Uber Tests On-Demand Flu Shots in 3 Major Cities

October 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

Now there’s an Uber for flu shots. On Thursday the car-service at the tap of a smartphone announced a one-day UberHEALTH pilot program in partnership with Harvard Medical School’s Vaccine Finder program to deliver free flu shots on-demand. From 10am-3pm E.T. Uber drivers will drive a registered nurse to deliver and inject the shot to customers anywhere within the three test cities of New York, Boston, and Washington.

The shots will not take place in the cars. Instead users will be asked to identify a place to meet up with the nurses from the Passport Health and Pager program. No insurance card is required. Harvard professor John Brownstein whose group pitched Uber the project over the summer said it has “huge potential” to “deliver more convenience into delivery of care.” The test can also provide a precedent for crisis situations, he said, where you “don’t necessarily want people crowding and traversing cities to get access to vaccines.”

More HERE

“Terror” grips Canada: Soldier shot, gunMEN reportedly storms Parliament

October 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

The natives are restless – Launch “Ebola” Paradigm….

FOX Reporting multiple Shooters

A Canadian soldier was shot at the Ottawa National War Memorial Wednesday, and a gunman reportedly fled into the nation’s Parliament building, raising fears the attacks could be part of “lone wolf” campaigns being carried out by Islamic extremists.

A member of the Canadian parliament, Bernard Trottier, tweeted that a gunman had been shot and killed. Witnesses reported hearing gunfire inside Parliament Hill, which is under lockdown.

SEE ALSO: Canadian MP: ‘Gunman is deceased. We are OK’

Paramedics took the wounded Canadian soldier away in an ambulance, and the soldier’s current condition is unknown.

U.S. Capitol Police spokesman Shennell Antrobus said Wednesday they were monitoring the situation in Canada, but declined to comment on what extra security measures might be taken in the U.S. Congress.

The incident comes just two days after two Canadian soldiers were hit by a car in Quebec driven by a man with jihadist sympathies. One of them was killed.

The office of the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, said that he was safe, but so far has not issued any further statement. He was scheduled to speak at several public events in Toronto Wednesday, which will likely be cancelled in light of the shooting.

Security experts have increasingly become concerned about “lone wolf” attacks carried out by a single radicalized individual. Experts said that while the Islamic State, often known as ISIS or ISIL, likely does not currently have the ability to carry out large-scale attacks like al Qaeda, the radical group is encouraging single individuals to launch terror attacks in their own countries.

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

Read more: Washington Times

Soros to Host Fundraiser for ‘Independent’ Kansas Senate Candidate

October 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

Unless your name is Koch … this is perfectly OK? 

Kansas Senate hopeful Greg Orman insists that he is not beholden to the Democratic Party, but a major Democratic donor is hosting a fundraiser for his campaign to unseat Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts.

Jonathan Soros, son of billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, will host a New York City fundraiser this week for Orman, who is running as an independent candidate, according to an invitation obtained by America Rising.

In addition to the $3.7 million the younger Soros has donated to Democratic candidates, committees, and interest groups, Jonathan is a highly active member of the secretive Democracy Alliance, a hub of Democratic fundraising.

The fundraising consultancy managing the event, the Katz Watson Group, represents a who’s-who of Democratic organizations and individuals, including the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Hillary Clinton for President Exploratory Committee.

more at free beacon

 

9/11 Building 7 Mystery Via NYC Ballot Ends After Court Ruling

October 10, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

Building 7 before it collapsed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An effort to put a new investigation into the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 up for vote in New York City won’t be on the November ballot , after a New York State Supreme Court judge upheld a ruling dismissing the proposed referendum.

The High-Rise Safety Initiative, which raised $350,000 and collected about 100,000 signatures to support its effort, decided not to appeal the decision by Judge Paul Wooten . Why? To keep open an avenue to try again at the next election in 2016, according to Ted Walter, the group’s executive director.

“We are going to take a little break, and try to evaluate whether we can redraft the petition to be successful in the future,” he told WhoWhatWhy.

The chances of winning on appeal now are slim and a loss now would foreclose an opportunity to counter the City’s use of a particular technicality to successfully scuttle this attempt, Walter said. That involved a finding that the High-Rise Safety Initiative’s proposed ballot measure was “merely advisory” and therefore not allowed. A special referee assigned to oversee the case (whose findings Judge Wooten upheld) also ruled that the group’s plan to finance the investigation wasn’t legally permissible.

