News and Headlines. 1/17/2020

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

In The News:

3 women arrested after Metairie TGI Fridays employee knifed during dine and dash: JPSO

The violent dine and dash occurred Wednesday evening at TGI Fridays, 3330 Veterans Memorial Blvd., said Capt. Jason Rivarde, spokesman for the department.

Tiara Grant, 30, Nicole Carter, 33, and Angele Grant, 30, all of New Orleans, had a meal at the restaurant but walked out to the parking lot without paying their $79.50 check, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

An unidentified staffer followed the women outside and tried to take photo of the license plate on the trio’s vehicle.

Woman lured realtor to home before New Year’s Eve kidnapping, murder

Monique Baugh
VIA FACEBOOK Monique Baugh

Elsa E. Segura, 28, of Fridley, was charged Friday in Hennepin County District Court with one count of kidnapping for luring Monique Baugh, a 28-year-old mother of two, to the home in Maple Grove that was for sale.

Two men — Cedric L. Berry and Berry A. Davis — are also charged in the case, and are accused of kidnapping Baugh from Maple Grove in a U-Haul rental truck.

Hennepin County authorities confirmed that Segura had worked as a Hennepin County probation officer; it’s unclear if she had connections to the suspects or victims through her employment.

Baugh’s live-in boyfriend and the father of her 1- and 3-year-old daughters, Jon Mitchell-Momoh, was shot several times in their north Minneapolis home as part of the attack and survived.

Baugh, her wrists bound with tape, was found shot three times in a north Minneapolis alley.

Fired Cloquet cop sues county attorney, others for $4 million

Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola is one of the defendants named in a federal lawsuit brought by a former Cloquet police officer who is claiming his civil rights were violated, among other issues.
Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola is one of the defendants named in a federal lawsuit brought by a former Cloquet police officer who is claiming his civil rights were violated, among other issues.

DULUTH – A federal lawsuit brought by a former Cloquet police officer is leveling blistering accusations against Carlton County’s top prosecutor and is seeking at least $4 million in damages.

Scott Holman says he was retaliated against and his civil rights were violated when he was reprimanded for a social media post, barred from testifying in cases he worked on and, this spring, fired after 22 years with the department.

The lawsuit says Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola, who was elected in 2018, had a “vendetta/personal motive to damage and violate the rights” of Holman and the goal of “destroying (his) career.”

Dad accused of killing family in Celebration, Florida, was under federal investigation for fraud

Anthony Todt.Osceola County Sheriff's Office via AP
Anthony Todt.Osceola County Sheriff’s Office via AP

The father who confessed to killing his wife and three children after he was found in a home with their bodies was in dire debt and had stolen tens of thousands of dollars from insurance companies in a medical fraud scheme, according to federal investigators.

Deputies arrived at the home of Anthony Todt in Celebration, Florida, to serve a federal arrest warrant when, during a safety check, they found four human bodies and a dead dog.

Autopsies are underway, but Todt confessed to murdering his wife, Megan, and the couple’s three children, Alek, 13, Tyler, 11, and Zoey, 4. He also admitted to killing the family’s dog, Breezy.

Supreme Court will tackle dispute over birth control, religious liberty

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court agreed Friday to decide if the Trump administration can let employers and universities with religious or moral objections deny women insurance coverage for contraceptives.

The justices’ willingness to hear a dispute the high court has considered twice before likely bodes well for groups such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, which have disputed a birth control mandate first implemented under President Barack Obama in 2011.

In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that private corporations with religious objections, such as Hobby Lobby, could get exemptions.

When non-profit groups sought similar exemptions two years later, the court sent seven disputes back to federal appeals courts in search of a compromise.

That has proven elusive.

Global shares set fresh records, lifted by U.S. housing data

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 10, 2020.
FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., January 10, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The resurgent U.S. economy, backed by an accommodative Federal Reserve, is bringing investors off the sidelines back into the market, said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co in Milwaukee.

