Controversy erupts over anti-Muslim display in W.Va. Capitol; Sgt. at Arms resigns; doorkeeper hurt

The reverberations of an anti-Muslim poster on display at the West Virginia Capitol rotunda continue, with the House Sergeant at Arms resigning and talk of possible discipline against a lawmaker who allegedly injured a doorkeeper Friday.

Sgt. at Arms Anne Lieberman resigned Friday afternoon after delegates accused her of using an anti-Muslim slur. “The sergeant of arms of this body had the nerve to say to us ‘all Muslims are terrorists’ that’s beyond shameful and that’s beyond freedom of speech,” Del. Michael Angelucci, D-Marion, said.

The poster that sparked the controversy consisted of two photos. The upper photo was a picture of the World Trade Center towers during the 9/11 attack. A caption read, “‘NEVER FORGET’ – YOU SAID..”

Below it was a photo of Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, wearing a hijab. Omar is Muslim, and was one of two Muslim women elected to Congress. That picture’s caption said, “I AM PROOF – YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN.”

The anti-Muslim display was outside the House of Delegates chamber as part of a “Republicans Take the Rotunda” event.

A lawmaker told us Friday evening that the House Rules Committee will meet at 8 a.m. Saturday to decide if Del. Mike Caputo, D-Marion, will face repercussions for allegedly injuring a doorkeeper during an angry outburst regarding the poster. Caputo is the minority whip in the House.

Caputo admitted to kicking the door because he wanted to get into the chamber and he said he was being blocked. “We have created an anger that I have never witnessed in 23 years in this body and it sickens me. It absolutely sickens me. So yeah, I kicked the door open I’ll own it,” Caputo said. The doorkeeper was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Democrats in the House spoke out against the poster, saying it is the second hateful event to happen in that legislative body during this session. They referred back to when Del. Eric Porterfield, R-Mercer, compared the LGBTQ community to the Ku Klux Klan.

“We have diverse caucus and many of our people believe that it is festered and it’s intolerable,” Del. Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, said.

Other delegates spoke up during the floor session and said, no matter the message, they will protect the voice of the person who put that poster on display. “While I may not agree with everything that is out there, I do agree that freedom of speech is something that we have to protect,” Del. Dianna Graves, R-Kanawha, said.

When House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, addressed the House, he called on all delegates to be respectful of each other. “We owe it to our selves, we owe it to our constituents, we owe it to men and women and children and families that we represent to do better than we are,” Hanshaw said.

He did not directly reference the poster in his speech to the House.

West Virginia State Senate President Mitch Carmichael released a statement on Friday’s events. “The West Virginia Senate is a body that embraces the goodness in all people and celebrates the unique diversity of those who call this great nation of ours home. We must be strong in our resolve to stand up and speak out against fear and hatred when we see it, and we absolutely condemn the kind of behavior that was on display in our own State Capitol. It is hateful and wrong. Above all, it is not representative of the values that the vast majority of West Virginians hold dear. We, as a state, are far better than what we saw today,” Sen. Carmichael said.


“Time for Talks is Over” – Escalation between Pakistan and India

At least nine Indian troops and Kashmir militants died during a shootout on Monday, as tensions escalated following a suicide bombing attack that killed more than 40 Indian paramilitaries last week.

The fighting went on for several hours in the Pulwama district, south of India-administered Kashmir’s main city of Srinaga, where Indian soldiers were searching for militants tied to the Pakistan-based Islamist group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), which claimed last week’s attack.

Four soldiers, a policeman, three militants and a civilian were killed in the latest clash, officials said. An army major was among the dead, along with three militants from the JeM group.

Security force sources told Reuters news agency that the suspected organizer of the suicide bombing in the disputed region of Kashmir was also killed, echoing reports from local broadcaster NDTV.

‘The Time for Talks is Over’

India has blamed the suicide attack on Pakistan, which it says harbors the JeM group, and threatened a “jaw-breaking response.”

