North American News


Anarchists Plead With Antifa: Please Stop Making Us Look Bad

31st Aug 2017

Anarchists on Reddit’s anarchism subreddit pleaded with Antifa Wednesday not to get into the habit of assaulting elderly disabled veterans, while protesting the rise of violent fascism.

A video posted to the anarchist subreddit Wednesday morning from April showing Antifa throwing water on a disabled vet has attracted internal criticism from the leftist community, with one user complaining about the act of petty violence and proclaiming, “We need to be able to confront the toxic elements in our own groups if we want to be able to confront the world’s scum.”

“This is a serious problem,” Reddit user buttmunchnbutterflys wrote. “The macho posturing against regular and vulnerable folks is bad, and not just because it makes us look bad. It’s called being mean and a bully. I have only seen this kind of behaviour in videos, but everytime I do I don’t see any antifa even try to tell them to stop which is disheartening. We need to be able to confront the toxic elements in our own groups if we want to be able to confront the world’s scum.”

One California cop who spoke to The Daily Caller News Foundation on background said purely from an analytical perspective there were at least two chargeable acts visible in the video, the first being theft and the second being battery.

Confronting the bullying of vulnerable individuals is a challenge because there’s a strong chance that anyone standing up to Antifa would run the risk of being labeled a secret fascist or agent provocateur.

“I’m afraid that if someone were to try and stop the jerk they may get mistaken for an undercover Fascist or agent provocateur, or perhaps the jerk has friends with him and with the mob mentality going on they might get beat up themselves,” said swoleprole, who originally posted the video.

Another poster named ProleLivesMatter with an affinity for “queer liberation” came out and acknowledged that “there is the hatred in the air among comrades in organizing left groups toward veterans. It’s important to educate people on the matter that vets are also victims of the system and potential comrades.”

ProleLivesMatter added in a separate post: “No matter what they said to antifa, you should not beat up somebody with a disability.”

That comment received numerous downvotes.

Others in the thread mocked the complaints about violence and surmised that the veteran in the wheelchair was likely “saying some really vile shit.”

source/read more:http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/30/anarchists-plead-with-antifa-please-stop-making-us-look-bad/

Offshore Human Testing Of Herpes Vaccine Stokes Debate Over U.S. Safety Rules

31st Aug 2017

Defying U.S. safety protections for human trials, an American university and a group of wealthy libertarians, including a prominent Donald Trump supporter, are backing the offshore testing of an experimental herpes vaccine.

The American businessmen, including Trump adviser Peter Thiel, invested $7 million in the ongoing vaccine research, according to the U.S. company behind it. Southern Illinois University also trumpeted the research and the study’s lead researcher, even though he did not rely on traditional U.S. safety oversight in the first trial, held on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts.

Neither the Food and Drug Administration nor a safety panel known as an institutional review board, or an “IRB,” monitored the testing of a vaccine its creators say prevents herpes outbreaks. Most of the 20 participants were Americans with herpes who were flown to the island several times to be vaccinated, according to Rational Vaccines, the company that oversaw the trial.
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“What they’re doing is patently unethical,” said Jonathan Zenilman, chief of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center’s Infectious Diseases Division. “There’s a reason why researchers rely on these protections. People can die.”

The risks are real. Experimental trials with live viruses could lead to infection if not handled properly or produce side effects in those already infected. Genital herpes is caused by two viruses that can trigger outbreaks of painful sores. Many patients have no symptoms, though a small number suffer greatly. The virus is primarily spread through sexual contact, but also can be released through skin.

The push behind the vaccine is as much political as medical. President Trump has vowed to speed up the FDA’s approval of some medicines. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who had deep financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, slammed the FDA before his confirmation for over-prioritizing consumer protection to the detriment of medical innovations.

“This is a test case,” said Bartley Madden, a retired Credit Suisse banker and policy adviser to the conservative Heartland Institute, who is another investor in the vaccine. “The FDA is standing in the way, and Americans are going to hear about this and demand action.”