That the High-Rise Safety Initiative made it this far should be considered against this fact: only two proposed referenda have made it to the ballot in New York City in the last 50 years. And neither of those cost money to implement, as the High-Rise Safety Initiative would have. New York City electoral laws are written such that it’s next to impossible to get any similar measures in front of voters.

In a few months, the High-Rise Safety Initiative will discuss whether to try again, considering three factors before proceeding, Walter said.

Those are: 1) Whether it can propose a plan to finance the investigation that can’t be challenged 2) Whether it can surmount the City’s legal argument that the proposed referendum is “merely advisory” and 3) If it can raise the minimum $300,000, especially now that this round in court has demonstrated just how long the odds against success are.

Until that happens, the question of how Building 7 collapsed so swiftly and uniformly will remain a baffling part of the story of 9/11 still unanswered by the official probe.

Read the rest HERE

No Islamic State fighters coming from Mexico, Homeland Security says

October 9, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

And they would know — cause, er …. They hire them?

McClatchy DC

— The Department of Homeland Security is trying to shoot down reports that terrorist fighters are operating in Mexico and that some already have been caught attempting to cross the United States’ southern border.

Homeland Security officials said Wednesday that there was no truth to reports that fighters affiliated with the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, have been apprehended on the border.

“The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground,” Marsha Catron, DHS press secretary, said in a statement.

But such assurances by the administration haven’t satisfied several Republican members of Congress, who feel the border is so permeable that it’s impossible for the government to say with any confidence who has entered the country or what their intentions are.

“Wake up, America,” Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., pronounced at a recent congressional hearing on a possible border threat. “With a porous southern border, we have no idea who’s in our country.”

Similar claims have been made by other prominent Republicans, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah.

“My concern is that I have a reason to believe that on September 10th, there were actually four individuals trying to cross the Texas border who were apprehended at two different stations, that do have ties to known terrorist organizations in the Middle East,” Chaffetz said at a recent hearing. Although Chaffetz didn’t specifically mention the Islamic State in his comments, he told news media that asked about the hearing that he worried about the group coming into the U.S.

Homeland Security spokeswoman Catron also disputed reports that any terrorist groups are organizing in Mexico.

“DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border,” she said.

This week, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., told Fox News that at least 10 Islamic State fighters have been caught trying to cross the U.S.-Mexican border. A member of the House Armed Services Committee, Hunter said he got his information directly from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., meanwhile, has raised concerns that the Canadian border is another vulnerability that terrorists could exploit.

Democrats charge that Republicans are trying to score political points by blaming President Barack Obama for failing to properly secure the country in light of a growing threat from the Islamic State.

A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that nearly half of all Americans feel the United States is less safe now than before 9/11.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/10/08/242646_no-islamic-state-fighters-coming.html?sp=/99/200/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

Missouri police plan for possible riots if Brown cop not charged

October 8, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

 

7 Oct 2014 – Missouri authorities are drawing up contingency plans and seeking intelligence from U.S. police departments on out-of-state agitators (protesters), fearing that fresh riots could erupt if a grand jury does not indict a white officer for killing a[n unarmed] black teen. The plans are being thrashed out in meetings being held two to three times a week, according to people who have attended them. The FBI said it was also involved in the discussions. Details of the meetings and intelligence sharing by Missouri police agencies and their counterparts around the country have not been reported before.

Missouri police plan for possible riots if Brown cop not charged

Police guard the entrance to the St. Louis County Justice Building in Clayton, Missouri as protestors gather in the street in this August 20, 2014 file photo. CREDIT: REUTERS/MARK KAUZLARICH/FILES

 

The grand jury is expected to decide next month whether to bring criminal charges against police officer Darren Wilson, who shot dead Michael Brown, 18, on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri.

In differing accounts, police have said Brown struggled with Wilson before the fatal shots were fired. But some witnesses say Brown held up his hands and was surrendering when he was shot multiple times in the head and chest.

If charges are not brought against Wilson, police fear an outbreak of violence not just in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, but across the greater metropolitan area and even in other U.S. cities, according to St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar and others involved in the planning meetings.

James Knowles, the Ferguson mayor who has attended the meetings, told Reuters the concern is “the unrest is going to be far beyond the city of Ferguson.”

Ferguson today is a city on the edge. While mostly black residents hold small protests outside the police station each night, gun store owners report a jump in sales to white residents. Local business owners in the area where Brown was shot complain about lost trade. Many storefronts remain boarded up with plywood.

