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In The News:
Biden State Dept Moved to Abolish Crisis Response Bureau Months Before Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan
The Biden State Department moved in June to cancel a program overseeing the protection and evacuation of American citizens stationed overseas in the case of an emergency, just as the Taliban was taking over Afghanistan, according to an internal State Department memo obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and multiple sources familiar with the matter.
The Biden State Department moved to dissolve the Trump-era crisis response program, according to an internal State Department memo and sources familiar with the matter.
That memo, which was marked sensitive but unclassified and was signed by Deputy Secretary Brian McKeon, approved the “discontinuation of the establishment, and termination of, the Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau (CCR),” a new State Department entity created during the Trump administration to coordinate emergency response services overseas.
The CCR bureau was established late last year by then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo.
In a notification sent to Congress in October and also obtained by the Free Beacon, the Trump administration said the new bureau would provide “aviation, logistics, and medical support capabilities for the Department’s operational bureaus, thereby enhancing the secretary’s ability to protect American citizens overseas in connection with overseas evacuations in the aftermath of a natural or man-made disaster.”
Stacey Abrams Staffer Shares Tweet Comparing United States to Taliban
A top Stacey Abrams staffer shared and then removed a social media post that called the American Revolution the “US jihad” and compared the U.S. government to the Taliban.
A.D. Fields, a political director for Stacey Abrams’s voter rights organization, Fair Fight Action, removed his retweet of the Twitter thread after a Washington Free Beacon inquiry. In the post, Michael Harriot, a senior writer for the Root, referred to African Americans who fled the colonies after fighting for the British as “refugees from the American Taliban.”
“About 75-80% of the Black people who fought in the US jihad we called the American Revolution fought AGAINST the USA,” Harriot tweeted. “At least England had the decency to evacuate them.”
Harriot’s tweets were in response to the Biden administration’s removal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, which left thousands of Americans and local allies stranded as the Taliban took control of the region.
Sex Offenders, Gang Members Arrested After Crossing Texas Border
During a secondary inspection, officers conducted a biometric background search and identified one man as Jose Jorge Romanis Beltran, a 28-year-old Mexican national. The search of the criminal databases uncovered an active felony warrant from Bernalillo County, New Mexico.
Border Patrol agents assigned to the Hebbronville Station on August 15 arrested a group of 11 migrants on a farm located southwest of Mirando City, Texas, according to information obtained from Laredo Sector Border Patrol officials. During processing, the agents identified one of the men as Israel Hernandez-Valente, a 42-year-old Mexican national.
A criminal database search revealed a previous conviction for Indecency with a Child, Sexual Contact in 2017, officials stated.
Two days earlier, Laredo South Station agents arrested a group of ten migrants in south Laredo. During processing, the agents identified one of the men as Juan Martinez-Martinez, a 33-year-old Mexican national. Court records indicate Martinez-Martinez has an extensive criminal history. His criminal record includes a conviction in Arkansas for Sexual Assault in 2009, the report revealed.
Agents turned both men over to U.S. Marshall’s Service deputies to await prosecution for illegal re-entry after removal. If convicted, the two men could face up to 20 years in federal prison.
West Texas Border Sector Sees 1400% Spike in Migrant Rescues
The number of rescues represents a small portion of the overall apprehensions in the sector this year. As of July, the Del Rio Sector reported 182,593 migrant encounters since October.
The rescues account for slightly over 1 percent of the total. In the agency, a rescue is counted when a migrant suffers serious injury, requires life saving medical treatment, or is in life-threatening peril during an encounter.
In the previous week since Monday, the sector is reporting 85 rescues related to heat or traumatic injuries on freight trains. Migrant apprehensions on rails have also increased substantially within the sector.
Rank-and-file Border Patrol agents, although lacking in the specialized training to conduct rescues, account for many saves annually. Most are prepared to administer first aid, control bleeding, and perform CPR. They enter waterways to prevent migrant drownings, treat for temperature related illnesses, and in some cases, carry migrants out of remote areas when they are too injured to walk.
Protesters Gather at Maine State House to Oppose Vaccine Mandates: ‘This Is War’
“This is going to be detrimental to the health care facilities around the state,” one protester, Nicole Drew, said. “We are already short-staffed in a lot of ways and this is just going to put another burden and pressure.”
“To be clear, this is war!” State Rep. Laurel Libby (R) told the crowd, emphasizing that the mandates reflect a loss of individual liberty.
“Are we willing to lose our jobs? Are we willing to leave health care? Are we willing to walk out in a coordinated effort? That goes counter to everything I ever learned as a nurse,” she added.
