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World News

Pakistani doctor arrested after 90 infected by HIV syringe

Al Jazeera – At least 90 people, including 65 children, are believed to have been infected with HIV in Pakistan by a doctor using a contaminated syringe, officials said.

“We have arrested a doctor after receiving complaints from the health authorities,” said Kamran Nawaz, the local police chief heading the case in the southern city of Larkana, on Friday.

“We are told that the doctor also has HIV,” he said.

Authorities were first alerted last week after 18 children living on the outskirts of the city tested positive for the virus, which causes AIDS, prompting health officials to carry out wider screenings. Dozens of more infections were found.

“More than 90 people have tested HIV-positive and the number of children is around 65,” Dr Abdul Rehaman, a district health official in Larkana, told AFP news agency.

Forgotten War: Death Toll in Yemen to Reach 233,000 by End of Year

Global Research – The death toll from the ongoing war in Yemen will reach a staggering 233,000 if it continues until the end of 2019, a new report from the United Nations said.

According to the UN report, of the 233,000 estimated deaths in Yemen, 102,000 will be combat-related and the remaining 131,000 due to malnutrition, cholera, and other diseases.

In another shocking statistic, the U.N. report said that 140,000 children will have been killed since the start of the conflict in March of 2015.

The report said that by the end of the year, one child will death will be reported every 11 minutes and 54 seconds.

These totals are only expected to increase substantially in the next three years, as the U.N. estimates the death toll will reach nearly 500,000 by 2022.

Unlike the war in Syria, the conflict in Yemen is rarely discussed in the international media.

Despite the fact that the Yemeni War is now the most violent conflict in the Middle East region, it still receives less coverage than other conflicts.

Seven-time Deportee Sentenced; CBP Uncovers Illegals and Drugs Packed Into Vehicles

The New American – On April 26, a federal judge sentenced Luis Albert DeLoera-Serna, 40, to 21 months in federal prison. The Mexican pleaded guilty on January 11 to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported. He’ll spend 21 months in prison and two years on supervised release.

Why was DeLeora-Serna a “prohibited person”? Because he’s a drug user and dealer with a conviction for domestic violence. He is also a seven-time deportee.

“Depending on an alien’s criminality,” ICE reported, “an alien who re-enters the United States after having been previously deported commits a felony punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, if convicted.”

Question is, then what? As The New American reported last week, authorities in Tennessee arrested a “Memphis man” in connection with the beating death of an infant.

But the suspect who killed the little boy, police allege, on learning another man was the father, wasn’t from “Memphis.” Immigration cops had deported him five times to no avail. He was, in fact, a Honduran man.

Now, a child is dead because the federal government can’t control the border, largely thanks to Democrats who want to keep it open. They know which way “Memphis” men vote.

The open border is not only an invitation for dangerous criminals but also for people smugglers.

Traditional May Day Protests in France Become Violent Riots

The New American – May 1 is a traditional day off for French union workers, similar to Labor Day in America. This year in Paris, in the midst of the Yellow Vest movement, the traditionally peaceful May Day rallies turned into violent riots, yet again plunging the protest-weary city into chaos as rioters clashed with police.

Members of the anti-capitalist extremist group Black Bloc, which was responsible for much of the violence, referred to the protests as “Armageddon,” though, thankfully, the violence didn’t quite reach end-of-the-world proportions.

The rioting occurred a week after French President Emmanuel Macron announced tax cuts and a series of government reforms intended to address concerns of the Yellow Vest protestors.

But prominent Yellow Vest protestor Maximme Nicolle, among others, doesn’t believe Macron’s reforms go far enough. “He has not listened to what we’ve been saying in the streets the last five months,” Nicolle said.

Nicolle lamented the police involvement in Wednesday’s protests, while vowing the movement would continue on in spite of it. “They want to prevent us from protesting, they want to divide the cortege in two,” Nicolle said. “The [Yellow Vest] movement will continue to go on this Saturday, and the Saturday after that.”

Close to 40 people were wounded in clashes with the more than 7,000 police officers deployed to keep order. Fourteen officers were injured, including a captain who was hit with a paving stone. At least 380 arrests were made as the black-clad, masked protestors threw rocks, smashed windows, and set buildings and trash bins on fire.