An improving economy also is reducing the fear of being the last person to invest before a recession, Schutte said.

“Those people are now coming back into the market because recession fears are diminishing,” he said.

China stocks rose as investors cheered further signs of resilience in the Chinese economy and the signing of the Sino-U.S. trade deal.

Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial

Harvey Weinstein leaves a Manhattan courthouse following jury selection for his trial on rape and sexual assault charges, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in New York.
Harvey Weinstein leaves a Manhattan courthouse following jury selection for his trial on rape and sexual assault charges, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in New York.
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — A jury of seven men and five women was selected Friday for Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial after an arduous, two-week process in which scores of people were dismissed because they had already made up their minds about the disgraced Hollywood mogul.

Opening statements are expected Wednesday in the case against the 67-year-old executive who has come to be seen as the archvillain of the #MeToo era.

During jury selection, prosecutors accused Weinstein’s lawyers of systematically trying to keep young women off the panel, though the final gender makeup of the jury turned out to be more closely balanced.

A Wisconsin woman left the ER to find another hospital after a long wait. Two hours later, she was dead

On Jan. 2, Tashonna texted her mom saying that she was experiencing chest pains and was going to the emergency room.

The report from the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner states that she arrived at Froedtert hospital just before 5 p.m. that day. There, multiple tests were performed – including a chest x-ray that showed abnormal enlargement of her heart.

After several hours, the report states that Tashonna “felt she was waiting too long,” even taking to Facebook, writing that there was a: “two to six-hour wait.” That’s when she left for an urgent care clinic.

Mom ‘devastated’ after seeing video of her 5-year-old girl bullied on school bus

DALLAS – A Dallas mother was told by her child’s school district that it would cost her $600 to see a video that showed what happened to her 5-year-old daughter on a small school bus in November.

Audrey Billings did so, and what she saw left her crushed.

“I was devastated, I cried,” Billings told CNN on Thursday.

She calls out to the bus driver several times during the assault and starts crying as she continues to get hit.

The bus driver does not respond on the video, which does not show the entire bus ride.

Climate Kidz case scuttled by 9th Circuit Court

The Ninth Circuit on Friday threw out a lawsuit filed by a group of children who say the federal government’s failure to act to curb climate change is endangering their future, finding the legislative and executive branches of government are the only ones with the power to redress the kids’ alleged injuries.

The 2-1 ruling says the children must look to the political branches — Congress and the executive branch — for action, rather than the courts.

Sex offender sought in death of Alabama woman who sent worried text after leaving bar

Frederick Hampton, 50, was wanted in the disappearance of Paighton Houston, left, last seen leaving a Birmingham, Ala., bar Dec. 30. Her body was found two weeks later. (Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office)

Frederick Hampton, 50, was with Paighton Houston when she disappeared the night of Dec. 20. According to David Agee, deputy chief of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, he disposed of the woman’s body the day after she died.

“We are actively looking for him,” Agee told a news conference Thursday. He said Hampton, who is facing an abuse of corpse charge, could be in Georgia.

The 29-year-old woman from Trussville was found buried in a shallow grave in the backyard of a house believed to be owned by Hampton’s relatives on Jan. 3, Agee said. The house was in Hueytown, near Birmingham.

Yosemite National Park sees 170 people fall ill with gastrointestinal issues ‘consistent with norovirus,’ 2 cases confirmed

The Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, California where two peole reported feeling ill after visiting earlier this month.
(Photo by Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)

Officials issued a statement confirming that two people have contracted the extremely contagious virus after spending time in Yosemite Valley on and around the first week of January.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, norovirus can be transmitted through contaminated food, surfaces or objects, or by coming in direct contact with someone who has already been infected.

Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

Both park visitors and employees are among the people who have fallen ill.


