The Daily Moth 12-6-17

December 7, 2017



Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Capital of Israel, To Move U.S. Embassy There, Sen. Al Franken Told To Resign by Multiple Democratic Senators, TIME Magazine Chooses “Silence Breakers” As Person of the Year, Trump First Runner-Up, Delta Flight Makes Emergency Stop For Bathroom Break, Michael Flynn Texts About Russian Sanctions, Mueller Investigation Subpoenas Deutsche Bank for Trump Records, Grant to Improve Deaf, DeafBlind, Blind People Access To Emergency Tornado Alerts Awarded to University of Alabama, Deaf Student From NYSD Featured on “Spongebob Squarepants” Music Video




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, December 6. Ready for news? 




Today President Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He made the announcement from the White House with VP Pence standing behind him. Trump also said the U.S. Embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 


This is a hot issue that has been going on for many years — since 1947, when the United Nations (UN) split the area with Israel to the west and Jordan to the east.


Then there was a war between Israel and an Arab coalition that ended in 1948 with an armistice (agreement to stop fighting) in which Israel would have control over West Jerusalem, while East Jerusalem (including the Old City) was under Jordanian control. But there were still many disputes. 


Then in 1967, there was major war — the Six-Day war — in which the Israeli military occupied East Jerusalem and other areas previously under Egyptian, Jordanian, or Palestinian control. 


In 1980, Israel passed a law that said Jerusalem was their capital. The United Nations responded by issuing a resolution condemning Israel’s occupation/annexation. 


Palestinians say Jerusalem belongs to them and that it will be the capital whenever Palestine forms their own state (country). 


So you see it’s a complicated issue — and since 1980, international countries, including the U.S., did not place their embassy in Jerusalem — instead placing it in Tel Aviv. 


Israel’s government offices is in West Jerusalem. 


In 1995, the U.S. Congress passed a law saying the U.S. must move its embassy to Jerusalem to respect Israel’s choice as its capital city. But every President since then — Clinton, Bush, Obama, has not ordered this, signing a waiver every six months to not do this, because of international tensions. 


But with Trump, who has promised to do this during his campaign, has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and ordered proceedings to start for the US embassy to be moved there (for a new building to be erected). 


Trump said for more than 20 years, U.S. Presidents have delayed doing this, because they wanted to encourage peace in the area between Israel and Palestine, but that it was not successful, so he is doing this and fulfilling his promise, saying previous Presidents did make promises but failed to deliver. 


Trump said this does not mean the U.S. is taking a final position in land issues of where Israel has control over or is ignoring efforts to bring peace there — that he still supports a two-state solution. He said VP Pence will travel to the area soon. He ended his speech with saying “God bless Israel. God bless the Palestinians and God bless the U.S.


Israel’s leaders are very supportive of this, but there is a lot of criticism from international leaders, including the Pope, who say this could cause more violence in the region. Palestinians has previously said Jerusalem is key to a two-state solution. 


So we’ll see the impact of this in the future.




Democratic Senators have banded together to call for Sen. Al Franken to resign. 


It first started with a tweet from New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D), who called on Sen. Al Franken (D, Minn.) to “step down” (resign), saying what he was accused of is behavior that cannot be tolerated, that elected officials should be held to the highest standards. 


Since then, there has been a rising number of Democratic senators — now 24 senators, 12 female and 12 male — who has also called for him to resign. 


Now there are reports that Sen. Franken will make an announcement tomorrow. It seems like he might resign or retire, just like Rep. Conyers did yesterday. 


Sen. Franken was first accused of sexual harassment last month by a radio host, which described how Franken harassed her in 2006, with photo evidence.




TIME Magazine announced their choice for “Person of the Year” — it is “The Silence Breakers” — the people who have went public with stories of how they were sexually harassed or assaulted by people in power, especially in Hollywood. It sparked a “#MeToo” movement where people said they were also assaulted or harassed in the past. 


On the cover were five women. In the back, standing up are actor Ashley Judd and singer Taylor Swift. 


Judd was one of the first women who spoke out about former movie producer Harvey Weinstein. 


Swift had testified in court in August about how a man groped her at work — winning her case.


Three women sit in the front. 


The middle one is Adama Iwu, who is a lobbyist for Visa who accused a California state legislator of sexual harassment and encouraged others to speak out too. 


The woman sitting between Judd and Swift is former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, who wrote a blog post in February about Uber’s culture of sexual harassment, which led to the ouster of their founder and previous CEO. 


