The Daily Moth 1-7-2019

January 8, 2019

Houston Police Arrests Murder Suspect of 7-Year Old Girl Jazmine Barnes; Political News Briefs: Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg Misses Work; Day 17 of Shutdown; Change in Syria Pullout Plans; Two Americans Fighting for ISIS Captured in Syria; Scientists Create Global Tsunami Model From Asteroid That Killed Dinosaurs; Shutdown Stories: Deaf Federal Employee; TSA Sick-Outs; National Park Trash; Man Creates Sign Language Gloves; Deaf Twitter Responds

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! it is Monday, January 7. Hope your weekend was good. Ready for news?




Houston Police Arrests Murder Suspect of 7-Year Old Girl Jazmine Barnes;  


Police in Houston, Texas arrested a 20-year old man and charged him with murder for shooting and killing 7-year old Jazmine Barnes as she sat in the back of her family’s car with her mother and three sisters last Sunday.


The suspect is Eric Black, Jr. There was another man who was arrested.


It was previously thought that a 40-year old white man in a red pickup truck shot and killed her, which raised fears of a racist, hate crime.


Police said Black admitted to the shooting and that it was likely a mistake — that Black was looking to shoot someone else and thought the person was in the car.


Shaun King, a civil rights activist and journalist, helped to bring attention to this case by tweeting about it and helping to raise money to catch the suspect. He got a tip about the shooter and helped police to catch Black.


Police said that the description of a white male suspect was probably based on the last thing the mother of Jazmine saw after the shooting. She saw the truck speeding off.


A lawyer for the Barnes family said they were shocked by the arrest of Black, but that they wanted the right person to be prosecuted.


It is not clear what will happen to the reward money, which was about $100,000.


There was some criticism on King and the police department for making it seem like it was a white man and a hate crime.


But there were many who thanked King for helping to catch the killer.




Political News Briefs: Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg Misses Arguments; Day 17 of Shutdown; Change in Syria Pullout Plans  


I will share three political news briefs.


The first — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg missed arguments today for the first time in 25 years because she is still recovering from cancer surgery on December 21. It is not known when she will return to work.


The second news — the partial government shutdown is now into its 17th day. There were several meetings last weekend, but there is still no sign of a deal. President Donald Trump offered for the wall to be steel instead of concrete. He plans to give a televised speech to the nation tomorrow night and visit the border on Thursday.


The third news — John Bolton, the national security adviser for President Trump, said U.S. soldiers would stay in Syria until two conditions are met: the complete defeat of ISIS and a promise from Turkey that they would leave alone the Kurdish troops who are allies of the U.S. The troops must stay there until those two conditions are met.


This vision is different from President Trump’s declaration last month that ISIS was completely defeated and that the soldiers were coming home.


But today Trump said what Bolton said was no different from his original statements, that we will be leaving at a proper pace while continuing to fight ISIS.


Bolton is in Turkey now to have talks.


Justice Ginsburg:








Two Americans Fighting for ISIS Captured in Syria


In Syria, two U.S. citizens who were said to be fighting for ISIS were captured. Their names are Warren Clark and Zaid Abed al-Hamid.


A spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish military group, announced the capture.


A spokesperson for the U.S. military said they are aware of the reports but can’t confirm the information and are investigating.


There were three other ISIS fighters captured, one from Ireland and two from Pakistan.




Scientists Create Global Tsunami Model From Asteroid That Killed Dinosaurs


How did dinosaurs die? A theory that is generally accepted is that more than 65 million years ago, an asteroid that was about 8 miles wide hit modern-day Mexico and caused a chain of events that severely damaged the environment and led to a mass animal and plant die-off.


There is a crater in the Yucatan Peninsula, at the tip of Mexico, that is thought to be the site of the impact. It is called the Chicxulub crater.


A team of scientists, led by graduate student Molly Range from the University of Michigan, recently proposed a simulation of what the tsunami would look like. They said the impact was so powerful that there was no water in the crater for the first 10 minutes. All the water was forced out, leaving the crater dry. The tsunami was initially almost a mile high and moved at 89 mph.


