Rail Strike Threat Returns As Union Group Rejects Latest Offer

The threat of a railroad strike returns just before the holidays as the nation’s largest rail conductor union voted to reject its latest offer.

SMART Transportation Division, the union representing the rail conductors, announced the results on Monday, adding that negotiations have until a December 8 deadline to avoid a potential strike.

“Honestly, this vote is about the frustration that the railroads have created with [their attendance policies] and the deterioration of quality of life as a result for our conductors,” Jared Cassity, the national legislative director at SMART Transportation, told the Washington Post.

“It’s about attendance policies, sick time, fatigue, and the lack of family time. A lot of these things that cannot be seen but are felt by our membership. It’s destroying their livelihoods,” he added.

The attendance policy has been a major focus of the union vote. The deal offered to union workers also included a 24% pay increase by 2024 and updates for workers for healthcare appointments. Unless Congress intervenes or a new deal is struck before the deadline, workers could strike.

Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR), a top Republican on the House subcommittee that includes railroads, spoke out against the potential union strike.

“Look, what a terrible Christmas gift that would be to give to the American people at this point. Right before Christmas, shutting down our supply chain,” Crawford told Politico. “So we’ve got something prepared if necessary, but I’m hoping it’s not necessary.”

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has estimated that a nationwide shutdown of railroads could result in economic output would likely be at least $2 billion per day. A strike could also have massive consequences beyond rail.

“A single container or trailer on a railcar can contain 2,000 UPS packages, tens of thousands of bananas or hundreds of flat-screen televisions. A rail shutdown would slow or halt these shipments,” the AAR stated.

The Daily Wire previously reported regarding the rejection of a Biden administration proposal by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the Teamsters (BMWED), which represents nearly 12,000 railroad workers. The group rejected a tentative agreement between railroaders and Class I freight railroads.

Another previous report focused on a second railroad union that rejected the labor deal negotiated by the Biden administration. The Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) voted overwhelmingly to reject the labor deal in a vote, the union said in a statement. The union represents more than 6,000 railroad workers.

“For the first time that I can remember, the BRS members voted not to ratify a National Agreement, and with the highest participation rate in BRS history,” union president Michael Baldwin said in a statement on the union’s website.

In September, railroad companies and labor unions struck the tentative agreement. The deal was negotiated by Presidential Emergency Board (PEB), led by Labor Secretary Martin Walsh.

John Riggolizo contributed to this report.

Rail Strike Threat Returns As Union Group Rejects Latest Offer Read More

Raw Courage: As Iranian Government Murders Protesters, Iran’s Soccer Team Refuses To Sing Anthem At World Cup

The Iranian national soccer team, displaying remarkable moral courage in the face of the killings of protesters by their despotic, tyrannical government, refused to sing along with their national anthem at the World Cup prior to their opening game against England.

The current anthem of Iran, the “National Anthem of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” was adopted in 1990. Its lyrics state:

Upwards on the horizon rises the Eastern Sun
The light in the eyes of the believers in truth
Bahman is the zenith of our faith
Your message, O Imam, of independence, freedom, is imprinted on our souls.
O Martyrs! Your clamors echo in the ears of time
Enduring, continuing, and eternal
The Islamic Republic of Iran!

Iran has had six national anthems: between 1873 and 1909, the “Royal Salute”; between 1909 and 1933, the “Salute of the Sublime State of Persia”; between 1933 and 1979, the “Imperial Anthem of Iran,”; “Oh Iran,” which served briefly as the anthem between the fall of the Shah of Iran and the founding of the Islamic theocracy, and “Long Live Iran,” which was in use until the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1990.

The U.S. Navy Band records the national anthems of other countries but has not recorded the “National Anthem of the Islamic Republic of Iran” since the U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with the despotic Iranian theocratic regime.

The captain of Iran’s soccer team implicitly spoke out about the terrorizing of Iranian citizens by the government in his home country prior to the game against England. “I offer my condolences to all the bereaved families of Iran. And let them know that we are with them and sympathize with them,” he stated.

Protests in Iran have surged since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the government’s morality police in mid-September. Since then, 378 Iranians have been killed by the government’s “security forces,” including 47 children and 27 women, according to the non-profit Iran Human Rights (IHR).

“Based on our information, the killing of protesters were committed exclusively by the Islamic Republic’s repressive forces,” the Director of Iran Human Rights, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, stated. “The responsibility for the killing of protesters rests solely with the Islamic Republic and its leader, Ali Khamenei.”

