Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer of Blackmail and Extortion; Young New York Woman Found Murdered, Bound in Suitcase; Frank Robinson, MLB Legend and First Black Manager, Passes Away at 83; 20 Neighbors of Deaf Child Taking ASL Classes So They Can Communicate; Texas Deaf Girls Basketball Team Achieves Perfect 31-0 Record
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Friday, February 8. Ready for news?
Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer of Blackmail and Extortion
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and currently the richest man in the world, wrote a blog post last night accusing the National Enquirer (NE) Chief David Pecker and others of blackmailing and extorting him with threats.
He published an email from one of the top people at National Enquirer threatening to release text messages and nude selfies of him and a woman he was allegedly having an affair with, Lauren Sanchez.
The email from National Enquirer offered to not publish them if Bezos would say in public that the National Enquirer and their parent company, American Media, were not politically motivated or influenced by political forces. Bezos had to say this to prevent them from publishing it.
A little background — on January 9, Bezos tweeted he and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie, would divorce. The National Enquirer on the same day announced they had investigated him for four months and had text messages and photos of his relationship with Sanchez. They said they would publish it.
After they printed it, Bezos hired an investigator to find out how they obtained the text messages and what was their motive for their four-month long investigation.
Bezos said he wondered if the National Enquirer was working to benefit President Donald Trump and the Saudi Arabian government because he owns the Washington Post.
He said in the course of the investigation, they sent him this threat.
Bezos said of course he doesn’t want personal photos published, but that he won’t allow himself to be a victim of blackmail, political favors or attacks, and corruption.
National Enquirer / American Media said they acted lawfully — that they didn’t break any laws — and would investigate this.
NBC News reported that federal prosecutors are now reviewing the National Enquirer.
The newspaper and its chief, Pecker, are currently in an immunity deal with prosecutors to help them with their investigation on Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney.
Young New York Woman Found Murdered, Bound in Suitcase
ABC News reported that 24-year old woman, Valerie Reyes, was found dead in a suitcase that was on a road in Greenwich, Connecticut on Tuesday morning. Her hands and feet were bound.
Police has started a homicide investigation. They haven’t released an official cause of death. No suspects have been named. They said they are getting many tips.
Reyes was from New Rochelle, New York — close to the Connecticut border — and was last seen last week. She was reported missing on January 29.
Her mother, Norma Sanchez, said she was fearing for her life and felt very scared and paranoid, but did not name anybody. The mother said Reyes has had struggles with anxiety and depression.
Sanchez said Reyes recently had a boyfriend and they broke up a few days before she went missing, but that Reyes never said that her that her ex-boyfriend or anybody else threatened her.
It is a mystery and police are trying to find the murderer.
Frank Robinson, MLB Legend and First Black Manager, Passes Away at 83
Frank Robinson, a Major League Baseball star in the 60’s and 70’s who won the World Series twice with the Baltimore Orioles, passed away at 83 years old yesterday in Los Angeles from bone cancer.
He hit a total of 586 home runs. He was a 14-time All-Star player. He is the only player to win the MVP award in both the American and National League.
He was the first black manager of a team in 1975 with the Cleveland Indians. He was a player-manager, then continued to manage teams for many years after he retired from playing.
His number 20 is retired by Baltimore, Cleveland, and Cincinnati.
After he retired from managing teams, he was an executive in various positions within the MLB.
He was inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.
He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from George H.W. Bush in 2005.
The Baltimore Orioles honored him in a tweet yesterday.
There are statues of Robinson at the ballparks at Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Cleveland.
20 Neighbors of Deaf Child Taking ASL Classes So They Can Communicate
The Boston Globe published a feature on a family with a 2-year old deaf girl who had 20 neighbors take sign language classes because they wanted to communicate with her.
This is in Auburndale, Massachusetts on Islington Road, about 12 miles west of Boston.
The girl’s name is Samantha. Her parents, Glenda and Raphael Savitz, moved in the community in 2016 and gave birth to the girl three months later.
When they found out she was deaf, they decided to learn sign langauge.
Neighbors told the Globe that they were excited about a new baby and that it was a challenge when they found out she was deaf.
The neighbors wanted to be able to communicate with her as she grew up, so they decided to hire an instructor.
The Globe reporter, Thomas Farragher, observed at 18 neighbors learning sign langauge at a house. The teacher was a hard-of-hearing speech language pathologist named Rhys McGovern.
He used a projector in a living room and did not use his voice to teach them signs.
The mother, Glenda, said it was very emotional for her to learn about how much support and love is here — that people are putting in so much time and energy to learn a foregin language because they want to talk with her little girl.
A teacher and mentor from The Learning Center for the Deaf, Sarah Honigfeld, told the Globe that she has been a part of Samantha’s life since she was 3 months old. TLC is located nearby in Framingham.
Honigfeld said it is an amazing situation that every deaf child should have. She said this should be the standard for a deaf child, but it is not unfortunately. She said she was thinking of other children who are sent two or four hours away to attend a deaf school because that’s where their community is. She said it should be the same at their homes.
Texas Deaf Girls Basketball Team Achieves Perfect 31-0 Record
The Texas School for the Deaf Girls’ Basketball team has a perfect 31-0 regular season record.
They easily defeated Reicher Catholic last night 59 to 19 to end their perfect season.
[Video clip of girls playing basketball]
I asked Head Coach Brian Sipek on what this perfect season means to the school and what the historical significance of this is.
Brian: Texas is a football state so it is not well-known for basketball. Our girls had a perfect season for basketball so it is a bit ironic, but we really enjoyed our ride this year. We are now chasing a state championship and the best Deaf school record in history. I just read that the record for girls and boys basketball at all Deaf schools is 32 wins by the Alabama boys. I don’t know exactly which year. So now we are at 31 wins, one game away. If we win, we’ll be tied at 32. So I need to win two more to break the Deaf school record for the winningest season ever. So I think the girls are really focused on breaking that record. I appreciate your support!
Thank you for explaining that, Brian. I asked the assistant coach, Sean Moore, on how he was able to keep the girls’ focus on winning throughout the whole season.
Sean: It’s important to have two things: short term goals so we can continue thinking of how we can get better or on what we need to do, and long term goals such as winning the Clerc Classic, the district championship, and now going into the playoffs and go to the state championship. With that, we can maintain our motivation and accomplish what we want to do. And I think what is important is to make it fun. Once the girls enjoy practices or whatever we do, the fun aspect of it makes them last longer.
Alex: That’s a good coaching tip. Sean explained that the playoffs will start with an Area game on Tuesday, February 19 at TSD. If they win, they advance to a Regional game a few days later at a neutral location. If they win, they advance to the “Final Four” in Waco at the end of February with the championship match in early March. Those are the four games left.
Sean: Our goal will be 35-0. We know it will be a tall order but we will just stay with our commitments, our goals, play good defense, and I think we’ll get there.
Alex: Congratulations to the two coaches, their other assistant coach Ashley Elliott, and the student athletes.
Good luck in the playoffs.
TSD Girls Basketball Team: http://bit.ly/2SBAnJf
That is all for this week. Thank you for watching “The Daily Moth.” Have a wonderful weekend and stay with the light!
Gallaudet University: [gallaudet.edu]