The Daily Moth 12-12-17

December 13, 2017



Akayed Ullah Charged with Terrorism in Attempted NYC Subway Bombing; Chinese Rooftop Daredevil Dies From Skyscraper Fall; San Francisco Mayor Lee Passes Away from Heart Attack; President Trump Attacks Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand As She Calls for Investigation; Iowa School Bus Bursts in Flames, Killing Driver and Student; Two Killed When Small Plane Crashes into San Diego Home; NAD and OAD Releases Joint Statement on Magdiel Sanchez Shooting, Calls for Investigation; ASL Interpreter Honored as TIME Magazine “Silence Breaker” For Speaking Out Against Roy Moore



Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, December 12. Ready for news? 




Updates on the New York attempted bombing yesterday:


— Here is a picture of Akayed Ullah on a stretcher getting medical treatment while under police custody. Yesterday morning he went into an underground corridor at a subway station with a pipe bomb secured around his waist with velcro and zip ties and attempted to set off a “big” explosion, but it was a dud, injuring himself in the stomach and three other people (who had ringing in their ears and headaches). 


— Ullah was charged with making a terrorist threat, supporting an act of terrorism, and possession of a weapon by the state of New York.


— He also got federal indictments of bombing a public place, use of a weapon of mass destruction, providing support to the ISIS, and two other charges. 


— His indictment papers said he posted on Facebook, minutes before the bombing, that “President Trump failed to protect your nation.” On his passport, there were handwritten notes that said, “O AMERICA, DIE IN YOUR RAGE” in all-caps. 


— Ullah admitted to the bombing and said he did the bombing in retaliation for American airstrikes in Syria that targeted ISIS fighters. He thought he would die in the bombing and also kill others. 


— Ullah became radicalized from the internet, staring around 2014, and went out of the country several times in the past five years, including visiting Bangladesh within the past few months. 


— Ullah has a wife and a 6-month old baby boy who lives in Bangladesh. They were questioned by Bangladeshi police. 


— He lived in Brooklyn and often attended a mosque in an area that was populated with immigrants, many of them also from Bangladesh (where he is originally from, moved to the U.S. in 2011 and got a green card via his uncle, who was an American citizen.) 


— Others at the mosque told media they were surprised, that they couldn’t believe Ullah would do something like this.


— Police said they never saw any “red flags” on Ullah — they never noticed him. He is being labeled as a “lone wolf” — someone who acted alone. 


— He learned how to build the bomb online and built it at his home in Brooklyn using things he bought himself — a small battery, wires, and Christmas lights. The pipe was obtained from his workplace — he worked as an electrician in Manhattan. He built the bomb last week. 


— At one of Ullah’s homes, investigators found various bomb-making parts. 


— Ullah’s neighbor said he heard “big fighting” at their home on Sunday night (the night before the bombing on Monday morning). 


— Ullah had a NYC license to drive for-hire vehicles (such as a taxi or limo) from 2012 to 2015. 


— Ullah’s family said they were outraged by how law enforcement treated them in their investigation. They said a 4-year old child was held outside in the cold as their parents were questioned. One teenager family member was pulled out of a high school class and questioned without a lawyer, without his parents. 


— President Trump used the attempted bombing to call on Congress to reform the immigration system, saying it allows far too many dangerous… people to access our country. Trump said Ullah got in by “extended-family chain migration,” — (which is when an immigrant who becomes a citizen brings in another immigrant who is a family member) — Trump said this is incompatible with national security. 


— ISIS did not release a statement on their social media pages to claim responsibility, but a pro-ISIS group said Ullah might have done this in response to Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.


That’s the latest with Ullah. It is a relief the bombing didn’t seriously injure or kill anybody. This is a challenge for police and FBI — as it is very difficult to track and stop people who want to set off bombs using normal, everyday things.




Sign for Bangladesh:




In China, a well-known daredevil, Wu Yongning (26), who often did dangerous stunts by climbing on rooftops while filming himself LIVE on social media, has died after he fell off a skyscraper when he was filming himself doing pull-ups. 


His “final” video, with over 15 million views, showed him struggling to pull himself up over a roof of the 62-story skyscraper — he then fell downwards, out of the picture. 


His last posting was on November 8 and his fans wondered if he died because he didn’t post anything since then, and now this is confirmed by his girlfriend and family. 


Police said he fell 45 feet and hit a building terrace, where he died from his injures. He was found by a window cleaner. 


Now there are people in China who are saying there needs to be increased regulations on live-streaming, because his fans and the amount of “likes” and comments he got, he enjoyed the attention and overestimated his abilities. 