Venezuela’s Maduro warns of civil war amid power struggle

Miami Herald – In an unusual morning appearance, Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro Thursday asked his military for “loyalty” and warned them that the United States was stoking discontent to create division in the ranks and spark a civil war.

Addressing several thousand troops in Caracas alongside Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López, Maduro said the Trump administration was playing with fire by trying to divide the armed forces.

“How many dead would there be if a civil war started here because of the foolishness of coup mongers and traitors?” he said. “And how long would the war last if there was an invasion? Because we would never surrender.”

Maduro rarely makes appearances before noon, and some local media speculated the video could have been prerecorded.

It comes at a time when Maduro, 57, is fighting for political survival and after his rival, interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó, called for a military-civil uprising Tuesday that ultimately fell flat.

But since then, tens of thousands of people have been on the street calling for Maduro’s ouster — violently clashing with security forces.

U.S. News, Politics & Government

Pentagon sounds alarm over military ‘expansion’ of China… which only has one base abroad

RT – The Pentagon, whose military installations abroad dwarf those of China, is deeply worried about Beijing conspiring to build up such facilities across the world in order to protect the global One Belt, One Road project.

The Chinese military is hastily working to project power overseas, the US Department of Defense warned in a comprehensive report to Congress. Rising global ambitions have increasingly propelled China’s military “to think about how it will operate beyond China’s borders and its immediate periphery,” the paper alleges.

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) currently has one overseas facility in Djibouti but Pentagon analysts believe they are eyeing others, possibly in Pakistan, the Middle East or Western Pacific. China’s projects such as the ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) “will probably drive military overseas basing through a perceived need to provide security for OBOR projects.”

Federal Judge Sides With Federal Government, Rules Mass Surveillance Can Remain Secret

Activist Post – Despite a wealth of public information detailing the U.S. government’s secret warrantless mass surveillance programs, a federal judge has blocked a lawsuit, claiming that revealing any details would threaten national security.

A federal judge has ruled that the federal government can assert state secrets privilege to keep details of the warrantless mass surveillance programs secret. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Jeffery White brings an end to a legal battle that has lasted more than ten years as five Americans sought to reveal the full scope of the controversial spying program. The plaintiffs have been represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) since 2008—several years before whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked classified files revealing the NSA’s massive spying apparatus.

Judge White agreed with arguments made by the Department of Justice, namely that revealing any details about whether the government collected the five plaintiffs’ internet and phone data would threaten national security. The judge refused to comment on whether previous reports on government surveillance confirmed that the U.S. government spied on Americans. The judge also stated that the evidence submitted by the plaintiffs did not support claims that the National Security Agency violated the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

Abortion doctors could soon be jailed in US

AFP – The southern US state of Alabama is set to enact a law that would mean jail for doctors performing abortions, even in cases of rape and incest — part of a push by conservatives countrywide to curb family planning services.

Those backing the move say they hope it is challenged all the way to the Supreme Court, forcing a review of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that unduly restrictive state regulation of abortion is unconstitutional.

The measure, approved by the Alabama House of Representatives, sets prison terms of between 10 and 99 years for doctors who perform abortions.

The only exception would be instances where the mother at serious risk or where the child would not survive outside the womb because of some lethal condition.

The measure needs approval by the state’s Republican-controlled senate before it can be signed into law by Republican Governor Kay Ivy.

Deeply conservative and religious Alabama would then file an appeal to any successful legal challenge in the US Supreme Court, hoping the case sets a new precedent overturning legal abortion nationwide.

“This bill is simply about Roe v. Wade,” said its author, Republican representative Terri Collins, during debates on the chamber floor.

“The decision that was made back in 1973 would not be the same decision that was decided upon today if you re-looked at the issue,” Collins said.

Conservatives are counting on support at the Supreme Court, where liberal justices are in a minority after the arrival of two conservative members appointed by President Donald Trump.

UPDATE:  Baltimore mayor to resign

Baltimore Sun – Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned Thursday, apologizing for the harm she has caused to the city’s image amid a growing scandal over her sales of a self-published children’s book series.

It was the latest blow to the leadership of a city that’s seen two mayors resign in scandal in less than a decade and a third one decline to seek another term after a riot over police misconduct and a soaring murder rate.

