Charges against Jussie Smollett dropped; Pentagon authorizes $1 billion to fund 57 miles of border fencing; Texas woman gives birth to 6 babies in 9 minutes; Scotty the T-rex is the largest ever found; New Zealand PM Ardern considered a strong advocate for Deaf people and sign language; Guest #DeafBing: Vehicle Mirrors
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, March 26. Ready for news?
Charges against Jussie Smollett dropped
Today, prosecutors of Cook County, Illinois said they have dropped all 16 charges against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett (36).
Those charges included disorderly conduct for lying to the police about allegedly staging a fake hate crime on January 29th in downtown Chicago.
He had pleaded not guilty on March 14 to all charges.
One of the prosecutors said that they believe this is the “appropriate resolution” to this case, and that Smollett’s record will be wiped clean.
Smollett’s bond of $10,000 will be given to the city.
Smollett’s attorneys released a statement.
“He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public causing an inappropriate rush to judgement.”
Chicago Police said weeks ago that Smollett paid two men $3,500 to fake an attack on him so he could become more famous and have a higher TV salary.
Today Chicago Police and the Chicago Mayor expressed strong disagreement with the dropped charges.
So, this is a confusing case that had many twists and turns.
Smollett said that he has been “truthful and consistent on every single level since day one.”
Pentagon authorizes $1 billion to fund 57 miles of border fencing
Yesterday, the Pentagon informed Congress that it has authorized a transfer of up to $1 billion to build 57 miles of border fencing along the US and Mexico border. This was requested by the Department of Homeland Security and in support of President Trump’s national emergency declaration in February.
The Pentagon said the “pedestrian fencing” will be 18 feet high and will be built in sectors in Yuma, Arizona and El Paso, Texas.
The Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has authorized the US Army Corps of Engineers to begin planning the building of the border fencing.
The funds will also be used to construct and improve roads and install lights in the area where the fencing will be built.
The New York Times tweeted that this is the first time the funds will be transferred under section 284 for the border fencing. Section 284 allows the Pentagon to do this to help federal agencies block drug-smuggling corridors across the US borders.
Several Democratic senators wrote a letter to the Pentagon opposing this decision saying that it was theft from other readiness needs of our Armed Forces.
Now, in related news, the House failed to have enough votes to override President Trump’s veto of a resolution that the House and Senate passed to try and block Trump’s emergency declaration. This means the emergency declaration stands.
Texas woman gives birth to 6 babies in 9 minutes
On March 15, in Houston, Texas, at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, Thelma Chiaka gave birth to sextuplets or 3 sets of twins, six children, in just 9 minutes.
Two sets of twins are boys and Thelma still hasn’t decided on their names.
One of the sets are twin girls and their names are Zina and Zuriel.
All 6 weighed between 1 pound, 12 ounces to 2 pounds and 14 ounces, which is below normal weight for newborns.
But the hospital said that all 6 babies are stable and Thelma is doing fine also.
The odds of having 6 babies are about 1 in 4.7 billion.
When this story spread online, one comment encouraged Thelma to “go get a Powerball ticket, because with that kind of luck, she could be the next half billionaire.
Scotty the T-rex is the largest ever found
A paleontologist, Scott Persons, from the University of Alberta in Canada, recently studied a large T. rex known as “Scotty.”
He published new research last week that confirmed Scotty has broken records in three categories: it is the largest T. rex ever found, the largest of any dinosaurs with two legs discovered (theropods) and the biggest ever found in Canada.
Scotty weighed an estimated 19,500 pounds and was about 42 and a half feet long.
He is about 880 pounds heavier than the T. rex, Sue, at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
After analysis, Scotty appeared to be very old when it died between age 28 to early 30s more than 65 million years ago.
This means it is also the most elderly T. rex ever discovered.
Scotty was first discovered in 1991 in Saskatchewan, Canada and it took paleontologists almost 10 years to dig up only 65% of the skeleton. It was embedded in very hard sandstone.
Why was it given the name “Scotty”? When it was discovered, the field crew wanted to raise a toast to celebrate.
They could only find a bottle of scotch. That’s how they decided on the name “Scotty”.
New Zealand PM Ardern considered a strong advocate for Deaf people and sign language
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is known around the world for her leadership in responding to the March 15 terrorist attack targeting two mosques.
She has frequently given press conferences and news updates with a New Zealand Sign Language interpreter standing next to her.
An article in Stuff, a New Zealand online news website, named the interpreter as Alan Wendt. The headline said the interpreter is a symbol of New Zealand’s inclusive response to the terrorist attack.
The Daily Moth reached out to a Deaf man from New Zealand who currently resides in Denmark, Mark Berry, to provide some insight on Ardern.
Berry: Jacinda (this is her sign, Jacinda), when she began her job as Prime Minister, the first thing she said was, “where is the interpreter?” Then there was an interpreter to translate. This showed her great attitude.
In the past during press conferences with the government, there were interpreters, but she saw that there were not enough interpreters and the community needed them. She decided to give this resource to those who needed it more.
But if there were important updates or announcements, there was always an interpreter with her. I’ve seen this more and more at various events.
[Clips of Ardern giving speeches with an interpreter]
This has made more people aware about interpreters and using them.
TV broadcasts have changed to give more room for the interpreter so its visible. That makes me happy.
Alex: Berry explained that last year, PM Ardern did a vlog in NZSL to honor NZSL Week. She worked with Deaf Aotearoa, an organization that represents and serves Deaf people in the country.
Berry: Many people were touched by her positive attitude on the importance of NZSL. I really like her and many other New Zealanders feel the same.
Another Deaf New Zealander, Chuck Odsey, told “The Daily Moth” that he thinks PM Ardern is amazing and supports NZSL.
NZSL is one of the two official languages in the country, with the other Maori, the language of the indigenous peoples. English is the main language used in the country.
NZSL was officially recognized by the government in April 2006.
Ardern Vlog: http://bit.ly/2FwqtQK
Feature on Wendt: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/s-like-interpreting-jacinda-ardern-weekly-press-conference-in-sign-language?fbclid=IwAR33J0bWTaczA8aqVK3X2Skr7iFDRv6vLVyhQ2hqtFCecYBwFPJPFnEyI5I&variant=tb_v_1
Guest #DeafBing: Vehicle Mirrors
Here is a guest #DeafBing from Nichole G. about using mirrors inside of vehicles.
Nichole: Hello. Deaf Bing: when I’m in the passenger seat with people sitting behind me, if I turn around to talk, my neck hurts. So I use the mirror’s reflection.
Hi! How are you doing? Deaf Bing that!
That’s true, we use the mirrors. I was not sure if you were talking to the man or the dog.
That is all for today! See you tomorrow and stay with the light!
Gallaudet University: [gallaudet.edu]