News and Headlines. 1/13/2020

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

In The News:

Scientists use stem cells from frogs to build first living robots

Researchers in the US have created the first living machines by assembling cells from African clawed frogs into tiny robots that move around under their own steam.

One of the most successful creations has two stumpy legs that propel it along on its “chest”.

Another has a hole in the middle that researchers turned into a pouch so it could shimmy around with miniature payloads.

“These are entirely new lifeforms. They have never before existed on Earth,” said Michael Levin, the director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

“They are living, programmable organisms.”

Man Who Allegedly Reached Out to Girls Online Is Accused of Sexual Assault; LAPD Seeks More Victims

Markell Rowland is shown in a photo released by LAPD officials on Jan. 13, 2019.
Markell Rowland is shown in a photo released by LAPD officials on Jan. 13, 2019.

“Rowland has a history of approaching underage girls in the Hollywood area and asking them for their social media screen names or approaching them directly online through their social media pages,” police said in the release.

It is unclear whether he approached the victim in this case in the same way.

Rowland apparently also goes by the names Markel Southall and “Kel.”

Police encouraged any potential victims “who may have been reluctant to report similar crimes committed by Rowland” to come forward.

Anyone with information can contact detectives at LAPD’s Operations West Bureau at 213-473-0447.

Phoenix couple accused of child abuse in baby’s death, 2 other children’s head injuries

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – A Phoenix couple is facing more than half a dozen felony charges in connection with the alleged abuse of their five children, including a baby who died and another who was found to have a traumatic brain injury.

Police arrested Donald Roy Ferguson, 38, and Emmaline Amelia Ramirez, 29, on Tuesday, Jan. 7, two days after firefighters responded to the Phoenix hotel where the family was staying and pronounced one of their 1-month-old babies dead.

The couple called 911 late the night of Sunday, Jan. 5 because that baby was not breathing. Their other children, another 1-month-old baby, a 15-month-old, a 4-year-old, and a 6-year-old, were in the room, as well.

3 teens charged in murder of 42-year-old man from Sumter

The minors, who are now 15, 16 and 17, are accused of robbing and shooting the man in his Dingle Street home back in September 2019.

Police said two of the teens broke into Stewart’s house and demanded money before shooting him. The other teen waited outside the home.

The suspects took money and other items, police said.

They all face charges of murder, conspiracy, first degree burglary and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Eight people stabbed in Colorado Springs rampage; victims nab suspect


Eight people were rushed to hospitals in Colorado Springs early Monday after a man who went on a stabbing rampage only halted when some of the victims detained the suspect, police said.

Officers responding to the first call located two victims who said the attacker fled the area on walking trails in America the Beautiful Park, police said in a statement.

When the officers encountered several more victims, more officers were called in for the search.

Another call came in saying more people had been stabbed, and officers responding to that area found the suspect being detained by some of his victims.

Franklin College president fired after arrest for sex crimes: ‘We are deeply shocked’

Franklin College fired President Thomas Minar
Franklin College fired President Thomas Minar 

INDIANAPOLIS – Franklin College fired President Thomas Minar over the weekend following his arrest in Wisconsin for sex crimes, and is launching an investigation into his behavior while at the Indiana school.

According to a statement from school officials, Minar was arrested in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and charged with use of a computer to facilitate a sex crime, child enticement and exposing a child to harmful materials or narrations.

The college was made aware of the “deeply disturbing incident” in an email from the Sturgeon Bay Police Department and the Board of Trustees “acted immediately,” according to school officials.

Missing California boy, 11, found dead; police call it ‘suspicious’

Roman Anthony Lopez’s body was found hours after he vanished.
(Placerville Police Department)

An “extensive” search for a missing 11-year-old boy in California ended just hours after it began Saturday when police discovered the boy’s body — and his death was being investigated as suspicious, the Placerville Police Department said in a news release Sunday.

Roman Anthony Lopez was reported missing Saturday morning after he disappeared from his home, police wrote on Facebook while the search was ongoing.

Police later said multiple agencies had canvassed the neighborhood in search of the missing boy.

Groundbreaking tumor treatment technology receives FDA clearance

Israeli medical device company IceCure plans to significantly extend its U.S. operations with its cryoablation technology to destroy benign and cancerous tumors by freezing.

One America’s Stephanie Myers spoke with the CEO of IceCure, Eyal Shamir, who explained how this is a significant achievement for the company and how the technology works.


Chick-fil-A giving away free chicken nuggets all month

The fast food chain is offering free chicken nuggets for all of its customers through the end of the month.

Here’s how it works: A free eight-count order of classic nuggets will be given to anybody “who creates or signs into their Chick-fil-A account” in the company’s app now through Jan. 31. Guests can redeem the offer either in a restaurant, in a drive-thru or by placing a mobile order within the Chick-fil-A app.