NYC art exhibit stresses that ‘abortion is normal,’ raises funds for Planned Parenthood

Image source: Quicktake by Bloomberg/Twitter screenshot
Image source: Quicktake by Bloomberg/Twitter screenshot

So how exactly do the artists want to spread the message that “abortion is normal?”

A Bloomberg video highlighting the event shows a T-shirt that reads “Thank God for abortion,” paintings of Supreme Court Justice of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, while the event’s website highlights depictions of bare-breasted women with pro-abortion messages written on them and a painting telling Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh “If you don’t like abortions, don’t get one.”

And while it’s incredibly difficult to imagine a New York City-based art show with such a jarring message changing that many, if any, pro-life life minds, the effort also plans to channel money to pro-abortion political efforts in the upcoming campaign cycle.

Suspected Neo-Nazi Arrested For Threatening Violence At Gun Rally Was Illegal Immigrant From Canada

A gun rights activist carries his handgun in a hip holster outside the Virginia State Capitol building as the General Assembly prepares to convene in Richmond, Virginia, U.S. Jan. 8, 2020.
A gun rights activist carries his handgun in a hip holster outside the Virginia State Capitol building as the General Assembly prepares to convene in Richmond, Virginia, U.S. Jan. 8, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

Authorities took three men — who are suspected of belonging to a neo-Nazi organization known as The Base — into custody Thursday morning, The New York Times reported.

The men reportedly had weapons in their possession and considered attending a pro-gun rally in Richmond, Virginia, on Jan. 20 in the hopes of partaking in a possible race war.

One individual the FBI arrested, Patrik Jordan Mathews, 27, is a Canadian national who entered the U.S. illegally, according to officials.

Mathews, who served in the Canadian Armed Forces for eight years, received combat engineer training and is considered to be an expert in the use of explosives.

He was let go from the Canadian Army after his white supremacist ties were exposed.

Middle school takes issue with student’s ‘Virginity Rocks’ shirt, orders him to remove it or face consequences

Image source: KMOV-TV video screenshot
Image source: KMOV-TV video screenshot

“I think this is absurd, I really do,” Todd Piglowski, Londyn’s father, told KMOV of what happened to his son.

“They teach sex ed,” he added to the station. “How can you teach it but then say, ‘Hey, let’s not have it on a sweatshirt’?”

But apparently the “Virginity Rocks” clothing isn’t a fave with officials at other schools.

The station noted that students from around the country have been posted messages saying they also have been told by their schools that “Virginity Rocks” attire is verboten.

Breaking Down the Alarming Realities of Child Sex Trafficking in America—Jaco Booyens

Commentary/Opinion: Just how widespread is sex trafficking in America?

Why is it so incredibly difficult for the victims to ever truly recover and have healthy relationships?

How are sex trafficking and pornography connected?

And, what can we do to protect our children from sex trafficking?

In this episode, we’ll sit down with Jaco Booyens. The brother of a sex trafficking survivor, Booyens is the founder of SHAREtogether, which combats child sex trafficking.

He is also the producer and director of the feature film on the subject, 8 DAYS.


Supreme Court will hear case that could decide future presidential elections

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court entered the 2020 presidential fray Friday by agreeing to decide a threshold question before Election Day: Must the 538 members of the Electoral College vote for their states’ winning candidates?

Yes, the Supreme Court of Washington State ruled in May, upholding $1,000 fines against three Democratic electors who cast their votes in December 2016 for Colin Powell rather than Hillary Clinton, who had won the state a month earlier.

No, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled in August, upholding the vote cast for Republican John Kasich rather than Clinton by a Democratic elector in Colorado.

Mollie Hemingway: Impeachment Is ‘Pornography For The Trump-Deranged’

Commentary/Opinion: During a Fox News panel on how Democrats ignore the booming success of the economy and President Trump’s trade policy, Federalist Senior Editor Mollie Hemingway pointed out many Democrats and NeverTrumpers focus on impeachment instead.

