President Trump and First Lady Visits Iraq; GoFundMe Refunds Donors in Helpful Homeless Man Scam; Remains of Ancient Horses Found Under Pompeii Volcanic Ash; U.S. Customs and Border Protection Orders Medical Checks for All Kids in Custody; World News Briefs: Indonesian Officials’ Tsunami Warning; Israeli Military Airstrikes in Syria; Russia Tests Supersonic Missile; Referee Sparks Controversy After Ordering High School Wrestler To Cut Locks
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, December 26. Ready for news?
President Trump and First Lady Visits Iraq
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made a surprise visit to Iraq today to visit U.S. troops.
They took a secret, overnight trip from Washington, D.C. It is the first time Trump has visited troops abroad.
The White House said they went there to thank them for their service, success, sacrifice, and to wish them a Merry Christmas.
Trump said he had no plans to remove U.S. troops from Iraq. He said Iraq can be used as a base to attack ISIS fighters in Syria if it is needed.
One of Trump’s campaign promises was to end the U.S. involvement in foregin wars. We know he recently announced plans to withdraw 2,000 troops from Syria and about 7,000 troops from Afghanistan.
This visit is during a sensitive time between Trump and the U.S. military with the Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ resignation over disagreements on their approaches to global security.
At least for today, the soldiers seem to be thrilled to be with President Trump and Melania.
GoFundMe Refunds Donors in Helpful Homeless Man Scam
GoFundMe said they have refunded over $402,000 to the 14,000 people who donated to a homeless man based on a fraudulent story about him giving his last $20 to help a woman who ran out of gas on a highway. I did several news briefs on this story. Now the donors have their money back.
The homeless man and the couple were charged with second-degree theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception.
Law enforcement are working to recover whatever money is left after the couple spent the donations on luxury items and casino trips.
Remains of Ancient Horses Found Under Pompeii Volcanic Ash
Archaeologists working at a site in Pompeii, Italy found several ancient horses that were buried under volcanic ash and dirt. One of the horses had a military harness on it, which showed that someone was ready to ride on it before it was buried.
Pompeii was destroyed in 79 A.D. when Mount Vesuvius erupted, sending scalding ash that covered the city. There have been discoveries of fully-intact remains of bodies and animals, as well as art and buildings, found by years of archaeological digs.
Sometimes when archaeologists find the remains, they add plaster casts to show what the bodies looked like before they dissolved under the ash. When the bodies get buried, they will dissolve, leaving a cavity. The plaster fills it up. One of the horses was in a plaster cast to show what its body looked like.
An archaeologist said the horse appeared to belong to a high-ranking military officer and that the horse had a terrible end to its life.
Mt. Vesuvius is still an active volcano and is still causing seismic activity. Many people live in the area and it is a popular tourist destination.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Orders Medical Checks for All Kids in Custody
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said they would do medical exams for all of its children in custody.
This is after a 8-year old boy from Guatemala died on Monday night and a 7-year old girl, also from Guatemala, died a few weeks ago. Both of the kids were with their parents who crossed the border without documentation.
The CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said his agency needs help from Congress and a different approach to handling about 25,000 children in its custody.
He said the border stations were built many years ago and not designed to handle the enormous flow of children and families they are seeing now.
The CBP are looking into how they can get additional medical assistance from other agencies.
A CBS News reporter asked McAleenan if the government shutdown for the border wall is worth it. He replied that we absolutely need border security investments.
Several Democratic lawmakers has ramped up their criticism of the Trump administration’s approach to border security.
World News Briefs: Indonesian Officials’ Tsunami Warning; Israeli Military Airstrikes in Syria; Russia Tests Supersonic Missile
Here are three world news briefs.
The first — officials in Indonesia has alerted people to stay at least 1,600 feet away from the coast in areas where a tsunami hit Saturday night because of fears that there could be another tsunami.
Officials say the island volcano that caused the tsunami is still erupting. There are high waves and heavy rain, which could cause more landslides that could cause another tsunami. Over 420 people died from the tsunami on Saturday night.
The second news — there are reports that the Israeli military conducted airstrikes in Syria near their capital city of Damascus, hitting an arms depot (a building with weapons) and injuring three soldiers. Several missiles were intercepted by Syrian air defenses.
Israel said they were targeting a Syrian anti-aircraft missile. Russia condemned the Israeli airstrikes, saying they threatened two airliners.
The third news — Russian President Vladimir Putin observed a live feed of a test launch of a new and powerful Avangard weapon, a hypersonic nuclear missile/glide vehicle that can fly at 20 times the speed of sound. Very fast. It is claimed to be undetectable to enemy missile defense systems because of its speed.
The Russian government said the missile successfully hit a practice target from over 3,700 miles away. Putin said it was an excellent New Year’s gift to the nation.
Russian Missile: https://apnews.com/67501c7cf0ad42798f25c5e297517b20
Referee Sparks Controversy After Ordering High School Wrestler To Cut Locks
Last week, there was a viral video of a black high school wrestler in New Jersey who had his locks cut off right before a match because he was told by a referee to either cut it or forfeit.
The wrestler, Andrew Johnson (16) had wrestled in previous matches using a cap that covered his locks.
Mother Jones reported that the referee, Alan Maloney, said the wrestler’s cap was illegal because the cap had to be attached to the headgear. This is a new rule.
The coach argued with the referee, but the wrestler decided to just cut the locks. He won his match and and looked distraught afterwards.
Many are looking at this as an act of racism. The New Jersey Division of Civil Rights has opened an investigation to address potential bias.
The local school board has scheduled an emergency meeting.
The state governor, Phil Murphy, said he was deeply disturbed that the student had to choose between his identity and playing sports.
The referee will not be assigned to matches until the investigation is over.
Johnson’s parents said this was related to race and that the blame is on the referee and others who permitted him to be in that role.
There are reports that the referee was reprimanded two years ago for using a racial slur.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!