St. Maarten, viral video shows

The impressive Ecstasea superyacht can comfortably accommodate up to 15 guests and 27 crew members.
The impressive Ecstasea superyacht can comfortably accommodate up to 15 guests and 27 crew members. (Getty)

An enormous luxury superyacht recently crashed into a bridge in St. Maarten, and must-see video footage of the accident has gone viral on social media.

On Sunday afternoon, the ship’s captain reportedly lost control of the 282-foot yacht, named Ecstasea, as it entered Simpson Bay Lagoon while the Simpson Bay Bridge was open.

While passing beneath the bridge, the superyacht veered right and its observation deck ripped off the bridge’s control booth.

Rhode Island senior housing complex shooting leaves at least 1 dead, 2 hurt, reports say

One person was killed and two others were injured in a shooting at a senior apartment (WFXT-TV)

State police told the Providence Journal and WPRI-TV that the incident happened at a housing complex for the elderly in Westerly, a town along the Connecticut state line.

Col. James Munni told both news outlets that one person had died after the shooting, and two others had been injured. A state police tactical team responded to the scene, but officials said the scene was no longer active by 1:30 p.m.

A news conference was planned for 2:30 p.m. to provide updates on the situation.

Former Miss Kentucky pleads guilty in nude photo scandal involving teenage boy

Ramsey BethAnn Bearse pleaded guilty on Tuesday to  one count of possession of material depicting minors in sexually explicit conduct. The former beauty pageant won the title of Miss Kentucky in 2014.
Ramsey BethAnn Bearse pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of possession of material depicting minors in sexually explicit conduct. The former beauty pageant won the title of Miss Kentucky in 2014. (Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)

Bearse, who won the Kentucky beauty pageant title in 2014, appeared in Kanawha County Circuit Court in Charleston, W.Va. on Tuesday, where she entered a guilty plea to one count of possession of material depicting minors in sexually explicit conduct, WCHS 8 reported.

The pageant titleholder also worked as a teacher at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Charleston.

Her victim was described as a 15-year-old student, who attended the same school for “some of the time” the incident took place, according to the report.


House passes USMCA as Trump and Pelosi wrestle for credit

“USMCA is a welcome gift this holiday season, leveling the playing field for trade in North America and helping U.S. companies and the 12 million workers they employ compete in our top two export markets” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas J. Donohue in a statement moments after the vote.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will take it up after an impeachment trial for President Trump.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet sent to the Senate the articles of impeachment that Democrats approved Wednesday.

USMCA is expected to create around 176,000 new jobs and inject $34 billion into the U.S. auto industry, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo, citing International Trade Commission data. He added that as many as 589,000 new jobs could be created within five years.

A Bridge Too Far … Impeachment OVER-REACHment

Commentary/Opinion: A Bridge Too Far … Impeachment OVER-REACHment.

President Trump speaks for the first time after being impeached

President Trump speaks to press for the first time after the House of Representatives voted to impeach him.

Levin: McConnell Should End Pelosi’s Obstruction, Immediately Nullify Impeachment

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Commentary/Opinion: Levin spoke out in a Thursday Facebook post after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump Wednesday night.

Levin discussed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “brazen unconstitutional act” of “unilaterally sitting on the impeachment” and laid out a plan for McConnell to immediately nullify impeachment.

“Here’s what Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans must do in response,” Levin wrote. “The Senate has the sole power under the Constitution to adjudicate an impeachment.

Therefore, Pelosi is attempting to obstruct the Senate’s power to act on its constitutional authority.”

“McConnell should immediately put an end to this and declare the impeachment null and void as the speaker has failed to complete the impeachment process by timely sending it to the Senate for adjudication,” Levin added.


Rep. Jeff Van Drew meets with Trump, confirms he’s switching from Democrat to Republican

The congressman, one of just a few Democrats who voted against impeaching Trump on Wednesday, explained his reason for the party switch.

“This is just a better fit for me,” he said. “There were other times in my life when I thought about this.”

Trump and Van Drew shook hands, with Trump calling him a “tremendous asset to the party,” and telling Van Drew “I’m with you all the way.”

“I’m with you,” Van Drew said in response.

As the Dismissed Charges Against Paul Manafort Show, New York Democrats Love Double Jeopardy When It Hurts Trump’s Cronies

(Alexandria Sheriff”s Office)

If you are thinking that’s a blatantly political motive for a decision that is supposed to be based on considerations of justice, you are not wrong.

Worse, New York’s Democrat-controlled legislature amended the double jeopardy law last spring to facilitate such duplicative prosecutions in cases involving people associated with the president who benefit from clemency.

The revised law authorizes double jeopardy for anyone in Trump’s orbit—including former secretaries, second cousins, and low-level campaign employees—who is convicted of a federal offense, even if the crime seems minor and the punishment disproportionate.

Trump could still use his clemency power to help such a person, but that would not stop New York prosecutors from trying him again for the same conduct, assuming they can find a state law that applies.

IG Report Reveals McCabe Blocked Request to Remove Peter Strzok from Russia Hoax Probe

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Priestap’s request was overruled by former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who served under disgraced ex-FBI chief James Comey, the report further related.

The report related that Steinbach was particularly concerned “about Strzok and [FBI attorney] Lisa Page working together because he was aware of instances where they bypassed the chain of command to advise McCabe about case related information that had not been provided to Priestap or Steinbach.”

In other words, Steinbach was concerned that McCabe was setting up communication methods about the Trump collusion case that would keep members of the FBI in the dark.

Such a system would raise immediate questions about the veracity of the FBI’s Trump Russia probe.

