The Daily Moth 4-18-19 (Full Story)
Highlights of Mueller report; Foal carcass has liquid blood; Texas man with license plate flipper arrested; National Enquirer to be sold for $100 million; Weather Channel knocked off air by software attack; Man arrested at NYC cathedral with gas cans; Deaf Burundian refugee now co-chair of FCC Disability Advisory Committee
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Thursday, April 18. Ready for news?
Highlights of Mueller report
The Justice Department released the Mueller report with redactions this morning. It is 448 pages long and has over 800 redactions.
Here are some highlights.
Mueller said there were two main efforts by Russia to influence the election, the first by a Russian company who created fake social media pages and made posts targeting American voters that mostly supported Trump and Bernie and was against Clinton.
The second was e-mail hacking by the Russian intelligence agency, GRU, who targeted the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign. Mueller said the GRU gave Wikileaks those emails and timed their release to negatively affect Clinton.
Mueller said Russians had some contacts with the Trump campaign team and that they knew they would benefit from Russia’s actions, but that there was no evidence that Trump’s team committed criminal actions by working with Russia or helping them with their actions.
Mueller said when Trump found out that the Mueller investigation started in 2017, he slumped on his chair and told his aides, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m f—-d.”
Mueller said there were 10 episodes where Trump potentially obstructed justice. Those include Trump’s actions with the Michael Flynn investigation, his meetings and firing of former FBI Director Comey, his efforts to stop the Mueller investigation, his efforts for former Attorney General Sessions to reverse his recusal from the investigation and come back, and his conduct towards Michael Cohen.
Mueller said they decided not to make a judgment if Trump obstructed justice because it is Department of Justice’s policy to not charge a sitting president.
Mueller said Trump did not obstruct justice because his staff did not follow some of his orders. He also said Trump expressed his opinions about the investigation and made remarks to witnesses out in the open, in public.
Mueller said the evidence did not mean that Trump was completely innocent. He said if they had confidence that he did nothing criminal, they would have said it.
Mueller said Congress can take actions on obstruction of justice.
Democratic leaders Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer said they disagreed with Attorney General Barr’s conclusion that Trump did not obstruct justice.
Now, what will be the next major event? The House wants Mueller himself to testify before them. Attorney General Barr said he would allow this. The House wants him to testify by May 23.
Another thing to look at in the future is that Mueller made 14 referrals of potential criminal activity to outside federal offices. Two of them are about Michael Cohen and former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig. We don’t know the other 12.
April 18 Top News Briefs: Foal carcass has liquid blood; Texas man with license plate flipper arrested; National Enquirer to be sold for $100 million; Weather Channel knocked off air by software attack
Here are four top news briefs.
The first — Researchers in Russia analyzing a frozen carcass of a foal (baby horse) from 42,000 years ago said they found liquid blood and urine in the animal.
It was found last summer in the Eastern Siberia region. They say it likely drowned in mud, which became permafrost.
Scientists hope to clone the horse, which is an extinct species.
The second news — police in Houston arrested a man for having a license plate flipper that concealed his license plate so he could avoid paying tolls.
He was charged with possession of a license plate flipper, which is illegal in Texas. It is a misdemeanor. Police said he owes $5,400 in tolls.
The third news — the National Enquirer will be sold for $100 million to James Cohen, who is the CEO of Hudson News.
Last year the Enquirer’s owner, American Media, Inc, admitted to working with the Trump presidential campaign to pay $150,000 to a woman who said she had an affair with Donald Trump to keep her story concealed.
Axios reported that AMI’s hedge fund manager was frustrated with the Enquirer’s reporting tactics.
The fourth news — this morning the Weather Channel couldn’t go on air due to a malicious software attack. Their planned morning shows were missing for almost two hours starting at 6 a.m. There were reruns in its place, causing confusion until it was revealed why.
Weather Channel said federal law enforcement is investigating.
Man arrested at NYC cathedral with gas cans
A man, Marc Lamparello, was arrested by NYPD last night after he walked into the St. Patrick Cathedral in Manhattan with two gasoline cans.
He was charged with attempted arson and other charges. Police said it seems like he intended to set a fire because he had over four gallons of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid, and lighters when he walked into the church.
The staff at the church spotted the man carrying the gas cans and detained him until the NYPD came and took him into custody.
This was more alarming because of the Notre Dame fire in France on Monday. There were police guards with long guns outside of the church last night.
Heavy.com reported that Lamparello is a philosophy professor and had a one-way flight ticket from Newark Airport to Rome for tonight.
Deaf Burundian refugee now co-chair of FCC Disability Advisory Committee
Isidore Niyongabo was appointed as the co-chair for the FCC’s Disability Advisory Committee. He represents the National Black Deaf Advocates.
The DAC has multiple Deaf people on the committee representing various organizations.
[Image of FCC’s DAC at a meeting]
Niyongabo posted on his Facebook wall emphasizing he went from being a Deaf Burundian refugee to being the co-chair.
