Attempted Terror Attack at New York City Subway Station; Putin Announces Withdrawal of Troops from Syria; California Wildfires Still Burning Into Second Week, Woman Killed While Evacuating; Three Women Repeat Sexual Harassment & Assault Accusations Against Donald Trump; Arizona Rep. Trent Franks Resigns After Investigation of Surrogacy Request To Female Staffers; Nation To Watch Alabama Special Election On December 12; Military Will Allow Transgender People to Enlist Starting January 1; DeafBlind Man Dies in House Fire in Cincinnati; More Information on Magdiel Sanchez Shooting, Deaf Community Reacts
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, December 11. Hope your weekend was good.
To let you know, I posted a video on Daily Moth Facebook on Saturday morning to talk about the Oklahoma City District Attorney’s announcement of no charges against the police officer who shot and killed deaf man Magdiel Sanchez. Check it out if you haven’t.
Ready for today’s news?
This morning, around 7:20 am, at a subway station in New York City near Times Square, a man attempted to carry out a terrorist attack by setting off a pipe bomb in a corridor.
He has been identified as Akayed Ullah (27). He was injured with burns on his body. He wore a pipe bomb attached to his body. Three other people were injured, but not seriously. Ullah is still alive and in a hospital.
There was a video posted on Twitter @NYCityAlerts that showed the moment of the explosion — people were walking in a corridor with winter coats, looking normal, and suddenly there was a small explosion with white smoke. People could be seen running away while a body was laying on the floor — apparently the terrorist.
Various media reports said Ullah is from Bangladesh and has been living in the U.S. for 7 years, most recently in Brooklyn.
There are pictures of him lying on the floor with clothes on, except for his stomach area — you could see clothes shredded and his skin, which was burnt with skin wounds and black ash-looking substances.
It appears he was inspired by ISIS and wanted to do this for ISIS.
Various subway lines were closed. There was a massive police and fire response. The New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio gave a press conference, along with other police representatives.
They said the bombing was a attempted terror attack, that they have footage of the incident from their CCTV, and that the explosive was low tech and homemade.
This is yet another attack in NYC — the most recent one was the truck attack on Halloween at a bike path that killed 8 people.
It’s fortunate that this was not more serious, like the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK that killed 23 people — that one was done by a single ISIS supporter wearing a backpack with a bomb in it, he detonated it after the concert as people were exiting the stadium.
Russian President Putin recently made a surprise appearance in Syria and announced that he is ordering the withdrawal of the majority of Russian troops from Syria.
He said this was because his and Syrian leader al-Assad’s troops have achieved their mission to destroy ISIS, then warned that if terrorists “raise their heads” again, they would strike again.
Russia has been involved with Syria since September 2015, mostly doing airstrikes, in support of al-Assad, when the civil war was going on. That war seems to be mostly over, with al-Assad’s soldiers in control.
The Obama administration had backed Syrian rebels who were fighting against al-Assad’s soldiers. But the rise of ISIS complicated the situation, and the U.S. has been less and less involved in the country in the past couple years. Now Russia and al-Assad has the upper hand.
In separate news, Putin has announced he will run for re-election in 2018.
The wildfires in California are still burning — its second week.
The largest fire, the Thomas fire, is still burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, which is around 100 miles away from LA. The fires has caused poor air quality. 1,000 buildings and over 230,000 acres have been burnt.
There are over 6,000 firefighters from 11 different states that are trying to stop the fire — which is now at 15% contained.
Two other fires in Los Angeles County — the Creek and Rye fires — are mostly contained, at around 95%. The other fire, Skirball Fire — in wealthy Bel-Air neighborhood — is 85% contained.
There is also a fire in areas north of San Diego, the Lilac Fire — that one is 80% contained.
On Friday, it was announced that there was a 70 year old woman who died in what was the first fire-related fatality — Virginia Pesola, who died in a car crash while trying to evacuate from the Thomas fire. She died from blunt force trauma, smoke inhalation, and thermal injures.
