NBA Star Steph Curry Apologizes For “Fake” Moon Landing Joke; Guatemalan Girl Dies While in U.S. Customs and Border Protection Custody; Michael Flynn’s Request for Lenient Sentencing for Lying to FBI; Two Former Business Associates Charged with Illegal Lobbying; Racist Brooklyn Lawyer Arrested After Attacking Asian Passenger on Subway Train; California Abandons Plan to Tax Text Messages; Cleanup Worker Posts Mocking Photos from Camp Fire Burn Zone
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Monday, December 17. I’m back from my trip with the Los Angeles Club of the Deaf. Thank you, Roy Lopaty and the LACD, for a great time.
Ready for news?
NBA Star Steph Curry Apologizes For “Fake” Moon Landing Joke
NBA star Steph Curry said last week that he doesn’t think astronauts ever landed on the moon.
Naturally, there was a strong reaction to this by people online. There are some conspiracy theories that the moon landing was fake, and people were shocked that Curry believed that it was fake. Some felt it disrespected the work and sacrifices astronauts made in space exploration.
Curry did an Instagram Live conversation with a retired astronaut, Scott Kelly on Saturday.
Curry said he was just joking but now realizes the magnitude of his comments. Curry said the moon landing pushed our imagination for what we can accomplish, and that he was sorry for making people doubt science.
Kelly said he does get questions on doubts on the moon landing or the Earth being round. Kelly said that he thinks it is funny at times, but made a point that when someone believes that the moon landing is fake, they also believe that other things that are more important are also fake — such as climate change, vaccines, or 9/11.
Kelly said science is so, so important to our kids, our country, and to our economy.
NASA invited Curry to visit the lunar lab at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
For anybody who might doubt the moon landing, there is clear photo evidence of various lunar landing sites from a satellite called LRO that took images in 2011. It shows landing sites and tracks left behind by astronauts.
We can get another confirmation in 2023 — SpaceX is planning to take a Japanese billionaire and six artists on a trip around the moon.
Guatemalan Girl Dies While in U.S. Customs and Border Protection Custody
A seven-year old girl from Guatemala died when she was held in custody by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The girl’s name was Jakelin Amei Rosemery Caal Maquin.
She was traveling to the U.S. with her father, Nery, and a large group of people seeking life in the U.S.
They reached the U.S.-Mexican border on December 6 after a 2,000 mile journey, most of it on bus. They turned themselves to U.S. CBP and was taken in custody.
The next morning, the girl Jakelin showed severe symptoms that include vomiting, seizures, and a fever. She was taken to a hospital in El Paso and died on December 8 after having a heart attack and brain swelling.
The Department of Homeland Security said the entire department is heartbroken.
Telemundo, a news service in Spanish language, went to visit the family’s home and did a report.
Jakelin’s family lived in a very poor region in Guatemala. Their family, including the mother of Jakelin, lives in a home made of wood, a straw roof, and a dirt floor. They said they hoped the father, Nery, can stay and work in the U.S. so he could support them and help them pay off the smugglers who brought him and Jakelin to the U.S. border.
The family does not speak in Spanish, but in Q’eqchi, a Mayan language. They said Jakelin was healthy when she left Guatemala.
Jakelin’s father, Nery, said he does not blame U.S. CBP agents for her death, saying they did everything they could to help her.
There were some reports that Jakelin did not have enough food or drinks during her journey. Nery said she had enough food and water, but became sick on a bus for some reason.
Lawyers for the family wants an investigation on what happened with Jakelin. They criticized border authorities for asking Nery to sign a form written in English about Jakelin’s health after they entered the U.S. At the time of the signature, the girl appeared to be healthy. The criticism said the form should have been translated.
There is an investigation by the Homeland Security Department.
Jakelin’s body was embalmed in El Paso and is now on its way back to the family’s home in Guatemala.
It is not known what Nery’s legal status is.
Michael Flynn’s Request for Lenient Sentencing for Lying to FBI; Two Former Business Associates Charged with Illegal Lobbying
Here are two news updates on Michael Flynn, the former National Security Adviser to President Trump. He pled guilty to lying to the FBI last year.
