The Daily Moth 3-20-17

March 21, 2017



FBI and NSA Directors Testify Before House Intelligence Committee, Falling Trees Kills 20 in Ghana, Switched at Birth Tweets Incorrect ASL Sign, Manhunt for Tennessee Teacher Who Abducted 15-Year Old Student, and Forbes’ 2017 Billionaires List




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, March 20. Hope your weekend was good. Ready for news?




Today the FBI Director James Comey and the NSA Director Michael Rogers testified before a House Intelligence Committee to talk about the Russian influence on the Trump campaign and President Trump’s accusations of Obama ordering a wiretap. 


Comey said they have no information of any kind to support President Trump’s claim that there was a wiretapping order by Obama on Trump Tower. He said the FBI has no information that supports Trump’s tweets. 


The NSA Chief said there was no U.S./British collaboration with British Intelligence to “wiretap” Trump Tower. (Previously the Trump administration said the British helped with the wiretapping).


The FBI director confirmed that the FBI was investigating possible links and communications between the Trump team and Russia, but did not give details because the investigation is still ongoing.


Both Comey and Rogers confirmed that Russians did hack into DNC computer servers, but did not comment specifically about the investigation — saying it was still ongoing (started July of last year.) 


The NSA Chief said Russians did hack into the DNC and Podesta email accounts and disseminated that information, then said there was no equivalent “hack/release” on the RNC email accounts. The FBI said it seems like the Russians used a third party to transmit the information to Wikileaks.


Both directors agreed that the Russians wanted to influence the election to support Trump, but did not say if it did change the outcome of the election. 


Both the FBI/NSA said they have no evidence that votes from the 2016 election were changed in any U.S. state from Russian hacking. 


Congressmen asked about leaks of classified information to reporters — such as the leak about Flynn’s call with the Russian ambassador — and whether the FBI would investigate those leaks. Comey wouldn’t confirm if they did investigate, but agreed that leaks were a serious problem. 


He also said most of the leaks were inaccurate and that they might have come from people who were “outside” intelligence circles. 


So far — we see that there is an ongoing investigation on if the Russian/Trump team colluded (but no evidence presented), that the FBI/NSA thinks Russians did try to influence the election against Hillary, that there is no evidence of Trump’s wiretapping claims, that there were no votes that were changed as a result of Russian hacking, and that FBI/NSA thinks the leaks to media are a serious problem. 




In Ghana (northwest Africa) — at least 20 young people, most of them local high-school and college students, died when a large tree fell on top of them while they were swimming at the bottom of a waterfall — Kintampo Waterfalls. It is a popular tourist destination.  


The students and some tourists were swimming there while there was a storm with strong winds. Some of the trees fell on top of the students, pinning them under the water. 


It seems like 18 died at the scene while 2 more died at the hospital. Terrible. 


We can learn a lesson that we should be careful about swimming in areas with large trees if it is very windy. 


Guardian Article:




The Switched at Birth Twitter account had an embarrassing moment yesterday — they tweeted a short clip of how to sign “French Fries” for their “ASL Lesson of the Day.” Their main actress Vanessa Marano, who plays “Bay” — signed “french fries” like this: 


[Clip of Vanessa signing “French Fries” as “French-French.”]


That tweet has been deleted, but when I saw it yesterday, it got immediate criticism from various Deaf people. 


Even Nyle DiMarco joined in, tweeting that he had reached out to SAB on the importance of using a Deaf teacher or a Deaf consultant. 


Deaf rapper Sean Forbes posted a short clip of him signing “French Fries,” saying his 2-year old daughter could sign it correctly. 


Yesterday SAB deleted the tweet and “replaced” it with a clip of Marlee Matlin signing, “Boat.” 


I checked their other tweets with ASL Lessons and they are correct — signs such as “peach,” “fish,” or “dress.” 


I’m sure SAB will be more careful about their “ASL Lessons” going forward. 


Tomorrow night is their 100th episode — at 9 pm EST on Freeform TV. 




In Tennessee — there is a big manhunt for a 50-year old high-school teacher who apparently has convinced a 15-year old freshman student to run away with him last week.


The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said they are very concerned about the well-being of the girl — Elizabeth Thomas —  and thinks the teacher — Tad Cummins — had been grooming the girl to convince her to run away with him for some time, telling her that he used to work for the FBI and CIA. 


The TBI admitted they have no idea where the two are. The TBI said they can’t track them because both of their cell phones are turned off and they have not used their credit or debit cards. The TBI said they could be anywhere and might be living “off the grid.”   


The TBI thinks Tad had been planning for this time and have charged him with aggravated kidnapping and sexual contact with a minor — and put it on their list of “Most Wanted.” Tad is armed with two handguns. 


The school has now fired the teacher. The high school is now in hot water because the school disclosed they previously suspended the teacher after a report by another student that Tad kissed the girl in the classroom. The school ended up separating the two — but there was another report of both being in the same classroom again. So the school suspended the teacher, but this was not immediately notified to the girl’s parents — the girls father found out from a deputy who was investigating the case. The father got a lawyer to object. Now that they’ve disappeared, there’ll be more pressure on the school for not acting earlier. 


They were last seen last week — the girl was at Shoney’s restaurant while Tad was next door at a gas station filling up his SUV. Later that afternoon the last sign of them was 80 miles away in Alabama, and nothing since then. 


Hope they find the two as soon as possible and that the girl will be safe. Tad’s wife addressed Tad via the media, begging him to turn himself in to the police and bring the girl home. 


The TBI has asked anybody with knowledge to send in tips, There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to Tad’s capture. 



CBS Article:




Forbes published their annual list of the richest people in the world — and Donald Trump is the 544th richest person, down 220 spots from last year. His net worth is estimated at $3.5 billion, 1 billion less than last year. 


The reason why? Forbes says 40% of his net worth is tied to Trump Tower and eight buildings within one mile of it and the current real estate market there in midtown has declined slightly. 


He also gave $66 million to his own presidential campaign and paid $25 million to settle a lawsuit against Trump University. 


Trump is currently tied with 19 other people at 544th place. 


The No. 1 richest person in the world is… Bill Gates. He is #1 for the fourth straight year with a net worth of $86 billion. No. 2 is investor Warren Buffett with $75.6 billion. No. 3 is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos with $72.8 billion. 


Forbes estimates there are now 2,043 billionaires in the world with an average of $3.75 billion net worth. 


But only one of them is sitting in the Oval Office. 


CNN Money Article:




That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light! 























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