News and Headlines. 2/26/2020

News and Headlines: In The News, Politics, World News, Commentary/Opinion, Immigration, Abortion, Video’s.

In The News:

ACLU Sues 7 Texas Cities That Declared Themselves ‘Sanctuary Cities For The Unborn’

CrackerClips Stock Media, Shutterstock
CrackerClips Stock Media, Shutterstock

Towns across Texas began passing ordinances banning abortion in 2019, a move that spread across the state and has prompted 11 towns to declare themselves “sanctuary cities for the unborn,” the Texas Tribune reported.

The Waskom City Council started the trend in June 2019, outlawing abortion within the city and declaring Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups “criminal organizations.”

Abortions are not currently permitted in Texas after 20 weeks, but supporters of the pro-life movement fear stricter abortion laws right across the border in Louisiana will cause more women to come to Texas for the procedure, The Washington Post reported in June 2019.

Massachusetts gas company slapped with $53M fine, driven out of state after 2018 pipeline explosions

In this Sep. 21, 2018, file photo, fire investigators pause while searching the debris at a home which exploded following a gas line failure in Lawrence, Mass.
In this Sep. 21, 2018, file photo, fire investigators pause while searching the debris at a home which exploded following a gas line failure in Lawrence, Mass. (AP)

Under the terms of the plea agreement filed in court Wednesday, Columbia Gas will pay a $53 million fine, which is “double the amount of the profits of the pipeline replacement project that Columbia Gas was pursuing that caused the disaster in Lawrence and surrounding towns,” Douglas Shoemaker, the special agent in charge, said at the press conference.

“This is by far the largest criminal fine ever imposed under the Pipeline Safety Act,” he said.

NiSource, the parent company of Columbia Gas, also agreed to take steps to sell off Columbia Gas and stop doing business in the state of Massachusetts.

NiSource and Columbia Gas will pay the U.S. government “an amount equal to any profits realized from the sale of Columbia Gas to a third party,” Shoemaker said.

NSA spent $100 million on surveillance program producing almost no unique information

(Brooks Kraft / Getty Images)
(Brooks Kraft / Getty Images)

The study, first reported by The New York Times, was generated by the federal Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which on Tuesday briefed Congress about the findings.

The program was suspended in 2019. Among the purported problems were technical issues and telecommunications companies frequently transmitting more phone records than the NSA was legally allowed to receive.

Moreover, the program was a high-cost, low-yield endeavor that “consumed a lot of resources” and did not produce the “value anticipated,” Adam Klein, chairman of the oversight board, told The Times.

Saved in America: A group of volunteers finds missing children before they are sold into trafficking

Human trafficking recently made headlines when President Trump signed an executive order in an effort to eradicate the growing epidemic.

One America’s Jenn Pellegrino spoke with one organization that’s helping to rescue missing children before they become another statistic.

Court hands Trump win in sanctuary city fight, says administration can deny grant money

The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York overturned a lower court ruling that stopped the administration’s 2017 move to withhold grant money from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which dispenses over $250 million a year to state and local criminal justice efforts.

“Today’s decision rightfully recognizes the lawful authority of the Attorney General to ensure that Department of Justice grant recipients are not at the same time thwarting federal law enforcement priorities,” a DOJ spokesman said in a statement.

“All Americans will benefit from increased public safety as this Administration is able to implement its lawful immigration and public safety policies,” the statement said.

Dr. Siegel reports from Nebraska biocontainment facility: Coronavirus may be ‘more contagious than the flu’

Reporting from Omaha, Neb., Siegel said he has received wide-ranging access to the University of Nebraska’s biocontainment facility where Americans infected with the virus are being treated and quarantined.

Two patients were being treated while Siegel reported on “Outnumbered Overtime.”

“One … is suffering from that severe pneumonia we’ve been talking about and is possibly or probably on the antiviral treatment we are studying so intensely,” he said. “The others, there are 15 total — one came in last night on a MedEvac and was reunited with her spouse. They are in adjoining rooms.”

DHS: Now 22 million illegal immigrants estimated to be in US; up from 12 million

ICE Arresting an illegal alien (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Released)
ICE Arresting an illegal alien (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Released)

“The number of removable aliens in the United States is unknown. However, in 2015, DHS estimated that number to be 12 million, and a slightly more recent academic study estimated it to be 22.1 million,” according to the audit.

According to the study, “The number of undocumented immigrants in the United States is estimated to be substantially larger than has been appreciated at least in widely accepted previous estimates.

Even an estimate based on what we view as conservative assumptions, in some cases unrealistically so, generates an estimate of 16.7 million, well above the conventional estimate of 11.3 million.

