Cory Booker Announces 2020 Presidential Bid; Elizabeth Warren Apologizes to Cherokee Nation for DNA Test; Catholic Church in Texas Names Almost 300 Priests Accused of Child Sexual Abuse; At Least 20 Killed By Polar Vortex; Chicago Woman Books Hotel Rooms for Homeless People; Top Stories Briefs: 304k Jobs Added; Foxconn Commits $10B; U.S. Withdraws From Missile Treaty; DeafBlind Man Charlton LaChase Sentenced 18 Months For ISIS Threats
Cory Booker Announces 2020 Presidential Bid
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced today he will run for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election.
He posted a YouTube video, with subtitles, showing his home community in Newark, New Jersey. The video described how Booker grew up seeing his family being discriminated because they were black. The video had clips honoring civil rights activists through the years.
Booker became New Jersey’s first black senator in 2013. Before that, he was the mayor of Newark for five years.
Today is the first day of Black History Month, so many viewed this as a symbolic act by Booker to announce his candidacy on this day.
Booker is now the latest person in a crowded field of Democrats who are looking towards a 2020 run. It is likely we will see more big-name Democratic politicians in the future.
It seems like it will be Democrats’ turn to go through a similar process that Republicans went through in 2016, when Donald Trump came out of the top through a crowded Republican field. It’s the Democrats’ turn.
Elizabeth Warren Apologizes to Cherokee Nation for DNA Test
Axios reported that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) has apologized to the Cherokee Nation for revealing her DNA test to prove her Native American ancestry in October.
That test said she had an Native American ancestor 6 to 10 generations ago. The Cherokee Nation said at the time that it was inappropriate and wrong to use a DNA test to claim a connection.
Today the Cherokee Nation released a statement explaining that Warren has reached to offer an apology.
They said they are encouraged by this dialogue and understanding that being a Cherokee Nation tribal citizen is rooted in centuries of culture and laws not through DNA tests.
They said they hope that the slurs and mockery of tribal citizens and Indian history and heritage will now come to an end.
Warren has made major steps to run for president in 2020, but has not made a formal announcement yet. She said she would make a major announcement on February 9.
President Trump, who has often mocked Warren for claiming she is a Native American, said she was hurt very badly by the DNA controversy.
Catholic Church in Texas Names Almost 300 Priests Accused of Child Sexual Abuse
The New York Times reported that the Roman Catholic Church in Texas released the names of almost 300 priests who were accused of child sex abuse since the 1950s.
A Houston-area cardinal said releasing the names was the right thing to do. He apologized to those who suffered.
Local and federal agents raided the offices of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in November during an investigation.
This is the latest major child sexual abuse scandal to hit the Roman Catholic Church in recent months.
In August, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office released a report of abuses by over 300 priests over a span of 70 years.
Some survivors and advocates told the Times there is probably many more priests who are not named in the Texas list.
At Least 20 Killed By Polar Vortex
CNN reported that at least 20 people died from the extreme cold from the polar vortex.
In western Illinois, a FedEx worker who was 69 was found dead outside between two semi-trucks at a FedEx delivery hub. It is not clear what happened.
Eight people died in Iowa. Four deaths happened yesterday due to car accidents in snowy weather.
Three people died yesterday in New York’s Erie County. One person was found dead at a bus stop and two men died while removing snow.
A hospital in Chicago said they treated at least 50 people with frostbite. Some of them may lose an arm or a leg. Most of the victims are homeless or people who had to work outside.
Meterologists say starting today, there will be warmer temperatures that will continue over the weekend.
Chicago Woman Books Hotel Rooms for Homeless People
CBS Chicago did a feature on a woman, Candice Payne, who booked 20 hotel rooms on her credit card to help homeless people have a warm place to stay during the cold weather.
Payne said she did this after she saw that a tent city for homeless people lost their heating source when a propane tank exploded.
Other volunteers decided to also book rooms — for a total of 60 hotel rooms. This provided at least 80 people with warm beds for three nights.
