The Daily Moth 4-13-17

April 14, 2017


Updates with Dr. Dao the United Airlines Passenger, US Military Action in Middle East and Relations with Russia, Body of NY Judge Found  Dead in Hudson, Canadian Government Wants to Legalize Marijuana, and Deaf NASA Experiment Subjects Honored at Gallaudet Exhibit




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, April 13. Ready for news? 




Update with Dr. David Dao — the man who was dragged off an United Airlines plane — his lawyer and his daughter spoke today at a news conference. His lawyer said Dao had a concussion, a broken nose, injury to his sinuses, and lost two front teeth — and that he would would probably sue. He was in the hospital to get reconstructive surgery. 


Dao’s daughter, Crystal, said she was shocked and horrified by what happened to him — that the experience was worse than when he left Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975 — and that he is in a private place to heal both emotionally and physically. 


United Airlines CEO Munoz has publicly apologized to Dao and said United would not use police to remove passengers from flights. He also said he would reimburse the cost of flight tickets for all 70 passengers who were on the plane.




Several news related to Syria and war in the Middle East: 


— In Syria, a U.S. coalition airstrike mistakenly killed 18 Syrian “rebel” soldiers who were fighting against ISIS. This was in Tabqah — in the center of Syria — this happened on April 11. 


The U.S. coalition said the airstrike was requested by Syrian rebel soldiers on the ground who mistakenly identified them as ISIS. The U.S. coalition said they sent sympathies to the Syrian Democratic Forces and their families. The U.S. military has supported rebels in the area.


— Syrian president al-Assad said his government did not do the chemical attack in Idlib. He said it was a 100% fabrication (lie) — and accused the U.S. of working with terrorists to make up this story so they could do the airstrikes. He even said the pictures of dead children were fake — that they were child actors. So there is a strong denial of responsibility. 


— Yesterday the U.S. Sec. of State Tillerson met with Russian Foregin Minister Lavrov in Moscow. Tillerson said relations with Russia was at a low point with a low level of trust between the countries. Tillerson said the chemical attack was done by the Syrian government, but Lavrov said there was not enough evidence to pin the blame on al-Assad and asked for an investigation. Tillerson said al-Assad’s power was coming to an end, but Lavrov said it was not on the Russian agenda (plans) to remove anybody from power. 


— The U.N. Security Council wanted to pass a resolution to condemn the chemical attacks in Syria and to identify those responsible and bring them to justice — but it failed because the ambassador for Russia vetoed it. It was the 8th time Russia vetoed a U.N. resolution that was “against” al-Assad’s government. 


So there’s a lot of tension between the U.S., Syria, and Russia. But President Trump says things will be ok. See his tweet: 


[Tweet: Things will work out fine between the U.S.A. and Russia. At the right time everyone will come to their senses & there will be lasting peace!]


— Today the U.S. military dropped a huge bomb — GBU-43 or “MOAB” (Mother of all Bombs) — which is the largest non-nuclear bomb our military has — in Eastern Afghanistan. It targeted ISIS fighters who were hiding in tunnels and caves. It is the first time the MOAB bomb was used in war. It has a diameter of 2 miles (radius of 1 mile).




The body of a New York State judge — Sheila Abdus-Salaam — who was the first black woman to sit on the NY State’s highest court — was found dead, floating in the Hudson river yesterday. She was 65. She was fully clothed and had no signs of trauma. Her husband came to identify her body.


Sheila was appointed on NY’s top court by NY Governor Cuomo in 2013. She worked as a judge since 1994 — the first female Muslim judge in the U.S.. 


Sheila was a liberal judge that often supported poor people, immigrants, people with mental illnesses who said they were done wrong by corporations. 


Gov. Cuomo tweeted that she was a trailblazing jurist and a force for good — and that he extended his deepest sympathies.


There are many questions about how she died and what could have happened. The NY Times says police are looking at it as a possible suicide, but there is still an investigation. 


Apparently the judge called in sick Tuesday morning. When she didn’t show up for work yesterday (Wednesday), a search went out for her — and thats when her body was found. Very sad.




The Canadian government announced today they would push for new legislation to legalize recreational marijuana. They predict the new law will go into effect next summer — to allow people to have small amounts of marijuana (up to 30 grams). 


They want to legalize it for ages 18 and up, but provinces can decide if the ages should be higher. Provinces will also decide how marijuana would be sold and distributed. The government will also develop guidelines for THC levels that would constitute “driving under influence” — and some police are developing roadside saliva drug tests. 


The Canadian government said the law would help keep marijuana away from teenagers and stop organized crime from making profits — they have been spending 2 to 3 billion per year in marijuana enforcement without good results. 


When Canada officially legalizes it, it will be the second country in the world after Uruguay to legalize it. The U.S. has 8 states that legalize it, but it is still illegal under federal law. 




Did you know that during the 1950’s, NASA asked 11 Gallaudet students to participate in various experiments to test how the human body would respond in space? 


The experiments were extreme — some of them included Deaf people staying in a 20-feet wide room that spun 10 times per minute — for 12 days. Other experiments were floating in zero-gravity flights, riding up and down an elevator for hours at Empire State Building, or riding on a ship in a big storm in the North Atlantic Ocean.  


NASA researched used Deaf people in their experiments because extreme movements and forces often impacted the organs of the inner ear — making people sick — but Deaf people were “immune” to that. 


On Tuesday there was a new exhibit opened at Gallaudet University named, “Deaf Difference + Space Survival" to commemorate this part of history — and three of the 11 men were present. (Only five are currently alive). The exhibit was result of a research project by Gallaudet senior Maggie Kopp. I was able to get footage and pictures from Gallaudet University Communications — check it out! 


(Video clips start)


Barron Gulak, ’62: It is very inspiring. I was very adventurous — if now, I might be afraid. 


David Myers, ’62: Wow, it brings back wonderful memories from 56 years ago. 


Harry Larson, ’61: I remember one time I was swimming underwater and I lost track of where “up” was. 


Maggie Kopp: I’ve been working on this exhibit for a year and a half. I’ve learned so much from this experience. History tends to forget, dismiss, or ignore many stories. And how to bring those stories back into the discussion is to look into different sources, such as video, photos, diaries, journals, letters — all of those are certain representatives of history — it is not just what you see in books or what people talk about. All of those narratives tell the full story. 




Amazing history! The NASA Chief Historian, Dr. William Barry, thanked the Gallaudet 11 for their service. Big impact, not many know of it. It was a very nice ceremony with the research student, the people attending, the three men, Dr. I King Jordan attending and the Gallaudet President presenting — a big honor for the Gallaudet 11. Now we need a Deaf person to go into space and be the first Deaf person in space!





That is all the news for this week. Follow TDM on Facebook for the latest. You can donate at to support the show. Have a wonderful weekend and stay with the light!

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