Holocaust Memorial Center uses facial recognition to find out what happened to victims, survivors

A view inside a prisoner barracks in the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz Birkenau or Auschwitz II in Oswiecim, Poland, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. On Jan. 27, 1945, the Soviet Red Army liberated the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland. Auschwitz was the largest of the Germans’ extermination and death camps and has become a symbol for the terror of the Holocaust. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:12 AM PT — Tuesday, January 21, 2020

As the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz approaches, a Holocaust memorial center is working on connecting the past to the present with the help of new technology.

The “Face to Face” program, which is run by the Shem Olam Holocaust Memorial Center, connects descendants of Holocaust victims with the stories of what happened to their families. It uses facial recognition technology to identify people in photos from that time period and track their movements throughout the war.

The program’s director, Avraham Krieger, hopes to provide comfort for families who still don’t know what happened to their loved ones. He said “Face to Face” is aimed, first and foremost, at giving some response to “the chaotic reality created following the Holocaust.”

A man walks beside photos of the exhibition ‘Survivors – Faces of Life after the Holocaust’ at the former coal mine Zollverein in Essen, Germany, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. The world heritage landmark Zollverein shows 75 years after the liberation of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, 75 portraits of Jewish survivors, photographed in Israel by German artist Martin Schoeller. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

“We think that the reality of the Holocaust is only the reality of six million Jews who were murdered, but it’s not so,” said Krieger. “It’s a reality that cut off any connection for those who survived, almost any connection to their past and not only for them, but also for their future families.”

So far, the center has received thousands of photos from archives around the world and has begun matching those pictured to their families.

RELATED: ‘I stayed alive to tell’ – Auschwitz’s dwindling survivors recount horrors of Nazi death camp

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Calif. man faces attempted murder charges after driving a car full of minors off the road, killing 3

This Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, booking photo released by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department shows Anurag Chandra, 42 of Corona, Calif. Chandra intentionally rammed a Toyota Prius with six teenage boys inside on Sunday in Temescal Valley in Riverside County, southeast of Los Angeles, killing three and injuring three others before fleeing, authorities said Monday. (Riverside County Sheriff’s Department via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 9:39 AM PT — Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Golden State authorities recently took one man into custody under suspicion of murder and attempted murder charges, following a deadly hit and run.

On Monday, California Highway Patrol confirmed 42-year-old Anurag Chandra was arrested after fleeing the scene of the crash just one day prior on a highway just 60 miles from Los Angeles.

Police believe Chandra intentionally rammed his car into a Toyoya Prius filled with six people, who were all under the age of 18. The crash caused the victim’s car to run off the side of the highway and into a tree.

One passenger was killed on site, while two others were fatally injured. Police have reason to believe a road rage incident may have led up to the deadly collision.

“Obviously like I said, there was some sort of contact which lead to this incident,” stated Lt. David Yokley, California Higwy Patrol. “He felt or he did initially ram this vehicle, causing the deaths of these three young boys.”

Meanwhile, the victims have been identified as Daniel Hawkins. Jacob Ivascu and Drake Ruiz. They were all sophomore’s in high school.

The victims of a hit and run in Temescal Valley, California are pictured, from left to right, Drake Ruiz, Daniel Hawkins and Jacob Ivascu. (Photos/handouts/Facebook)

OTHER NEWS: Fla. police bust alleged ‘pillowcase rapist’ from 1980s

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Fla. police bust alleged ‘pillowcase rapist’ from 1980s

Robert Eugene Koehler, pinned the “Pillowcase Rapist,” is seen next to an old sketch by Fla. authorities. (Photos/handout/BCSO; Metro-Dade Police)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:56 AM PT — Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Florida residents and investigators can rest a little easier after authorities arrested the alleged “Pillowcase Rapist” from the 1980’s. 60-year-old Robert Eugene Koehler was taken into custody in Palm Bay on Saturday.

Authorities believe he’s connected to the rapes of more than 40 women between 1981 and 1986. Koehler is a registered sex offender and was convicted of sexual battery in 1991.