A memorial to Brown on the spot where he died, and where his body lay uncollected for four hours, still stands, a crucifix surrounded by teddy bears, photographs, flowers and handwritten notes decrying his loss and the alleged brutality of police.

Brown’s killing sparked days of protests in Ferguson in August and looting that caused millions of dollars of property damage. Police were sharply criticized for what was seen as a heavy handed response to the protests, firing tear gas and arresting hundreds of people.

Protestors and civil rights groups say Brown’s death is part of a national epidemic in which a disproportionately high number of unarmed black men are fatally shot by white police officers, an allegation police deny.

Missouri law enforcement officials have been in contact with police chiefs in Los Angeles, New York, Florida and Cincinnati, Ohio and other jurisdictions as they prepare for the grand jury decision, Belmar said. Police in New York and Los Angeles did not return calls for comment.

Of the 227 people arrested between Aug. 10 and Sept. 9 in connection with protests over Brown’s death, 36 were from outside Missouri, including seven from New York, 12 from Illinois and five from California, according to arrest records provided by the St. Louis county police.

“We know outside groups visited us in August. We are expecting that different people will come in from outside the St. Louis area,” if the grand jury decides not to indict Wilson, Belmar said.

One focus of the meetings has been on how to respond in the event of riots, the police chief said. Police faced a public backlash when they initially deployed armored carriers and carried military-style assault rifles after Brown’s shooting.

Representatives of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis County Police, St. Louis city police and Ferguson police have been attending the meetings, Belmar said. The top FBI official in St. Louis, Agent William Woods, attended a strategy meeting last week, said St. Louis FBI spokeswoman Rebecca Wu.

Plans have not been finalized. It was announced last week that the St. Louis County Police will take the lead from the tiny Ferguson force in patrolling the city’s streets.

SIMMERING ANGER

The contingency planning comes as black and white residents of Ferguson brace for the grand jury decision.

The nine white and three black jurors have heard evidence from dozens of witnesses, including Wilson, who has been under police protection at an undisclosed location since the shooting, said Bob McCulloch, the chief St. Louis county prosecutor overseeing the grand jury proceedings.

Police and elected officials are meeting regularly with multi-racial citizen groups in a bid to improve community relations, tackle concerns about police discrimination, and avoid the turmoil that followed Brown’s shooting. Civil unrest is still the “worst case scenario”, Knowles said.

Adam Weinstein, co-owner of County Guns, said sales were up 50 percent since Brown’s shooting, mostly among white residents fearful of riots who are buying Glock, Springfield and Smith & Wesson handguns, and shotguns. “They are afraid the city is going to explode,” Weinstein said, a former member of the U.S. Navy and St. Louis firefighter with heavily tattooed arms.

At Ferguson Market and Liquor, where Brown appears on a surveillance video pushing a store clerk before walking out with an unpaid box of cigarillos on the morning of his death, most of the storefront windows have been repaired after being shattered in looting.

In August, after Brown was shot, the mood inside the store was fearful. Today, it is one of defiance. One of the workers, who asked not to be named, said he had brought his handgun from home to keep in the store. “I’m ready to shoot anyone looking for trouble,” he said.

 ( FAKE ) BLACK PANTHERS

Many African Americans in Ferguson seem to have little faith in the grand jury process and expect Wilson will not be charged. It is rare for a U.S. police officer to face criminal charges after shooting a citizen in the line of duty.

“I do believe if Darren Wilson is not indicted you will see a lot of carnage … There is a lot of explosive energy,” said Tef Poe, one of the protest leaders, sitting in a makeshift office close to where Brown was shot. On a wall sits an array of “to do” notes, top of which reads: “Find Darren Wilson”.

Poe, a rapper, was born and raised in St. Louis. His real name is Kareem Jackson.

At a rally held by Black Lawyers for Justice in a Ferguson church last week, eight members of the New Black Panther Party, a black political group, provided security. They were wearing battle fatigues and berets.

“We are tired of dead bodies in our community,” Mauricelm-Lei Millere, an advisor to the New Black Panthers, shouted at the audience. “We are not going to take it anymore.”

Dallas Ambulance Crew Who Brought Ebola Patient to Hospital Is Quarantined

October 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

The Dallas Fire-Rescue ambulance crew who transported the man infected with Ebola to the hospital have tested negative for the Ebola virus, according to the City of Dallas.

