ABC Cancels “Roseanne” After Star’s Racist Tweet; Harvard Study Estimates 4,645 Puerto Ricans Killed by Hurricane Maria; Immigrant Children Separated from Parents/Guardians at U.S. Border; Reporter and Photographer Killed by Falling Tree While Covering Storm; ICSD President Valery Rukhledev Under House Arrest for Embezzlement; Update on Steven Carranco, Deaf RIT Student Hit by Truck; Deaf Palestinian Woman Shot by Israeli Police
ABC Cancels “Roseanne” After Star’s Racist Tweet
ABC announced they were cancelling the reboot of TV show “Roseanne,” after the show’s star, Roseanne Barr, tweeted a racist slur directed at Valerie Jarrett, who worked at the White House under the Obama administration as a senior adviser.
Roseanne said in a now-deleted tweet that she looked like a baby that came from the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes.” She was saying if the two made a baby, it’d look like her.
She later deleted the tweet. A few hours later, Roseanne apologized, saying it was a bad joke about her politics and her looks, that it was made in bad taste.
Later, a consulting producer on the show, Wanda Skyes, tweeted that she would be leaving the show.
Now ABC just announced they would pull the plug on the show. This ends the popular show after their first season in their reboot.
The president of ABC Entertainment said Roseanne’s tweet was abhorrent and inconsistent with their values.
Disney, who is with ABC, CEO Iger said there was only one thing left to do and that was the right thing to do --
to cancel it.
Harvard Study Estimates 4,645 Puerto Ricans Killed by Hurricane Maria
A study from Harvard estimates at least 4,645 people died because of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, with many of them who were elderly or ill and dependent on health care services that were disrupted by the collapse of the electrical grid and basic infrastructure.
The official death toll, according to the PR government, is 64. Most of those deaths were directly related to the storm, either by debris, collapse buildings, or flooding.
So compared with the 4,600 figure, there is a huge disparity in the numbers. This has already been discussed in previous news investigations that said there were hundreds more who died after Hurricane Maria.
The Harvard study determined the numbers by surveying over 3,000 homes, chosen at random, to ask people about their experiences and looked at mortality rates for 2017 and compared it against 2016.
In the survey, there were several stories of people who said they couldn’t get cell phone reception for 911 calls and ambulances arrived late because of blocked roads, which led to the deaths of their loved ones. This is said to happen many times in different places.
Many say it is important to know the exact death toll, so the island can be better prepared for future disasters.
The Puerto Rico government had promised to review the deaths of people after the hurricane, and that investigation is still ongoing.
Immigrant Children Separated from Parents/Guardians at U.S. Border
There have been a lot of recent news and controversy about immigrant children at the U.S. border.
One is about them being separated from their parents if they enter illegally, and one about the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) losing track of 1,500 children who were assigned to sponsors.
Many have thought the two are related — that border agents separated the children from their parents and then lost track of them.
But an article in the Washington Post said this was a misunderstanding has tried to clarify this, and I will summarize it.
About the 1,500 missing children — a federal official recently said there were 7,635 undocumented immigrant children who arrived at the border without an adult — they were by themselves. I guess most of them were teenagers. Federal officials then placed them with sponsors.
Last fall/winter, the HHS called the sponsors to ask about the children and found that 6,075 were still with their sponsors, 28 had run away, 5 had been deported, and 52 were living with someone else. The rest, 1,475 children, were “missing” and their whereabouts unknown.
The HHS said it is not their legal responsibility to find them after they are released from their department and placed with adult sponsors.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) disagreed, saying there is a risk of abuse, pointing to 8 children who were turned over to human traffickers. He said it is HHS’ responsibility to do more.
Now, about the children being separated from their parents — this is happening now at the border, as a part of the Trump administration’s hardline policies on undocumented immigrants.
Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said if people crossed the border unlawfully with children, the U.S. would prosecute them, and that includes separating the child, as required by law. This applies to refugees who are seeking asylum. They said it didn’t matter, if they entered illegally, the children would be separated.