“[Gov. Mills] is talking about keeping the hospitals empty. Well, good luck with that because we got to empty our building because we’re not going to have enough staff to take care of our residents,” Rhonda Murray, the director of nursing at Horizons Living & Rehabilitation Center, said.
While she said she, as well as a bulk of the staff, are vaccinated, Murray said she is adamantly opposed to the ultimatum the state is presenting of either getting vaccinated or losing their jobs.
Chicago Reimposes Indoor Mask Mandate, Including Toddlers
Per the CDPH, masks will be required in all indoor public settings and apply to those two and older, whether they are vaccinated or not. The mandate applies to bars, restaurants, gyms, and common areas of residential buildings.
“Similar to previous mask mandates, masks can be removed at restaurants, bars and other eating/drinking establishments by patrons when they are actively eating and drinking,” a press release of the announcement states, specifying that masks “can also be removed for certain activities that require their removal, such as beard shaves or facials.”
“Additionally, masks can be removed by employees in settings that are not open to the public, if employees are static and maintaining at least six feet from all other individuals (office cubicles, for example),” it adds.
The requirement goes into effect Friday, August 20.
Restaurants, businesses sue Mayor de Blasio over vaccine mandate
A group of restaurants and businesses have filed suit against Mayor Bill de Blasio in opposition to a mandate requiring proof of vaccination at city eateries, gyms, movie theaters and other establishments, new court papers show.
The businesses argue that the mandate violates their constitutional rights and unfairly targets certain establishments but not others like churches, grocery stores, schools, offices and medical facilities, the lawsuit filed Tuesday in Staten Island Supreme Court alleges.
The suit says that the mandate is “arbitrary and capricious” for a slew of reasons including that the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant can spread among both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, the court documents claim.
Costco limits grocery, other purchases amid shortages
Costco has been alerting customers to new purchase restrictions on some products as it grapples with keeping specific grocery and household items on the shelves.
In addition to the shortages, supply has also been hampered by the chain’s significant members-only savings shoppers can take advantage of right now.
“We are currently out of water,” read one sign in the store, according to EatThis.com. “There is not yet an ETA for our next delivery. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Other signs inform customers they can only buy five cases of water in one visit. Some suspect missed deliveries and a water bottling plant shutdown are to blame.
Hostess recalls hamburger, hot dog buns over possible listeria and salmonella risks
The recall is directed to the brand’s “soft white” buns, which are manufactured by Best Harvest Bakeries, the company announced.
“Hostess Brands is recalling the impacted products out of an abundance of caution after becoming aware of this issue from its co-manufacturer, Best Harvest Bakeries, through Best Harvest Bakeries’ environmental monitoring program,” the company said in its announcement. “To date, Hostess Brands has received no reports of illness related to this issue.”
The buns were sold to grocery stores, convenience stores and other distributors across the United States, according to the company.
“As Best Harvest Bakeries only manufactures certain Hostess hamburger buns and hot dog buns for Hostess Brands, no other Hostess products are affected, including Hostess bread and bagel products,” Hostess added.
Data behind US COVID-19 booster plan shows waning vaccine effectiveness
The study out of New York, which focused on new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations among adults between May 3 and July 25, found the age-adjusted vaccine effectiveness against diagnoses declined from 92% to 80% over time.
The study involving nursing homes, which evaluated staff and residents from February 15 through August 1, saw that effectiveness against infection in nursing home residents went from 75% in pre-delta weeks down to 53% amid the variant’s rise.
Another set of data, collected between January 2021 and July by the Mayo Clinic, saw Pfizer’s vaccine effectiveness go from 76% down to 42%, and Moderna’s decrease from 86% to 76%.
Vaccine expert who was sent dog muzzle as a threat bought device with her credit card, police say
Michelle Fiscus, the former vaccine director for the Tennessee Department of Health, denies she purchased the muzzle herself, claiming instead that her credit card information was stolen. Police, however, say they have closed the investigation.
Fiscus previously told multiple outlets that she received the muzzle, in all likelihood due to her statements on vaccines. Over the course of the pandemic, she told state health officials that teens are allowed to receive vaccines without parental consent under existing state law.
According to the Nashville Post, Fiscus was terminated from her position at the Tennessee Department of Health due to a number of issues with her conduct.
LAPD asks for help IDing alleged stabber from brawl between anti-vaxxers and counterdemonstrators
Police described the suspect as white or Hispanic and between the ages of 20 and 30 with long blonde hair. He was wearing a black bandanna, black hoodie, black skinny jeans with holes in the knees and white tennis shoes at the demonstrations.
