The Daily Moth 1-24-18

January 25, 2018



Larry Nassar Sentenced 40 to 175 Years in Prison; Monkeys Cloned by Chinese Scientists; EU Fines Qualcomm $1.2 Billion For Exclusive Contract with Apple; DOJ Threatens to Subpoena Sanctuary Cities; National Fraternal Society of the Deaf Exhibit at Gallaudet

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, January 24. Ready for news? 




Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor, has been sentenced today to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexual abuse. 


The judge, Rosemarie Aquilina, said she was honored to sentence him and that she just signed his death warrant — that he doesn’t deserve to walk out of a prison.


It caps off an emotional, seven-day hearing process in which over 150 survivors confronted him about the abuse and his taking advantage of them. 


Nassar did make remarks — saying that their words made a significant emotional effect on him, that he is sorry, and that he will carry their words for the rest of his life. 


Nassar was already sentenced to 60 years in prison in a separate case and will have another upcoming case, so he will be in prison for the rest of his life. 


This scandal isn’t over, though — because there are many lawsuits against USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, saying they were responsible because they employed Nassar. 




Scientists in China have successfully cloned two monkeys — macaques — using the same cell process that UK scientists used to clone Dolly the sheep back in 1996. It is the first time a primate was cloned. 


This process, somatic cell nuclear transfer, has cloned 23 other animal species, bulls, ponies cats — but this is the first for a primate, which is what humans are, from a scientific viewpoint. 


The process works by taking a cell from an adult, transferring it to an unfertilized egg cell from another sheep with its nucleus removed, then having it simulated by electric shock to make it divide and develop — then it’s implanted in a surrogate mother, where the baby is identical as its “first” mother.


The monkeys were cloned in a different process — using fetal donor tissue, which are cells from an aborted monkey fetus. 


There were two other monkeys that scientists tried to clone using an adult monkey cell, but they died a few hours after birth, and they don’t know why. 


For the two successful clones, Chinese scientists said they have “broken” the technical barrier for primate cloning and this principle can be applied to humans, but they do not intend to clone humans. 


Cloning monkeys means scientists can clone a monkey with a disease — and then have a set of monkeys with identical genes, treat one and leave the other untreated — and learn from it.


The Wall Street Journal said China is ramping up their vision of using primate research to find cures for human diseases, growing ahead of U.S. and European researchers, who are held back by ethical concerns on animal research.




The European Union announced they are fining California company Qualcomm $1.2 billion EU for making illegal payments to Apple to make sure they would only use Qualcomm baseband chips, which connects smartphones and tablets to cellular networks. 


The EU said Qualcomm directly paid Apple billions of dollars from 2011 to 2016 in an agreement that Apple would not buy the chips from competitors, and that if Apple used other chips, they would have to pay back the previous payments. 


This is “illegal” because it would stifle competition in the market. 


Qualcomm said they disagree and would appeal. Their lawyer said Qualcomm did this to protect their investments — because they made chips that would fit with what Apple wanted, and wanted to be sure they would get their “money back.” 


This deal expired in 2016 — there are no current exclusivity deals. 


There were other big U.S. tech companies that were recently fined by the EU —Last summer Google/Alphabet was fined $2.4 billion for preferring sponsored content for Google Shopping, and in 2016, Apple was ordered to give Ireland $13 billion for unpaid taxes.




Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a request to 23 different sanctuary cities in the U.S. to give him records on their policies of “not sharing” information with federal immigration authorities. 


Sanctuary cities generally have a policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” about people’s immigration status when they are in custody. 


Sessions warned that if the cities didn’t submit records, they would get subpoenas and possibly lose federal funding. The letters were sent to New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, California, and others. 


NYC Mayor bill de Blasio criticized this, saying the Trump administration was racist against their immigrant communities. He was supposed to go to the White House in a meeting with mayors from other cities, but dropped out. Other mayors did the same. 


This could become another legal case. Last year, federal judges in California and Illinois blocked the Trump administration’s plans to withhold federal funding for public safety from the cities because of their status as sanctuary cities, saying it was unlawful and unconstitutional. 


But the Trump administration says if cities get federal funds, they should comply with federal law and share information before releasing undocumented people from custody.




This is a special feature of a exhibit at Gallaudet University about the National Fraternal Society of the Deaf, NFSD, which was founded in 1901. 


NFSD’s primary goal was to provide life insurance and death/accident/sickness benefits to Deaf people who were denied it by companies that discriminated against them. 


NFSD became a large organization, equal in influence with the NAD, and financially supported many Deaf initiatives. 


NFSD membership started to dwindle after 2000, largely because when the ADA was passed, Deaf people could get life insurance by themselves without discrimination. 


The NFSD “folded” in 2010 at a gala at Gallaudet, saying their purpose was achieved. 


There is an exhibit at Gallaudet University that memorializes NFSD as an organization. 


Here’s some footage and an interview with the exhibit curator/manager, Meredith Peruzzi. 




Meredith: Hello Alex!


Alex: Can you tell us how the NFSD insurance system worked? 


Meredith:  Life insurance functions within NFSD as a mutual benefit society.  This means that individual members pay into a large pot of money, and when someone suffers a long-term illness or passes away, a portion of the money from that pot is given to the family.  Each member receives a certificate, and when they pass away, the certificate is exchanged not only for money paid in by the member, but also other members' money.  So it's supporting each other.


Alex: How successful was the NFSD as a business and as a Deaf organization? 


Meredith: NFSD was a hugely successful business.  In 2001, they had almost $7.4 million in assets, including their own office building.  Over the years they sold over 36,000 insurance certificates - that's how many members they had, how many Deaf people supported the organization!  Also, it was very important in the lives of many Deaf people.  Our Gallaudet president has said that she grew up in the NFSD, her parents were members and very involved, and the NFSD family was part of her family.


Alex: What things can we learn from NFSD’s function and success as an organization throughout the 1900’s? 


Meredith: I would like to see us look at NFSD's history and see how they worked together to set up a society to support each other.  I think we could benefit today from remembering the importance of physically coming together and meeting each other to pursue a common goal.


Alex: Can you tell us about the exhibit and how long it’ll be there? 


Meredith: Our exhibition was sponsored by the Frank B. Sullivan Memorial Foundation.  The organization wanted to see the legacy of NFSD take the spotlight.  We included not only NFSD history, but also how that legacy continues today with Deaf-owned businesses and Deaf entrepreneurs.We've included that in the exhibition, we expect it will last for a few years and have not yet set an end date.


Alex: Do you have anything to add? 


Meredith: We are very excited by the new digital part of our exhibition in Chapel Hall related to NFSD.  We also have some very cool artifacts, and I encourage viewers to come to Gallaudet to see each of these parts of the exhibition!  For those of you who are not near campus, we will be posting information online, so stay tuned for that!




Alex: Thank you for your time, Meredith, and to Gallaudet for the footage. For me and many in the “younger” generation, we aren’t aware of the NFSD, but one can see that it was a very big and important part of Deaf people in America, and that it still inspires people today. 





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




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