News and Headlines. 12/24/2019

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

In The News:

In ‘Christmas miracle,’ hidden Nativity scene found beneath medieval painting

The painting as it appears today. It depicts the beheading of St. John the Baptist.
The painting as it appears today. It depicts the beheading of St. John the Baptist. (Northumbria University and The Bowes Museum)

The artwork, which is believed to be around 400 years old and is painted in the late medieval style, shows the beheading of St. John the Baptist. It is painted onto a piece of canvas spread over a large wooden panel.

Art conservators from Northumbria University in the U.K. who were examining an X-ray of the artwork were surprised to discover another image underneath — featuring angels with halos, a baby in a manger and the outline of a structure that seems to be a stable.

“It really is quite unusual to find paintings hidden in this way and to discover a Nativity scene in this detail and just before Christmas was really incredible,” said Nicky Grimaldi, senior lecturer in conservation of fine art at Northumbria, in a statement.

Uber cofounder Travis Kalanick peaces out with $2.5 billion


The former CEO and cofounder of the company announced Tuesday that he was leaving the board of directors. By this time next week, he’s outta there.

He was ousted as CEO in 2017, when former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took over, but he remained on the board.

After Uber went public in May, Kalanick waited patiently for the time he could cash in all his Uber shares. And cash in he did as soon as the November lockup deadline lifted.

Now he has a healthy $2.5 billion from Uber stock as he ventures further into new projects like his ghost kitchen startup and investment company.

Colorado bank robber arrested after throwing money around while yelling ‘Merry Christmas’

On December 23, David Oliver was booked into the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center following a bank robbery
On December 23, David Oliver was booked into the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center following a bank robbery.Colorado Springs Police

The bizarre incident happened moments after a branch of Academy Bank near the intersection of East Pikes Peak Avenue and South Tejon Street was robbed around 12:30 p.m., police said in an incident report.

They described the robber – later identified as 65-year-old David Wayne Oliver – as an “older white male” who threatened to use a weapon and left the bank with an “undisclosed amount of cash.”

Police found the suspect sitting in front of a coffee shop and arrested him without incident.

Iowa woman behind racist hit-and-run accused of trying to run over black child

An Iowa woman who admitted to hitting a Hispanic teen with her SUV also allegedly struck a 12-year-old black child minutes earlier.

Nicole Marie Poole Franklin, 42, is accused of hitting the boy with her SUV before striking 14-year-old Natalia Miranda minutes later, according to the Des Moines Register.

Franklin then allegedly attempted to rob a convenience store while directing racially charged insults at the store’s clerk.

A witness to the episode at the store said Franklin appeared to be “on something.” Franklin later admitted to the police that she was high on methamphetamine.

Former GOP governor under investigation after pardon of child rapist

State Rep. Chris Harris revealed on Monday that a criminal investigator had contacted him last week about the pardons, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.

“I can confirm that I have been contacted by someone looking into the pardons that were issued by Gov. Bevin on his way out the door,” the Democratic lawmaker said.

“The impression I got is that there was an investigation ramping up.”

Private-eye firm claims Hunter Biden is under criminal investigation

A private-eye firm alleged that Hunter Biden is the subject of criminal inquiries for “fraud, money laundering and a counterfeiting scheme” in court documents filed Monday in his Arkansas paternity case.

D&A Investigations, a Florida-based company, made the claims about Biden in Lunden Alexis Roberts’s case against him.

Roberts, 28, filed a paternity suit against Biden alleging he is father of her infant child in May.

Biden “is the subject of more than one criminal investigation involving fraud, money laundering and a counterfeiting scheme,” the filing alleges,” according to the New York Post.

ObamaCare under fire: Lawsuit, tax repeals and ‘Medicare-for-all’ push leave ACA fate unclear

The suit in question was filed by Texas and 18 other Republican-led states, prompting a defense by Democrats and the House of Representatives.

That fight has been simmering away in 2019 but could come to the boil in 2020 amid a grueling presidential election fight where health care already is one of the top kitchen-table issues being debated.

Meanwhile, while an effort by the White House and Republican allies to repeal-and-replace ObamaCare in 2017 failed in the Senate, Washington has been chipping away at key parts of the law ever since.

Included in a massive spending bill approved on a bipartisan vote last week was a repeal of three ObamaCare taxes.

This included the so-called “Cadillac tax,” a 40 percent tax on high-cost employer-based medical plans; the medical device tax, imposed on equipment such as X-ray machines; and an annual fee on health insurance providers.

Texas infant found dead after crawling into plastic bag, suffocating

His grandmother was watching him at the time. His mother was working an overnight shift at a restaurant.

Gonzalez said the grandmother went to sleep around midnight, leaving the baby in the living room.

Sometime later another child in the home picked up the baby and put him on a mattress on the floor in another room, he said.

