The Daily Moth 10-8-19
Trump administration blocks key figure in impeachment inquiry from deposition; Supreme Court hears three cases on LGBTQ workplace discrimination; FBI says Samuel Little is most prolific serial killer in history; 11 elephants die attempting to cross waterfall; Deaf girl who signed “The Champion” song meets Carrie Underwood
[Transcript] Hello, welcome to The Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, October 8. Ready for news?
Hello, welcome to The Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, October 8. Ready for news?
Trump administration blocks key figure in impeachment inquiry from deposition
House Democrats were set to question the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, this morning in a deposition on what he knew about the Trump-Ukraine-Biden investigations, but the U.S. State Department gave a last-minute order for him to not appear.
Why is Sondland a key figure in Trump’s impeachment inquiry?
He was named in the whistleblower complaint as one of several people who helped to manage the Trump-Ukraine relationship. The House released text messages between Sondland and other officials that showed he knew and was involved with helping Trump’s wish for Ukraine to investigate Burisma, the Ukrainian company that Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was on.
On September 9th, Bill Taylor, a top official at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, texted Sondland telling him that “it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” He was referring to a report at the end of August that the Trump administration was holding up military aid for Ukraine.
Sondland texted that there was no “quid pro quo” — that Trump did not withhold security assistance to Ukraine in exchange for a promise of an investigation. But there are reports that that this text was sent after he spoke with President Trump.
So, we can see that Sondland is an important person to question, but that’s blocked for now. Democrats say this is obstruction, while Republicans say the impeachment process is unfair. Democrats said they will subpoena Sondland.
Sondland is a successful businessman that owns and manages hotels. He donated $1 million to President Trump’s inaugural committee and was appointed to be the EU ambassador in 2018.
Supreme Court hears three cases on LGBTQ workplace discrimination
Today the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing three cases about workplace discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. NPR said the question is “whether employers are free to fire employees because they are gay or transgender.”
One case is about a trans woman who was fired from her workplace at a funeral home after she came out. The second case is about a gay man who was fired from his job as a child welfare services coordinator after his bosses found out he was gay. The third case is a similar workplace firing based on the individual being gay — the individual has passed away but his case is still being represented.
The Deaf Queer Resource Center (DQRC) have made several social media postings to explain the importance of today’s arguments and how the Supreme Court’s decision will have long-lasting impact on LGBTQ people’s lives.
The DQRC explained that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sex, but that there is no clear ruling on if this includes discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. There are only 21 states that have statewide LGBTQ protections for both sexual orientation and gender identity. It means in the other states, outside of cities that have pro-LGBTQ policies, a person can be fired for their LGBTQ identity.
There are many LGBTQ individuals and organizations that are nervous about this case because the Supreme Court now has a conservative majority with two new Trump appointees. The Trump administration will argue in court against the LGBTQ workers.
Conservative or Christian-based groups say “sex discrimination” should not include transgender individuals and expressed concern about transgender athletes in sports or healthcare or social services being required to accommodate transgender people’s requests even if it is against their religious beliefs.
The arguments will be heard today, and the Court’s decision may be handed down several months later, typically in June or July.
FBI says Samuel Little is most prolific serial killer in history
The FBI announced that they consider Samuel Little (79) to be the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history with 50 murders matched to him and 43 more murders pending confirmation. If all the cases are confirmed, that is a total of 93 murders.
Authorities say the murders happened across the U.S. between 1970 and 2005 in 16 states. DNA testing in 2013 revealed that he was linked to many murders. He was charged with three counts of murder in 2014, convicted, and sentenced to three consecutive life terms without parole.
Little confessed to many of the murders after doing interviews with a Texas Ranger who was investigating one of the cold cases. He drew portraits of the victims. He used to be a boxer and moved often from city to city. He targeted vulnerable women such as sex workers or drug addicts and killed them by strangling them.
A FBI official said Little “for many years believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims.”
The FBI is asking the public to help them with their ongoing investigation. Little is in prison in Los Angeles County.
11 elephants die attempting to cross waterfall
In Thailand, at least 11 wild elephants were found dead after falling off a waterfall at a national park. Park officials believe the elephants died trying to save a baby elephant that fell off.
Six elephants, including the baby, were found dead several days ago, but then the number went up to 11 after a drone search spotted five more bodies.
Officials believe all of them were from the same herd that tried to cross a swollen river. There are only two survivors — an adult and a calf who were trapped on the top of a cliff. They were trumpeting and that’s how rangers found them. The two managed to walk away to safety.
Elephants are very social animals who are known to help each other if one of them is in distress. Officials said the two survivors are likely to grieve.
The waterfall is called “Hell’s Abyss” and has a 260 feet drop. In 1992, eight elephants died in a similar way.
Deaf girl who signed “The Champion” song meets Carrie Underwood
Some of you might remember The Daily Moth did an interview with a young deaf girl named Savannah who signed one of Carrie Underwood’s songs, “The Champion” last March and that video went viral.
(Video clip of Savannah performing in 2018)
Savannah is 9 years old and she is in the 4th grade at Maryland School for the Deaf.
On Saturday night, Savannah has officially met her favorite singer, Underwood, in D.C. for Underwood’s Cry Pretty 360 tour.
When the video went viral in March, Underwood also saw Savannah’s video and replied that she would love to meet her too.
(Tweet by Carrie saying, “Savannah, you’re amazing! I’d love to meet you too!”)
Savannah was Underwood’s VIP guest at her concert and these two were able to do a quick duet. That duet video was posted on Underwood's Facebook page.
(Clip of Carrie and Savannah's duet)
The link to the full video is in this transcript. Savannah also posted a short video on her Instagram of Underwood on stage signing “ILY” and “beautiful girl” to her.
(Video clip of Carrie Underwood walking onstage and signing towards Savannah, is off-screen)
Wow! What a moment that Savannah never will forget.
You can follow Savannah on Facebook and Instagram under the username "Savvy ASL"
LINK to Carrie Underwood’s FB https://www.facebook.com/carrieunderwood/videos/541328589952723/
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!
Gallaudet University: [gallaudet.edu]