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Tue, 22 May 2018
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Obama administration quietly closed 200K deportation cases, leaving thousands of illegal immigrants to roam the US

US illegal immigrants
During the Obama era up to 200,000 deportation cases were "administratively closed" without action, a move that left tens of thousands of illegal immigrants free to roam America, sometimes indefinitely, according to a new report.

When added to those cases still pending court action, it brings the backlog of cases to about 800,000, far more than previously known.

In the report for the Center for Immigration Studies, former immigration judge Andrew R. Arthur said that there are some 100,000 cases that were closed, but told Secrets that it could be as high as 200,000.

"My back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest at least 100,000 more are possible, for 200,000 on top of the 600,000 we currently have," said Arthur.

Cloud Precipitation

Why wasn't Houston evacuated before Harvey made landfall?

Hurricane Harvey

The scene at Buffalo Bayou Park in Houston on Sunday morning where flood water is now covering entire portions of the city
Why wasn't Houston evacuated? Why wasn't there a mandatory evacuation order for the city before the flooding started from Hurricane Harvey? Who made that call?

Those are questions people are asking as horrific images circulated of the dire flooding in the city. People begged for help from rooftops, a man was rescued from a partially submerged semi truck, and families pleaded for rescue on social media. Relatives tell KHOU-TV that six family members - four of them age 16 or under - have now died in the flood while trying to cross a Houston bridge. A man's living room was so flooded he caught a large fish in it, and in nearby Dickinson, seniors were photographed sitting up to their waists in water in a nursing home. You can read more of those accounts here. The frantic calls for help continued August 28 even as civilians took to boats to assist official rescuers; for example, Houston resident Leidys Shull told CNN "that her home is underwater, and 11 people, including children, are trapped inside," saying, "It's just hard to get help here. Nobody is here to help."

As a result of all of the devastation, city and county officials are facing questions about why the evacuation order was not given ("Just stay off the roads. I think that's the best thing...stock up on some food and games if you have kids, and stay at home," the Houston mayor told residents on August 25), but based on history and expert opinions, some argue, the evacuation might not have helped, and could have made things worse, as occurred during Hurricane Rita. City officials, though, urged residents to ignore social media posts predicting a more dire situation before the hurricane hit. Some think more provisions should have at least been made for the city's most vulnerable residents before the flooding or to get those in flood-prone areas out.

Comment: Fort Bend County officials were the first to order evacuations on Monday along the Brazos river, fearing levee collapses. And the flooding isn't predicted to peak until Wednesday or Thursday. Houston's mayor now says it's too late to evacuate the city.


Alabama: New Confederate memorial unveiled

Gun salute
© Connor Sheets
A gun salute for the unveiling of a new Confederate monument.
More than 200 people attended an unveiling ceremony for a new Confederate monument Sunday afternoon in Alabama's Crenshaw County. The modest stone marker commemorates the "unknown Confederate soldiers" who died in the Civil War but have been forgotten by history, particularly those from Crenshaw County and the surrounding area.

new memorial
© Connor Sheets
The memorial now stands in a confederate memorial park first opened in May 2015 on private land in an unincorporated area next to Dry Creek RV Park about three miles north of Brantley. It sits among existing monuments, replica cannons and tall flagpoles flying Confederate and other flags.

"That's why we're here is to honor our Confederate dead, to honor our ancestors," David Coggins, a Sons of Confederate Veterans member who operates both the RV Park and the adjacent memorial park, told the energetic crowd during introductory remarks he made from a wooden stage.

"That's why I'm in it, that's what it's all about. We should all be proud of our Confederate ancestors."

Speakers and attendees repeatedly stated that the memorial and ceremony were not responses to the racial discord currently gripping the nation. They said it was just a coincidence that the date of the event was announced online shortly after a white nationalist ran over and killed a woman in Charlottesville, Virginia, following violent demonstrations there earlier this month.