‘I hate Asians!’: Tearful elderly man threatened, mocked as attacker steals cans he was collecting. It’s being called a hate crime.

Image source: Twitter video screenshot, composite
Image source: Twitter video screenshot, composite

A disturbing viral video shows an attacker chasing an elderly man in San Francisco and taking a swing at him with a stick or pole while observers stand by, laugh, and record the incident on their cell phones.

The clip also shows the victim crying as his attacker steals his cans, while others mock the victim. At one point a voice cries out, “I hate Asians.”

California state Senator Scott Wiener told KGO-TV the incident should be investigated as a hate crime.

St. Charles woman raped by man she met through social media, charges say

Saint Charles Police Department
Saint Charles Police Department

St. Charles County prosecutors on Saturday charged Bennard Howard III with rape and two counts of first-degree sodomy. Howard lives in the 5800 block of West Park Avenue in St. Louis.

Police said the victim had met a man through a Facebook dating service. After communicating via social media and in text messages for about three weeks, she and the man set up a date and agreed to meet for lunch, police said.

Howard came to her St. Charles apartment last Thursday to pick her up and forced his way into the apartment when she opened the door, police said.

U.S. Supreme Court dismisses ‘D.C. Sniper’ Malvo case after change in law

18-year old sniper suspect Malvo is surrounded by deputies as he is brought into court to be identified by a witness
18-year old sniper suspect Malvo is surrounded by deputies as he is brought into court to be identified by a witness during the trial of sniper suspect John Allen Muhammad at the Virginia Beach Circuit Court in Virginia Beach

Lawyers on both sides had asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the case.

Malvo, now 35, also received a sentence of life in prison without parole in Maryland, which is not affected by the Virginia law.

Malvo received four life sentences in Virginia, where he was convicted of two murders and later entered a separate guilty plea to avoid the death penalty.

Hall County couple arrested after 30 guns, $80K in drugs seized from home

Photo: Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad
Photo: Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad

Joshua Rairigh Schultz, 38, and Jamie Lynn Schultz, 33, face a bevy of charges, including marijuana trafficking, after members of Hall County’s Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad raided their Gainesville home as part of an ongoing drug investigation into the couple.

In Jackson County, a father and son were arrested on methamphetamine charges after members of the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office found a kilogram of the drug at a home on Horseshoe Bend in Maysville.

Authorities also discovered a quarter-pound of marijuana, police said. The search was the result of a three-month drug investigation.

The men arrested were identified as Lewis Junior Hall, 64, and Christopher Lewis Hall, 46.

California reservoir ordered to be drained over fears earthquake could collapse dam

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ordered last week that the Anderson Reservoir be completely drained by Oct. 1 due to fears the 240-foot high earthen Anderson Dam poses too great a risk of collapse if a large earthquake strikes.

“Studies have shown a large earthquake could damage Anderson Dam, causing an uncontrolled release of water that could inundate cities and rural areas from San Francisco Bay south to Monterey Bay, including much of Silicon Valley,” according to the water district.

In 2019, Valley Water produced a video depicting a worst-case scenario if a filled-to-capacity Anderson Dam failed in the event of a major earthquake, which showed major flooding in Coyote Creek that stretched all the way to San Jose. Coyote Creek flows from the dam through downtown San Jose to San Francisco Bay.

Officer shoots, injures woman inside Berwick house

It was the seventh time this year, and the third time in a week, that a Columbus police officer shot a suspect, a woman who was an East Side home early Wednesday.

Sgt. James Fuqua said a neighbor had called police to report a person inside a home on the 2700 block of Burnaby Drive around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday.

When she didn’t come out, officers went in.

She refused orders to to show herself, instead displaying a firearm, police said. One of the officers fired at her, injuring her.

76-year-old man stabbed to death in Baltimore senior housing apartments, leaving residents worried about security

Richard Diggs, 76, was fatally stabbed inside of the Coleman Manor apartments on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2019.
Richard Diggs, 76, was fatally stabbed inside of the Coleman Manor apartments on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2019. (Courtesy of friends of Richard Diggs)

Police have not released a motive for the killing or stated whether they have any suspects.

But residents said the facility has been plagued by long-standing security issues.

“The only time we get security is one Friday and Saturday and this [past] weekend, we didn’t get none,” Chase said candidly.

48 people have been killed in Baltimore city this year compared to 41 people at this time last year, according to Baltimore homicide data.

Suspect killed, officer hurt in officer-involved shooting in Garden Grove

The shooting occurred after officers arrived at the scene of a traffic crash near Harbor Boulevard and Trask Avenue about 1:25 a.m., according to Lt. Ray Bex of the Garden Grove Police Department.

