U.S. Cruise Missiles Strike Syria; Starbucks Controversy After Two Incidents of Racism; Woman Dies on Southwest Flight After Engine Explodes; Barbara Bush Passes Away at 92; News Briefs: U.S. Had Secret Meeting with North Korea; Puerto Rico Power Outage; Michael Cohen’s Federal Court Drama
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, April 18. I’m back from my trip to Gallaudet University for the 2018 Academic Bowl tournament.
I had a great time there covering the competition. Congratulations to the Indiana School for the Deaf for winning their second straight championship and for tying Maryland School for the Deaf with five titles all-time.
Congratulations are also in order for Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) for coming in second place by only two points.
California School for the Deaf, Riverside came in third, with Maryland School for the Deaf in fourth. They did a great job, and props for the 16 other schools and programs for making it to the nationals.
It’s always amazing to see those deaf teenagers, 14 to 18, having so much broad knowledge in various subjects from mathematics to current events, from literature to science. Seeing them makes me feel excited for the future.
Thank you to Gallaudet for the opportunity to come and cover this event.
Now, ready for news? A lot to catch up.
On Friday evening, President Trump announced that the U.S. would fire missiles at Syria, working with the U.K. and France to respond to the suspected chemical attack by Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
While Trump was announcing this, over 100 cruise missiles were fired from military jets and ships, aimed at three Syrian military facilities, suspected of having chemical weapon programs.
Some of the missiles were intercepted by Syria’s defenses. Media pictures showed streaks of light in the sky. All of the missiles were fired within 2 minutes.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis said this was a “one-time shot” to send al-Assad a message.
The New York Times reported yesterday that the U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis wanted Congress to approve the airstrikes, but President Trump preferred a rapid response, to go forward with it.
Starbucks coffee is going through a lot of controversy after two recent complaints of racism, caught on video, occurred at two stores, one in Philadelphia and another in Los Angeles County, California.
In Philadelphia on April 12, two black men were arrested after the store manager called 911 because they refused to buy anything or leave. The two said they were waiting for someone else. Several police officers handcuffed them and detained them for over 8 hours, but released them without any charges.
Then two days later at the Starbucks in LA, a black man, Brandon Ward, filmed himself speaking after he was not given a code to use the restroom because he didn’t buy anything, although a white man was given a code before he purchased anything.
He asked the store manager if it was because of the color of his skin.
Both incidents were considered as examples of racism and discrimination.
The Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized and announced Starbucks would close more than 8,000 stores at an afternoon during the end of May to train 175,000 employees on “racial-bias education.”
Yesterday a woman died on a Southwest flight from New York City to Dallas when its left engine blew up, causing shrapnel to fly towards a window and break it, sucking her partially outside at 31,000 feet and at 500 mph.
An article in USAToday described passengers rushing to pull the woman, Jennifer L. Riordan (43), back inside and gave her CPR. But she was severely injured and later passed away.
She worked as an executive for Wells Fargo’s community programs and was leaving a business trip in New York City. She lived in New Mexico, and leaves behind a husband and two children.
Passengers and crew managed to block the window, which was sucking in air. Oxygen masks dangled from the ceiling.
The pilots did a nosedive to below 10,000 feet so the 149 people on the plane could breathe.
The plane went to the Philadelphia airport for an emergency landing, and upon touchdown, the engine had a small fire and leaking fuel. There were crews ready on the tarmac to extinguish the fire.
People took pictures of the blown, shredded engine, with liquid around it.
USA Today said some passengers thought they would crash. But others shouted positive messages.
When the plane landed, people applauded one of the pilots, Tammie Jo Shults, for controlling the chaos and making a landing.
A WIRED article said the pilots would know what happened because they can tell from the noise and the gauges that the engine had failed, and feel the depressurization as pain in their ears.
They pilots would then have to put on their own oxygen masks, get the plane below 10,000 feet, adjust the flaps and rudders to balance the plane, and land it safely.
Clearly, one engine is enough to keep the plane airborne for a time.
But for the other engine, the investigation now starts on what happened. One piece of it was found 70 miles north of the airport.
The engine is made by CFM International, a joint company between General Electric Co. and France’s Safran.
Some other passengers were injured, but everybody made it safe, except for Jennifer Riordan.
Southwest Airlines’ CEO Gary Kelly posted a video showing condolences for the family and friends of the deceased customer, and would support them during this difficult time.
Yesterday Barbara Bush passed away at 92 years old. She is known as a wife and First Lady of a U.S. president, George H.W. Bush, and as a mother of another president, George W. Bush.
The Wall Street Journal said she passed away at her home in Houston with her husband George at her side.
They met when she was 16, George a little older, at a school dance. They were engaged, but the wedding was delayed because George went off with the Navy during the World War II as a pilot. Barbara went to college.
George was shot down and was rescued, and when he came back to the U.S., Barbara left college and the two got married.
George started getting involved with politics as a Congressman in 1966. He was the Vice President to President Ronald Reagan for both of his terms, then was elected as President in 1988 for one term, losing his re-election campaign to Bill Clinton.
Then her son, George, would become the 43rd President and serve two terms.
So Barbara has seen everything in American politics for a long part of recent history. She is known for her activism in promoting literacy.
Marlee Matlin tweeted a picture of the two and said she was an early advocate for closed captioning. See her tweet:
Tweet: "Former First Lady Barbara Bush was one of the early supporters of closed captioning. She was welcoming, she was real and she was funny. When I looked for a coaster to set my tea cup on the White House living quarters, she said, “Put it anywhere; the furniture is old!” RIP.”
There were many other public figures who paid tributes to Barbara, including President Trump and former Presidents Obama and Clinton.
Not all of the comments about Barbara were positive, though, as some people and media raised concerns about some of her remarks and actions that were considered racist or classist.
All in all, Barbara was an integral part of American history. Her funeral will be this Saturday in Houston. The current First Lady, Melania Trump, will attend.
Two news briefs:
1 — News just broke that the CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who Trump has nominated to be the next Secretary of State, had a secret meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during Easter weekend in Pyongyang, North Korea.
President Trump tweeted that the meeting last week was smooth and a good relationship was formed, and there are preparations for the summit.
The summit is a possible meeting between Trump and Jong Un within the next few months.
2 — Puerto Rico just had a massive power outage that has affected the whole island. It might last for 24 to 36 hours. This shows that the electrical grid there is still struggling seven months after Hurricane Maria.
On Monday in a federal court proceeding for Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer, it was revealed that Cohen gave legal advice to famous Fox News host Sean Hannity and helped a wealthy Republican donor and fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, with a $1.6 million “hush money” agreement with a female he had an affair with that resulted in a terminated pregnancy.
So there was a lot of drama with the new information in the courtroom.
Hannity said he had in the past asked Cohen for legal advice, but never paid for his services or needed him for representation, in an effort to distance himself.
Broidy has resigned from his position as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Stormy Daniels was in the courtroom as a spectator.
Afterwards she, with a lot of media attention, criticized Cohen for thinking he was above the law. Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said they wanted to send a message that this is a very serious matter for Stormy.
The court proceeding was to discuss how much FBI agents can look at the materials they seized during the raid on April 9, and what should be off limits due to attorney-client privilege, and what can be looked as a part of a criminal investigation.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!