The woman sitting at the far end is a Mexican woman, Isabel Pascual (which is a false name to protect her identity) — she is an agricultural worker who spoke out and marched against sexual harassment.


Inside the magazine, there are more features of different people’s stories (including men). You can read it online at the link above or in the transcript. 


Time said the “runner up” — the second place for “Person of the Year” — is President Donald Trump. This doesn’t mean Time Magazine has shown support for him, it is Time’s analysis of which person/group had the most impact on the world. 


Their article on Trump mentioned his first year of presidency — all his tweets, changing the U.S.’ position on international issues, his back-and-forth with North Korea, appointing a Supreme Court Justice, and the tax bill.




On Saturday, a nonstop Delta flight from New York City to Seattle had to make an emergency landing in Billings, Montana because the plane’s toilets weren’t working — and the passengers really needed to go.


When the plane landed in Montana, there was not a gate available, so it rolled towards a cargo area, had a staircase rolled up to its side, and passengers were able to get out and go to the restrooms. 


Crew then went in the plane and repaired the toilets. The plane was there for three hours before refueling and departing for Seattle, arriving with a delay. 


The flight is usually 6 hours. Delta has apologized for the inconvenience. That’s a big pit stop, not like a simple exit on the highway.




Two updates related to the Russian investigation: 


1 — Rep. Elijah Cummings (D, Md) said he got information that Michael Flynn, on the day of Trump’s inauguration, had texted a person he used to work with that there would be a plan to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East in partnership with Russian interests — because the Trump administration would immediately rip up the Obama sanctions. 


Rep. Cummings did not identify who told him this, he only said the person was a whistleblower.  


He said this showed that Flynn wanted to manipulate the course of international nuclear policy for the financial gain of his former business partners. 


The business partner is Alex Copson. He shared the text from Flynn to the whistleblower and told him that Flynn has arranged everything and that this would make a lot of very wealthy people, after the sanctions were ripped up. 


Flynn, before he worked with Trump, was involved with various projects to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East, so he had extensive knowledge and history in that category. 


Rep. Cummings is the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who is headed by chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R, South Carolina). Cummings has asked Gowdy to issue a subpoena to the White House for documents related to Flynn. 


2 — Yesterday there was a report that the Mueller investigation team issued a subpoena to Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, for data on accounts held by Trump and his family, on certain money and credit transactions.


Deutsche Bank has lent the Trump Organization hundreds of millions of dollars over the years for his various real estate and business investments. 


But one of Trump’s lawyers said this was not true — that it was false news. The bank did not comment. 


There were some people who said Deutsche Bank was the “middleman” for various large financial transactions between Trump and Russian state banks. This is an issue because it would mean the Russian government has “leverage” over Trump. 


President Trump had previously said that a “red line” for him — on Mueller’s investigation — would be if he looked at his or his family’s finances. 


So this is not clear (about whether there was a subpoena for Trump’s bank records) — we’ll know more as Mueller makes more steps in the future.




The University of Alabama announced that two of their faculty has won a $251,850 grant to study how Deaf, DeafBlind, and Blind people can better understand and be prepared with tornado warnings.


This grant is from the NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 


The goal is for the university to build and test a system where Deaf people can view a local weather report in split screen, with one side a meteorologist and another an ASL interpreter. 


They will do research on how DeafBlind and Blind people can be alerted of tornadoes — they plan to interact with Blind and DeafBlind communities in the area to learn more. 


This project collaborates the university’s geography and communication studies departments, the geoscience department at Mississippi State University, and the National Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision. 


One of the professors, Dr. Darrin J. Griffin, has been actively involved with the Deaf community and lists “Deaf Advocacy” on his biography.


The team’s goal is to build a model, then get more funding to improve the model, and for it to be used to apply to other areas, such as breaking news or entertainment, and to serve larger populations. 

Check out the link to the press release for more information.




A Deaf student from the New York School for the Deaf, Anjel Perez (17) was featured on SpongeBob Spquarepants’ Facebook page where she did an ASL interpretation of the show’s theme song. 


This was first reported by DPAN TV’s Tru Biz. They did an interview with her in which she said Nickelodeon reached out to the school asking for a girl in a specific age range that knows ASL. She went to NYC to do auditions and was selected out of a group of other girls. 


Nice. She did a great job with signing the song. To check out the video, look at the link above or in the transcript. 


ASL Video:


Tru Biz Interview:








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





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