The Daily Moth 11-16-18

November 16, 2018

Four Elite Military Members Charged With Murdering Green Beret; Trump Continues Attacks on Mueller;  Federal Judge Sides with CNN Reporter Acosta; DeVos Proposes New Guidelines on Campus Sex Misconduct; DOJ’s Secret Indictment of Julian Assange Revealed; Director of North Carolina School for the Deaf Resigns; Interviews With Two More Survivors of California Wildfires




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Friday, November 16. Ready for news? 




Four Elite Military Members Charged With Murdering Green Beret


The U.S. military charged two Navy SEALs and two special ops Marines with murdering a Green Beret member, Logan Melgar in June 2017 at the U.S. embassy in Mali. 


They four are accused of breaking into Melgar’s room when he was sleeping, using duct tape to restrain him, and strangling him to death by chokehold.


Melgar’s body had a deep incision on his throat. The SEALs said they were playing with him but when they saw he was not breathing, they did CPR and cut a deep incision in his throat to try to open an airway. But this is considered an attempt to cover up the damage from the strangulation. 


The possible motives range from accidental death by horseplay/hazing to the four trying to stop Melgar from informing superiors that they were soliciting prostitutes and stealing cash from a military fund, to cover it up. Those are the possible motives. 


They face life in prison if convicted in military court.




President Trump Continues Attacks on Special Counsel Mueller


President Trump has continued his attacks and criticism of the Special Counsel Mueller and the Russia investigation. 


Trump tweeted yesterday that the inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess, that they are absolutely nuts. 


The Washington Post said the Mueller team has given Trump a list of over 20 written questions that are related to Trump’s activities before his election. Trump had a four-hour meeting with his attorneys on Monday and for 90 minutes on Wednesday night. 


President Trump said today that he has finished his written answers, but have not submitted them to Mueller’s office. He said he had to be careful answering questions for people who had bad intentions. 


CNN said there is a lot of activity within the Mueller investigation and that it appears he has started working on writing his final report.




Federal Judge Sides with CNN Reporter Acosta; DeVos Proposes New Guidelines on Campus Sex Misconduct; DOJ’s Secret Indictment of Julian Assange Revealed 


Here are three politics news briefs. 


The first: a federal judge has ordered the White House to give CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press badge back. The badge was revoked after Acosta’s tense back and forth with Trump in which he refused to give up his microphone. 


CNN sued, and now the U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly, who was appointed by Trump, ruled that Acosta’s Fifth Amendment right to due process was violated because there was no explantation or a chance for CNN to appeal the White House’s decision. 


Acosta now can get his badge back while the case continues to be argued on if the White House violated his First Amendment rights on freedom of the press. 


The second news brief: Betsy DeVos, the Education Secretary, has released a proposal to change how colleges handle accusations of sexual misconduct. It would require schools to investigate only if it was reported to certain officials on campus and only if the misconduct happened on campus. 


The proposal also would narrow the definition of sexual harassment and allow students who are accused to cross-examine the accusers in campus hearings.


The third news brief: The Justice Department has secretly filed criminal charges against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. This was revealed by the New York Times when they read a separate court filing from several months ago that mentioned the charges. 


Assange lives in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London and in order to have him face U.S. charges, he would have to be arrested and extradited here. 


There are discussions on if WikiLeaks’ releases of classified information is criminal or if it should be viewed as equivalent with news organizations sharing information. If WikiLeaks’s actions are considered criminal, how would this affect freedoms of the press?  








Director of North Carolina School for the Deaf Resigns


The director of the North Carolina School for the Deaf in Morganton, Dr. Aubrey Garvin, has resigned. She was the director since 2011.


“The News Herald,” a local newspaper, reported this. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, who oversees the school, did not give the newspaper a specific reason. 


The newspaper said there has been an investigation by Disability Rights North Carolina that started in September. The article said the organization only investigates cases if there are accusations of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. A senior attorney from the group said they are wrapping up the investigation but don’t have anything to release at this point. 


