The Daily Moth 4-30-2019
Top News Briefs: Venezuelan President Maduro challenged by opposition leader Guaido; Trump and children sues banks to block Democratic subpoenas; ISIS leader al-Baghdadi appears in video; Film director John Singleton passes away at 51; Beluga whale with harness suspected to be Russian spy; US Army Veteran plotted terror attack; Deaf “hero” presumed dead in Idaho after attempting river rescue; Interview with Kelby Brick, recipient of “Leadership in Law” award from The Daily Record
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, April 30. Ready for news?
Top News Briefs: Venezuelan President Maduro challenged by opposition leader Guaido; Trump and children sues banks to block Democratic subpoenas; ISIS leader al-Baghdadi appears in video
Here are three top news briefs.
The first — in Venezuela, there is a fresh challenge against President Nicolas Maduro from opposition leader Juan Guaido, who posted a video of him standing at a military base with soldiers. He called on Venezuelans and the military to rise up against Maduro.
There are reports of fighting between the two sides with tear gas smoke. There is a large protest planned on Wednesday. The Trump administration supports Guaido.
The second news — President Trump and his three eldest children have sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One to block Congressional Democrats’ subpoenas for Trump’s financial records.
Trump’s side said the subpoenas were harassing and that it was to politically damage him, while two Democratic committee chairpersons said the lawsuit shows that Trump is obstructing Congress’ oversight authority.
The third news — several media sources reported that ISIS released a new, 18-minute video of their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The video seems to be filmed within the past month because he talked about recent events. There was also an audio recording of him talking about the Sri Lanka bombings. This means he is likely still alive, although ISIS has lost its land in Iraq and Syria. He has a U.S. bounty of $25 million on his head and he is the world’s most wanted man.
Al-Baghdadi: https://www.axios.com/isis-leader-baghdadi-video-alive-651245da-fef1-4741-854e-c739116fdc78.html /// https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-48098528
Film director John Singleton passes away at 51
John Singleton, an Oscar award nominated filmmaker best known for directing “Boyz N the Hood” and “Poetic Justice” has died yesterday (Monday) after he was taken off life support. He had a stroke on April 17. He was 51 years old. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences showed grief and tweeted that he was the youngest ever Best Director nominee and an inspiration to all. Singleton was the first African-American filmmaker nominated for Best Director Oscar for his debut feature from 1991, “Boyz N The Hood.” He was 24 at at time and remains the youngest director to receive that nomination. He also did major films such as “Shaft” in 2000 and “2 Fast 2 Furious” in 2003. Singleton died with his family and friends surrounding him at a hospital. Many mentioned that Singleton is an inspiration them and that his work will never be forgotten.
Beluga whale with harness suspected to be Russian spy
Fishermen near the small Norwegian fishing village of Inga reported last week that a white beluga whale wearing a strange harness had begun to bother the fishing boats. This whale came close to the boats and the fishermen saw that the whale had a harness around the body. The whale was behaving strangely by looking around the boats, trying to pull straps and ropes from the sides of the boat. The harness around the whale seems to be for a camera or some weapon. This raised suspicions with marine experts that this whale has been given military training by a neighboring country, Russia. The fishermen removed the harness and on the harness it said, “Equipment of St. Petersburg.” The reason why the suspicions were made was because in the past, Russia had domestic whales in captivity and it seems some have been released. In the 1980’s Soviet Russia set up a program that used dolphins for military training by having them act as underwater tools for detecting weapons. That program closed in the 1990’s, but in 2017, a report was made that the Russian Navy was using and training beluga whales, seals, and dolphins in polar waters. It is uncertain what that beluga whale was used for, but there are suspicions.
US Army Veteran plotted terror attack
A U.S. Army veteran was arrested as he was on his final stages of planning to bomb a white supremacist rally in California. Mark Domingo (26) allegedly plotted terror attacks on Jews, churches, and police in revenge for the New Zealand mosque shootings. He recently converted to Islam and supported violent jihad. According to court documents, Mark was planning to plant homemade explosive devices made with nail-filled pressure cookers that would explode by itself or set off by a timer. Mark said he intended to buy 3 inch nails so they would be long enough to penetrate in a human body and puncture internal organs. Mark was a former infantryman and had combat experience in Afghanistan so he was able to take steps to build and detonate a weapon of mass destruction. Authorities said his plan was to go to the Long Beach rally where white supremacists were planning to get together. When he bought the nails last Thursday, he allegedly sent a message to another person who was actually a FBI undercover agent, that the bombing was to proceed. He got a "fake" bomb from the FBI agent and was arrested. So, Mark was caught before anything could happen. He faces terrorism-related charges. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in federal prison.
Deaf “hero” presumed dead in Idaho after attempting river rescue
A Deaf man in Idaho, Keawe Pestana (34), is missing and presumed dead after he jumped into a rushing river to try and rescue three children and an adult who fell out of a canoe.