There are reports of more than 200 cases of parents and guardians being separated from their children this year in Arizona alone.
CBS News just reported that between May 6 and 19, a total of 658 children were separated from their parents/guardians, who were referred to prosecution for illegally crossing the border. So there is a sizable group of children being seperated.
There is a lot of criticism on this, with demands for more information and questions on if HHS officials has a protocol on how long the children are separated and on how to make sure children don’t go through trauma.
So, those are some clarifications on the two news stories about immigrant children.
Reporter and Photographer Killed by Falling Tree While Covering Storm
Last night in North Carolina, a reporter and a photographer who worked for local news WYFF were killed by a tree that fell on their station vehicle.
The reporter’s name was Mike McCormick and the photographer Aaron Smeltzer.
They were working to report on the impact of rains associated with storm Alberto. There were already heavy rains in the area for a week.
First responders said there was a tree with a 3-foot diameter, uprooted from saturated soil, that was on the station vehicle. The engine was still running and the transmission in drive.
The local fire chief said he did an interview with them and then 10 minutes later found out they were gone. He said it was a “freak of nature.”
ICSD President Valery Rukhledev Under House Arrest for Embezzlement
The President of the ICSD (International Committee of Sports for the Deaf), Valery Rukhledev, who runs the Deaflympics and sports games for the Deaf, has been charged with financial crimes in his home country of Russia and is placed under house arrest until July 23.
Valery is accused of embezzling over 50 million rubles, equivalent to over $800,000 USD, from the organization All-Russian Society of the Deaf. He has been accused, is charged, and is under house arrest.
Sports news website “Inside the Games” and “Crime Russia” reported this.
The Deaflympics organization (ICSD) wrote a press release on Sunday to confirm this and said "these matters bear no relation to the ICSD.”
Yesterday they wrote another press release to announce Mr. Kang Chen as the ICSD acting president for the next two months until Valery’s investigation is complete. So Chen is replacing Valery for now.
This is another blow to ICSD’ reputation, who went through an embarrassing scandal in 2011 when the Winter Deaflympics in Slovakia collapsed after a top official, Jaromir Ruda, stole about 12 million euros. He was sentenced to 14 and a half years in prison in 2013.
Valery, in his role as ICSD President, had signed a MoU (memorandum of understanding) with the IOC (International Olympics Committee) in 2016, which was a huge step to recognize and promote Deaflympics.
Valery was also the “first signing Deaf person” to be elected on the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). On their website, it lists Valery as one of the 18 members with his term ending in 2020.
So he has been arrested now. I’ve reached out to some organizations for further comment, and will share when I get more information.
Update on Steven Carranco, Deaf RIT Student Hit by Truck
Steven Carranco, the deaf RIT student who was injured after he was hit by a truck while walking on a road five months ago - I shared news about this -- posted a vlog two days ago to give an update on his health and how he was doing.
He said he went through nine surgeries, with one more on the way to remove metal plates from his foot. He has not been able to walk since, but will undergo physical therapy after the surgery to learn how to walk again.
His said his family visited him and helped to take care of him in Rochester, and now he is in his home state of California. He expressed gratitude to those who supported him in various ways.
He warned people to not walk on the street if there is no shoulder during the night.
Deaf Palestinian Woman Shot by Israeli Police
Iranian news station PRESSTV reported that a deaf Palestinian woman in Jerusalem was shot and injured by Israeli police after she didn’t hear the police’s commands for her to stop.
There is a video of the shooting, which was taken by someone in a vehicle across the street when the sky was dark.
The video shows a group of people, apparently Israeli police, on a sidewalk walking backwards and shining flashlights at what appears to be the woman, who was wearing a black niqab (a full head and body covering).
The woman was shot as she walked, and fell down. The police officers continued to walk backwards as a bystander ran away with a police vehicle with blue sirens approaching.
The video ended there.
In the article, Israeli police said they suspected the woman was carrying an explosive device and ordered her to stop, and shot at her because she didn’t comply.
But she was unarmed and transported to the hospital with injuries to her legs.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!