“You have Republicans, Mitch McConnell confirming justices. You have Republicans in Congress working with deregulation, as is the president,” she said.

“Then you have Democrats who said that they were going to come to DC and work on health care and all these other issues, instead spending their time really freaking out about Donald Trump.”

Trump complained on Thursday about the lack of attention and credit the media has given to the passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal.

Tax cuts 2.0 could include this middle-class windfall: Kudlow

While lowering the payroll tax isn’t high on the White House’s list, adjusting the earned income tax credit for low to moderate earners is something that’s being examined, Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney.

Kudlow said the administration wants to keep the child tax credit, which was doubled to $2,000 in 2018, and that it’s considering making “some things permanent” on both the individual side and the corporate side that would have expired under the 2017 tax overhaul.

Another option is allowing for immediate expensing, which Kudlow called a “very powerful tonic” for business investment.

A tax-cut proposal may be part of the White House budget that is submitted in February, three people familiar with the matter told FOX Business.

‘Clever’: Biden plays the Obama card

Susan Walsh/AP Photo
Susan Walsh/AP Photo

The ad, stitched together from Obama’s speech presenting Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom before they left office together in January 2017, is part of Biden’s closing argument in the days leading up to the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3.

It’s a way to convince Democratic voters that they should put him in the Oval Office because Obama — the most popular figure in the party — put him a heartbeat away from it.

“This a very effective ad … it is a clever way of signifying Obama’s feelings about Biden, implying an endorsement the president has not made,” said David Axelrod, a top Obama adviser.

Iraqi refugee launches GOP challenge to Rep. Ilhan Omar

Dalia al-Aqidi tells ‘Fox & Friends’ that she’s running for Congress because Rep. Ilhan Omar is doing ‘irreparable harm’ to the country with her ‘hatred and racism.’

Democratic senator asks DOJ and FBI to not cooperate with colleagues’ Ukraine-Chalupa probe

Anna Moneymaker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Anna Moneymaker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a letter first reported by The Daily Beast on Thursday, Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) urged Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Chris Wray not to comply with a November request from Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) for information about Alexandra Chalupa, the former Democratic National Committee contractor who has been accused of working with Ukrainian officials to dig up dirt on the 2016 Trump campaign.

The request that Wyden is referring to was sent to the DOJ and FBI in November and was part of Grassley’s and Johnson’s committees’ “ongoing investigation into collusive actions Chalupa and the DNC took to use foreign government sources to undermine the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.”

In addition to the Chalupa-Ukraine issue, Grassley and Johnson have also started looking into questions regarding Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, its former board member Hunter Biden, and the Obama administration’s State Department.

Ken Starr, Alan Dershowitz join Trump’s impeachment defense team

The prominent lawyers are among several attorneys added to the team as the president’s impeachment trial gets underway, with proceedings kicking off Thusrday and moving into full swing next Tuesday.

The team will also include former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, former federal prosecutor Robert Ray and Jane Raskin, who was part of the president’s legal team during former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

Both Starr and Dershowitz are former Fox News contributors.

The White House says that it is looking for a fair process that affords Trump the rights it says were denied to him in the House inquiry.

World News:

Overweight ISIS fanatic arrested in Iraq sparks stream of Internet memes

Latest photos for #ISIS Mufti. He was the strongest supporter of demolishing Mosul heritage.
Latest photos for #ISIS Mufti. He was the strongest supporter of demolishing Mosul heritage.

Hate preacher Abu Abdul Bari had to be loaded onto a flatbed truck after he was nabbed in his Mosul bolthole by Iraqi security forces.

Cops said he was an ISIS member who issued fatwas leading to the execution of a number of scholars and clerics, as well as the bombing of a mosque.

Macer Gifford, a Brit who fought against the death cult in Syria, tweeted: “I’m delighted to say that the Islamic State’s very own Jabba the Hutt has been captured in Mosul.

“Responsible for the execution of men, women, and children. This animal raped and murdered.”

