News and Headlines.5/19/2020

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

In The News:

Man recently released from Cook County Jail back behind bars for 2019 murder

Niko Hines Cook County sheriff’s office
Niko Hines
 Cook County sheriff’s office

When he was paroled on robbery and gun charges in January, Niko Hines remained behind bars facing a slew of weapons charges in a separate case that was slowly winding its way through the criminal court system.

Then, in March, when Cook County Jail became one of the nation’s top hot spots for COVID-19 Hines was ordered released and placed on electronic monitoring.

Hines, however, was arrested again Thursday for allegedly murdering 35-year-old Maurice Reynolds in front of Reynolds’ girlfriend and their 5-year-old daughter last fall in East Garfield Park, allegedly while he was on parole.

Stop calling 911 to report social distancing violations, cops across the US say

On Twitter, the department said residents are clogging the emergency line to report suspected violations of the state’s social-distancing orders for businesses allowed to reopen amid the pandemic, including restaurants and bars.

Rather than call 911, police said people should direct their concerns about the
crowds to the public health department.

The TPD isn’t the only agency warning people against tying up the phone lines.

In North Carolina, Asheville police made a similar request last month after seeing its emergency line flooded with calls from people trying to report others for breaking social-distancing or stay-at-home orders, the Citizen Times reported.

Texas Jeep ‘top less’ event turns chaotic after 2 shot, more than 180 arrested

Participants crowd into the bed of a pickup truck Saturday during the annual gathering. (AP/The Beaumont Enterprise)
Participants crowd into the bed of a pickup truck Saturday during the annual gathering. (AP/The Beaumont Enterprise)

The chaos at the annual “Go Topless Jeep Weekend” in the Bolivar Peninsula comes even as the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office bolstered its patrol for the gathering by adding 40 Texas Department of Public Safety officers, 12NewsNow reports.

The Sheriff’s Office said a fight that broke out Saturday night between two women escalated when two men joined the fray. One of the men, they said, then opened fire, injuring two bystanders who had to be airlifted to local hospitals, according to Click2Houston.

The gunman then leaped over the dunes and evaded police, Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset told 12NewsNow.

Texas police union voices outrage after recently released career criminal fatally stabs grandma, 80, in broad daylight

Police said Rosalie Cook, 80, was fatally stabbed in a Houston parking lot by 38-year-old Randy Roszell Lewis,
Police said Rosalie Cook, 80, was fatally stabbed in a Houston parking lot by 38-year-old Randy Roszell Lewis, who was recently released without having to pay bail.

Two years ago, Lewis was charged with assaulting a public servant — breaking the person’s nose — while being transferred to county jail, KHOU reported.

In all, he had been arrested 67 times and has faced dozens of charges throughout his life, including assault, theft, trespassing, the possession of marijuana and burglary of a vehicle, the Houston Police Officers’ Union said.

“Randy Lewis should never have been free. Now an innocent woman has been murdered. Everyone deserves better.

This is absolutely shameful,” the Houston Police Officers’ Union tweeted Monday, sharing his public record.

Nasdaq Informs China’s Luckin Coffee It Plans to Delist It

A screen displays the logo for Luckin Coffee during the company's IPO at the Nasdaq Market site in New York, on May 17, 2019.
A screen displays the logo for Luckin Coffee during the company’s IPO at the Nasdaq Market site in New York, on May 17, 2019. (Brendan McDermid/File Photo/Reuters)

The move underscores Nasdaq’s renewed focus on the auditing standards of companies on its bourse.

This week it tightened its listings rules with an eye to curbing initial public offerings (IPOs) of Chinese companies that are closely held by insiders and are not transparent about their accounting, Reuters reported on Monday.

Luckin said in early April that as much as 2.2 billion yuan ($310 million) in sales last year were fabricated by its chief operating officer Jian Liu and other staff, who had been suspended while the company carried out its investigation.