“Just the way he looked at people, the way he looked at women, the way he looked at everything as an opportunity…he was just always, always on the hustle,” said Alex Wentzel, neighbor of the suspect. “…there was just something scary in him that just never, never sat right.”

Koehler allegedly targeted professional women and got his name because he would use pillowcases to blind his victims.

A Miami-Dade police task force conducted stakeouts, analyzed forensic evidence, and made a sculpture of the suspect. However, the officials never brought charges against Koehler.

The task force disbanded in 1987, which forced the case to go cold. Due to the advancements in technology examining DNA, however, investigators were able to collect enough evidence to reopen a case against Koehler.

“When you’re talking ’83, ’84 and ’85 when this guy was active, there’s no telling what the collection practices were like, what the storage practices were like, but they were lucky they got the right sample,” explained Jim Born, a retired Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent.

Many details about evidence are being kept secret from the public and the arrest warrant is sealed. Kohler is only being charged with one count of rape, but authorities predict more charges will come. He’s expected to appear in court Tuesday.

RELATED: President Trump signs bill to end the backlog in testing rape kits

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U.S. Navy names aircraft carrier after African American Pearl Harbor hero

File – American ships burn during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1942. (AP Photo)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 9:14 AM PT — Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The U.S. Navy is naming their next aircraft carrier after an African American sailor to honor his heroic efforts during Pearl Harbor. In a ceremony coinciding on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Navy officials and surviving relatives of Doris Miller gathered at Pearl Harbor for the announcement of the future ship.

“Today we recognize Petty Officer Doris Miller, not just for his service to the Navy, but specifically for his bravery and courage on Pearl Harbor on the 7th December 1941,” stated Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas). “Having been the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross, Petty Officer Miller will now be the first enlisted sailor to have an aircraft carrier named in his honor.”

When Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor on December, 7, 1941, Miller’s ship, the USS West Virginia, was hit by nine Japanese torpedoes and two bombs on battle ship row. After being ordered to evacuate by the ship’s captain, the 22-year-old manned a 50-caliber browning anti-aircraft gun and fired on Japanese planes before helping carry injured sailors to safety when the ship was ordered to be abandoned.

More than 100 men died on the USS West Virginia that day and Navy Secretary Thomas Modly praised the petty officer’s efforts.

“Doris Miller stood for everything that is good about our nation, his story deserves to be remembered and repeated wherever our people continue the watch today,” said Modley. “He is not just a story of one sailor, it is the story of our Navy and our nation.”

The sailor died in 1943 when a torpedo hit the USS Liscome Bay in the Pacific Ocean near the Gilbert Islands.

Miller, who was the grandson of slaves and a son of sharecroppers, is the first African American to have an aircraft carrier named after him. The vessel will sail the world for decades to come.

RELATED: Russian ship nearly collides with U.S. Navy destroyer

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Senate impeachment trial resumes, senators set to debate & approve trial rules

The Capitol and Senate are seen at sunrise on the first full day of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:18 AM PT — Tuesday, January 21, 2020

According to a draft resolution Monday, Senate Republicans are looking to pass rules for the trial, which sets aside 48 hours for opening arguments from the White House’s legal team and impeachment managers. This will be followed by 16 hours of Q&A, ultimately leading to a vote on whether witnesses will be considered.

This draft does not mention a motion to dismiss the charges outright as previously speculated. The Senate will vote on this resolution Tuesday, with opening arguments expected to begin on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, President Trump added a number of high-profile House Republicans to his legal team just ahead of the Senate’s impeachment trial. On Monday, the White House confirmed the president appointed another eight representatives, including Doug Collins (R-Ga.), John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) among others.

The last-minute reinforcements will provide “critical guidance on the case” given their “strong familiarity with the facts.” However, they will not present statements on the floor.

RELATED: Democrats accuse McConnell of rigging Trump’s impeachment trial

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U.S. Agriculture Secretary: No need for more farm aid after China trade deal

FILE – In this Oct. 13, 2019, file photo a farmer harvests soybeans in a field near Concordia, Mo. On Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, the Labor Department releases the Producer Price Index for December. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:56 AM PT — Tuesday, January 21, 2020

According to the secretary of U.S. Agriculture, there’s no need for additional aid to American farmers, following the ‘Phase One’ trade deal with China. While speaking at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual convention Monday, Secretary Sonny Perdue said now that Beijing is poised to buy $40 billion worth of agricultural goods, there is no need for more farm aid.

