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Archive for February 21st, 2017

FBI Investigating Threats Against Muslims During NC Conservative Activists Meeting

cair-logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating alleged death threats against Muslims during a meeting of conservative activists in North Carolina, the Associated Press reports. 

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) requested a federal investigation after a speaker in Kernersville spoke about the Muslim Brotherhood.

Audio captured by alternative newspaper Triad City Beat revealed that someone at the meeting said, “Any recommendations on how we can stop this? Because my only recommendation is to start killing the hell out of them.”

The speaker suggested Muslims are trying to take over the U.S.

The FBI wrote in a press release: “The FBI is aware of news media stories about a recent meeting in North Carolina where comments were reportedly made against the Muslim community. We are working with our local law enforcement partners to determine if a federal violation involving threats of violence that is not speech protected under the First Amendment has occurred. The safety and security of our citizens is a priority for the FBI and we have been in contact with local community leaders to assure them we take potential threats of violence very seriously.”

LA Times: AG Sessions Must Recuse Himself from Probes of Trump Ties to Russia

AG Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing.

AG Jeff Sessions at his confirmation hearing.

By Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times

If Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with efforts by Russia to help him defeat Hillary Clinton — a nightmare scenario for which no evidence has been produced so far — it would be first and foremost a political and constitutional crisis. But it also likely would involve violations of federal law. And even if such collusion  didn’t take place, there could be other matters involving Russia and Trump associates that would require decisions by the Department of Justice.

That department is now headed by Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, who as a senator from Alabama was an early and enthusiastic supporter of Trump’s candidacy. And President Trump, as he made clear at his stream-of-consciousness news conference last Thursday, rejects concerns about improper relationships between his campaign and Russia as a “ruse” and “fake news” fabricated  “to try and make up for the loss of the Democrats.”

Given these facts, Sessions must recuse himself from any decision pertaining to those relationships

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Whether Mexican Nationals Can Sue Over Border Patrol Shootings

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments today in a case involving a Border Patrol agent who fatally shot an unarmed 15-year-old across the border with Mexico.

The big legal question: Can the family of the teenager sue an agent for damages in the U.S.?

The shooting occurred between El Paso and Juarez. There have been 42 cross-border shootings between 2005 and 2013, marking a big increase over previous time periods, NPR reports. 

NPR wrote:

In June 2010, Sergio Hernández and his friends were playing chicken, daring each other to run up the incline on the U.S. side and touch the fence, according briefs filed by lawyers for the Hernández family.

At some point U.S. border agent Jesus Mesa, patrolling the culvert, arrived on a bicycle, grabbed one of the kids at the fence on the U.S. side, and the others scampered away. Fifteen-year-old Sergio ran past Mesa and hid behind a pillar beneath the bridge on the Mexican side.

As the boy peeked out, Agent Mesa, 60 feet or so away on the U.S. side, drew his gun, aimed it at the boy, and fired three times, the last shot hitting the boy in the head.

Although agents quickly swarmed the scene, they are forbidden to cross the border. They did not offer medical aid, and soon left on their bikes, according to lawyers for the family.

President Trump’s Immigration Plans Remain Murky Despite Rhetoric

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Immigrants nationwide are waiting anxiously to see how President Trump handles immigration enforcement after his rhetoric suggested a hardline approach.

What remains unclear is whether recent raids mark a departure from Obama administration’s policies, Newsday reports. 

President Obama wasn’t exactly weak on immigration. In fact, his administration deported an estimated 2.5 million immigrants, more than his predecessors.

On Feb. 12, Trump tweeted, ““The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!”

“The Border Patrol has traditionally picked up people and created a climate of fear for even those who have papers,” Meghan Maloney of the New York Immigration Project told the Buffalo News. “In this current climate, that fear is much more palpable.”

But the conservative National Review suggested last week that the deportation policies so far are “nothing new.”

“Illegal immigrants in the United States have long dealt with the fear that ICE officers would be knocking at their door,” it said. “In fiscal year 2012, for example, ICE removed over 400,000 illegal aliens, a number that was high enough to prompt frenzied anti-deportation rhetoric.”

DEA Steps Up Investigations into Drug Thefts at VA Hospitals

pillsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is launching increased investigations into Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals after a sharp rise in opioid theft, unauthorized drug use by VA employees and missing prescriptions, the Associated Press reports. 

Government data suggests that doctors, nurses and pharmacy staff are stealing prescription for themselves or to sell on the street.

Congressional auditors have found lax tracking of drug supplies at VA hospitals, with some skipping monthly inspections of drug stocks.

The increased scrutiny comes at a time when the country is facing an opioid epidemic.

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