The Daily Moth 7-25-17

July 26, 2017



U.S. Senate Narrowly Passes Vote to Open Debate on Health Care Bill, Sen. McCain Returns, Trump Continues Criticism of Sessions, Medical Journal Says 99% of Brains Donated by Former NFL Players Have CTE, Video Released of Three American Soldiers Ambushed at Jordanian Air Base in November, and Three Crime Stories with Deaf People  




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, July 25. Ready for news? 




The U.S. Senate today narrowly voted to advance the health care bill to debate in a 50-50 vote, requiring the VP Mike Pence to break the tie. 


Sen. John McCain (R, Ariz) showed up on the Senate floor with a visible healing wound above his left eye from a surgery to treat his brain cancer. People stood up to applaud him as he voted in favor to have debate on the health care bill. In his speech, he said he wouldn’t vote for the bill as it currently stands, but encouraged senators to go back to “regular order” — to have public committee hearings on the bill to improve it and to stop being so divided.


There were protesters who shouted, “Kill the Bill!” They were removed by Capitol police. 


Senators will have 20 hours to debate to repeal parts of Obamacare and how to replace it and a separate bill to repeal the law with a two-year delay. Republican senators will have to figure out how to come together and make a deal — they were not successful in recent attempts to vote on a bill. 


President Trump gave a press conference shortly after the Senate vote. He was at the White House hosting the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Both countries said they are committed to fighting against terrorism. 


Trump said he was not a fan of Syrian leader al-Assad. He said al-Assad killed people using gas. He criticized Obama for not doing enough against al-Assad when he crossed the “red line” and said he was one of the reasons why Syria is the way it is today. 


Trump thanked McCain for making the trip and voting in favor of the health care debate. He said he was happy the health care debate vote advanced. He said it was very sad that two Republicans voted against “us” — referring to Senator Collins (Maine) and Senator Murkowski (Alaska). 


Trump has lately continued to criticize his Attorney General Sessions for his recusal from the Russian investigation, posting on twitter calling him “weak” and giving more interviews and comments to media criticizing him, but not yet saying he would fire him. Trump said he wants Sessions to be tougher on leaks from intelligence agencies. He said “we’ll see” what happens to him. 




A medical journal recently published a report saying the brain disease CTE Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy was found in 99% of deceased NFL football players who donated their brains to research. In 111 brains that has been donated, CTE was found in 110. 


CTE can be caused by repeated head trauma — there is a buildup of tau protein in the brain that can block neuropathways and cause negative mental symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, aggression, depression, or wanting to commit suicide. 


CTE is often found in military veterans or athletes who were in contact sports — mainly football. 


99% of the donated brains from NFL players had CTE, but out of a larger pool of donated brains by former high school, college, and pro football players — 202 in total — 177 of them had CTE. 


The director of Boston University’s CTE Center said people who play football are at risk for this disease, but it is not clear the risk because the CTE Center has not compared brain studies of other people who played college or pro football and might be otherwise healthy (did not show symptoms when living). The brains were also from players who played in the 50’s to the 90’s, a different time and game from today’s football. 


CTE also can only be accurately diagnosed during autopsy. 


But the high percentage of donated brains having CTE definitely raises more concerns with the potential impact on brain health from playing football or contact sports. 


The NFL said they would continue to work with experts to improve the health of current and former NFL athletes. The NFL first recognized that there was a CTE issue last year. In 2015 the NFL was ordered to pay up to $5 million to retired NFL players with head injuries in a federal class-action lawsuit settlement. The NFL has since donated money to CTE research and taken a more active role in player safety.




Last November, three American soldiers died at an air base in Jordan, they were shot and killed by a lone Jordanian solider when they pulled their vehicles into the gate / checkpoint at the King Faisal base. The video of the shooting was released today by the Jordanian military. 


