The Daily Moth 10-8-2018

October 8, 2018

Banksy Painting Self-Destructs Minutes After Auction Sale At Sotheby’s; Twenty People Dead From Limousine Crash In Upstate New York; Tropical Storm Michael Upgraded into Category 1 Hurricane As It Nears The Gulf Coast; Bulgarian Journalist Raped and Killed; Saudi Journalist Missing And Feared Murdered; Facebook Announces Two Home Video Chat Devices: Portal and Portal+; Brett Kavanaugh Sworn in As 114th Supreme Court Justice​

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, October 8. Ready for news?




Banksy Painting Self-Destructs Minutes After Auction Sale At Sotheby’s


In London last Friday, at Sotheby’s art auction, a Banksy painting that was sold for $1.4 million was shredded into pieces only minutes after the gavel pounded to mark its sale.


The painting was “Girl with a balloon,” made by Banksy in 2006.


Banksy is one of the world’s most well known graffiti artists, his artwork tends to be political and controversial, with a different perspective on the world. His identity is unknown, he is anonymous, only known as Banksy. His identity is a mystery.


The Banksy painting was framed in a thick faux-gilt frame.  During the auction, as soon as the gavel was pounded to declare it sold, the painting began to descend and come out from the bottom of the frame, shredded into strips.


A few minutes after it happened, Banksy posted a picture on Instagram, of the moment it happened, with the words, “Going, going, gone.”


On Saturday, he posted about the shredded painting again, with a video clip. The caption was a quote from Picasso, “The urge to destroy is also a creative urge.”


In the clip, Banksy explained that he secretly built a shredder into that painting, in case it was ever put up for auction. He wanted it shredded.


It is not clear how the shredder was activated, but people think that Banksy sent someone to the auction with a remote for the shredder.


The director of Sotheby’s said that he did not know what Banksy had planned.


It is not known if the buyer of the painting for $1.4 million is still expected to pay for it.


A spokesperson for Sotheby’s commented that the artwork in its shredded form may be even more valuable now than when it was sold. It is the first piece of art that has self-destructed, and publicity tends to increase the value of artwork.




Twenty People Dead From Limousine Crash In Upstate New York


On Saturday in Schoharie, in upstate New York, twenty people died in a limousine car accident.


The accident happened around 2 p.m., when the Ford Excursion limo ran through a stop sign without stopping.  


Police say the limo driver crashed into an empty and parked SUV in a restaurant parking lot, hit two pedestrians, then ran off the road.


All 18 people in the limo, including the driver, were killed. The two pedestrians were also killed.  All the 20 victims were adults.


Police still can’t answer if the driver was speeding or if the limo’s brakes were working.


The limo vehicle failed an inspection last month and the driver did not have the appropriate license for the limo.  


Police are withholding names until family members are notified, but some family and friends have already spoken with reporters and revealed the names of some who died.


An aunt to some of the victims said that it was supposed to be a surprise 30th birthday party for her niece. She said all 4 of her nieces, who are sisters, had been in the limo, including their spouses. They all died.


A friend of many of the victims said that everyone in the limo had been a close group of thirty-somethings who hung out together often and had backyard parties. Two of the victims were brothers. One couple had just gotten married in June.


This is the most deadly transportation accident in almost 10 years.


However, there has been a deadly limo accident every year since 2000, at least 68 people have died from those limo accidents.



Tropical Storm Michael Upgraded into Category 1 Hurricane As It Nears The Gulf Coast


Early this morning, Tropical Storm Michael was upgraded into a Category 1 hurricane. It is expected to hit the Gulf Coast by Wednesday, near the Florida panhandle.


Right now, Hurricane Michael is about 50 miles away from western Cuba, moving north at 7 mph. Maximum winds are almost 75 mph.


It will move into the Gulf of Mexico later today, and could strengthen to a major, Category 3 hurricane by tomorrow night.


Mandatory evacuations were posted this morning in Gulf County, Florida, with more areas on alert.


Florida Governor Rick Scott tweeted this morning, warning families to prepare for the storm. He said they should take the opportunity today to make sure they have at least 3 days of water, as well as all medications and supplies.


Once Hurricane Michael moves inland, it could add more rain to North and South Carolina, which went through flooding and damage after Hurricane Florence last month. Areas that were flooded during Florence may face disruptions to ongoing cleanup efforts, or may even be flooded again.