Pakistan has warned India against linking it to the attack without an investigation, saying that it was part of New Delhi’s “known rhetoric and tactics” to divert global attention from human rights violations in Kashmir.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday rejected the possibility of talks with Pakistan following the deadly bombing.

“The Pulwama terror attack shows that the time for talks is over,” Modi said in a reference to a possible dialogue with Islamabad to ease tensions. “Now the entire world needs to unite to take concrete steps to deal with terrorism and supporters. Not taking strict measures against terrorism and those against humanity, also encourages terrorism.”

(Photo by Kremlin)

Saudi Arabia Aims to ‘De-Escalate’ Tensions

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia said it would try to “de-escalate” rising tensions between Pakistan and India during a high-profile summit in Islamabad.

The kingdom’s foreign minister spoke at a press conference in Islamabad as Pakistan recalled its envoy from Delhi for “consultations.”

“Our objective is to try to de-escalate tensions between the two countries, neighboring countries, and to see if there is a path forward to resolving those differences peacefully,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

India and Pakistan both administer parts of the border region of Kashmir, with both laying claim to more of the disputed territory. It’s one of the main disputes between the uneasy nuclear neighbors.


Germany Rocked by Six Stabbings, Gang Rape Over Weekend

Germany was the scene of at least six stabbings and a gang rape in the span of a single weekend, according to local media and police.

Stabbings in the cities of Frankfurt, Cologne, Lingen, Nuremberg, and Mühlheim sent at least five victims to the hospital, with one more discovered dead at the scene, and a gang rape is being investigated in Viersen.

In Frankfurt, the body of a woman was discovered in front of her apartment after neighbors reported screaming to police.

Officers later arrested a male suspect who is reportedly her former partner.

“The autopsy on Monday revealed that the 32-year-old was killed by a cut on the neck, the prosecutor said,” Hessenschau reports.

Also in Frankfurt, a 19-year-old suspect turned himself in to police, indicating he may have been responsible for stabbing a 22-year-old victim during a dispute, according to Bild.

In Nuremberg, a 25-year-old Iraqi migrant was arrested following a manhunt after a woman, 21, was stabbed while walking home with a friend.


Automated “Robo-Debt” Program Related to Over 2000 Deaths

An estimated 2030 Australians on some form of income support in the nation have died after the government branch tasked with guaranteeing their payments sent threatening and often factually incorrect letters warning of cancellation.

At least 2030 recipients of Centrelink’s basic human services in Australia died over a two-year period following the initiation of a ‘robo-debt’ machine-automation program to address discrepancies in income support payment data.
According to reports, after Canberra placed much of its human services branch into the digital realm, hundreds of thousands of resource recipients — particularly those considered to be psychologically ‘at-risk’ — mistakenly received letters between July 2016 and October 2018 demanding new proofs for payment eligibility, resulting in the deaths of over 2030 people, cited by

Canberra’s Centrelink program supplies income support and many other services including healthcare to pensioners, indigenous Australians, military veterans, students and families with small children, among many other social groups. An estimated 5.1 million people were noted to depend upon one or another of the services, according to the most recent data.


Dow jumps over 450 points, clinches 8th straight weekly gain

Stocks surged on Friday amid increasing hopes for a U.S.-China trade deal as equities posted another solid weekly gain.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 443.86 points to 25,883.25 as J.P. Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs outperformed. The S&P 500 gained 1.1 percent to close at 2,775.60, led by the energy and industrials sectors. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.6 percent to end the day at 7,472.41.

Energy shares were boosted by higher oil prices. West Texas Intermediate futures rose 2.2 percent to $55.59 per barrel.

Bank stocks also rose broadly. The SPDR S&P Bank ETF (KBE) climbed 2.25 percent. Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America each advanced 2.54 percent or more.

The 30-stock Dow’s eight-week winning streak is its longest since the one ending Nov. 3, 2017. The Nasdaq also posted its eighth consecutive weekly gain. The S&P 500, meanwhile, closed its seventh weekly gain in eight. The indexes rose at least 2.4 percent each this week.


German Police Officer Blasts Parliament Over Islamists, Open Borders

German society is destabilizing as migrants and jihadists pour in through open borders, warns police officer and politician Martin Hess.