4 Million Americans to Get Prepaid Stimulus Debit Cards Instead of Checks, Treasury Says

President Donald Trump's name is seen on a stimulus check issued by the IRS ,
President Donald Trump’s name is seen on a stimulus check issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, in San Antonio on April 23, 2020. (Eric Gay/AP Photo)

In a statement on Monday evening, the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said the cards, instead of a paper check, can be used to “make purchases, get cash from in-network ATMs, and transfer funds to their personal bank account without incurring any fees.”

Those who receive them can check their card balance online, via a mobile app, or by phone without any fees.

The card can be used at ATMs, online, or at a retail location where Visa is accepted, according to the news release, which added that the cards will provide consumer protections afforded to bank account owners such as fraud, loss, and error safeguards.

Illegal immigrants overwhelm California phone lines for $500 payments in state relief program

Government phone lines were bombarded by illegal immigrants hoping they could obtain payments of $500 per person or $1,000 per household.

“The phone lines were completely saturated,” said Adolfo Luna, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, according to a report by the New York Times.

“The state’s Disaster Relief Fund will be dispersed through a community-based model of regional nonprofits with expertise and experience serving undocumented communities,” said a press release from California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office.

Gov. Newsom’s revised budget proposes closing Barstow Veterans Home, displacing 200 vets

Released on Thursday, Newsom’s revised budget proposed to “initiate the closure” of the Veterans Home of California-Barstow and a one-year delay for realignment at VHC-Chula Vista and Yountville.

If approved, the changes would net state General Fund savings in Fiscal Year 2020-21 of $2.6 million, according to the revised budget. Long-term savings that would result from the Barstow facility’s closure are expected to be $14 million annually.

In a statement, Obernolte, R-Big Bear, said it was “unconscionable to balance the budget on the backs of our veterans and even worse to displace the 200 residents who currently call this home.”

FBI Arrests Couple Allegedly Involved In Cross-Border Kidnapping Ring Of Americans


Leslie Briana Matla, a 20-year-old U.S. citizen who lived in Mexico, and her boyfriend, Juan Carlos Montoya Sanchez, a 25-year-old resident of Tijuana, were arrested by U.S. authorities pursuant to money-laundering conspiracy charges, according to an announcement from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“The complaint alleges that Matla crossed the border from Mexico into the United States to pick up ransom payments from kidnapped victims’ family members at locations predetermined by her co-conspirators,” the DOJ press release reads.

Unfortunately for the family members, paying the ransom money didn’t guarantee a safe release.

US Space Force launches mystery space plane

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

In recognition of the efforts to fight the pandemic, as well as the virus’ victim, a written dedication was attached to the Atlas V rocket and it read, “In memory of COVID-19 victims and tribute to all first responders and frontline workers. America Strong.”

This was the sixth mission of the X-37B space plane, which had returned to Earth in October after completing more than two years in orbit.

California opens up coronavirus funding for immigrants in state illegally, faces backlash

The Los Angeles Times reported that Sacramento has freed up $75 million for the fund, which could help about 150,000 who may be facing severe hardships during the pandemic.

An earlier report in the paper said the Center for American Liberty is suing the state, claiming that the money is “not a slush fund for the governor to spend as he sees fit.” It hopes to block the package.

Opponents of the measure insist that any taxpayer funds should be directed to U.S. citizens who are also struggling amid the pandemic.

Governors face mounting court challenges over coronavirus lockdown orders

Wisconsin's Republican-led Legislature blocked efforts by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to reinstitute statewide coronavirus restrictions,
Wisconsin’s Republican-led Legislature blocked efforts by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to reinstitute statewide coronavirus restrictions after the state supreme court struck down his executive order aimed at preventing the virus’ spread. (AP)

The looming battle in the Oregon Supreme Court comes as a case is pending before a lower court in Illinois that has the potential to invalidate that state’s coronavirus restrictions implemented by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Meanwhile, California alone is facing at least a dozen lawsuits that include claims that the state has unjustly closed down gun shops and religious services.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is up against a lawsuit from Republicans in her state’s House and Senate over her extension of an already-strict emergency order that has regulated residents’ movement and closed businesses.

