The Daily Moth 7-20-17

July 21, 2017



Sen. McCain Diagnosed with Brain Cancer, Elon Musk Plans Hyperloop Connecting DC and NYC in 29 Minutes, OJ Simpson Granted Parole in October, Baltimore Police Officer Caught on Tape Tampering with Evidence, Trump Blasts A.G. Sessions for Recusal, HoH Woman Sues Lincoln Theater for Not Providing Captioning, Deaf Woman Selected to Appear on “Xploration Outer Space” Mars Simulation in Hawaii 




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, July 20. Ready for news?




News broke last night that Senator John McCain (R, Ariz) has brain cancer — glioblastoma — an aggressive tumor that is difficult to treat and cure. He had surgery last Friday to remove a blood clot above his left eye, and doctors discovered the cancer. This cancer is the same kind that Senator Ted Kennedy died from — he died 15 months after the first diagnosis. 


Sen. McCain might have to undergo surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. It seems like McCain wants to go back to work. 


This news has made a huge impact on Washington, D.C. and everywhere in America. His daughter, Meghan, said his father is the toughest person she knows and that cancer won’t make him surrender. 


McCain has been a senator since 1987, elected to his sixth term last fall. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. In 1967 he was flying on a bombing missing — his plane was shot down — McCain ejected and parachuted into a lake. North Vietnamese soldiers captured him and he was a prisoner of war (POW) from 1967 until his release in 1973, leaving him injured and unable to raise his arms above his head. 


He ran for president against Obama in 2008 — losing with 46% of the popular vote and 173 electoral college votes to Obama’s 365. He went back to the Senate and has been there up to now, currently the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee. 


When Trump was running for President, McCain was one of the strongest Republicans who was opposed to him — criticizing his remarks about Mexicans. Trump hit back at McCain, saying he was not a war hero because he was captured. The two later made amends, with Trump saying he is a hero and McCain saying Republicans should support him. 


Former president Obama said yesterday McCain is an American hero and one of the bravest fighters he’s ever known — for him to give cancer hell. 


President Trump yesterday said McCain has always been a fighter, that he and Melania sends their thoughts and prayers to him and his family, for him to get well soon. 


Sen. McCain tweeted today that he appreciates the support he’s got and that unfortunately for his sparring partners in Congress, he will be back soon. 




Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of Tesla and SpaceX, announced he got government approval to build an underground hyperloop system that will connect New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. His goal is to provide fast travel — for people to travel between NYC and DC in 29 minutes in “pods.” 


He has a company named “The Boring Company,” in which he develops machines that can “bore” through earth and build tunnels. He has a vision of putting cars on electronic sleds that can travel fast to other locations. He has already started digging in the LA area. 


It is also Elon’s vision to dig tunnels for routes between LA and SF and a Texas loop. 


It is not clear which government agency gave him the approval — it seems like it is his goal to get more support for the project. It appears he has some approval from people inside the government. People are still asking him for clarification on this. 


Wow, he’s affecting “three layers” — under Earth with the hyperloop, on Earth with Tesla cars, and above Earth with SpaceX.




Today O.J. Simpson (70) sat before a parole board hearing to decide if he would be released from prison early from his charges of an armed robbery in Las Vegas in 2007. He has been imprisoned for almost 9 years now. 


The meeting was done via video with OJ in prison in Lovelock, Nevada and the parole board 100 miles away in Carson City. The board said they received hundreds of letters both supporting and opposing OJ’s release — and many of them asked the board to consider OJ’s 1995 murder trials of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman. OJ was acquitted, but was later found liable for their deaths in a civil court in 1997 and ordered to pay $33.5 million to the families of the two. 


OJ defended his actions in the robbery — saying he went to a hotel room to get sports memorabilia and things that belonged to him and brought his friends as security. OJ said the things was his and that he didn’t see any guns pointed. OJ said he should have had better judgment and wished it never happened — that he took full responsibility. 


One of the men who was “robbed” — Bruce Forming — said OJ made a mistake and that he should get a second chance. He also said OJ never pulled a gun on him or touched him. 


OJ’s daughter Arnelle said OJ is not the perfect man — that the robbery was inappropriate — but that they just want him to come home. 


After the hearing, the board decided to grant OJ parole in a 4-0 vote, saying he was low risk, had community support, and stable plans after prison. If all goes for OJ, he will walk free in October. 




There is controversy with the Baltimore police department after news broke that a Baltimore police officer tampered with drug evidence during an arrest. 


The video footage shows an officer, in January of this year, putting a plastic bag with drugs in it into an empty soup can, walking away from the area, approaching two other Baltimore officers, and coming back to “discover” the drugs. What the officer probably didn’t realize is that the body cameras does keep recordings of 30 seconds before it is activated — but without sound. So it appears the body cameras are always recording, but “deletes” itself until the 30 seconds before it starts recording.