Bulgarian Journalist Raped and Killed; Saudi Journalist Missing And Feared Murdered   


In Bulgaria, a television reporter, Viktoria Marinova (30) was found dead on Saturday, her body dumped near the Danube River. Police said she was beaten, raped, and strangled. She worked for a small local TV channel, TVN.


There are reports that she was working on a story about corruption of Romanian politicians and businessmen who misused EU funds. So the killing might be related. But others think it is not related, that it was just a rape and murder.


There is another journalist who was possibly murdered, a Saudi Arabian national named Jamal Khashoggi who lived in the U.S. He worked for the Washington Post and his columns often criticized the Saudi kingdom.


He went into a Saudi consulate, which is similar to an embassy building, in Turkey to pick up a document for his wedding and has been missing ever since. There are reports that he was killed by 15 Saudi agents who then dismembered his body.


Saudi representatives said this is not true, that Jamal left after he went in. Now Turkish officials are demanding an explanation, with their president Erdogan saying he is following it.


The U.S. State Department said they are following this case.




Facebook Announces Two Home Video Chat Devices: Portal and Portal+


Facebook is now offering two video chat screens, the Facebook Portal and a larger Portal Plus. They cost $199 and $349.


They will allow Facebook users to video-call others using Facebook’s video messenger app. The camera has a wide-angle camera that can identify your body and track you as you move, zooming in to your face and upper torso.


It means you could call someone in the living room and move around as you continue talking.


If there are more than one person in a room, the camera will keep it at a wide angle to fit everybody. It’ll stay wide for two people sitting down, while a moving individual will be followed.


You can call people while they use their phones or computers on the FB app.


The Portal has a 10-inch, 720p screen, while the Portal Plus has a 15.6 inch with a 1080p screen. The Plus allows you to rotate from widescreen to vertical settings.


Naturally, there are privacy concerns, as Facebook has gone through several privacy scandals. Both Portal devices have a camera cover, and a button that Facebook claims will turn off the mic and camera.


For those who can speak, the Portal has Amazon’s Alexa in it, so you can give commands to it and it will follow your verbal commands. It has a touchscreen, so for those who don’t speak, you can call people by clicking on their names.


It can display shows from Facebook Watch and from other apps. You won’t be able to see your Facebook feed on it, only videos. You can’t watch YouTube on it and there is no web browser on it. It’s just the app.


When it is idle, it will scroll through pictures on your profile or your tagged pictures from your friends.


Those are interesting products. Would deaf/ASL users like this? We already have our videophones, smartphones, and FaceTime. This is a new option.


Facebook released a promotional video that had three Deaf people in it. They seemed to have no problems chatting on it.


Preorders start now with delivery expected during the second week of November.




Brett Kavanaugh Sworn in As 114th Supreme Court Justice


On Saturday, the Senate voted 50-48 to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to become a Supreme Court justice. I did a Facebook Live video after the vote.


Later that Saturday evening, he was sworn in a small and private ceremony in the Supreme Court Building. The person administering the oath was Chief Justice John Roberts. Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, and their two daughters were present.


During that time of the ceremony, at the outside of the Court Building, there were protesters pounding and clawing on the closed, locked, and thick Supreme Court Building doors to show their opposition towards Kavanaugh. Wow, what different scenes between the two.


It shows the extreme opposition against Kavanaugh, fueled by the sexual assault accusations that he has denied.


In response to the accusations, there was a supplemental FBI investigation but it did not convince key senators to vote against him. Their support continued.


Tonight at the White House, there will be another swearing in ceremony with President Trump.


Justice Kavanaugh is expected to start hearing cases tomorrow.


The Supreme Court now has a conservative majority, with 5 justices leaning conservative and four leaning liberal.


The political effects of the confirmation will be tested during the November midterm elections, but the political effects is expected to continue up to 2020.


There are many people who are angry with Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine for supporting Kavanaugh. Over 120,000 people donated a total of over $3.5 million to a Crowdpac site that will give that money to whoever is her Democratic opponent during the 2020 elections. That money is sitting ready to go.


Former Obama official Susan Rice said she was considering running against Collins for Maine Senator.


Some Democrats said they want to impeach Kavanaugh, saying he lied to the Senate committee, or some believe he did the sexual assault actions he was accused of.


Justices in the Supreme Court can be impeached. The process for this is the same one Congress uses to impeach a U.S. president. First the majority of the House must approve an indictment to impeach, then a 2/3 supermajority of the U.S. Senate must convict.


President Trump said talking about impeachment was an insult to the American public.




That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!


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