“Upon contacting one of the parties involved in the collision an altercation between that subject and an officer occurred resulting in an officer-involved shooting,” Bex said.

Both the officer and the suspect were taken to a hospital, where the suspect died.

Trump administration launches new unit to strip US citizenship from foreign-born terrorists, criminals

The section, which will be within the DOJ’s Office of Immigration Litigation, will be dedicated to denaturalizing those who had failed to disclose they had been involved in criminal activity on their N-400 form for naturalization.

It requires the government to show that citizenship was obtained illegally or “procured by concealment of a material fact or by willful misrepresentation.”

“When a terrorist or sex offender becomes a U.S. citizen under false pretenses, it is an affront to our system — and it is especially offensive to those who fall victim to these criminals,” Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt said.

“The new Denaturalization Section will further the Department’s efforts to pursue those who unlawfully obtained citizenship status and ensure that they are held accountable for their fraudulent conduct.”

Fire breaks out at largest oil refinery on the West Coast

An explosion at the Marathon Refinery, which is located in Carson near Los Angeles, led to a huge fire that crews battled to put out overnight into Wednesday.

Flames were sent 100ft into the air and could be seen from miles away.

There were no reported injuries.

Officials: Local coronavirus risk is low; first Riverside County resident tests positive

County health officials are looking to ease anxiety about coronavirus and deal with misinformation.

As the CDC warns that Americans should brace for the likelihood that coronavirus will spread to their communities, local officials said the risk here at home remains low, at least for a while.

This comes as the first Riverside County resident tested positive Tuesday for the virus after being on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined in Japan.

Florida woman accused of zipping boyfriend in suitcase, leaving him to die

Sarah Boone was charged in the murder of her boyfriend in Florida.WESH

Sarah Boone was charged in the murder of her boyfriend in Florida.WESH

Sarah Boone, 42, of Winter Park, Florida, is under arrest for second degree-murder in the death Monday of Jorge Torres, Jr.

The sheriff’s office said Boone’s statements have been “inconsistent” and that on cellphone footage Torres can be heard screaming for help in the suitcase while Boone chides him.

Torres yells out Boone’s name, asking for help, to which she replies, “For everything you’ve done to me. F— you,” apparently laughing, the police report said.

ABC News suspends David Wright for remarks made in Project Veritas video

Wright was disciplined by higher-ups at ABC News. (ABC/ RANDY SAGER)
Wright was disciplined by higher-ups at ABC News. (ABC/ RANDY SAGER)

Wright was disciplined after higher-ups at ABC News reviewed footage in which Wright describes himself as a “socialist” and appears to criticize the network for the way in which it chooses to present the news.

The veteran reporter expounded at length on his political views. “I would consider myself a socialist, like I think there should be national health insurance,” he said.

“I’m totally fine with reining in corporations, I think they’re too many billionaires, and I think there’s a wealth gap – that’s a problem.”


‘Socialist’ ABC Reporter Admits Bosses Spike News Important to Voters, ‘Don’t Give Trump Credit’

Senior ABC Correspondent David Wright on Hidden Camera: How ‘Bosses Don’t See an Upside’ for Reporting News; ‘The Truth Suffers’; Says ABC Doesn’t ‘Give Trump Credit for What Things He Does Do’;

ABC News Producer: New Yorkers Need to ‘Cross the Hudson River’ to Learn Why Voters Back Trump

David Wright, ABC News Political Correspondent: “We Also Don’t Give Him [Trump] Credit for What Things He Does do…

I Feel Terrible About it, I Feel That the Truth Suffers, the Voters Are Poorly Informed…

Our Bosses Don’t See an Upside in Doing the Job We’re Supposed to do.”

David Wright: “In Television, We Have Lost Any Sense of Context.”


Forty-One Senators Say ‘No’ to Protecting Abortion Survivors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Late Tuesday, 41 U.S. Senators voted to block the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act from being brought to a final vote on the Senate floor. In a 56-41 vote, the bill failed to receive the needed three-fifths majority, or 60 senators, to overcome a Democrat-led filibuster.

This leaves open loopholes that allow medical staff to abuse and kill newborn babies in 35 states, with zero fear of legal consequences. Four more votes would have overcome the filibuster, which would have allowed a vote on the bill that would have easily passed.

But, 41 Senators did not want to allow the up or down vote on this bill that bans infanticide.

Tuesday, the Senate also failed to overcome a filibuster (53-44) of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (S 3275), which makes it illegal to abort an unborn child after the time at which the child can feel pain, which science currently estimates is at 20 weeks.

