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The Daily Moth 10-8-19


Hello, welcome
to the Daily Moth. It’s Tuesday, October 8.
Ready for the news? House Democrats
were set to question the U.S. ambassador
to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, this morning in a deposition
on what he knew about the Trump-Ukraine-Biden
investigations, but the U.S. State Department
gave a last-minute order for him to not appear. Why is Sondland a key figure
in Trump’s impeachment inquiry? He was named in
the whistleblower complaint as one of several people
who helped to manage the Trump-Ukraine relationship. The House released text
messages between Sondland and other officials that showed
he knew and was involved with helping Trump’s wish for
Ukraine to investigate Burisma, the Ukrainian company that
Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was on. On September 9th,
Bill Taylor, a top official at the U.S.
Embassy in Ukraine, texted Sondland telling him that “it’s crazy to withhold
security assistance for help with a political campaign.” He was referring to a report
at the end of August that the Trump administration
was holding up military aid for Ukraine. Sondland texted that
there was no “quid pro quo” – that Trump did not withhold
security assistance to Ukraine in exchange for a promise
of an investigation. But there are reports
that this text was sent after he spoke with
President Trump. So, we can see that Sondland is
an important person to question, but that’s blocked for now. Democrats say
this is obstruction, while Republicans say
the impeachment process is unfair. Democrats said they will
subpoena Sondland. Sondland is a successful
businessman that owns and manages hotels. He donated $1 million to
President Trump’s inaugural committee and was appointed to
be the EU ambassador in 2018. Today the U.S. Supreme Court
is hearing three cases about workplace
discrimination against LGBTQ individuals. NPR said the question is
“whether employers are free to fire employees because
they are gay or transgender.” One case is about a trans
woman who was fired from her workplace at a funeral
home after she came out. The second case is about
a gay man who was fired from his job as a child welfare
services coordinator after his bosses found out he was gay. The third case is a similar
workplace firing based on the individual being gay –
the individual has passed away but his case is still
being represented. The Deaf Queer Resource Center
(DQRC) have made several social media postings to explain
the importance of today’s arguments and how the Supreme
Court’s decision will have long-lasting impact on
LGBTQ people’s lives. The DQRC explained that
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination
based on sex, but that there is no clear
ruling on if this includes discrimination based on sexual
orientation or gender identity. There are only 21 states that
have statewide LGBTQ protections for both sexual orientation
and gender identity. It means in the other states, outside of cities that have
pro-LGBTQ policies, a person can be fired
for their LGBTQ identity. There are many LGBTQ individuals
and organizations that are nervous about this case because
the Supreme Court now has a conservative majority with
two new Trump appointees. The Trump administration
will argue in court against the LGBTQ workers. Conservative or Christian-based
groups say “sex discrimination” should not include
transgender individuals and expressed concern about
transgender athletes in sports or healthcare or social services
being required to accommodate transgender people’s requests
even if it is against their religious beliefs. The arguments
will be heard today, and the Court’s decision may
be handed down several months later, typically
in June or July. The FBI announced that
they consider Samuel Little (79) to be the most prolific
serial killer in U.S. history with 50 murders matched to him
and 43 more murders pending confirmation. If all the cases are confirmed,
that is a total of 93 murders. Authorities say the murders
happened across the U.S. between 1970 and
2005 in 16 states. DNA testing in
2013 revealed that he was linked to many murders. He was charged with three
counts of murder in 2014, convicted, and sentenced
to three consecutive life terms without parole. Little confessed to many
of the murders after doing interviews with a Texas
Ranger who was investigating one of the cold cases. He drew portraits
of the victims. He used to be a boxer and
moved often from city to city. He targeted vulnerable women
such as sex workers or drug addicts and killed
them by strangling them. A FBI official said Little
“for many years believed he would not be caught
because he thought no one was accounting
for his victims.” The FBI is asking the public
to help them with their ongoing investigation. Little is in prison
in Los Angeles County. In Thailand, at least 11 wild
elephants were found dead after falling off a waterfall
at a national park. Park officials believe
the elephants died trying to save a baby elephant
that fell off. Six elephants,
including the baby, were found dead
several days ago, but then the number went up
to 11 after a drone search spotted five more bodies. Officials believe all of them
were from the same herd that tried to cross a swollen river. There are only two survivors – an adult and a calf who were
trapped on the top of a cliff. They were trumpeting and
that’s how rangers found them. The two managed to
walk away to safety. Elephants are very social
animals who are known to help each other if one of
them is in distress. Officials said the two survivors
are likely to grieve. The waterfall is called
“Hell’s Abyss” and has a 260 feet drop. In 1992, eight elephants
died in a similar way. Some of you might remember
The Daily Moth did an interview with a young deaf girl named
Savannah who signed one of Carrie Underwood’s songs,
“The Champion” last March and that video went viral. Savannah is 9 years old
and she is in the 4th grade at Maryland School for the Deaf. On Saturday night,
Savannah has officially met her favorite singer,
Underwood, in D.C. for Underwood’s
Cry Pretty 360 tour. When the video
went viral in March, Underwood also saw
Savannah’s video and replied that she would
love to meet her too. Savannah was Underwood’s
VIP guest at her concert and these two were able
to do a quick duet. That duet video was posted
on Underwood’s Facebook page. The link to the full video
is in this transcript. Savannah also posted
a short video on her Instagram of Underwood
on stage signing “ILY” and “beautiful girl” to her. Wow! What a moment that
Savannah never will forget. You can follow Savannah on
Facebook and Instagram under the username “Savvy ASL” That is all for today. See you tomorrow and
stay with the light! Captioned by www.aslcaptions.com

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