Hess, who serves in the Bundestag as a member of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, eviscerated his colleagues from establishment parties during a recent speech on the floor of parliament, accusing them of abdicated their duties to protect citizens and secure the nation’s borders.

“The threat of terrorism is higher than ever before, and therefore we must act now to implement measures to protect our citizens,” Hess said. “Enough talk. Now is the time for action, and this requires that the main problem be solved, which is responsible for the disasters in the area of internal security: our open borders.”

“The truth has been and remains: Germany is uncertain as never before. Never before in our country have we needed to protect our Christmas markets with concrete bollards from Islamist attacks. Never before in the history of our country did we need ‘women’s protection zones’ to be set up at public events to protect our women.”

Hess pointed out that there were 776 Islamic terror suspects in Germany as of July, 2018, compared with 165 in 2014. He also noted that “almost all” terror suspects entered Germany as “refugees.”

Estimates indicate over 1.6 million mostly-Muslim migrants have poured into the country since 2014.

“You irresponsibly neglect the security and protection of our citizens,” Hess said.
“As long as this cardinal error of ‘open borders’ is not corrected in German security policy, all attempts to improve the security agencies will have no impact.”

Hess called out the hypocrisy of government officials who spare no expense or resource in protecting themselves, while failing to do the same for their constituents, pointing to a massive security and border control campaign for the 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg during which police arrested some 744 known criminals.

“People without a legitimate reason for entry [into Germany] should be consistently rejected, and all persons who are staying illegally in our country should be permanently removed,” Hess said.

He blasted prominent politicians who gaslight citizens by telling them terrorism is “just a risk of 21st century life” or that “we will have to learn to live with terror – because the opposite is true.”

“In the name of our citizens, our children and grandchildren, we cannot and will not live with this terror,” Hess vowed. “We want a safe Germany without concrete bollards and without women’s protection zones . . . We need politicians who are determined to fight Islamist terrorism effectively and make this fight a top priority, right now.”

As Infowars Europe reported last week, authorities arrested three Iraqi migrants under “suspicion of preparing a serious act of violence” involving a bomb and a vehicle in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.


Northwest measles outbreak revives debate over vaccine laws

A measles outbreak near Portland, Oregon, has revived a bitter debate over so-called “philosophical” exemptions to childhood vaccinations as public health officials across the Pacific Northwest scramble to limit the fallout.

At least 44 people in Washington and Oregon have fallen ill in recent weeks with the extraordinarily contagious virus, which was eradicated in the U.S. in 2000 as a result of immunization but arrives periodically with overseas travelers. More than a half-dozen more cases are suspected, and people who were exposed to the disease traveled to Hawaii and Bend, Oregon, raising the possibility of more diagnoses in the unvaccinated.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee last week declared a state of emergency because of the outbreak.

“I would hope that this ends soon, but this could go on for weeks, if not months,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, public health director in Clark County, Washington, just north of Portland. The county has had most of the diagnosed cases so far. ”

Of the confirmed cases, 37 are people who were not immunized. Most of the confirmed cases have been children under 10. Authorities said Friday one case was a person who had received one dose of the measles vaccine.

“The measles vaccine isn’t perfect, but one dose is 93 percent effective at preventing illness,” Melnick said. “The recommended two doses of the measles vaccine provide even greater protection – 97 percent.”

The outbreak has lawmakers in Washington state revisiting non-medical exemptions that allow children to attend school without vaccinations if their parents or guardians express a personal objection. Liberal-leaning Oregon and Washington have some of the nation’s highest statewide vaccine exemption rates, driven in part by low vaccination levels in scattered communities and at some private and alternative schools.

Four percent of Washington secondary school students have non-medical vaccine exemptions. In Oregon, which has a similar law, 7.5 percent of kindergarteners in 2018 were missing shots for non-medical reasons.