His sister, Kealani, confirmed to “The Daily Moth” that he is presumed dead.
The Idaho County Sheriff’s Office said yesterday in a Facebook post that this happened on Friday, April 26 at the Big Salmon river in Riggins. The children and the adult who fell out had life jackets on and made it to safety, but Pestana disappeared under the water. They said the river is very cold and dangerous, and that people should always wear a life jacket.
Kealani said there were several days of searching by ground and air, but that the air searches has concluded. She said the sheriff’s department will drive along the river to check the area and have asked people in the area to share any information. The sheriff can’t send divers in because it is too dangerous with the water moving too fast.
Kealani said it is very hard for her to believe that he is gone and not coming back. She said without a body, she still has hope that a miracle can happen. She said that they are still in shock and have a hard time believing this is really happening.
Pestana was born and raised in Hawaii. His mother’s side of the family is from Idaho.
Kealani shared a quote about her brother and sent me a video of him traveling in the Philippines.
[Video clips of Pestana going on an adventure trip in a tropical setting]
“Keawe is the most selfless person I know. He is the first to lend a hand and truly has a heart of gold. This quality, his fearlessness and his bravery is exemplified in his decision to enter the river that day. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Keawe did not stop to think about himself for a single second. As is with all things in his life, the well being of others was his priority. Keawe is a hero.”
Alex: Thank you for sharing, Kealani. There were many messages of shock and grief posted by those in the Deaf community.
Pestana has a sister, Kealani, and a younger sister who is 6.
Idaho County Sheriff’s Office: http://bit.ly/2vssd8H
Local news coverage: http://bit.ly/2LeCW1s
Interview with Kelby Brick, recipient of “Leadership in Law” award from The Daily Record
Kelby Brick, a Deaf lawyer and Director of the Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, received a “Leadership in Law Award” from a Baltimore area newspaper, The Daily Record.
A press release from the ODHH explained that Brick was selected by an outside panel of judges for his professional achievement, community service, and mentoring.
Here is an interview with Brick.
Hello, Kelby. Congratulations on your award. What does the award mean to you?
Brick: Thank you, Alex. I’m truly touched and honored. Many times the staff have worked relentlessly creating change whether it’s in policy, law and more which impact the Deaf community. Various hearing people do not realize this. Now, with this award, they’re recognizing the hard work I along with many others put in. It’s a really fulfilling feeling for me.
Knowing how important this is, I hope this opens more doors and we can make progress on certain issues, change lives and ensure deaf people are equal with hearing people.
Alex: In my generation, when I grew up, you were one of the first well-known Deaf lawyers. Now it is 2019. What is your viewpoint on what kind of impact Deaf lawyers have on improving Deaf people’s lives?
Brick: That’s a great question. When I started out as a novice, I was one of a few deaf people in the legal field. Those deaf people who came before me worked hard, opened doors for me and I’m grateful for them. Now, I’m working on opening more doors for future generations and we’re already seeing many more deaf lawyers which is wonderful. That’s important to me.
This award recognizes many different fields of law. Some of them specialize in lawsuits and trial processes which I used to be heavily involved with. There are other fields as well. For example, recently our office had a meeting with the Division of Rehabilitation Services to discuss the limited employment options for deaf people. What I did was strongly recommend that they hire deaf people and made it clear that this was an urgent need. After some time, they made significant progress in hiring deaf employees and clients had success in finding job opportunities. Statistics showed that the rates had more than doubled. This was a historical moment for us because our lawyers provided support and pushed for this in different ways not necessarily in the courtroom. There’s been increases in different places.
Alex: In your office’s announcement video about your award, you said “civil rights are never given, only taken.”
What did you mean by this, why did you say that?
Brick: You know deaf and hearing people should be equal in all facets of life, but we’re still slowly achieving this goal. We achieve these goals, not by sympathy of hearing people, but by fighting for what’s rightfully ours inch by inch. For example, I just described our successful meeting with the Division of Rehabilitation Services and the increase in employment. We did this by applying great pressure and this achieved results. If I had asked them to do it as a favor, I would’ve been rebutted. I had to fight for it and if I want to see more results, I have to fight for it and provide constant advocacy. That’s how.
Alex: Do you have anything to add?
Kelby: I want to recognize and thank the (Maryland) Governor Larry Hogan who’s been a wonderful supporter of the deaf community here and of this office. He’s always encouraged us to keep moving ahead and understands the importance of bilingualism among other goals. He understands the importance of having a deaf ecosystem, investing in it, providing economic empowerment and creating job opportunities. We can do the same by thinking about how we can support deaf businesses, job opportunities among different things. We can do this by recognizing different backgrounds, different lifestyles and when we come together as one, we become stronger. I want us to do more of this, working together and sharing resources so that we create a future of limitless potential.
Alex: Thank you very much for your time. Congratulations on the award.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!