And Kentucky protesters sued officials including Gov. Andy Beshear, also a Democrat, for allegedly violating the First Amendment by banning mass protests.

Bernie Marcus slams media for frightening America

Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus joins Laura Ingraham on ‘The Ingraham Angle.’


Renowned epidemiologist says YouTube removed his anti-lockdown video for violating ‘community standards’

Dr. Knut M. Wittkowski, former head of biostatistics, epidemiology and research design at Rockefeller University, says there is no evidence coronavirus shutdowns had any impact.


Anti-Extremism Group Launches Campaign Against Congressional Candidate Tainted by Antisemitism

Valerie Plame speaking at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, Dec. 4, 2007.
Valerie Plame speaking at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, Dec. 4, 2007. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Valerie Plame, a Democrat, is running for the US House of Representatives in New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District.

She shot to fame in 2003 when she was “outed” as a CIA agent and became the center of a series of scandals and legal cases.

She would later become a major public critic of the Iraq War and neoconservatism.

Plame, 56, became embroiled in another scandal in 2017 when she tweeted a link to an antisemitic article titled “America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars.”

One sentence from the article read, “For those American Jews who lack any shred of integrity, the media should be required to label them at the bottom of the television screen whenever they pop up” and compared Jews to “rat poison.”

Declassified Susan Rice email shows Comey suggested ‘sensitive’ info on Russia not be shared with Flynn

The note from Susan Rice was declassified by Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell and transmitted to the Justice Department. Fox News obtained a copy Tuesday from GOP Sen. Ron Johnson’s office, which had sought access to the document.

The Jan. 20, 2017 email Rice sent to herself documented a Jan. 5, 2017 Oval Office meeting with Obama and others, where he provided guidance on how law enforcement should investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race.

Parts of it were previously released, but the section on Comey’s response had been classified as “TOP SECRET” until now.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she’s had ‘opening conversation’ with Biden campaign on VP search

The first-term governor is among a handful of women Biden has confirmed are on his shortlist for potential running mates.

“Gov. Whitmer is an outstanding governor. She is one of the most talented people in the country in my view,” Biden said in early April as the former vice president introduced the governor on the second edition of his newly launched podcast series.

“She also is a supporter. She was also a co-chair of my campaign. She’s a good friend, but she has been laser-focused, laser-focused on delivering for her state.”

Whitmer has gained notoriety recently due to her extremely strict coronavirus lockdown measures, which have prompted dozens of protests across the state.

Congressional candidate Laura Loomer raises alarm on Big Tech ties to concentration camps in China

Loomer – who is one of America’s most censored individuals and is banned from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Medium, GoFundMe, Venmo, PayPal, Lyft, Uber, and more – knows a thing or two about the power of Big Tech.

As has become clear during the pandemic, we’ve spent the last four decades shipping manufacturing jobs overseas. Our corporations have been using cheap labor in foreign countries like China to lower costs and increase profit margins.

As it turns out, it’s not just any Chinese that have taken the jobs. It’s often the poorest communities working under harsh conditions and constant surveillance.

Biden Campaign Hires César Chávez’s Granddaughter For Latino Outreach

(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

The campaign is bringing on Julie Chavez Rodriguez, who was a co-national political director and California state director on Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign, according to ABC News.

She also worked as Deputy Director of Public Engagement for the Obama administration, where she supervised outreach to several groups including Latinos, the LGBT community and veterans.

“I do not think that the Biden campaign thinks that Latinos are part of their path to victory,” Jess Morales Rocketto, former digital organizing director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, said to Politico.

Rep. Stefanik calls for probe of Cuomo’s nursing home order: There was ‘zero transparency’

In an interview on “Fox & Friends” with hosts, Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, and Ainsley Earhardt, Stefanik charged that Cuomo and the state took a “number of negative actions” which resulted in an inability to protect the Empire State’s more vulnerable residents.

