The Daily Moth 10-16-17

October 17, 2017



Trump Says He Won’t Certify Iran Deal, Trump Will Stop Federal Payments of Obamacare Subsidies for Lower-Income Americans, Ireland and British Isles Hit by Powerful Post-Tropical Cyclone Ophelia, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Pleads Guilty to Two Charges of Desertion and Misbehavior Before the Enemy, California Wildfires Death Toll at 41, and Interview with Renee Sites: Oklahoma Association of the Deaf President About Magdiel Sanchez Shooting 




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, October 16. Hope your weekend was good. Ready for news? 




President Trump announced on Friday that he would “not certify” the deal between the U.S., Iran, and other countries that was formed two years ago by previous president Obama. The deal was designed to significantly reduce Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon and increase international monitoring — in exchange for reduced sanctions against Iran.  


This deal requires the U.S. President to certify every 90 days that Iran was in compliance of the terms of the deal. Trump had given the thumbs-up in April and then in July, but he has now given the thumbs down. 


Trump said Iran had violated the deal by launching tests of ballistic missiles, that there was evidence that Iran could build a bomb in less than an year, and refusing to negotiate an extension of the deal’s limits on their nuclear activities. 


Trump’s “decertification” will start a process where Congress will take over — they can either vote to impose sanctions back against Iran, or to pass bills that would amend the 2015 deal to make it “stronger.” 


But this requires 60 votes in the Senate, a difficult goal with only 52 Republicans.  If the deal falls apart,  Iran can do whatever they want with nuclear weapons, like North Korea.


The leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Russia, and China, who are parties of the deal, said they want to keep the deal intact. We’ll see what happens. 




Last Thursday President Trump announced he would stop federal payments of Obamacare subsidies — federal money that goes to health insurance providers to help reduce the cost for lower-income Americans — 7 million of them. 


The Trump administration and a federal judge said the federal payments were illegal because there was no specific appropriation on it in U.S. law. 


The next federal payment to insurers was scheduled for this week, but there will be no money sent to them. 


Now Congress is scrambling to create a bipartisan deal to restore the payments while also allowing states to have more flexibility on Obamacare. Trump has said he was open to a deal. 


15 states, led by California, are suing the Trump administration to force them to continue making the payments. 


This will have an impact on health insurers offering Obamacare — as they might leave their markets or jack up prices. 




The British Isles (Ireland and surrounding countries) was hit by powerful storm Ophelia, which was a hurricane a few days ago when it went northeast in an unusual pattern towards the UK. Even though it had reduced in strength to a “post-tropical cyclone”, it still had wind gusts of up to 119 mph, killed three people, and caused wind and water damage. 


Two died when trees fell on their cars and one died in a chainsaw accident when removing debris. Several others were injured. There are over 30,000 people without power. 


Sad to see people died, and I hope people over there will make a quick recovery. While it is very rare that a hurricane-type storm travels to Europe, it does happen every few years. 




Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who walked away from his post in Afghanistan in 2009 (he
“disappeared”) — and was captured by the Taliban and imprisoned and tortured for five years before coming back to the U.S. in a prisoner swap approved by the Obama administration — today pleaded guilty in Army court to two crimes: desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. If convicted, he could be imprisoned for life. 


Those crimes are serious because when Bergdahl disappeared and was captured, there were thousands of U.S. troops that tried to find and rescue him, some of them becoming injured. An investigation said Bergdahl walked away from his post because he had concerns about his leaders and wanted to cause a crisis — making this whole thing “avoidable.” 


The Obama administration swapped five Taliban prisoners who were at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for Bergdahl — a move that was widely criticized. President Trump, when he was campaigning, said Bergdahl was a traitor and deserved to be executed — which brought up political controversy to the trial, since the military answers to Trump and would be “compelled” to please him. 


Bergdahl will be sentenced in October. Some think he shouldn’t be imprisoned — but only get consequences such as dishonorable discharge and loss of military benefits. A military doctor said he had symptoms of serious mental disorders. We’ll see what happens with his sentencing. 




The wildfires in California has now killed at least 41 people. The winds have finally reduced and fire crews (11,000 of them) say they have made good progress in containing the fires — but the threat is not over. 


Some people who were evacuated were allowed to return to their homes, and many of them were shocked to see it being completely gone. For those who have their homes intact, they are warned to be on the look out for fire hazards around their home, including their venting system for burning embers. If there are burnt trees with white ash piles, avoid them because they’re very hot and can cause severe injury. There are many counties that are under air quality warning from the smoke. 


California Gov. Brown said the fires was one of the greatest, if not the greatest tragedy that California has ever faced. The number of people who died are likely to go up as people dig through the destruction. 


For information about shelters and resources for Deaf people, check out “Sonoma County Deaf Community” Facebook page. They have shared several stories of Deaf people impacted by the fires and links to GoFundMe pages where people have donated to help. 


Sonoma County FB Page:







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

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