President Trump Declares National Emergency; Chicago Police Arrests Two Suspects in Jussie Smollett Attack; One Worked on “Empire”; Toronto Chair Thrower Charge; British Rapper 21 Savage Released After ICE Arrest; Deaf Denver Teacher Explains Strike; American School for the Deaf Announces Investigation of “Inappropriate Conduct” By Former Faculty Members in 1960’s and 1970’s
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Friday, February 15. Ready for news?
President Trump Declares National Emergency
President Trump, in an address outside of the White House, officially declared a national emergency at the southern border as a rationale for building a wall. He said he expects to be sued in federal court and then win in the Supreme Court.
Trump’s emergency declaration would make $3.6 billion available from the Department of Defense’s military construction fund.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) said this is a power grab by a disappointed president. Pelosi said this was unlawful and that the president “shred the Constitution.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) quoted Trump’s statement from the speech — “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather to do it much faster” — and said this statement shows it was a fake emergency.
Trump said he is looking for a total of $8 billion for the wall. $1.3 billion will be in the spending bill passed by Congress. He will sign today or tomorrow.
The $3.6 billion in emergency money is likely to be held up when it goes through court challenges.
The White House said they would look on how they can pull the rest of the money from various federal and military programs.
Chicago Police Arrests Two Suspects in Jussie Smollett Attack; One Worked on “Empire”
Chicago police said they have arrested two suspects in relation to the attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
Police said the two suspects are brothers from Nigeria, that the two had a relationship with Jussie, and that one of them worked on “Empire.”
The two were picked up at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after returning from a trip to Nigeria.
The two are the same people that were previously named by police as “persons of interest.” They were arrested but haven’t been charged with a crime. Police said there is probable cause (a good reason and evidence) that they may have committed a crime. Police searched their apartment.
ABC 7 news reported last night that sources told them police are investigating if Smollett and the two men faked the attack because he was being written off “Empire.”
Chicago police said reports of a hoax are unconfirmed. Police said they have no evidence to support ABC 7’s reporting. They said they are continuing to treat Smollett as a victim.
“Empire” producers at Fox said the reports about Smollett’s character being written off are not true and ridiculous.
ABC 7 Report: https://abc7.ws/2S96nQQ
Toronto Chair Thrower Charged
This week there was a viral video of a young woman throwing a chair from the 45th floor of a skyscraper in Toronto, Ontario.
[Video of female standing on balcony of a high-rise building. There is a caption that says, “Good morning.” She throws a folding chair off the balcony. It plummets down towards a busy highway. The video cuts off before the chair hits anything]
Global News reported that the woman, Marcella Zoia (19), turned herself in to police and was released on bail on Wednesday on several charges including mischief endangering life.
The chair did not hurt anyone. It landed on a sidewalk.
People in Toronto shared the video and her image to try and identify her, demanding she be arrested. Police reached out to her and she turned herself in.
Zoia’s lawyer said she is embarrassed and through through a traumatic experience, that she was peer pressured and a mistake happened.
The maximum penalty for her charges is life in prison, but analysts said she probably won’t go to jail because she is a first-time offender.
It seems like the room Zoia was staying in was booked through Airbnb.
The mayor of Toronto, John Tory, said this could have caused serious injury and death.
British Rapper 21 Savage Released After ICE Arrest
ABC News reported that British musician 21 Savage, who lived most of his life in Atlanta, was arrested by ICE in Atlanta on Sunday, February 3 — the same day as the Super Bowl.
He was held for nine days and released on Wednesday on $100,000 bond.
ICE said he was a U.K. citizen and overstayed his visa when it expired in 2006.
21 Savage said in an interview that he was driving then saw guns and blue lights, then was in the back of a car and he was gone.
He said he has been here in the U.S. for many years and is concerned he will be kicked out of the country.
He was supposed to perform at the Grammy Awards but missed it because of his detention.
ICE officials said 21 Savage overstayed his visa and has a felony conviction.
21 Savage’s lawyers said he came to the U.S. when he was 7 and that it was not his fault that his visa expired a year later.
21 Savage’s real name is She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph. He has a deportation hearing scheduled in April.
Deaf Denver Teacher Explains Strike
Over 2,000 Denver teachers went on strike on Monday through Wednesday and ended it when they won a deal with the school district that promised pay raises of 7% to 11%.
Here is a video by a deaf Denver public schools special education teacher, Candiss Prosser. She was a part of the strike.
Candiss Prosser: Recently the strike happened. What was the reason why? Myself and my colleagues decided to assemble in a strike for two reasons. My understanding is that we want a stable education with stability in teachers for our students. What does this mean? Our district unfortunately — many teachers don’t stay — they teach for three years and then quit, they stop teaching. The reason why they stop? The cost of living here in Denver is really expensive. Our salary can’t keep up with Denver’s cost of living.
[Video clip of teachers standing in a picket line outside. Snow is visible on the floor]
We coped with the cold outside, doing the strike outside for three days. It was worth it. We were successful. Two positive things: an increased pay between 7% to 11.7%. Whoo! This is a nice increase. We fought for it and it is worth the experience. That’s a positive. Also we have an opportunity to take classes, professional development classes through the Denver Public Schools. We will get additional credits which means we can raise our salary in increments. It give us better opportunities to grow our salary. That is commendable.
[Text: Prosser said as a deaf person, she was frustrated she when teachers’ union and the school district announced updates on Facebook Live without any captions or transcript. She said she had to rely on emails or others to I’ve her updates. She wishes there was better accessibility for herself and other deaf educators.]
Alex: Thank you Candiss for explaining. AP News explained that the deal is tentative (not final) and is awaiting ratification by union members. Teachers went back to their classrooms yesterday.
American School for the Deaf Announces Investigation of “Inappropriate Conduct” By Former Faculty Members in 1960’s and 1970’s
Jeffrey Bravin, the Executive Director of the American School for the Deaf in Connecticut, announced in a vlog and a letter on Sunday that the school has learned about allegations made by alumni of inappropriate conduct by former faculty members in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Bravin said they immediately reported it to the proper authorities and have retained outside legal counsel to conduct an independent, objective and confidential investigation.
Bravin said the attorney is Edward Heath from Robinson + Cole.
Bravin asked people who know of, or have experienced inappropriate conduct, to contact the attorney or himself. The contact information is in the letter at the link in the transcript.
Bravin told “The Daily Moth” that Attorney Heath is hearing and will have certified ASL interpreters throughout the investigation. Bravin said the investigation applies to anyone who was employed at ASD at any time.
Bravin explained in his vlog on Sunday that ASD has a zero tolerance policy for any inappropriate behavior. He explained that if there is an accusation towards a current staff member, the person will be suspended while the investigation is going on, with the person either terminated or allowed to come back.
Bravin said in the vlog that in this case with the accusations going back in the 60’s to the 70’s, he has decided to remove the accused persons’ names from any awards, plaques, or scholarship funds and hold it while the investigation is ongoing with a final decision made later.
Bravin Profile: https://www.asd-1817.org/about/executive-leadership-team
Attorney Profile: http://www.rc.com/people/EdwardJHeath.cfm
That is all this week. Thank you for watching “The Daily Moth.” Have a wonderful weekend and stay with the light!
Gallaudet University: [gallaudet.edu]