0:15 – News Briefs: Update one Coal Mine, Dr. Ford’s First Public Statement
2:34 – Julian Castro, Former Obama Official, Exploring 2020 Presidential Bid
4:13 – Ellen DeGeneres Considering Ending Her Talk Show
6:16 – California Text Tax Proposal
8:59 – Pelosi Announces Deal to Win Votes of Democratic Critics
11:16 – Traveler Caught Smuggling Birds With Hair Rollers
Hi there! My name is Renca Dunn. I will be taking Alex’s place for today. Today is Thursday, December 13. Ready for some top news?
News Briefs: update on coal mine, Dr. Ford’s first public statement
Update on the 3 missing people in the coal mine that was shared in the news yesterday. They have been found seemingly in the late afternoon of yesterday. The rescuers had to pump out water and snow from the entrance in order to get in and bring out the three people that were still there. There is no report on how exactly they are doing after being in the coal mine since last Saturday, but the authorities have been talking about pressing charges against the four of them for trespassing in a coal mine that has been closed for two years. One mother of the four people mentioned that she thinks they went in the coal mine to steal copper. This recent Tuesday, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford appeared in a video statement to present an award for Sports Illustrated’s Inspiration of the Year. Dr. Ford has not made any public appearance or any statement since she testified against Brett Kavanaugh in September. So, this is her first public statement since September. The Inspiration of the Year award went to the former gymnast Rachael Denhollander who spoke against the USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar for sexual assault. Dr. Ford mentioned in the video statement that she was honored to present the award to Rachael and that Rachael’s courage has inspired many other survivors to end their silence.
https://www.si.com/sportsperson/2018/12/12/christine-blasey-ford-introduces-rachael-denhollander-sports-illustrated-inspiration-year https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/12/politics/christine-blasey-ford-gymnast-larry-nassar-sexual-abuse/index.html https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/three-missing-west-virginia-mine-found-alive-n947306
Julian Castro, former Obama official, exploring 2020 presidential bid
Julian Castro, former Secretary of Housing for Obama, has launched an exploratory committee for the 2020 presidential bid. What is an exploratory committee? It is the typical formality that a candidate does before launching a presidential campaign. It also allows the candidate to begin raising money. Castro served as a mayor in San Antonio, Texas before joining Obama’s administration. Castro plans on making a formal announcement on January 12, 2019. He would be among the youngest candidates for this field. Castro mentioned that he is excited about this because not only he has a lot of changes to offer, but he also said that he will representing the Latino community. Castro has a twin brother who is a Democratic congressman for Texas. The other potential candidates, but not confirmed, based on some comments in several articles seem to be Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Ted Cruz.
Ellen DeGeneres considering ending her talk show
Ellen DeGeneres, 60 years old, is known mostly for her daytime show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that has been running since 2003. Ellen is now considering ending her talk show by the summer of 2020 because that is when her contract will end. She renewed her deal in 2016, but she was hesitant about it. The reason why she has hesitant about it because she is torn between two different advices. One is from her brother Vance DeGeneres who thinks that she should continue the show after 2020 because he feels that she has become a role model for many people especially in today’s socio-political environment. On the other hand, Ellen’s wife of 15 years, Portia de Rossi feels that Ellen should end her show because Ellen is much more than just a daytime show. Portia wants Ellen to spread her creative wings and use her talents for many other purposes. As of now, Ellen has not made any decision, but she told the New York Times in a recent interview that she is considering the possibility of ending her show by the summer of 2020. The Ellen DeGeneres show has won 57 daytime Emmys since 2003.
California Text Tax Proposal
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is set to vote next month on a proposal to add additional charges for texting for the residents of California. Why are they doing this? It is to make up for the loss revenue on people switching voice calls to text messaging. Generally for voice calls, people are charged, but there was a big switch to people using text messages instead of voice calls which dropped the revenue for the voice calls from $16.5 billion in 2011 to $11.3 billion in 2017. This text tax proposal only focuses on people who send SMS or MMS aka the green bubble text messages. So, this means iMessages, FB messengers, WhatsApp, GroupMe, etc. are not applied to this proposal. CUPU have not mentioned how much they want to charge for each text message. Statistics show that 1.77 trillion text messages were sent in the state of California for the year of 2017. This shows that text messaging is one of the most effective ways of communicating. Jim Wunderman, the CEO and president of the Bay Area Council made a statement that he thinks it is a very “dumb” idea and texting is a way of life for almost everybody because it is basic communication. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a meeting yesterday about this proposal. It is not exactly clear on who will be taxed on this, the person who gets the text or the person who sends the text? What happens if a person moves out of California, will this person still be taxed on the texts messages? So many questions raised, but on January 10, we will find out if the proposal have been passed or not.
Pelosi announces deal to win votes of democratic critics
House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, 78 years old, announced a deal yesterday with the Democrats that could win Pelosi more votes for her to be the speaker again. Pelosi has been a long time Democratic leader. Many other younger Democratic leaders in the party want new generation changes which means they want to nominate a different person for speaker, not Pelosi. However, Pelosi mentioned that she sees herself as a bridge for the transition from the older generation to the new generation so she made a proposal to enforce term limits for the Democratic party’s top three leaders. The terms of this agreement is that the top leaders can only serve three terms (which is 6 years) and no longer than that. If someone wants to continue more than three terms then 2/3 of the Democratic party has to approve which is higher than the current requirement for votes. Pelosi wants to win her bid to be a House speaker so if this agreement about the term limits passes in January, this means Pelosi will be the House speaker and will finish her term by 2022 allowing the time in between for Pelosi to “train” the new generation of Democrats. Mr. Hoyer, Rep. for Maryland 5th district mentioned that he does not agree with the proposal because he feels that the Democratic party should just go ahead and choose who they want and how long they want a person to stay rather than enforcing a time limit. On January 3, 2019- the Democratic party will proceed to vote for or against Pelosi’s proposal.
Traveler caught smuggling birds with hair rollers
On Saturday, at the John F. Kennedy International Airport, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) caught a traveler. This traveler was caught for smuggling 70 live finches in hair rollers. The 70 live finches were plugged inside each hair roller and put in a carry-on bag. That traveler came from Georgetown, Guyana in South America. The 70 birds were taken from the traveler, quarantined, and transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Veterinary Services. The CBP agriculture specialists are the first in line to prevent any introduction of animal diseases that could affect to this nation’s agricultural economy. Back in 2015, there was an outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza also known as the bird flu which resulted killing 50 million commercial turkeys and chickens and causing $850 million in damages.
That’s all for now! See you later. Stay with the light.