U.S. appeals court lets Arkansas curb abortion surgeries during the pandemic

U.S. appeals court lets Arkansas curb abortion surgeries during ...

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday allowed Arkansas to enforce a ban on most surgical abortions a part of a state directive aimed at postponing medical procedures not deemed urgent during the coronavirus outbreak.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri, lifted a federal judge’s order that had allowed the procedure to continue to be performed. The appeals court ruling does not affect abortions induced through medication in the early stage of pregnancy, which is still allowed.

The ruling comes two days after another federal appeals court allowed Texas to enforce curbs on abortions via medication as part of that state’s response to the pandemic.

Arkansas and Texas are among a handful of conservative states that have pursued limits on abortion during the crisis, saying they want to ensure that medical resources, including protective equipment, are available to help healthcare facilities cope with people with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus.

The 8th Circuit said that the lower court judge “usurped the functions of the state government by second-guessing the state’s policy choices in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

‘Help us’: Cook County inmates post signs in windows as COVID-19 cases mount

 

Inmates at the Cook County Jail have put up signs in their windows asking for help as COVID-19 cases continue to mount.

Several signs were spotted in inmates’ windows throughout Division X, a maximum security facility.

Some signs said “help us, don’t let us die” and “save us.”

304 detainees and 174 correctional officers have tested positive for COVID-19. Two detainees have died as a result of the virus.

Staff said any detainee who is showing symptoms is immediately removed from where they’re housed and taken to receive medical attention.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office sent the following statement.

Any detainee who is symptomatic for the virus is immediately removed from the tier where he or she is housed and taken to receive medical attention by Cermak Health Services staff. The signs in the window are located in Division X, a maximum security facility, not Cermak Health Services.” 

Cook County Jail Inmate Fears For Her Life In The Midst Of The COVID-19 Pandemic

 A federal judge said there will be no mass release of inmates from the Cook County Jail, COVID-19 or not. In late March the jail had two positive cases. Now it is potentially the largest cluster of COVID-19 in the country.

There have been 289 detainees who tested positive. Two inmates died, and the virus is the suspected cause.

Also, 167 correctional staff members and jail staff members have tested positive.

The jail might be the hottest spot in the country, a veritable petri dish of despair. Now a woman who likely shouldn’t be there is speaking from the inside.

Jessica Huff is in Cook County lockup on a burglary charge. She could be out, but her case is gummed up because she has another retail theft charge out of DuPage County, so she couldn’t get out on the monitoring she was granted in Cook County.

“I have a heart condition,” she said. “I have what is called endocarditis.”

She also has asthma, making her legal tangle life or death.

She is staying in the jail’s hospital. It’s Cermak 3 East Division H.

“All of us up here are in Cermak because we have severe conditions that we cannot be in population in the jail for,” Huff said. “That they are bringing people up here with COVID and placing them in the isolation cells that we have to live on this unit with. I was just in isolation for 24 hours for COVID because my roommate had severe symptoms of it. She’s still in isolation.”

Huff said the guards do not have protective masks or rubber gloves “at all times.”

Jail officials say all guards have proper personal protective equipment and are ordered to wear it at all times.

“I’m not admitting guilt, but if I were guilty, I don’t deserve a death sentence,” Huff said. “I don’t deserve to die in here. Nobody deserves to die in here. I fear for my life.”

And worse, she said it seems like her jailers simply don’t know what to do.

“They have sheets and towels underneath the doors of these cells to try to block them from the air coming out,” Huff said.

Patient safety is the number one concern, said Cook County Health. They run the jail hospital. The sheriff’s department said all guards are under order to wear PPE at all times.

As for why Huff is still in custody, she may not be soon. The warrant in DuPage County was just canceled. Friday the sheriff’s department brought her case to the state’s attorney and public defenders’ offices. She could have her electronic monitor removed in short order.

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Chicago’s McCormick Place to be turned into a 3,000-bed hospital.

McCormick Place is being turned into a makeshift hospital to treat COVID-19 patients.

The Army Corps of Engineers said it will have 3,000 beds and that all three halls of the convention center will be used.

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Patients will be separated by the level of care they require.

The hospital is expected to be up and running by April 24.

A similar facility is opening on Monday, at a convention center in New York.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Chicago patients to be treated at McCormick Place

 

Comparing Immigration Raids Under Trump, Obama

Protesters chant outside the Grayson County courthouse in Sherman, Texas, Feb. 16, 2017. In an action called "A Day Without Immigrants," immigrants across the country are expected to stay home from school, work and close businesses to show how critic

WASHINGTON – When Immigration and Customs Enforcement ((ICE)) agents arrested at least 680 undocumented immigrants in cities around the United States last week, immigration advocates hailed it as the first “mass enforcement operation” of the Donald Trump era.

“It is time to sound the national alarm bell,” said a group of organizations led by United We Dream.

But is it? The truth is more nuanced.

Barack Obama inherited and expanded the capacity to identify, apprehend, and deport unauthorized immigrants, according to the Migration Policy Institute, and he used it as president, deporting more than 2.5 million people between 2009 and 2015.

At the border, there was a “near zero tolerance system, where unauthorized immigrants were increasingly subject to formal removal and criminal charges.”

Immigration enforcement, as laid out in a 2014 memo, also focused on immigrants who committed crimes and those who arrived after the beginning of 2014.

“A more robust enforcement system inevitably inflicts damage on established families and communities,” the Migration Policy Institute report said.

What ICE did not do during the Obama era was detain people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. ICE was instructed to arrest only people who were targeted in advance and not just anybody swept up in a raid, so-called collateral arrests.

Obama said his government did not have the desire to deport millions of undocumented immigrants whose only crime was to enter the country illegally.

