Day: April 14, 2017
A pastor of Asian descent has sued American Airlines, claiming that the legacy carrier bumped him from a flight in 2016 to make room for white passengers to board.
Benny Shin, a 75-year-old man who is of Korean ancestry, says that he was about to board a flight from Dallas to Corpus Christi, Texas last year, reports TMZ.
While in line to board, Shin, who was a paying customer and already had a seat assignment, alleges a gate agent told him he could get not on the plane. But, according to court documents obtained by TMZ, Shin says “5-7 white passengers behind him” were all allowed onto the airplane.
UNITED DRAGGING INCIDENT: DO OFFICERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO FORCIBLY REMOVE PASSENGERS?
Shin says American gave him a voucher for a flight the next day but alleges that the incident “humiliated, embarrassed and scared him.” He is now seeking at least $6 million from the airline.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday, just hours after an attorney representing Dr. David Dao (the passenger who was infamously dragged off a United plane after refusing to give up his seat for United crewmembers on a full flight to Lexington, Ky.) announced that the doctor will “probably” file a lawsuit soon but lawyers are waiting to build the case.
The incident has sparked worldwide outrage, especially in Vietnam, where Dao was born. According to Reuters, since videos of Dao being dragged and bloodied in Sunday’s scuffle have emerged, many have taken to social media, accusing United of potentially racist behavior and vowing to boycott the airline.
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“Watching this makes my blood boil, I’ll never fly United Airlines,” Anh Trang Khuya posted on Facebook.
“Boycott United!!! This is excessive! Let’s be loving and united, Vietnamese people!” user Nguyen Khac Huy wrote.
“Dr. Dao didn’t do anything wrong on that flight and that’s the main thing,” Clarence Dung Taylor posted after U.S. media began reporting on Dao’s past legal troubles, including losing his medical license over 10 years ago after being conviced on felony drug charges.
A representative for American Airlines was not immediately available for comment.
This past Palm Sunday was a dark day in Egypt. Suicide bombings at two Coptic Christian churches, one in Alexandria and the other in Tanta left 45 people dead and many more wounded. Although there has been an uptick in violence against Christians in the region, Egypt is hardly alone in a long list of countries — many in the Middle East — that are violently hostile towards Christians.
A list generated by Open Doors USA, a nonprofit organization focused on serving persecuted Christians, shows the Middle East accounts for a majority of countries ranked in the top 10 for extreme persecution of Christians. In order, the countries are as follows:
1. North Korea
Egypt ranks No. 21. According to the Christian advocacy group, one in 12 Christians today experiences high, very high or extreme persecution for their faith. Nearly 215 million Christians face high persecution, with 100 million of those living in Asia.
The Center for the Study of Global Christianity, an academic research center that monitors worldwide demographic trends in Christianity, estimates that between the years 2005 and 2015, 900,000 Christians were martyred — an average of 90,000 Christians each year.
From Nov. 1, 2015, to Oct. 31, 2016, Open Doors documented as many as 1,207 Christians who were killed around the globe for faith-related reasons during the 2017 list’s reporting period. This is a conservative estimate since it only includes documented cases and does not include statistics from North Korea and large areas of Iraq and Syria. Of the lists procured, these are the Middle Eastern or Muslim-dominated countries where Christian deaths occurred during the same time period:
1. Pakistan: 76
2. Syria: 24
3. Somalia: 12
4. Egypt: 12
5. Afghanistan: 10
6. Yemen: 4
7. Libya: 2
8. Iraq: 1
Open Doors also documented a total of 1,329 churches attacked worldwide for faith-related reasons. These are the Middle Eastern or Muslim-dominated countries where those attacks happened between Nov. 1, 2015, and Oct. 31, 2016:
1. Pakistan: 600
2. Iran: 11
3. Iraq: 8
4. Syria: 7
5. Yemen: 3
6. Libya: 3
7. Palestinian territories: 2
The underlying cause for persecution is Islamic extremism, according to Open Doors. The Christian population in Iraq alone has plummeted from 1.5 million in 2003 to current estimates of 275,000. In a few years that number could be zero, activists say.
Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is looking to bring some star power to his upcoming criminal contempt-of-court trial – asking to have the country’s top cop testify.
Lawyers for the controversial sheriff, who made headlines for his hardline immigration policies, have added Attorney General Jeff Sessions to his witness list. What makes the move even stranger is that Arpaio is being prosecuted by federal lawyers who work for Sessions.
It’s unclear whether Sessions might actually make an appearance.
Arpaio’s attorney Jack Wilenchik told Fox News on Friday that his office had not been in direct contact with the Department of Justice and made the push to bring Sessions in via court documents.