The first — Flynn’s lawyers asked for a more lenient sentence because when FBI agents did an interview with him in January 2017, they did not warn him that lying to the FBI was a crime.
On Friday the Special Counsel Mueller’s office said the interview was voluntary and that the FBI agents did not coerce him. They said his military experience and his high position with the Trump administration at the time meant he knew he shouldn’t lie to federal agents.
Mueller’s office still recommended Flynn get a lenient sentence because of his cooperation and said he should receive little to no prison time. He is expected to be sentenced tomorrow.
The second news — two of Flynn’s former business associates were indicted with illegal lobbying by federal prosecutors in Virginia. They two are accused of pushing for the U.S. to extradite a Turkish cleric who lives in the U.S., Fethullah Gulen. The Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan blames Gulen for coordinating a coup attempt that failed in 2016.
The FBI says the two men tried to conceal that Turkey was paying and directing their work. The payments went to Flynn’s firm, Flynn Intel Group. That firm received over $500,000 in 2016.
One of the two men faces up to 15 years in prison, with the other facing up to 35 years.
So we see that Mueller’s office is also working on large sums of foreign money, namely from Ukraine — with Paul Manafort’s case — and Turkey in Flynn’s case.
We will understand more on how all this is connected with Mueller’s other investigations later whenever his office finishes their reports.
Flynn’s Request: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/5526092/DEFENDANT-s-MEMORANDUM.pdf
Racist Brooklyn Lawyer Arrested After Attacking Asian Passenger on Subway Train
A 40-year old white woman, Anna Luschinskaya, was arrested on a felony assault charge after she attacked a 24-year old Asian woman and used racial slurs against her on a New York City subway.
The attack was filmed and posted on social media. The video shows Luschinskaya using an umbrella to attack the young woman while yelling racial slurs against her and against a brown-skinned man who tried to intervene. She also used her keys and her hand to create some kind of a “brass knuckles” weapon.
After the subway incident, a man did a citizen’s arrest, holding her until police came and arrested her.
The victim said she got cuts to her face. She said she was scared and angered.
Luschinskaya is an attorney in Brooklyn. This is not the first time she was arrested for violence on a subway — she was arrested in June for pepper-spraying a Hispanic man on a subway train.
California Abandons Plan to Tax Text Messages
Last week Renca Dunn reported on “The Daily Moth” that California is considering taxing text messages.
Now the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) said they will not go forward with this proposal, because the FCC made a new ruling that prevented this.
On Wednesday, the FCC classified text messages as an “information service,” not a “telecommunications service.”
California law demands taxes on telecommunication services to support various programs that help rural residents, low income people, and services for the deaf, hard of hearing, and disabled people.
With the FCC’s new classification, the CPUC said they have withdrawn the proposal that was supposed to be voted on in January.
So residents in California, for now, you can keep on working your thumbs without worry of additional costs.
Previous Report: http://bit.ly/2EBJ1Rs
Cleanup Worker Posts Mocking Photos from Camp Fire Burn Zone
A wildfire cleanup worker in Northern California, Rob Freestone, is now in controversy and is potentially facing criminal charges for posting images of the wildfire devastation in Paradise with mocking captions and poses.
Freestone posted an image of a dead, charred cat with a beer bottle on its mouth with a caption that said, “Dude, I was just chilling… having a couple of cold ones, and BAM… fire breaks out.”
Another image showed Freestone jumping on a burned out trampoline. He posted a “your mom” joke.
He also posted an image of two other cleanup crew sitting in a charred frame of a burned motor home. The caption said, “They’re off on a… vacation in their new RV.”
Other images showed him sitting in a burned out lot wearing a flower pot on his head and of him sitting on a mailbox that was painted as a fire truck.
Freestone and the two other workers have been fired from their jobs at Bigge Crane and Rigging. The company said their behavior was an egregious insult.
Now local police said they are pursuing criminal charges against Freestone.
You can view the images — they were posted by the Town of Paradise’s Facebook page. Link is below in the transcript.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!