The Daily Moth 4-19-17

April 20, 2017

 

 

U.S. Warships Were Not Headed Towards Korean Peninsula, Former NFL Player Aaron Hernandez Commits Suicide in Prison, Fresno Gunman Shoots 4 in Hate Crime, Bill O’Reilly No Longer with Fox News, and American School for the Deaf Kicks off Bicentennial Celebration

 

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Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, April 19. Ready for news? 

 

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Remember last week when President Trump and the White House said the U.S. military was sending several warships, including the USS Vinson, to the Korean peninsula to “respond” to North Korea’s aggressive threats? 

 

But in reality the USS Vinson and three other ships were sailing in the opposite direction, towards Australia in the Indian Ocean to take part in joint military exercises with the Australian Navy. They were there this week near Indonesia, but now the USS Vinson is moving north towards the West Pacific Ocean. 

 

The Navy knew of the conflicting facts between where the USS Vinson was and Trump’s statements, but did not make statements to correct Trump — they stayed quiet. 

 

When the Trump administration announced the warships moving towards North Korea last week, it caused many of us to be alarmed that there could be a military conflict in Asia — many visualized the warships inching closer and closer towards North Korea. But this wasn’t reality. Again, the USS Vinson and other warships are now heading towards the West Pacific. 

 

There’s still strong words against North Korea from VP Pence as he gave a speech in Japan. He said for more than 20 years, the U.S. and its allies tried to peacefully dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program, but that North Korea has been deceiving, broke their promises, and did nuclear and missile tests. He said the U.S. and its allies would always seek for peace, but that the shield stands guard and the sword stands ready. 

 

While in North Korea — there was a “musical show” with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un present — a big screen showed several missiles flying towards the U.S. and exploding on impact — causing a fiery apocalypse. It had the U.S. flag “burning up” and tombstones with crosses. The North Korean military applauded as Kim waved to the audience. 

 

If there was ever a military conflict between the U.S. and North Korea, the country most impacted would be South Korea — as North Korea is reported to have many missiles and artillery that is aimed towards Seoul, which is only 35 miles away from the DMZ border. 

 

Hopefully war doesn’t break out. 

 

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Former NFL player for the New England Patriots, Aaron Hernandez, was found dead this morning in prison from suicide — he hanged himself using bed sheets that was tied to his cell window. He lived in a single cell and tried to block the door by jamming the door with various things. 

 

Prison guards saw him around 3 am, took him to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead at 4 am. He was 27.

 

Aaron was in prison on a life sentence without parole sentence for the murder of his friend in June 2013. Last Friday he was in court, accused of murdering two men in Boston — but he was acquitted. It seemed like “good news” for Aaron — even though he still had to stay in prison for life. But he’s committed suicide, and it’s shocked many. He leaves behind a daughter.

 

Aaron’s defense lawyer, Jose Baez (who is famous because of the Casey Anthony case), said he and his law firm were surprised/shocked at Aaron’s death. He said there needs to be a transparent and thorough investigation in what happened.

 

Today is the day that the New England Patriots team, as the Super Bowl champions, visits the White House to meet President Trump. 

 

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Yesterday morning a gunman shot and killed three men in downtown Fresno, California. The gunman’s name is Kori Ali Muhammad and it appears to be a hate crime — that he killed the three men, who were white, because of their race. 

 

Police say Kori was stalking people with a .357 revolver — shooting 16 times in 2 minutes, targeting four different men, killing three. He is also accused of killing a security guard last week — that man was also white. 

 

When police approached him — he dove on the ground and yelled, “Allah akbar” — which means God is great in Arabic. He was arrested and is now in custody, will be charged with four counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.  

 

It appears that Kori knew police were looking for him after he was the main suspect of the killing of the security guard last week — and that he wanted to kill as many people as he could before he was caught. 

 

Kori’s Facebook postings shows a strong prejudice against white people, calling them “white devils” and said there was a race war between black people and white people. He showed support for the “Nation of Islam” — which is different from the religion of Islam

 

His views appears to be similar to the Dallas sniper —  Micah Johnson — and Kori actually posted a tribute to him on Facebook, saying that he loved us enough to kill and die for us, we honor him. He had the hashtag, “#LetBlackPeopleGo.” 

 

He doesn't appear to be a part of the Muslim community in Fresno — several Muslim religious leaders said they do not know him. 

 

Sad for the four men who died. Their ages were between 25 to 58. 

 

There was some discussion on what the difference between “terrorism” and “hate crime” was — it appears that terrorism is something that is a crime against the U.S. government and a crime that is designed to put fear and threaten human lives, while hate crime is an “enhancement” to a crime that is aimed towards a person based on their race, religion, disability, origin, or sexual orientation.

So police has labeled Kori’s actions a hate crime. 

 

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Bill O’Reilly, longtime host of his TV show on Fox News, is now no longer on Fox News after there were various accusations of sexual harassment against Bill. 

 

21st Century Fox said they have carefully reviewed the allegations and they have agreed with Bill that he won’t return to the show. 

 

The NY Times recently reported that Fox News and Bill O’Reilly have paid out $13 million to five women who accused him of sexual harassment — to be sure they stay quiet. There were also accusations of Bill making racist and degrading statements to a black female worker. As a result, there were several advertisers who stopped putting ads on his show. 

 

Bill recently took a break from the show to go on vacation to Italy — but now he will come back to the U.S. without his show. 

