Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

News Briefs

Posted on March 05, 2018 in News
By Sarah Tewksbury

Sarah Tewksbury, Staff Writer

Trash filled lot reveals the plywood home of three children

Just outside of Joshua Tree, CA, police found three children, ages 11, 13 and 14, living in a makeshift shack on the same lot with 30 to 40 cats. They were living in the plywood structure with their mother on the trash filled lot. Their father also lived on the lot, but only sparingly, where he would sleep in a broken down vehicle. The mother and father, Mona Kirk, 51, and Daniel Panico, 73, were arrested on the charges of willful cruelty to a child. The children were taken into custody by the Bernardino County Child and Family Service department. The names and genders of the children have not been released. However, it was released that the children had not been attending school. Officials did not say how the case will proceed moving forward.

Facts gone wrong in White House gun control discussion

In a televised conversation about ways to thwart gun violence, President Trump met with a team of bipartisan lawmakers at the White House. Not only did Trump allege misconceptions as facts, but lawmakers joined in with inaccuracies. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from CA, shared statements made by a lecturer in Boston that she drew conclusions and made connections to gun violence. Without context, her information could be misconstrued. Representative John Rutherford, a Republican from FL, also made comments without providing context for his statements in reference to what a gun-free zone truly is. Rutherford said that he carried his concealed firearm with him at all times, even in what some would consider to be a gun-free zone. Representative Steve Scalise, a Republican of LA, said, “People just want to dismiss concealed-carry permits. They do actually increase safety.” His statement is one of opinion and is not factually based. However, it can be argued with factual evidence one way or the other. The televised event required broader context to be applied to statements made by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

U.S. Treasury Secretary revokes consent for the release of lecture video

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin gave a lecture at the University of California Los Angeles (U.C.L.A) this week and was greeted by protesters. During the discussion, which was moderated by American Public Media’s “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal, students questioned Mnuchin’s authority and involvement in government affairs. Protesters were removed from inside the event and joined their counterparts outside. Just out of the lecture hall, students dressed as King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were cutting and sharing cake, as a representation of imperial law. Protesters continued to attempt to carry out discussions with attendees in hopes of coming to a middle ground. Exchanges between Mnuchin and attendees were intense and recorded by some on cell phones or cameras. Prior to the lecture, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Mnuchin had given consent for the event to be recorded by U.C.L.A and released on their official university website. However, following the heightened discussion, Mnuchin revoked his original consent, sparking debate and conversation.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico resigns

Roberta S. Jacobson, 57, tenured her resignation as the U.S. diplomatic representative to Mexico this week. After a thirty-one year career working for the State Department, focusing on the Latin American region, Jacobson has chosen to remove herself from Mexico as a result of increasing tensions between the two nations. Appointed as the ambassador in 2015, under former President Obama, it took eleven months for her confirmation to become official, as a result of partisan issues. Once she was officially stationed in Mexico, the sitting president was elected and tensions between the nations immediately heightened. Mexican leaders and government officials have openly expressed their upset at Jacobson’s departure, some calling it a final detrimental impact to Mexican-American relations. In her resignation letter, Jacobson wrote, “I have come to the difficult decision that it is the right time to move on to new challenges and adventures. This decision is all the more difficult because of my profound belief in the importance of the U.S.-Mexico relationship and knowledge that it is at a crucial moment.” Jacobson will be missed by the international diplomatic community, specifically Mexico.

American chain stores to raise the age to purchase firearms

Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods released press statements that the two stores would be raising their minimum age to buy guns. Individuals now must be 21 years old in order to purchase a gun at the stores. According to federal law, an individual must be 21 to buy a handgun. However, the federal law also states that an 18 year old can purchase a semiautomatic rifle and other firearms. In the wake of intensifying school shootings, specifically in Parkland, FL, Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods joined a group of national corporations who tried to publically remove themselves from having connections to the National Rifle Association, including Hertz Car Rentals, Delta Airlines and MetLife insurance. Dick’s Sporting Goods has gone as far as to remove any toys resembling semiautomatic weapons. Edward Stack, 63, the chief executive officer for Dick’s Sporting Goods released a statement saying, “We’re going to take a stand and step up and tell people our view and, hopefully, bring people along into the conversation.” Local stores have also issued similar statements, such as L.L. Bean.

Trial begins for widow of the Pulse Nightclub Killer

When Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people and injured 53 in Pulse, a Florida nightclub, he was not arrested or charged with his crime, as he was killed by eight shots from officers responding to the scene. His widow, Noor Salman, 31, has been recently charged with aiding and abetting the criminal activity of her husband. After the jury selection was completed this week, the trial began with the prosecutors trying the case. It is predicted that Salman’s defense lawyer will argue that she was the victim of domestic and emotional abuse from her husband. However, Salman changed her story several times after speaking to law enforcement. The prosecution also has a trail of events that shows that Salman helped to pick out the location of the shooting, as well as arrange an alibi for both herself and for her husband.

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