[Facebook post: “From Burundian Deaf Refugee to Co-Chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission’s Disability Advisory Committee. In many case, your passion to serve is your road map to success. Humbled and honored to be able to serve at this level while representing National Black Deaf Advocates and all people with disabilities. I’m grateful to everyone who paved the path for our accessibility and look forward to paying it forward. I am also grateful to work for @convo , a company that give me opportunity to thrive in serving my community on many levels.”
Alex: The Daily Moth had an interview with him.
ALEX: Hello, Isidore (signs name).
NIYONGABO: Hello, Alex. Nice to reconnect with you.
ALEX: That committee has many members and many of them are deaf along with some hearing. Can you explain who these people on the committee are and what they represent?
NIYONGABO: Okay. We have a pretty good number…over 30 organizations and their representatives. Each, some members are interns from companies like Video Relay Service (VRS) providers, Real Time Texting (RTT), companies that provide captions, Deaf organizations and DeafBlind organizations.
Some of them were from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. All of these people have backgrounds mostly in disability communication technology accessibility groups. Diverse group of people.
ALEX: I saw your post on Facebook where you said you were a Deaf refugee fleeing Burundi and now, you’re a co-chairperson on a U.S. federal level committee. What has that journey been like, what has it meant to you and also to other refugees worldwide?
NIYONGABO: As I said in my post, it is true, that sometimes, in many situations, the individual passion to serve can become your best opportunity to be successful in life. Envisioning myself as a Deaf refugee from Burundi, I grew up on a farm where there’s no electricity, no internet and absolutely no technology of any kind including mobile phones, and after I moved here to America, now I have access to countless technology because of people here who believe in equal access for people with disabilities. It started with people who fought to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). That gave us opportunities as individuals. You don’t have to be American-born nor be an U.S. citizen. It really feels like…throughout my education, opportunities and journey, I now have that level of access and that means I owe them a really big debt. I want to take on that responsibility to carry on that legacy. Fortunately, for all refugees… it is important to find a company like Convo for example, they are fully supportive of individual employees to continue to put their hearts into serving their communities. That’s where opportunities rise, and for my nonprofit, IDEAL.
What I learn throughout my experiences, I bring it to the federal level where I can be a part of an opportunity to facilitate between companies who have an interest in profits with those who are users, the consumers who have rights and privileges. We bring them together working on proposals that we present to the federal level where it becomes law. Really, I look forward to continuing our work on that level which will impact people like me. Once, I had nothing and now I have that kind of access.
ALEX: That’s a big step indeed and an inspiration to others, for sure. You represent…
NIYONGABO: Thank you, thank you.
ALEX:…you represent the National Black Deaf Advocates (NBDA), how does that representation influence your position within FCC?
NIYONGABO: Okay. Really, here’s the point, looking back, I’m really thankful to NBDA member, Kari Cooke. She’s was the first member on the Disability Advisory Committee during the first term. Then it was my turn, she asked me to be involved and continue her work. I was a part of the second term and am now on the third term. Keep in mind, I was picked by the previous NBDA administration.
I was willing and comfortable with continuing this work. How does that influence my role? Really, it’s not much of a change. I still was selected as co-chair and still represent the National Black Deaf Advocates, but now as a co-chair, it means my responsibilities has increased. I have to keep in mind that I represent all people with disabilities. That means I have to maintain a balance for company interests and consumers in order to make sure we develop and propose the right law that will make eventual impact on everyone. It’s not just on the national level, but has a global impact because many countries love to copy the U.S.’ leadership.
ALEX: Understood. Do you have anything else you want to add? More comments or more thoughts?
NIYONGABO: Really, I want to encourage people and consumers using any communication technology to be more involved and send comments to FCC if you have any ideas or facing issues. Send, send, send them to us. We have a team that will take emails and filter through them. However, right now, we can’t just bring those comments to the FCC. They have priorities that they need to work on then they’ll pick the top priorities and give them to us to address and create proposals in the future.
The priority of different issues depends on what you bring to the table through the FCC so that we can better advocate for your needs and rights.
ALEX: That’s all the questions I wanted to ask. Thank you very much for representing all these groups on this level at FCC.
NIYONGABO: Thank you, Alex. I appreciate your commitment to making sure the community is included in our work.
Alex: Nice! Thank you for your time. For more information about the DAC and to watch a video of the FCC meeting, the link is in the transcript.
I did an interview with Niyongabo several months ago about his life journey. The link is in the transcript.
FCC DAC Information: http://bit.ly/2VOKitg
FB Post: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155844624476292&set=a.10150764479871292&type=3&theater
Video of DAC Meeting on April 10: https://www.fcc.gov/news-events/events/2019/04/disability-advisory-committee-meeting
Moth Previous Interview: http://bit.ly/2VOKitg
That is all for today! See you tomorrow and stay with the light!