News and Headlines. 2/13/2020

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

In The News:

Former Ohio State football players plead not guilty to rape

Jahsen Wint (L) and Amir Riep were being held on $100,000 and $75,000 bond, respectively. Photos courtesy of Franklin County Sheriff Office
Jahsen Wint (L) and Amir Riep were being held on $100,000 and $75,000 bond, respectively. Photos courtesy of Franklin County Sheriff Office

Court documents indicate the 19-year-old alleged victim told police she was having consensual sex with Riep on Feb. 4 when she changed her mind and said she wanted to stop.

Wint entered the room and both men raped her, she said.

The documents say Riep made the victim record a video saying the sex was consensual. Riep later drove the woman home.

Officials said during Thursday’s arraignment that the video recording had been obtained by police.

Jump in coronavirus cases halts stock rally; dollar gains

FILE PHOTO: A trader works at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan R Smith

FILE PHOTO: A trader works at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan R Smith

Chinese officials said 242 people died in Hubei province on Wednesday, the biggest daily rise since the virus emerged in the provincial capital of Wuhan in December.

More than 14,000 new cases were reported in the province on Thursday, up from 2,015 new cases nationwide a day earlier, due to a change to include results from quicker computerized tomography (CT) scans that reveal lung infections, rather than relying just on laboratory tests to confirm cases.

The jump in reported cases halted a rally that lifted Wall Street’s three main gauges, indexes for pan-regional European shares, Germany’s DAX and Canada’s S&P/TSX index.

BOMBSHELL: AG Barr Blasts Trump Tweets, Says They Make It ‘Impossible’ for Him to Do His Job’

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Attorney General Bill Barr said on Thursday that President Donald Trump “has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case,” but said he should stop tweeting about Justice Department matters because his tweets “make it impossible for me to do my job.”

Barr has been a strong advocate of Trump’s law-and-order agenda and has defended Trump many times. However, Trump’s recent tweets regarding the Stone case created the media narrative of the president improperly influencing an ongoing case.

“I think it’s time to stop the tweeting about Department of Justice criminal cases,” Barr said to ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas.

Texas man cons Vietnam vet out of $17G in roof repair scheme, wanted for similar crime, police say

Bell is accused of presenting himself as a roofer to scam senior citizens out of thousands of dollars. (Arlington Police Department)

Joshua Bell, 36, is accused of using the name of at least one reputable local roofing company to rip off homeowners in Mesquite and Arlington, the Arlington Police Department wrote Wednesday on Facebook.

Earlier this month in Mesquite, Bell tricked a Vietnam veteran into paying $17,000 for roof repairs he never made, Mesquite police told FOX4 Dallas-Fort Worth. He had promised the veteran that her insurance company would reimburse her.

Police in Arlington released home surveillance video of a man they believe to be Bell attempting to swindle another senior citizen for $1,200.

Exclusive: Bus driver abandons bus full of children in New Jersey

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) — A school bus driver who abandoned a bus with more than a dozen students still inside was driving with a suspended license.

Amber Easterling, 11, was on the bus last Thursday afternoon on her way home from Avon Avenue School in Newark when the bus driver stopped dropping students off and instead drove to her home, parked the bus and got out.

“She told the bus attendant that you gonna have to handle these kids yourself,” Amber said.

Michigan woman accused of burning husband’s body so badly it wasn’t ID-ed for decade arrested in Rome

Beverly McCallum, 59, (left) was arrested in the 2002 death of her husband Robert Caraballo (right) after checking into a hotel in Italy.
Beverly McCallum, 59, (left) was arrested in the 2002 death of her husband Robert Caraballo (right) after checking into a hotel in Italy.
(Eaton County Sheriff’s Department)

Beverly McCallum, 59, of Charlotte, Mich., located about 100 miles west of Detroit, was arrested by Rome police overnight Thursday after she and her teenage son checked into the Il Papillo hotel on the northwestern outskirt of the Italian capital.

McMillan, a friend of Ducharme, told investigators the slaying was planned and a “test run” was performed before killing Caraballo, Eaton County sheriff’s Detective James Maltby testified at a hearing last year.

McMillan allegedly told investigators that McCallum pushed her husband down the basement stairs of a home, then beat him with at least one hammer in an attack so vicious that it got lodged in Caraballo’s skull, Maltby testified, according to the Lansing State Journal.

College football player slams officer onto concrete during heated altercation, video shows

Raw video: Dash cam footage appears to show an Eastern Kentucky football player getting into an altercation with Ohio police officers during a traffic stop.
Raw video: Dash cam footage appears to show an Eastern Kentucky football player getting into an altercation with Ohio police officers during a traffic stop.

Michael Harris, a linebacker for Eastern Kentucky University, is seen on the video in a parking lot near what appears to be his SUV.

As a Grove City police cruiser pulls up, the dashcam video shows Harris and another officer talking to each other.

Harris at one point puts his hands up while being patted down.

