Plane Crash in Algeria Kills 257 People; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Testifies Before Senators; Trump Warns Syria and Russia of Missile Strikes; Parkland School District Votes “No” To Arming Teachers; Speaker of the House Paul Ryan To Retire; “Children of a Lesser God" Opening Night on Broadway
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, April 11. Ready for news?
This morning in Algeria, a country in North Africa, there was a horrific plane crash that killed at least 257 people.
The plane crashed into a field right after it took off from a military base near the country’s capital.
One government official said that 300 emergency responders went to the scene.
He said that some bodies were pulled from the scene with deep burns caused by the fuel catching fire. Algerian television showed images of body bags lined up.
It is unclear if there are any survivors but one witness said they saw people jumping out of the plane before it crashed.
The cause of the crash is still unknown and there is an investigation underway.
There have been a number of tragic plane crashes in Algeria over the years, but this is the country’s worst aviation-related disaster ever.
In 2014, a plane crashed into the desert, killing 116 people. About half of them were French citizens.
The French government conducted an investigation that concluded the crash was due to pilot error.
Yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before 42 U.S. senators, who questioned him on data, privacy, and security concerns for more than four hours.
Zuckerberg said Facebook did not take a broad enough view of their responsibility.
He said Facebook is a powerful tool to allow people to stay connected to others, but that its clear they didn’t do enough to make sure that it was not used for harm: fake news, foreign interference in elections, hate speech, and data privacy.
Senators said if he didn’t improve Facebook, they would create legislation to regulate it.
Zuckerberg said he regretted not being able to identify and stop Russian companies from spreading false information and would make it a priority in 2018 to “get this right.”
He also said they were still auditing what happened with Cambridge Analytica — a political research firm that had unauthorized access to 87 million Facebook accounts.
He admitted it was a mistake to not alert users in 2015. He said he thought Cambridge Analytica deleted the data (but they didn’t.)
He said Facebook is working with the Special Counsel Mueller, who’s team has interviewed several officials.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) questioned Zuckerberg on political bias, because there were news reports they suppressed conservative news on their “Trending” news list and for firing a top executive who apparently was a Donald Trump supporter.
Zuckerberg replied that Facebook is politically neutral and works with Democrats and Republicans, but did say Silicon Valley was an extremely left-leaning place.
He went through another round of questioning this morning and said his personal data was part of the Cambridge Analytica data harvest, that it impacted him as well.
This morning President Trump, on Twitter, warned Syria that there would be missiles fired at them, and told Russia to be ready. See this tweet.
Tweet: “Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”
You can see that Trump is criticizing Putin for supporting Syrian President Al-Assad and challenging the Russian military on their ability to shoot down the “smart” missiles.
All this is because of the chemical attack over the weekend that killed at least 40 Syrian rebels and innocent children, which Syria and Russia denies. They said it is not true.
The Wall Street Journal said the U.S. and France have warships with cruise missiles within firing range of Syria.
A Russian ambassador to Lebanon said Russia would shoot down any missiles, and even shoot at wherever the missiles were being fired from.
A Russian spokeswoman said the U.S. should aim their rockets at terrorists in Syria, not at the “lawful government” that is fighting them.
The White House has been in talks with France, the U.K., and Qatar to discuss the strikes and concerns over the Russian - Iranian - Syrian alliance.
Although Trump tweeted about military action, he later tweeted that our relationship with Russia was at it’s worst point and blamed it on the Russian investigation and Special Counsel Mueller.
A school district in south Florida that includes the Stoneman High School, where the terrible February 14 school shooting occurred, just voted against a proposal to have teachers carry firearms.
The Florida state legislature recently passed a law to allow teachers and school staff to be armed, with funding to train them.
But the school board doesn’t want this — instead proposing for funding to keep children safe in other ways, such as additional mental health resources.
One board member said she has not met one teacher or one student who is in favor of arming teachers in Broward County.
The board’s “no” vote contrasts with President Trump’s vision of having highly-trained armed teachers to deter would-be school shooters.
In Alabama, their House of Representatives will debate on whether they will allow armed teachers. At least 10 other states are also discussing this.
In Pennsylvania, the Millcreek School District said they would give up to 500 teachers wooden baseball bats in case there was a shooter.
The bats are 16-inches long, shorter than normal baseball bats that are 30 inches long.
The bats will be given to teachers after they complete training on how to respond to school shootings, and it will be locked in each classroom.
Leaders of the school district said it is a symbolic tool in case teachers had nothing — the bats will give teachers an option to fight back.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced he would not run for re-election and would retire from Congress at the end of his term in January.
He said he wanted to have more time with his children, to be more than just a “weekend dad.”
He will remain as Speaker through the midterm elections in November. He had this job since 2015.
Republicans will have to pick someone to run against the Democrat in his district in Wisconsin, WI-01.
Now there will be an internal discussion or competition within the Republican party on who will be the next Speaker — if Republicans still have control of the House after the elections.
Many said Paul Ryan’s biggest achievement is passing the tax reform act last year.
Tonight is the opening night of the Broadway show, “Children of a Lesser God.”
The stars are Deaf woman Lauren Ridloff and famous hearing actor Joshua Jackson.
The story is about a relationship between a male, hearing teacher at a deaf school who meets a Deaf woman.
This story was first on Broadway in 1980. It was written by Mark Medoff (hearing) and had Deaf actresses Phyllis Frelich in the lead role of Sarah Norman. Phyllis would eventually win a Tony Award for Best Actress.
The story went on to become a Hollywood movie with Marlee Matlin as the star, and we know she got her Best Actress Oscar award for that role.
Now the story is back on Broadway on its first revival. The director is Kenny Leon (hearing).
There several other Deaf people on stage and behind the scenes. I will name them.
The first is Nyle DiMarco as a co-producer. The second is John McGinty, actor. The third is Treshelle Edmond, actor. The fourth is Tami Lee Santimyer, actor. The fifth is Alexandria Wailes, sign language director. Wow, there are a lot of Deaf people involved.
The show will have supertitles for the dialogue, which are subtitles that are projected above the stage. People can also have CC on an app they download on their devices. There will be ASL interpreters for select performances.
The show is at Studio 54 in New York City. The show lasts 2 hours and 20 minutes with one intermission. Performances will continue until September 9. Tickets are from $55 to $149.
Check out the link in the transcript for more information. I want to watch a performance in the future!
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!