Another Republican Congressman Announces He Will Not Seek Reelection

REUTERS/Leah Millis
REUTERS/Leah Millis

“When I announced my candidacy for this seat six years ago, I did so with the strongest of convictions.

Our national defense had been weakened, our constitutional rights were being challenged, and our economy was in the tank. Simply put — Dianne and I both feared the direction our country was headed.

Today, six years later, our national economy is strong, and unemployment is the lowest it’s been in decades.

Our military is stronger now than it’s been in decades, and consumer confidence is on the rise.

As I look back over these three terms in Congress, despite significant partisan opposition, I’ve been proud to work for you in helping to “turn-the-ship-around.”

Immigrants to comprise highest-ever percentage of electorate in 2020

A new study by nonpartisan think tank Pew Research concluded approximately 23.2 million immigrants, or naturalized citizens who were born outside of the United States, will be able to vote in the presidential election, as well as state and local elections this year.

That figure is nearly double the 12 million immigrants who were eligible to vote in 2000. It has climbed over the past two decades and stood at 20.6 million in 2016.

“Growth in the foreign-born eligible voter population reflects two broad U.S. population trends. First, the number of immigrants living in the U.S. has increased steadily since 1965, when the Immigration and Nationality Act became law,” Pew stated in the report.

In the 55 years since the federal law was passed, the immigrant population has gone from 5 million to 45 million.

Roughly half of the 45 million immigrants living in the U.S. today are lawful, permanent residents who became U.S. citizens.

‘I’ll campaign for him’: Former Trump primary challenger Joe Walsh says he would vote for Sanders

Walsh, a former Illinois Republican congressman who contested Trump in the Iowa caucuses, wrote an opinion piece published in the Washington Post on Tuesday where he defended his decision to back any Democrat running against the president — including Bernie Sanders.

Other Never Trump Republicans have been more reticent about the idea of voting for a self-avowed socialist like Sanders, but Walsh contends, “That’s not how this works.”

Walsh wrote in his op-ed that being a Never Trumper “means you’ll suck it up and support his Democratic opponent, no matter who that is.”

Biden gaffe at debate: guns have killed 150 million since 2007

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at the 10th Democratic debate
(Win McNamee / Getty Images)
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at the 10th Democratic debate
(Win McNamee / Getty Images)

The former vice president misquoted the statistic during a heated exchange with Democratic primary frontrunner Sen. Bernie Sanders about his support of the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

The law shields gun manufacturers and distributors from civil liability actions brought over the misuse of the weapons by others.

Multiple candidates, including former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, went after Sanders’ record on gun control legislation.

Sanders recently said that his views on the subject have shifted, but in the past he has been influenced by the preferences of his constituents in the largely rural state of Vermont.

Common Sense Ep. 10 | Interview with Ukrainian Whistleblower Over EXCLUSIVE New Documents

Common Sense Ep. 10 | Interview with Ukrainian Whistleblower Over EXCLUSIVE New Documents.

Trump campaign files libel suit against New York Times over Russia story

In an escalation of the Republican president’s long-running battle with the news media, campaign officials said the lawsuit was being filed in New York State Supreme Court, the state’s trial-level court.

A statement from the campaign said the aim of the litigation was to “hold the news organization accountable for intentionally publishing false statements against President Trump’s campaign.”

The lawsuit relates to a March 27, 2019, opinion article written by Max Frankel, who served as executive editor of the Times from 1986 to 1994.

Influential House Democrat calls chaotic South Carolina debate a ‘disgrace’

“It was a disgrace,” Dingell, who has deep ties in the Democratic Party and in swing-state Michigan, said Wednesday. “It was a circular firing squad. They’re forgetting about what we need to be focused on.

“They’re contributing to the fear and hatred in this country. I’m sure Russia and China were delighted at their performance.”

While some critics faulted the CBS News moderators for failing to tame the seven candidates during the debate that has been likened to a wrestling match, Dingell blamed the White House hopefuls.

Hillary Clinton: Yeah, I took Harvey Weinstein’s money — and so did every other Democratic candidate too

Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images
Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Clinton was attending Tuesday’s Berlin International Film Festival for the screening of her new documentary, “Hillary,” when a reporter asked her about Weinstein’s Monday conviction.

When asked about Weinstein’s contributions to her campaign for president, Clinton quipped, “He contributed to every Democrat’s campaign. He contributed to Barack Obama’s campaign, and John Kerry’s campaign, and Al Gore’s campaign, and everybody’s campaign.”