According to IHR, protesters have been killed in 25 provinces, with 40 protesters killed in by state “security forces” in the week between November 12 and November 19.

Raw Courage: As Iranian Government Murders Protesters, Iran’s Soccer Team Refuses To Sing Anthem At World Cup Read More

Colorado Springs mayor: LGBT nightclub shooting had 'all the trappings' of a hate crime

The mayor of Colorado Springs on Monday said a weekend shooting at an LGBT nightclub that left five dead and 25 others injured “has all the trapping of a hate crime.”

Mayor John Suthers, a Republican, said police are still investigating a motive after the tragedy at Club Q late Saturday.

“It has all the trappings of a hate crime, but we need to look at social media, we need to look at all kinds of other information that we’re gathering from people that knew the individual before we make any definitive conclusions about a motivation,” Mr. Suthers told NBC’s “Today.” “But it certainly as I say has the trappings of a hate crime.”

Police accuse Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, of entering the nightclub and opening fire before clubgoers stopped him. The incident drew comparisons to the 2016 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which killed 49 people.

Mr. Suthers said the perpetrator in the Colorado Springs shooting was apparently subdued by a person at the nightclub who took a handgun away from the shooter and hit him with it to disable him.

“It’s an incredible act of heroism,” he said. “That act probably saved a lot of lives.”

Law enforcement is deciding whether the Colorado Springs shooting constitutes a hate crime.

The mayor described the nightclub as a well-managed fixture in the community that rarely needed any police help. He expects a “groundswell” of financial support for victims.

“We’re a community in mourning, but we’re a community that’s determined to make sure that the actions of a lone gunman don’t define our community,” Mr. Suthers said.

A suspect of the same name was tied to a bomb threat in Colorado Springs in 2021, though Mr. Suthers said he did not want to comment and get ahead of criminal filings and proceedings later Monday.

Colorado Springs mayor: LGBT nightclub shooting had 'all the trappings' of a hate crime Read More

‘He Eats Off My Plate’: Tim Allen Discusses Very Close Relationship With Tom Hanks

Tim Allen and Tom Hanks may have opposite political views, but that didn’t stop these two actors from cultivating a very close friendship that’s lasted for years.

Allen recently described his close relationship with Hanks, who was his co-star in the popular Disney franchise “Toy Story.” The duo played enemies turned friends in the movies, with Allen voicing Buzz Lightyear and Hanks voicing Woody.

 “I don’t think I’ve ever trusted a human being as much as Tom to listen to me and vice versa,” the “Last Man Standing” star said of Hanks during an appearance on the “Kelly Clarkson Show” podcast. 

“Tom and I really became close friends from ‘Toy Story 1,” Allen continued. “He’s a very different person than me and he eats off my plate. I come from a family, you don’t do that.”

Allen illustrated his point by recalling one time he was out to eat with Hanks and the actor stole some french fries off his plate without permission. 

Besides that specific breach of boundaries, Allen described their lunch dates as “most peculiar.” The pair began dining together while filming “Toy Story” and have kept it up ever since. 

“We’re like two older women ’cause we will sit almost too close to each other at a booth, it’s just weird,” the “Home Improvement” alum explained.

“He and I differ on so many things, I adore that man, his heart and mind,” Allen continued, reiterating that while he and Hanks have “very different opinions on so many things,” his friendship has convinced Allen that Hanks is “a really wonderful engaging person and is the first guy that listens to me and doesn’t judge.”

While Allen is fond of Hanks, whose actions include an endorsement for Barack Obama for president, he’s not overly enamored with leftists as a whole. The 69-year-old actor created a controversy on social media last month when he tweeted, “Do wokees have a club house in someone’s backyard or maybe a cute yet safe playpen somewhere?”

Over the summer, he jokingly shared, “Took some kids to Disneyland and overheard a 13 year old boy wondering if he may be pansexual since he loves skillets.”

More recently, Allen was called out by critics for reprising his role in the “Santa Clauses” miniseries on Disney+ and turning him into a so-called “right-wing Santa.” They were especially annoyed over the line, ’Saying ‘Merry Christmas to all’ has suddenly become problematic,” which he says in the series.

(Disclosure: The Daily Wire has announced plans for kids entertainment content.)

‘He Eats Off My Plate’: Tim Allen Discusses Very Close Relationship With Tom Hanks Read More

Here Are The Investors Who Lost Millions In The FTX Implosion

A number of institutional investors suffered heavy losses as cryptocurrency exchange FTX unexpectedly went bankrupt last week.

