The Daily Moth 5-9-17

May 10, 2017

 

 

South Korea Elects New President, Sally Yates Testimony about Michael Flynn, Trump Approves Aiding YPG with Weapons, Trump Fires FBI Director Comey, and Deaf Woman Discriminated by Instacart Employees 

 

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Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, May 9. Ready for news? 

 

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Another country has elected its next president — South Korea. Moon Jae-in, who is in the Democratic Party, won with 41% of the vote, which was 18% ahead of the second-place finisher. 

 

Moon will bring stability to the leadership of South Korea, which has been empty since their former president, Park Geun-hye, was impeached on accusations of corruption and abuse of power. She will face trial. 

 

Moon will quickly become President because of the position vacancy, there will not be a “transitional period.” He will have to quickly assemble his cabinet and have the legislature approve a prime minister. 

 

Then, he’ll have to figure out where South Korea stands in international relations — with China, with President Trump, and especially with North Korea. 

 

Moon’s philosophy on North Korea is to approach them in a diplomatic way, which is to build relationships with them and provide aid, rather than escalate in division and military conflict. 

 

Moon has previously criticized the installation of the THAAD anti-missile defense on the Korean border. 

 

We’ll see what his decisions are in the future and how it impacts the international tensions with North Korea. 

 

For now, congratulations to South Korea for electing their new leader. 

 

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Yesterday Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general, testified before Senators about her role in alerting the Trump White House about Michael Flynn, the former National Security Adviser — about his contacts with Russians.

 

Here’s a timeline of what happened:

 

On January 24, the FBI interviewed Flynn related to his contacts with Russians. 

 

On January 25, Yates got a detailed report of what was in that interview.

 

Yates said the next day, on the 26th, she first notified the White House Counsel Don McGahn  about a “serious matter.” Yates explained the situation, that Flynn did talk about sanctions with the Russian ambassador in December, which was against the law. 

 

She told the White House that Flynn did not tell the truth to VP Mike Pence about his conversation with the Russian ambassador, and that Russia knew Flynn was lying — which meant Flynn was “compromised” and subject to blackmail. Because Flynn was the National Security Adviser, it meant the U.S. security was “threatened” by the Russians. 

 

Yates talked with the White House counsel again the following day (on the 27th).

 

On the 28th, President Trump called Putin in the Oval Office. Flynn was there sitting across from him. 

 

Yates was later fired on January 30 for telling the Department of Justice to not support (defend) Trump’s first travel ban. 

 

There were several media articles in January that talked about Flynn’s relations with Russia and about his call, putting pressure on the White House to do something with Flynn. 

 

After pressure on the White House about Flynn — he was fired February 13, more than two weeks later. The White House said he was let go because he misled the Vice President.

 

There’s no “news” about this — most of it we already know, but it shows more information about how Trump and the White House handled Flynn. 

 

The FBI investigation of the Trump team’s contacts with Russians is still ongoing. Flynn himself is under investigation by the Pentagon for not telling them he got large payments from Russian and Turkish organizations. 

 

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President Trump has approved to provide weapons to the YPG, a group of Kurdish people in Syria who is fighting against ISIS. The YPG is close to ISIS’ “capital city”, Raqqa.

 

This was decided after the administration had internal debates on whether to do this or not. 

 

This will cause a problem with Turkey — because their government views the YPG to be a terrorist organization and does not support any kind of weapons provided to the YPG. 

 

Turkey is a member of the NATO and a key ally with the U.S. We will see how this affects the U.S./Turkish relations as well as the fight against ISIS. 

 

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Big news — President Trump just fired the FBI Director James Comey. 

 

The president accepted the attorney general Jeff Sessions’ recommendation to fire him. 

 

President Trump wrote a letter to Comey. It said that Trump appreciated Comey’s informing him on three occasions that he was not under investigation, Trump has agreed that Comey is not able to effectively lead the FBI. 

 

Trump then said it is essential to find new leadership for the FBI that will bring back public trust and confidence in FBI’s law enforcement mission. 

 

Comey was in the news earlier today because it was confirmed that he gave wrong statements about Clinton’s emails in a recent testimony — he said Clinton aide Huma Abedin forwarded thousands of emails to her former husband Weiner — but this was not true as the majority of those emails were there as an automatic back up on Weiner’s laptop. 

 

This brought fresh controversy and criticism of Comey, who has already been strongly criticized by Hillary Clinton for his re-opening the email investigation right before the election and criticized by President Trump for not bringing charges against Hillary for her emails.  

 

Well, now, Comey’s job at FBI has ended. He was appointed to lead the FBI in 2013 by Obama. FBI directors usually have 10-year terms, and Comey is out after less than four years. 

