The Daily Moth 12-7-2018

December 8, 2018

Trump Appoints New Attorney General and UN Ambassador; Kevin Hart Backs Out as Oscars Host; Police Officer Responding to Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting Killed by Friendly Fire; Election Fraud in North Carolina; Canada's House of Commons Fails to Include ASL/LSQ Recognition in “Accessible Canada Act”; DC Council To Host Public Hearing for Movie Open Captioning Bill on Tuesday; Updates on Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort; James Fields Jr. Guilty of Murder

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Friday, December 7. Ready for news?




01 Trump Appoints New Attorney General and UN Ambassador


President Trump has nominated two new people for attorney general and UN ambassador, William Barr and Heather Nauert.


Barr was a former attorney general during George H.W. Bush (41)’s term from 1991 to 1993. If the Senate confirms him, he will replace acting A.G. Matthew Whitaker, who took over after former A.G. Jeff Sessions was asked to resign.


Nauert is the spokesperson for the State Department and has worked closely with Secretary Mike Pomepo, traveling more than 155,000 miles on 26 international trips. She used to be a Fox News anchor. If confirmed by the Senate, she will replace Nikki Haley.


In separate but related news, Axios and other media are reporting that Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly is expected to resign today or in the next few days with his potential replacement a 36-year old person, Nick Ayers, who is the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.




02 Top Stories Briefs: Kevin Hart Backs Out as Oscars Host; Police Officer Responding to Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting Killed by Friendly Fire


Here are two top stories briefs.


The first: comedian Kevin Hart said he is pulling out of hosting the Academy Awards (Oscars) after he was criticized for old tweets and jokes that were homophobic.


Hart said he apologizes to the LGBTQ community for his insensitive words from the past.


The second news brief: the police officer who died in the Thousand Oaks, California bar mass shooting last month was killed by friendly fire. His own people shot him.  


The police department said the officer, Ron Helus, was hit five times by the gunman, but died from a sixth shot fired by a responding officer’s AR-style rifle. That bullet went through Helus’ body armor and struck his heart. Police said this was extremely difficult for all of us to process and understand.


A total of 12 people died that night. The gunman, Ian David Long, killed himself after the shooting. He was a former Marine and his motive is unknown.


Kevin Hart:


Thousand Oaks:




03 Election Fraud in North Carolina


In North Carolina, there is a major election fraud case in a race for a Congressional seat in their 9th district. There could be a new election.


Republican Mark Harris has an unofficial lead of 905 votes over Democrat Dan McCready, but the North Carolina’s state elections board won’t certify the results because of concerns of irregularities and fraud on absentee by-mail ballots.


The center of the controversy is a contractor who worked for Harris’ campaign, Leslie M. Dowless. He worked with the political consulting firm Red Dome Group. He is accused of collecting and filling out hundreds of absentee ballots, which would violate state law that requires the ballots be dropped off by voters or their close relatives. Dowless has a felony and has served prison time for fraud.


North Carolina’s Republican party said they would support a new election if it is determined that the fraud changed the outcome of the race.




04 Canada's House of Commons Fails to Include ASL/LSQ Recognition in “Accessible Canada Act”


Deaf activists in Canada were disappointed last week when the House of Common (which is the equivalent of the USA House of Representatives) did not include official recognition of ASL and LSQ when they passed their version of the “Accessible Canada Act” (ACA): Bill C-81.


The ACA would be Canada’s equivalent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). There were thousands of Canadians who rallied for recognition of ASL and LSQ in September, so expectations were high that ASL and LSQ would be recognized.


A Deaf activist Jessica Sergeant posted a vlog saying it is now up to the Senate to amend this.


Another activist, Leah Riddell, posted a vlog encouraging a letter-writing campaign to senators where people tell them to recognize ASL and LSQ along with personal stories of barriers they faced.


Another activist, Jeffrey Beatty, made an illustration to show how the C-81 bill moved through the House of Commons and is now at the first step in the Senate. See this.




That’s a nice and clear picture. Just like in the U.S., if the Senate amends anything, it must go back to the House of Commons for approval.


The Canadian Association of the Deaf are working on a “Deaf Community Action Plan.” That plan should be released in the near future.


Jessica Sergeant Vlog:


Leah Riddell:






05 DC Council Schedules Public Hearing for Movie Open Captioning Bill on Tuesday


The Washington, D.C. Council will host a public hearing on Tuesday, December 11 about their proposal to require movie theaters provide open captioning at certain times, Bill 22-957.


Various representatives from the DC Association of the Deaf posted a video announcement about the hearing, asking people to come and testify in favor of open captioning.


The bill would require movie theaters with more than three screens to provide open captioning four times a week per movie, and for two of them to be on a Friday night or a weekend afternoon or night. There are proportional requirements for smaller movie theaters.


This bill was a result of collaboration between Councilmember Charles Allen and representatives of DCAD and a group, “DC Deaf Moviegoers.”


There could be opposition from movie theaters who don’t want the change.


Robb Dooling, a DCAD member and a DC ANC Commissioner, said he hopes the DC Council decides to value accessibility for everyone instead of the theaters’ arguments that it will be unpopular or that we should wait for the technology to improve. He hopes for a vote in early 2019.


For more information, go to the DCAD’s Facebook page. Link is in the transcript.




Meeting Info:


TDM Report in September about DC Bill:




06 Breaking News Updates on Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort; James Fields Guilty of Murder


Here are three breaking news updates.


The first: federal prosecutors in New York want Michael Cohen to be imprisoned for a substantial term of time for “serious” finance-related crimes, which included making payments to two women to silence them about their stories of affairs with Donald Trump. They suggested a range of 51 to 63 months in prison.


Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team made a separate filing that said whatever New York recommends would be appropriate. They said Cohen was contacted by a Russian national in November 2015 with an offer of “synergy on a government level.”


Mueller’s team said Cohen helped their team in 7 meetings and provided information about his contacts with Russian people on the Moscow tower project and Russians’ outreach to the campaign.


The second news: Mueller’s team said Paul Manafort lied repeatedly to the FBI about his contact with administration officials, his interactions with a Russian business partner, a wire transfer of $125,000, and information on another Justice Department investigation. Those are the lies that caused his plea agreement with Mueller to be voided.


The third news: James Fields Jr., the man who struck and killed Heather Heyer with his vehicle during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last year, has been found guilty of first degree murder. He faces life in prison.




That is all for this week! Have a wonderful weekend and stay with the light!


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