Pugh, a Democrat, submitted a letter of resignation with Thursday’s date filled in by hand. Her resignation is effective immediately, her attorney Steven Silverman said at a 96-second news conference at his offices in downtown Baltimore.

Pugh did not attend, Silverman took no questions and there was no indication when she would emerge from the seclusion she’s imposed on herself since her last news conference March 28.

“This is a sad day for Mayor Pugh and a sad day for the city of Baltimore,” the lawyer said.

City Considers Banning Facial Recognition

CBS – Privacy advocates in Oakland are proposing a ban on the city’s use of facial recognition technology. The ban would prohibit the use of “any face recognition technology or any information obtained from face recognition technology.”

Brian Hofer, chair of the Oakland Privacy Commission said the San Francisco District Attorney’s office and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department have already reported using the technology to fight crime.

“We need to limit it now,” said Hofer. “We’re moving to amend the [Oakland Privacy Ordinance] to prohibit the use of facial recognition technology because of the dangers it possesses.”

The risks of Amazon’s facial recognition technology, Rekognition, were highlighted last year when the ACLU tested the software and found that it falsely matched 28 members of Congress with mugshots. In a statement, the ACLU said, “The false matches were disproportionately of people of color, including six members of the Congressional Black Caucus.”

“We know that it has a really high error rate, especially for women and people of color,” Hofer said. “The darker your skin is, the more trouble it has identifying you.”

People KPIX 5 spoke to in Oakland feared that the technology would not just make mistakes, but it would also take away a person’s anonymity.

“Anytime they run your face through the software I’m sure it’s going to log your address, the time and everything else so it’s kind of just keeping tabs on everybody,” said Richard Hogan, a supporter of the proposed ban.

But Christina Perkins said facial recognition technology might be the crime-fighting tool that law enforcement needs.

“I think it’s necessary though in order to keep the crime rate down and to keep our neighborhood, our environments protected,” she said. “It definitely could be a good tool.”

The proposed ban would have to pass through the Public Safety Committee and the Oakland City Council before being adopted. If passed, the ban would strictly prevent the city from using the technology, but private companies would remain free to use it. San Francisco is currently considering a similar ban.

Students demand Thomas Jefferson statue removal

Campus Reform – Students at Hofstra University protested a statue of Thomas Jefferson on Friday at the second annual event, titled “Jefferson Has Gotta Go!”

The statue has been the center of controversy on the campus and has been defaced with “DECOLONIZE” and “Black Lives Matter” signs and stickers. According to a media advisory sent by the Jefferson Has Gotta Go (JGG) campaign, the protest was held at Hofstra Breslin Hall. Organizers included “students of Hofstra University, staff from Planned Parenthood of Nassau County, and supporters of Hempstead community.”

The group gathered on campus to “expose the culture of bias and discrimination,” as stated in the media advisory, and to demand “the statue of Thomas Jefferson is removed.”

Hofstra College Democrats “want the statue to be removed and [we] stand with the Jefferson Has Gotta Go Campaign,” the group’s president, Brynne Levine, told Campus Reform.

Economy & Business

Bitcoin hits fresh 2019 highs, driving other cryptocurrencies up

RT – The cryptocurrency market leader, bitcoin, surged to its highest level in almost six months on Friday, trading at around $5,800, as prices for other popular digital currencies also jumped.

Bitcoin was up 6.13 percent, trading at $5,796.11 as of 12:30am GMT, according to CoinMarketCap. Earlier in the day, its price reached $5,864, the highest point since November 14. At the same time, bitcoin market cap exceeded $100 billion, another record high for around half a year.

CVS closing 46 stores

AL – Drug store chain CVS is closing 46 locations, including three stores in Alabama.

The closures represent less than 1 percent of the chain’s 9,000 locations nationwide. Each of the closures were at stores the massive retail chained deemed “underperforming.” The Alabama locations are in Huntsville, Mobile and Montgomery.

Some of the closures have already taken place while others are underway.

Energy & Environment

Terrifying footage shows 130mph cyclone ripping into India

Daily Mail – Terrifying footage shows a 130mph cyclone slamming into India today in a ferocious storm which has killed at least three people and forced more than a million people to flee their homes.

Cyclone Fani ripped into the country’s east coast on Friday morning, tearing down trees, blowing away food stands and cutting off power and water.