Man Arrested In Deadly Hit-And-Run Accident Had Been Deported Six Different Times

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has revealed that Juan Sanchez — a Mexican national who was recently charged for fleeing the scene of a fatal car accident — is an illegal alien and a repeat violator of U.S. immigration law, according to local reports.

The victim’s family members say she was just days away from her 52nd birthday.

As Sanchez’s case moves forward, questions remain over how his immigration status will affect cooperation between federal authorities and local law enforcement.

Colorado’s state government, controlled by the Democratic Party, has become increasingly hostile toward ICE and any sort of immigration enforcement.

This hostility culminated in Gov. Jared Polis signing House Bill 1124 into law in May, which largely prohibits local law enforcement from helping ICE apprehend or locate illegal aliens in the state. In addition, four days prior to the hit-and-run death of 51-year-old Annette Conquering Bear, 9Wants to Know has learned Gilpin County Sheriff’s deputies allowed a reportedly combative Juan Sanchez to leave the county’s jail just hours after Black Hawk police arrested Sanchez on suspicion of DUI while driving a friend’s SUV. Suspect in fatal hit-and-run had been deported 6 times, according to ICE

U.S. Citizen Killed in Mexico While Waiting to Cross Port of Entry into Texas

Tamaulipas Government

The carjacking took place on Monday evening at the Reynosa-Hidalgo Port of Entry when 41-year-old Oscar Manuel Resendez was waiting to cross into Texas, Tamaulipas law enforcement sources revealed to Breitbart Texas.

As the victim sat in a small SUV, a gunman tried to rob him. Resendez got out of his vehicle and tried to fight off the robber but was shot at least once.

Other motorists tried to help but the victim died next to his vehicle. The gunman ran away before authorities could arrive.

Wikipedia Blacklists Epoch Times, Gateway Pundit for Russiagate Criticism

AFP/Lionel Bonaventure

Over the past year, Wikipedia editors have been on a banning spree targeting conservative news sources.

Having previously banned the Daily Mail as a source, the following year marked the beginning of an acceleration of the process.

Since then, editors have imposed similar bans on fifteen other sites aside from Epoch Times and Gateway Pundit.

While some data-focused sites and state-owned outlets in Venezuela and Iran have also been banned, the bulk of the sites banned have been conservative-leaning news outlets.

Trump participates in video call with military officials

President Trump participate in a video teleconference with members of the military from Mar-A-Lago.


Sexual assault accuser of Virginia lieutenant governor running for state Assembly in California

Vanessa Tyson, a member of the Democratic Party like Fairfax, this week launched her bid for an open state Assembly seat based in Whittier, east of Los Angeles.

Tyson, a politics professor at Scripps College, gained a national profile in February when she said Fairfax, now 40, “forced me to perform oral sex on him” on July 26, 2004, when they were both attending the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Days later, a second woman, Meredith Watson, came forward with sexual assault allegations against Fairfax, recalling a “premeditated and aggressive” attack in 2000 when both were college students at Duke University.

Tyson’s bid for office comes as Fairfax gets ready to seek the 2021 Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Tucker: Buttigieg claims to know what political party God supports

Fox News Video:Commentary/Opinion: The left lectures the American people on morality and faith.

Bloomberg ‘exploited’ prisoners to make phone calls on behalf of 2020 campaign: report

The report noted that two of the company’s three call centers are “operated out of state prisons” in Oklahoma, with at least one of them using its prisoners to make phone calls for the campaign.

According to the report, prisoners from the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, an all-women prison, had made phone calls to California voters and were “required to end their calls by disclaiming that the calls were paid for by the Bloomberg campaign.” But as the Intercept noted in its report alleging that the campaign “exploited” the inmates, they did not reveal that “they were calling from behind bars.”

The Bloomberg campaign acknowledged the apparent arrangement to the Intercept, but said they were initially unaware and have since severed ties with the vendor upon learning that it relied on prison labor.

Democrats Debate Whether Trump Has Been Impeached

Pictured: Speaker Nancy Pelosi presides over the House of Representatives vote on the second article of impeachment of President Donald Trump, on December 18.
Pictured: Speaker Nancy Pelosi presides over the House of Representatives vote on the second article of impeachment of President Donald Trump, on December 18.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Commentary/Opinion:Alan M. Dershowitz
Speaker Pelosi’s unconstitutional decision to delay transmission of the articles of impeachment to the Senate in order to gain partisan advantage raises the following question:
has President Trump been impeached, or did the House vote merely represent an authorization or intention to impeach — which becomes an actual impeachment only when the articles are transmitted?

This highly technical constitutional issue is being debated by two of my former Harvard Law School colleagues — Professors Laurence Tribe and Noah Feldman — both liberal Democrats who support President Trump’s impeachment.