Washington and Oregon are among 17 states that allow some type of non-medical exemption for vaccines for “personal, moral or other beliefs,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Numerous studies have shown vaccines do not cause autism — a common reason cited by those who don’t want their kids immunized. Those opposed to certain vaccines also object to an outside authority mandating what they put in their children’s bodies, and some have concerns about the combination of the measles vaccine with the mumps and rubella immunizations, which is how it’s routinely given.

A measure introduced by Republican Rep. Paul Harris of Vancouver, Washington — the epicenter of the current outbreak — would remove the personal exemption specifically for the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR. It’s scheduled for a public hearing in Olympia on Feb. 8.

Democratic Rep. Monica Stonier of Vancouver, a co-signer on the bill, said she would prefer an even broader proposal, but “right now we’re looking at what we can get moved.” Previous attempts have failed.

“We’re trying to respond to a very specific concern here and recognize that there may be broader concerns we can consider down the road,” Stonier said.

Oregon has the nation’s highest statewide vaccine exemption rates, and some communities have rates that are even higher. Washington’s exemption rate, although lower, is also high when compared with other states. Nationwide, the median exemption rate for at least one vaccine for children entering kindergarten in the 2017-2018 year was just over 2 percent.

Oregon state Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, a Democrat and family physician, dropped an attempt to revoke the state’s non-medical exemption in 2015 after virulent opposition. The Legislature now requires parents to either watch an educational video or talk to a doctor before claiming the exemption.

In Washington state, legislation that would have removed the personal or philosophical belief allowance never made it to the House floor for a vote in 2015 amid stiff opposition.

The National Vaccine Information Center, which opposes mandatory vaccination laws, said it opposed that bill and the current one. Another anti-vaccination group, Informed Choice Washington, had its members at the statehouse on Thursday trying to dissuade lawmakers.

“People are feeling extremely oppressed and feeling like they can’t make an educated decision,” said Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the group. She said the legislation would “bring a hammer down and threaten people instead of allowing them to make informed decisions.”

California is one of the few states that stripped away personal belief vaccine exemptions for children in both public and private schools. The law passed in 2015 after a measles outbreak at Disneyland sickened 147 people and spread across the U.S. and into Canada. It occurred despite an earlier law that required parents to talk to a doctor to opt out of vaccines. Vermont also abandoned its personal exemption in 2015.

California state Sen. Richard Pan, a pediatrician who sponsored his state’s bill, said he got death threats over it and had anti-vaccination advocates jam his phone lines and harass him on social media.

The overall vaccination rate for children entering kindergarten in California rose to 95 percent in the two years after the law passed. Parents who don’t want to immunize their children can homeschool or enroll their children in independent study at the local public school.

Measles is still a big problem in other parts of the world, and travelers infected abroad can bring back the virus, causing periodic outbreaks.

Last year, there were 17 outbreaks and about 350 cases in the United States. Before mass vaccination, 400 to 500 people in the U.S. died of the measles every year. Serious complications include brain swelling that can cause blindness or deafness and pneumonia.

Early symptoms include a fever, runny nose and malaise, followed by a rash that starts around the head and moves down the body. Patients are contagious four days before and four days after getting the rash.

Nine out of 10 unvaccinated people who are exposed will get the disease. Someone who has no immunity can get sick up to three weeks after they have been exposed to the virus.


More Blood Pressure Drugs Recalled Over Cancer-Causing Chemical

Another batch of blood pressure drugs have been recalled over fears they contain traces of a cancer-causing chemical.

Valsartan was originally developed by Novartis, marketed as Diovan, but it is now off patent and US patients can instead use generic versions from various companies around the world.

However, last summer it emerged some produced in China had been contaminated with a carcinogen called NDEA, prompting a global recall.

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$6.5M Lawsuit Claims SPLC Abetted Theft and Published Confidential Docs in Defamation Over ‘Thought Crime’

In December 2018, a Baltimore lawyer filed a devastating lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and two of its employees. The SPLC targeted Glen Keith Allen over his former ties to the National Alliance (NA), a white nationalist group. In doing so, the liberal group allegedly violated laws and legal codes of conduct by receiving and then paying for stolen documents in violation of confidentiality agreements. The group went after Allen with the intent of getting him fired by the city of Baltimore and permanently destroying his future prospects.

