The Daily Moth 1-16-2020

The Daily Moth 1-16-2020


Hello, welcome to The Daily Moth!
It is Thursday, January 16. Ready for news? The Government
Accountability Office (GAO), a legislative branch
agency that audits and investigates the finances
of the federal government, said in a legal opinion
that the Trump administration broke the law by withholding
almost $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. Fox News reported that
the GAO said Congress had already appropriated $214
million to be allocated to the Department of
Defense and that the withholding was illegal. The GAO said the White House
told them that the funds were withheld as to not conflict
with President Trump’s foreign policy, but the GAO
explained that the law does not permit funds to be
withheld for policy reasons. The other $200 million was
appropriated by Congress to be allocated to
the State Department, and the GAO is now looking if
the withholding was proper. The GAO said during
their investigation there was a lack of cooperation
from the Trump administration and that it interfered
with their oversight role. The White House said, “We disagree with G.A.O’s
opinion… (we) ensure taxpayer dollars are properly
spent consistent with the president’s priorities
and with the law.” This is big news because
President Trump was impeached by the House for asking Ukraine to
investigate Joe Biden’s son’s business dealings in
Ukraine at the same time the $400 million was withheld. The New York Times explained
that the GAO’s report by itself does not
result in any action, but will add to
the impeachment trial. Last night the House
officially transmitted the articles of
impeachment to the Senate. The impeachment trial
officially started today in the Senate when Supreme Court
Chief Justice John Roberts asked all senators to
take an oath to deliver impartial justice. This will be an interesting
challenge for senators to remain impartial, because
Sen. McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Graham
(R-SC) recently said they will not be
impartial jurors. It also might be obvious that
certain Democratic senators will have challenges
in being impartial. The Washington Post
explained that there are no consequences if a senator
breaks the oath to remain impartial, that there are no
rules preventing them from offering their opinions on
the evidence or other issues. There is one more separate
but related news story – Lev Parnas. He used to work with
Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and was
recently indicted with scheming to bring
foreign money into U.S. elections. Parnas gave new information
and documents to House Democrats that showed
he worked with Giuliani in Ukraine to find damaging
information on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter,
and also to pressure the Ukrainian government
to investigate the Bidens. Parnas said President Trump
knew what was going on and supported their activities. He claimed that Vice
President Mike Pence cancelled a trip to the new
Ukrainian president’s inauguration as a part
of pressure campaign. President Trump said
the whole thing is a hoax and that he doesn’t know
Parnas and have never met him before. So, there are a lot of new
things that are coming up just as the impeachment
trial is beginning. We will see if this will cause
some senators to call for witnesses to be
called during the trial, which is something that
Republicans don’t want. The Guardian reported that
parts of southeast Australia received plenty of rain
which helped with bushfires, but that there are
still over 80 fires that are still burning. Some of them were
caused by lightning. Australia’s ABC News
reported that there are thousands of fish that are
dead in the Macleay River in NSW, apparently from
ash washing into the water from the rainfall. The ash causes oxygen
levels in the water to drop. The Weather Channel reported
that smoke from the bushfires have circumnavigated
around the world. NASA scientists tracked
the smoke since the end of December as it rose
more than 9 miles high, traveling eastward,
and determined that it has returned to
Australia this week. An image of a glacier in New
Zealand showed tan colors on the top of the snow,
which was caused by dust from the bushfires. Kyle Miers, the CEO of
charity organization Deaf Australia — which is
a national organization similar to the NAD — told
“The Daily Moth” that they have started an online
appeal where people can donate money for them to help deaf
and hard of hearing families affected by the bushfires. Miers said the fund
will provide them with “communications supports
and communications equipments for them to remain in contact
with the community.” The link is in the transcript. They’ve raised $2,700 so far. Deaf artist Jennifer Tandoc
from Austin, Texas created a “Pray for
Australia” artwork and created prints to sell
for a fundraiser for WIRES, Australia’s largest
wildlife rescue organization. She announced she raised
$2,000 from supporters all over the world. On Tuesday, Prince William,
the Duke of Cambridge, used British Sign Language
as he gave a deaf man, Alex Duguid,
his MBE honors. Here is an Instagram video. Nice, now I know how
to spell my name in BSL, as we have the same name. (Signs ALEX in BSL). I didn’t expect to learn
this from Prince William – thanks for the BSL mini-lesson. Alex was honored for his
contributions to British TV shows as a host and
a BSL interpreter for television channel ITV. Kensington Palace said
he “is passionate about BSL and the need to promote
and protect it.” BSLZone said in a congratulatory
message that Alex also worked in “Deaf television,
BSL teaching and storytelling
for many years.” If you want to know
more about who Alex is, you can watch a BSL Zone
produced documentary about his life. The link is in the transcript. MBE is short for “Member
Of The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire” and
is one of the top honors in the country. The National Association of the
Deaf (NAD) announced today that deaf performer and artist
Christine Sun Kim will perform the National Anthem and America
the Beautiful during the pregame portion of Super Bowl
LIV (54) in Miami Gardens. The Daily Moth did a feature on
Christine in the summer after she showcased a large wall art
piece in London with the words, “IF SIGN LANGUAGE
WAS CONSIDERED EQUAL, WE’D ALREADY BE FRIENDS.” Her work has been featured
in major art exhibits around the world. Many of her topics are on
sound art and on Deaf culture. Christine was born in California
and currently lives in Berlin. She graduated from RIT. Congratulations to
her for the honor. The performance will
be on February 2. Kickoff is at 6:30 pm EST, so the pregame portion will
probably start at about 6 pm. FOX will televise it. It is always an unknown how much
of the sign language performance will be seen and whether there
will be a dedicated PIP box or not. The voice singer
will be Demi Lovato. That is all for today. See you
tomorrow and stay with the light! Captioned by
aslcaptions.com

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