And now?

President Donald Trump’s Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States executive order shows that collateral arrests are not to be avoided.

“Many aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas present a significant threat to national security and public safety,” the order says.

After last week’s enforcement operations, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly said that 75 percent of the people apprehended had criminal records. This implies that 25 percent of the 680 arrests reported by DHS were non-criminals.

ICE said during “targeted” enforcement operations officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in violation of federal immigration laws. “Those persons will be evaluated on a case by case basis and, when appropriate, arrested by ICE,” the agency said.

Rep. Michelle Grisham, D-N.M., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 27, 016.

Rep. Michelle Grisham, D-N.M., speaks during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 27, 2016

On Capitol Hill, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has requested a meeting with ICE’s acting director to learn about the location of last week’s operations, the reason for apprehensions, the number of people detained with criminal convictions and the number of parents with minors arrested along with the arresting reason.

“The request to have the meeting, of course, is to get real information, data, about who is apprehended, who are the targets, where, and confirm that information with our constituents … and to make sure that we are following the law, and we’re clear that people are getting due process and that they know their rights, and the fact that we are not causing, which we are, fear and panic in our communities,” New Mexico congresswoman and caucus chair Michelle Grisham said.

A sign alerts customers a bakery is closed for the day as part of an immigration protest, Feb. 16, 2017, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

A sign alerts customers a bakery is closed for the day as part of an immigration protest, Feb. 16, 2017, in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

Building a basis for comparison

While fear is running high in immigrant communities, it is still too early to say how different the Trump administration’s policies will be from the previous ones.

Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) intends to follow it. TRAC is building a baseline “against which arrests by fugitive operation teams and other components of ICE can be compared under the new Trump administration.”

Using case-by-case records of both apprehensions and removals, TRAC has put together an initial report that shows 65,332 individuals were detained and deported by ICE during FY 2016, the last year of Obama’s presidency. TRAC says that amounts to approximately 1,250 per week.

Only a small part of those arrests, however, were the result of ICE raids or other enforcement operations. “Instead, most of these estimated weekly 1,250 ICE apprehensions happened when ICE assumed custody of individuals held by another law enforcement agency,” the TRAC report says.

Putting aside the other law enforcement agencies, TRAC says that “less than 300 individuals were arrested each week from their place of work, where they lived, or other places they may have been when found” by ICE.

Live & Direct Show 5/29

Click on the link below for audio

www.spreaker.com/episode/14922417

Kanye West Has Reportedly Doubled Donald Trump’s Support Among Black Men

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Trump is profiting off Kanye’s endorsement.

While Kanye West has caught no end of grief from seemingly every rapper in the game after exclaiming his support for Donald Trump, it seems as though his message is being heard, at least by some people who have traditionally not been fans of the president.

According to the Washington Times, a new Reuters poll has been released that shows Trump’s support among black men has doubled in the past week, thanks directly to Kanye’s support. To be clear, Trump’s approval among black men was never super high to begin with, and his approval only grew from 11% to 22% among black males. 7% claimed to have “mixed feelings” about Trump, up from 1.5% the week before, and 71% stated that they disapprove of Trump’s performance in the Oval Office.

Regardless, to grow by so much in a week is a testament to the influence that Kanye still wields despite his constant stream of controversial statements. That, or there were more black male Trump supporters than was originally thought, and thanks to Kanye they no longer feel afraid to admit it.

While Trump may have gained in-roads with black men thanks to Kanye, black women weren’t buying into his shtick, with Trump’s approval rating only increasing from 6% to 9%. Trump’s overall national approval rating currently hovers at around 41%.

Kanye has quickly become President Trump’s most popular celebrity endorsement, instantly becoming a favorite among conservative media figures like Alex Jones, Ben Shapiro, and Charlie Kirk, most of whom were publicly against rap music before Kanye declared himself a Trump fan.

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Female YouTube Shooter Identified As Nasim Najafi Aghdam.

Terrified employees fled as gunfire rang out at YouTube’s sprawling headquarters in San Bruno, California, on Tuesday, prompting a massive police response and evacuation as victims were transported to nearby hospitals. San Bruno police identified the suspect late Tuesday as Nasim Najafi Aghdam, 39, who was found dead from what authorities believe is a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

San Bruno Police Chief Ed Barberini said three people were transported to local hospitals with gunshot wounds.

His department said it is working to identify a motive for the shooting. Earlier reports indicated the suspect may have known one of the victims, but police said late Tuesday that “at this time there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted.”

Barberini said police arrived on scene at 12:48 p.m. local time and encountered frantic employees fleeing the building. “It was very chaotic as you can imagine,” he said.

Nasim Najafi Aghdam SAN BRUNO POLICE DEPARTMENT

Responding officers encountered one victim with a gunshot wound toward the front of the building before finding the deceased suspect, Barberini said. Several minutes later, police located two additional victims at an adjacent building.

Barberini later said the suspect used a handgun and there was no further threat to the community.

San Bruno police investigate motive

Police said they are investigating the motive for the shooting, but Aghdam’s videos and website are filled with criticism of YouTube. Sources said she initially asked for one of the male victims by name, and that she used 9mm handgun during the shooting.

Jaclyn Schildkraut, an expert on mass shootings research and assistant professor at the State University of New York (SUNY), told CBS News it was “very uncommon” to see a female suspect carry out this type of shooting.

Women made up of only four percent of mass shooting suspects in the U.S. between 1966 and 2016, Schildkraut said. However, Tuesday’s shooting might not fit the definition of a mass shooting. The Gun Violence Archive defines it as four or more people shot or killed —  excluding the shooter.

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