The Daily Moth 10-7-19
Trump pulls U.S. troops from Syria; Mass shooting at Kansas City bar; Hong Kong mask ban; NBA-China controversy; Federal judge says Trump must turn over 8 years of tax returns; emergency stay issued; Witness in Amber Guyger trial murdered; NYC man arrested for killing 4 homeless men
[Transcript] Hello, welcome to The Daily Moth! It is Monday, October 7. Ready for news?
Trump pulls U.S. troops from Syria
President Trump announced this morning on Twitter that American troops would begin withdrawing from Syria. He said it’s time to get out of ridiculous endless wars and criticized European countries for not doing more in the region.
The U.S. troops are at the border with Turkey and have worked in alliance with Kurdish rebel fighters against ISIS and against the Bashar al-Assad regime for several years. The U.S. troops has also acted as peacekeepers with Turkey, who views the Kurdish fighters as enemies and terrorists.
There are thousands of captured ISIS fighters who are being held in Kurdish-run facilities.
The White House issued a statement last night that said Turkey would have a military operation in Northern Syria and that they would be responsible for all ISIS fighters.
Pictures and video show U.S. troops leaving their positions. A Kurdish group said the U.S. stabbed them in the back.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sharply criticized Trump’s decision in a series of tweets. He said this would allow ISIS to reemerge, allow Iran to dominate Syria, and make the U.S. an unreliable ally by abandoning the Kurds.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was also critical, saying Kurds were “instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake.”
Mass shooting at Kansas City bar
There was a mass shooting at a private, members only bar in Kansas City, Kansas on early Sunday morning that killed four people and wounded five. The bar’s name is Tequila KC Bar.
Police released an image of two suspects. The first one, Javier Alatorre, was captured Sunday afternoon and the other suspect, Hugo Villanueva-Morales, is still at large at the time of signing.
Police said one of the men had an argument with a bartender who refused to serve him because he caused problems several months ago. That man left the bar and returned a few hours later with the other man and opened fire with pistols.
There were about 40 people inside the bar and they rushed out. The four men who died were all Hispanic. Police said they don’t think it’s a racially motivated incident as the suspects and the victims are all Hispanic and the bar is in a Hispanic-majority population.
One of the victims was with her fiancé and died in her arms. Another was a father of two children. Authorities did not release their names yet.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said the state is mourning the victims of yet another mass shooting.
Hong Kong mask ban; NBA-China controversy
The Hong Kong government responded to violent protests last week by imposing a ban against masks starting on Friday. But there were tens of thousands of protesters who marched while wearing masks to defy the ban. There were several clashes involving tear gas and molotov cocktails and thrown stones. Two protesters were arrested and charged with wearing masks.
The Chinese military’s garrison in Hong Kong warned protesters to not target them with laser lights or they would be arrested.
The protests have continued for four months now with no signs of a resolution. Hong Kongers are concerned and angry about China taking their democratic rights away.
In separate but related news, the general manager for NBA team Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, caused anger in China because he tweeted a message of support for Hong Kong protesters. He deleted the tweet, but Axios reported that the Chinese government, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), and multiple Chinese businesses have severed ties with the Rockets. The Rockets and the NBA league are still figuring out their next steps. There is a huge market in China that is interested in the NBA and especially the Houston Rockets because they drafted Yao Ming, who is one of the top Chinese basketball players, in 2002. The Chinese government has a lot of power and control over the market. Yao Ming is actually the president of the Chinese Basketball Association. Multiple U.S. lawmakers, both Republican and Democratic, have pushed the NBA to stand up to China.
Federal judge says Trump must turn over 8 years of tax returns; emergency stay issued
This morning a federal judge in New York ruled that Manhattan’s district attorney could subpoena 8 years of Trump’s personal and business tax returns from his accounting firm.
The DA is investigating whether the Trump Organization falsely listed its $130,000 reimbursement to Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen as a legal expense. The payment was to reimburse Cohen for a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. Daniels claimed to have an affair with Trump shortly after he married his third wife, Melania. Cohen is in jail for campaign finance violations related to this payment, and since Trump is an involved party, he is under criminal investigation, hence the need for his tax returns. Trump sued to block this, but the judge said it has to be handed over.
But later today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, a higher federal court in New York City, granted Trump an emergency stay (a type of block). This means the taxes will not have to be immediately turned over pending a review by a court panel.
Trump’s legal team argued that the Constitution protects presidents from criminal investigations while in office. The New York federal judge, Victor Marrero, said he couldn’t support his argument because it was an excessive assertion of presidential immunity from judicial processes and ordered the taxes to be handed over.
Trump’s taxes has long been a political issue, as he promised to release his taxes during his 2016 campaign but never followed through. His lawyers and the White House have also sued three times, including the above incident, to block the release of his taxes.
Witness in Amber Guyger trial murdered; NYC man arrested for killing 4 homeless men
Here are two top news briefs.
The first — Joshua Xavier Brown, who was a witness in the murder trial of former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, was himself shot and killed on Friday night.
Brown lived at the same apartment building as Guyger and the man she murdered by mistake, Botham Jean. Brown said he was on the same hallway they were in and described hearing sounds of two people meeting by surprise and then two gunshots. He became emotional during his testimony and wiped away tears and said he met Botham Jean for the first time the day he died last year.
Brown’s death on Friday night happened at a different apartment building. There is an investigation and there have been no suspects named. Witnesses only saw a silver four-door sedan speeding off from the parking lot.
There is a lot of shock on social media at the fact that a witness in a murder trial involving a firearm was himself shot and killed a few days after the trial.
The second news — a 24-year-old man, Randy Rodriguez Santos, was arrested and charged with murdering four homeless men in New York City over the weekend by striking them in the head with a 3-foot, 15-pound piece of construction metal. The homeless victims were sleeping on the streets when they were assaulted. A fifth person was injured.
Authorities said they had video of the attacks and saw Santos walking with the metal over his shoulder. It was covered with blood and hair. He confessed that he did it, and it is not known the motive. It seems like Santos is also homeless. He was also charged with unlawful possession of marijuana.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!
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