Winter Storm Grayson Wallops Northeast U.S; Attorney General Sessions Ending Federal Policy That Allowed Legal Marijuana Industry; 4.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits San Francisco Bay Area; Trump Administration To Allow Increased Oil Drilling Off U.S. Coast; Lawyer for Trump Threatens to Sue Author of “Fire and Fury” If Book Is Released; Pepsi Center in Denver Will Provide Captioning To Settle Federal Lawsuit; Deaf Bing: Modified Idioms
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, January 4. Ready for news?
The winter storm or “bomb cyclone” is now whipping against the New England area and affecting much of the Eastern U.S. coast with snow from Florida to Maine and into Canada. The storm’s name is Grayson and it fits because everything looks gray from the blizzards. Several people have died from the storm. Two men in North Carolina died when their truck overturned into a creek. One person in Virginia died when he was hit by a snowplow as he was shoveling off snow in a parking lot. There are severe flooding in Boston with icy waters. In the Cape Cod, Mass. area — there are hurricane-force 75 mph wind gusts. It is expected the Boston area could be hit with up to 19 inches of snow. LaGuardia Airport in New York announced 90% of their flights are cancelled. Over 4,000 flights nationwide were cancelled. Schools in Washington, D.C. are closed. Gallaudet University, KDES, and MSSD are closed. Over 70,000 people in several states are without power, a concern with the low temperatures. There are many crews working to plow roads as blizzards continue to dump snow. [Video by Matt Gilmore, Deaf Firefighter in New Jersey saying he has to shovel a sidewalk for handicapped access, that the snowstorm has not stopped since last night, and that people should stay home, off the roads, and be safe and warm.] Weather warnings say after the storm passes, temperatures will dip and it’ll be as cold as the end of 2017.
Attorney General Sessions announced he will rescind a federal directive from the Obama administration that “allowed” states to legalize marijuana (either for medicinal or recreational purposes). The Obama administration did this because marijuana is illegal under federal law — in 2013, they wrote a memo that would allow states to sell it if states had a system of regulations in place. But now that Sessions has removed this “exemption” — the federal government now can take action against the now growing marijuana industry in various states and D.C. This is not a surprise, as Sessions has said publicly several times in the past that he didn’t support legalizing marijuana. He now has the power as A.G. to make an impact on the industry. This change means U.S. attorneys (federal prosecutors) can open cases seeking to shut down those businesses. Sessions said it was up to them if they wanted to go forward or not. Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner tweeted that Sessions had told him before he became A.G. that he wouldn’t do this. Sen. Gardner said the Justice Department has trampled on the will of the voters in Colorado and other states, and he is prepared to take all steps necessary to fight this. The Senator retweeted a video interview from last year where Trump said he wouldn’t shut down marijuana legalization — that he would leave it up to the states. This will have an impact on billions of dollars of taxes, thousands of employees, hundreds of businesses and their investors, and might be unpopular with voters in the 8 states and DC who voted to legalize it.
There was a 4.4 magnitude earthquake that hit the San Francisco Bay area this early morning at 2:40 a.m. Reports say it lasted around 10 seconds and caused picture frames to fall from walls and things to fall from shelves. Fortunately, there are no reports of serious damage or injuries/deaths. The epicenter is in Berkeley on the Hayward Fault. I checked social media postings by Deaf people who lived in the Bay Area — some of them confirmed they felt a jolt, an earthquake.
——— The Trump administration announced they will allow oil and gas drilling in most waters off the U.S. coast, including protected areas in the Arctic. There are more than 3 billion barrels of oil and 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that’s “waiting” to be extracted. This would provide economic benefits to oil/gas companies, U.S. states, and create hundreds of new jobs. But there are various state governors, including Republicans, that are opposed to it out of environmental concerns if there was an oil spill — like the massive spill in Louisiana in 2010. The Trump administration said they will make sure the environment is protected, but there are many concerns of potential disaster.
——— A lawyer representing President Trump has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the author of the upcoming book about the Trump White House — “Fire and Fury: Inside the White House” — saying the book must not be published/released, that the author must apologize and do a complete retraction. The book is currently #1 in Amazon and was set to be released this Tuesday on January 9, but the date has changed to tomorrow. It appears the earlier release is in response to Trump’s lawyer demands, as to completely ignore it and be defiant. The book is based on author Michael Wolff’s interviews and interactions with the Trump team and those close to them for 18 months. I talked about this book on yesterday’s news. Trump’s lawyer said if the book is released, they would sue for defamation, invasion of privacy, and other claims. There are now news reports saying the book is not all accurate — that there were some fake things in it. Some of the people who were quoted in excerpts have come out saying they never said what was quoted of them. The book has already caused a lot of controversy from quoting Steve Bannon — I reported about this yesterday. In separate news, the White House Press Sec. Sanders said staff in the White House would be banned from using their personal cellphones while in the West Wing — that they could only use their government phones. It seems to be an attempt to stop leaks from the White House.
The Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado — home for NBA team Denver Nuggets and NHL team Avalanche — will now provide captioning during their games to settle a federal lawsuit from November by a deaf woman, Kristin Kurlander, who is late-deafened. She sued Kroenke Arena Company, who owns the Pepsi Center — saying the venue did not comply with the ADA. Both parties quickly reached a settlement at the end of December with the arena agreeing to provide captioning. Kristin’s attorney said they were very pleased and that they hope other arenas across the U.S. can do this by themselves rather than wait until they are sued. There have been similar lawsuits in the past, often with success in making venues provide captioning.
Deaf Bing: Modified Idioms. We are bilingual, we talk in ASL and write in English. A lot of us like English idioms, but sometimes they don’t fit deaf culture, so we adjust it. Let me give you three examples: “Word of mouth” — no — “Word of hands.” “Speak of the Devil” — no — “Sign of the Devil” “Music to my ears” — no — “Music to my eyes” Deaf Bing: Modify Idioms. Can you name more examples?
That is all for this week, the first week of 2018. Follow “Daily Moth” on Facebook or Twitter for the latest, as I sometimes do brief news reports there that I don’t post on YouTube. Have a wonderful weekend and stay with the light!