Judge Brett Kavanaugh Accused of Sexual Assault in 1982 Incident; Severe Flooding in Carolinas from Florence; Typhoon Manghkut Updates; Texas Votes to Remove Helen Keller and Hillary Clinton From Required Curriculum; US Border Patrol Agent Arrested For Killing 4 Women; Philippines Government Official and Associate Mocks Sign Language
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! Hope you had a good weekend. It is Monday, September 17. Ready for news?
Judge Brett Kavanaugh Accused of Sexual Assault in 1982 Incident
Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court, was accused of sexual assault by a woman, Christine Blasey Ford, who is a professor from California.
She told the Washington Post that it happened in 1982 when she was 15 and him 17, that he and his friend trapped her in a bedroom, then he pinned her down, groped her, tried to take off her clothes, and held his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. She said Brett and his friend were drunk.
Brett’s friend jumped on top of them and caused them to fall off to the floor, and Christine escaped.
She said she didn’t tell anybody about this until 2012 when she shared it during a couples therapist with her husband. The Washington Post said they saw notes by the therapist about this, it did not name Brett, but it said “boys from an elite private school.”
Judge Kavanaugh said he categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. He said he did not do this back in high school or at any time.
Christine said she would be willing to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about this.
Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she and Judge Kavanaugh should both testify. She is a important voter as she is considered a “swing vote,” sometimes voting with Democrats.
Another Republican Senator, Flake from Arizona, said he wanted to hear more from Christine and that he was not currently comfortable voting for Judge Kavanaugh.
Now Senators are figuring out what to do. Top Republicans prefer a telephone interview.
A vote was expected this week, but it might be delayed.
Severe Flooding in Carolinas from Florence
In the Carolinas, there is serious flooding from Florence, with heavy rainfall that has caused rivers to overflow into roads, buildings, and homes. At least 20 people died.
A 1-year old boy, Kaiden, died when her mother drove around barricades into a road that was flooded with flowing water. The car slid off and hit trees. The mother got out and tried to get the boy, but she said the current was too strong and she lost her grip. There was an overnight search but sadly his body was found this morning.
A 3-month old baby died when a tree fell on their home. A 68-year old man died when he was plugging in a generator, he was electrocuted. A body of an elderly man was found next to his submerged car.
The city of Wilmington is blocked from outside by floodwaters, there is no road access to the city. Some called it an “island.” Emergency crews plan to use helicopters to bring food and water there.
In New Bern, over 450 people were rescued from floodwaters.
There are over 500,000 homes without electricity in the Carolinas.
Some areas in the Carolinas had more than 30 inches of rain over the weekend.
There are over 40 million people who in areas with a flash flood watch or warning. There are still rains, so the danger is not over.
Famous resort city Myrtle Beach had minor damage. Business have started opening again and the city will start cleaning debris in the next few days.
Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf is still closed, they announced on Facebook they have no classes today.
North Carolina School for the Deaf announced on Facebook they are cancelling classes Monday and Tuesday because regional driving conditions are unsafe. Classes are expected to resume on Wednesday.
Typhoon Manghkut Updates
Here’s an update on Typhoon Manghkut. It has been declared the world’s strongest storm this year.
On Saturday, the storm passed over the Philippines and flattened many small towns. At least 50 people have died, mostly from landslides. Many people are still missing.
On Sunday morning, the typhoon hit Hong Kong.
Hong Kong issued its highest storm warning alert - signal T10 - and shut down the city. A 12 foot wave crashed into Hong Kong’s harbor. Gusts of wind were as high as 138 mph. More than 200 people were injured.
The storm moved onto China last night. More than 3 million people have been evacuated from their homes; 4 people died.
Here are videos sent in from Xiao Hua Tan, who has family in south China, near Hong Kong. It shows how strong the storm is, check this out.
Wow, those are strong winds with trees falling. The storm is expected to continue moving inland into China.