“The governor took executive action, forcing positive COVID cases back into nursing homes. There was zero transparency in terms of informing the seniors, the workers, or the family members whether there were positive cases,” she said.

“They also didn’t fully tell the public how many seniors’ deaths there were coming from nursing homes,” Stefanik continued.

Revealing How Governors Have Used Crisis To Abuse Power (Pt. 2)| Rand Paul | POLITICS | Rubin Report

Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talks to Rand Paul (U.S. Senator for Kentucky) about FISA courts, Trump and lockdowns.

Rand gives his honest thoughts on Donald Trump’s strengths and weaknesses from a libertarian perspective.

Rand also shares his thoughts on states rights during the coronavirus lockdown and how it has shown that while federalism works, governors and state leaders can abuse their power as well.

He discusses how he thinks we can find a balance between liberty and public health.

Cotton calls for investigation of ‘gross abuses of power’ by Obama admin

Republican Sen. Tom Cotton says he stands behind Sen. Lindsey Graham seeking broad authority to subpoena former Obama officials on the Russia probe.

Tucker Carlson: Americans are rebelling against neurotic, dumb leaders and extreme coronavirus lockdowns

The problem with assessing political candidates is you never really know what they’re like until they get ahold of power. And by then, of course, it’s too late.

The decent ones wield power with restraint and humility.

They understand the limits have their own wisdom — human wisdom — and they also understand the inevitability of unintended consequences, which are the rule.

They know they won’t be in charge forever, and so they tread lightly.

But the bad ones, they go crazy.

World News:

Israel to force Iran out of Syria; vows to pursue peace with neighbors – TV7 Israel News 19.05.20

1) The Islamic Republic of Iran is seemingly reducing the scope of its forces in Syria, a withdrawal – the outgoing Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett exclaimed – needs to be completed with Israel’s help.

2) Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh warned that “the Palestinian issue might face “a hot summer” in light of Israel’s plans and measures to annex significant parts of territories the Palestinians demand for a future state.

3) EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell fails to secure unanimous support to act against Israel for its voiced plan – in line with Washington’s initiative – to annex parts of the West Bank.

More than 100 million people in China face new lockdown as second wave of COVID-19 cases emerge

The abrupt reversal in China’s northeast region has once again cut off public transportation, closed schools and led to another round of quarantine.

Fan Pai, who works at a trading company in the nearby province of Liaoning, told Bloomberg News that people are starting to feel “more cautious” again.

Wuhan, the Chinese city where the novel coronavirus was first reported in 2019, also saw new cases emerge last week, though neither the cases in Jilin or Wuhan have been as severe as the original outbreak.

Global Demand Seeking Justice, Answers From Beijing Over Pandemic Grows

A Chinese police wearing protective masks march in front of the portrait of Nationalist founder Sun Yat-sen at Tiananmen Square in Beijing,
A Chinese police wearing protective masks march in front of the portrait of Nationalist founder Sun Yat-sen at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, on April 28, 2020. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

At least six class-action lawsuits have been filed by individuals or businesses in U.S. federal courts against the regime, including ones in Florida, Texas, Nevada, and California. Attorneys general of Missouri and Mississippi have filed separate lawsuits against the Chinese regime on behalf of their states, with other states expressing interest in following suit.

Globally, similar lawsuits have also been filed in Italy, Nigeria, Egypt, and Argentina.

Many of those lawsuits allege that the communist regime’s pattern of suppressing information, threatening whistleblowers, and misrepresenting the severity of the disease between mid-December and mid-January had caused or contributed to the spread of the virus, resulting in sweeping human and economic devastation.

India: Standing up to China in the Post-Coronavirus World

Pictured: US President Donald Trump shakes hands with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on February 25, 2020.
Pictured: US President Donald Trump shakes hands with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on February 25, 2020.
(Photo by Prakash Signh/AFP via Getty Images)

In true Orwellian fashion, top Chinese diplomats are still demanding that foreign governments rewrite the history of the coronavirus outbreak.