 

It is the second major departure of a Fox News leader — their former chairman, Roger Ailes, left the show after several people accused him of sexual harassment. 

 

Statement by Bill O’Reilly: “… It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims… I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved…” 

 

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Last weekend was the 200th anniversary of the American School for the Deaf (ASD) in *Hartford, Connecticut. ASD is the first government-sponsored Deaf school in the U.S. — established by Thomas Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc — after Gallaudet was inspired by a Deaf girl Alice Cogswell and his father, Mason, who wanted to give Alice and other Deaf children in New England education. That is what sparked Deaf education in America — 200 years ago. 

 

Yesterday ASD started what will be a year-long bicentennial celebration with a “Founders Day Celebration” where the school’s Executive Director Jeff Bravin dressed like Laurent Clerc and told kids about its history. This Friday they will have a big gala where Marlee Matlin and several other special guests will attend. Then they will host the CEASD (Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools & Programs for the Deaf) conference. 

 

Big things happening over there in Connecticut. I reached out to Jeff Bravin for an interview — here it is! 

 

[Interview]

 

JEFF: I’m Jeff Bravin, Executive Director of the ASD. I’ve been in this position for 3 years, and I’ve been working here at ASD for 14 years.

 

Question: You are the second Deaf executive director of the school. What does it mean to you to run such a historical school? 

 

JEFF: The community, staff, and parents here are wonderful. There are very committed people here so I always feel good about coming to work knowing that I have confidence in my staff to do great work with our students. Also as a Deaf executive director, I see myself as a role model for students and other people, even for other people who are hoping to be administrators for Deaf schools. They can look at me as a role model — that Deaf people can — I’m always willing to give support and advice. 

 

When I walk here on campus — it is very special here — even though this is not the campus where Clerc walked on — but there’s the feeling of historical significance. We have all the books and archives of Clerc’s writing in our historical museum. Sometimes I have an opportunity to read through those and I feel inspired. 

 

Question: You all celebrated “Founding Day” to honor the school’s history. What kind of legacy does this school have? 

 

JEFF: I tell others that it’s amazing — this school was incorporated in 1816, but the school opened its doors April 15, 1817. It was sponsored by the state of Connecticut — with a $5,000 grant to start. This started the first special education school in the western hemisphere. So it’s not just Deaf school, but special education. There was no other special education programs in America at the time. So we were considered special education, and it’s amazing how it’s changed now, that field has spread out and Deaf schools are now a small part of it, but at the time the school was founded, Deaf education was special education. It’s different, how things have changed. Education as as field has changed. The pendulum always swings in the field of education — it goes from strong to weak and back to strong. I know some people are concerned about the field of Deaf education but I see a bright future, things are really blossoming in Deaf education. There are a lot of research that proves and changes things. ASD is always known as the forefront of things in education and what we do impacts other schools. As Clerc taught our students, many of them grew up to become founders, teachers, and administrators of other Deaf schools. So I hope to continue that legacy. 

 

Question: What challenges do you face in the state of Connecticut with regards to Deaf education and getting students to go to ASD? 

 

JEFF: A big challenge, as with other schools, is funding. We are not a state school, we are a private school. We get state appropriated funds to support Connecticut students, but we take students from 8 other states and international students. So I’ma always looking for private funding, sponsorships, it’s a different challenge we have here compared to other state schools. 

 

The other challenge is enrollment. The average age of enrollment is 12 to 14. It seems to be the trend of public schools to “try” and educate deaf children and if they “fail” — they send them to ASD. I always tell them to send them here first — its important to have a language foundation and when they grow up, the child can decide what is best for them — they can continue at the Deaf school or go to a public school. But the most important thing is the foundation — we can’t play with language acquisition, learning a language. So that’s been my message. I think people are starting to see the importance of language foundation, language acquisition. It’s not just ASL/English, but also Spanish. Some schools have a “biliteracy seal.” to promote two, three, or four languages. We should do the same here. Research proves students benefit from it. So I think that will be the forefront of new approaches in Deaf education. 

 

Question: You will have various celebrations, plenty of visitors, and a gala this weekend. What is the atmosphere like there? 

 

JEFF: Excitement is high here. Students, staff, parents, alumni, the community — they all are coming here. We started out thinking it would be a small event, with some alumni coming here — but now we have many sponsors, the community is really involved here from West Hartford, people in Connecticut, from the nation, even from France. A representative from the school where Clerc was from will come. It’s become an international event. So it will be very exciting, but this is just to kick off — as we have almost 25 events planned ahead. We will have five conferences, so everybody is hyped. It starts with the Cabaret and the CEASD Conference will align with the Cabaret because I feel it is right for them to see leaders from various Deaf programs across the U.S. — to see that the field is still alive, it’s good for the community to see that. So that’s why I did this. 

 

And all the events will be on Facebook LIVE so people who can’t make it — other than locals — can watch it and not miss out. It’s free. Our purpose is to spread the word of impact of Deaf education and Deaf individuals in the field, that there are a lot more changed lives compared to what it was in the past. That’s the vision of what we want to celebrate. It is an exciting time for the school. 

 

[End interview]

 

Thank you for your time, Jeff — and for your leadership in Deaf education. You can follow ASD’s Facebook page and their website to view the LIVE events and keep updated on their bicentennial celebration. 

 

*Hartford is incorrect — it should be “West Hartford” 

 

Bicentennial Celebration Link: http://www.asd-1817.org/page.cfm?p=1448

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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