"We have been really scrutinized for the past two weeks," Jimmy Hill, commander of the Alabama division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said. "This has been in the works for nine months, but because we put it on the website two days after [the Charlottesville clashes], the media put that together."

Comment: A history can be superficially tampered and changed, but its unalterable effect will always be its marker. To deny history, to obliterate it, is to deny one's past and erase the lessons experienced. At least one community is honoring its past and the choices that were made at that time. This is important in respect to how the US is categorically shutting down personal, group, national choices and eliminating freedoms - even to the extent of erasing how folks perceive and remember them.


Yemeni young girl bed-ridden in Sanaa hospital after losing entire family in Saudi-led air strike

Bothaina Mohamed Mansour al-Rimi
© Ruptly
Bothaina Mohamed Mansour al-Rimi
A young girl is in hospital after being pulled from the rubble of her apartment block, destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. The girl happened to be the only one in her family of eight to survive the fatal attack.

The badly injured Bothaina Mohamed Mansour al-Rimi is bed-ridden in a hospital in Sanaa.

Despite several fractures in her face and head, Mansour's condition is stable, her doctor says.

"MRI indicated multiple fractures in the left cheek, as well as breaks close to the eye socket and across her forehead, this is in addition to general bruises in the head. The child doesn't need any surgical intervention, she has been prescribed the needed medications, and now, her condition is stable," Aref Dabaan told RT's video news agency Ruptly.

The doctor said the girl is aged six; earlier the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reported that the rescued girl was four years old.


Northern India erupts in violence after 'spiritual leader' convicted of raping women, death toll rises to 38

Punjab riots
© Reuters
Curfews have been imposed in several areas of Chandigarh city and across the state of Punjab, and internet services were suspended.
The 50-year-old spiritual leader and head of Dera Sacha Sauda has been convicted of raping two women followers 15 years ago.

Embattled Indian Spiritual Leader, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Since Friday, the northern states of India erupted in major unrest and riots developed, following his conviction in a 2002 rape case.

Thousands of riot police have been deployed to defuse hundreds of violent incidents that have left at least 38 people dead and nearly 250 injured. The army has also been put on alert, and police say they have been given approval to "shoot on sight."

In response to Friday's clashes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said, on Twitter, "I strongly condemn the violence & urge everyone to maintain peace."

Comment: The followers of Dera Sacha Sauda sure aren't convincing anyone their guru's decency with such violence.


Area close to US Embassy in Kabul hit by suicide blast

Afghan security forces
© REUTERS/ Omar Sobhani
Five people were killed, with another eight injured, in the blast near the US embassy in Kabul on Tuesday, Waheed Majroh, the Afghan Health Ministry's spokesman, told Sputnik.

"According to the most recent figures, five were killed and eight were injured," Majroh said.

The spokesman added that the Health Ministry has not heard anything about US embassy personnel being affected by the explosion and it does not have any information regarding the identity of the victims.

A US military spokesman told Sputnik that no US troops stationed in Afghanistan were injured in the explosion.

The area close to US embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul was hit by an explosion around 10 a.m. local time, local media reported earlier citing police sources.


Institutional child abuse: First grader sent to principal's office after 'misgendering' classmate

transgender kindergarden class
An elite charter school in California has been rocked by scandal since the end of the last school year, when a kindergarten teacher read her class a pair of books advocating transgender ideology, and a male kindergartener was reintroduced to the class as a girl.

Now first-graders at Rocklin Academy Gateway risk a trip to the principal's office if they refer to their transgender classmate by the wrong name or gender pronoun, said Karen England, executive director of the Capitol Resource Institute, a pro-family group based in Sacramento.

"There was a little girl who had been in class with the little boy all last year," Ms. England said. "They're in different classes now, but she saw him on the playground yesterday and called him by his name. The little girl was told 'you can't do that, his name is this name,' and 'you need to call him a "her."' Then she was called to the principal's office."