Rep. Greg Steube: I’ve Never Seen the Republican Party More Unified

SAUL LOEB/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
SAUL LOEB/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

“Having served in the military and having gone through fights, and you serve with people [and] go through training with people,” Steube said.

“That’s kind of what has happened now to the Republicans in Congress.

We’ve all had to go through this, [and] you kind of now have that camaraderie of having fought this fight together, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Republican Party more unified in accomplishing a goal, and that’s taking the House back in 2020.”

Steuebe added, “So I think, if anything, this has done a great job in unifying the Republican Party, in at least the members in Congress, [through] this tragedy that has now occurred in our country and against the Constitution that was completely partisan, and I think we’re going to be well-set in 2020.”

Tucker: Why is the president being impeached?

Commentary/Opinion: So why is President Trump’s impeachment happening?

Well, the Democrats have told you for the last month there’s one real reason at the bottom: nobody is above the law.

And there are caveats to that, of course. No one is above the law except for anyone who might potentially vote Democrat, in which case laws are racist and must be ignored.

You know that, so it’s pretty amusing. But here’s something even funnier.

Those articles of impeachment that we just saw passed in order to uphold the law that nobody is above? Well, neither article that apparently has just been passed actually accuses the president of breaking a specific law.

Sarah Sanders: This impeachment sham will get Trump reelected

Commentary/Opinion: Fox News contributor Sarah Sanders says impeachment is doing the opposite of what Democrats want.

McConnell rips Pelosi for impeachment delay, says Dems ‘afraid’ to transmit ‘shoddy’ articles

“This particular House of Representatives has let its partisan rage at this particular president create a toxic new precedent that will echo well into the future,” McConnell said on the floor, accusing Democrats of giving in to “temptation” with their impeachment vote while challenging their handling of the articles in the aftermath.

“Looks like the prosecutors are getting cold feet,” the Senate GOP leader mused.

After an impeachment in the House, the articles are normally sent over to the upper chamber for an impeachment trial.

Yet in the latest twist, Pelosi has indicated that she may not send over articles of impeachment yet — until she gets reassurances about the Senate process.

“We’ll make a decision… as we go along,” Pelosi told reporters Wednesday, adding that “we’ll see what the process will be on the Senate side.”

World News:

Shin Bet apprehends terrorist squad responsible for Rina Shnerb’s murder – 19.12.19 TV7 Israel News

Today’s top stories;
1) Islamist Palestinians have yet again launched a rocket overnight from the Jihadist-infested Gaza Strip toward Israel’s southern communities, prompting an Israeli retaliatory strike against Hamas positions in the coastal enclave.

2) The Palestinian Authority announced its decision to resist any legislative or presidential elections, unless the state of Israel grants the Arab residents of Jerusalem “permission to participate” in a future national Palestinian vote.

3) The Israeli Security Agency, Shin Bet, announced that it successfully apprehended the terrorist squad that is allegedly responsible for a deadly bombing on the 23rd of August, earlier this year, at a natural Spring adjacent to the West Bank settlement of Dolev.

American-born Israeli woman jailed in Russia has appeal rejected by court: reports

Israeli Naama Issachar gestures during an appeal hearing in a courtroom in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019.
Israeli Naama Issachar gestures during an appeal hearing in a courtroom in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2019. An Israeli backpacker serving prison time in Russia on a drug conviction is appealing her case and says she was wasn’t provided a translator or lawyer after being detained at a Moscow airport. (AP)

In October, Naama Issachar was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for a charge of smuggling drugs, her sister, Liad Gold, told Fox News at the time.

At the same time the Russian court rejected Issachar’s appeal on Thursday, Russian and Israeli diplomats held a meeting in Jerusalem to discuss her situation, as well as a recent increase in Israelis who have been detained at airports, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Sitting inside a cage during appeal hearings in a courtroom in Moscow on Thursday, Issachar reportedly said, “I didn’t buy hashish and I didn’t put it in my bag. I said several times that it is not mine… No one asked if the drugs are mine during the investigation or after.”

Issachar noted that she was just in Russia for a layover, therefore, it is impossible that her intention was to smuggle drugs into the country, The Post reported.

German homeless man who rammed cyclist in attempt to get jail time sentenced to life

The 62-year-old homeless man from Mönchengladbach drove into an oncoming bicycle lane in the northern state of Lower Saxony in June and rammed the 48-year-old cyclist at almost 50 miles per hour, according to German news outlet

The victim was seriously injured in the attack, according to media reports.

Judges in Oldenburg handed down the high sentence after ruling that greed motivated the attack since the homeless man had wanted “all-round care in a penal institution,” the BBC reported.


Pelosi Spends Last Dime While Trump Campaigns for Re-Election

Commentary/Opinion: All good movies start with something called a log line. That’s the single sentence encapsulation of the story arc that captures the essence of the film.

The act is the culmination of over three years of resistance to the outsider President who has spent his entire term to date embroiled in a struggle for power against a deeply embedded Washington D.C. establishment culture.

This point in the plot marks the end of the line for Pelosi’s influence on events. From this point on, matters are under the control of the Republican controlled Senate, a body the United States Constitution deliberately designed to be a very different universe from the raucous turmoil of the House.

The political risks are extreme; all scenarios lead to debacle. I think Pelosi miscalculated big time. She knows it. The day after is walk of shame day. She should have disciplined her party better.

Manufactured controversy may boost Nielsen ratings, sell subscriptions, and generate click-through; but I wonder if the media will ever figure out that the circus they’ve created to themselves attempt to “influence the election” has actually been selling “Donald Trump for President 2020” for free this entire time.