The City of Dallas said Tuesday that the crew took all safety precautions and was isolated and tested following the discovery.

The three members of the ambulance crew are restricted to their homes while their conditions are observed and while the virus’ incubation period passes.

The patient was vomiting when the ambulance got to the hospital, Dallas city spokeswoman Sana Syed said.

The ambulance crew is among 12 to 18 people being monitored after exposure to the man. Some are members of his family, but not all, Syed said.

Should the ambulance crew members develop symptoms, investigators will then determine with whom they came into contact and monitor those people for symptoms as well.

The ambulance used to transport the man has been pulled from service at Station 37 in 6700 block of Greenville Avenue.

Chopper 5 showed Dallas Fire-Rescue ambulance 37 parked away from all other vehicles at the training center in the 5000 block of Dolphin Road. The ambulance was wrapped in red caution tape and blocked in.

The City of Dallas said it has activated the city’s Emergency Operations Center and is on Level 2: High Readiness after receiving confirmation that Dallas has the first diagnosed Ebola case in the nation. The person moved to Dallas from Liberia a week ago.

Sandy Hook Elementary (Monroe CT) Students Return Day After Bomb Threat

October 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

NBC CT

Thursday, Oct 2, 2014 • Updated at 7:56 AM EDT

Students are returning to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Monroe, Connecticut, today, a day after the school was evacuated and children were sent home after a bomb threat was called in.

Supt. Dr. Joseph Erardi said during a public meeting on Wednesday evening that a secretary took the call shortly after 9:30 a.m.

Due to the “uniqueness of the call,” the school was evacuated to the Jockey Hollow building on campus around 10:45 a.m. and parents were notified through reverse 911 calls, Erardi said.

Teachers told students they were practicing an evacuation drill. The children were sent home at noon and parents were urged to disclose only the necessary details to their kids.

Police Investigate Bomb Threat at Sandy Hook

[HAR] Police Investigate Bomb Threat at Sandy Hook

Newtown authorities send students home just in case

Police said the building in Monroe has been cleared for students to return at the start of the school day today. No students are in danger, Erardi said.

Erardi said teachers will acknowledge the early dismissal in school this morning and will “make sure kids feel safe” but will not go into detail about the incident.

Officials did not elaborate on the phone call or the timing of the evacuation and dismissal.

Town officials said in a statement Wednesday  that the incident was considered “no threat-low threat,” but the superintendent acted out of an abundance of caution.

“All students and staff are safe,” First Selectman Patricia Llodra said in the statement.

Students were brought to the neighboring Jockey Hollow school to await dismissal. The building and grounds were checked, and authorities found no evidence of an actual threat.

“Although there was little to no danger at any time with the alleged threat the decision was made to make sure that every precautionary step had been taken for the safety of the Sandy Hook staff members and students,” Erardi said in a statement Wednesday. “This same decision would have been made for all other Newtown school.”

Students from the Sandy Hook School have been going to classes in the former Chalk Hill School in Monroe since January 2013, weeks after a gunman killed 20 first graders and six staff members during a rampage in their Newtown school.

The Newtown Recovery & Resiliency Team will provide counselors to parents and students who “experience emotional reactions and concerns” starting today between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 28 Trades Lane. Call 203-270-4612 for information on after-hours appointments.

Architects have designed plans to build a new school on the Newtown site, but construction has not started. It is expected to begin in spring 2015.
The investigation is ongoing.

White House Loosens Standards for Drone Killing

October 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

 

 

Political Outcast

Drone killing, as anyone knows who bothers to keep up with it, doesn’t have very strict standards. As the New York Times reported back in June,

The group found that more than a decade into the era of armed drones, the American government has yet to carry out a thorough analysis of whether the costs of routine secret killing operations outweigh the benefits. The report urges the administration to conduct such an analysis and to give a public accounting of both militants and civilians killed in drone strikes.

The findings amount to a sort of report card — one that delivers middling grades — a year after President Obama gave a speech promising new guidelines for drone strikes and greater transparency about the killing operations. The report is especially critical of the secrecy that continues to envelop drone operations and questions whether they might be creating terrorists even as they are killing them.

“There is no indication that a U.S. strategy to destroy Al Qaeda has curbed the rise of Sunni Islamic extremism, deterred the establishment of Shia Islamic extremist groups, or advanced long-term U.S. security interests,” the report concludes.
“No indication that a U.S. strategy to destroy Al Qaeda has curbed the rise of Sunni Islamic extremist groups”? You mean like ISIS, ISIL, or the Islamic State—by whatever name you use?