Under President Xi Jinping’s instructions, Chinese diplomats are running a global campaign of intimidation to divert world’s attention from Beijing’s culpability in the spread of the coronavirus.

Dubbed “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy, referring to a popular Chinese movie series of the same name, the strategy aims at silencing and intimidate Western governments, critical media outlets, and think tanks.

The good news is that the world is finally getting a good look at the true face of China.

Trump Admin Sanctions Chinese Firm Aiding Iran’s Weapons Smuggling Network

Getty Images
A picture take on September 14, 2017 shows an Airbus A340 of Mahan Air at the tarmac at Dubai’s International Airport. / AFP PHOTO / GIUSEPPE CACACE (Photo credit should read GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images)

Sanctions will immediately be applied to Shanghai Saint Logistics Limited, a Chinese company that “provides general sales agent services” for Mahan, according to the State Department.

The United States first listed Mahan Air as a “specially designated global terrorist” in 2011 due to its role in Tehran’s shipment of weapons and soldiers across the Middle East.

It was designated again in 2019 under weapons of mass destruction authority for allegedly shipping banned missile and nuclear infrastructure to Iran.

Coronavirus: Chile protesters clash with police over lockdown

Chile has been rocked by protests over inequality since October 2019.
Chile has been rocked by protests over inequality since October 2019.EPA

Groups of protesters were seen throwing stones and setting fires in parts of the El Bosque neighbourhood.

District mayor Sadi Melo told local radio it was facing a “very complex situation” because of “hunger and lack of work”.

In a statement, local officials said they had distributed about 2,000 aid packages but warned the government they could not meet demand.

Daily Death Toll In Italy Falls To Fewer Than 100 — Lowest Number In Months

Visitors wearing a face mask view a room at the Galleria Borghese museum in Rome on May 19, 2020,
Visitors wearing a face mask view a room at the Galleria Borghese museum in Rome on May 19, 2020, as it reopens while the country’s lockdown is easing after over two months. (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)

The country saw 99 deaths Monday, a significant decrease from the several hundreds of deaths per day caused by the virus at its peak, NBC News reported.

Italy became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, which pushed the country into a nationwide lockdown and took more than 32,000 lives in the country.

The Italian government has been easing restrictions as the spread of the virus has slowed, allowing 4.5 million Italians to return to work in the first week of May when factories and parks reopened.

UN takes heat for bizarre ‘gender neutral’ language code

The tweet was quickly flooded with responses by people suggesting the U.N. take its advice elsewhere — quickly zipping up a ratio.

“Stop trying to control people’s language. It’s creepy and unnecessary,” former British Member of the European Parliament Lucy Harris tweeted.

“You know we’re over the worst of the pandemic when these issues are back being discussed,” another user wrote.


How Communist China Infiltrates U.S. Campuses & Steals Research, Covid 19 & Beyond—Cabot Phillips

What exactly are Confucius Institutes, and what role do they play in spreading Chinese communist propaganda on college campuses?

How does the Chinese regime systematically steal research from American universities and co-opt professors and students?

And, how does the Chinese Communist Party exploit America’s sensitivity about race and xenophobia, especially now during this coronavirus pandemic?

In this episode, we sit down with Cabot Phillips, the Editor-in-Chief of Campus Reform, a college news source and conservative watchdog to America’s higher education system.

AOC Discovers America

Though it may come as news to Ocasio-Cortez—an avowed democratic socialist—and her progressive supporters, “the old frameworks” in America included precisely the kinds of assistance she’s touting.

The tradition of American mutual aid long predates the welfare state championed by the Left.

Contemporary progressives have proposed ever-more welfare-state expansions based on the assumption that the public sector could substitute for private and voluntary action.

Their hostility to the mutual-aid and character-building roles of religious institutions, for example, brings to mind the contempt with which the Chinese Communist Party views civil society in any form.

To the extent that government is considered a provider of vast, multibillion-dollar social services, it has risked convincing citizens that their personal efforts are superfluous. Just pay your taxes.