The newspaper said Dr. Garvin has been on leave since early October and that she will continue to use her leave time until her last day of employment on December 1. 


News Herald:




Interviews With Two More Survivors of California Wildfires 


The death toll in California’s wildfires has increased to at least 66 people. The number of people missing is now over 600, a big increase from yesterday’s report of 180 people missing.

I will show you two interviews with two people from the same family who lost their homes in Paradise. 


The first is Troy Davenport III, a CODA. He escaped the fires with his wife, two children, and two dogs. 


Troy III: My name is Troy Davenport III. This is my sign name. I live in Paradise, California. I went to my friend’s house for breakfast and got a text message from my wife saying I must evacuate right now. I was like, “Really?” I quickly drove home. I saw large pieces of ash falling down from the sky, they were still hot. I quickly got my two dogs in my car, a few clothes, important documents. That was it. I didn’t have time to get many other things. There were many people lined up in cars to evacuate. The sky became dark from the smoke. It was so dark we had to turn on our headlights. The streetlights came on. Ash was falling down. Cars were lined up and many people were scared. The two-lane highway turned in one direction out of town. The fire was fast in destroying the whole town. About 95% of the town is gone now. My house is gone and my neighbors’ homes too. 


[Image of Troy III’s home before the fires and after the fires]


Troy III: In the town, many stores, restaurants, events, churches, it is all gone now. It looks different now than before. It used to be a pretty town with forests and now it is desolate with the color of fire and ash. It is sad. 


Alex: Thank you for sharing your story. Now I will show you an interview with Troy Davenport Jr, the father of Troy III. He also lost his home after escaping with his wife Ricann and their two adult children.


Troy Jr.: Hello my name is Troy Davenport, Jr. It was really fast. The fire was the fastest ever. When I got out of my home, I saw that the sky was orange and cloudy. I wasn’t sure, but started putting things in my car. I got the bird cage in and saw two pieces fall down. They were large pine bark pieces that fell on my property. It was hot to the touch. I looked up to the sky and saw that it was really close. I said we had to go! My wife was concerned about pictures and other things, but I said we had to leave. We got our dogs and all of our animals and left with three cars. We got in a traffic jam. The fire got really close to my car. It was a huge wall of flames and so hot. But at just the right time, God blew a strong rush of wind that extinguished the flames. The cars moved forward and my heart was pounding. I had two other cars behind me with my wife and my daughter and we got out. I want to say that is my home gone? Never. We always have a home “anywhere.” It is just a building that was destroyed. But home is where the heart is. My house and everything is flattened. 


[Image of Troy Jr.’s home before the fires and after the fires]


Troy Jr.: My heart goes out to the people who died. It is a small community where I lived for 23 years. I have to wait for the clean-up, then I have to wait for them to re-connect the water, gas, and electricity. All of that have to happen before we can do anything. So how long? I don’t know. 


Alex: Thank you for sharing. We can see that Paradise is a wonderful community that is hurting. We hope for the best as you all go through the process of recovery and rebuilding. 


I reached out to northern California deaf organization NORCAL to see if they had information about deaf survivors. A representative said they know of three deaf people who have lost their homes, but did not share their identities as they have not been able to get in touch with them. 


I reached out to a southern California organization, GLAD. They said they are not aware of any deaf people who lost their homes, but there were several deaf people who had to be evacuated. 


A deaf woman from northern California, Blair Rasmus, raised $565 dollars on Facebook to provide support to displaced families and animals. She donated it to several local organizations and encouraged people to give money directly to them. For more information, you can look at her Facebook page.  


Blair said the air quality is bad and that it has caused her and several other people to leave their homes temporarily.


There have been several people in the deaf community who have shared stories of members of their family lost their homes from the fires.


Blair FB Fundraiser Page:




That is all for today. Have a wonderful weekend and stay with the light! 

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