The Daily Moth 8-21-19

Energy Star recommends thermostats be set at 78; Brazilian President Bolsonaro criticized over Amazon rainforest fires and death of indigenous leader; Phoenix police must document each time they point a gun; Political News Briefs: Denmark; budget deficit; anti-Semitism; Sean Spicer; Michael Michner, CPA for multiple Deaf organizations, passes away at 60

[Transcript] Hello, welcome to The Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, August 21. Ready for news?


Energy Star recommends thermostats be set at 78

What is the temperature in your home? A study from the federal government suggests keeping it at 78 degrees and 82 degrees when you sleep so you can get optimal cooling and energy efficiency.

The numbers are from Energy Star, which is managed by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. They said that the thermostat should be set to 78 degrees when you’re inside, but when you’re out of the home, you should set it to 85 degrees.

The Department of Energy said for every degree you raise your thermostat, you will save about three percent on your energy bill.

If you live in an area where it is cool during the night, Energy Star recommends opening windows at night and then shutting all windows and blinds in the morning to trap the cool air inside.

Energy Star said air conditioners costs U.S. homeowners more than $29 billion a year.


Brazilian President Bolsonaro criticized over Amazon rainforest fires and death of indigenous leader

Brazil’s new president Jair Bolsonaro is facing international pressure for his policies on the Amazon rainforest that affect both wildlife and indigenous peoples.

There are reports of massive forest fires in Brazil that has caused air pollution hundreds of miles away.

The fires are said to be from loggers who cut through the Amazon rainforest and then burn the land to prepare it for cattle ranching and agriculture. There are also normal wildfires.

Scientists from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, Inpe, said this year has broken a record for the most fires in Brazil that is observed by satellites. Inpe also said there is a sharp increase in deforestation in the Amazon.

Bolsonaro recently fired the head of the Inpe agency and said the fires are normal for this time of the year as farmers clear land.

Bolsonaro is a leader that prioritizes economic activity over environmental protection.

Bolsonaro said foreign powers are trying to take control of the Amazon and suggested that organizations who are opposed to him were purposefully setting fires.

There is a new trade deal between Brazil and the European Union that may be delayed or suspended because it requires Brazil to halt illegal deforestation in the Amazon.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Germany and Norway this month suspended more than $70 million in financial aid to Brazil’s Amazon Fund. Bolsonaro told reporters that Germany should take the money and reforest Germany. Germany’s embassy in Brazil replied by posting a video showing German forests and a caption that said that a third of Germany is covered by forests.

60% of the Amazon is in Brazil. The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world, is the home to one million indigenous people, about three million species of plants and animals, and produces a large percentage of the world’s oxygen.

In related news, there was controversy a month ago when an indigenous chief, Emyra Wajapi, was found dead on a reservation. There are reports that a group of armed men and wildcat miners invaded their land. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the death was disturbing and that there needs to be an investigation. A Bolsonaro administration official said a police report shows no evidence of an armed group at the time of death.

Advocacy groups for indigenous peoples said Bolsonaro is encouraging the invasion and pillage of land and violence against indigenous peoples.

Bolsonaro said he wants to legalize wildcat miners and allow them to enter the forests in search for gold and other minerals. He also wants to allow indigenous people to mine their reservations.


Phoenix police must document each time they point a gun

City officials in Phoenix announced a new policy that requires police officers to fill out a form every time they point a gun at a person. The incident will then be reviewed by a supervisor.

Police Chief Jeri Williams said this is a first step into being accountable and transparent because it is a traumatic event when a gun is pointed at someone. She also said the data will help document the number of times police de-escalated a situation.

This is a part of a response to criticism of Phoenix police officers who were seen on a video aggressively pointing guns and arresting members of a family with little children on suspicion of shoplifting from a dollar store.

Several large cities, such as Dallas or Baltimore, already have a similar policy with documentation.

There is a mixed reaction to this new policy. Some are concerned it will make police officers’ decision-making process slower, which puts them at risk. Others say the data will help city leaders and residents know more about officers’ actions.

The dollar store investigation is still ongoing. Two months ago, police officers arrested two members of a family on suspicion that their 4-year-old girl stole a doll from the store. The parents were arrested. The family said they didn’t realize the girl took the doll. Police also said there were stolen underwear in the car, but that the property was returned and that the store did not want to prosecute.

The family said they wanted to sue the city for $10 million because they were traumatized.


Political News Briefs: Denmark; budget deficit; anti-Semitism; Sean Spicer

Here are four political news briefs.

The first — President Donald Trump has decided to cancel his trip to Denmark after the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Sunday that Trump’s idea of buying Greenland, which is a Danish territory, is an absurd discussion and that the island is not for sale.

Trump on Twitter thanked the Prime Minister for being so direct and saving him time and expenses. Denmark’s Royal House said they were surprised by the decision. Multiple current and former Danish political leaders criticized Trump with one calling him a “spoiled child.” Trump said the Prime Minister was nasty.

The second news — the Congressional Budget Office said the U.S. budget deficit is expected to surpass $1 trillion by 2020, which is two years earlier than expected. The causes are said to be from the tax cuts act, increased government spending, and rising health care costs.

The deficit will put pressure on President Trump, as he promised in 2016 that he would wipe out the national debt in 8 years.

The third news — President Trump caused controversy when he said American Jewish people who vote for Democrats show either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty. He said this while criticizing Muslim Democratic U.S. Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, who has supported the pro-Palestinian BDS movement. The two were denied entry in Israel after receiving pressure from Trump.

The “disloyalty” comment was considered by many to be an anti-Semitic trope that accused Jewish people of being untrustworthy and of being more devoted to Israel or other Jewish people over their own countries.

This morning Trump doubled down in remarks to reporters, saying that American Jewish people are being disloyal to Jewish people and to Israel when they vote for Democrats. He told a reporter that the remark was only anti-Semitic in their head.

The Pew Research Center said 79% of Jewish Americans voted for Democrats in the 2018 midterms.

The fourth news — President Trump’s first press secretary Sean Spicer will be on the cast of Dancing With the Stars Season 28. DWTS host Tom Bergeon criticized the decision to cast him, but joked that Spicer would be responsible for assessing crowd size.


Michael Michner, CPA for multiple Deaf organizations, passes away at 60

Michael Michner, a Deaf man who was a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and served on the board of multiple Deaf organizations for decades, has passed away at 60 years of age from kidney cancer on August 16.

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) released a statement saying they are deeply saddened and that he was NAD’s Chief Financial Officer since 2012.

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) said he was the Director of Finance from 2013 to 2016.

Michner’s wife, Amy, wrote an obituary and posted it on Facebook.

Michner was born and raised in Fresno, California. He went to the California State University, Northridge and graduated with a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis on Accounting Theory and Practice in 1982.

He became a CPA in 1986 and was one of the three Deaf CPAs in the United States.

He ran a CPA business for over 30 years and served multiple Deaf organizations including the NAD, Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness (GLAD), Deaf Counseling Advocacy and Referral Agency (DCARA), Deaf West Theatre, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service Center (DHHSC), and several other large organizations in the “hearing world.”

Amy said he was considered a mensch by colleagues, friends, and family. Mensch is a Hebrew term that means a person of integrity and honor. Amy said after a short bout with kidney cancer, he passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family. He leaves behind Amy, who he was married for 25 years, and three children.

His funeral is scheduled for Thursday, August 22 in Simi Valley, California. There is a

GoFundMe set up for a memorial fund that will benefit several organizations.

Amy Michner’s post and GoFundMe Link:


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


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