This comes after farmers steadily relied on assistance from the U.S. government throughout the duration of the trade war. Perdue’s remarks come one day after President Trump also spoke at the convention, where he assured farmers the recently signed deal will be good for them in the long-term.

President Donald Trump walks on stage and puts out his hand to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue, right, before speaking at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s convention in Austin, Texas, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“I don’t think the farmers and ranchers have been in this position maybe ever, I don’t think so, and I think it’s going to work out good,” he stated. “And I think China is going to go all out to prove that the agreement that was signed is a good agreement, and we have very, very strong stipulations in there.”

A 2019 Reuters-IPSOS poll revealed President Trump has gained support among American farmers ahead of the ‘Phase One’ deal signing.

RELATED: President Trump says Farmers are really happy with new ‘Phase One’ China trade deal and USMCA

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British royals host reception after U.K.-Africa investment summit

Britain’s Prince William, centre and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge pose for a photo with Heads of Government, Ministers and members of NGOs as they host a reception at Buckingham Palace to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit, in London, Monday Jan. 20, 2020. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:10 AM PT — Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The British royal family welcomed African leadership into Buckingham Palace, following the first ever U.K.-Africa investment summit. On Monday, 21 leaders from Africa arrived in the London to discuss political and economic ties.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Africa “the future” and cited the world’s 15 largest economies currently residing in Africa.

Prince William also shared a personal memory about his mother and how Kenya has played a significant role in his family.

Britain’s Prince William, background left and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge welcome a guest as they host a reception at Buckingham Palace to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit, in London, Monday Jan. 20, 2020. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)

The summit comes just ahead of Brexit, which leaves open opportunities for the U.K. to form other trade deals.

RELATED: U.K. Prime Minister Johnson slams Iran attack on bases in Iraq

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President Trump delivers remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

President Donald Trump delivers the opening remarks at the World Economic Forum, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Davos, Switzerland. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:41 AM PT — Tuesday, January 21, 2020

“The American dream is back bigger and badder than ever before.” — President Trump

President Trump delivered opening remarks at this year’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland. While speaking in front of world leaders and powerful businessmen in Davos Tuesday, the president touted his administration’s economic accomplishments. This included his efforts to make America more hospitable for large corporations.

The president started his keynote address by touting record low unemployment rates in the U.S., noting 3.5 million people have joined the workforce under his administration. President Trump said the stock market has soared by 50 percent since he took office and noted his recent trade deal with China will continue to boost the American economy.

“Today, I’m proud to declare that the United States is in the midst of an economic boom the likes of which the world has never seen before,” he stated. “We’ve regained our stride, rediscovered our spirit, and reawakened the powerful machinery of American enterprise.”

President Trump ended things off by praising American energy independence. He claimed his administration has saved the American household over $2,000 in electricity bills annually.

The U.S. president will hold bilateral meetings with multiple leaders Tuesday, including the presidents of the European Commission and Switzerland as well as the Pakistani prime minister. On Wednesday, President Trump is set to meet with Iraq’s prime minister for the first time since the killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani earlier this month.

RELATED: Switzerland deploys thousands of security force amid protests planned for World Economic Forum

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Ukraine Foreign Minister: Black boxes from downed airliner belong to Ukraine, demand they be returned

Relatives hold photos of the soldiers killed as they defended Donetsk airport in 2014-15 in a war conflict with Russia-backed separatists during a commemorating ceremony in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Jan. 20, 2019. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 2:05 PM PT — Monday, January 20, 2020

Ukraine’s foreign minister said he will press a visiting Iranian delegate to return the black boxes from the plane that was shot down earlier this month. Representatives from Ukraine and Iran are reportedly set to meet Monday with Iran acknowledging and apologizing for downing the passenger jet.

While speaking to reporters, Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said he hopes the meeting goes further than just political discussions and into “practical problems.” He noted the boxes ultimately belong to Ukraine.

