The Daily Moth 4-19-2018

April 19, 2018

Cuba’s New President: Miguel Diaz-Canel; Removal of U.S. Soldiers Not Required for North Korea’s Denuclearization; Men Arrested at Starbucks Speak Out, Police Commissioner Apologizes; No Criminal Charges for Prince’s Overdose Death; 911 Operator Jailed for Hanging Up on Thousands of Calls; YouTuber Faces Prison for Forcing Homeless Man to Eat Toothpaste-filled Oreos; Two ASL Interpreters Assaulted in D.C. In Possible Hate Crime

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, April 19. Ready for news?




Cuba will have a new president to replace Raul Castro, the brother of the late, long-time leader Fidel Castro. Raul retires today.


The new president is Miguel Diaz-Canel. He was Cuba’s “First Vice-President” and is a leader within Cuba’s Communist Party. He was selected by a vote by lawmakers.


Reuters stated that Raul Castro, 86 years old, would still have power as the head of the Communist Party, at least until 2021.


NBC News said Cuba’s main challenges are the economy and finding opportunities for the young generation. The average salary is around $30 a month.


U.S. relations with Cuba has degraded in recent times for two reasons: President Trump’s decision to stop and reverse Obama’s efforts to have more open relations, and for strange incidents with U.S. embassy staff who were sickened and injured in Cuba from possible “sonic attacks” that caused hearing and vision loss. Those incidents has made the U.S./Cuban relationship shaky.


We’ll see how the new president Diaz-Canel leads the country.




South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in said North Korea wants to give up its nuclear weapons and would not demand American soldiers to be removed from South Korea as a condition. They just want to give up the nuclear weapons.


The New York Times said this has made it easier for the U.S. to continue to proceed with talks for peace, and could change the U.S.’ military approach in the Koreas. There are 28,500 U.S. soldiers in South Korea, and this could change.


Jae-in plans to meet with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un on April 27. He said what North Korea wants is security guarantees and an end to hostilities against their country.




The two men who were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia last week — which caused a national outcry saying this was racism — sat down for an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America.


Their names are Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, both are 23.


They said they were at the Starbucks to meet with a potential business partner. When they went in, one asked to use the restroom, but a Starbucks employee told him was for only paying customers. They sat at a table and was asked if they wanted to order anything, but they said no.


They then saw police officers come in, talk with the manager, and then ask them to leave because they weren’t buying anything.


The men objected to it, saying this was a very important meeting. But they were handcuffed, put in a police car, and transported to a police station. They faced charges of trespassing and disturbance, but they were dropped and they were released after several hours.


On Saturday, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. said the officers didn’t do anything wrong, that they were doing what they were asked to do, and that the two men disrespected the police.


But today Ross apologized, saying he failed in his messaging about the arrests. He said the issue of race “is not lost on him” and that he shouldn’t be the person making things worse. He said the police department will issue a policy for dealing with this type of situation.


Starbucks said the store manager no longer works there.


I reported yesterday that the Starbucks CEO has apologized and will close 8,000 stores next month to train employees on bias.




In Minnesota, prosecutors announced there would be no criminal charges in connection with famous musician Prince’s death from an overdose of fentanyl, a dangerous and powerful opioid.


Prince died in his home complex, Paisley Park (in Minnesota) in 2016 at 57.


Carver County Attorney General Mark Metz said Prince thought he was taking Vicodin, a painkiller, and did not realize the pills had fentanyl on it, and that he did not know he was addicted to fentanyl.


Metz said his team has investigated everything for two years and that there was no evidence that the pills were prescribed by a doctor.


He also said there was no reliable evidence about how Prince got the pills and who gave it to him, and with no reliable evidence, no one would be charged.




Yesterday a woman who used to work as a 911 operator was sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months of probation for hanging up on 911 calls.


The woman, Crenshanda Williams, 44, had worked at the 911 emergency center in Houston for a year and half.


In 2016, the center found out that she hung up on thousands of 911 calls and was promptly fired.


Her superiors found out by noticing that she had a high number of short calls lasting less than 20 seconds.


Williams was charged with ‘interference with emergency telephone calls’ which is a misdemeanor.


Here are two examples. In one 911 call, a man reported that two people were racing near I-45. A few weeks earlier people had been killed from speeding in that same area.


Williams interrupted the caller and said “...nobody has time for this, for real,” and hung up.


Another time, Williams hung up on a person calling to report a violent robbery.


In court Williams’ lawyer said that she had been going through a hard time at that time and did not want to talk to anyone. He said that punishing her does not fix the other problems that exist at the emergency center.


The 911 calls were from people in the Houston area, and a jury of Houston citizens found her guilty of her charge of interfering with emergency calls.




Last year in Spain, a 20-year-old man named Kanghua Ren, a.k.a. ReSet, posted a video on YouTube where he filled Oreo cookies with toothpaste, put them back in the box, and offered it to a homeless man while filming himself.


The man ate five of the cookies. In the video Ren joked that this would help the homeless man clean his teeth.


The man said that he didn’t know who Ren was and was afraid for his life. He said he got sick after five minutes and threw up.


After the video was posted people immediately responded online with outrage.


The very next day Ren went back and filmed the homeless man again, asking him how the cookies had gone down.


In the video Ren said that people overreact to jokes on homeless people but if were done to normal people, they wouldn’t say anything, defending himself.


As the controversy gained attention Ren visited the homeless man a third time with a friend. This time he intended to spend the night with him. Someone who saw this called the police, who arrested him and took him to court.


Ren faces two years of prison time and an order to pay over $40,000.


Prosecutors said that Ren had offered the man about $400 for his silence. They also pointed out that Ren had in previous videos offered sandwiches filled with cat feces to children and elderly people.


Ren earned about $2,800 from ads on the first video with its millions in views. He has over one million followers on YouTube.




In Washington, D.C., two ASL interpreters, who are both gay men, were assaulted outside of a popular nightlife area on U Street NW, about 2 miles away from Gallaudet University.


This was on early Sunday morning. The two men’s names are Michael Creason and Zach Link.


D.C. police have released a video of three “persons of interest” who were filmed kicking and walking around the two men as they were laying down, apparently injured, on the street.


The Washington Blade, in an article, summarized a police report that stated the three suspects yelled homophobic slurs. Police are looking at this as a possible hate crime.


The article said one victim had a broken nose and a chipped tooth, while the other victim was knocked out and had a concussion.


There is a GoFundMe set up for the two that has raised over $16,000 in just one day to support the two men’s recovery. The site says there will be a vigil tonight in D.C.


I was in touch with a deaf person who knew the two interpreters. He said both graduated from Gallaudet University and that Michael Creason has interpreted for deaf LGBT people multiple times and has been an advocate for deaf accessibility.




That is all for today. Tomorrow I will send you “Spotlight” videos from Convo. Have a wonderful weekend and stay with the light!


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