The Daily Moth 10-30-17

October 31, 2017

 

 

Former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort and Two Others Indicted from Mueller Investigation, Actor Kevin Spacey Apologies for Sexual Assault and Comes Out as Gay, Puerto Rico Gov. Rossello Cancels Contract with Whitefish Energy & FBI Investigation Opened, Young Boy Kills College Student In Highway Suicide Attempt, Three Mennonite Kids Killed in Horse-Drawn Buggy Accident, American Sailors Rescued After Being Lost at Sea for Almost 6 Months

 

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Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, October 30. Ready for news? 

 

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Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager last summer, was indicted with money laundering and other charges. This indictment is from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, who took over the investigation of Trump-Russia collusion several months ago. 

 

Manafort and his aide, Richard Gates, are accused of hiding $75 million they earned in 2006 to 2015 when they were consultants for Ukraine politicians/government. They allegedly put the money in various foreign accounts and did not disclose this in tax/government forms. They did not register as foreign agents as required by law.  Manafort brought in $18 million dollars for himself and had a lavish lifestyle without paying taxes. 

 

The indictments are not related to the presidential campaign. Special Counsel Mueller does have the authority to charge people for crimes if an investigation uncovers it, even if it is not related to the reason for the investigation. 

 

Both Manafort and Gates pled not guilty.

 

This morning Trump tweeted that the charges against Manafort were based on incidents before the campaign and that there was no Russia collusion. 

 

In separate (but related) news, a former Trump volunteer campaign aide, George Papadopolous, was charged with lying to the FBI when he was asked about a meeting he tried to arrange between the Trump team and the Russian government. He was charged a month ago, but nobody knew about it until it was revealed today.

 

Those are the first serious consequences from the Mueller investigation, and it is possible there are more charges coming against other former Trump aides.  

 

The biggest questions are Mueller’s findings on whether Trump’s campaign worked with Russia and if Trump obstructed justice when he fired former FBI Director Comey. 

 

We’ll see what happens in the weeks and months ahead.

 

WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/former-trump-campaign-chairman-paul-manafort-charged-in-russia-probe-1509365767

 

Indictment: https://www.justice.gov/file/1007271/download

 

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Actor Kevin Spacey was accused of trying to have sex with an actor, Anthony Rapp, in 1986 when Kevin was 26 and Anthony 14. This was first reported in Buzzfeed yesterday. 

 

Today Kevin tweeted a two paragraph statement. The first said he does not remember this, but apologized for his inappropriate drunken behavior and for the impact it made on Anthony. 

 

The second paragraph — Kevin came out as a gay man. He said he has had relationships with both men and women, and choose now to live a a gay man. 

 

This statement was criticized many activists who said it was not right to come out while also addressing sexual assault on a minor — that the two things were not related to each other, that the focus should be on the assault. 

 

So this is yet more news of sexual assault/harassment coming from Hollywood. 

 

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Puerto Rico’s Governor Rossello said the island will cancel its contract with Whitefish Energy, a U.S. company based in Montana who was supposed to rebuild the electricity grid destroyed by Hurricane Maria.

 

There was controversy about this contract because Whitefish was a very small company — it only had two full-time employees when it got the $300 million contract from Prepa, Puerto Rico’s public electric company. 

 

The contract said Whitefish would hire contractors at very high rates — $322 a hour for a foreman of a power line crew, $319 an hour for a lineman, and $286 an hour for a mechanic.

 

The current Interior Sec. Zinke is from the same hometown as Whitefish, raising concerns of conflict-of-interest.

 

Zinke said he had nothing to do with this contract and that there were false accusations against him by the media. 

 

Prepa said they chose Whitefish because they didn’t require a large upfront deposit. Their CEO Ricardo Ramos is now under a lot of criticism and some have called for him to resign. 

 

There is now a FBI investigation on this. All this will only delay the progress on repairing Puerto Rico’s electrical grid. 70% are still without power.

 

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Two terrible news of car crashes: 

 

On Saturday in northern Virginia, a young boy (12) jumped off an overpass on I-66 in an apparent suicide attempt. He landed on a SUV driven by a college student, killing her. 

 

Her name was Marisa Harris (22) from Maryland. In the passenger seat of the car was her boyfriend (23), who took control of the car and pulled it over. 

 

The boy survived and was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Marisa was pronounced dead at the scene. She was a clinical counseling student at Marymount University. 

 

Her family said she would have tried to help children like the 12-year old boy who jumped. 

 

 

Yesterday morning in Michigan, a Mennonite family were on the way to church in a horse-drawn buggy when they were hit from behind by a red pickup truck. Three children, ages 12, 9, and 7 died. Six adults were seriously injured. 

 

The pickup truck had one driver, he was not injured and was determined to not be under any influence. 

 

The horse was not injured. 

 

The accident was on a two-lane road an hour away from Lansing. Pictures showed a sad scene of a mangled buggy. The truck was damaged on its right side. 

 

Very sad and it’s raised more discussion on road safety between Mennonite/Amish buggies and cars who share the same roads. 

 

https://wtop.com/fairfax-county/2017/10/driver-killed-man-falls-66-overpass/

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2017/10/30/a-truck-crashed-into-a-horse-drawn-buggy-killing-3-children-on-their-way-to-church/?hpid=hp_no-name_hp-in-the-news%3Apage%2Fin-the-news&utm_term=.6981962e1e86

 

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Two American sailors who were lost at sea for almost 6 months were found last week floating in their 50-foot sailboat. They are now safe at a U.S. naval base in Japan. 

 

The sailors, Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiava, first left Hawaii on May 3, headed south for Tahiti. They brought their dogs and the ship was stocked with food.

 

But a serious storm with 50-foot waves hit, damaging their masts/sails. It caused them to go off-course, heading westwards. Another storm hit, damaging the engine, causing the boat to float adrift. The women said large tiger sharks rammed the boat, scaring the women.

 

They were able to survive because they had a water purifier system and were able to ration the food they brought. They said they would take turns trying to fire a flare to attract other ships, but were not successful. 

 

Fortunately last week a Taiwanese fishing boat found them but when it tried to tow the boat, it damaged the boat. One of the women swam to the fishing boat, called a mayday, and then saw the fishing boat leave. They waited for another day, felt like they were abandoned and would die — but then a US Navy boat came to save them. 

 

Now the two and their dogs are safe and dry. Wow. 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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