The Daily Moth 5-29-19

Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, May 29. Ready for news?


Mueller’s first public comments on Russia investigation

Today Special Counsel Robert Mueller gave his first public comments about the Russia investigation — he has not spoken in public for two years.

Here are the highlights.

Mueller said he was appointed to investigate interference in the 2016 elections and any links with the Trump campaign.

He said there are indictments against Russian government officials and employees for hacking into Clinton’s campaign and releasing stolen information to damage a presidential candidate.

Mueller said there was not enough evidence to charge the Trump campaign with conspiracy of working with the Russians.

Mueller then moved on to the obstruction of justice phase of the investigation. He said if he was confident that President Trump did not commit a crime, he would have said it.

He said it is the Department of Justice’s policy to not charge a President with a federal crime while he is in office, so his office couldn’t do this.

Mueller said the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing.

Mueller said this is why they did not make a determination on if Trump committed a crime or not.

He said he appreciates Attorney General Barr’s decision to make the Mueller report mostly public.

Mueller said the heart of the investigation and the indictmenst is that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election.

He said the Special Counsel’s office is formally closed and that he is resigning from the DOJ and returning to private life. He did not answer any questions and walked out after his remarks.

Democrats have looked at Mueller’s remarks as a call for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump.

President Trump tweeted that “the case is closed” because there was insufficient evidence and in our country this means a person is innocent.


Netflix opposes GA abortion law, will continue filming

Yesterday, Netflix announced that they would partner with American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other organizations in fighting the anti-abortion “heartbeat bill” in Georgia that was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp earlier this month.

However, Netflix will continue to film there because the legislation still has not gone into effect yet and they said they will support partners and artists who choose not to film there.

Georgia has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the United States, banning abortion procedures as soon as doctors can detect a fetal heartbeat, which generally occurs at six weeks. Abortions are prohibited afterwards.

The heartbeat law will go into effect on January 1st, 2020 if it is able to win court challenges.

Netflix’s Chief Content Officer said that Netflix has many women working on productions in Georgia whose rights will be severely restricted by the law.

When the law does come into effect, Netflix will rethink their entire investment in Georgia.

Georgia offers up to 30% in tax credits for productions that has helped attract major productions including all the “Hunger Games” movies, Marvel movies: “Black Panther” and “Captain America: Civil War,” along with the TV show “Stranger Things”.


More than 8 tornadoes reported for 12th straight day

Yesterday, at least 27 tornadoes were reported to the National Weather Services (NWS) mostly in Kansas, Missouri and some in Pennsylvania and Illinois.

There was a tornado in Linwood, Kansas, near Kansas City last night that destroyed multiple homes.

Tornado warnings were also issued in parts of New York City and northern New Jersey.

This is the 13th straight day that a tornado has touched down and the 12th straight day that at least eight tornadoes were reported. In both instances, this is the first time since 1980.

This map shows all the tornadoes that have touched down the past 12 days. [LINK]

Forecasters said that tornadoes might continue to appear until late this week. The National Weather Service said they have received more than 500 tornado reports in the past 30 days, but said the same thing happened in 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2011.

There is another potential weather-related disaster in Arkansas. The Arkansas River is swollen and is expected to break a flooding record. There are several communities in Arkansas and Oklahoma that are threatened by the water pushing up against levees.

The Mississippi River is also flooded, affecting about 8 states.

Image of Kansas Tornado:


Uber driver denies ride for DeafBlind woman with service dog

On Local 10 news in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, there was an article about an incident on Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. An Uber driver denied a ride for Robbie Esper, a DeafBlind woman, apparently because she had a service dog named Sarah, a Black Labrador.

Esper has Ushers syndrome, where she develops tunnel vision, and she is deaf, so she requires a service dog to navigate. She is able to use her voice to communicate.

Esper said when her Uber ride arrived at the airport, the driver told Esper that he would not let her and her service dog into the car and closed the windows. The driver then cancelled the ride and drove away, but Esper was able to photograph the car.

Later, another Uber driver came to pick her up. Esper says this experience has made her angry and extremely frustrated.

In 2016, in a settlement with the National Federation of the Blind, Uber agreed to require that all of its drivers provide equal service to people with disabilities who use service animals.

A spokesman for Uber told Local 10 news that the company has reached out to Esper to offer their support, and that the driver’s access to Uber has been suspended while they investigate.

Esper posted on her Facebook wall that she was refunded $25.30 to use for future rides with Uber, but she said Uber was out of their minds if they think she will ever use their services again. She said she will not go down without a fight and wants to make changes in how they operate.


SouthWest College for the Deaf removes “institute” from its name

The Southwest College for the Deaf (SWCD) has changed its name from their previous name of Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID).

The Big Spring Herald reported that the name change was approved by state legislature, has been signed in law, and will be official this September. But SWCD is already moving forward with the name change on campus.

The SWCD program is exclusively for deaf and hard of hearing students and is administered by Howard College.

College President Dr. Cheryl Sparks told the Herald that they wanted it to be SWCD from the beginning, but issues with accreditation and a moratorium on the creation of new colleges prevented it, so they went with SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf.

The program was founded under the leadership of a deaf man, Dr. Douglas Burke, who was SWCD (SWCID)’s first Executive Director. He worked with local, state, and federal lawmakers to make his vision of a postsecondary program for deaf students a reality.

President Sparks told the newspaper that the word “institute” is an offensive word in the deaf culture and that it was something that the deaf community has wanted for a long time.

SWCD offers several educational programs in various fields such as ASL, automotive maintenance, computer and information systems, or welding. Some credits can be transferred to Howard College so the student can get an Associate of Arts or Sciences degree.

So, it’s no longer SWCID, but SWCD.


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