More words are exchanged and one officer appears to put one of his hands on the back of the player’s head.

Harris then tries to get back into the vehicle, but is pushed away and officers try to arrest the man.

Body of missing South Carolina girl, Faye Marie Swetlik, found; police investigating as homicide

Investigators had circulated pictures of Faye in an effort to aid their search.
Investigators had circulated pictures of Faye in an effort to aid their search. The left photo is about the length of Faye’s hair now, police said.
(Cayce Department of Public Safety)

“It is with extremely heavy hearts that we are announcing we have found the body, who the coroner has identified, as Faye Marie Swetlik,” Cayce Public Safety Director Byron Snellgrove said during a brief news conference Thursday afternoon.

Snellgrove also announced that during the investigation a deceased male was located in the Churchill Heights neighborhood, which is also being investigated. It was unclear whether that was linked to Swetlik’s disappearance.

Investigators were last looking for the drivers of two unfamiliar vehicles seen in the Churchill Heights neighborhood of Cayce, S.C., around the time Faye was last seen.

Body of missing 6-year-old girl, Faye Swetlik found

6-year-old Faye Marie Swetlik vanished on Monday shortly after getting off her school bus in Cayce, South Carolina.

U.S. charges Huawei with racketeering and theft

The Huawei Technologies Co. logo. | Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
The Huawei Technologies Co. logo. | Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

The Justice Department charged Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei with racketeering and stealing trade secrets from U.S. firms over two decades, the agency announced Thursday, opening another front in the Trump administration’s battle against the leading maker of networking equipment.

The indictment accuses Huawei of building its empire on the backs of other companies, including six U.S. firms, by copying intellectual property and then selling it in products around the world.

In some instances, Huawei leaned on academics to steal trade secrets or provided financial rewards to employees who did its bidding, according to the indictment that names Huawei and its Chinese subsidiaries, as well as two subsidiaries based in the U.S.

Stone, Ukraine, and Durham: Barr’s Justice Department asserts itself in high-profile investigations

These moves come in the context of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse released in December.

The report found “significant” missteps related to the electronic surveillance of Trump campaign associate Carter Page through the FISA court.

In recent weeks, Barr has established new rules for launching investigations into political candidates, requiring they be approved by the heads of the FBI and DOJ.

He also set up a process outside of DOJ headquarters for analyzing the information Giuliani is digging up overseas and controversially reversed the nearly decadelong prison sentence the DOJ recommended for Stone.


Republicans introduce bill to pull funds from states that give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants

The Stop Greenlighting Driver Licenses for Illegal Immigrants Act would block funds to sanctuary states — which limit local cooperation with federal immigration authorities — and those that give licenses to illegal immigrants.

Specifically, it would halt Justice Department (DOJ) grants, in particular those awarded under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant, which is a top source of federal criminal justice funding for states.

The bicameral legislation comes amid a growing fight over sanctuary legislation.

The Trump administration has been attempting to highlight attention to the dangers of the policy and has been shining light on cases whereby illegal immigrants have killed Americans.

Major Controversy Erupts Over Undisclosed Alleged Bias Of Foreperson In Stone Trial [Updated]

This one does not focus on the sentencing of Stone but his trial.

New information has emerged that the foreperson of the trial has a long history of highly critical postings against President Donald Trump and his administration.

Former Memphis City Schools Board President Tomeka Hart recently went public with her support of the prosecutors who resigned from the case.

However, there are now questions of why Hart was allowed on the jury, let alone made the foreperson given her highly critical view of Trump and his associates before being called for jury service.

Not only has Hart called Trump supporters like Stone racists but she celebrated a protest that projected profanities on the Trump hotel with the words “Gotta Love It.”

Hart is a democratic activist who ran for Congress and referred to the President with a hashtag as “klanpresident.”

Compulsory Voting Bill to be Considered by Assembly this Spring

Assemblyman Marc Levine. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)
Assemblyman Marc Levine. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Opponents have said that including an unknown penalty and limiting the bill to registered voters may hurt a lot of people and may inadvertently lower voter turnout.

“Other countries that have compulsory voting laws hand out fines if you don’t vote,” said Ashley Witherspoon, an election consultant who has worked on elections in 16 U.S. states and territories, including California.

“Australia, for example, gives fines ranging from $20 to $50 in Australian dollars, and may even suspend a non-voters license. If it was the U.S., that would be $15 to $35 and being unable to drive for six months if you refused to pay.”

“I don’t think California would take it that far, but the fact that they aren’t saying what the proposed fine is up front screams ‘money’ to me.”

Popular black radio host wants to know: Why are black Democrats supporting the most racist candidates in South Carolina?

Heidi Gutman via Getty Images
Heidi Gutman via Getty Images

Charlamagne, during a segment on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront,” was referring to former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, both of whom have some problematic racial policies and comments in their past.

