Updates on Government Shutdown and Border Wall Debate; Former CEO of Opioid Drugmaker Pleads Guilty To Bribing Doctors; Manafort’s Lawyers Reveal He Shared Presidential Polling Data With Suspected Russian Official; Teacher Who Dragged Student With Autism Charged With Assault; First Female NFL Official In Playoff Game; Michael Cohen To Testify at House Committee Before Prison; Ribbon Alert #deafbing
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, January 10. Ready for news?
Updates on Government Shutdown and Border Wall Debate
Here are several news updates on the government shutdown and the border wall debate.
Yesterday afternoon, President Trump had a meeting with Democratic leaders, but it ended quickly when Trump walked out after they told him they wouldn’t approve the wall in future legislation if Trump re-opens the government.
Today Trump, before flying to Texas to visit the border, said he “would almost say definitely” declare a national emergency if things don’t work out. He went to McAllen, Texas and sat down for a roundtable discussion at US Border patrol station there.
The government is now in its 20th day of the shutdown. Tomorrow is a critical day, because it is supposed to be payday. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers might not see any money, hurting those who live check to check. Some attended protests and rallies. Two unions for federal employees have filed lawsuits for unpaid work.
An union for FBI agents sent a petition to the White House to urge them to hurry up and reopen the government so the bureau can be funded, so the agents be be paid, and to protect national security.
Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell blocked Senate Democrats from moving towards voting on a spending bill to reopen the government. The House approved this bill. McConnell said, “political stunts are not going to get us anywhere.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is in talks with other Republican Senators to try to develop a broader immigration proposal that would convince Democrats to agree to the $5 billion needed to build the wall.
NBC News shared a photo of steel slat wall that was sawed through by staff at the Homeland Security Department during a test. The military and border patrol were told to try and destroy it using common tools, and they succeeded. President Trump said this steel wall was designed by previous administrations and that the wall he’s doing would be very, very hard to penetrate.
Meeting Walkout: https://www.axios.com/trump-says-meeting-schumer-pelosi-waste-of-time-d8eacc6a-06c9-4fe2-bed3-6659760606c5.html
Trump Remarks Before Flight: https://www.axios.com/president-trump-border-wall-national-emergnecy-efdf6823-5a56-4911-9d2d-85ad79c5bf2d.html
FBI Union: https://www.axios.com/fbi-government-shutdown-funding-4e0c02f0-a556-4e1a-b9ee-819210aad409.html
McConnell Block: https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/10/politics/senate-blocks-vote-congress-shutdown/index.html
Graham Talks: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/09/graham-shutdown-trump-border-wall-1093832
Wall Sawed Through: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/test-steel-prototype-border-wall-showed-it-could-be-sawed-n956856?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma
Former CEO of Opioid Drugmaker Pleads Guilty To Bribing Doctors
Reuters reported that a former CEO of an Arizona drugmaker, Insys, pleaded guilty of being a part of a nationwide scheme to bribe doctors to prescribe addictive opioid medications.
His name is Michael Babich. He has agreed to become a witness for the government in their case against Insys’ founder, John Kapoor.
Prosecutors said Babich and others wanted to bribe doctors to prescribe Subsys, a fentanyl mouth spray that helps with severe pain for cancer patients.
The company then would pay the doctors, who did not specialize in cancer treatment, fees to participate in fake speaker programs.
CBS reported that Insys made 18,000 payments to doctors in 2016 that totaled more than $2 million.
Insys has agreed to pay $150 million in a settlement with the Justice Department.
Kapoor’s trial is scheduled to start on January 28.
Fentanyl is dangerous because it is 100 times stronger than morphine. There is a huge crisis with opioid addiction.
Manafort’s Lawyers Reveal He Shared Presidential Polling Data With Suspected Russian Official
Two days ago, lawyers for Paul Manafort accidentally revealed in a court filing that he was accused by Mueller of lying about providing 2016 presidential campaign polling data to a Russian, Konstantin Kilimnik, who is suspected of working with Russian intelligence.
This is significant because if true, it shows coordination between Manafort and the Russian government during the election season when Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager.
We remember that several months ago Mueller indicted multiple Russian intelligence officers for trying to influence the presidential election.
The New York Times said the polling data was from a private polling firm that worked for the Trump campaign.
The polling data would have been valuable because it has information on Americans’ feelings, thoughts, and opinions. This was shared with a Russian individual.
Manafort’s lawyers said he did not lie about the poll sharing to Mueller, that he just couldn’t remember specific details until Mueller refreshed his memory.
“Do you remember this?”
But he did not deny sharing the data as he did. This was just an argument on if he lied about this to Mueller or not.
Today President Trump said he didn’t know anything about this.
Teacher Who Dragged Student With Autism Charged With Assault
In Kentucky, an elementary school teacher who was caught on video dragging a 9-year old student with autism by the wrist in a hallway was charged with assault. The teacher’s name is Trina Abrams.
This happened in October, but the video was recently posted on Facebook by the boy’s mother, Angel Nelson. She said her son had sprains and bruises.
The school’s superintendent said after this incident, they contacted the parent immediately, had the student looked at by the school nurse, and referred him for outside medical evaluation.
The school contacted social services, who alerted the Kentucky State Police.
Police charged her with fourth-degree assault against a child younger than 12. The boy took MRI tests that didn’t show serious injuries, so thats why Abrams had a less serious charge.
Abrams was fired this week. She appeared in court yesterday and pleaded not guilty. Her lawyer said she says she is innocent and will fight this in court.
The boy now attends another elementary school in the same school district.
First Female NFL Official In Playoff Game
NFL official Sarah Thomas will be the first woman to officiate an NFL playoff game.
She will be a down judge during the AFC divisional playoff game between the LA Chargers and the New England Patriots.
She is the NFL’s first full-time female official and is in her fourth season. She worked in college football before being offered a job by the NFL.
You can find her on the sidelines watching the line of scrimmage this Sunday on CBS.
Michael Cohen To Testify at House Committee Before Prison
Michael Cohen will voluntarily testify before the House Oversight Committee on February 7, about a month before he is scheduled to start serving his three-year prison sentence.
It will be an open session, which means the public can watch it. Cohen said it will allow him to give a full explantation.
The Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said he would consult with Special Counsel Mueller’s office to make sure they would not interfere with any ongoing criminal investigations.
Cohen pleaded guilty to 8 federal charges of tax crimes, lying to banks, and violating presidential campaign finance laws.
The campaign crimes are related to payments to two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump. Trump denied having sex with them. Cohen said Trump told him to pay them.
Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the timeline of working on a Trump Tower project in Moscow, Russia.
So, that testimony on February 7 should be closely watched by the nation, just like the Comey testimony or the Kavanaugh hearings.
Ribbon Alert #deafbing
How can deaf people save money on electricity costs? Look at this.
Teather: I thought of a Deaf Bing. We tend to forget to turn off the fan. After we cook, we leave without turning it off. How can you remember? I installed this ribbon.
When I see it moving, its telling me that I forgot to turn it off. So I turn it off.
Here’s another one, I’ll show you. This is the air conditioning. I know if it is on or off. Deaf Bing!
Alex: Great idea! Thanks Teather for the video.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!