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Wed, 22 Feb 2017
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2 children saved, 22 people arrested for human trafficking during Detroit auto show

Undercover agents identify around 14-15 potential adult victims

Glitz and glamour stole the spotlight at the North American International Auto Show in downtown Detroit, but something sinister was going on under the hood.

A police investigation revealed a human trafficking operation during one of Detroit's most popular events.


Rogue border agents defy Trump policies

© Lifezette
Ignoring directives some agents are taking matters into their own hands.
Some border patrol stations have been slow to carry out President Donald Trump's immigration enforcement executive order and instead have continued former President Barack Obama's "catch-and-release" policies, according to a union official.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, told LifeZette that he raised concerns Thursday with U.S. Border Patrol Chief Ronald Vitiello. He said he is confident that issue soon will be corrected.

But Judd said as recently as Thursday, some border patrol stations were still releasing border-jumpers, often without even issuing notices to appear in immigration court hearings. Obama's policy was to release anyone claiming to have been living continuously in the United States since before Jan. 1, 2014, if they did not have criminal records or active warrants. "We're still walking people out the door," Judd said. "The catch-and-release policy is still in place in some sectors."

Judd said it was a minority of sectors that have been resisting Trump's new directives. He laid the blame at the feet of U.S. Border Patrol managers, not front-line officers. "This is not the administration's fault. This is Border Patrol's fault," he said. "It varies from sector to sector. Some sectors still are operating under the Obama administration's policies. And that's troubling ... It's just been very willy-nilly."

Comment: Given that US Border Patrol has essentially endorsed Trump and his policies, these implementation flaws are surprising. Is there more going on behind the scenes?


ICE: Hard numbers show that 75 percent of illegal immigrants we arrested have criminal records

Over the past couple of days, immigration enforcement agents have round up almost 700 illegal aliens—75 percent of which had criminal records. Rep. Nancy Pelosi disputed the claim, but Immigration and Customs Enforcement also confirmed the figure released by the Department of Homeland Security. IJ Review's Joe Perticone had more:

Comment: If these numbers are correct then, on the whole, it sure does put a crimp in the hugely politicized narrative that Trump's actions are somehow xenophobic, fascist, evil, etc.


Sweden jails "rebel" asylum seeker for life - turns out he helped murder 7 Syrian troops

Sakhanh's arrest came after footage emerged of him taking part in in the 2012 mass execution of seven government troops in Syria (he's pictured above left)
A Swedish court on Thursday sentenced a Syrian man to life imprisonment for participation in the 2012 mass execution of seven government troops in Syria.

The Stockholm District Court ruled that 46-year-old refugee Haisam Omar Sakhanh joined the armed group Suleiman Company in early May 2012, and shot a person dead with an assault rifle.

Judge Tomas Zander said the victim, who was not identified, was shot dead along with six others 'under particularly cruel circumstances'.

The seven men who were shot were part of the Syrian regime who had been captured by the independent Islamist group, which was founded in 2011.

The Islamist armed group captured the men during an attack at the beginning of May 2012, and the seven were shot to death less than two days later, according to Stockholms Tingsratt.

In the years since the execution, it has been impossible to identify the victims.


Man dies in custody after breaching security at Honolulu Airport

A man in his 40s died Saturday morning after breaching a TSA security checkpoint at the Honolulu International Airport.

The incident happened just after 5:45 a.m. at the airport's commuter terminal, where Island Air and Mokulele Airlines operate.

State Department of Transportation officials said the suspect forced his way through the exit lane of the security checkpoint and gained access to an area where ticketed passengers were waiting to board.

The suspect managed to make it outside, to the Airport Operations Area, before he was placed in custody.

"Even after he was detained, there was still a struggle and the suspect remained combative," said Tim Sakahara, DOT spokesman. "And at that point is when he became unresponsive."

First responders performed CPR before transporting the suspect to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A male Securitas officer suffered head injuries in the process. He was also taken to the hospital for treatment.



Woman arrested for kidnapping over shame to Muslims

Woman described as a “Mexican Muslim” was arrested in west El Paso, suspected of kidnapping a woman who she said brought shame to the Muslim community, ..
A woman was arrested after she was accused of kidnapping a woman because her "lifestyle brought shame to the Muslim community and she should return to Libya," according to court documents.

Normal Juarez Taha, who is described as a "Mexican-Muslim" in court documents, was arrested at about 9:25 p.m. Tuesday by 12 FBI El Paso Division agents without incident at her home in the 200 block of Thunderbird Drive in West El Paso. She is accused of kidnapping the woman, referred to only as AFA in court documents, from the woman's home earlier in the week.