Although that is sad, it is a relief that there are not more deaths or injures — not like the fires in Northern California two months ago — those killed 43 people.
Today three women hosted a press conference and gave media interviews to talk about how Donald Trump, when he was a businessman, did various acts of sexual harassment and assault towards them.
One of the women was Rachel Cooks, who said Trump kissed her on the mouth without permission in 2005.
The second woman, Samantha Holvey, who was formerly Miss North Carolina, said Trump would personally inspect each woman who competed in the Miss USA contest.
The third woman, Jessica Leeds, repeated her accusation that Trump touched her chest and tried to grope her on an airplane more than 30 years ago.
The women asked Congress to start an investigation on Trump’s history of sexual misconduct.
They are trying to raise this issue again, because this time is “different” with the new culture of holding people accountable of sexual misconduct ever since the Weinstein story broke.
Trump was accused by more than 10 women during his presidential campaign, but has denied it. The White House has said the women were lying and that the issue was settled when Trump was elected.
There are several Democratic Senators that have called on Trump to resign and suggested there should be an investigation.
Arizona Rep. Trent Franks ( R ) has announced he will resign after there was an investigation on him asking two previous female staffers to become child surrogates — for them to carry his child, for $5 million.
Franks said he and his wife had been struggling with infertility and had several miscarriages, so he asked staff on if they would “be pregnant” for them.
That cause the staffers to feel uncomfortable, sparking this investigation. Franks had previously said he would resign at the end of January, but said he is resigning as of December 8 because his wife’s health had deteriorated.
Now Franks is the third member of Congress to resign, after Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Conyers.
Update: There will be a special election to fill his seat. The primary is on Feb. 27, the general election on April 24.
Tomorrow (Tuesday, December 12) will be the Alabama special election to pick their next Senator — it will be either Republican Roy Moore or Democrat Doug Jones. This race has attracted national attention largely because of the several women who have accused Roy Moore of pursuing sexual relationships with them when they were minors more than 40 years ago, accusations that Roy has denied.
President Trump has been involved, giving a speech last week in which he said, “vote for Roy Moore!” He said Republicans couldn’t afford to have a Democrat in the Senate. He also questioned the credibility of one of the accusers.
On the other side, former President Obama has recorded a robocall to encourage Alabamians to vote for Doug Jones — saying this is serious, you can’t sit it out, to get out and vote. Sen. Cory Booker (D, NJ) has given speeches for Doug Jones.
We’ll know sometime tomorrow night who wins. If it is very close, it could take up to Wednesday morning to know. Alabama is a Republican (Red) state, so Moore has an advantage.
The U.S. Military announced that they will allow transgender people to enlist in the military starting January 1, even though President Trump has wanted to ban them.
This is because a federal judge blocked Trump’s order in October, saying there needed to be more legal review — because the ban likely violates constitutional rights to due process and equal protection, and that the court doesn’t believe the military would be “injured” by allowing transgender people in the military.
The White House said they are reviewing their legal options.
The military said they’ve got several lawsuits ever since Trump’s order in July, and they have not followed Trump — instead continuing to pay for gender-reassignment surgery and told currently openly transgender members they could continue to serve.
Previous President Obama had opened up the military to transgender people. That will continue in 2018, unless the Trump administration finds another way to ban them.
A DeafBlind man died from injuries in a house fire yesterday morning in Cincinnati.
His name was Henry Wayne Cobb, 82 years old. His daughter was seriously injured, but survived and is in the hospital. There was a dog inside the house, who died.
Local news said the firefighters arrived at the two-story home at 3:30 am on Sunday morning and tried to get inside, but struggled because the home had a lot of things inside of it — that the family were hoarders, and was delayed in reaching Cobb. When they found him, he was unconscious and pronounced dead at a hospital.