Ms. England said she has been in touch with the girl's parents and described them as "outraged." She said they met with school officials to discuss the matter Wednesday.

It's not clear whether the girl was disciplined for the infraction. Rocklin Academy did not return a request for comment before press time.

Comment: Adults in children's lives have a responsibility to look out for their welfare and development. What's happening here is tantamount to abuse. Instead of legal counsel protecting the development of our youth, they are going to extremes that confuse and bully young children with postmodern ideology that they are unable to understand. And reading a book to children about a 'blue crayon' that identifies as a 'red crayon' really isn't helping any!


Rescuers pluck hundreds from rising floodwaters as incessant rain inundates Houston

Hurricane Harvey
Harvey sent devastating floods pouring into the nation's fourth-largest city Sunday as rising water chased thousands of people to rooftops or higher ground and overwhelmed rescuers who could not keep up with the constant calls for help.

The incessant rain covered much of Houston in turbid, gray-green water and turned streets into rivers navigable only by boat. In a rescue effort that recalled the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, helicopters landed near flooded freeways, airboats buzzed across submerged neighborhoods and high-water vehicles plowed through water-logged intersections. Some people managed with kayaks or canoes or swam.

Volunteers joined emergency teams to pull people from their homes or from the water, which was high enough in places to gush into second floors. The flooding from Harvey, which made landfall late Friday as a Category 4 hurricane and has lingered dropping heavy rain as a tropical storm, was so widespread that authorities had trouble pinpointing the worst areas. They urged people to get on top of their houses to avoid becoming trapped in attics and to wave sheets or towels to draw attention to their location.


Spanish minister: Catalonia attackers possibly avoided checks designed for detecting terror threats

People hold placards and flag as they take part in a march of unity after last week attacks, in Barcelona
© Albert Gea / Reuters
People hold placards and flag as they take part in a march of unity after last week attacks, in Barcelona, Spain, August 26, 2017.
The terrorists who killed 16 people and injured 120 others in Barcelona and Cambrils in mid-August probably managed to evade specialized security controls to detect potential threats, Spain's interior minister has conceded.

"It's true that these controls exist," Juan Ignacio Zoido said in an interview with Spanish radio Monday as cited by Reuters.

"It's possible some checks weren't made in this case and we will have to determine how we can avoid this happening again," he emphasized.

Zoido didn't specify what type of measures are being used by Spanish law enforcers to detect terrorist threats.

The terrorist cell, based in the Catalan town of Alcanar, was able to avoid the controls, among other things, managing to acquire 120 gas canisters without attracting the attention of authorities.

None of those involved in the attacks on August 17 and 18 had raised suspicion previously, the minister said.


Tweet first, ask questions later: Nutjob Louise Mensch spreads lurid Trump allegations based on hoaxer's unverified assertions

Louise Mensch

Louise Mensch
Explosive allegations about Donald Trump made by online writers with large followings among Trump critics were based on bogus information from a hoaxer who falsely claimed to work in law enforcement.

Claude Taylor tweeted fake details of criminal inquiries into Trump that were invented by a source whose claim to work for the New York attorney general was not checked, according to emails seen by the Guardian. The allegations were endorsed as authentic and retweeted by his co-writer Louise Mensch.

The source's false tips included an allegation, which has been aggressively circulated by Mensch and Taylor, that Trump's inactive fashion model agency is under investigation by New York authorities for possible sex trafficking.

The hoaxer, who fed the information to Taylor by email, said she acted out of frustration over the "dissemination of fake news" by Taylor and Mensch. Their false stories about Trump have included a claim that he was already being replaced as president by Senator Orrin Hatch in a process kept secret from the American public.

Comment: This is not the first time that Mensch has been caught out spreading lies in the interest of demonizing Trump, Russia, Putin, etc... More worrying than the fact that she'll never learn from her errors, is that she has so many thousands of people following her every stupid tweet!