Successful Launch of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy Rocket; Deadline Looms as Senate Reaches Two-Year Budget Deal, Dem. House Leader Pelosi Voices Opposition; White House Staff Secretary and a GOP Donor Resign After Accusations; Tennessee Sheriff Sued by Widow; 11-Year-Old Boy Dies After Saving Friend from Icy Pond in Queens, NY; 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits East Coast of Taiwan; “Deaf Alexa Hack” featuring Marlee Matlin and her interpreter, Jack Jason
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, February 7. Ready for news?
Yesterday afternoon was a successful test flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, which is the world’s most powerful rocket, flying off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The rocket’s purpose is to show it could send satellites into orbit. The rocket has three boosters (cores) with a top payload part.
What did SpaceX and Tesla owner Elon Musk put on rocket payload as the “test satellite?” Of course, Elon’s personal Tesla Roadster, with a dummy astronaut on it. His name? “Starman.”
During the launch, the rocket successfully went into space, and the two side cores managed to go back to Earth and land by themselves simultaneously on parallel launch pads.
The center/main core was also supposed to land by itself on an ocean barge, but it failed to relight its engines and it hit the water at 300 mph, 300 feet from the barge, with shrapnel everywhere.
But the payload did just fine, with its metal covering coming off to expose the Tesla car in an arc around the Earth’s orbit.
It moved through space for 6 hours in a test for the US Air Force, then it fired its engine one more time.
It was supposed to go on to orbit Mars, but it went off chart and will go to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. (They might need Han Solo’s help.)
We’ll see where the Tesla goes into space. If it runs into aliens, they’ll know where it came from.
On the Tesla’s computer, there is an engraving saying “Made on Earth by humans.”
So it was a successful day for space exploration.
Today the Senate reached a bipartisan deal for a two-year budget that will increase spending for the military by $160 billion (which is what Trump wants).
It will also increase spending for domestic programs by $128 billion (which Democrats want).
Also included is more than $80 billion in disaster relief with negotiations ongoing for other details.
Congress must reach a spending deal by midnight Thursday or the government will shut down.
Now the challenge for the bill is the House — because the Minority Leader Pelosi (D-Calif) said she is opposed to it because it doesn’t have protections for DACA Dreamers.
She is demanding the House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to make a pledge for the House to discuss and vote on an immigration bill. Pelosi has been speaking for over 5 hours, telling various stories of Dreamers.
Ryan said he will bring a bill only if President Trump has shown his support for it.
House Republicans can’t bypass Pelosi because there are some conservative Republicans who are opposed to the Senate bill because of it’s domestic spending. So Democrat votes are needed.
If the House deadlocks, then the government’s lights could go out again on Friday. We’ll see if they can make a deal.
The White House Staff Secretary, Rob Porter, has resigned today. It could be related to a recent report by The Daily Mail in which two of his ex-wives said they were abused by him (domestic violence).
Porter has denied it, saying the reports were false and outrageous. Porter was a key staffer and the White House made comments supporting him.
Another big resignation due to abuse claims is Steve Wynn, the famous casino businessman who built many casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere — he is no longer the CEO of Wynn Resorts.
An investigative report by the Wall Street Journal two weeks ago said Wynn had sexually abused female employees for many years.
Wynn said the reports were false. But after the report, Wynn resigned from his position at the Republican National Committee as a finance chairman. Now he’s no longer CEO of the company he founded.
A sheriff in Tennessee, Oddie Shoupe, is being sued by the widow of Michael Dial, who was shot in the head by police officers during a car chase in April 2016.
The lawsuit accuses the sheriff of using excessive force by ordering the officers to shoot at him.
What happened on that day — Michael was chased by police for driving on a suspended license. He was driving an old pickup truck with a trailer, and the speeds were at 50 mph. Multiple cars tried to stop him, but couldn’t.
Officers wanted to continue to do a PIT maneuver, but the sheriff ordered them to shoot him instead.
A police officer forced Michael off the road, and another officer, while in his personal vehicle, shot three times at him, killing him with a gunshot wound to the head.
There is an audio recording where Oddie said he said he gave an order to kill that “mother——.” He said after arriving at the scene that “he love this s—t.”
The White County district attorney later said the shooting was justified.
The widow and her lawyer in the lawsuit said it’s obvious the sheriff was malicious and sadistic.
In Queens, New York — a 11-year old boy, Anthony Perez, died after he fell into an icy pond while saving his friend, Juan, who was 12, who had earlier fell into the icy pond.
The two boys were playing at a park when Juan fell into the ice. Anthony went 50 feet on the icy pond, helped to push him out, but he fell through and became stuck underwater.
Someone called 911 and four minutes later, firefighters arrived at the scene. Two of them went into the water while barefoot, only with life vests, broke through the ice, and recovered him, did CPR, but he died at the hospital.
Very sad. The firefighters were treated for hypothermia. Local people are calling Anthony a “hero.” The fire department is encouraging parents and guardians to remind/warn children about the dangers of playing on frozen areas.
In Taiwan, there was a strong 6.4 magnitude earthquake that hit their east coast Tuesday night that damaged large buildings, causing them to tilt dangerously.
At least six people died, over 250 people were injured, and over 70 are missing.
Survivors said the quake was very scary.
Roads were damaged with electricity going out in thousands of homes. Rescuers had to work fast to secure leaning buildings.
Taiwenese President Tsai Ing-wen said the government would do everything to save people.
“Deaf Alexa Hack” featuring Marlee Matlin and her interpreter, Jack Jason
M: You know, on Xmas, I got 2 Alexa devices. They can speak and answer questions fast. Hearing people love it. Now I demand a new one just for me, the first “Deaf Alexa”
M: What weather is it in Austin, TX?
Deaf Alexa: Rainy.
M: Thank you.
Deaf Alexa: Welcome.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!