American researchers are increasingly going offshore to developing countries to conduct clinical trials, citing rising domestic costs. But in order to approve the drug for the U.S. market, the FDA requires that clinical trials involving human participants be reviewed and approved by an IRB or an international equivalent. The IRB can reject research based on safety concerns.

Robert Califf, who served as FDA commissioner in the Obama administration until January, said he couldn’t think of a prior instance in which American researchers did not set up an IRB abroad.

“There’s a tradition of having oversight of human experimentation, and it exists for good reasons,” he said. “It may be legal to be doing it without oversight, but it’s wrong.”

However, Rational Vaccines downplayed safety concerns, asserting there was little risk the participants would be harmed because they had herpes already. Agustín Fernández III co-founded­ Rational Vaccines with tenured SIU professor William Halford. He said Halford, the lead investigator, took the necessary precautions during the trial conducted from April to August in 2016. Halford died of cancer in June.

The university backed its professor’s work by posting a glowing article on its website about the vaccine. SIU is one of the patent holders of the vaccine and set up a business account to collect donations for the work.

Nonetheless, Southern Illinois University officials said they had no legal responsibility to ensure safety measures were in place because the university has an arms-length relationship with Rational Vaccines. Fernández said the company licensed two patents related to the vaccine from the university.

“SIU School of Medicine did not have any involvement in Rational Vaccines’ clinical trial,” said Karen Carlson, the university’s spokeswoman. “But we are confident that as the chief scientific officer of Rational Vaccines, Dr. Halford followed safety protocols appropriate to the clinical trial.”

But other researchers said they were appalled by what they described as the university’s complicity in ignoring more than 70 years of safety protocols. Scientists called for more rigorous clinical trial oversight in the wake of Nazi atrocities involving human experiments in the 1940s.

 

 

source/read more:http://khn.org/news/offshore-rush-for-herpes-vaccine-roils-debate-over-u-s-safety-rules/

Stamford Officials Eye Legislation That Would Outlaw ‘Distracted Walking

20th Aug 2017

Drivers aren’t the only ones who could be fined for texting or talking.

Now, there’s a proposal to keep pedestrians safe that could set off a national trend.

Crossing busy Broad Street in downtown Stamford can be a challenge, even if you’re not staring down at text messages on your cell phone.

“I see mothers pushing their babies, they’re texting and I’m like how do y’all do all this at this intersection? That scares me,” Dawn Thompson said.

“There been many times where I looked down on my phone and then notice that there’s a car coming right at me, and I feel like a moron whenever that happens,” Nicole Neurohr said.

Texting or even talking on an electronic device may soon be illegal in Stamford if a proposal to outlaw ‘distracted walking’ is approved.

“They’re oblivious to cars,” Stamford City representative, John Zelinsky said.

Zelinsky said the Pedestrian Safety Ordinance is modeled after one approved in Honolulu late last month, and would carry a $30 fine if police catch you in the act.

“I don’t want any more injuries or deaths as a result of pedestrians getting hit. We’ve had about four or five within the past three or four years,” he said.

Nationwide pedestrian fatalities jumped about 11 percent last year with nearly 6,000 people killed according to the National Governors’ Highway Safety Association.

While most people in Stamford seemed to like the idea, others asked, do you really need to legislate common sense?

“I think that’s ridiculous,” Troy Latham said.

Latham certainly doesn’t like the idea of a $30 fine or being forced to hang up.

“If it’s an important text message or call they’re getting, like what if it’s too late, what if their mother’s in the hospital and they need someone to call real quick,” Latham said.

There would be an exception for 911 calls, and Zelinsky said the fines really aren’t the point.

“This is not actually to raise money for the city, but to hopefully educate the public,” he said.

