The Daily Moth 2-7-2019

February 8, 2019

“Green New Deal” Unveiled By Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey; Virginia Democratic Leaders in Turmoil With Three Scandals; Updates on Delta Incident With Melissa Yingst and Socorro Garcia; “Deaf Person” Emoji Approved by Unicode for 2019 Release; Google Introduces Live Transcribe App On Android Devices​

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, February 7. Ready for news?


“Green New Deal” Unveiled By Democrats Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass) officially unveiled the “Green New Deal” in a resolution. This is not a bill.  

The resolution outlines a broad, ambitious vision of America transforming itself by focusing on cleaning up its environment, improving access to jobs and basic needs, and fighting against systemic injustices.

The resolution said the declining state of the environment affects “frontline and vulnerable communities” the most. They are indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, low-income workers, the elderly, people with disabilities, and young people.

The Green New Deal wants to stop income inequality, to stop the racial wealth divide — white families earn more money than black families, and to stop the gender earnings gap where men earn more than women.

It wants to improve life expectancy, access to basic needs, and raise hourly wages.

The Green New Deal wants to create millions of good, high-wage jobs and provide prosperity and economic security.

It wants a federal government-led mobilization that is similar to the 1933 New Deal. It calls for federal investments in education, infrastructure, and health care systems.

It wants the U.S. to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and have 100 percent clean, renewable energy as soon as 10 years.

ABC News reported that the Green New Deal resolution has support from at least 40 Congressional Democrats, but that it will be very difficult to have the support of more Democrats and especially the Republican-controlled Senate and White House.

House Speaker Pelosi said this resolution will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that they receive. Pelosi said it was a “green dream or whatever they call it.” She said she welcomes the enthusiasm that is there.

Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman elected to Congress. She is known as “AOC.”

An Axios analysis listed her “Twitter power” — the number of engagements she gets on her tweets — as being second behind President Donald Trump.

AOC has been in the front of news almost daily, so her vision for this Green New Deal will get a lot of buzz, and we’ll see what impact this vision has on American policy.



Virginia Democratic Leaders in Turmoil With Three Scandals


The top three Democratic leaders in Virginia’s state government are in turmoil.


It started last week with the revelation that Governor Ralph Northam appeared to be dressed in blackface in a photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook. Many have called on him to resign, but he has denied being in that photo and has refused to resign.


The second scandal is a sexual assault accusation against Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax. A woman, Dr. Vanessa Tyson, yesterday said Fairfax forced her to perform oral sex at a hotel room during the 2004 Democratic National Convention.


Dr. Tyson said he went to the Washington Post last year with this accusation, but that they declined to print it.


Fairfax has denied the accusation of sexual assault.


The third scandal has hit the third person in the line of succession for Virginia leadership — the Attorney General Mark R. Herring. He said yesterday that he dressed as a rapper, wore brown makeup and a wig when he was 19 and a student at the University of Virginia in 1980.


Herring apologized but did not offer to resign. Last week he said Northam should resign. But he has not himself resigned. Now some are calling for Herring to resign.


The New York Times explained that if three top Democratic leaders resign without immediate replacements, the person who would take over as state governor would be the Republican Speaker of the House of Delegates, Kirk Cox.




Updates on Delta Incident With Melissa Yingst and Socorro Garcia   


Deaf women Melissa Yingst and Socorro Garcia said in a vlog yesterday that Delta has apologized to them for the Detroit airport incident. They said Delta has met their three remedies, which they previously said were to reimburse their Delta flight tickets for the flight they were barred from last Sunday, the cost of a hotel room that night, and flight tickets they had to book with another carrier to get back to Los Angeles.


The Daily Moth reached out to Delta for comment.


A spokesperson, Michael Thomas, confirmed that Delta has worked directly with both customers on some of the expenses they incurred and are listening to their feedback.


Yingst and Garcia said in the vlog that they are asking deaf people, if they experienced oppression or denial of their rights at a Delta gate, to share their experiences with them. They said they would pass them along to Delta’s diversity and inclusion committee.


Delta spokesperson Thomas told The Daily Moth that they are working with their Advisory Board on Disabilities to address opportunities to better serve deaf customers.


Yingst and Garcia — what happened last week — they said that they went to an airport gate and used pen and paper to ask a gate agent, Felicia, to please move their seats together for a flight to Los Angeles. But they said the gate agent wrote that the plane was full, then crumbled the paper and threw it away. They said it cut off their conversation.


Garcia said she went to the trash can to get the paper, but was pushed by the agent. Both sides filmed each other.