Referring to the obvious problems the authorities might face carrying out the country’s death penalty, he added: “Good luck hanging him Iraq.”

11 Troops Injured in Jan. 8 Missile Attack in Iraq: Pentagon

Debris and rubble are seen at the site where an Iranian missile hit at Ain al-Asad air base in Anbar province, Iraq on Jan. 13, 2020. (John Davison/Reuters)

“While no U.S. service members were killed in the Jan. 8 Iranian attacks on Al Asad airbase, several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed,” Captain Bill Urban, spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said in a statement cited by Reuters.

Trump said in a televised address on Jan. 8 that “[n]o American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that worked very well.

I salute the incredible skill and courage of America’s men and women in uniform.”

Trump also said that no U.S. service members were injured or killed. CNN reports that a military official explained that the discrepancy was because troops developed symptoms days after the attack.

“That was the commander’s assessment at the time.

Symptoms emerged days after the fact, and they were treated out of an abundance of caution,” the official told the news outlet.

British woman in Cyprus gang-rape case appeals guilty verdict to lying

A 19-year-old British woman, center, who was found guilty of making up claims she was raped by up to 12 Israelis arrives at Famagusta District Court for sentencing on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. She insisted she was raped and was coerced by investigators to retract her claim.
A 19-year-old British woman, center, who was found guilty of making up claims she was raped by up to 12 Israelis arrives at Famagusta District Court for sentencing on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. She insisted she was raped and was coerced by investigators to retract her claim. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Lawyers for the woman had vowed an appeal after her sentencing last week. She was given a suspended four-month jail sentence, Sky News reported.

The 19-year-old maintains she was raped and has accused Cypriot police of pressuring her to recant, according to the news outlet.

The case drew widespread interest in the U.K. and Israel after she claimed she had been gang-raped and then was charged herself with making up the rape claims.

US, Taliban continue meetings in Qatar on joint agreement

Former U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad speaks at the inauguration of the Ghazi School in Kabul. (US Embassy Kabul Afghanistan/U.S. Department of State)

U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed his desire to remove the estimated 13,000 U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan in America’s longest war.

Over the past year, neighboring Pakistan has helped facilitate talks between Khalilzad and the Taliban in Qatar, where the militants have a political office.

But the talks have repeatedly stalled, with Washington calling on the group to reduce violence, among other things.

An Afghan presidency spokesman said a cease-fire was the only way to achieve sustainable and dignified peace.

Unforgivable: Police ignore rape gangs again

Anne Marie Waters: Leader, For Britain.


‘Human Rights’ Activist Loves Settlements As Long As They’re Not Israeli

For instance, BDS activists often advertise themselves as human rights activists. Yet, if this were the case, they wouldn’t remain in an organization whose leadership contains dozens of terror activists.

Indeed, early last year, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs released a report titled, “Terrorists in Suits.” Among other things, it discovered that Hamas and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine activists had infiltrated various BDS groups globally.

The report studied more than one dozen international BDS organizations, only to find that senior positions were being filled by 30 terror activists—20 of whom who had been imprisoned for their crimes, some of which which included murder.

Sweden’s Secret Immigration Crisis (Pt.3)| Aron Flam & Henrik Jönsson | INTERNATIONAL | Rubin Report

Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talks to Aron Flam (Swedish Comedian) and Henrik Jönsson (Swedish Entrepreneur) about the many myths of Sweden.

Aron and Henrik discuss the effects of Sweden’s immigration policy on places like Malmö, Sweden.

They discuss what they think the original intentions behind Sweden’s immigration policy were and how it has played out in reality.

According to Aron and Henrik Sweden has not made a real attempt to help refugees assimilate to Swedish culture and have now created a more segregated society with a new immigrant underclass.

They also share why they think the US has been better about being able to assimilate immigrants into its society due to its focus on individualism as opposed to collectivism.