You may want to hang up and look the next time you see the ‘walk’ sign

 

source;

CIA ‘torture psychologists’ avoid trial with secret settlement

20th Aug 2017

Two psychologists who helped design the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program settled a lawsuit Thursday by detainees alleging they were illegally tortured.

The secret settlement in the suit, brought on behalf of two living ex-detainees and one who died of hypothermia after brutal questioning in US custody, avoided what would have been the first public trial of the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of torture on suspected Al-Qaeda members.
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But it also allowed the two psychologists who supplied the CIA with “coercive” interrogation techniques, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, to maintain that they personally had nothing to do with the use of waterboarding, extreme stress positions and beatings on detainees.

“Neither Dr. Mitchell nor I knew about, condoned, participated in, or sanctioned the unauthorized actions that formed the basis for this lawsuit,” Jessen said in a mutually agreed statement attached to the settlement.

“We served our country at a time when freedom and safety hung in the balance.”

The American Civil Liberties Union brought the suit in 2015 against Mitchell and Jessen, who were recruited by the CIA in 2002 to design and help conduct interrogations of war-on-terror suspects captured in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

– CIA paid $80mn for their expertise –

The two were paid around $80 million for their work, which included helping interrogate Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks by Al-Qaeda, and Abu Zubaydah, another top Qaeda suspect.

The suit accused Mitchell and Jessen of responsibility for the CIA’s use of torture methods on the three detainees, Tanzanian Suleiman Abdullah Salim, Libyan Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, and Gul Rahman of Afghanistan.

Rahman died of hypothermia in a CIA prison cell in November 2002, after what the ACLU says were two weeks of brutal torture.

The ACLU had sought to pin responsibility in part on the psychologists, as well as gain a significant financial award for the men and Rahman’s family. The trial had been set to begin on September 5.

The ACLU and lawyers for the defendants declined to give any details of the settlement, including whether any money would be paid as part of it.

In the settlement statement, the plaintiffs stood by their allegations that Mitchell and Jansen had responsibility for the extreme interrogation methods used on them.

However, they said afterward, “We brought this case seeking accountability and to help ensure that no one else has to endure torture and abuse, and we feel that we have achieved our goals.”

“We were able to tell the world about horrific torture, the CIA had to release secret records, and the psychologists and high-level CIA officials were forced to answer our lawyers’ questions,” they said.

James Smith, the main lawyer for Mitchell and Jensen, said the treatment of the three, while regrettable, was not the fault of his clients.

“If this case had gone forward, the facts would have borne out that while the plaintiffs suffered mistreatment by some of their captors, none of that mistreatment was conducted, condoned or caused by Drs. Mitchell and Jessen,” Smith said.

source; https://www.yahoo.com/news/cia-torture-psychologists-avoid-trial-secret-settlement-170038297.html

 

 

 

California Bill: 1 Year in Jail for Using Wrong Transgender Pronoun

20th Aug 2017

A new bill being considered by the California State Senate would punish people who “willfully and repeatedly” refuse “to use a transgender resident’s preferred name or pronouns” in a public health, retirement or housing institution.

The bill, SB 219, was proposed by State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). It includes several other provisions that require a health facility, for example, to honor the gender identity of a patient, meaning that the patient must be admitted to a room that comports with his or her chosen gender; allowed to use whatever bathroom he or she wants to use; and wear whatever clothing or cosmetics he or she decides to wear. It has gone through several amendments.

CBN News notes: “Fines for repeat offenders could be as high as $1,000 and a jail term of up to a year.”

CBN also reports the testimony of the California Family Council’s Greg Burt:

How can you believe in free speech, but think the government can compel people to use certain pronouns when talking to others? … This is not tolerance. This is not love. This is not mutual respect. True tolerance tolerates people with different views. We need to treat each other with respect, but respect is a two-way street. It is not respectful to threaten people with punishment for having sincerely held beliefs that differ from your own.