The Jordanian solider, Sgt. Marik al-Tuwayha (39), was convicted in Jordanian court of murder last month and will have a life sentence. There were some protests that said Marik was innocent. But the video released today shows that Marik intentionally ambushed the American soldiers with a large M-16 rifle after they pull in at a checkpoint in their small military trucks.


In the video, it looked like a normal day at the checkpoint. A solider was patrolling the road leading to the base.  The road was blocked off by a crossing gate and a removable barrier on the pavement with sharp sticks pointing upwards. A military convoy of four small vehicles pulled up, stopping at the crossing gate. The patrolling solider pulls away the barrier as the crossing gate is raised. The vehicles slowly move down the road. 


Suddenly, there is white smoke from gunfire on the bottom of the video, hitting the vehicles. Off-screen, Marik has shot and killed American soldiers Kevin McEnroe (30) and Matthew Lewellen (27). 


You see the patrolling guard and two other soldiers in the small trucks run out and hide behind barriers. For the next five minutes, the other two soldiers try to move to another barriers and continue to raise their arms to surrender, yelling, “We are American! We are friendly.” Marik continues to strafe around the vehicles, shooting at them. The two soldiers did return fire, but it seems like they only had handguns. Marik then made a close approach to soldiers, killing James Moriarty (27) and injuring another solider. 


When news broke of this shooting in the fall, the solider Marik and some Jordanian government officials said it was a mistake, that the soldiers did not stop at the checkpoint, sparking the shooting. It caused international tension between the American and Jordanian governments. 


But the government changed its stance and Marik was eventually convicted guilty in court and imprisoned. It caused street protests by people in Marik’s tribe who felt his conviction was to please the Americans, that it was their fault for not stopping at the checkpoint. But now this video shows exactly what happened. It is still not clear exactly what motivated Marik to ambush the American soldiers, as he continues to place blame on the Americans for not stopping. 


The three soldiers who died was in Jordan to train Syrian rebels who were fighting against al-Assad as a part of a CIA secret operation that started under the Obama administration in 2013. 


That program was recently ended by the Trump administration. The Washington Post questioned the timing of the program cut, saying it showed Trump wanted to please Russia, who backs al-Assad. The article also quoted former Obama officials who said ending the program is akin to abandoning allies in Syria. 


Trump recently criticized the Post’ article on Twitter — he said his administration ended the program because it was massive, dangerous, and wasteful to pay Syrian rebels fighting al-Assad.




Here are three crime news involving Deaf people:  


1. In May 2015, around 1 a.m, a deaf man (20) sitting at a coffee shop was seriously attacked by two men who beat him and stole his MacBook laptop. The two men, both 22 at the time, were arrested in July 2015. 


Yesterday one of the men, Daniel Estramera (now 24) was sentenced to 12 years in state prison for the robbery. It was a deal in which he had some serious charges dropped in exchange for pleading guilty. He already had two previous felonies for robbery and grand theft. 


The other man, Dawone Finnell (24) was sentenced to 14 years in prison in February of last year. He had prior charges for auto theft, assault, and robbery. 


The Deaf man’s full name has not been released — court documents used the name, “Christian.”


Video of Assault:




2. A Deaf man from Florida, Shawn Daly (43), was arrested last week for trying to have sex with a minor (child) using computers. Police said he contacted a 13-year old teen using the dating app Grindr. The boy told Shawn he was 14, but Shawn still talked to him, discussing things of a sexual nature and plans to meet up. 


The boy’s parents looked through his phone and saw the conversation, then they reported it to police, who arrested Shawn at his home after he admitted to the contact.




3. Update with the July 4 car accident by a deaf driver that that killed deaf passenger Angelina Greene (27) — the driver, Travis Martin (28) was first charged with reckless driving and driving on a suspended license from a previous DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge. Police has since slapped him with another DWI charge — saying he was intoxicated when he crashed his 2004 Ford Expedition into a parked/broke-down tractor trailer on I-81 in Virginia. 


Last week he was denied bond by a judge in Montgomery County, Virginia, he remains in jail.




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


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