Experts fear rising sea levels could cause a five-foot storm surge in Odisha, where the storm made landfall today and where 10,000 people died in a 1999 storm.

The cyclone, one of the strongest to come off the Indian Ocean for years, is expected to barrel into West Bengal state and towards Bangladesh on a trajectory which will take it over the homes of 100million people.

The storm has even hit the Mount Everest climbing season 500 miles away as mountaineers and Sherpa guides descended to lower camps in worsening weather.

Science & Technology

Warning: What Bezos knows about you

Axios – Depending on how much you shop, watch and read with Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth may know more about you than any other company on earth.

The big picture: Naturally, they know what you’ve browsed or bought on their main service. They also know what you’ve asked Alexa, watched on Prime, and read on your Kindle. They know even more thanks to their ownership of Whole Foods, Ring, Eero, Twitch, Goodreads, IMDB and Audible.

Details: As with Google or Facebook, what Amazon knows depend on how much you rely on its services. That said, these days Amazon’s services are all around us. Here are some of the different types of information gathered by various Amazon services.

Facebook bans ‘dangerous individuals’

BBC – Facebook is banning several prominent figures it regards as “dangerous individuals”.

The social network accused Alex Jones, host of right-wing conspiracy website InfoWars, its UK editor Paul Joseph Watson and ex-Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos of hate speech.

Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader who has expressed anti-Semitic views, will also be excluded.

Facebook has already banned anti-Islamic UK groups such Britain First.

The latest ban also applies on Instagram, which Facebook owns.

“We’ve always banned individuals or organisations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology,” the company said in a statement.

“The process for evaluating potential violators is extensive and it is what led us to our decision to remove these accounts today.”

The banned group also includes Paul Nehlen, a white supremacist, and Laura Loomer, an anti-Islamic activist with a large social media presence.

In November, Ms Loomer handcuffed herself to a Twitter building in New York in protest at being banned from that platform.

ANOTHER Huge Purge On Facebook Against Free Speech!

Activist Post – Facebook has purged more influential figures they deem too controversial for the platform. Apparently they were prodded to remove mostly conservative-leaning pages like Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos by a adhering to new list of “unreliable news sources” put out by Poynter. (They named Activist Post one of the top “conspiracy” sites. Couldn’t be prouder.)

Luke Rudkowski and Jason Bermas of We Are Change break down the details of Facebook’s recent purge.

Facebook’s $5 billion FTC settlement could hold Mark Zuckerberg ‘personally accountable’ for future privacy scandals

Daily Mail – Facebook’s settlement with the FTC may come with more than just a $5 billion fine.

As part of the agreement, the social media giant may be forced to appoint a high-ranking, FTC-approved privacy official at the company, Politico reported, citing sources close to the situation.

It could also require the company to establish an independent privacy oversight committee that could include Facebook board members.

The committee would meet each quarter and issue reports on Facebook’s privacy record.

Modifying Monkeys With Genes From Human Brains?

Mercola – Scientists have tweaked monkey brains using human brain genes.

The experiment involved transgenic rhesus monkeys, which were genetically engineered to carry human copies of MCPH1, a gene important for brain development.

The altered animals had better short-term memory and shorter reaction times compared to nonengineered monkeys.

Researchers from Yale University have restored some function to dead pigs’ brain cells, making them neither dead nor alive but rather “partly alive”.

We’re only beginning to understand even the questions that need to be asked in order to proceed safely and ethically, but, as is often the case with technology, science is moving faster than the moral implications can be considered, much less understood



FDA: Big Pharma Drugs Are Making People Kill Themselves While They Sleep

Global Research – leeping drugs such as Ambien have been making people kill themselves in their sleep, says the Food and Drug Administration.  Drugs that supposedly help people sleep are linked to falls, burns, poisoning, limb loss, drowning, and even suicide.

According to The New York Times, this could all be solved by adding warning labels to the bottles of the pills instead of people trying to get off Big Pharma’s drugs.

Incidents related to sleeping pills have included “accidental overdoses, falls, burns, near drowning, exposure to extreme cold temperatures leading to loss of limb, carbon monoxide poisoning, drowning, hypothermia, motor vehicle collisions with the patient driving, and self-injuries such as gunshot wounds and apparent suicide attempts,” according to the FDA’s own research. But rather than tell people not to use such drugs, the FDA simply wants people to know they could kill themselves after taking the pills.