AG Barr says attack at Naval Air Station Pensacola an ‘act of terrorism’

U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr and FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich will hold a press conference at the Justice Department announcing the findings of the criminal investigation into the December 6 shootings at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida that killed three U.S. Service members and wounded eight.

If you’ve bought Infants’ Tylenol, you could be eligible for part of a $6.3 million settlement

The plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit claim that the packaging is misleading, deceiving customers into believing Infants’ Tylenol is specially formulated for babies when it actually contains liquid acetaminophen of the same concentration as Children’s Tylenol.

As a result, the lawsuit claims parents overpaid for the medication.

You’re eligible for the settlement if you bought the product between Oct. 3, 2014, and Jan. 6, 2020. You must file a claim by April 13, 2020.

Police: desperate manhunt underway for suspect who shot officer

Investigators say the incident began when the officer effected a routine traffic stop near the intersection of Galley Road and Arrawanna Street. The stop occurred just before midnight on Saturday.

Before approaching the vehicle, the officer reportedly called for an additional unit.

But after the second Colorado Springs unit arrived and they approached the vehicle, that’s when the driver allegedly opened fire.

6 Mexican nationals plead guilty to federal charges after $1.7M in meth seized in metro Atlanta

U.S. Border Patrol agents prevented an attempt to smuggle 31.6 kilograms (69.67 pounds) methamphetamine with an approximate value of $2,227,200.
(U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Released)

Santana Cardenas, 41, of Mexico, was the final defendant to enter a guilty plea after officials accused him of conspiring to convert more than 400 pounds of liquid meth into crystal meth, according to U.S. Attorney BJay Pak.

Fredrico Pacheco-Romero, 27, Carlos Martinez, 24, Jorge Mendoza-Perez, 50, Victor Manuel Sanchez, 21, and Eduardo Lopez, 26, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

The charges stemmed from a months-long investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration that connected the local group to a Mexico-based drug cartel. Pak said Pacheco-Romero and Martinez were the local leaders of the group.

More than a quarter of a ton of meth, valued at nearly $1.7 million, was discovered during the investigation, previously reported. The group used homes in Milton and Ellenwood.

PHOTOS: Veteran who lost leg rides again thanks to customized motorcycle

Charles Zollicoffer on the trike he received from CAMVETS (Submitted photo/TNS)
Charles Zollicoffer on the trike he received from CAMVETS (Submitted photo/TNS)

Challenge America: Makers For Veterans helped Charles Zollicoffer ride a motorcycle for the first time in eight years.

More importantly, he said, the fall program renewed his faith in humanity.

“I was left for dead on the side of the road,” he said. “So, during my time in this last seven or eight years, I have lost a lot of faith in people. A lot.”

In 2011, a drunken driver pulled in front of Zollicoffer’s 1995 Kawasaki motorcycle on state Route 800.

The now retired U.S. Marine Corps and Army National Guard veteran had completed three tours in Iraq and was scheduled for deployment to Afghanistan.


Virginia Democrats pass controversial gun control bills through Senate committee

Every gun control bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, except the most controversial one.

Democratic Sen. Dick Saslaw’s proposed Senate Bill 16 prohibiting “any person from importing, selling, transferring, manufacturing, purchasing, possessing, or transporting an assault firearm” was struck from the docket early in the morning.

Democrats in the state’s House of Delegates will instead focus on House Bill 961, a slightly weaker bill with similar language, that would allow Virginians to keep their assault rifles if they register ownership with the Virginia State Police.

California workers fight back against law they say diminishes their earnings

An injunction hearing against Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) being held Monday at the U.S. District Court in San Diego has become rallying cry for more than one million independent California workers who claim they lost their income overnight as a result of the new law.

A rally to appeal AB5 is also scheduled for Jan. 28 at the State Capitol in Sacramento, co-organized by State Rep. Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin.

“AB5 is depriving countless Californians of their livelihoods,” Kiley said. The lawmaker also created a website for workers to post how the bill has negatively impacted them.

Small business owners, translators, photojournalists, cartoonists, musicians, freelance writers, editors and journalists – and all independent contractors who have previously filed a 1099 IRS form – say they have seen their income evaporate overnight as a result of AB5.

The new law requires that they be employed by someone other than themselves and file a W2 instead.

Op-Ed: House drug bill dooms medical research

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House lawmakers recently voted to pass the “Lower Drug Costs Now Act,” which would enable government officials to set the price of lifesaving medicines.

The bill would reduce pharmaceutical companies’ revenues by a staggering $1 trillion over the coming decade.

That would bring medical research projects to a screeching halt – and doom millions of patients to premature deaths from otherwise curable diseases.