A Delta spokesperson — the same one, Thomas —  told “The Detroit News” last week that the gate agent felt threatened because Garcia went around the podium and pushed against the agent’s leg when she tried to retrieve a crumbled paper from the trash.


The agent called the police and reported assault. Police officers at the airport told Yingst and Garcia they would have to find another flight. They stayed a night at an airport-area hotel and went home the next day on a non-Delta flight.


Yingst and Garcia said in yesterday’s vlog that from day one, their goal was always to work with Delta in a positive direction.


The Delta spokesperson did not provide The Daily Moth a comment on questions about the the gate agent Felicia.




“Deaf Person” Emoji Approved by Unicode for 2019 Release


Emoji Version 12.0, which was approved for release this year by the Unicode Consortium, will have several new emojis that are specifically for deaf people. There are also emojis for blind people and people with various disabilities.


This is the “Deaf Person” emoji. You can see three versions - a “Deaf Person,” a “Deaf Man,” and a “Deaf Woman.” There are five skin tones available, you’re looking at the light, medium, and dark skin tones.


This is the “Ear With Hearing Aid” emoji. It has five different skin tones, and you can see three here.


This is the “Man or Woman with Probing Cane” emojis. They are also available in different skin tones. I’m showing you the generic yellow-colored skin versions.


There are two different service animal emojis — one called “Service Dog” and the other called “Guide Dog.”


Those are the “Man in a Motorized Wheelchair” and the “Woman in a Manual Wheelchair” emojis. There are male and female versions, as well as various skin tones available.


Those are the “Mechanical Leg” and the “Mechanical Arm” emojis.


Apple proposed the disability emojis last year. They worked in partnership with the National Association of the Deaf, the American Council of the Blind, and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation.


The New York Times reported that tech companies like Apple and Google will have to design the emojis and incorporate the code in their operating systems and that they typically arrive in cellphones in September or October.  


Here is an example of how an emoji would look like on different platforms is the “I love you” handshape — the top right is Apple, top left is Google, bottom right is Microsoft, and the bottom left is Samsung.


NAD CEO Howard Rosenblum told the Times that they hopes the deaf emoji will help raise awareness throughout the world about Deaf Culture and the many sign languages that exist.


Some of the other emojis approved are interracial couples, a drop of blood, a pinching hand, a yawning face, and an oyster.




Google Introduces Live Transcribe App On Android Devices


Google announced on Monday they are introducing a new app for Android that is designed to help deaf and hard of hearing people: Live Transcribe.


[Video clip]


Google posted a video of a deaf Google Research Scientist, Dimitri Knevsky, using the Live Transcribe feature.


The video showed Knevsky ordering tea and talking with other people with his voice while reading a live, continuously moving transcription on his phone to understand what others spoke to him.


Knevsky said in the video he was one of the people who developed this speech recognition technology and that the accuracy is finally so good that he can use it to communicate with people.


The video also featured Gallaudet University mathematics and IT professor, Dr. Mohammad Obiedat, using the technology to understand what his sons are saying to him.


Dr. Obiedat uses both ASL and his voice to communicate. He said he is able to use the app if there are no interpreters available for a meeting with a hearing person.


Google explained in their press release that the concept for the technology was inspired by CART captioning technology.


Knevsky and other Google team members saw that CART had its limitations in that it required a computer screen and a captionist. They decided to try and develop a cloud-based automatic speech recognition app.


After at least two years, this app is available. It can “hear” people’s voices using the phone’s microphone. It is available in over 70 languages and dialects.


Google said for those who can’t or don’t want to speak, one can type back to have the phone voice your words.


Google said Live Transcribe will gradually rollout in a limited beta to users worldwide via the Play Store and pre-installed on Pixel 3 devices.


The Verge did a review on Live Transcribe. The writer, Dieter Bohn, said he was impressed with it, that it was in large, easy-to-read text, works remarkably well, could add punctuation and understood some context.


Bohn said it requires an internet connection to work. There is a blue circle in the corner that pulses that will help you know if you need to move the phone closer to the speaker to make it work. If the person speaking stops for a while, and speaks again, the phone will vibrate to let you know.


Bohn said Google said it cannot save transcriptions and does not store audio or transcriptions on their servers or use the data to improve their algorithms.


Bohn said Google might develop an app for iOS Apple devices, but it is focused on Android devices for now.


For Android users, there is a sign-up form where you can join the beta testing and get updates on Live Transcribe.


It’s not clear how the device would work in busy, loud environments such as a crowded restaurant or where there are multiple people talking quickly, such as a classroom discussion.


This new technology has potential to create a big impact on how deaf people communicate every day.


Sign Up:




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




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