“Unfortunately, at first they stated that they were handing the black boxes over, then the same person stated that they were not handing them over,” Prystaiko explained. “This created some misunderstanding in Ukraine and we were starting to ask: are they being handed over or not?”

Ukrainian Minister for Foreign Affairs Vadym Prystayko gestures while speaking to the media during a news conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 10, 2020. Prystaiko said that Ukraine will demand compensation from Iran if it’s confirmed that the Ukrainian airliner that crashed near Tehran this week was downed by an Iranian missile. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

On Sunday, Iran said it was analyzing the black boxes and denied an earlier report suggesting it was preparing to hand them over to Ukraine. Canada has also pressed Iran to hand the boxes over to either Ukraine or France.

RELATED: Kiev Wants To Speak To Germany, France About Shooting In East Ukraine

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Virginians call for Gov. Northam’s removal, thousands protest new gun control measures

Gun-rights supporters demonstrate in front of state Capitol in Richmond, Va., Monday morning Jan. 20, 2020. Gun-rights activists and other groups are descending on Virginia’s capital city of Richmond to protest plans by the state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:34 PM PT — Monday, January 20, 2020

Virginians are calling for the removal of Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam after his suggested gun control policies drew huge crowds to a pro-Second Amendment rally. The protest, which is held by the Virginia Citizens Defense League every year, was bolstered by strict gun control measures passed by the state Senate as a priority for the governor.

“He (Gov. Northam) thinks he can come in here and just say whatever he wants to do, and that’s not how it’s going to work,” stated Santiago Helmik, a Second Amendment supporter. “He thinks everybody here is going to comply, I bet you nobody here is going to comply with any of the laws he’s going to pass.”

Gov. Northam pushed for mandatory background checks in addition to a new measure prohibiting someone from purchasing more than one gun per month. He received backlash after he banned all weapons from Capitol Square over threats of violence at the event.

A pro gun demonstrators hold a flag and signs in front of the Virginia State Capitol Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

President Trump has pledged his support behind the activists. He recently said the Second Amendment is under attack and slammed Democrats for trying to take guns away.

RELATED: Va. Governor Northam Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Gun Rights Rally

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Secretary Pompeo speaks about situation in Venezuela with Colombian President Duque

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses the opening of a regional counter-terrorism meeting at the police academy in Bogota, Colombia, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:00 PM PT — Monday, January 20, 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the longstanding friendship between the U.S. and Colombia key to the vision of having a hemisphere of freedom. During a joint press conference with Colombian President Ivan Duque in Bogota Monday, Pompeo called the South American nation a champion of freedom in the region.

Pompeo praised Colombia’s efforts to care for the near 1.6 million Venezuelan refugees who have fled into the country. He also called on the world to continue supporting the Venezuelan people’s efforts against the socialist regime of Nicolas Maduro.

“I saw firsthand the devastating consequences of what Maduro brought when I traveled to Cucata (Colombian city on the border with Venezuela) a few months back,” stated the U.S. secretary of state. “The world must continue to support the Venezuelan peoples efforts to restore their democracy and put an end to Maduro’s tyranny, which harms millions of Venezuelans and has an impact on Colombia and indeed on the entire region.”

Pompeo said his talks with Colombia’s president reaffirmed both nations’ shared resolve to continue fighting drug trafficking and organized crime.

RELATED: Venezuela’s Guaido To Meet Top EU Diplomat In Brussels

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President Trump’s legal team issues briefs to Senate

The Senate side of the U.S. Capitol at sunrise on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Washington. The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will resume in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED11:28 AM PT — Monday, January 20, 2020

President Trump’s legal defense team filed its brief for the Senate impeachment trial. Those documents were handed over to the upper chamber Monday ahead of Tuesday’s trial session. The brief states the articles of impeachment passed by the House are “an affront to the Constitution and fail to allege an impeachable offense.”

The House has already submitted its trial brief, which argued the president has abused his power and obstructed Congress. The White House has since responded, calling the impeachment trial “constitutionally invalid.”