But Sessions has been actively pursuing his own brand of tough immigration enforcement, and Wilenchik says Sessions’ testimony would help show the contradiction between Trump administration policies and those of former President Barack Obama.
Arpaio faces trial for defying a judge’s order to stop immigration patrols, a confrontation that occurred under the prior administration.
Sessions’ name was added to the list of witnesses in a court filing Wednesday night. A day later, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton approved a two-month extension requested by Arpaio’s lawyers. The trial was slated to start April 25, but Arpaio’s lead attorney quit last week.
Arpaio, 84, had been an enduring symbol of Arizona’s tough stance toward illegal immigration. He was a vocal supporter of then-candidate Donald Trump during the campaign season and his outlook on immigration is not so different from Sessions’.
Arpaio even spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last summer where he said his “most important mission is to elect Donald Trump.”
The former sheriff received resounding applause for his speech that was peppered with anti-illegal immigrant messages. “We are more concerned with the rights of illegal immigrants than we are the citizens of our own country,” he said. Ultimately, it was Latino voters in Arizona who helped vote the polarizing policeman out of office in November.
Arpaio, always unapologetic, supported workplace raids and frequent traffic stops. He faces a misdemeanor contempt charge for letting his controversial immigration patrols continue despite a judge in 2011 ordering him to stop. Arpaio’s officers continued to detain people they thought might be illegal immigrants based on race, the judge presiding in the racial profiling case ruled.
If convicted on the contempt charge, the former sheriff faces up to six months in prison.
Wilenchik argues the prohibition on detaining immigrants who hadn’t been suspected of committing state crimes falls in line with the current federal policy Sessions backs.
Earlier this week, Sessions traveled to Arizona where he said the “catch and release practices of the past” are over.
When contacted by Fox News, the U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment on the case or whether Sessions would show up.
It’s been a rocky road for the former sheriff since his November defeat. Not only did his tumultuous tenure come to a halt, but Tent City, the outdoor jail he is known for, is closing. Tent City is where inmates are forced to wear striped jumpsuits and pink underwear and to sleep in surplus Korean War tents.
A month before he was voted out of office, county supervisors suggested shutting town Tent City in order to help offset the $50 million in legal fees Arpaio‘s defense team racked up in the multi-year racial profiling case. Arpaio disagreed and instead said the county could save money by getting rid of raises for his deputies and guards.
A blog post published Thursday on the Huffington Post’s South African version of the site advocated stripping white men of their right to vote.
Shelley Garland is an activist and feminist completing a Master of Arts degree in philosophy and “working on ways to smash the patriarchy.”
“Could It Be Time to Deny White Men the Franchise?” she asked Thursday in the title of her blog post.
OPINION: FRANCE’S TRUMP STIRS THE POT JUST LIKE DONALD
“It is time to wrestle control of the world back from white males, and the first step will be a temporary restriction of the franchise to them,” according to Garland.
“If white men no longer had the vote, the progressive cause would be strengthened,” she explained. “It would not be necessary to deny white men indefinitely–the denial of the vote to white men for 20 years (just less than a generation) would go some way to seeing a decline in the influence of reactionary and neo-liberal ideology in the world.”
Garland blames white men for electing Donald Trump and voting for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
“The influence of reckless white males were one of the primary reasons that led to the Great Recession which began in 2008,” she added. “This would also strike a blow against toxic white masculinity, one that is long needed.”
Click for more from the Washington Free Beacon.
The daughter of a New York Police Department officer killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks has been sworn in as a member of the force.
Brittney Roy, of Massapequa Park on Long Island, was sworn in Thursday along with 473 other recruits during a ceremony held at the city’s police academy in Queens.
Her father, Sgt. Timothy Roy, was assigned to the NYPD’s surface transit enforcement division. He was working in Brooklyn courts when the terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Daughter of NYC cop killed in 9/11 attacks joins NYPD
The 36-year-old Roy rushed to Lower Manhattan to help. He was last seen by the South Tower before it collapsed. His body was found the following March.
Brittney Roy, now 22, was 7 when her father died. She says she always dreamed of becoming a police officer.
Click here for more from Fox 5.
Trump plays hardball with Dems on ObamaCare payments – Trump & Democrats cutting deals? Shapiro says not so fast
President Trump has riled congressional Democrats by threatening earlier this week to hold back payments to health insurers in an apparent bid to get them to negotiate over a new ObamaCare replacement package.
The president needled the minority party – which he’s suggested he could work with in the wake of House Republicans’ failure to pass an earlier repeal/replace bill – in a wide-ranging interview this week with The Wall Street Journal.
