The Daily Moth 8-5-2019
China devalues currency amid trade war; Grandmother reports grandson’s mass shooting plot; India moves to end Kashmir region’s autonomy; Toni Morrison passes away at 88; Cesar Sayoc sentenced 20 years; Garlic Festival shooting investigated as domestic terrorism; Two Deaf cyclists ride across USA, raise over $20k for deaf children
Hello, welcome to The Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, August 6. Ready for news?
China devalues currency amid trade war
Yesterday the central bank in China allowed their currency, the yuan, to weaken in value. It went below 7 yuan against the U.S. dollar. The last time this happened was 10 years ago.
The People’s Bank of China said this was because of tariffs and the ongoing trade war.
BBC News explained that China controls the currency and that devaluing the yuan makes their products more attractive to international buyers. This is how China can compete with the U.S. and offset the impact of tariffs.
Last week U.S. President Trump said he would impose a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods. There are already hundreds of billions of dollars of products that have tariffs both ways.
China’s move had a negative impact on the U.S. stock market, causing the Dow to fall by over 700 points yesterday.
President Trump and the U.S. Treasury Department said China was a currency manipulator and have filed an official complaint with the International Monetary Fund.
BBC explained that China’s move could have a negative effect on Chinese individuals and businesses because a weaker yuan means it is more expensive to purchase goods from other countries.
CNN Business explained that U.S. stocks are improving this morning after China moved up the yuan’s value.
Grandmother reports grandson’s mass shooting plot
[Transcript] In Lubbock, Texas, a grandmother reported to police that her grandson, William P. Williams (19), was planning a mass shooting. He was arrested.
Federal authorities explained that in July, Williams allegedly told his grandmother that he just bought an AK-47 rifle and planned to shoot up a hotel and then commit suicide by cop. The grandmother convinced Williams to check in a local hospital, then informed police.
Law enforcement went into a hotel room under Williams’ name and found an AK-47 rifle, 17 magazines full of ammo, multiple knives, and tactical clothes that included a black t-shirt that said, “Let ‘Em Come.” Williams cooperated with the investigation.
ATF agents said Williams put in false information on forms he filed out to purchase the rifle. He was arrested and charged with making false statements to a firearms dealer, which has a penalty of up to five years in federal prison.
A U.S. attorney said this was a tragedy averted and praised the grandmother for saving lives.
India moves to end Kashmir region’s autonomy
India’s government, led by Prime Minister Modi and the Hindu majority party BJP, has made moves to end the Kashmir region’s autonomy by changing the Indian constitution.
The Kashmir region has been mostly under its own control for 70 years and is in an area that both Pakistan and India claim control over. It is made up of a majority of people who are Muslim. There have been wars between Pakistan and India over the region. There is a ceasefire line that dictates which half of the region belongs to which country. But there are insurgents in the Indian side that are opposed to Indian control with violence going on for 30 years.
The Indian government said they would revoke almost all of Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which grants the Kashmir people certain freedoms and makes it possible to bar people outside of Kashmir to buy land there. This means India is moving to seize political control of the region.
BBC News said there are thousands of Indian troops in the Kashmir region, that schools and colleges were shut down, tourists ordered to leave, telephone and internet services cut off, and that local political leaders were placed under house arrest.
There is major controversy on this decision. Supporters of the Indian government’s decision say it will bring improvements in Kashmir, stop corruption, and allow development to take place.
Opponents say the Kashmir people now feel fear and oppression, that there may be violence in the near future, and say India just wants to occupy the lands and disempower them.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Khan said India is acting reckless and that it will lead to terror attacks. Pakistan also said their military will support Kashmiris.
Toni Morrison passes away at 88
Author Toni Morrison has passed away at 88 years of age. She is well-known for her novel, “Beloved,” which won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The book is about a female African-American slave and her trauma-filled life after she escaped from slavery. The story involves a ghost.
The book was turned into a film in 1998, which was produced by Oprah Winfrey, who also had a leading role with Danny Glover.
Morrison wrote several other books and received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Obama in 2012. She was the first black woman to receive a Nobel prize.
She graduated from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and Cornell University in New York. She worked as a book editor for Random House and is credited with supporting the work of other African American authors.
Many people on social media said her work had a tremendous impact on their lives and understanding of the world.
Cesar Sayoc sentenced 20 years; Garlic Festival shooting investigated as domestic terrorism
Here are two news briefs.
The first — Cesar Sayoc, who mailed 16 inoperative bombs to Democratic political leaders and members of the media who were well-known critics of Donald Trump, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He is 57 years old. He apologized in court and said he should have listened to his mother, who is the love of his life. He said he did not intend for his bombs to explode and that he struggled with mental illnesses and overuse of steroids. His public defenders said he was obsessed with Trump.
The second news — the FBI said they are investigating the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting in California as domestic terrorism. Three people died, including two children. Their names were Trevor Irby (25), Keyla Salazar (13), and Stephen Romero (6). Authorities said the suspect, Santino W. Legan (19), who killed himself during a firefight with police, had list of targets against other churches, religious groups, both political parties, and other nationwide organizations. Authorities also said they have not determined what ideology Legan had. This is the second domestic terrorism investigation opened this week with the first on the El Paso shooting.
Two Deaf cyclists ride across USA, raise over $20k for deaf children
$25,000. 4,000 miles. 10 states. 2 Deaf cyclists. One goal. Catchy, right? Conrad Baer, who recently completed his MA at Boston University and Albert Blake, a teacher at Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD) and a full time graduate student at Gallaudet University, are riding across the USA for a cause.
