The Daily Moth 7-24-17

July 25, 2017



At Least 10 Immigrants Dead in Hot Truck-Tractor in Smuggling Trip Gone Wrong, CODA College Student Detained in China for a Week, Jared Kushner Privately Meets with Senate Panel and Releases 11-Page Document, Special Report on Clin d’Oeil Festival in France, and AMPHL Deaf Professionals Conference and Interview with Deaf Doctor Dr. Moreland  




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, July 24. Hope your weekend was good. Ready for news? 




In San Antonio, Texas — at least 10 people died from overheating by riding inside of a tractor-trailer with 100 people in it in an human smuggling attempt. The truck was a refrigerated type of truck, which meant the trailer was sealed and insulated. But the refrigeration unit was broken, and because it was 100 degrees hot in South Texas, the interior of the unit was probably around 170 degrees. 


The driver of the truck, American man from Florida — James Mathew Bradley, Jr. (60) — was charged with one count of transporting illegal aliens for profit. Because it resulted in deaths, if he is guilty, he could get the death penalty or life in prison.


Yesterday (Sunday) morning the truck was parked at a Wal-Mart parking lot. People were coming and going to pick up the people, probably as a part of the illegal operation. 


One of the people inside of the truck walked to a Wal-Mart employee and asked for water. The employee got the water, probably seeing that he was in horrible shape, then called the police when he saw the truck parked with more people, apparently needing help. 


Police who arrived saw several people outside of the truck, some lying down. Officers walked up to the cab and saw the driver James in the cab. 


James explained he didn’t realize there were people in the truck, that he was just bringing it between a seller and a buyer. He said when he went outside to urinate, he heard movement and opened the door, saw the “Spanish” people come out and some of them lying on the floor like meat — he said he tried to help them, but didn’t call 911. Police arrested him there. 


Then when they looked inside of the truck, they saw 8 men already dead and 30 men, women, and teens seriously injured from the heat. Their skins were hot to the touch and their hearts beat 130 times per minute. There was no water inside of the truck. 


Police then called for a large-scale rescue. Multiple ambulances, firefighters, and medical helicopters came on the scene. 17 had life-threatening injuries while 13 had non-life-threatening injuries. Two more died at the hospital, bringing the death toll to 10. Some could have permanent brain damage. A 39th person was found in the woods near to the Wal-Mart and taken to the hospital. 


They were a part of a human smuggling operation apparently from Mexico that involved more than 150 people along various stop routes and safe houses.


Clarification — the smuggling route probably originated in Mexico. The truck was waiting at the Mexican-U.S. border. 


One person said it was pitch black inside of the truck and they did not have any food or water. They said when it became very hot, some people passed out. They tried to hit the walls to make some noise but that the driver never stopped. They had to punch holes in the wall and take turns breathing through it. The trip cost around $5,500.




A child of a Deaf adult (CODA), Guthrie McLean (25), who is a student at the University of Montana, was arrested and jailed for a week in China because allegedly was in a physical altercation with a Chinese taxi driver who was “roughing up” his mother, who is deaf — Jennifer McLean. 


Jennifer has lived in China for many years, teaching English there. Her son Guthrie grew up there but has been in the U.S. in recent years because he is studying at the University of Montana. 


In May, he went to China to visit her mother. on June 10, they rode in a taxi to go home. The total cost was around $10. Jennifer gave the fare but didn’t get the proper change. That led to an argument in which the driver pushed and shoved Jennifer and grabbed her bags. That’s when Guthrie intervened, pulling the taxi driver away and to the ground. 


It seemed like this situation was resolved by itself, but five weeks later, on July 17, local police showed up looking for Guthrie — they said the taxi driver claimed he was injured in the knee and wanted payment of around $7,400. Guthrie didn’t have the money so he was detained and placed in jail and the mother was blocked from coming to visit him. 


Guthrie was placed in a room with 20 other people. There was one toilet and a shower there. 


The mother Jennifer reached out to the U.S. Embassy and Montana Senators, John Tester (D) and Steve Daines (R) for help. Both Senators immediately acted, contacting the State Department, the U.S. Embassy, and Chinese authorities. After a week with many calls and negotiations, there was finally an agreement to drop his charges and release Guthrie. 


Both Senators released statements saying they were thrilled Guthrie is safe and free. 


Guthrie will continue studying at the University of Montana in August. 


CBS News:




Sen. Daines Statement: 


Sen. Tester Release:




Jared Kusher spoke at the White House today after his closed-door testimony with the U.S. Senate in the ongoing Russia investigation. His comments was mostly the same things from his 11-page testimony of his interactions with Russians. Here are some of the things in it. 


-   Jared said he was proud of working with Trump and of his campaign victory. 

  • He said his interactions with a Russian ambassador and a banker (four meetings) was a normal part of working with a presidential campaign and that he wanted a better relationship with Russia.