Trump legal defense member Alan Dershowitz said he will argue that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense, even if proven true. He made the following comments regarding the defense:

“When you have somebody who, for example, is indicted for a crime — let’s assume you have a lot of evidence — but the grand jury simply indicts for something that’s not a crime, and that’s what happened here. You have a lot of evidence, disputed evidence, that could go both ways, but the vote was to impeach on abuse of power which is not within the constitutional criteria for impeachment and obstruction of Congress.”

FILE – In this Dec. 2, 2019 file photo, Attorney Alan Dershowitz leaves federal court, in New York. President Donald Trump’s legal team will include former Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, the former independent counsel who led the Whitewater investigation into President Bill Clinton, according to a person familiar with the matter. The team will also include Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

The upper chamber will review the White House documents before reconvening Tuesday.

RELATED: Alan Dershowitz Says He Is On The Side Of The Constitution When Defending President Trump

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Switzerland deploys thousands of security force amid protests planned for World Economic Forum

A police security guard patrols on the roof of a hotel ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. The 50th annual meeting of the forum will take place in Davos from Jan. 21 until Jan. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:03 AM PT — Monday, January 20, 2020

Switzerland has deployed roughly 5,000 military personnel and police amid planned protests expected at this week’s World Economic Forum. Swiss officials said security measures such as fighter jets and ground defense systems will help protect the thousands of participants attending Tuesday’s meeting.

This comes as hundreds of protesters plan on marching to Davos to call on global leaders to take swifter action on climate change.

A police commander said they will take additional security arrangements for high-profile attendee President Donald J. Trump.

“The short answer is that there are many additional agreements needed when organizing security for Trump,” stated regional Police Commander Walter Schlegel.It is very big because the arrangements are especially directed at the U.S. president, so there is a much bigger effort required to prepare.”

President Trump is set to attend the World Economic Forum this Tuesday and Wednesday.

Hundreds of climate protesters who are on a three-day protest march from Landquart to Davos pass the city of Klosters, Switzerland, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. The World Economic Forum will start on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

RELATED: President Trump Attends World Economic Forum In Davos

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Fla. dad accused of killing family witnessed father’s murder plot to kill mother

Osceola County Sheriff’s Office patrol cars are posted outside a home in Celebration, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. Authorities in Florida have charged a physical therapist with killing his wife, their three young children and a dog in the affluent suburb near Walt Disney World. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 9:12 AM PT — Monday, January 20, 2020

A man who admitted to killing his family is facing four counts of first-degree murder and one count of animal cruelty. 44-year-old Anthony Todt was arrested last week after confessing to killing his wife, three children and family dog in Celebration, Florida.

News articles from the 80s claimed Todt witnessed his own father’s attempt to have his mother killed through a hit-man. Todt’s mother survived after losing her left-eye. His father was convicted and served about 10-years behind bars.

Todt is now facing murder charges for the deaths of his own family members. This includes his wife Megan and their kids 13-year-old Alek, 11-year-old Tyler and four-year-old Zoe, who was the same age as Todt when he witnessed the attempted murder of his mother.

Todt was already under federal investigation for an alleged Medicaid fraud scheme he ran out of his physical therapy office in Connecticut. When police arrived at the Florida home to serve Todt a warrant, they found the victims’ bodies.

A neighbor previously reported not hearing from the family in days, but police did not find anything suspicious enough to justify entering the home.

“It’s horrible, you don’t see this in real life. You think it’s just in the movies. It’s something crazy. It’s not going to really happen next door. Not to a family that seemed happy.”

–Michelle Augustin, victims’ neighbor

This Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, booking photo released by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office shows Anthony Todt, who is charged with killing his wife, their three young children and a dog. (Osceola County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

No details on how the victims were killed have been released, but officials say they had been dead for at least two weeks when their bodies were found.

The killings happened as the family was reportedly facing money troubles. The Todt’s were said to be behind on their rent and were facing eviction from their home. Todt told police he committed fraud to repay lenders as his business owed nearly $100,000 to creditors.

“Myself, I cannot understand what would cause a person to commit such evil and horrendous acts, but I can say if there’s any one person or family that’s going through a crisis or a difficult time, there’s help out there for you,” said Sheriff Russ Gibson of the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

Todt appeared before a judge for the first time last week, where he was given a public defender and was ordered to be held without bail.

