Scaramucci Out as Communications Director, Drama in D.C., North Korea Test-Fires Another Missile, Venezuela Elections Spark Controversy, Senate Votes on New Russian Sanctions, 12 Inmates Escape Jasper Jail, 2017 Deaflympics in Samsun Concludes, and NC Governor Signs Bill for Deaf DL Designation and Police Training w/ Deaf
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, July 31. Last day of July. Time is on time! Ready for today’s news?
Anthony Scaramucci is out as Communications Director, after just 10 days on the job. This surprising news came today after an already wild weekend in Washington, D.C.
On Friday President Trump announced on Twitter that Reince Priebus will be replaced as Chief of Staff by Retired General John Kelly, formerly the head of Homeland Security. He was sworn in today.
Last week Scaramucci accused Reince of being a leaker, insulted Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, and said he had authority to fire everybody to stop White House leaks. But he himself is out of the White House. The reason why? Press Sec. Sanders said it was so the new Chief of Staff Kelly could have a clean slate to build his own team. Sources reported to media that Kelly felt Scaramucci was not disciplined.
So within a week, three former top White House officials are gone — Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, and now Scaramucci. A.G. Jeff Sessions is still in for now.
It continues the drama in Washington, D.C. that seemed to have been sparked by Senator John McCain voting “no” to the Senate health care bill before 2 a.m. Friday morning, joining Republican Senators Murkowski and Collins.
McCain’s vote was surprising because he was the one who voted to open debate on this bill earlier last week. But McCain was not supportive of the bill, calling it a “shell of a bill” and saying there needed to be proper order to draft a repeal/replacement bill.
After the latest health care bill failed, President Trump said 3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. Trump tweeted that he wanted to change Senate rules to block filibusters from 60 votes to 51 votes.
As for the healthcare bill and Obamacare — Trump is still pushing Republican Senators to not give up, to keep on trying to change the rules and to protest by demanding another vote before voting on any other bill.
Trump also has threatened to stop federal payments for subsidies to insurance companies to reduce the costs people pay. He also said he would payments to Congressmen and their aides’ for 3/4 of the costs of their insurance, since they use the Obamacare in the D.C. exchange/marketplace (not under the federal employees health benefits program).
Last Friday North Korea tested another intercontinental ballistic missile, a powerful and long-range missile that appears to have a capability to hit the U.S. The missile went up 2,300 miles into space before plunging into waters near Japan. Their last test with a similar missile was on July 4.
President Trump criticized China for not doing enough against North Korea. Japan’s P.M. supported Trump in pushing China to do more. The U.S. military and allies did drills with two supersonic bombers and tested their THAAD anti-missile test.
Today Trump said, “We will handle North Korea. It will be handled. We handle everything.”
In Venezuela, there was an election on Sunday that would allow President Nicolas Maduro to replace the entire legislative body with a new, 545 member body that would all be nominated by Maduro’s administration and have the same political viewpoints. They would have the power to re-write the Venezuela constitution. Maduro has already appointed the Supreme Court with justices that are loyal to him. It means Maduro would have almost complete power over Venezuela.
His opponents and many Venezuelans say the election was a fraud. The U.S. UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said the election was a sham and another step towards dictatorship. She said the Venezuelan people and democracy would prevail.
Today the U.S. Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Maduro. Last week the U.S. slapped sanctions against Venezuela, but now this is additional punishment. Mexico, Colombia, Panama imposed sanctions on Venezuela while Brazil, Canada, and Guatemala criticized the vote.
It appears there will be more protests in Venezuela, more likely violent protests. So far more than 120 people have died there during protests, clashing with Venezuelan police.
The Senate voted 98-2 last week on a bill that would impose more sanctions on Russia, North Korea, and Iran. The same bill passed the House earlier in a 419-3 vote, both with almost full support from both Democrats and Republicans.
The bill would require Trump to consult with Congress before he can pull back sanctions against Russia or allowing them to have control of two of their buildings/compounds in the U.S.
The other parts of the bill has financial penalties for Russian people or companies connected to election interference, on Iran’s ballistic missile program, and North Korea’s missile program.
The White House announced that Trump plans to sign the bill. If he doesn’t sign it, it will become law by itself within 10 days.
Russian President Putin said the new sanctions were illegal and ordered the U.S. to cut 755 U.S. diplomats and staff working in Russia — for them to leave the country by September. Putin said there are currently a little more than 1,000 U.S. workers there — at a U.S. embassy and three U.S. consulates.
In separate news, the Pentagon and U.S. State Dept. said they have developed plans to provide Ukraine with antitank missiles and other weapons to defend themselves against Russians. This plan would need approval from President Trump and it could be several months before a decision is made.
Last night in Jasper, Alabama, 12 jail inmates escaped from the Walker County Jail. There was a manhunt last night and by this morning, 11 of the 12 inmates were recaptured.
There is still one at large — Brady Andrew Kilpatrick (24), who was in jail on marijuana possession. Two of the escaped inmates had attempted murder charges, but they were caught.
The jail has not explained how 12 were able to escape at one time.
UPDATE: The inmates used peanut butter to cover the number of a door. They then asked a new security guard to open the door using closed-circuit cameras. They “tricked” the new guard into opening the door, who couldn’t see that it was a door that led to the outside. The inmate at large is still free. There’s helicopters searching for him.
The 2017 Deaflympics in Samsun, Turkey has ended with their closing ceremonies last night. It appears to be a very successful Deaflympics with more than 3,000 athletes from 97 countries
The ICSD President, Russian Valery Rukhledev thanked Turkey for hosting the Deaflypmics saying they had a great time and that it was very successful.
The country with the highest number of medals: Russia. They nabbed 85 Golds, 53 Silvers, and 61 Bronzes for a total of 199 medals.
Ukraine was second with 99 total, 21 of them gold.
South Korea was third with 52 total medals, 18 of them gold.
The U.S. was tied in 9th place with Kenya with 16 total medals, 5 of them gold, 3 silver, and 8 bronze.
U.S. Swimmer Matthew Klotz had five medals total, 3 golds and two silvers. The U.S. swimming team brought three other bronze medals.
U.S. golfer Kaylin Yost, who is a LPGA professional player, won the gold medal.
U.S. hurdler Janna VanderMeulen won gold for 100M hurdles. The U.S. Track and Field team had six medals total, the gold, 1 silver, and four bronze medals.
The U.S. Women’s Volleyball team got the bronze medal.
Congratulations to our U.S. athletes.
Last Thursday, the North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) signed into law a bill to allow the state’s DMV to add a “deaf” symbol on drivers’ licenses. Deaf people will be able to decide for themselves whether they want it on their licenses or not.
The bill, HB 84, also calls for the establishment of education and training for criminal justice officers and police officers on how to appropriately interact with deaf/hoh people. They will also be trained to recognize the “deaf” symbol on drivers licenses.
The North Carolina Association of the Deaf shared a video filmed by Craig Blevins that showed Gov. Cooper speaking with an ASL interpreter beside him before he signed the bill. He said the law would improve communication between police and the deaf and save lives. Then he signed the bill. Video is in transcript.
This law will be effective Jan 1, 2018.
It is a step forward for North Carolina, who was cast in a negative spotlight after a NC state trooper shot and killed an unarmed Deaf man, Daniel Harris, last year after a high-speed car chase. The officer, Jermaine Saunders, did not face any charges after an investigation said he lawfully fired the weapon after Daniel charged at him holding a metal object. That case sparked many national conversations about interaction between police officers and deaf people. Now you have this bill signed.
Bill Text: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2017/Bills/House/PDF/H84v7.pdf
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!