  • Jared said he forgot Sergei Kislylak’s name after first meeting him last summer around the time Trump secured his Republican nomination. He met with him a second time after the election after getting a congratulatory email from Putin of Trump’s victory and not being sure if it was legit. That’s why he wanted Kislylak’s name — he asked his assistant to help him remember his name. He was “showing” that he didn’t have a deep relationship with him. 

  • He said in that meeting he did want to set up a line of communication with Russia about information on Syria, but that he did not suggest a “secret backchannel communication.” 

  • He said he was late to the Russian lawyer meeting with Trump Jr. and wanted to leave early, and that the topic was about adoptions. He said he didn’t read the email chain (to remind you, the email chain has Trump Jr. saying he wants to meet because the Russian government wanted to give official documents that had negative information on Hillary Clinton. Jared said he didn’t know of this, that he just showed up at the meeting and left. 

  • Jared said he did not “collude” with any foregin government and did not know of any who did. 


At the White House, Kushner said all of his actions were proper and normal for a election campaign. He will meet with House Congressmen tomorrow. 


Paul Manafort and Trump Jr. is scheduled to talk with Senators this week, but it is not clear if it will be in public or private. 




Here is a special report from a Deaf journalist from France — Sandy Mercurio — on a recent festival named “Clin d’Oeil.” 






Thank you, Sandy, for that wonderful report. It looks like an amazing festival and the next one is the first week of July 2019. 




Can Deaf people become doctors or medical professionals? Of course they can. There was a recent biennial conference of the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL) at the RIT/NTID campus in Rochester, New York with 300 attendees.




Nice! I reached out to a Deaf doctor who is one of the leaders of AMPHL, Dr. Christopher Moreland. He will tell us more about the AMPHL and the work of Deaf medical professionals. 




Alex: You're a doctor yourself -- can you tell us what you specialize in and how do you find success working with hearing patients? 


Dr. Moreland: I specialize in internal medicine. This means I work with adults. I work at University Hospital in San Antonio. I also work as a faculty member at UT Health San Antonio. There, I focus on medical instruction, research, program administration, and mentorship. When I work with patients, most of them are hearing. I work with staff interpreters. I’ve effectively partnered with hearing patients and communicated effectively with them by focusing on understanding them and making sure we agree on our goals. My experience as a deaf person has helped me to understand and communicate with them well. They seem to respect my attitude and my professional approach. 


Alex: Around how many Deaf/HoH medical professionals do you think are currently working in the U.S.? 


Dr. Moreland: In 2013, we published a paper that identified 86 deaf or hard of hearing doctors or medical students. By now the number has grown and that number doesn’t include people outside of the U.S. I think there are probably over 100 deaf or hard of hearing doctors in the U.S. In addition to that, we don’t know how many deaf people are in other professions, such as P.A., nurses, veterinarians, pharmacists, and other specialities. Still, we know every year the number increases with more and more deaf and hard of hearing medical professionals. 


Alex: Can you tell us what is the purpose of the AMPHL (Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss)? 

Dr. Moreland: AMPHL is a group of deaf and hard of hearing health professionals and scientists that fall under categories of doctors, nurses, veterinarians, P.A., pharmacists, and others. This group has four goals: advocacy, networking, mentorship, and educating the public — educators, administrators — teaching them to work with deaf and hard of hearing health professionals and scientists. 


Alex: On the AMPHL website, it has a specific section on the stethoscope. Obviously it is a very important medical instrument and how do Deaf/HoH medical professionals get around the "sound barrier”?


Dr. Moreland: How can a Deaf person use a stethoscope to hear the heart or lungs? That is a question that comes up often. There are several options: an electrical stethoscope in which you can turn up the volume — this device can also be connected to a hearing aid, a cochlear implant, even using a wireless connection. Some electronic stethoscopes have a visual display in which you can “see” the noises. This is cool. The last option is an ultrasound. This is increasingly popular in both deaf and hearing health professionals. With that technology, you can look at body parts such as the liver, the lungs, blood vessels, the list goes on. This is really cool. 


Alex: Do you have any additional information or comments you'd like to make?


Dr. Moreland: The people who involve themselves in AMPHL come from a diverse group. Our communication styles whether it is signed or spoken are various. We have different language backgrounds and upbringings. People identify themselves in various ways, such as deaf, hard of hearing, having hearing loss, or as hearing. That diversity is our strength. When we know we have a diverse and healthy workforce, we can improve the community’s health. We can and we do contribute to that diversity. We support, encourage, and inspire each other. With that inspiration we can continue in our education and careers and succeed. 



Alex: Thank you for your time, Dr. Moreland. Great to know that there are many representatives of the Deaf community in the medical field. 


The next AMPHL conference is June in Baltimore, Maryland. It will be co-hosted by the ADARA (American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association). 




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

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