According to a statement from the LAPD, the suspect stabbed the victim in the upper right chest at around 2 p.m. L.A. Fire Department transported the victim to a local hospital in critical condition.
The “choose freedom march” was a protest against “medical tyranny, mandatory vaccinations and vaccine passports,” according to the organizers. While vaccine supporters met at the intersection of First and Spring streets around 1 p.m. for a “No Safe Space For Fascists” rally.
Social media posts depicted a number of altercations, which left many bloody and screaming.
WATCH: NYPD Officer Exchange Gunfire With Suspect At Point Blank Range
BRONX, NEW YORK — NYPD (New York Police Department) released body cam footage of an incident where a NYPD officer exchanged gunfire with a suspect at point blank range outside a Boost Mobile cell phone store.
Gov. Ducey blocks money to Arizona schools mandating masks
“Safety recommendations are welcomed and encouraged — mandates that place more stress on students and families aren’t,” Ducey said in a statement Tuesday. “These grants acknowledge efforts by schools and educators that are following state laws and keeping their classroom doors open for Arizona’s students.”
Ducey created a $163 million school grant program from federal coronavirus relief funds, but schools enforcing masks or closing down because of the virus will not be eligible to receive $1,800 per student.
School districts with such mandates will have 10 days to repeal them or not qualify for the funds, according to the governor’s spokesman, C.J. Karamargin. The law banning face masks, however, does not go into effect until late September.
Florida levies first punishments on schools for mask mandates
“These districts, maybe while well-intentioned, have not followed the protocols,” said Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran during the education board meeting Tuesday. “They have to comply with the law, whether they agree with it or not.”
The DeSantis administration says the two districts, Alachua and Broward, do not allow parents the freedom to choose whether their children wear masks and require doctor’s notes in order to get around masking.
The sanctions, which are the first punishments levied against schools in the state, will be specified after further investigation. Education board chairman Tom Grady, however, said the sanctions could include withholding school officials’ salaries and removing them from their job posts.
Charleston City Council meeting on school mask mandates gets heated
A video of the meeting was posted on YouTube and showed parents who seemed to encapsulate the mood for many in the country. Mask requirements are back for most public places and U.S. health officials are reportedly planning to recommend a third booster shot for the vaccine.
The paper reported that there were parents in favor of the mask mandate, but some of the fieriest speeches came from those diametrically opposed.
Many of those opposed said they would not capitulate to new demands tied to unproven science.
In the face of cancel culture, Princeton professor offers course on Lincoln’s legacy
The Ivy League university will offer a course called “Abraham Lincoln’s Politics: Concepts, Conflict and Context” this semester taught by Professor Allen Guelzo, a Civil War historian and author. He also serves on the board of the Abraham Lincoln Association.
“We will use Lincoln as a means of understanding how the practical necessities of politics in the American democracy were combined with an appeal to democractic [sic] political culture,” the syllabus said.
He said “Lincoln’s limitations are not unlike the limitations” people suffer from today. He said people can learn humility from recognizing limitations. “These are not bad lessons to be obtained from a course of historical study.”
“Whether this will act to restrain the statue topplers is another question. Few of them, whether the San Francisco school-renamers or the removers of the Ball Emancipation Statue in Boston, show even the faintest curiosity in history or the historical reasons for Lincoln as an object of popular respect,” he told The Fix.
School pays parents $700 to drive kids to school amid bus driver shortage
“I wish I could use that money for buses, but I can’t because we don’t have drivers,” said Aaron Bass, Chief Executive Officer of EastSide Charter School in Wilmington, Del., according to the Washington Post. “It’s one more economic ripple from the pandemic.”
In addition to bus drivers, Bass said EastSide has struggled to find janitors, cafeteria workers, psychologists, counselors this school year, even though it has plenty of funding.
To tackle the transportation conundrum, he’s using funds to send a stipend to students’ families instead of continuing the search for workers. So far, parents of roughly 155 of the about 500 students in the school have signed up, said the Post.
In Pittsburgh, the need for more than 400 bus drivers delayed the return to classrooms by two weeks. In Chicago, companies have increased pay for drivers amid a severe shortage of drivers. Washoe County School District in Nevada is offering $2,000 bonuses to new bus drivers.
American stranded in Afghanistan pleads for help
Haroon, a U.S. citizen stranded in Kabul, discusses the struggle his family is facing in trying to leave the country.
GOP-led Georgia Election Board takes first step in potential takeover of Fulton County elections
The Republican-controlled Georgia State Election Board has taken a pivotal first step in a process that aims to bolster election security in Fulton County, a heavily Democratic county long perceived to be vulnerable to fraudulent activity.
