SoCal Fires cause evacuations, Supreme courts weigh in on CO Cake case and Travel ban, fugitive lawyer captured.

News story transcripts from The Morning Brew for December 5 , 2017.

South California Fire Causes Thousands to Flee


Evacuation orders for close to 8,000 homes were issued in Southern California. The fire broke out Monday and spread to cover 48 square miles (124 sqkm), burning plants and other vegetation that have not burned in decades. At last count, 150 structures have burned in the fire. There has not been a definitive report as to how many were residential and how many were businesses. To date, 27,000 people have been evacuated. One person has been claimed in an fire-related accident. Santa Paula looks to be in the path of the wildfire as the winds are pushing the blaze in that direction. Evacuation orders were expanded to houses in Ventura, which is 12 miles southwest. Ventura has 106,000 residents.

“The fire growth is just absolutely exponential,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said. “All that firefighters can do when we have winds like this is get out ahead, evacuate people, and protect structures.”

Close to 180,000 customers in Ventura are without power. All schools in the district have been closed.

In October, a wildfire claimed the lives of over 40 people and burned at least 50,000 acres of land in Northern California’s wine country.

Source: Most of the information from the Associated Press application for windows and here.

US Fugitive Lawyer Captured in Honduras


Six months ago, Eric Conn fled the country after having entered a guilty plea to the accusations of stealing $600M (£450M) from filing false disability claims. His ankle tag was located in Kentucky on the side of the road. He was captured by Honduran police while on his way out of a restaurant. The Honduras public magistrate will return him to the US today. He has been sentenced to 12 years in prison in absentia.


US Supreme Court Weighs in on Baker’s Case


The Supreme Court will listen to arguments as to whether businesses can refuse service to gay couples if they oppose gay marriages on religious grounds. This case involved a conservative Christian baker in Colorado who declined an order for a cake for two men. Nine justices are due to hear the appeal. The original case was brought against Jack Philips, owner/operator of Masterpiece Cakeshop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood. The state ruled against him saying his refusal violated the state’s anti-discrimination law.

The Supreme Court Justices will rule as to whether the state’s ruling is against the First Amendment. This is what the arguments will focus on. If the ruling favors Philips, it will allow other businesses to refuse services to gay couples without backlash, as wedding photographers and others have already done.

The case, originating in 2012, was brought forth by the ACLU after Mullins and Craig were refused service by Philips. Philips told the couple he would not be able to make the cake due to his religious beliefs.


Trump’s Travel Ban in Full Effect

travel ban2

President Trump was handed a victory by the Supreme Court by letting the travel ban from six countries go into full swing, though it is still being challenged in lower courts. The high court lifted two injunctions imposed by the lower courts which blocked the ban partially. This is the third version of the ban Trump tried to bring into fruition a week after his inauguration. This means people from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, will be banned from entering the US until said countries comply with requests and a stricter vetting procedure can be implemented.

Hawaii and the ACLU brought challenges against the ban asserting it discriminated against Muslims due to Trump’s statement of “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” during his campaign. Omar Jadwat, an ACLU lawyer doubled down on “President Trump’s anti-Muslim prejudice…” saying “he has repeatedly confirmed it, including just last week on Twitter”. This is in reference to the Britain First Retweets. The Supreme Court has stated the ban, regardless of appeals court rulings, will remain in effect until the judges take up the issue on merits.


Until next time, question everything…
Maddy the News Chick

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