The cryptocurrency platform, which had been controlled by 30-year-old multibillionaire Sam Bankman-Fried, filed for bankruptcy two weeks ago after users discovered that trading firm Alameda Research, a company run by former love interest Caroline Ellison, had allegedly been using consumer holdings from FTX to make investments.

Bankman-Fried and his colleagues were treated as wunderkinder by lawmakers and journalists, as well as multiple celebrities who set the power of their brands behind the now-defunct overnight success. Several venture funds and pension plans, which had previously graced FTX with investments implying a valuation above $30 billion, were caught in the mayhem.

Sequoia Capital, a leading venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, defended the company’s vetting process and announced a $150 million loss from the collapse in a letter to investors. “We are in the business of taking risk. Some investments will surprise to the upside, and some will surprise to the downside,” the message said. “We do not take this responsibility lightly and do extensive research and thorough diligence on every investment we make.”

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan announced that the fund had poured $75 million into FTX, representing a fraction of total net assets. “We will be writing down our investment in FTX to zero at our year end,” the organization announced, noting that the development “will have limited impact” despite disappointment from the loss.

Temasek, a holding company owned by the government of Singapore, revealed that the fund had invested $275 million in FTX and related entities, likewise constituting a small fraction of overall assets. “The thesis for our investment in FTX was to invest in a leading digital asset exchange providing us with protocol agnostic and market neutral exposure to crypto markets with a fee income model and no trading or balance sheet risk,” the firm said. “There have been misperceptions that our investment in FTX is an investment into cryptocurrencies. To clarify, we currently have no direct exposure in cryptocurrencies.”

Managing Partner Matt Huang, an alumnus of Sequoia, remarked that his company’s equity stake in FTX represented “a small part of our total assets” but was nevertheless written down to zero. “Facts are still coming to light, and there will be many lessons to learn,” he acknowledged. “We feel deep regret for having invested in a founder and company who ultimately did not align with crypto’s values and who have done enormous damage to the ecosystem.”

Huang added that his company, which invests primarily in cryptocurrency startups, remains confident that the nascent sector will recover. “The coming weeks and months will be a tough time for crypto, but we remain optimistic about crypto’s potential and are committed to building towards the positive future we know it can enable,” he said.

Bankman-Fried, whose considerable fortune disappeared overnight when the company filed for bankruptcy, is reportedly seeking $8 billion from investors to cover withdrawal requests made by customers. Fallout from the bankruptcy has induced calls for greater regulations on cryptocurrencies and will be the subject of a bipartisan hearing hosted by the House Financial Services Committee next month.

Here Are The Investors Who Lost Millions In The FTX Implosion Read More

Female Reporter Stolen From On Live TV During World Cup

An Argentinian female reporter says she was pickpocketed on live television while reporting at the World Cup in Qatar, losing documents and money from her handbag.

Dominique Metzger, a journalist for Todo Noticias, was reporting from Doha ahead of the first match when she said her personal belongings were stolen.

Video of the reported theft was shared with the Daily Mail.

“I had my small bag on me with all the things that one needs, my wallet, the keys to our hotel room, some napkins,” Metzger told a TN network anchor.

“And you were dancing, right?” the anchor asked.

“Yes, I was dancing with the crowd and I’m convinced that it was at that moment when someone opened the bag zipper and took my wallet,” Metzer responded.

The reporter soon reached out for assistance with her documents after the incident.

“Thank you very much, they already contacted me and they are helping me with all the paperwork!” Metzger later updated followers on Twitter regarding assistance with her documents.

The incident comes among multiple controversies as the World Cup began over the weekend in Qatar. The event marks its first time being held in the Middle East, celebrated as a success by some while others have expressed concerns.

Qatar has been called out for human rights violations and its stance on LGBTQ people, where it remains illegal to be homosexual. As recently as this month, the Qatar World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman called homosexuality “damage in the mind,” the Associated Press noted.

Women’s rights are also an area of concern in Qatar. They are legally under male guardianship that requires permission from a father or other family member to exercise basic rights that range from marriage, international travel, and working in a government job. Women were required to obtain a male guardian’s permission to obtain a driver’s license until 2020, The Athletic reported.

The Daily Wire previously reported that FIFA President Gianni Infantino responded to concerns by criticizing Europe, saying that it should be “apologizing for the next 3,000 years,” ahead of the World Cup’s opening game.