She added, “I don’t know whether that should chill anyone else from contributing to political campaigns, but it certainly should end the kind of behavior that he was just convicted for.”

Democrats sue to have Bernie Sanders kicked off the ballot in Florida

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

According to the lawsuit, filed Monday in circuit court in Leon County, the plaintiffs argue that the Vermont democratic socialist should be disqualified from the Democratic primary because he is registered as an independent in his own state.

Politico reported the Florida Democratic Party blasted the legal action as “ridiculous.”

The lawsuit also seeks to bar any votes for Sanders from being counted, since 244,000 Florida Democrats have already mailed in their ballots.

Judge Jeanine rips Roger Stone judge for criticizing ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’

Judge in Roger Stone case goes after Tucker; reaction from ‘Justice’ host Judge Jeanine Pirro.

Ohio Democrat tried to trade votes for cash, could get 50 years in prison, authorities say

Cincinnati Councilwoman Tanaya Dennard (City of Cincinnati website)
Cincinnati Councilwoman Tanaya Dennard (City of Cincinnati website)

Shortly after being taken into custody, Tamaya Dennard appeared in court in handcuffs and leg irons to face charges of honest services fraud, bribery and attempted extortion, FOX 19 of Cincinnati reported.

In one instance, a source linked to a downtown development project, who was cooperating with the FBI, handed Dennard a cashier’s check for $10,000.

“Oh, that’s perfect,” Dennard, 40, is heard saying on a recording, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Thank you. … I’m going right to the bank on this.”

Shortly after being taken into custody, Tamaya Dennard appeared in court in handcuffs and leg irons to face charges of honest services fraud, bribery and attempted extortion, FOX 19 of Cincinnati reported.

In one instance, a source linked to a downtown development project, who was cooperating with the FBI, handed Dennard a cashier’s check for $10,000.

“Oh, that’s perfect,” Dennard, 40, is heard saying on a recording, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Thank you. … I’m going right to the bank on this.”

Biden wins crucial Jim Clyburn endorsement ahead of South Carolina primary

“I’ve been saying to the media, I’ve known for a long time who I’m going to vote for.

But I had not decided — well, not to share it with the public,” the House Majority Whip said at a news conference in North Charleston.

“But I want the public to know that I’m voting for Joe Biden. South Carolina should be voting for Joe Biden.”

Clyburn, the highest ranking African American in Congress, has long been close with Biden and has been open about his affinity for the former vice president during the Democratic primary.

World News:

Israeli leaders vie for public support amid political deadlock – TV7 Israel News 26.02.20

1) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his decision to advance long-frozen plans to build some 3,500 new housing units in the West Bank’s area that is classified as E-1.

2) Ahead of Israel’s third round of parliamentary elections next week, the latest polls indicate that Netanyahu and Gantz remain neck-and-neck at 34 mandates each, for Israel’s 120-member Parliament.

3) As the cessation of hostilities between Israel and the Iranian-proxy ‘Palestinian Islamic Jihad’ seemingly holds; a trilateral meeting was held in Jerusalem by Israeli, Qatari and U.N. officials, as part of efforts to restore calm for Israel’s southern communities.

India’s Modi appeals for calm as riot toll rises to 20

Twenty people were killed and nearly 200 wounded in the violence, a doctor said, with many suffering gunshot wounds amid looting and arson attacks that coincided with a visit to India by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Police and paramilitary forces patrolled the streets in far greater numbers on Wednesday. Parts of the riot-hit areas were deserted.

“Peace and harmony are central to our ethos. I appeal to my sisters and brothers of Delhi to maintain peace and brotherhood at all times,” Modi said in a tweet.

Globe braces for long battle as virus cases spread

Workers disinfect subway trains against coronavirus in Tehran, Iran, in the early morning of Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020.
Workers disinfect subway trains against coronavirus in Tehran, Iran, in the early morning of Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. Iran’s government said Tuesday that more than a dozen people had died nationwide from the new coronavirus, rejecting claims of a much higher death toll of 50 by a lawmaker from the city of Qom that has been at the epicenter of the virus in the country. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

Worries over the ever-expanding economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis multiplied, with factories idled, trade routes frozen and tourism crippled, while a growing list of countries braced for the illness to breach their borders.

Even the Olympics, five months away, wasn’t far enough off to keep people from wondering if it would go on as planned.

The World Health Organization, meanwhile, reported that the number of new cases reported outside China exceeded the number of new cases in China for the first time.


How Do You Stop a Bad Guy With a Gun?

It may be nice to never have to consider the question at all, but we live in the real world and unpleasant realities must be faced head-on.

Welcome to the discussion. Will Witt!