Right now, America leads the world in medical innovation. We account for just 5 percent of the global population and 24 percent of the world economy, but create more than 50 percent of all novel drugs.

Across the country, scientists are developing 4,500 experimental treatments.

But if lawmakers enable government regulators to set drug prices, these medicines will likely never come to market. Firms would have little prospect of recouping their research costs – much less turning a profit.

So they wouldn’t attract investors willing to fund the search for future treatments and cures. Millions of current and future patients will die from diseases that could have otherwise been treated.

Tom Steyer: Americans Must Provide Cheap Housing to Illegal Immigrants


Any inflow of migrants will be a boon to Steyer’s fellow investors who gain from the extra workers, consumers, and renters.

For example, one gauge of real estate investments shows a 50 percent gain since 2015, even as Americans’ wages and salaries rose by only about 15 percent.

Meanwhile, Steyer’s home state is experiencing record housing prices and record homelessness as today’s illegals enjoy the state government’s offer of sanctuary, jobs, and welfare.

The federal housing agency reported January 7 the state has about 108,000 homeless:

In September Breitbart News reported the Census Bureau showed how the state’s housing costs are pushing Americans into poverty:

DOJ recommends maximum sentence for former GOP Rep. Chris Collins

Collins is scheduled to be sentenced in a Manhattan federal courtroom on Jan. 17, and his plea agreement, along with a Presentence Investigation Report, provided a sentencing range of 46 to 57 months in prison. The DOJ recommended a sentence Monday at the maximum end — or around four-and-a-half years.

“The Government believes that a sentence at the top end of the Guidelines range is necessary in order to satisfy the objectives of Title 18 United States Code, Section 3553(a), and in particular to promote respect for the law, to provide just punishment for the offense, and to achieve general deterrence,” prosecutors with the Southern District of New York said in a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Vernon S. Broderick.

Illinois Becomes 20th State to Force Taxpayers to Foot the Bill for Transgender Surgery

On December 23, Illinois joined 19 other states and the District of Columbia to explicitly require Medicaid to pay for transgender surgeries.

The Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the state’s primary Medicaid agency, published new administrative rules mandating the coverage of certain “gender-affirming” services. Illinois formerly excluded “transsexual surgery” from the taxpayer-funded program.

Sixty-two percent of Americans said employers should be able to opt-out of covering transgender surgeries, and 80 percent of them said doctors and medical professionals should be able to opt-out of performing surgeries they think dangerous to their patients.

If businesses should be able to opt-out of footing the bill for dangerous and controversial surgeries, why shouldn’t taxpayers?

FULL MEASURE: January 12, 2020 – I Spy

Commentary/Opinion: We begin with an examination of one of the worst abuses of government power that could happen in our society. Illegal spying on U.S. citizens.

Amid findings about egregious violations by our intelligence community, there’s a criminal investigation.

And the court that approves surveillance on U.S. citizens has instructed the FBI to implement new safeguards as of this week.

As our intelligence agencies face what may be their biggest scrutiny in decades, we examine how we got here.

Booker drops out of presidential race

Sen. Cory Booker. | Patrick Semansky/AP Photo
Sen. Cory Booker. | Patrick Semansky/AP Photo

Cory Booker suspended his presidential campaign Monday, conceding that he no longer sees a path to victory due to a lack of financial resources.

“Friend, it’s with a full heart that I share this news — I’ve made the decision to suspend my campaign for president,” the New Jersey senator said in a Medium post and an email to supporters.

Story Continued Below

He will instead run for reelection to his Senate seat.

Dems silent on Iran protests as demonstrators blame regime, not Trump, for plane crash

Democratic congressional leaders and presidential candidates who were unsparing in their criticism of President Trump for the escalation with Iran over the past two weeks largely have gone silent now that the protests on the streets of Tehran and beyond have turned their rage toward the regime — and not the Trump White House.

Even as videos emerged online Monday that purportedly show Iranian police and security forces firing live ammunition to disperse protesters, so far among the 2020 Democratic candidates only former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., have spoken out in support of the people.

The protesters have railed against the government following the shoot-down of a passenger plane that the Iranian government initially denied involvement in —

Steve Hilton on the historic accomplishments of the Trump Revolution

Commentary/Opinion: Steve Hilton: I don’t think there’s been proper recognition of the substance and significance of what Trump is doing.