Infantino shared the strong remarks during a press conference on Saturday when he said that criticism of Qatar was hypocritical.

“I think for what we Europeans have been doing in the last 3,000 years around the world we should be apologizing for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons to people,” he said.

Another controversy arose as the U.S. men’s national soccer team (USMNT) redesigned its crest displayed at its World Cup practice facility with rainbow colors to show support for LGBTQ people. When the team takes the field, however, they will be wearing the traditional crest with red, white, and blue stripes on their uniforms.

“I think that when we are on the world stage it is important to bring awareness to these issues and that’s what being the change is about,” USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter stated. “It’s not just stateside that we want to bring attention to those issues. It’s also abroad.”

“And we recognize that Qatar has made strides, there has been a ton of progress,” he added. “But there’s still some work to do.”

The World Cup is being held from November 20 to December 18. A total of 32 teams play in eight groups of four leading to the round of 16, quarter finals, the semi-finals, and the final on December 18.

Female Reporter Stolen From On Live TV During World Cup Read More

NASA capsule buzzes moon, last big step before lunar orbit

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s Orion capsule reached the moon Monday, whipping around the back side and passing within 80 miles on its way to a record-breaking lunar orbit.

The close approach occurred as the crew capsule and its three test dummies were on the far side of the moon. Because of the half-hour communication blackout, flight controllers in Houston did not know if the critical engine firing went well until the capsule emerged from behind the moon, more than 232,000 miles from Earth.

It’s the first time a capsule has visited the moon since NASA’s Apollo program 50 years ago, and represented a huge milestone in the $4.1 billion test flight that began last Wednesday. Orion’s flight path took it over the landing sites of Apollo 11, 12 and 14 – humanity’s first three lunar touchdowns.

The moon loomed ever larger in the video beamed back earlier in the morning, as the capsule closed the final few thousand miles since blasting off last Wednesday from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, atop the most powerful rocket ever built by NASA.

“This is one of those days that you’ve been thinking about and talking about for a long, long time,” flight director Zeb Scoville said while awaiting to resume contact.

As the capsule swung out from behind the moon, onboard cameras sent back a picture of Earth – a blue dot surrounded by blackness

Orion needed to slingshot around the moon to pick up enough speed to enter the sweeping, lopsided lunar orbit. If all continues to go well, another engine firing will place the capsule in that orbit Friday.

Next weekend, Orion will shatter NASA’s distance record for a spacecraft designed for astronauts – nearly 250,000 miles from Earth, set by Apollo 13 in 1970. And it will keep going, reaching a maximum distance from Earth next Monday at nearly 270,000 miles.

The capsule will spend close to a week in lunar orbit, before heading home. A Pacific splashdown is planned for Dec. 11.

Orion has no lunar lander; a touchdown won’t come until NASA astronauts attempt a lunar landing in 2025 with SpaceX’s Starship. Before then, however, astronauts will strap into Orion for a ride around the moon as early as 2024.

NASA managers were delighted with the progress of the mission. The Space Launch System rocket performed exceedingly well in its debut, they told reporters late last week.

The 322-foot rocket caused more damage than expected, however, at the Kennedy Space Center launch pad. The force from the 8.8 million pounds of liftoff thrust was so great that it tore off the blast doors of the elevator.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.

NASA capsule buzzes moon, last big step before lunar orbit Read More

Police Seek Public’s Help In Solving Murder Of Four University Of Idaho Students

Police in Moscow, Idaho, are asking for the public’s help with any leads that could solve the murder cases of four University of Idaho students.

It’s been more than a week since Ethan Chapin, 20; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Madison Mogen, 21, were found stabbed to death in the home they shared off-campus. On Sunday, police provided more information about the killings and asked the public for “context to the events and people involved in these murders.”

“Anyone who observed notable behavior, has video surveillance, or can provide relevant information is asked to call the Tip Line,” police said in a press release.

Police are looking for any outside surveillance video taken between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. on November 13 – the morning of the murders – from local businesses and residences in the area. They’ve requested all video, even if there doesn’t appear to be any motion in them. Police are also asking for any tips or surveillance video about “any observed suspicious behavior” on the night of the murders, particularly in the areas where the students were.

Goncalves and Mogen were in downtown Moscow prior to their murders, while Chapin and Kernodle were at the Sigma Chi fraternity house.

The police also clarified that the 911 call about an unconscious person was made from inside the residence on one of the surviving roommates’ cell phones. Several people spoke with the 911 dispatcher before a police officer arrived on the scene, and at this time, police do not believe anyone who was at the residence at the time the 911 call was made is involved in the crime.