Texas Votes to Remove Helen Keller and Hillary Clinton From Required Curriculum
Last Friday, the Texas State Board of Education voted on making changes in the social studies curriculum. The board voted to remove Helen Keller and Hillary Clinton from the third grade curriculum.
The voting was preliminary (a first step); the board will be able to make amends until the final vote in November.
Every year, the board discusses standards for 5.4 million schoolchildren in Texas, to determine what will be required to be taught in Texas classrooms.
The board uses a rubric to evaluate each historical person to rank who is more important to learn about. They ask questions like, did that person have a significant impact on history? Will their impact be as strong in 10 years?
Out of 20 points, Helen Keller scored only 7 points and Clinton got 5 points.
The reason for removing Helen Keller was that she did not best represent the concept of citizenship. There was no comment next to the recommendation for removing Hillary Clinton. Students in third grade are still required to learn about former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
The board estimated that teachers will save 30 minutes of instructional time by eliminating Hillary Clinton from the curriculum. Eliminating Helen Keller will save teachers 40 minutes.
The removal does not prevent teachers from teaching about them, but it’s not mandatory anymore, it is optional.
Democratic state legislator Chris Turner tweeted against the decision.
He said that Helen Keller was an important historical figure when he was in school, and she still is today. And Clinton was the first and only woman to be the presidential nominee of a major party in US history. “Enough said.”
US Border Patrol Agent Arrested For Killing 4 Women
In Laredo, Texas, a US Border Patrol agent has been arrested and charged for 4 counts of murder and one count of kidnapping. Juan David Ortiz (35) has confessed to the murders.
Ortiz was an intel supervisor for the US Border Patrol, and was an agent for 10 years. Ortiz also served in the US Navy. The killings happened when he was off duty.
On Friday evening, Ortiz picked up a woman named Erika Pena, who was a sex worker. When Erika became uncomfortable with Ortiz, he took out his gun and threatened her. When she tried to escape, he grabbed her shirt, but she wriggled out of it and ran away. She ran to a gas station, where she found a state trooper.
She also accused Ortiz of murdering 2 other sex workers, who bodies had been found earlier this month.
Police looked for 5 hours and found him at a hotel parking lot, hiding in a truck bed.
After his arrest, Ortiz admitted to killing the 2 women earlier this month, and also admitted to killing 2 more women that night, after Erika escaped from him.
Ortiz told police after Erika’s escape, he picked up another woman, made her get out of his car along the highway, then shot her multiple times in the head.
He said he then drove back to the city and picked up another person — a transgender woman— and took her about 5 miles away from the site of the other killing. He shot her once in the head.
Police said that of the four, evidence suggests that he planned and targeted the first two victims.
Philippines Government Official and Associate Mocks Sign Language
In the Philippines, an official who works in the Presidential Communications Operations Office for President Duterte posted a video of a man making up signs.
This was in local news in the Philippines.
The person filming it, the official, is Mocha Uson, a well-known blogger and radio host. The person making up signs is Andrew Olivar, who is also a blogger. The video was posted on Mocha’s Facebook page on September 14 to her almost 6 million followers.
In the video, Mocha asks Andrew to do sign language. Andrew then makes up signs, while Mocha asked, “what is that?” as she laughed. Later Andrew made up sounds, apparently to mock deaf people’s voices, and Mocha said he was like a monkey.
A person on Facebook saw it, then recorded and posted it, saying one should never make fun of deaf people. See this clip.
There were pictures on Twitter of deaf people having meetings to respond to this. They pointed to their law, the Magna Carta for Persons with Disabilities, saying it prohibited ridiculing the Deaf.
A deaf advocate, Ma Anaditha Maico Angcay, posted a Facebook vlog saying the video was very offensive, that deaf people around the world struggle with communication barriers and discrimination. That video was shared over 2,500 times.
A Senator, Nancy Binay, agreed with this. She said it was not funny and that Mocha, as a public official, should not mock the people she serves.
Today Mocha posted on Facebook saying she takes full responsibility and signed, “Sorry, please forgive me.” Andrew has also apologized.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!