World News:

Anger in Iran over jet’s downing; gunfire disperses protests

In this photograph taken Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, Iranian police officers take position while protesters gather in front of Amir Kabir University in Tehran, Iran, to remember victims of a Ukrainian airplane shot down by an Iranian missile. On Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, online videos purported to show that Iranian security forces fired both live ammunition and tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting against the Islamic Republic's initial denial that it shot down a Ukrainian jetliner.
In this photograph taken Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, Iranian police officers take position while protesters gather in front of Amir Kabir University in Tehran, Iran, to remember victims of a Ukrainian airplane shot down by an Iranian missile. On Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, online videos purported to show that Iranian security forces fired both live ammunition and tear gas to disperse demonstrators protesting against the Islamic Republic’s initial denial that it shot down a Ukrainian jetliner. (AP Photo)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Popular anger swelled Monday in Iran over the accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian jetliner and the government’s attempt to conceal its role in the tragedy, as online videos appeared to show security forces firing live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protests in the streets.

Iranians, already suffering under crippling U.S. sanctions, expressed shock and outrage over the plane crash that killed scores of young people.

They also decried the misleading statements from top officials, who only admitted responsibility three days later in the face of mounting evidence.

U.S. targets Maduro-backed legislator and allies in fresh Venezuelan sanctions

FILE PHOTO: Lawmaker Luis Parra speaks during a swearing-in ceremony at Venezuela’s National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela January 5, 2020. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on seven Venezuelan politicians it said led a bid by President Nicolas Maduro to wrest control of the country’s congress from U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Earlier this month, troops blocked Guaido from entering congress long enough for the Socialist Party to declare allied legislator Luis Parra as head of parliament.

Opposition legislators in a separate session on Jan. 5 re-elected Guaido and later returned to the legislative palace to hold session.

Washington blacklisted Parra and six of his allies “who, at the bidding of Maduro, attempted to block the democratic process in Venezuela,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

France, West Africa to unite forces in fight against Islamist militants

French President Emmanuel Macron, Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou, Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani and Chad's President Idriss Deby attend a meeting during a summit on the situation in the Sahel region in the southern French city of Pau, France, January 13, 2020.
French President Emmanuel Macron, Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Burkina Faso’s President Roch Marc Christian Kabore, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou, Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani and Chad’s President Idriss Deby attend a meeting during a summit on the situation in the Sahel region in the southern French city of Pau, France, January 13, 2020.
REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/Pool

PARIS (Reuters) – France and West African states agreed on Monday to unite their forces under a joint command structure to fight Islamist militants in the Sahel region and France will send an extra 220 soldiers to bolster its military presence there.

West African leaders assured French President Emmanuel Macron that they wanted France to continue its military involvement in the region when they met with him in the southwestern town of Pau.

“We have no choice. We need results,” Macron said, announcing the reinforcements after the summit with the leaders of Niger, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Chad.

Netanyahu: Iran repeatedly lies to the international community – 13.1.2020 TV7 Israel News

Today’s top stories;
1) The Islamic Republic of Iran has confessed to the downing a Ukrainian passenger airliner, which claimed the lives of 176 people, claiming – what they referred to as: “the human error” was because of the American military presence in the region.

2) Israel calls on Europe to exercise a snap-back mechanism of crippling economic sanctions against Iran’s Ayatollah regime, in response to the latter’s withdrawal from its commitments to the 2015 nuclear agreement.

3) The Secretary General of the Iranian-proxy Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, declared it was time for Iran’s allies to begin working to retaliate for the killing of the IRGC Quds Force commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani.

Photos taken at Iraq base where US troops are stationed show scale of damage following Iranian airstrikes

U.S. soldiers and journalists inspect the rubble at a site of Iranian bombing, in Ain al-Asad base in Anbar, Iraq, on Monday. (AP)

“There were more than 10 large missiles fired and the impact hit several areas along the airfield,” said Col. Myles Caggins, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

He added that the explosions at the base, which is about 110 miles west of Baghdad, created large craters, knocked over concrete barriers and destroyed facilities that house dozens of soldiers.

Although no troops were killed, Caggins said several were treated for concussions and are being assessed by professionals.

Caggins also explained that troops received notification the missiles were on their way, thanks to early warning systems, and described those who lived through the attack as “warriors.”

Trump expected to sign major phase one China trade deal this week

Commentary/Opinion: The Wall Street Journal editorial page writer Jillian Melchior argues farmers and manufacturers will be seeing some relief resulting from the phase one China trade deal being signed and that democracy and the Chinese system are compatible.


What Is “Fair”?

“Fairness” has become a Progressive obsession.

The childhood lament, “it’s not fair!” is now a common refrain among many adults.

No political discussion seems complete without someone insisting that the wealthy pay “their fair share.” But what does anybody mean by “fair”?

In this video, social commentator Daniel Hannan attempts to answer this critically important question.

FULL MEASURE: January 12, 2020 – Why Soldiers Miss War

There are more than 18 million living veterans in the U.S. Each returns home after a different experience to begin a new life.

Some have a great deal of difficulty adjusting.

Former special operations pilot Nolan Peterson plucks at this emotional dilemma in his new book: “Why Soldiers Miss War.”