[Video clip of both starting their cycling journey]
Baer and Blake started their journey in Yorktown, Virginia. They will end in Astoria, Oregon.
Baer and Blake are raising support for the American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC). The funding will help ASDC’s resources for reaching out to more families with deaf children for opportunities to teach sign language.
Baer and Blake recently hit the 3,000 miles mark.
The Daily Moth reached out to Baer and Blake for an interview. At the time of our interview, they were in Missoula, Montana.
They said that they wanted to experience riding across the USA, but also wanted to give back to our Deaf community by donating to ASDC. We asked them the reason of choosing to have all donations go to ASDC.
Okay, first of all, we had decided to bike across America over the summer of 2019. Then I had this thought. Why not do a fundraiser at the same time while we’re promoting our trip? We could really give back to the Deaf community this way. We could make it more than just checking off our bucket list of experiences. We came to an agreement then we talked about how we wanted to contribute in a way towards children, toward language access. This is something we can give back to our children because they are our future generations. We thought this was important then we talked about different ideas and organizations we could donate the money to. We decided on ASDC which focuses on families and deaf children. We’ve noticed that many deaf children don’t have language access at home. Perhaps because often when they’re born, the parents don’t know what to do though it’s not their fault. It could be that their views are just different. Their doctors might not have the right answers. There’s a huge gap that causes language deprivation among deaf children. We want to reduce that, but how? ASDC has resources that they can provide for hearing families with deaf children. With the funds raised, we can support these children and reduce that gap.
And also, I work with deaf children. I work at MSSD so I pretty much work with children and I’ve seen some of them who are delayed in terms of language because of different reasons including the parents’ decisions. You know, that has an effect on me. I’m doing this for our future deaf children. I agreed to it and thought we should definitely do it!
Yes and actually…
I am flexible…
I’m a teacher too, so we feel that it’s our job. Our career has always been about supporting our deaf children.
The original goal was to raise $15,000, but they reached that goal really quickly, so they set a new goal which is now $25,000. Right now, they are almost at $23,000.
We asked what did they do to prepare for riding across USA.
Yeah, we did train before doing this. Last summer, we did a 4-day trip starting in New York, in a small town called New Windsor which is near Albany, and biked to Boston, Massachusetts. We did it in 4 days for our training.
240 miles, right?
Yes, it was 240 miles. It helped us get a better idea of what was to come.
Did I feel like I had sufficient, serious training before this trip? Not really, we did do the 240-mile trip then I got my new bike specifically for tour biking last April. I’ve ridden my bikes over a total of 200 miles over different days. My real training was after the first week of the trip. I was just thrown into the water with all this biking.
We asked them if they could share a significant experience from their journey.
Something unbelievable happened to me in Montana.
It was two days ago.
Two, three days. Right. On that day, we had to bike 77 miles and we also had to climb over two different passes. During the first pass, I was going uphill. We were kind of biking a little bit slowly uphill.
I was right behind him.
We were on a road in the country, on a highway, where we were biking around a curve. It’s hard for the passerby drivers to see us. While we biked on by, what happened was this one gold pickup truck sped up right by us then pulled over and stopped in front of us. The door opened and it was a young woman in her 30s who jumped out of her truck, ran towards us and started yelling at me. She got up in front of me yelling and pointing at the road. I was still trying to bike uphill. When I got closer to her, I told her that I was deaf and that I couldn’t hear her. The woman just stopped talking. Then I told her to step aside because she was in my way. I was allowed to bike on this road because my map said so. While I was asking her to move, I could see she was getting a little more upset. Once I closed in on her, I just moved to the side myself then the woman decided to push me. She pushed me on the side. Luckily, I was a little prepared, so I absorbed the impact and didn’t fall over. I just moved over to the shoulder so I could stop. The woman proceeds to yell at him too.
She got all up in front of me. She didn’t push me though, but she was saying something I couldn’t understand. The weird thing was she had 3 dogs in the back of her pickup truck. They were getting agitated too. The woman wanted us to move over so she could drive by. We refused to move so she just drove around us and sped up past us.
The road was really narrow too, and we could barely stay on the shoulder. We tried to give her enough room so she could drive past us. I was so confused. We were definitely allowed to bike on the road. My map said it was allowed so I followed the directions. Some drivers just despise bikers. I just never thought that someone would get out of their cars and push me.
Yeah, it was unbelievable.
We asked if there was anything that they wanted to say to our Deaf community.
To our fans out there, biking across America has been a great experience. Our number one goal in fundraising is to hit $25,000. We’ve now earned $22,000 so far. That’s only less than $3,000 to go! I want to ask the community for their support. Remember, your donations do not go towards our travels. It goes directly to the deaf children. That can have an impact on many families where their Deaf children will have language access at home. That’s our goal: $25,000. Your support would be greatly appreciated.
People have been sending us random messages of support for our mission, support for ASL and these kinds of messages. I just want to say that we appreciate it and to keep on sending these messages!
They started on June 8thand plan on reaching Astoria by August 11th. They are currently in Oregon. You can follow them on their Facebook page “Baer and Blake Across America.” You can also help them reach their $25,000 goal by making a donation. Link is in the transcript.
We, the Daily Moth, wish you the best of luck with the last leg of your trip!
Captioned by www.aslcaptions.com
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!