Taha, 35, is facing one count of kidnapping, which holds a maximum sentence of life in prison. She made her initial appearance in federal court Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Miguel A. Torres.

No bond was granted for Taha at the hearing due to a government motion claiming that bond should be denied because Taha has "strong ties to Mexico" and "presents a high risk of fleeing to avoid prosecution on this charge."


Montana officials fight alarming surge in meth use

© AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
In this Sept. 2, 2010, file photo a Franklin County police officer counts pills containing pseudoephedrine during a raid of a suspected meth house in Gerald, Mo. Methamphetamines continue to make an alarming surge in Montana, as law enforcement, health officials and communities struggle to address the problem. Panelists at a drug summit convened Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, by the Montana Legislature said resources are being strained because of a widening prevalence of the drug.
Methamphetamines continue to make an alarming surge in Montana, as law enforcement, health officials and communities struggle to address the problem.

Panelists at a drug summit convened Saturday by the Montana Legislature said resources are being strained because of a widening prevalence of the drug.

While authorities attempt to stanch the flow of meth into the state from Mexican cartels, courts are burdened by a growing caseload of drug cases. Family services are also strained by drug-related cases that are tearing apart families. And drug clinics are struggling to serve an increasing population of meth users seeking to treat their addictions.

As meth use in Montana continues to rise, authorities are also bracing for a possible influx of heroin in an expansive rural state whose borders aren't easy to patrol.

"I've never seen it this bad before," said Bryan Lockerby with the Montana Department of Criminal Investigations. "The problem we're all trying to solve is like boiling the ocean, and we have people drowning in meth."

Comment: See also: The speed of hypocrisy: How America got hooked on legal meth


More Big Pharma price gouging: Opioid overdose treatment prices have skyrocketed

© Hiroko Masuike / The New York Times
Liam Gibson, of NY Harm Reduction Educators, displays a rescue kit in New York City, on May 27, 2014.
Kaléo Pharmaceuticals has dramatically increased the cost of an easy-to-use injection device for the opioid overdose reversal drug known as naloxone, and lawmakers believe the price hike could put lives at risk.

US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and 31 other senators issued a stinging rebuke and call for answers on February 8 after the details of the price increase emerged.

The device, known as Evzio, was listed at $690 in 2014. It now reportedly costs $4,500. The drug company has previously said that it is increasing prices on products to meet the rising costs of manufacturing.

While it is true that naloxone has increased in price - now somewhere around $150 per 10cc vial - the senators pointed out that this does not come anywhere close to the near 700 percent increase on Evzio instituted by the company.


Cop convicted for kicking skateboarder in the face after being called a Storm Trooper

Storm Trooper Ryan Luckenbaugh
After only 45 minutes of deliberation, a jury found it quite easy to convict a cop for official oppression and assault after he was captured on dashcam video kicking a man in the face for calling him a "storm trooper."

Senior Deputy District Attorney Stephen Zawisky said he'll probably seek jail time when Judge Scott A. Evans sentences Ryan Luckenbaugh, the 37-year-old Mechanicsburg man in April.

"Dude you just kicked a man in the face!" says Pennsylvania State Trooper Michael Trotta to his partner Trooper Luckenbaugh. The man, who'd been assaulted by Luckenbaugh was Christopher Siennick, a local activist who had just practiced his freedom of speech by giving the pair of troopers the middle finger as he skateboarded past them.

The ensuing encounter, as we previously reported, led to Siennick being forcefully arrested, pepper sprayed, tased, man-handled, and later charged — for skating down the wrong side of the street. But while he was seated on the sidewalk, awaiting his patty-wagon ride to the pokey, he began to give the troopers a little piece of his mind. "I'm an American...f'ing fascist pigs. This is just like f'ing the empire. You're just a f'ing storm trooper. You dumb shit. Why don't you wake up and (inaudible)," and then Siennick can be heard spitting.


Alexandrov ensemble performs with new members after Sochi flight tragedy

Russian military choir sings 'Kalinka' and 'Katyusha' songs

The world famous Russian military Alexandrov Ensemble performed in Moscow's Central Soviet Army Theater on Feb. 17. It was the first performance since 64 members died in the Tu-154 plane crash in December 2016. The newly re-formed choir and dance ensemble performed after fewer than three weeks of rehearsals together.