In my opinion, both of my colleagues are wrong,

How Will Trump’s Impeachment Change the 2020 Election? • The Next Revolution

Independent Women’s Voice: Lisa Boothe, Sara A. Carter.

Why Trump Supporters are Not Protesting in the Streets Over Impeachment

Commentary/Opinion: Far from building public support for impeaching President Donald Trump, the Democratic leadership’s partisan and unfair hearings in the House of Representatives caused most Americans to tune it all out and stop paying attention.

After it was over, and the vote had been taken on the two articles of impeachment, members of the news media were seen commenting to each other how strange it seemed there were no impeachment protests at the capital.

Several of these media reporters seemed to think that the lack of protests demonstrates widespread support for Trump’s impeachment. This is nonsense.

World News:

Iran Arrests Family Of Slain Protester

Pouya Bakhtiari was killed in November.
Pouya Bakhtiari was killed in November.

Bakhtiari’s parents had announced that they will hold a mourning ceremony at a cemetery in the city of Karaj, west of Tehran, on December 26 to mark 40 days since his death. They had invited Iranians to attend the event.

A relative told RFE/RL’s Radio Farda that Bakhtiari’s parents, as well as several other family members including his grandmother had been arrested by security forces.

Their whereabouts are unknown.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the reported arrest of Bakhtiari’s parents and called for their “immediate release.”

“It’s time for the international community to stand together with the Iranian people and hold the regime accountable,” Pompeo said on Twitter on December 24.

At least eight dead in Russian air strikes in Syria, war monitor says

(Senior Airman Matthew Bruch/WikiCommons)

At least eight people, including five children, have been killed in Russian air strikes on a school sheltering displaced civilians in northwest Syria, a monitoring group said.

The air strikes hit the village of Jubass in the province of Idlib on December 24, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Backed by Russian air strikes, Syrian government forces began a new offensive on the country’s last rebel stronghold last week, setting off a mass exodus of civilians to safer areas near the Turkish border.

Thousands flee north-west Syria amid fierce assault by Assad

Trucks carry the belongings of people leaving Maarat al-Numan on Tuesday. Photograph: Mahmoud Hassano/Reuters

As many as 30,000 people have left the area around the town of Maarat al-Numan after four days of airstrikes and heavy shelling paved the way for Syrian government troops to push deeper into north-western Idlib province.

Maarat al-Numan sits on the strategic M5 highway, which Assad is determined to capture in order to reopen the route linking the capital, Damascus, with the city of Aleppo, Syria’s largest.

Military activity over the last few days has meant the road – the major escape route for civilians fleeing north – has also become a hazardous option.

Attacks continued on Tuesday despite a supposed humanitarian pause in fighting.

Hong Kong police fire teargas to disperse Christmas Eve protests

Demonstrators inside the malls threw umbrellas and other objects at police who responded by beating some with batons; one pointed his gun at the crowd, but did not fire.

Police used teargas to disperse protesters who had occupied the main roads and blocked traffic outside the malls and nearby luxury hotels, including the Peninsula, in the Tsim Sha Tsui tourist district of Kowloon.

There was a heavy police presence into the night with hundreds of officers standing guard on the roads as thousands of Christmas shoppers and tourists, some wearing Santa hats, looked on.

Christmas Eve stampede at Australian mall’s ‘mega balloon drop’ giveaway leaves several injured

Five people were hospitalized with injuries ranging from traumatic chest injuries to neck, leg and back pain when shoppers hustled to get ahold of the prize-filled balloons at midnight, Australia’s ABC News reported.

Inspector Phil Templeman told the Australian Associated Press that is was “incredibly lucky” no one was more seriously injured.

Billed as the “ultimate mega balloon drop,” the event was part of a 36-hour non-stop shopping marathon leading up to Christmas. Each balloon held a free gift card inside, local media reported.

Norway: Only 50 percent of migrants employed after €6.6 billion spent on workforce integration program

According to the report, just 33 percent of the migrants worked 35 or more hours, versus 70 percent of the general population.

Additionally, one in four migrants was receiving social assistance or was on long-term sick leave due to a reduced ability to work.

The report’s statistics showed that migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Myanmar were employed substantially more often than those who came from Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Palestine.


Rev. Graham on Christianity Today article: My father would be disappointed

The Federalist senior editor Chris Bedford reacts to the op-ed calling for Trump’s removal from office.

Merry Impeachmas!

Merry Impeachmas, I mean Merry Christmas everyone!

The media works for the Democrats in this country & everyone knows it. But it’s worse than that.

Here’s the Simple Truth.

Glenn Beck: On the Ukraine Scandal, the Culture War & How His Views on Trump Changed [SAS Special]

At Turning Point USA’s 2019 Student Action Summit, we sit down with Glenn Beck, a major conservative media personality and political commentator in America, to discuss the Ukraine scandal, the culture war in America, and why his views on Trump and his administration have changed.