Wu was skilled in martial arts and worked as an extra for movies, but became a “full-time” daredevil because it brought him more money. He had wanted to win $15,000 from an unnamed sponsor for a rooftopping challenge, but died.




San Francisco’s Mayor Edwin Lee unexpectedly died this early morning at 1 a.m. from a heart attack while he was food shopping.


He was 65 years old, the son of Chinese immigrants, and the city’s first Asian-American mayor. His father also died of a heart attack when he was 15, so he worked at various restaurants to help support his family before heading off to college and having a successful career. 


Two of California’s Senators, Feinstein and Harris (both Democrats) released statements saying they were sad and offering condolences. 


Lee was known for clashing with President Trump about designating San Francisco as a “sanctuary city.”


His death has also impacted the Deaf community, as Deaf-owned restaurant Mozzeria, based in San Francisco, tweeted images of Lee visiting the restaurant and making a pizza and posing with the restaurant’s founders, Russ and Melody Stein. 


Mozzeria said, “Mayor Ed Lee, you were the first Asian American to lead us in the city of San Francisco and you effortlessly did it with such warmth and grace, not to mention a genuine sense of humor. Your legacy will be remembered forever.” 


Mozzeria Tweet:




President Trump has responded to the “second round” of sexual harassment and assault allegations against him by tweeting an attack against New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D), who had earlier tweeted that Trump should resign.


See his tweet: "Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!”


Reports say Gillibrand was in a bible study with both Republicans and Democrats when Trump tweeted — her phone had many alerts from her supporters and she had to be pulled away to understand what was going on. 


Sen. Gillibrand responded on Twitter saying — “You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office.” 

Gillibrand later said Trump’s tweet was a sexist smear attempting to silence her voice, and have called on Republican members of Congress to investigate the accusations against Trump because it is the right thing to do. 


Gillibrand explained that Trump had supported her during her first campaign. A nonprofit website said Trump has donated $5,850 to her former political campaigns.


Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted that Trump was trying to bully, intimidate, and slut-shame Gillibrand.


Rep. Steven Smith (R, Ga) tweeted in support of Trump, telling Gillibrand to teach us more about protecting women — and attached images of her standing with former President Clinton and with Harvey Weinstein. 


But then many on Twitter responded to him with images of Trump in a group picture with Weinstein or with Bill Cinton, asking what his point was. 


So the back-and-forth between several Democrats and Trump about his sexual misconduct accusations continue. Will this spark a Congressional investigation, or is the President too powerful?




This morning in Oakland, Iowa (western Iowa near Nebraska), a school bus burst into flames yesterday, killing the driver and a student. 


This happened when the bus driver went into a farm driveway, picked up a high school student, and as it was backing out, it fell into a ditch, catching fire. 


The girl’s mother saw the bus on fire and called 911, and when fire crews arrived and extinguished the fire, they found the remains of the driver and the student. They were the only two people on the bus and couldn’t get out in time. 


The driver’s name is Donnie Hendricks (74) and the student Megan Klindt (16). 


A picture of the bus, as it was being towed away, showed it severely burnt and charred. Very sad. The cause of the fire is under investigation.




On Saturday afternoon in San Diego, a small plane with four people on it crash-landed into a baseball field near an elementary school, skidding into a house, causing it to burst into flames. 


Two men inside the plane died. There was nobody else inside of the house at the time, except for two dogs — one died from the fire while another managed to run away, but was hit by a car and later died. 


The baseball field was on the grounds of Lafayette Elementary School, which has a large number of deaf students. But it was on a Saturday, so it was more likely not full of students. 


Prior to the crash, the plane took off from a nearby airfield, but the pilot reported engine failure. It turned around to try and land back, but aimed at the school yard, and landed “upright” and plowed through the field for another 100 to 200 yards before crashing into a house. 


Neighbors said they heard an explosion and fires. When firefighters arrived, they found the back of the house completely into flames and two deceased people who were trapped in the plane. 


Two other people in the plane survived and were able to walk away with burn injures. One of them was the wife of one of the two men stuck in the plane. Neighbors said they heard her screaming, “he’s in there! He’s in there!”


The cause of the crash is under investigation. Terrible incident.




The NAD National Association of the Deaf and the Oklahoma Association fo the Deaf has released a joint statement in which they said they have grave concerns and serious disappointment with Oklahoma City’s District Attorney David Prater’s press conference in which he said there would be no charges for the police officer who shot and killed deaf man Magdiel Sanchez. 


The statement said DA Prater has demonstrated utter disregard for the communication needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals and completely dismissed the importance of ensuring effective communication during all interactions between law enforcement and the community. 