The daughter escaped and went to the house next door, she had burns on her body.
It is not known what caused the fire — it started in the kitchen, spread through the first floor, and up to the second floor when the firefighters arrived. The house’s damage is $80,000 and it is a total loss.
The weather was very cold at the time with temperatures between 10 to 20 degrees. There was a Metro bus sent to keep the fire crew warm.
There was a lot of discussion and reactions from the Deaf community over the weekend about deaf man Magdiel Sanchez’s shooting — after the Oklahoma City District Attorney Prater announced on Friday that they would not charge the police officer who shot and killed him (Officer Chris Barnes), saying the shooting was justified and that the officer was acting in self-defense. I will share some more information, then some of the discussion in the Deaf community.
Oklahoma news KWTV did a live-streaming of AG Prater’s announcement on Friday. In that video, it showed a partial video security recording from a home across the street from Magdiel’s house. In it you can see Magdiel’s father’s green truck pulling up (which was involved in a prior hit-and-run) and parking in the driveway. The father went inside of the house. Then you could see a person that seems to be Magdiel walking to the left of the truck, looking at it.
It seemed like there was a police car that showed up to the left of the truck, with a bright white spot on the next-door lawn of Magdiel’s home.
You could Magdiel run to the left, towards the police officer, then using his stick to point to the truck, then turning back and pointed at a police officer. I will show you a short clip from it.
So that’s a little more insight in what Magdiel was doing before the shooting. Initially I said it seemed like Magdiel was walking out from his home, but he did “approach” the officers and walked away back towards his home.
The DA showed clearer, graphic images of the shooting scene. You could see that Magdiel’s stick was white, 2 feet long, and 2 pounds. The DA held it during his announcement.
An Oklahoma journalist organization NonDoc released body camera footage of the aftermath of the shooting, which showed an officer arriving to the scene. It showed Magdiel’s lifeless body sprawled on his front lawn, with blood from gunshot wounds. There were first responders attending to him, checking his pulse and doing chest compression. You could see a small metal stick next to him.
One of the leaders of Oklahoma’s Deaf Grassroots Movement, Christopher Reagle, posted a video saying he was angry and very offended by the DA’s statement that “you don’t have to hear to know what these officers are telling you.” He felt the DA was not familiar nor understood Deaf people’s ways or tendencies. He said they would take action in the future.
DGM Oklahoma State Rep Donna Fine said they plan to protest at Oklahoma City’s City Hall on December 17th (this Sunday). She said there will be other groups, Native American groups that would be there.
Activist organization HEARD (Helping Education to Advance the Rights of the Deaf) said Magdiel was shot within seconds after police showed up. They used a hashtag, #VotePraterOut.
Oklahoma Association of the Deaf President Renee Sites said the OAD Board will get together to release a statement about this.
Deaf actor Shoshannah Stern tweeted that DA Prater’s statement, “You don’t need to hear to know what these officer are saying to you” is flawed logic and the exact reason why Magdiel Sanchez is no longer with us.
There was a viral video by a CODA, Ludie, daughter of Dawn Barrett-Higgins who shared her thoughts about the shooting — she said she was upset, not happy, that it was very stupid and that God was angry because a very special person was shot. She said her parents were deaf and if they were shot, she and her brother would be lost. You can see the link to the full video below.
There’s clearly a lot of emotions, a lot of frustration with this shooting, and there will be more news as the community continues to react to it.
News 9 Video: https://www.facebook.com/NEWS9/videos/vb.259617042211/10154926364817212/?type=2&theater
NonDoc Video of Aftermath: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGYR13dEH78
DGM Oklahoma Reagle Vlog: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1149531688394883/permalink/1919953168019394/
OK State Rep Donna Fine: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=magdiel%20sanchez
OAD President: https://www.facebook.com/okoad.est1910/videos/10155967032094108/
Ludie's Video: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1149531688394883/permalink/1920128014668576/
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!