The Daily Moth 4-9-2018

April 10, 2018

Fifteen Members of Junior Hockey Team Killed in Bus Crash; Chemical Attacks in Syria Bring International Conflict; Resident at Trump Tower Passes Away from Fire; Bill Cosby’s Retrial Starts, Topless Protester Draws Attention; Deaf Man Samuel Mather Charged With 1st Degree Child Molestation; Award from GUAA


Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, April 9. Hope your weekend was good. Ready for news?




On Friday afternoon in Saskatchewan, Canada — a bus carrying a junior hockey team, the Humboldt Broncos, was in a serious accident with a tractor-trailer at an intersection.


The bus was on its way to a playoff game when it was hit. The accident destroyed both the bus and the tractor-trailer with debris scattered.


15 people on the hockey team bus died. 10 of them were players, the youngest 16 and the oldest 21. 5 of them were adults — the head coach, an assistant coach, a team announcer, a statistician, and the team bus driver.


The truck driver was not hurt but had mental health support.


14 people were injured.


News of this accident has affected the rest of Canada and those who love hockey.


Last night there was a vigil in Humboldt with thousands of people attending, including an appearance by the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


Someone started a GoFundMe for the team that has raised nearly $5 million.


Investigators said it is too early to comment on the cause of the crash.


President Trump tweeted condolences to the families of the team.




On Saturday, several people in Douma, Syria (near the capital city Damascus) said there was a chemical attack that killed at least 40 people and hurt over 500 people. They say helicopters dropped toxic gas inside barrel bombs.


There were images of adults and children with foam around their mouths, lying down. This appears to be yet another chemical attack.


President Trump tweeted that Putin, Russia, and Iran are responsible for backing “Animal Assad.” Trump warned that there would be a big price.


But Syria’s government news agency, SANA, said this was not true — that the “chemical attacks” were was lies to prevent the Syrian army from moving into rebel areas.


The Russian government said the same — that the reports were lies. They said they had sent experts to look at the area, that they stated there was no evidence of chemical weapons.


Today (Monday) there were airstrikes on a Syrian military base. The explosions were at the T-4 airfield in Homs, with 14 people killed.


Who was responsible for this? Russia said Israeli warplanes carried out the airstrikes, that it killed several people. Iran said four of their military advisers died from the airstrikes.


Israel has not commented about this.


Today President Trump said he would make a decision in the next 24 to 48 hours on if the U.S. would do military action against Syria.


A lot of action. Before this weekend’s incidents, last week Trump said in a presentation that he wanted the U.S. to be out of Syria. But now things are different.




On Saturday evening, there was a fire at an apartment room on the 50th floor of the Trump Tower in New York City that killed a 67-year old man, Todd Brassner.


Pictures and video showed a big blaze emerging out of broken windows high up in the skyscraper with smoke billowing through.


The cause of the fire is unknown. When firefighters arrived, they saw the entire apartment burning and pulled the resident Todd, who was unconscious, and transported him to the hospital, where he died.


In total, 200 firefighters responded to the blaze. Six of them were injured.


President Trump tweeted on Saturday night that the fire was out and that it was very confined because it was a well-built building. He thanked the firemen and women for doing a great job.


But when he tweeted this on Saturday night, firefighters were not “finished” as they were still working in the building because of smoke rising above the 50th floor.


Trump hasn’t tweeted about Todd’s death since, maybe he will mention him later.  


Todd was an art collector and knew the famous artist Andy Warhol. His friends said he didn’t enjoy living in Trump Tower because of the high security and his strong political opinions against Trump. They said he wanted to move out but now he’s deceased from the fire.


After this fire, some news media have reported that the tower did not have fire sprinklers. It was built before 1990. In the time after, there were new laws proposed by New York City that required all buildings to have sprinklers installed.


During that time, Trump and other building owners were opposed to the proposal to install sprinklers, but agreed to the new law on the condition that the Trump Tower and other older buildings were in the “grandfather clause”  — they didn’t have to install sprinklers unless there were major renovations.


So it means this tower did have have sprinklers, and now we see this tragic fire. This tower does have smoke detectors, an alarm, and an alert system, that’s how firefighters were able to quickly respond and stop the fire, but sadly one person died. It is a relief the fire didn’t spread.


Nobody from Trump’s family was there when the fire occurred. Trump’s apartment is on the 58th floor.




Bill Cosby’s retrial started today in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania where Cobsy is defending sexual assault accusations.


He had a trial last year, but it ended with a mistrial because the jury couldn’t agree if he was guilty or not guilty.


As Cosby walked to court, he had police escorting him. There was a topless woman who took off her coat to reveal messages written on her body — saying Cosby was a rapist and “Women’s Lives Matter.” She jumped over fencinga and ran towards Cosby, but was stopped, as police handcuffed her and brought away.


Her name is Nicolle Rochelle. She is an actress who appeared on The Cosby Show from 1990 to 1992.


She was charged with disorderly conduct.


There were other protesters there who held signs demanding justice for survivors.


Cosby is 80 years old and has an eye disease. His spokesperson said he couldn’t see, that he was blind, and that he did not react to the woman.


The trial is based on accusations by Andrea Constand who said Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted her.


Cosby said this was not true — that there were drugs and sex, but that it was consensual.


The trial will have a lot of media attention in the near future.




A Deaf man, Samuel Mather (37), was arrested more than three weeks ago in Seattle and charged with first degree child molestation. He is still in custody with a bail set at $500,000.


I saw this news on yesterday. Several sent me links. I read it and after checking the King County Correctional Facility online records, am able to confirm that he is detained and charged.  


His charge is very serious — it is for those who are accused of making a person under 18 have sexual contact with another person who is under 12.


If he is convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.


Samuel’s father is well-known in the Deaf community. His name is Robert Mather, also Deaf, is a retired trial attorney for the Department of Justice in their Civil Rights Division.


So this news has a big impact in the Deaf community.




Last weekend I was on a trip to Gallaudet University to accept an award from the Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA). The award is “Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.” It is for a Gallaudet alumus/a who has graduated or left the university within the past 15 years and accomplished something that brought good recognition to the university.


This award was based on my work doing “The Daily Moth.”  


I am humbled and grateful to the GUAA and the Gallaudet community for recognizing me and “The Daily Moth.”


Four others received other awards during the same ceremony, with awards from the GUAA and the Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund (LCCF). See this image to see them.




June Rothenberg McMahon: GUAA Award for Service to Others Award

Roslyn Goodstein Rosen:  LCCF Alice Cogswell Award

Jackie Roth: LCCF Amos Kendall Award

Drago Renteria: LCCF Laurent Clerc Award




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


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