Top News Briefs: U.S. Trade Deficit at $621 Billion; Border Patrol Overwhelmed by Migrant Families; R. Kelly Denies Sexual Assault in Emotional Interview with CBS; Two Men Accuse Michael Jackson of Sexual Abuse in HBO Documentary “Leaving Neverland”; Disturbing New Information About Christopher Watts Family Murders; Arizona Senator Martha McSally Says She Was Raped By Air Force Officer; HEARD Tweets Image of John Wilson Jr. Walking Out of Prison
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, March 6. Ready for news?
Top News Briefs: U.S. Trade Deficit at $621 Billion; Border Patrol Overwhelmed by Migrant Families
Here are two top news briefs.
The first — a report from the Commerce Department showed that the U.S. trade deficit was $621 billion in 2018, which is the highest level since 2008.
This means the U.S. is purchasing more in merchandise and service imports than what we sell in exports. We are buying more than we are selling, leading to a deficit.
This statistic is important because President Trump has often complained about U.S. trade deficits and said he would fix it. But the trade deficit is growing.
Remember, trade deficits are not always a bad thing, as it could mean that U.S. businesses and organizations are doing well and are able to purchase more things and receive greater profits.
Trump is working on a trade deal with China. Our deficit with them last year was $419 billion, a record high.
The second news — U.S. Customs and Border Protection said there was a spike in arrests of families illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and that they are at a breaking point.
They arrested 136,150 people traveling in families from October to February. This is more than the entire previous year. Most of the families are from Central American countries.
The White House said this shows that there is an even-worsening crisis on our southern border.
Most of the families who were arrested voluntarily turn themselves in so they can seek asylum. This requires border patrol officers to place them in custody, and the officers say they are beyond capacity.
If people illegally cross the border with children, they will have to be released after 20 days, because it is unlawful to keep children past 20 days. When they are released, they will have to wait for an immigration judge. Sometimes it takes a few years for a ruling.
R. Kelly Denies Sexual Assault in Emotional Interview with CBS
R. Kelly did an interview with CBS host Gayle King in which he strongly denied that he sexually abused girls.
Kelly looked directly at the camera and asked people to use their common sense, explaining that it would be stupid for him to hold girls against their will.
He stood up and said he was fighting for his life, that you all were trying to kill him. He was very emotional with tears in his eyes.
Kelly was charged last month with sexual abuse against four women, with three of them allegedly minors at the time.
Update: R. Kelly was taken into custody again after he was in court for unpaid child support
Two Men Accuse Michael Jackson of Sexual Abuse in HBO Documentary “Leaving Neverland”
Two men said on HBO documentary “Leaving Neverland” that famous musician Michael Jackson sexually abused them when they were young boys at Neverland Ranch, the place where Jackson lived for 15 years.
James Safechuck, now 40, said when he was 10 years old, Jackson had sex with him in a secret bedroom in a castle in a theme park on the property. He said that there were several other secret rooms around the property that was used to conceal sexual activity.
Wade Robson, now 36, said when he was seven years old, he was sexually abused in rooms that had kids toys, games, or a cut-out of Peter Pan. He said that the kid things and the abuse were mixed together.
Before the HBO documentary aired, Jackson’s family and estate said the film was a pathetic attempt to make money from Jackson. They sued HBO.
Jackson was charged with child molestation in 2005, but was acquitted. He died in 2009 from a drug overdose that was blamed on his doctor.
Both Safechuck and Robson testified during Jackson’s trial in 2005 that they did sleep with Jackson in his bed, but that there was no sexual assault. They say now that they lied during the trial.
Oprah Winfrey interviewed both Safechuck and Robson on Monday. Robson said when he was a child, he did not understand that it was sexual abuse. He said Jackson used his stardom and image to groom him and his parents.
Some radio stations in Canada and New Zealand have stopped airing Jackson music.
Jackson still have fans that support him. There were protesters in London outside of Channel 4’s headquarters to object against the release of the documentary.
Disturbing New Information About Christopher Watts Family Murders
There is disturbing new information about the Colorado man, Christopher Watts, who murdered his pregnant wife and two young daughters in August. He is now imprisoned on five life sentences.
Watts, in a prison interview two weeks ago, said that his oldest daughter Bella, who was four, pleaded him not to kill her.
Watts said he first killed his wife and the mother, who was 15 pregnant at the time, Shanann, in their home. He was wrapping her body in a sheet in their bedroom when Bella walked in the room and asked what he was doing.
Watts loaded Shanann’s body in his truck and got her two girls, who was still alive, in the truck. He drove to an oilfield where he worked and threw his wife’s body in a ditch.
Watts then killed her youngest daughter, Celeste, who was 3, by smothering her with her favorite blanket.
Bella said, “Please Daddy, don’t do to me what you just did to Cece.” But Watts killed her as well, also by smothering her. Bella’s body showed signs of a struggle with him, that she fought back. Both were killed.
The girls’ bodies were found submerged in oil, while Shanann’s body was buried.
Watts said he had a fight with Shanann on the night of the murders after he confessed to an affair and said he wanted a divorce.
Arizona Senator Martha McSally Says She Was Raped By Air Force Officer
Arizona Republican Senator Martha McSally, who served 26 years in the Air Force and was the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat, revealed today that she was raped in the Air Force by a superior officer.
She shared this information during a Senate hearing on military sexual assault. She said she did not report it because she did not trust the system and was ashamed and confused. She said she felt like the system was raping her all over again.
She said she will use her voice and unique experience to make changes and stop military sexual assault for good. She said she have witnessed many weaknesses in the processes involving sexual assault prevention, investigation, and adjudication.
Sen. McSally did not name the officer.
HEARD Tweets Image of John Wilson Jr. Walking Out of Prison
HEARD tweeted an image of John Wilson Jr. walking out of prison after 25 years of incarceration. His adult daughter, who was seven when he was arrested, picked him up. See this image.
A HEARD representative said his first meal as a free man was at a Cracker Barrel.
I did a report about Wilson yesterday. HEARD explained that there were many communication barriers when he was in prison and that he was denied parole year after year partly because he did not take specific classes — but there were no interpreters for those classes.
HEARD co-founder and lawyer Talila “TL” Lewis said they would continue to work on Wilson’s case and hopes to get him exonerated of his serious charges because he said he is innocent.
Lewis said there are other deaf prisoners who are going through communication barriers with zero or limited access to interpreters, videophones, or classes in prison.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!
Gallaudet University: [gallaudet.edu]