“Old black people in South Carolina do love Joe Biden, but I would have to ask black voters the question — why do the old white men who have the most racist legislation toward black people, why are they the top two front-runners when it comes to black support? Joe Biden and Bloomberg.”

A recent Quinnipiac poll has Biden leading with black voters in South Carolina at 27 percent, followed by Bloomberg at 22 percent.

Charlamagne said he believes Biden’s success has been due to the “Barack Obama effect,” which is somewhat wearing off now that black voters are looking more closely at Biden’s record.

Hope Hicks Returning to White House to Work ‘Closely’ With Kushner, Official Says

President Donald Trump poses with then White House communications director Hope Hicks
President Donald Trump poses with then White House communications director Hope Hicks before he boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Jan. 1, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

In her new role, Hicks will be serving as counselor to the president, according to reports, and would also be working with the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

The administration has not publicly announced the position yet, as of this writing.

“Hope won’t be part of the Communications Department,” a White House official told The Epoch Times.

“She will be working closely with Jared Kushner and [Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Political Affairs] Brian Jack in a number of strategic areas.”

An administration official told Reuters that Hicks will be returning to the White House next month.

YouTube takes down Rand Paul video naming alleged whistleblower, vows to delete all mentions of the name

Paul accused YouTube of censorship, and noted that while he mentioned Ciaramella’s name, he didn’t specifically call him the whistleblower.

“It is a chilling and disturbing day in America when giant web companies such as YouTube decide to censure speech,” Paul told Politico.

“Now, even protected speech, such as that of a senator on the Senate floor, can be blocked from getting to the American people.

This is dangerous and politically biased.

Nowhere in my speech did I accuse anyone of being a whistleblower, nor do I know the whistleblower’s identity.”


How Liberal’s Best Intentions Increase Crime (Pt. 2) | Heather Mac Donald | POLITICS | Rubin Report

Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talks to Heather Mac Donald, Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of The Diversity Delusion.

Is the drive for diversity undermining American culture? Is the extreme focus on race and gender diversity, harming society and making us more divided? Heather tackles these difficult subjects and more.

Heather also shares evidence of how laws with the best intentions pushed by racial and social justice activists, particularly those in California like Prop 47, may actually be increasing rates of crime in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Heather expresses her concerns about the destruction of social norms in seemingly mundane things like turnstile jumping in the NYC subway.

In New York, fare evaders have cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars. Yet politicians like AOC encourage behavior like this when they suggest that people should not be arrested for fare evasion.

Heather shares why enforcing small crime matters and how it was Rudy Giuliani’s enforcement of the broken windows theory that led to a major decline in crime in NYC in the 1990s.

World News:

Woman sentenced to jail for violent in-flight outburst, threatening to kill

Passengers described Chloe Haines, pictured, as acting “possessed” and agreed that many people feared for their lives as the distraught woman screamed she was going to “kill everyone."
Passengers described Chloe Haines, pictured, as acting “possessed” and agreed that many people feared for their lives as the distraught woman screamed she was going to “kill everyone.” (Amy Varol)

Traveling with her grandmother on a June 22 Jet2 flight, the 26-year-old woman reportedly exploded with “aggressive, abusive and dangerous behavior” roughly 45 minutes after takeoff.

A distraught Haines tried to open the plane’s emergency exit, physically lashed out at flight attendants and screamed she was going to “kill everyone” on board.

Two Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter planes rushed to escort the commercial aircraft in making an emergency landing in Essex, England, while the woman was physically restrained for the rest of the trip.

U.N. promotes Islamic-commissioned report against Israel in the West Bank – TV7 Israel News 13.02.20

1) The United Nations Human Rights Council issued a report in which it listed 112 business entities that operate on lands, which the council defines as “occupied Palestinian territories.”

2) At least 10 clusters of balloons, presumably rigged with explosives, were reportedly seen crossing the coastal Palestinian enclave toward Israeli territories.

3) An exchange of fire ensued between Syrian militants and U.S. forces in Syria’s northeastern al-Hasakah province, when an American convoy was abruptly stopped at a pro-regime checkpoint, in the village of Kherbat Amo – east of Qamishli city.

Report: US led the world in reducing CO2 emissions last year

Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

“The United States saw the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 on a country basis – a fall of 140 [million tons], or 2.9%, to 4.8 [gigatons],” the International Energy Agency reported Tuesday.

“U.S. emissions are now down almost 1 Gt from their peak in the year 2000, the largest absolute decline by any country over that period.”

The news seems to rebuff condemnation from climate activists and the political left following the Trump administration’s decision last year to formally withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.

The IEA report went on to note that in developing nations emissions increased, with “almost 80% of the increase coming from Asia,” and that China and India were two of the main contributors to emissions growth.


It Depends on the Interpretation

When you mention a Koran verse or a hadith that a listener does not like, they may answer: It all depends on how you interpret it.

Pew Research asked one billion Muslims how they interpret Islam and the results are interesting.