While his comments to the newspaper on foreign threats and White House palace intrigue drew more attention, Trump pointedly threatened not to pay what are known as “cost-sharing” subsidies to insurers meant to bring down the cost of deductibles and copayments for consumers. They’re separate from the better-known premium subsidies that customers receive. But without them, experts say the government marketplaces that provide subsidized private insurance could face turmoil.
“I don’t want people to get hurt,” Trump said in the Journal interview. “What I think should happen—and will happen—is the Democrats will start calling me and negotiating.”
So far, Democrats are taking the opposite approach – lashing out at Trump and instead demanding that the payments be included in an upcoming spending bill.
“Refusing to make the Cost Sharing Reduction payments has no purpose but to hurt millions of people, and manufacture a crisis,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. “If President Trump followed through on his appalling threat, millions of Americans would see their out-of-pocket costs skyrocket and premiums would immediately be driven up by at least 15 percent.”
The new administration has continued to make cost-sharing payments to insurers as it weighs options.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration announced limited fixes Thursday for shaky health insurance markets, while reaffirming its goal of dismantling the Obama-era law.
Many of the changes announced Thursday follow recommendations from insurers, who wanted the government to address shortcomings with HealthCare.gov markets, including complaints that some people are gaming the system by signing up only when they get sick, and then dropping out after being treated.
The changes announced Thursday include:
— A shortened sign-up window of 45 days, starting with coverage for 2018.
— Curbs on “special enrollment periods” that allow consumers to sign up outside the normal open enrollment window.
— Allowing an insurer to collect past debt for unpaid premiums from the prior 12 months before applying a consumer’s payments to a new policy.
— Giving insurers more flexibility to design low-premium plans that can be tailored to young adults.
“While these steps will help stabilize the individual and small group markets, they are not a long-term cure for the problems that the Affordable Care Act has created in our health care system,” Seema Verma, the Trump administration official responsible for the markets, said in a statement.
The changes come as insurers are figuring out their plans for 2018.
This year saw premium increases averaging 25 percent for a standard plan in states served by HealthCare.gov. Some insurers say they’ve lost hundreds of millions of dollars, and many have pulled back or are considering it.
Most communities will have competing insurers on the public marketplace next year, but a growing number will be down to one, and some areas may face having none.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A convenience store owner is sparking outrage for banning black teens from his shop because, he claims, they “always steal.”
The unnamed owner of the Melton, Australia, shop affixed a sign to his store window on Friday that read: “Statement. Because the 14-18 year old black always steal. Prohibit 14-18-year-old blacks and dogs into the shop.”
1 MILLION BEES STOLEN IN AUSTRIA
He claimed he had no choice but to hang the hateful notice after a group of teens allegedly stormed his store earlier in the day and stole merchandise.
“[Shoplifting happens] a lot of times,” the owner told 7 News in Australia. “Always black person … young boy, after playing soccer.”
Victoria police said they “do not support the language of the poster” and deem “the message as inappropriate,” according to 3AW, which first reported the poster.
Click here to read more at the New York Post.
Boy can only eat 7 foods including Chick-fil-A waffle fries, report says – 8-month-old baby weighing 38 pounds baffles doctors
A six-year-old boy in Houston is only allowed to eat seven foods on this planet, and one of them is Chick-fil-A waffle fries.
This week, Christopher Cataldo got his wish granted at a local Chick-fil-A.
BRITAIN’S ‘GRANDFATHER OF ALLERGY’ GOING STRONG AT 105
Due to a rare disease, Chris hasn’t tasted much in his life. Ninety percent of the food on the planet makes him sick. Doctors only allow him to eat seven foods.
While Chris loves waffle fries, he had not stepped inside his favorite restaurant since he was two, because his condition weakens his immune system.
However, that all changed this week right before Houston’s newest location opened.
Franchise owner Brad Munson made Chris’ dream come true by making him the owner of his favorite restaurant.
DOES ILLNESS HELP YOUNG ADULTS TAKE CHARGE OF THEIR OWN HEALTH?
“Yummy really for everyone thumb up,” said Chris.
Chris got to tour his new place, play in the playground, and even cooked his own fried before taking a break.
The event lasted only a couple of hours, but his mom says he will relive the day for years to come.
“It means the world I could not ask for a better gift today or in general just to give to him,” said Kellie Cataldo, Chris’s mom. “He will relive in his mind this every day.”
Click for more from Fox 5 Atlanta.