OTHER NEWS: Dershowitz Clarifies Role In Impeachment Case

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Jordanian parliament votes down gas deal with Israel

File – Demonstrators hold Jordanian national flags and chant slogans during a protest against a government’s agreement to import natural gas from Israel in Amman, Jordan, January 17, 2020. (REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed/File Photo)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:59 AM PT — Monday, January 20, 2020

Jordanian lawmakers are striking down an unpopular gas import deal made between the country’s state owned utility and Israeli gas companies. The Jordanian parliament reportedly proposed a law Sunday, banning gas imports from Israel. The law was passed unanimously with all 130 members in agreement.

Protests ensued after the deal was penned because the country’s residents believed their government went over their parliament’s head. Jordan’s state-owned utility company made the $10 billion supply deal in 2016 with a U.S.-Israel consortium led by Texas-based company Nobel Energy.

Protester Nadia al-Awadi shared her view on the government’s handling of the deal:

“We are here protesting against the gas deal, which has been signed in 2016 without the knowledge of the parliament and we want to send a message to the prime minister that it is enough with the humiliation and shame. How can we purchase our own (Palestinian) gas from them (Israelis) and pay with our own money? We send this message to them and we say enough with the humiliation, enough shame, enough selling our homelands.”

Lawmakers and protesters argue the deal makes Jordan dependent on a neighboring country. Legal hurdles may be problematic for opponents of the gas deal, but they believe it’s a step forward in stopping the agreement.

RELATED: Erdogan Calls On Europe To Support Turkey’s Moves In Libya

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Iran prepares to launch satellites into orbit

FILE – In this photo, released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry, the Simorgh satellite-carrying rockets at Imam Khomeini National Space Center is pictured at an undisclosed location in Iran. (Iranian Defense Ministry via AP, File)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:43 AM PT — Monday, January 20, 2020

Iran is planning to launch two newly constructed and domestically engineered satellites into orbit. On Sunday, Iranian officials said the 200 pound Zafar satellites have already been delivered to Iran”s space center.

Both satellites reportedly have four high resolution color cameras to monitor conditions on Earth from space. Analysts say Iran could attempt to launch the satellites in the coming months in alignment with national holidays.

Iran has claimed the purpose of their country’s satellite program is for scientific and civilian missions.

“The two observation satellites, Zafar 1 and 2, have been built by scientists and experts at Iran University of Science and Technology and ordered by the Iranian Space Agency,” stated Morteza Barari, head of the Space Agency. “God willing, these satellites will be sent to the space launch site for being sent into orbit.”

U.S. and western nations have long been suspicious of Iran’s space program amid concerns over the country’s use of ballistic missile technology. Last year, Iran to failed to successfully launch two satellites into orbit when one of its delivery rockets exploded prematurely on the ground.

RELATED: Iran Says It Will Quit Global Nuclear Treaty If Case Goes To U.N.

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President Trump to begin allowing states to control Medicaid spending under federal guidance

President Donald Trump returns to the White House in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, from a campaign trip to Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:10 AM PT — Monday, January 20, 2020

The Trump administration is making plans to possibly change the way Medicaid is funded. According to a Wall Street Journal report, President Trump is expected to release guidance that would make it easier for states to apply for block grants in the coming weeks.

The way these block grants work is that each state that applies for the program would receive a capped chunk of federal money to spend on Medicaid, however they choose. If a state spends less than what is given, they are able to keep that money for themselves.

Thus, the measure motivates state governments to make cuts on Medicaid as well as relinquish the federal government’s requirement to match what states spend on the issue. Many local lawmakers have reportedly praised the new tactic as financially responsible.

“We don’t need to put welfare in the Constitution to meet the needs of the most vulnerable,” said Jonathan Small, member of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. “It will cost $374 million in state taxpayer dollars, to cover 628,000 able bodied adults.”

Conservatives argue another perk is that Medicaid block grants are more efficient at the end of the day.