The man who was arrested for the drugs was in jail since January and couldn’t pay the bond for his $50,000 bail. His public defender found the footage and reported it to the prosecutor — causing the charges to be dropped — he is now free. 


Yet, the officer was not immediately disciplined and the prosecutor still worked with the officer to call him on other active cases. But now after this news broke, one of the officers are suspended and the other two are on administrative duty as the investigation starts. The officer who was filming 


This footage has caused many to think that the Baltimore police might be falsely planting evidence to accuse others — but the department said there was a “real” drug arrest of a person who was selling heroin and keeping it in a yard. They said the officers might have done this to “document” the discovery of the drugs. They said the investigation will focus on why the officers staged their discovery — adding that it is a serious allegation of police misconduct.




President Trump ripped Attorney General Jeff Sessions in an interview with the New York Times yesterday — saying he would have never appointed him to be Attorney General if he knew he would have recused himself from the Russian investigation. Trump said it was very unfair to him. 


Because Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation earlier this year due to him not disclosing in a Senate hearing that he had meetings with a Russian ambassador, the Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein took over and appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to oversee the Russia investigation.


This has made many wonder if Sessions would resign from his job — but he said he is staying in as Attorney General — that he loves his job and his department, and would stay as long as it is appropriate.


Back to the interview — Trump criticized Mueller — saying he and his team had many conflicts of interest related to financial contributions to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Trump also said Mueller was one of the people he interviewed for the empty FBI director position after he fired Comey and he was shocked that Mueller was now head of the investigation.


Rod Rosenstein, in a separate interview with Fox News, said the Department of Justice has a process to take care of any conflicts of interest and that he appointed Mueller because he had a good reputation. 


The NY Times asked Trump if Mueller would cross a “red line” if the investigation looked into the Trump family’s finances. Trump said yes — that would be a violation — because this is about Russia. But it seems like Mueller will look into Trump’s finances — BloombergPolitics reported that Mueller would look at various business deals Trump made with Russians and the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. What makes this complicated is that Trump is an international businessman who has done many deals with Russia — so Mueller will have to determine if any of them are related to the election.


In related news, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner will testify before Senate committees next week to discuss the 2016 election. Trump Jr. and Manafort will testify publicly, but Kushner will testify in private. 




A hard of hearing person, Chrisitna Kielich from Virginia, filed a lawsuit against the Lincoln Center Theatre in New York City — saying they refused to provide captioning services on three different incidents in 2015, 2016, and 2017. 


Christina is someone who is immersed in theater — she studied theater at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., studied Shakespeare at Oxford University in England, and wrote her senior thesis on the role of women in Greek drama. But she can’t have full and equal access to theater because she was denied captioning services. 


The NAD and law firm Stein & Vargas are representing Christina in the lawsuit — saying the theater violated the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 


NAD’s CEO Howard Rosenblum said since 1990 federal law requires theaters to provide communication access — that Lincoln Center must follow the law. 


This is not the first time Christina filed a lawsuit against a theater — earlier this year she sued the Strathmore Theater in Maryland for denying her captioning services in 2016 and 2017. NAD and Stein & Vargas also represented her and that lawsuit was “amicably resolved.” On Strathmore’s website, it now offers multiple options for accessibility, offering ASL or cued speech interpreting, open captioning, among others. 




Press Releases: —






A Deaf woman and University of California San Diego (UCSD) student, Julia Velasquez, was announced today as the winner of a Xploration Station contest and will go to Hawaii to train like a Mars astronaut and be on a future Xploration Outer Space episode.  


Xploration Station is a TV show that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The show’s host, Emily Calandrelli, created a surprise video announcement that was shown in a college class Julia was in. She fingerspelled “JULIA” and said she was impressed with her passion to make space exploration open to everybody, including the Deaf community. 


Julia was thankful and said it was important to show that Deaf people could participate in programs and experience life in Mars — for space to be accessible to everyone. She said the Deaf community is often shunned aside and she hopes to be a role model for other Deaf youth. 


Julia entered the contest by posting a video in a contest in May. She said she was an intern at the Kennedy Space Center in 2006 and loved the experience, and she believed Deaf people could explore space. She said space exploration is important to understand the meaning of life and the origins of life, and for new knowledge to be accessible to more than 70 million Deaf people in the world. 


There were many other people who posted video submissions and Julia was selected. Nice! She will go to Hawaii’s Hi-Seas area, which will “simulate” what life in Mars looks like. It has been used by NASA scientists in the past. 


To see the announcement video and Julia’s submission, check out the links in the transcript. 


Announcement Video:


Julia’s Contest Video:





That is all for this week. Be sure to check out the Deaf Business Spotlight tomorrow. Have a wonderful weekend and stay with the light! 






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