Infamous A-listers and CEOs who dodged their taxes – Got a tax refund? Here's the smart way to spend it
Infamous A-Listers and CEOs Who Dodged Their Taxes
Tax Dodging Celebs and Business Icons
You can run, but you can’t hide! When Uncle Sam comes to collect, even A-list celebrities and powerful CEOs have to cough up the tax dollars. Here is a roundup of the most infamous tax dodgers to-date.
Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino
MTV’s “Jersey Shore” star Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino and his brother Marc have been charged with allegedly filing fake tax returns and listing luxury cars and expensive clothes as business expenses. The pair previously pled not guilty to similar charges in 2014. If convicted “The Situation” may face up to 20 years in prison.
Dolce and Gabbana
Famed designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were up to their neck in tax problems for years. In 2013 the designing duo was convicted of failing to file tax returns for their company in Italy. They owed approximately $50.7 million for 2004 and 2005. They were also facing up to 18-months of jail time for running a “sophisticated tax fraud” scheme involving the sale of an allegedly fake company, Gabo. Dolce and Gabbana were vindicated in October of 2014.
Up in smoke! Country icon Willie Nelson was slapped with a $32 million bill for back taxes in 1990. He settled for nearly $17 billion, however Nelson was unable to pay. The IRS seized most of his assets leaving the country crooner with a $15 million tax bill. To raise funds, the IRS tapped into Nelson’s musical prowess and allowed him to record the album “Who’ll Buy My Memories? (The I.R.S. Tapes)” to raise funds. Finally in 1993, Nelson signed his last check.
He created the collectible and adorable Beanie Babies and founded Ty Warner Hotels and Resorts. H. Ty Warner was also convicted of tax evasion in January 2014 when he failed to report $24.4 billion in gross income to the IRS from 1999 to 2007. Warner’s net worth is approximately $1.7 billion and he was forced to pay a civil penalty of $53 million and $14 million in back taxes, however he didn’t serve any jail time.
His vault wasn’t the only thing empty, so were his tax forms. Famed Chicago gangster Al Capone served one of the longest prison sentences for tax evasion in 1931. Capone was found guilty on 5 counts of income tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Model and former wife of “Piano Man” Billy Joel, Brinkley had a tax lien filed against her in 2011. She failed to pay $500,000 in taxes on her $30 million Bridgehampton home. Brinkley was quoted as saying “I was surprised to learn of the tax lien filing and took immediate steps to rectify this matter, which for most people is a private matter.” She paid her bill.
Stewart has had her fair share of run-ins with the law, including a host of back taxes that caught up with the lifestyle guru. Martha Stewart owed $221,677 in back income taxes from 1991 to 1992. Stewart tried arguing that she only spent a half a year in New York and didn’t owe a dime. The judge said that wasn’t a “good thing.”
A homeless man accused of burglarizing four houses of worship in Queens, N.Y., told officials he did it out of his hatred for God, prosecutors said.
Joseph Woznick, 23, allegedly told police during his arrest on Tuesday that he stole from the churches because he was “mad at God,” according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
“I don’t like church no more. I don’t want to deal with religion,” Woznick allegedly said. “I’m sick and tired of hearing about religion. I don’t break into houses, only churches. I break in to get back at God.”
PROSECUTORS: SLAIN JUDGE’S GIRLFRIEND WAS ROBBERY TARGET
Woznik is accused of stealing from the Bangladesh Hindu Mandir Temple, Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians Church, St. Mary’s Romanian Orthodox Church, and St. James’ Episcopal Church between March and April, according to the district attorney’s office.
He first targeted the Bangladesh Hindu Mandir on March 21, prosecutors said. An employee walked into the temple and found cash missing from three donation boxes.
DONATIONS POUR IN FOR FAMILY OF GREEN BERET KILLED IN ACTION
Police matched the fingerprints on the boxes to Woznick, the district attorney’s office said.
Woznick then allegedly burglarized St. James’ Episcopal Church three times from March 24 to April 10, prosecutors said. A priest discovered about $1,800 cash, a Canon digital camera, and three checks stolen.
Police found two of the checks and a pawn shop receipt for the Canon camera in Woznick’s backpack when he was arrested.
On April 10, Woznick allegedly burglarized two more churches in the area.
Members of the St. Mary’s Romanian Orthodox Church reported that a gold-plated drawer used for communion and the church’s corporate seal embosser were missing.
Woznick later was seen on surveillance video trying to pry open a donation box at the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians. He admitted to police that he stole $20 from under the Virgin Mary statue at that church, prosecutors said.
Woznick was charged Wednesday on multiple counts, including burglary as a hate crime, grand larceny as a hate crime, criminal possession of stolen property, and criminal mischief.
He also was charged as a fugitive from justice for alleged burglary, grand theft, and criminal mischief in Florida, according to prosecutors.