Police also cautioned against spreading rumors or speculating about the case.

“Rumors and speculation continue circulating about the ongoing investigation. MPD cautions the public not to rely on rumors and remains committed to keeping the public informed. We urge reliance on official channels for accurate information,” police wrote.

Police do not believe the two surviving roommates are involved in the murder. Previously, surveillance footage showed Goncalves and Mogen at a food truck in the early morning hours, along with some other people nearby. Police do not believe that a man in that video is involved in the crime either, nor do they suspect the private party driver who drove the two women home.

Police have received nearly 600 tips relating to the case but still have no suspects in custody and have not located the weapon used. Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt previously described the murder weapon as “a bigger knife” that would be consistent with the “pretty extensive” wounds found on the students. She wouldn’t say how many times each student was stabbed, but she indicated that each student was stabbed multiple times and in different places on their bodies. She also said the victims had a “little bit of bruising” but “nothing significant,” adding that such bruising “wouldn’t be uncommon during a stabbing.”

Police Seek Public’s Help In Solving Murder Of Four University Of Idaho Students Read More

‘It’s Just Sick’: ‘After School Satan Club’ Allowed To Hold Meetings In California Elementary School Cafeteria

A California elementary school is permitting an “After School Satan Club” to hold monthly meetings in the school’s cafeteria. Some parents and grandparents whose children attend the Golden Hills Elementary School in Tehachapi, California, are expressing their outrage.

“The Satanic Temple began communication with the district in late October and submitted its completed Civic Center Facilities User Permit Application on Oct. 21,” the Tehachapi News reported. “The organization was informed on Nov. 14 that use of the cafeteria at Golden Hills was approved.”

“I think it’s disgusting,” Sheila Knight, grandparent to a 5th grader, told Bakersfield Now. “I understand the school has to allow them because they allow other after school programs such as the Good News, which is a Christian based after school program, that one I’m okay with, but I can’t imagine why anyone would want their child to attend this Satanic group.”

“We keep religious matters out of the teachings of the after school Satan clubs and people often ask us, well then why include Satanism at all, being that people are going to be offended by it?” Lucien Greaves, the co-founder and spokesperson of the After School Satan Club declared. “Well, the fact of the matter is, there’s nothing to be offended by and we don’t want people to be unaware of who we are when we run these programs, as we think there would be a more intense backlash if we were trying to hide it.”

Paul Hicks, who will lead the club, which was founded by the Satanic Temple and the Reason Alliance, declared, “There’s currently a Good News Club there which is teaching kids to go save souls for Jesus, at the school. We want to give an alternative point of view. … I’m not teaching these kids to be Satanic, I’m not teaching these kids that they need to hail Satan or identify as Satanists, what we’re doing is we’re thinking critical thinking, we’re teaching science, we’re teaching empathy and benevolence.”

“From my understanding, the Good News Clubs sent out some flyers, which they are certainly entitled to do, and some parents got together and said we’re not interested in this,” Hicks added. “And they knew of the After School Satan Club, and they requested our presence.”

One commenter on the Tehachapi Ask, Raves & Rants Facebook page, who described himself as non-religious, chimed in, “So several people have told me that the new Satan after school club at Golden Hills elementary is not a religion, but a philosophy club. … Then why did they choose Satan? Why not the Jean Paul Sartre existentialism club? Why not the Descartes club? Etc. They put Satan in the name for a reason.”

“It’s just sick that they are targeting elementary school kids,” one woman wrote. “Those are babies.”

‘It’s Just Sick’: ‘After School Satan Club’ Allowed To Hold Meetings In California Elementary School Cafeteria Read More

Biden approves disaster declaration for N.Y. after historic snowfall

President Biden on Monday approved a federal emergency request from New York after a severe winter storm dropped up to 6 feet of snow around Buffalo.

The region abutting Lake Erie is used to “lake-effect” snow, but the amount was historic and intense. Roads were impassable and at least two people died from cardiac issues related to clearing the snow.

Mr. Biden’s declaration will free up federal funding for the dig-out and recovery. 

It authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate the response and alleviate “the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population.”

“Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency,” the White House said.

The declaration applies to 11 counties: Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence and Wyoming.

The declaration also applies to events that began on Thursday and continue to impact the region. 

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat who was recently reelected, announced the emergency request on Friday.

Biden approves disaster declaration for N.Y. after historic snowfall Read More