California Democrats have also taken up the transgender cause as part of their “resistance” to President Donald Trump. In February, when the Trump administration reversed an Obama administration directive on transgender bathrooms in public schools, thus allowing states and local communities to set their own policies again, California protested vigorously in favor of the idea that the federal government should impose a uniform standard everywhere as a matter of civil rights.

 

 

source; http://www.breitbart.com/california/2017/08/17/california-bill-1-year-in-jail-for-using-wrong-transgender-pronoun/

DoD Not Providing Adequate Care to Troops at Risk of Suicide

9th Aug 2017

Defense Department health care providers do a good job of screening for suicide risk, but they fail to provide critical and effective follow-up treatment to servicemembers identified as suicidal, according to a Rand Corp. report released Monday.

Rand researchers found appropriate follow-up care was given to only 30 percent of servicemembers with depression and 54 percent of servicemembers with post-traumatic stress disorder who were at risk of suicide. The rest did not receive follow-up care or got medication and psychotherapy that has not been proven to help.

The report is based on observations of nearly 39,000 servicemembers with diagnosed PTSD or depression over a one-year period. It’s one of the largest evaluations of military mental health care, said Kimberly Hepner, a behavioral scientist and the lead researcher.

“The military health system did quite well in screening for suicide risk,” Hepner said. “Where we found they could do better was how the providers responded to servicemembers with suicide risk identified.”

The Pentagon asked Rand for an independent report on the care it provides to servicemembers with PTSD and depression.

It’s difficult to know how many active-duty servicemembers suffer from PTSD or depression, Hepner said. The report cites between 4 and 20 percent of the more than 2.6 million people who deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The Department of Veterans Affairs analyzed millions of veterans’ records and reported last year an average of 20 veterans died from suicide each day in 2014. While veterans made up about 8.5 percent of the U.S. population in 2014, they accounted for 18 percent of suicides.

 

 

read more/ source: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017/08/07/report-dod-not-providing-adequate-care-troops-risk-suicide.html

GM corn set to stop man spreading his seed

29th July 2017

Original article dated 2001.

 

Scientists have created the ultimate GM crop: contraceptive corn. Waiving fields of maize may one day save the world from overpopulation.

The pregnancy prevention plants are the handiwork of the San Diego biotechnology company Epicyte, where researchers have discovered a rare class of human antibodies that attack sperm.

By isolating the genes that regulate the manufacture of these antibodies, and by putting them in corn plants, the company has created tiny horticultural factories that make contraceptives.

‘We have a hothouse filled with corn plants that make anti-sperm antibodies,’ said Epicyte president Mitch Hein.

‘We have also created corn plants that make antibodies against the herpes virus, so we should be able to make a plant-based jelly that not only prevents pregnancy but also blocks the spread of sexual disease.’

Contraceptive corn is based on research on the rare condition, immune infertility, in which a woman makes antibodies that attack sperm.

‘Essentially, the antibodies are attracted to surface receptors on the sperm,’ said Hein. ‘They latch on and make each sperm so heavy it cannot move forward. It just shakes about as if it was doing the lambada.’

Normally, biologists use bacteria to grow human proteins. However, Epicyte decided to use corn because plants have cellular structures that are much more like those of humans, making them easier to manipulate.

The company, which says it will not grow the maize near other crops, says it plans to launch clinical trials of the corn in a few months.

 

 

source: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2001/sep/09/gm.food

Richard Dawkins Event Canceled; views on islam

25th July 2017

According to Berkeleyside, the event in question was organized by progressive radio station KPFA.

Dawkins, a notorious atheist and harshly outspoken critic of all religions, was to appear on-stage and talk about his latest book ‘Science in the Soul: Collected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist.’

Berkeleyside reports that KPFA sang praises for Dawkins and the book – until a number of his anti-Islam tweets came to their attention.

Subsequently, the outlet states, the station sent an email to all ticket buyers that read, “we had booked this event based entirely on his excellent new book on science when we didn’t know he had offended and hurt – in his tweets and other comments on Islam, so many people.”

