The Daily Moth 11-21-2018

November 21, 2018

Facebook Stock Drops 40% Since July Amid Scandals; Federal Judge Strikes Down Mississippi Ban on Abortions After 15 Weeks; American Killed by Indigenous Sentinelese Tribe in Isolated Island; Massive Termite Complex Found in Brazil; Driver Killed By Thrown Concrete Chunk; Political News Briefs: Justice Roberts Defends Federal Judges; White House Authorizes Border Troops to Use Force; Trump Wanted To Prosecute Clinton & Comey; Trump Thanks Saudi Arabia for Low Oil Prices​

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, November 21. Ready for news?




Facebook Stock Drops 40% Since July Amid Scandals


Facebook’s stock has dropped 40% since July as the company continues to be plagued by scandals.


Last week the New York Times released an investigative report that revealed how top officials within Facebook purposefully delayed notifying the public about Russian interference for many months. The article said they hired consultants to do opposition research to attack big tech competitors. It also said the consultants aimed to tie liberal protesters against Facebook with payments by George Soros. It also said a Facebook official, Sandberg, often attended Washington, D.C. to influence lawmakers to not take strong action against them.


The article had a lot of negative information. Since then some people have called for Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg or COO Sheryl Sandberg to step down.


Zuckerberg did an interview with CNN yesterday saying neither would leave the company. He said the Times article had a lot of things in it that was wrong.


The recent scandals, combined with the big scandal in spring with Cambridge Analytica where Facebook allowed users’ private information to be shared with political groups, can hurt Facebook’s value and image in the future.


It is possible that customers and investors will start to distrust the company and make it harder for Facebook to get government approval for major business deals in the future.




Federal Judge Strikes Down Mississippi Ban on Abortions After 15 Weeks  


A U.S. federal judge struck down a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, saying it is a violation of women’s constitutional rights.


The law passed in March, but Mississippi’s only abortion clinic sued.


U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves wrote that it is the U.S. Supreme Court’s precedent that states can’t ban abortions before a fetus is viable (before the fetus is able to live outside the mother’s womb.) The medical consensus is is that viability typically begins between 23 and 24 weeks.


The judge said Mississippi lawmakers knew this law was unconstitutional but passed it so they can ask the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision gave women legal rights to abortion.


The judge’s decision will affect a similar 15-week ban in Louisiana, also striking it down.






American Killed by Indigenous Sentinelese Tribe in Isolated Island  


A 27-year old American from Alabama, John Allen Chau, tried to visit a small indigenous tribe who lives in isolation in North Sentinel island, a part of the Andaman and Nicobar islands in waters between India and Myanmar. He died after he was pierced with arrows shot by the tribespeople.


It appears Chau was a Christian and wanted to teach his religion to them. But it is illegal for people to visit the island, which is under India’s jurisdiction, because of risk of diseases from the “outside world.”


There are only 50 to 150 Sentinelese people and they are known for defending their land from outsiders.


Chau asked local fishermen to bring him to the island. He made it on shore, but was shot with arrows. Fishermen saw the tribespeople tie a rope around his neck, then dragging his body. The fishermen left and was later arrested by authorities for illegally bringing him to the island.


Chau’s body is still on the island, and local police can’t do anything.


Activists for the Sentinelese people say they have shown again and again that they want to be left alone, that their wishes should be respected.


The island is about the same size of Manhattan.




Massive Termite Complex Found in Brazil


In northeastern Brazil, researchers discovered 200 million termite mounds that were connected to one another over a massive area the size of Great Britain. The mounds might be up to 4,000 years old. Some of them are 10 feet high and 30 feet wide.


Researchers say they were formed by a single termite species that dug tunnels so they could eat dead leaves from the forest floor. The mounds are not nests, but dirt that was excavated from termites as they went about boring their tunnels. The termite species still live there.


This is one of the biggest structures built by a single insect species. The amount of soil excavated is equivalent to 4,000 Great Pyramids of Giza. That’s 4,000 pyramids’ worth of dirt in mounds.


There are other parts of the world with large termite mounds that are nests, but nothing on the scale of the system in Brazil.




Driver Killed By Thrown Concrete Chunk


Yesterday in Nashville, Tennessee, a 54-year old man driving a car was killed by a large chunk of concrete that went through the windshield.


Police said it was likely that someone threw it from a bridge.


They tweeted a picture of the concrete and of the damaged car. They asked help for information on who could have done this.




Political News Briefs: Justice Roberts Defends Federal Judges; White House Authorizes Border Troops to Use Force; Trump Wanted To Prosecute Clinton & Comey; Trump Thanks Saudi Arabia for Low Oil Prices


Here are four political news briefs:


The first: U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement that pushed back against President Trump’s criticism of a federal judge yesterday.


Trump said an “Obama judge” blocked his order to bar asylum from immigrants who crossed the border illegally. He criticized the “Obama judge.”


Justice Roberts said America does not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. He said that we should all be thankful for an independent judiciary with judges who do their best to give equal right to those appearing before them.


The second news brief: The White House has authorized troops at the border to show or use force, including lethal force, crowd control, temporary detention, and cursory search to protect border agents. This is an unusual action and and appears to be directed towards the thousands of migrants on the other side.


The third news brief: The New York Times reported President Trump in the spring, told the White House counsel to order the Justice Department to prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey. But the lawyer, Donald McGahn blocked it, saying Trump did not have authority to order this.


The fourth news brief: President Trump tweeted a thank-you to Saudi Arabia for lowering oil prices through more production. This tweet continues Trump’s show of strong support for the Saudi Arabian kingdom, even after the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Several lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat, criticized this.




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


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