Allen’s suit claims that the SPLC should have its 501c3 tax-exempt status revoked, that it owes him restitution for racketeering, and that it should pay $6.5 million in damages. It also references Allen’s pro bono work on behalf of African-Americans and his mentorship of an African-American teen, powerfully rebutting claims that he is a racist. Allen told PJ Media he now regrets his NA support, and an African-American friend of his laughed at the idea of this lawyer being branded a racist.

Perhaps most importantly, the suit attacks the liberal group for undermining America’s tradition of free expression. In an August 2016 interview with The Washington Post cited in the lawsuit, SPLC Intelligence Project Director Heidi Beirich (a defendant in the case) claimed to have watched Allen “like a hawk” because he had “the worst ideas ever created.”

“This East Europe Communist thought-crime surveillance mentality is antithetical to fundamental American cultural and Constitutional principles protecting freedom of expression and association,” Allen wrote in the suit, which can be found on his website. His lawsuit uses concrete claims of lawbreaking and defamation to expose the SPLC’s Orwellian strategy of branding its opponents “hate groups” and orchestrating campaigns against them.

In August 2016, the SPLC published an article branding Allen a “neo-Nazi lawyer” and insinuating that this lawyer’s work for the city of Baltimore was racist. Beirich, the article’s author, smeared a small political party as racist and then published allegedly stolen documents protected by confidentiality agreements connecting Allen to the National Alliance.

Allen, a longtime partner at the international law firm DLA Piper, had left the firm in February 2016 to work for the Baltimore city solicitor, taking a pay cut for the opportunity to become chief city solicitor in charge of appeals in about a year. As part of his job, he filed one specific motion to help the city in a lawsuit filed by a black man who was wrongly accused of murder. Beirich painted this work as malicious to African-Americans.

This article led Baltimore’s law department to fire Allen immediately, costing him at least 10 years of employment at a salary of $90,000 or more. The article also destroyed his reputation, making it extremely difficult for him to obtain a job, create a good relationship with clients, or argue before judges and jurors who would immediately judge him a “neo-Nazi lawyer.” Furthermore, a year after Allen’s firing, Baltimore badly lost the case, losing $15 million in damages.


Border Patrol: ‘Violent Mob’ Attacked Agents, Attempted to Push Minors Over Barbed-Wire

The migrants gathered at the San Diego sector of the United States border with Mexico on New Year’s Eve tried to force their way over the barrier. When turned back by Customs and Border Patrol agents, some in the group started throwing rocks and attempted to push children over the barbed wire atop the barrier.

“Once again we have had a violent mob of migrants attempt to enter the United States illegally by attacking our agents with projectiles,” Katie Waldman, Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman said. “The agents involved should be applauded for handling the situation with no reported injuries to the attackers.”

The CBP website, like many other federal agency websites, has a banner explaining that because of the partial government shutdown, it is not being regularly updated. But on Tuesday a statement was posted about the violence:

The following is based on initial operational reporting. Last night, approximately 150 migrants attempted to illegally enter the United States by climbing over and crawling under border fence in San Diego Sector. Due to CBP’s increased presence, a first group of 45 turned back towards Mexico. Shortly thereafter, migrants began throwing rocks over the fence at the CBP agents and officers. Several teenagers, wrapped in heavy jackets, blankets and rubber mats were put over the concertina wire. Border Patrol agents witnessed members of the group attempt to lift toddler sized children up and over the concertina wire and having difficulty accomplishing the task in a safe manner. Agents were not in a position to safely assist the children due to the large number of rocks being thrown at them.

To address the rock throwers assaulting agents and risking the safety of migrants attempting to cross who were already on the U.S. side, both smoke and minimal countermeasures were deployed. Agents deployed smoke, pepper spray and CS gas to a position upwind of the rock throwers and south of the border fence. The deployments were not directed at the migrants attempting entry on the U.S. side or at the fence line. The rock throwers were located south of the fence, in an elevated position both above the border fence area and the incursion attempt.

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