File – In this March 4, 2019 file photo, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee delivers his first State of the State Address in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

“Officials say it could improve the way Medicaid is administered since states can tailor their health care program to their citizens needs,” stated Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee. “Ultimately what that means is that the cost of healthcare will be lowered if states line up to be more efficient because they’ll be rewarded for such, then it will lower the cost of healthcare which is why it will be a win for the country.”

Meanwhile, the Medicaid transformation is likely to spark new feuds with Democrats, who have strongly opposed block grants as illegal and have made expanding the government-run health care system a party backbone.

RELATED: Big Companies Explore Virtual Care To Curb Healthcare Costs

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2 officers killed in Hawaii ‘active shooter’ situation

A Honolulu police officer escorts Dolores Sandvold back to her home near the scene of a deadly shooting on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 4:50 PM PT — Sunday, January 19, 2020

At least two officers were killed on Sunday following an active shooter situation in Hawaii. According to local media, a gunman opened fire on police, who were serving an eviction notice to a Waikiki resident.

A male suspect allegedly stabbed his landlord and fatally shot the two officers before setting the house on fire. Several other homes and a Honolulu police vehicle caught fire during the attack.

“We started smelling some smoke, and then we started hearing sporadic gunshots,” said one neighbor. “That went on for several minutes.”

The fire has since spread to at least five nearby properties.

Honolulu firefighters work with police to extinguish a house fire after a shooting and domestic incident at a residence on Hibiscus Road near Diamond Head on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP)

It was unclear whether the suspect had been taken into custody. Both the FBI and ATF confirmed they are responding to the shooting.

Following the incident, Governor David Ige offered his condolences to the families of the fallen.

“Our entire state mourns the loss of two Honolulu Police officers killed in the line of duty this morning,” he said. “As we express our condolences to their families, friends and colleagues, let us also come together to help and support those who have been forever changed by this tragedy.”

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell also offered his sympathies and reassured the community that he would be in close contact with local authorities.

Bystanders watch black smoke billowing from a house fire after a shooting and domestic incident at a residence on Hibiscus Road near Diamond Head on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser via AP)

Original Article

Report: At least 79 dead, 130 wounded after missile attack in Yemen

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 4:15 PM PT — Sunday, January 19, 2020

Dozens were killed and wounded after a ballistic missile attack on a mosque in Yemen. Sunday reports said at least 79 people are dead and as many as 130 are wounded after Saturday’s strike, which took place in an area controlled by the Saudi-led coalition.

The attack was blamed on Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. However, the group did not immediately claim responsibility.

FILE – In this Sept. 21, 2019 file photo, Shiite Houthi tribesmen hold their weapons as they chant slogans during a tribal gathering showing support for the Houthi movement, in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)

A UN diplomat confirmed the attack and cautioned those involved to focus on policy instead of violence.

“I have said before that the hard-earned progress that Yemen has made on de-escalation is very fragile,” stated Envoy Martin Griffiths. “Such actions can derail this progress.”

Yemen’s President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi condemned the attack, calling it “disgraceful”and “cowardly.”

The strike was described as the bloodiest attack in the region since the start of the region’s civil war.

Original Article

Sen. Cornyn: GAO report on Ukraine aid an ‘allegation’, doesn’t justify impeachment push

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor with Sen. Michael Crapo, R-Idaho, left, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, center, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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UPDATED 3:20 PM PT — Sunday, January 19, 2020

Sen. John Cornyn is questioning a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that claimed President Trump broke the law by withholding aid from Ukraine. On Sunday, the Texas Republican said keeping back aid from a foreign country is not a crime.

Cornyn added in the past, hardly anyone would have thought such an issue could escalate to the level of impeachment.

Last week, the GAO claimed the president froze aid to Ukraine for a “political reason,” despite the White House’s earlier statement it was due to concerns of corruption.

Cornyn said the entire impeachment case is based on a nonfactual allegation.

“This is the first time in history where a president has been impeached for a noncrime, for events that never occurred,” he said. “This is really unique and I think every Senator is going to take this very seriously.”

The senator added President Trump was impeached for alleged abuse of power, which is not the high crime required for impeachment.

RELATED: President Trump Corrects GAO’s Statement On Ukraine Aid, OMB Also Challenges Report

Original Article