40 Arrested in Bexar County as Part of Nationwide Roundup
As part of a nationwide roundup, forty fugitives wanted on misdemeanor or felony family violence warrants were arrested on Wednesday. The roundup was part of the 17th Annual National Family Violence Apprehension warrant roundup in which the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office participated.
“This is the first time that the BCSO (participated) in this national warrant roundup, and (we) are proud of the success it brought in apprehending these individuals who were wanted on family violence charges,” the department stated in a news release.
During the operation, the sheriff’s office visited over 100 locations throughout the process of searching for the fugitives. Everyone was taken into custody without incident and of the forty arrested, 3 were documented gang members.
You can find a list of the fugitives arrested along with their charges here.
Father Given Say in 7-year-old Son’s Gender Transition
In Texas, father Jeff Younger has been in a desperate battle to keep the boy, 7, from undergoing a gender transition championed by the biological male’s mother. On Thursday, Oct 24th, Judge Kim Cooks ruled that both parents would have joint decision-making over all medical, dental and psychiatric care for their kids.
A ruling in favor of the mother could have allowed her to move forward with plans to potentially give the boy puberty blockers after she received a letter of recommendation from Dallas Rainbow Therapy, urging that he “receive a full psychological assessment for gender dysphoria and potentially take hormone blockers,” The Washington Examiner reported.
This comes after much controversy following the Monday ruling in which the jury ruled in favor of the mother. The ruling would have forced Younger to affirm the child’s identity by using the name “Luna,” something recommended by James’ therapists. Younger had petitioned the court for full custody of their children but was ultimately shot down.
According to the child’s mother, who works as a pediatrician, James is transgender, identifies as a girl, likes to wear dresses and goes by the name “Luna.” Younger says James is a happy boy, and he contends that a “social transition” or “medical transition” would not be in his best interest.
Republicans Storm Impeachment Hearing
On Wednesday, Oct 23rd, dozens of House Republicans stormed a closed-door meeting of the impeachment inquiry, breaking up the deposition of a top Defense Department official who was testifying about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.
The meeting was taking place in the Capitol basement where Laura Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, was set to provide private testimony. The deposition got underway after a five-hour delay. Several lawmakers said that, in response to the Republican protest on Wednesday morning, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) left the room with Cooper and postponed her interview.
“The fact that Adam Schiff won’t even let the press in — you can’t even go in and see what’s going on in that room,” Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) told reporters outside the hearing room. “Voting members of Congress are being denied access from being able to see what’s happening behind these closed doors, where they’re trying to impeach the president of the United States with a one-sided set of rules, they call the witnesses.”
Many members of the House Freedom Caucus joined the protest including GOP Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Bradley Byrne (Ala.), and Chip Roy (Tex.).
Congressmen Roy expressed frustration during the meeting, telling House Oversight and Reform Chairman Elijah Cummings (MD-7) “that we ought to be able to see the transcripts.”
“I ended up ultimately relenting after a while and making noise to try to make the point,” he said. “Again, not trying to be disrespectful. They’re in the majority. They can set the process, but this ought to be more transparent.”
ISIS Leader Now Dead
On Sunday, Oct 27th, President Donald Trump announced to the nation that the Caliph of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, died in a U.S.-led raid in northwestern Syria.
President Trump said that al-Baghdadi, who was 48 years old, killed himself and his three children, detonating a suicide vest in a tunnel while pursued by U.S. troops. Commenting on live footage of the raid, Trump remarked that the leader of ISIS “died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is a much safer place.”
Considered Islamic State’s inspirational leader, al-Baghdadi was responsible for its reign of terror as it amassed territory across Iraq and Syria in recent years. The group has displaced tens of thousands of people and perpetrated widespread barbarism, including rapes and video-recorded beheadings.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Baghdadi’s death created an opportunity to refocus U.S. strategy in Syria around reducing the U.S.’s presence, putting Kurds in control of oil resources and “building up the lives of people in the region.”
“This is a game changer in the war on terror,” Graham said. “The war is by no means over, but the caliphate is dead and the leader of the caliphate is dead, and that’s a big deal.”
However, not everyone is as happy as Trump of the death of al-Baghdadi. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California or other Democratic leaders in Congress are upset that Trump didn’t notify them of the raid but instead chose to tell key House Republicans as well as Russia.
“The House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified of in advance, and on the Administration’s overall strategy in the region,” she stated.
Trump stated that he did not notify Democrats in Congress of the operation because of concerns of possible leaks.
California Residents Suffer Blackouts, Fires
In California, rolling blackouts have become the new norm for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of residents for the past week.
The state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Corp., or PG&E, began shutting off electricity to nearly a half-million people Wednesday afternoon, the second massive blackout in two weeks. It said hot, dry winds and low humidity were creating a high risk of sparks and “rapid wildfire spread” from its long-neglected power lines.
Now with the Kincade fire that started Wednesday night, continuing to burn in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, millions of Californians are without power and 180,000 people have been ordered to evacuate from its path.
“We are deploying every resource available and are coordinating with numerous agencies as we continue to respond to these fires,” Governor Gavin Newsom said, noting that more than 3,000 firefighters were battling the Kincade fire alone.
On Friday, the governor also lashed out at the utility company over what he called years of greed and mismanagement that brought about the crisis.
“That greed has precipitated in a lack of intentionality and focus on hardening their grid, undergrounding their transmission lines,” Newsom said at a news conference. “They simply did not do their job.”
Texas House Speaker Won’t Seek Reelection
On Tuesday, Oct 22nd, first-term Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced that he will not be seeking reelection to the lower chamber in 2020.
“After much prayer, consultation, and thoughtful consideration with my family, it is clear that I can no longer seek re-election as State Representative of District 25, and subsequently, as Speaker of the House,” Bonnen said in a statement. His statement included a list of 43 House Republicans, a majority of the House GOP Caucus, who the speaker said “have made clear that it is in the best interest of both myself and the House to move on.”
Bonnen’s political future was first called into question last month when activist Michael Quinn Sullivan, head of the conservative publication Empower Texans, alleged that Bonnen suggested that Empower Texans go after a list of 10 House Republicans and told Sullivan his group could have media access to the lower chamber in 2021. Bonnen also disparaged multiple Democrats, calling one “vile” and another “a piece of shit,” and said his goal for the next legislative session is to make it the worst “in the history of the legislature for cities and counties.”
To wash away any uncertainly over the meeting, Sullivan released his secret recording of that June 12 meeting last week, largely confirming his descriptions. Since then a growing number of House Republicans had either called for the speaker’s resignation or pulled support for the speaker.
After the speaker’s announcement Tuesday, Sullivan tweeted that Bonnen “could have behaved ethically” — but “instead chose lies, deceit, dishonor, and ruin.”
“He has gone from 3rd constitutional officer in Texas to a cautionary tale,” Sullivan wrote.