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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.”


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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


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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.


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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.”


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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.

Other Stories of Interest


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FBI Opened At Least 3 Investigations Related to Russian Hacking of Election

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has opened at least three investigations related to Russian hacking of the U.S. presidential elections, five current and former government officials told Reuters. 

At the FBI’s Pittsburgh field office, agents trying to determine who hacked into the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems in 2015 and the first half of 2016.

At the bureau’s San Francisco office, agents are trying to identify the people behind “Guccifer 2,” which posted the stolen emails of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.

And in Washington, FBI counterintelligence agents are investigating, among other things, financial transactions between Russian individuals and companies that may have links to Trump associates.

Trump continues to say he doesn’t have business connections in Russia.


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Secret Service Investigates Student Who Threw Object at Trump Motorcade

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A middle school student admitted he threw a 2X4 piece of lumber at President Trump’s motorcade in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Friday afternoon.

The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office is expected to file charges, CNN reports

Four other juveniles were implicated in the incident.

Trump’s motorcade was near his Mar-a-Lago resort.

No one was injured.

Secret Service continues to investigate the incident.


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Washington Post: Trump Administration Uses Fear to Direct Immigration Policy

border patrol 3By Editorial Board
Washington Post

As a candidate, Donald Trump pledged “zero tolerance for criminal aliens,” a stance, stripped of its tough-guy rhetoric, that might not have represented too drastic a departure from President Barack Obama’s prioritization of undocumented felons for deportation. Within days of taking office, however, Mr. Trump issued an executive order that expanded the definition of criminality so broadly as to encompass virtually any undocumented immigrant charged with a crime or even suspected of having broken a law.

In sweeps by immigration agents across the country, the new administration seemed to be making good on Mr. Trump’s threat by arresting more than 600 undocumented immigrants, most of them in metropolitan areas in a dozen or so states. While the actions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in themselves were not dissimilar to raids undertaken during the Obama administration — which in the 2012 fiscal year alone resulted in the deportation of more than 400,000 people — they unleashed a wave of anxiety in immigrant communities. For good reason, they feel they are in the new president’s crosshairs.

That anxiety was fed by reports, subsequently confirmed by ICE officials, that along with unauthorized immigrants who had committed serious crimes, others were caught in the dragnet if they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, lacking papers.

In a conference call with reporters, David Marin, a top ICE official in Los Angeles, justified the raids by saying that “dangerous criminals who should be deported are being released into our communities.” At the same time, though, he cast doubt on his own assertion by acknowledging that about 40 of the roughly 160 undocumented immigrants detained by ICE agents in the Los Angeles area had been convicted not of felonies but of misdemeanors — and in a few cases had no criminal convictions at all. It’s anyone’s guess how those 40 count as “dangerous criminals who should be deported.”

To read more click here. 


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