Top Stories Briefs: 304k Jobs Added; Foxconn Commits $10B; U.S. Withdraws From Missile Treaty
Here are three top stories briefs.
The first — the U.S. economy added 304,000 jobs in January, a very high number. 74,000 of them were in the leisure and hospitality field, 55,000 jobs were in the health care and education field, and 52,000 jobs were in construction.
The second news — Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that is known for assembling Apple products, confirmed they would build a $10 billion plant in Wisconsin. There were reports that Foxconn was changing their mind, but after President Trump called them, they confirmed the Wisconsin plans. They plan to build LCD display panels and small electronic screens and could hire 13,000 workers.
The third news — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo notified Russia that the U.S. will withdraw from a Cold War era missile treaty that bans nuclear and regular missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. This was banned, but the U.S. withdrew. Axios explained that both the Obama and Trump administrations have accused Russia of violating the treaty.
Missile Treaty: https://www.axios.com/us-to-formally-withdraw-from-inf-treaty-russia-e8e50327-6fe6-4955-b1ff-28697831d77d.html
DeafBlind Man Charlton LaChase Sentenced 18 Months For ISIS Threats
Charlton LaChase, a Deaf man from southern Florida, was sentenced on Tuesday in federal court to 18 months in prison for making ISIS related threats to a family member. He will have three years of supervised release afterwards.
I read court documents related to his case that are available in PACER online records.
LaChase has been in custody for about a year as his trial went on. He pleaded guilty to two counts of transmitting threats. His sentence was enhanced with obstruction of justice because he sold his cellphone he used to send the texts after he found out the FBI was investigating.
I did a video interview with Deaf man Rob Mason who said he was there at the sentencing hearing to be a Deaf advocate. See what he has to say.
Mason: It was about five hours long, from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm. During the court proceedings, I was not the only deaf person there, there were three others, along with Charlton LaChase’s mother. Charlton’s mother picked me up at a McDonalds and we went to the federal courthouse. It felt like normal. The defense lawyer did a good job, but the prosecutor was stubborn. It was supposed to be 20 years, but it went down to 18 months. Actually, Charlton has been in jail for an year already, so he has 4 months left before he is released. He will have three years of supervision. 18 months. He has served an year. He will have four more months. It’s strange that it totals to 16 months, but they said four months left then he will be released with three years of probation.
Thank you for your time. Mason sent me a video of three other Deaf people who were also there. See their comments.
Man #1: Charlton had a good lawyer who argued his case.
Woman: Yes, very good lawyer.
Man #2: The lawyer tried to reduce Charlton’s jail sentence, but but the judge said it must be 18 to 24 months. The 18 months is the minimum. He was sad, but it is 4 more months to go.
Woman: Not bad. Four months.
Man #1: What he did was serious.
Thank you three for explaining.
LaChase was arrested last February after he texted a family member, who is his sister according to court documents, several times threatening to kill her.
LaChase said in the texts that he wanted to kill many people in the same way ISIS supporters have killed people. He said he planned to be the first deaf ISIS.
His sister printed the texts and notified a co-worker who was the spouse of a Coast Guard member, who gave a tip to the FBI.
LaChase’s public defense lawyer asked last week for LaChase to be released “now” on time served, which is 12 months. He said LaChase suffers from profound deafness and Usher’s Syndrome.
The lawyer said a psychologist who is fluent in ASL has concluded that LaChase has bipolar disorder with psychotic symptoms. The psychologist thinks LaChase texted the threats to get his sister’s attention.
The lawyer said LaChase had a very difficult time in jail because there are no interpreters and that he has been ridiculed and abused by other inmates and jail employees.
But the federal prosecutor disagreed with release on time served. He said 18 months of imprisonment is sufficient but not greater than necessary. He said LaChase’s threats were very serious.
So, LaChase should be out in about four months, then have three years of supervised release.
Gallaudet University: [gallaudet.edu]