 

Anyone can look at the documented “double tap” policy to know our standards have always been a sham.

So now that it more months have passed since President Obama did not give new guidelines, what does he do now? He loosens the standards that were allegedly in place. What else would a Nobel Peace Prize winner do?

Thus, Yahoo News tells us, “White House exempts Syria airstrikes from tight standards on civilian deaths.”

The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq.

A White House statement to Yahoo News confirming the looser policy came in response to questions about reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children, were killed when a Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria’s Idlib province on the morning of Sept. 23.

The village has been described by Syrian rebel commanders as a reported stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front where U.S officials believed members of the so-called Khorasan group were plotting attacks against international aircraft.

But at a briefing for members and staffers of the House Foreign Affairs Committee late last week, Syrian rebel commanders described women and children being hauled from the rubble after an errant cruise missile destroyed a home for displaced civilians. Images of badly injured children also appeared on YouTube, helping to fuel anti-U.S. protests in a number of Syrian villages last week.

So, basically, Obama imposed “strict standards” that don’t actually apply to the major battlefield. So why not put it out there as a general principle:

The strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations using drones anywhere in the world.

As much as I am opposed to sending troops back to Iraq, these deaths are the inevitable result of launching mass death from the sky. You can’t do surgery with a sledge hammer.

The main reason we were told we had to intervene in ISIS was because they were killing people, including women and children. Does this long-term, gradual (assuming it will ever succeed) “degrading” of ISIS really constitute help for those victims when we are victimizing them more?

 

James Traficant ‘critical;’ doctors to make determination within 72 hours

September 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Americas

GREENFORD — (Vindy.com) Ex-U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. is in “very critical condition” after an accident on his family farm, his wife, Tish Traficant, said today.

The former congressman, 73, is “sedated and he’s not doing well,” his wife told The Vindicator a few minutes before heading back to the St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, where he was taken after first being rushed to Salem Regional Hospital.

Traficant was driving a 1943 Ford tractor about 7:50 p.m. Tuesday at his family farm on West South Range Road about 140 feet into a large pole barn when the vehicle struck a large steel blade on the ground, said Goshen Police Chief Steve T. McDaniel.

That caused the tractor to flip with Traficant still in the vehicle’s seat, but trapped with the tractor on top of him, McDaniel said.

Andrew Thomson of Mercer, Pa., was looking at farm equipment with Traficant, when he saw Traficant go into the barn and was talking with the former congressman.

When Thomson didn’t get a response from Traficant, he checked the barn, saw Traficant under the tractor and called 911, McDaniel said.

It is believed that Traficant suffered a heart attack on the tractor, said Linda Kovachik, a longtime family friend and former aide when Traficant was in Congress.

“Jim Traficant would have jumped off the tractor” under normal circumstances, she said.

Traficant is in a medically-induced coma with numerous tests and scans being done, said Kovachik, who spent several hours today with members of his family at the hospital.

Doctors will determine if there is any brain activity about 72 hours after he was brought to St. Elizabeth, Kovachik said.

“If anyone can come out of this, it’s Jim Traficant,” she said.

After the accident, emergency responders were there in minutes, lifted the tractor and administered CPR to Traficant, McDaniel said. They also got Traficant out of the barn because gas was leaking from the tractor, he said.

Elizabeth H. Traficant, one of his daughters, is the owner of record of the 76-acre farm at 6908 W. South Range Road since Dec. 10, 1999.

Her father, the Mahoning Valley’s most famous and infamous politician of the last half-century, was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 4, 2001.

The farm was a key location in Traficant’s political corruption trial in 2002. Among his convictions was having contractors do work at the farm for political favors, and having congressional staff members work there while on federal time.

Traficant served more than 17 years in the U.S. House as a Democrat before being expelled in July 2002. That came after a federal jury convicted him of 10 felony counts including racketeering, bribery, tax evasion and obstruction of justice.

He unsuccessfully ran for re-election from prison in 2002, and in 2010, the year he was released, as an independent losing both times to Democrat Tim Ryan, a former Traficant aide.

Vindy.com will post further updates as they become available.

– See more at: http://www.vindy.com/news/2014/sep/24/update-jim-traficant-very-critical-condition-after/#sthash.Deskjn6w.dpuf

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