 

The White House said they will start a new search for the next FBI director. 

 

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In Miami, Florida — a Deaf woman applying for an Instacart shopper job was discriminated against — she was told she couldn’t work because she was deaf. Her name is Cristina Houghton and she recorded the experience on Facebook live. I’ll show you some clips and her comments. 

 

[Facebook video of Cristina. She is filming herself and the two Instacart employees who discriminated against her.

 

Cristina: The man is ignoring my requests for pen and paper and said I had to lipread. I asked him again to write on pen and paper and he just ignored me, he looked mad. He said I couldn’t work here because I was deaf. What? What do I do? 

 

That's the guy, behind me. He said I couldn’t work because I was deaf. I told him I could work, but he said I couldn’t drive. I told him I could drive! 

 

(Video shows Cristina confronting an Instacart worker. He is a white male with a reddish beard.) 

 

Cristina (at home): When I went there, I let them know that I had an appointment at 10 am, I was there early, at 9:30 am. The man used his voice and I told him I was deaf and needed pen/paper, but he would keep on speaking to me. He had a red beard and it was hard for me to look at his lips. A woman sitting by us gave us a pen and paper. The man wrote saying they don’t hire deaf people because voice was required (for the job). It made me mad. 

 

[Back to Facebook video. It shows two employees talking to each other.] 

 

Cristina: I told them to call the IC headquarters. They refused. 

 

[Cristina confronts another Instacart employee, a brown-skinned male with eyeglasses. He tries his best to mouth words and gesture — he appears to tell Cristina that because she is deaf, she is unable to do this job. He appears to say, “I can’t talk for you.” He also appears to suggest that she can’t drive because she can’t hear. 

 

Cristina (at home): I felt very dejected because they said deaf people couldn’t work — even couldn’t drive. It made me feel incredulous. I didn’t expect this, I was shocked. It was unbelievable that they said deaf people couldn’t drive. Wrong. Deaf people can drive better than hearing people, right! 

 

[Back to Facebook video. The second Instacart employee continues to gesture and ignore Cristina. The camera turns back to Cristina and she says she will have to call Instacart. As she walks away, she said it’s the first time and she is disgusted. She said she is going to her car to call Instacart.

 

Alex: Cristina said she was shaking and was very shocked at the experience of being discriminated against. She said she knew the Instacart employees were wrong. 

 

She said she called Instacart and was promptly contacted back by the Instacart leadership team in San Francisco, California. 

 

Cristina said Instacart apologized for this, said they were sick to the stomach, told her that there were indeed many Deaf IC shoppers, and offered her a free trip to San Francisco to meet with the CEO of IC, Apoorva Mehta. She will fly there at the end of this month. 

 

I reached out to Instacart and received a response — they confirmed that their COO/CFO, Ravi Gupta, reached out to Cristina and invited her to go to SF to meet with their CEO and leadership team to help them understand how Instacart can make the experience better for deaf shoppers. 

 

Instacart said they have scheduled her for another on boarding session (training session) and that there will be an ASL interpreter and a member of the Miami team to make sure the session goes smoothly. 

 

[Cristina, at home: Today I went for a session with an interpreter. A funny thing happened — I told the woman (the trainer) that I wanted to get a coffee as we waited for an interpreter. As I went to get my coffee, the woman told me I couldn’t buy it — because the president was taking care of it, they would cover whatever I needed. I was like, sure! It lifted my mood. The trainer sat down with me and apologized for what happened. We started training and I will start working tomorrow. 

 

Alex: I asked Instacart about the two IC employees in the video who discriminated against her — and Instacart said they no longer have a relationship with the two. 

 

The Instacart team said they’ve sent updated guidelines to all shoppers that work with hiring to ensure that they understand Instacart’s process and their values. 

 

Impressive of Instacart to react so quickly to Cristina and fix the situation.  

 

Cristina is moving on — she now has a job with Instacart (she just proudly posted a picture of her with an Instacart card and lanyard) and will start anytime now. 

 

[Cristina, at home: I’m not the kind of person gets mad. I looked at it this way — the man had a problem with deaf people, it was not Instacart in general, it was the man. He influenced the second employee. I forgive them and I hope they don’t do that to other deaf employees. Fight and stand up. I’m glad the man messed up, because it brings more attention that deaf people need jobs. I thank God that I was there to fight. Maybe if it was some other deaf person, they would just say, “Oh really? I can’t work?” and leave. The discrimination would have persisted. It was lucky that I was right there and decided they were wrong. I had to do the right thing for the Deaf community and I also want to see more Deaf people get jobs. Thumbs up. 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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