The Daily Moth 4-23-19 (Full Story)


Political News Briefs: Pete Buttigieg runs for president; Joe Biden expected to run; Supreme Court on census citizenship question; Updates on Sri Lanka explosions; Woman with a gun and baby threatens to blow up church; Orphaned gorillas strike a pose with ranger; Opposition against proposed jail on Missouri Deaf campus


Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, April 23. Ready for news?


Political News Briefs: Pete Buttigieg runs for president; Joe Biden expected to run; Supreme Court on census citizenship question

Here are three political news briefs.

The first — two weeks ago, Pete Buttigieg (37), a former two-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced he will run for the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential race.

He looks like a dark horse candidate as he was not really well-known in the Democratic race, but have been rapidly attracting new supporters with his social media posts, appearances on TV, and maybe because of his interesting name and background.

He graduated from Harvard, served in Afghanistan for seven months when he was in the Navy Reserve, is a Christian, and is openly gay and is married to a man, Chasten Glezman.

Buttigieg is a strong advocate on combating climate change, supports gun control policies, likes the idea of a single-payer (free, universal) health care system, supports DACA, and supports transgender people serving in the military.

There is some controversy with his leadership when he was mayor because he demoted the city’s first black police chief in 2012, who sued the city for racial discrimination.

He will be someone to watch in the Democratic race.

The second news — Axios reported that Joe Biden will announce that he’s entering the 2020 presidential race this week. If he does enter, he will be a strong candidate because of his experience of being Barack Obama’s vice president. He had recent controversy with several women saying he went over the line in how he touched them.

The third news — the Supreme Court heard arguments today on if the Trump administration’s decision to add a U.S. citizenship question to the U.S. census is unconstitutional. Two lower federal judges said it was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has 5 conservatives and 4 liberals. They will make their ruling by June.

Those are the three political news briefs for today.


Updates on Sri Lanka explosions

This is an update on the explosions in Sri Lanka that happened this recent Easter Sunday. The State minister for defense said that after investigation, it shows that this attack was a retaliation (repay) for what happened last month. There was a terror attack at the Christchurch mosque in New Zealand so because of that, this recent attack was a “response” to it. The government said that the attack was done by the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), a local Islam militant group. The Islamic State group claimed that they are responsible for the attack. As of now we know a total of 321 people were killed including 4 people from USA. Among the 4 people from USA was a 5th grade student from Sidwell Friends (a private school in Washington DC which Barack and Michelle Obama’s daughters attended), the boy’s name was Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa. He was on leave of absence as he was studying and living in Sri Lanka. He was planning to return to Sidwell this year. Unfortunately he died from the bombs. The school shared that Kieran loved learning and enjoyed his friends a lot. There were many Sri Lankan victims that died. Two of the victims were a celebrity chef, Shantha Mayadunne and her daughter, Nisanga. Shantha was a well known figure in Sri Lanka. She had her own cooking show for the local television. On that Easter Sunday morning, Nisanga (the daughter) posted a picture of her and the family and quoted, “Easter breakfast with the family” and then a few minutes later the bomb went off. The Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne mentioned that the NTJ already warned the country’s top officials earlier this month that an attack would happen. Also, the International intelligence agencies began warning the country’s officials on April 4th and again on the 9th including the name of the group- NTJ, but they ignored the warnings. Senaratne also mentioned that the country’s Prime Minister and his cabinet were unaware of the warnings due to the political issues. The country’s officials did not realize how severe the attacks would be. They thought it would be one or two, but not as many attacks that happened. The bombers were all Sri Lankans with international networks. Many people from all over the world have shared their griefs and expressed to show their support towards Sri Lanka about this sad incident.


Woman with a gun and baby threatens to blow up church

In San Diego, California, on this recent Easter Sunday, a woman went in a church with a baby and a handgun threatening to blow up the church during their Easter services. The church members tackled the woman to stop her. The San Diego police arrived within two minutes after the 911 call because the alerts were already heightened due to the Sri Lanka incident. This woman’s name is Anna Conkey who is 31 years old. Anna went on the church stage, holding the baby, and waving the handgun. The Church members was able to get the baby out of her arms and got the handgun out of her hands before tackling her. The church leader Ben Wisan mentioned that Anna is familiar to the church. The police brought a bomb-sniffing dog and did not find anything around the building or in Anna’s car. Her gun was not loaded either. Anna has two children. Both of them are currently under protective custody.


Orphaned gorillas strike a pose with ranger

A photo of two park rangers taking a selfie with two gorillas went viral on Facebook. The park rangers who work at the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo are part of anti-poaching (illegal hunting) unit. Ranger Mathieu Shamavu took a photo of two endangered female gorillas who stood upright exactly like how humans stand. This photo went viral because many people could not believe that the gorillas stood upright like humans. However, the administrators from the national park also shared a concern that the reason why this was possible (both gorillas standing up) because the gorillas are in a sanctuary. The gorillas learned to imitate their caretakers that have been taking care of them since they were 4 months old. The gorillas see the caretakers as their mothers because gorillas’ actual mothers were killed in 2007. So the administrators encouraged people that it is okay to be amazed with the photo but it does not mean that you can approach the gorillas in the wild and take a selfie. About 1/3 of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas live on this national park in Congo.