It would spread out around the world, The waves reduced in height to about 65 feet in the Gulf of Mexico, 46 feet in the North Atlantic ocean, and 13 feet in the North Pacific. They said every ocean in the world was impacted.


The asteroid would have sent hot rock and dust into the atmosphere, which caused forest fires and a spike in temperatures. The dust blocked the sun for many years. The darkness killed plants and disrupted the food chain, leading to a mass die-off. That’s how the dinosaurs died out.


Molly Range:




Shutdown Stories: Deaf Federal Employee; TSA Sick-Outs; National Park Trash


I was in touch with another deaf federal employee who was willing to share her experience of being furloughed during the government shutdown. Like before, I will keep her name anonymous.


She works for the Environmental Protection Agency and has been staying at home without pay since December 28. She said she has some savings so it’s helped, but it won’t be enough to last for “years” as Trump has claimed. She hopes it won’t last that long.


She said she looks at this as an opportunity to spend more time with her children, as normally she gets home between 6 to 7 pm and only see them for an hour before bedtime. She is also doing some self-care and working on projects she had been putting off.


Thank you for sharing.


It is reported that the payday for federal employees is this Friday, so if the shutdown continues until that day, 800,000 affected employees will not get any money.


TSA officers at airports are affected by the shutdown — they are required to work without pay. CNN reported on Friday that airports across the country are facing shortages of TSA officers because so many are calling in sick. This has caused long lines at airports.


Another impact of the shutdown is piling trash at national parks. The Department of the Interior said they would use funds from entrance fees to help pay for clean up. There have been several volunteer groups who have helped with cleaning up the trash.


Joshua Tree National Park in California had to shut down because their pit toilets were all filled up. There were human feces spotted on roads and park grounds.


At the Yellowstone National Park, local businesses that depend on the park are chipping in to pay $7,500 a day to groom the snow-covered roads and clean up the restrooms and trash.




Man Creates Sign Language Gloves; Deaf Twitter Responds


A person, Roy Allela, invented “smart gloves” that purportedly can convert sign language into audio speech. The gloves connect with a smartphone app. Allela, who is from Kenya, has won at least two awards for it.


Allela told “Unlock The Now,” an African media website, that he was inspired to do this because he has a deaf niece who is 6 years old and that nobody in the family knows how to sign.


It is not the first time anybody came up with this concept. There have been various iterations of a sign language glove, popping up from time to time for  many years.


Many people from the Deaf community criticized the idea on Twitter.


Keith Doane, a Deaf business owner in the D.C. area, said it was not a good solution because the gloves would miss out on facial expressions and locations of hands.


Svetlana Kouznetsova, a deaf person who owns and operates Audio Accessibility, shared a blog from 2016 that was written in response to another signing gloves invention. She explained that the inventors don’t understand the complexity of sign langauge and asked why don’t people just learn sign language.


Other Twitter users chimed in with similar suggestions that a deaf child’s family should learn sign language.


Myles de Bastion, a Deaf musician and a sound/light technology developer, tweeted a link of an article on The Atlantic that was written in 2017 by Michael Erard, who is hearing.


That article’s headline is “Why Sign-Language Gloves Don’t Help Deaf People.” It explained that people have been coming up with this since the 1980’s and that the concept comes from the preoccupations of the hearing world, not the needs of Deaf signers.


The article mentioned several different but similar inventions that has won tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships and awards. Some of them were developed by students at university programs that had professors or programs in Deaf education or sign language, but strangely the inventors did not check in with those people.


The article said there was a six-page critique written by University of Washington’s ASL program director, Lance Forshay, and two other ASL instructors. The paper said the gloves ignore facial expressions and are unable to detect how signs morph into the next sign.  They said this invention was cultural appropriation and puts the burden of communication on the deaf person.


So, we know that the invention by Allela is definitely not the first one, and the latest in a cycle of inventions that draw praise from the hearing world and criticism from deaf people.


If there were researchers from the Deaf community who wanted to come up with something like this, what would it look like? Or what device would we invent to put on hearing speakers so we would understand them?


Unlock The Now Tweet:


Audio Accessibility:


Myles de Bastion:


Atlantic Article:




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


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