The FDA announced Tuesday that a prominent warning would be required on all medication guides for Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, and the generic version of Ambien, which is called zolpidem. The FDA also mandates a separate warning against prescribing the drugs to anyone with a history of sleepwalking. –Futurism.

That’s a lovely side effect…

“Patients usually did not remember these events,” the agency wrote, according to Futurism. Bizarre actions have been widely reported after using sleeping pills, and the FDA has warned about this in the past – 12 years ago, in fact. That means this isn’t exactly new information.  Big Pharma’s drugs have been problematic for quite some time now, but it is comforting to see others take note of just how disastrous some of these medications can be to humanity.

Some have expressed their surprise at the FDA’s admission that these pills may not be all that safe for people to use. “I am surprised to see this warning come out now,” University of Pennsylvania physician Ilene Rosen told The NYT. “This is something I’ve been telling my patients for the last 15 years, and in the sleep community, this is well known. And I’d like to think we’ve done a good job putting the news out there, that these drugs have some risks.”

But all drugs have risks and hopefully, people will begin to realize that medications simply treat the symptom not the underlying problem that caused the issue to begin with.  Western medicine is about management, not treatment. And it isn’t just Ambien and sleeping drugs humanity should be worried about; it’s all the drugs pushed on the public every single day.

Pig ‘Ebola’ Virus Sends Shock Waves Through World Food Chain

Bloomberg – What started with a few dozen dead pigs in northeastern China is sending shock waves through the global food chain.

Last August, a farm with fewer than 400 hogs on the outskirts of Shenyang was found to harbor African swine fever, the first ever occurrence of the contagious viral disease in the country with half the world’s pigs. Forty-seven head had died, triggering emergency measures including mass culling and a blockade to stop the transportation of livestock. Within days, a government notice proclaimed the outbreak “effectively controlled.”

It was too late. By then, the disease had literally gone viral, dispersed across hundreds of miles in sickened animals, contaminated food, and in dirt and dust on truck tires and clothing. Nine months later, the contagion has spread nationwide, crossed borders to Mongolia, Vietnam and Cambodia, and bolstered meat markets globally.

While official estimates count 1 million culled hogs, slaughter data suggest 100 times more will be removed from China’s 440 million-strong swine herd in 2019, the Chinese zodiac’s “year of the pig.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast in April a decline of 134 million head — equivalent to the entire annual output of American pigs — and the worst slump since the department began counting China’s pigs in the mid 1970s.

Sun Avoidance Is a Major Cause of Mortality

Mercola – A 2017 study found that women with active sun exposure habits have a lower mortality rate than those who avoid it, and a 2014 study showed that the death rate among sun avoiders was double that of the highest sun exposure group.

Smokers reporting the highest sun exposure were found to have a similar risk for developing heart disease and noncancer/nonheart disease as nonsmokers.

The increased risks of heart problems and cancer aren’t the only potential problems caused by lack of sun exposure; specific cancers, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, autism, Alzheimer’s disease and age-related macular degeneration may also be related.

Multiple studies indicate that hazardous ingredients in sunscreen, such as oxybenzone, can cause infertility, birth defects and hormone disruption in children, and even destroy the coral reefs.

Diabetic amputations a ‘shameful metric’ of inadequate care

KHN – Each week, dozens of patients with diabetes come to him with deep wounds, severe infections and poor circulation — debilitating complications of a disease that has spiraled out of control. He works to save their limbs, but sometimes Armstrong and his team must resort to amputation to save the patient, a painful and life-altering measure he knows is nearly always preventable.

For decades now, the American medical establishment has known how to manage diabetes. Even as the number of people living with the illness continues to climb — today, estimated at more than 30 million nationwide — the prognosis for those with access to good health care has become far less dire. With the right medication, diet and lifestyle changes, patients can learn to manage their diabetes and lead robust lives.

Yet across the country, surgeons still perform tens of thousands of diabetic amputations each year. It’s a drastic procedure that stands as a powerful example of the consequences of being poor, uninsured and cut off from a routine system of quality health care.

“Amputations are an unnecessary consequence of this devastating disease,” said Armstrong, professor of surgery at Keck School of Medicine of USC. “It’s an epidemic within an epidemic. And it’s a problem that’s totally ignored.”

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