Opposition against proposed jail on Missouri Deaf campus

A few weeks ago I reported that Callaway County commissioners in Fulton, Missouri were considering claiming an unused building on the Missouri School for the Deaf campus, Rice Hall, to turn it into a justice center that could include a jail.

Many MSD alumni and local community members were opposed to this.

There was a “Support MSD” meeting on Friday at a room at William Woods University (WWU) in Fulton. It was hosted by an interpreting student, Maddy Brown, who has emerged as a community activist. She did a vlog and started a petition on that has almost 3,000 signatures.

An MSD alumni and community leader, Dave Eaker, attended the meeting, as well as other alumni and community members. The meeting was featured by local news.

I reached out to both Brown and Eaker for an interview.



Hello, could the two of you can introduce yourselves with your names and who you are. Let’s start with Maddy.

MADDY BROWN: Hi, my name is Maddy Brown and this is my sign name. I’m a student at William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri. I’m studying to eventually become an ASL interpreter.

ALEX: And now you.

DAVE EAKER: Hello, my name is Dave Eaker from Missouri. I grew up and am an alumni of Missouri School for the Deaf (MSD).

ALEX:I know there was a big news story 2-3 weeks ago that a jail, police station and justice center might be built on the MSD property. Have you seen how the alumni and the community feel about it? Any positive or negative reactions to that idea?

DAVE:Deaf people read about this in the Fulton newspaper then the story went viral with a lot of vlogs. MSD staff sent a barrage of emails to our Missouri state senator. Her last name is Riddle. She didn’t even bother to respond to anything. Nothing. We’re still sending her emails.And I even asked both hearing and deaf people about their thoughts on building the jail in the school property. They were all adamantly against it. They strongly disagree with this.

ALEX: Did any of the government or city leaders or city commissioners to last Friday’s meeting?

BOTH: Yes.

DAVE: I have to really thank Maddy for bringing attention to the meeting. That made a really big difference…because two commissioners were there.

They realized the Deaf culture was very strong and deaf people are highly visual. For example, if a prison was built on the MSD campus, how would that affect parents with young deaf children? Those parents would be terrified and take their kids out of MSD. They wouldn’t leave their kids there. That would affect the enrollment drastically cutting it down and maybe have to close MSD.

Then that would’ve affected the city of Fulton and its economy by disrupting it. Jobs would be lost.

And one more thing, after the deaf participants shared their concerns, I met with these commissioners. They said they didn’t realize that there would be such a strong effect and that they would pass on my comments at the meeting.

I really hope this changes their minds.

ALEX:Do you feel like there is unity amongst the deaf community, ASL students and everyone in the signing community? Do they all feel the same way in being opposed to the building of the jail?

BOTH: Yes.

MADDY: They all disagree.

DAVE: Even the non-signing hearing people were against the idea. Both deaf and hearing communities are opposed to this.

ALEX: What are your plans moving forward in pushing back against the idea of building this jail? What are you plans?

MADDY: That’s a good question. I think the first thing we need to do is stay informed. That means I need to, everyone really, should follow the news. All the meetings with the local government officials need to be on public record that everyone can access online. My suggestion is to follow the news. We want to stay informed, so you know when that happens. If you know then we can take actions and decide on what to do at the moment. The first thing is staying informed and secondly, I also think it’s important if you have an opinion you need to contact your local government officials through writing a letter or emailing or in person. It’s important to let them know what you think. If you never let them know then they will make decisions for you.

That will happen. It’s important that your opinion is shared. That’s really what I would suggest.

ALEX: Any more comments from you, Dave?

DAVE: Yes. All deaf people need to keep a close eye on that situation. Check on it through the internet and stay updated. They need to check and see if all their senate bills go through or not. Watch them as closely as possible. I really do thank deaf people and others for making it know what’s happening on our school property, about our senators and the county jail and the commission.

Keep a really close watch as you possibly can on these things.

Our commissioners and many deaf people are really thankful of Maddy for her activism. We very much appreciate her.

MADDY: It’s something you should value and get involved in. I just want to give the deaf community a stage like in my school where there’s a room available for use. That event is for the deaf community to express their feelings. It’s not for me and it’s not for my benefit. It’s for the deaf community. That’s the focus.


Alex: Thank you for your time and for sharing.

The Fulton Sun quoted two commissioners. One said he did not realize the community would have this “much weight on their shoulders.” Another said it seems unlikely that the commission would acquire Rice Hall because they will not save as much money as they thought they would due to a larger-than-expected building size, costly renovation costs, and other factors.

We see from the interview that both Brown and Eaker are going to keep a microscopic level of attention to any progress towards or away from building a jail on campus.


That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!