“KPFA does not endorse hurtful speech. While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech, we do not support abusive speech. We apologize for not having had broader knowledge of Dawkins views much earlier.”
Putting the sheer insanity of the suggestion that one could know who Richard Dawkins is and not be aware of his hatred for Islam, it’s of course interesting that KPFA took offence with the author’s critique of Islam specifically.

Dawkins addressed that point in a statement.

“I am known as a frequent critic of Christianity and have never been de-platformed for that,” the statement reads. “Why do you give Islam a free pass? Why is it fine to criticize Christianity but not Islam?”
 

Dawkins’ statement goes on to call into question the notion that he has spoken about Islam in an “abusive” manner.

“You say I use ‘abusive speech’ about Islam,” it reads. “I would seriously – I mean it – like to hear what examples of my ‘abusive speech’ you had in mind. When you fail to discover any, I presume you will issue a public apology.”

While no one involved in the matter has mentioned exactly what tweets provoked KPFA, Berkeleyside reports, “a perusal of Dawkins’ recent tweets shows that he comments often about Islam, but he also comments about other religions.”

“Dawkins has sent out tweets and made statements that are critical of extremist Muslims, the female genital mutilation practiced by some Muslim societies, and the requirement that women must wear burkas.”

Apparently that’s “abusive” to progressives.

 

 

source/read more:https://milo.yiannopoulos.net/2017/07/richard-dawkins-berkeley/

Majority says national security behind Trump’s travel ban

21st Jun 2017

majority of American adults believe guarding the country against potential security threats is the driving force behind President Trump’s travel ban, according to a poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Six in 10 adults said guarding the country against potential security threats is behind Trump’s travel ban, which would temporarily halt individuals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. A majority of individuals polled support the courts that have blocked the president’s executive order.

Views of Trump’s order are split among partisan lines, with 41 percent of Democrats thinking national security is behind the travel ban and 87 percent of Republicans agreeing. While 82 percent of Democrats back courts’ decisions halting the ban, 73 percent of Republicans think the courts are meddling with Trump’s authority.

While 34 percent of Republicans polled believe the order is to keep Muslims out of the United States, 64 percent of Democrats think this.

The survey was conducted from June 8 to June 11, polling 1,068 adults. It has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.

 

 

 

source:http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/338540-majority-says-national-security-behind-trumps-travel-ban

Feminists Sue University for Failing to Protect Them from Mean Internet Comments

26th May 2017

A feminist student group at the University of Mary Washington has filed a Title IX lawsuit against the institution for failing to protect them from mean comments on the internet.

Feminists United, a student group at the University of Mary Washington, has claimed in a recently filed lawsuit that the administration failed to protect them from posts made on the anonymous social media app, Yik Yak.

The suit alleges that the university failed to protect the students by refusing to ban access to the app via the university’s wifi system. The complaint ignores the reality that most students have access to the app via LTE internet service on their cellular devices, which would render a ban on the university’s wifi system almost worthless.

The students claim that the university’s decision to allow students to access the app via the school’s wifi network fostered a hostile environment in which the students were subjected to “overtly and/or sexist/threatening” anonymous messages.

Writing on the lawsuit for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), Susan Kruth argued that the university did not violate Title IX policies by refusing to act on comments made on the anonymous app, Yik Yak, which was recently shut down in May.

Universities should respond to true threats and to serious allegations of sexual harassment, and they can provide non-punitive resources to people who encounter offensive speech. But to the extent that remarks are merely sexist or offensive, a public university must recognize that such language is protected under the First Amendment and decline to take unlawful steps to censor it. Throughout their complaint, the plaintiffs conflate alleged threats and a pattern of conduct that they claim deprived them of educational benefits with remarks or behavior that made them uncomfortable.

 

source/read more:http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/05/25/feminists-sue-university-for-failing-to-protect-them-from-mean-internet-comments/