They criticized DA Prater for not providing a professional sign language interpreter nor captioning for his press conference, that this caused members of the Deaf community to not understand his report, and that this was a violation of the ADA. 


They also criticized the DA’s statement that “you do not need to hear to know what these officers are saying” and his claims that police officers’ uniforms and actions are enough for anybody to understand what they want. 


They provided additional information — that the officers, when they heard from neighbors that Magdiel couldn’t hear them, tried to speak to him in Spanish. The NAD said this showed the DA failed to recognize that communication is critical and showed he was dismissive of how a deaf person would understand the instructions of a police officer. 


In closing, the NAD and OAD said the DA failed to consider the high risk levels to deaf or hard of hearing people who encounter law enforcement. They have requested the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Dept. of Justice to open an investigation and to make sure the Oklahoma City Police Department and the DA Office revamp their policies to make sure all deaf/hoh people are treated with respect and get effective communication — and until the policies are changed, Oklahoma law enforcement is putting deaf and hard of hearing residents in grave danger. 


You can read the full statement at the link below.




Today is the special election for the empty Alabama Senator with Republican Roy Moore campaigning against Democrat Doug Jones. 


One of the women who accused Roy Moore of pursuing inappropriate sexual relationships is Debbie Wesson Gibson, who is an ASL interpreter and owns an interpreting agency, “Signs of Excellence, LLC,” which provides services in southeast U.S. 


She was one of the first four women who accused Roy Moore in the bombshell Washington Post article on November 9 — that sparked this whole controversy. She was selected as one of TIME Magazine’s “Silence Breakers” in their “Person of the Year” issue. 


Today she wrote an article for NBC News to speak out against Roy Moore. I will summarize her article, but first, I want to go back to the Washington Post Article. 


Debbie said in 1981 (she was 17) — Roy (age 34 at the time) gave a speech in a class at her high school — Roy was the assistant district attorney at the time. Later, he asked Debbie’s mother on if it was OK for him to take her out, and that the mother approved of it. 


They dated for two to three months. Roy took her to his home to read her poetry and played his guitar. They kissed once there and one more time at a pool at a country club. 


Debbie said she was proud of the relationship at the time, but now that she is the mother of daughters, she realizes it was inappropriate. 


After the story broke and as the controversy swirled, Roy Moore said she remembered Debbie, but later said he didn’t know any of the women. 


Debbie responded to that in another interview with media, saying Roy called her a “liar” when Roy said he didn’t know any of the women. She showed a handwritten note by Roy Moore to her for her graduation, which was evidence of their relationship. 


I noticed that Fox News wrote a negative article about Debbie, suggesting she was “biased” because she worked as an interpreter for a Hillary Clinton campaign speech in 2016 and linked to her Facebook interpreting business. 


Fox might not understand how interpreters work — that they are “neutral” and only works to translate the message. 


Debbie said she got a lot of hate mail and messages after she spoke out.


But for her activism, she ended up being selected as one of TIME Magazine’s “Silence Breakers.” 


Now, in her article today, she said Roy Moore lied twice when he said he did not know her or the other accusers. She said she didn’t “wait” for 36 years to come out and accuse Roy, because it was already public knowledge since 1981 that they dated. 


Debbie said she has kept in touch with Roy over the years and received Christmas cards from him and was inspired by him. 


She said her views of Roy Moore changed after she saw that he wanted a relationship with a 14-year old girl, and cried when she saw another Roy accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, show a yearbook with Roy’s handwriting on it — because it matched with her card from Roy. 


She lives in Florida (so she will not be voting in Alabama) — and said she is not an active supporter of Democrat Doug Jones — and her actions is all about supporting victims and doing the right thing. 


She said she was honored to be selected for TIME Magazine’s “Silence Breakers.” Debbie criticized Roy’s claim that he never dated girls without their mother’s permission, saying that statement said a lot about him.


Debbie went on to criticize Roy’s record as a Alabama State Supreme Court Justice, being twice removed from the bench, first for refusing to remove a 10 Commandments monument from the judicial building and for refusing to allow Alabama judges to support same-sex marriage. 


Debbie criticized Roy’s religious statements, accusing him of “cherry picking” scriptures. She closed with encouraging people to vote their consciences, for victims to open up and for them to be supported, and to protect our children. 


It’s an emotional election today in Alabama, and this has impacted the Deaf community via this interpreter. I had reached out to her previously for comments, but she declined. She’s said a lot in those media articles, though. 


We’ll see tonight or early tomorrow if Roy Moore wins or not.


Fox News:








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

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