VP Pence Wants To Create Space Force; Puerto Rico Says Hurricane Maria Death Toll is 1,427; California Police Chief’s Son is Arrested in Sikh Man Attack; NY Congressman Chris Collins Indicted For Insider Trading; Orca Mom Carrying Dead Calf For Over 2 Weeks; Rep. Nunes Discusses Hot Political Topics in Secret Recording
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, August 9. I am back from my three-day trip to upstate New York, I’ll show you a video tomorrow that shows where I was at.
Thank you to Renca for covering for me! Ready for news?
VP Pence Wants To Create Space Force
Vice President Mike Pence announced that the Pentagon has started planning to create a “United States Space Force.”
If approved and funded by Congress, the Space Force would be a sixth branch of our armed services. Pence’s goal is to create this by 2020. President Trump first announced this concept in June.
The Space Force will be responsible for defending our satellites from attack and doing other missions in space. It will be led by a four-star officer and its soldiers and staff would be from other branches — the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard.
The Sec. of Defense, Jim Mattis, said we need to address space as a developing warfighting domain, that there are assets there that contribute to our security and economy.
The Pentagon has identified China and Russia as competitors who are developing space war fighting capabilities, such as lasers that can destroy satellites.
They want to do this. Some have criticized this idea, saying it would be better to utilize the Air Force who is already making progress, to use them to lead operations and missions in space.
Now we’ll see if Congress approves starting a Space Force.
Puerto Rico Says Hurricane Maria Death Toll is 1,427
The Puerto Rican government said Hurricane Maria has killed more than 1,400 people in a report to Congress to asking for $139 billion of dollars for aid and reconstruction.
The Puerto Rican government said there were 1,427 more deaths from September to December 2017 compared with the average death counts for the same time period for the past four years.
They said the hurricane caused cascading failures in their infrastructure. This means when a major road or bridge or electricity grid fails, it causes other things to also fail. Sick and elderly people were the most affected.
Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico as a Category 5 storm on September 19, and two weeks prior, Category 5 Hurricane Irma passed north of the island, causing power outages. The two hurricanes had an impact.
The 1,427 count is much higher than the “official’ count of 16 that PR Gov. Rossello told President Trump when he visited the island. Those 16 deaths were from “direct effects” of the storm, such as flooding or mudslides. That number later increased to 64, and now it’s over 1,400 people.
But a previous study from Harvard University says there could be over 4,000 people who died.
California Police Chief’s Son is Arrested in Sikh Man Attack
In Manteca, California, 75 miles east of San Francisco, a 71-year old Sikh man was attacked at a park on Monday by two people, a 18-year old and a 16-year old.
The Sikh man, Sahib Singh Natt, does not speak English. A video of the attack shows him being confronted by the two young people. One of them kicks him in the chest, causing him to fall on the street. The two kicked him and one spat on him, injuring him.
After a search for the two, police found out that one of them, Tyrone McAllister, 18, is the son of a Bay Area police chief, Darryl McAllister, who leads the Union City Police Department.
The father Darryl posted an long statement on Facebook under the police department’s page saying his family is embarrassed, hurt, and shaken to the core.
He explained that he and his wife worked with the Manteca police to find the son Tyrone. He said the son was estranged from the family and was not home for several months, and that the problems started two years ago, with the son being in and out of jail for theft-related crimes.
The victim, Sahib, had minor injuries, fortunately. His son-in-law said this is a hate crime.
Tyrone and the 16-year old boy are charged with attempted robbery, elder abuse, and assault with a deadly weapon, and could get hate crime charges.
Under the police chief/father Darryl’s Facebook post, there are two comments by Sikh men who showed support for him, saying he has always supported the Sikh community in the past.
NY Congressman Chris Collins Indicted For Insider Trading
New York Congressman Chris Collins ( R ) has been arrested and indicted with federal charges of insider trading.
He is accused of using inside, confidential information about a biotechnology company that he is on a board of, using the information to help his son make stock trades and sell offs that would benefit them financially. The Congressman, his son, and his fiancee’s father were also charged.
Congressman Collins’ lawyer said he did nothing wrong and that they would fight the charges in court.
He refuses to resign and is still running for re-election in November.
He represents New York’s 27th District, which is in areas between Buffalo and Rochester.
Orca Mom Carrying Dead Calf For Over 2 Weeks
In waters near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada — a mother orca has been carrying her dead calf for over 16 days, apparently in mourning, trying to “wake it up”.
The mother orca has been named “Tahlequah” or “J35,” is being monitored by research scientists, who are concerned about her health and mental well-being. She is 20 years old.
The mother orca is with her family, and the other orcas has been sharing fish with her. J35 has been carrying the dead calf for hundreds of miles, circling around and around.
Scientists say they have observed other animals like dolphins or gorillas mourning and carrying their dead, but that J35’s actions exceed what is normally seen.
This has got the attention of people in Washington, with the state governor Jay Inslee discussing what the state is doing to protect orcas in the area. Their numbers have been in decline with just 75 left in the area, and people say it is because wild salmon numbers are reducing, which has an impact on orcas.
Rep. Nunes Discusses Hot Political Topics in Secret Recording
California Rep. Devin Nunes ( R ), a powerful Congressman who is the chairman of the House Committee on Intelligence — someone secretly recorded him in a fundraising speech where he discussed several hot political topics.
Nunes said the House did not move forward with impeaching Deputy AG Rosenstein, who oversees the Russian investigation, because it would have delayed the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. If they went forward, it’d impede with that, so they backed off.
Rep. Nunes said the timing was not right, because there are only a few months left before the midterm elections.
He talked about the Russia investigation, saying if AG Sessions refused to unrecuse (he has recused himself from the investigation) — if he refused to unrecuse, if Mueller the Special Counsel refused to clear the President (if he went forward with indictments), it means that Nunes and those in his circle are the only ones left.
He said this was dangerous, that they had to keep all the seats and keep the majority, to keep control of the House.
Some looked at his comments as evidence that Rep. Nunes was protecting the President and not being a “check and balance” on the Presidency, saying that Congress should be independent. He was supporting the President, critics said.
But a spokesperson for Rep. Nunes said the criticism was just a left-wing media spin.
That is all for today! See you tomorrow and stay with the light!