The Daily Moth 9-4-19 [LIVE]
Hurricane Dorian devastates Bahamas; Updates on Texas shooter; clarifications on gun laws; Hong Kong leader withdraws extradition bill; Trump accused of fake hurricane map; Boris’ Brexit turmoil; Pentagon diverting $3.6B for wall
[Transcript] Hello, welcome to The Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, September 4. I had a filming this morning and a long meeting in the afternoon, so I’m going to do a Facebook LIVE news show today.
Hurricane Dorian devastates Bahamas
The death toll from Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas has increased to seven people, but officials said they expect more deaths to be recorded as crews search for survivors.
Aerial images of Grand Bahama and Abaco islands show debris littered all over roads and homes, trees stripped of their branches and leaves, overturned boats on dry land, and flooded roads. About 70 percent of homes are underwater.
CNN did an interview with a fisherman, Howard Armstrong, who described losing his wife to hypothermia and drowning from the hurricane. He said the water from the storm surge flooded his home and that there were appliances tumbling around the house. He said his wife, Lynn, was standing on the kitchen cabinets but slipped under the water and drowned while he was there. Howard then decided to get out of the house and swim to his boat, which was still moored. His wife’s body has not been recovered.
Howard also said he checked on his neighbor, a woman who had called out for help all night, but saw her lifeless body through the window.
There is now a major rescue and cleanup effort. It is a difficult process because airports and roads are flooded. It appears to be a similar situation with Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
Hurricane Dorian is still a Category 2 storm. At the time of signing, its center is 115 miles off the coast of Jacksonville. It has triggered tropical storm warnings along the southeast coast.
A 85-year-old man died in North Carolina when he fell off a ladder while preparing his home for Dorian.
Dorian is forecast to continue to be a Category 2 as it moves close to South Carolina and North Carolina tomorrow (Thursday).
Updates on Texas shooter; clarifications on gun laws
Here is an update on the shooting in west Texas on Saturday and a correction/clarification on what I said yesterday on gun laws.
Yesterday I said that “gun dealers can legally sell without conducting background checks if it is an online transaction, at a gun show, or sold out of their homes.”
This was not accurate and I will make a correction and a clarification here. Gun dealers, which are those who are in the business of selling guns, are required under federal law to have a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and conduct background checks on buyers. It doesn’t matter if it’s from a store, online, or at a gun show — a gun dealer must have a FFL license and require background checks. If they sell without a license, they face serious criminal penalties.
But federal law allows private gun owners, those who are “regular gun owners,” to sell their guns to other people without a background check. It is considered a good practice, but is not required by federal law, to pay a fee to a FFL licensed gun dealer to help with a background check and the transaction. It is illegal to knowingly do a private sale to someone who is prohibited to possess a firearm.
There are several states that require background checks for private sales, but most states allow private sales without background checks. There is also a variety of additional regulations in different states and local regions, some with different rules for long rifles and handguns.
Now, let’s go back to the Texas shooting on Saturday. The gunman, Seth Ator, had failed a background check in 2014. It is not yet revealed why.
CNN reported from a law enforcement source that he bought his AR-15 style rifle that he used in Saturday’s shooting in a private sale. It is not clear which state he obtained the gun or from whom. That’s being investigated. Texas allows private sales without a background check.
So, Ator was someone who was federally barred from possessing a firearm but apparently was still able to purchase one.
Seven people, including a 15-year-old girl, died in the shooting. The motive is still unknown, but FBI said Ator was in a distressed mental state.
Texas’ Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said he supports background check requirements for private sales, but said private family transfers or family sales of firearms should be allowed without a background check.
Hong Kong leader withdraws extradition bill
Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, announced she would fully withdraw an extradition bill that was a main catalyst of the massive protests. The bill would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China. Opponents feared that it would be used to restrict Hong Kongers’ freedoms.
The bill was previously suspended, but is now withdrawn. This satisfies one of five key demands of the protesters. Some had a positive reaction, but there are others who rejected Lam’s withdrawal and vowed to keep on protesting.
Lam also said there would be two senior officials who was to join an existing inquiry on police conduct during the protests — which seems to be an attempt to satisfy another of the five demands — an independent investigation. Many said this is not good enough and that there needs to be a separate, judge-led inquiry into police violence.
The other three demands are to end prosecution of some protesters, for there to be a free election, and for the government to stop calling the protesters “rioters.”
Trump accused of fake hurricane map; Boris’ Brexit turmoil; Pentagon diverting $3.6B for wall
Here are three political news briefs.
The first — President Trump is accused of using a “doctored” version of a map showing the path of Hurricane Dorian in a presentation from the Oval Office on Tuesday. Notice the black loop that extends the hurricane’s cone to make it include Alabama. I’m going to show you an image from my laptop.
President Trump said several days ago that the hurricane could impact Alabama with very strong winds. The National Weather Service corrected him by saying that Alabama will not see any impacts from the storm. ABC News reported on this, and Trump said it was fake news that took his comments out of context.
Now we see this “extra” black loop that may have been drawn with a sharpie. This black loop was not in any of the original forecast maps from the National Hurricane Center. The White House did not respond to requests from Axios for comment.
The second news — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit hopes is in turmoil after the U.K. House of Commons passed a bill that forces him to seek a Brexit extension instead of forcing a no-deal Brexit divorce from the European Union on October 31. It has to pass Parliament’s upper chamber, the House of Lords, before it can become law.
Lawmakers feel it is their moral obligation to stop a no-deal Brexit because it could cause major economic shocks, shortages in food and drugs, and a fresh outbreak of violence in Northern Ireland.
Boris wants to hold a general election to have a stronger majority in Parliament, but the opposition Labour Party said they won’t support it until the no-deal Brexit bill becomes law.
The third news — the Pentagon announced to lawmakers they would take money from 127 military projects to come up with $3.6 billion to build the wall at the southern border. $1.8 billion will be from overseas projects and another $1.8 billion will come from U.S. based projects.
President Trump said the money is needed for national security reasons. He is predicting about 500 miles of border wall to be built before the end of next year.
Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner criticized Trump and the military for doing this, explaining that there are four large construction projects in Virginia that will lose a combined amount of more than $75 million. Warner said this meant critical projects to prevent threats would be less equipped.
Many of you have expressed interest in the Mavrick Fisher case. I want to let you know that I’m working on it and collecting information. A big update will come after his court appearance on Monday, September 9. There have not been any major developments lately, so it’s more likely the next major update will be after the court date.
That is all for today. I hope you had a good day. My thoughts are with people in Bahamas. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!
Gallaudet University: [gallaudet.edu]