Using new power granted to it by Georgia’s new voting law, the board appointed a bipartisan panel Wednesday to probe Fulton County’s elections management, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The outlet added that the investigation is “a performance review that could lead to a state takeover of the heavily Democratic county.”
Fulton County, which according to the outlet “has a history of problems with long lines, slow results and administrative errors,” was the subject of several allegations of fraud during the 2020 presidential election.
Justice Department says new Missouri gun law unconstitutional, hurts public safety
Signed by Republican Governor Mike Parson in June, the measure at the center of the legal battle enacts a $50,000 fine on any law enforcement agency with officers who knowingly enforce federal firearms rules.
Under the law, called the Second Amendment Preservation Act in Missouri, federal gun laws that fall into five categories are considered a violation of the Second Amendment and therefore not recognized by the state.
While Democrats argued the Missouri law is unconstitutional, Republicans said it was meant to protect Missouri residents’ gun rights from attempts by the Biden administration to impose more stringent firearms restrictions.
Joe Biden Tries to Pivot to Pandemic While Americans Still Stuck in Afghanistan
The president plans to meet with his coronavirus team in the Oval Office on Wednesday afternoon, according to his schedule, before delivering remarks about the pandemic at 4:30 p.m.
The White House is expected to advise Americans to get vaccine boosters eight months after they were first vaccinated.
The White House is also holding a briefing with Biden’s coronavirus team public health officials.
Biden is also scheduled to conduct an interview with ABC News host George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday.
Gavin Newsom ‘incredibly proud’ of Biden amid Afghanistan debacle, doubles down on campaigning with him
Embattled California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he is “incredibly proud” of President Biden amid the blowback from his botched Afghanistan withdrawal and doubled down on campaigning with him.
A local reporter asked Newsom Monday if the fallout from the withdrawal from Afghanistan would “complicate” whether Biden is “the right person” to campaign with ahead of the recall election.
Newsom didn’t directly answer the question, instead sharing his pride in the president and doubling down on campaigning with him.
Congress Desperately Tries to Save Americans Joe Biden Abandoned in Afghanistan
Congressional staffers told Breitbart News it’s frustrating because there is not much they can do to assist people beyond flagging it for the Biden administration to hopefully act on.
“We literally explicitly promised we would help them and just didn’t,” one Republican House staffer told Breitbart News. “People have known this was going to be a problem forever and Biden just didn’t care… I spent all weekend glued to my phone realizing there was nothing I could do. It sucks.”
Politicians on both sides of the aisle are posting on Twitter in an attempt to get Americans and Afghans out of the fallen nation, including Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK), Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and others:
Sen. Cotton told the podcast Ruthless that after he posted on Twitter Sunday evening, his office has received hundreds of calls from Americans trying to escape Afghanistan.
Concha rips Biden for vacationing during Afghanistan disaster
Fox News Joe Concha contributor torches Biden for mishandling Afghanistan crisis.
Mark Levin torches Biden: Send our troops in and get our people out
The ‘Life, Liberty and Levin’ host rips into President Biden for his handling of the situation in Afghanistan.
San Francisco DA faces second recall effort as residents ‘fed up’ with progressive ‘zero consequence’ policies
Last week, the first Republican-backed recall effort fell just 1,714 signatures short of the 51,325 required to trigger a special election to bring the question of ousting Boudin before voters. Now a second recall effort is being organized, which Boudin brushed off Monday night as proof that his so-called successes in reducing incarceration has “angered the billionaire class.”
But it’s his progressive approach that’s actually hurting average San Franciscans, San Francisco Police Officers Association President Tony Montoya tells Fox News, as Boudin’s “swiftest revolving door in criminal justice” sends the message to offenders that there are no consequences for their actions.
“Police are the bad guys, and the bad guys are the good guys in the mind of a progressive,” Montoya said.
Glenn Greenwald accuses media of manipulating war for profit
Independent journalist Glenn Greenwald tells ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ that the government did not tell Americans the truth about Afghanistan.
Tucker: What the hell was that?
‘Tucker Carlson Tonight host and decorated combat veteran Sean Parnell say opposing the import of Afghan refugees is not about race it’s about our duty to help Americans.
Trump: Biden’s withdrawal is the greatest embarrassment in US history
Trump told “Hannity” that Biden has humiliated the United States more than any other president in history, explicitly eclipsing fellow Democrat Jimmy Carter’s Iran Hostage Crisis of 1979.
“It is a terrible time for our country. I don’t think in all of the years our country has ever been so humiliated.
I don’t know what you call it – a military defeat or a psychological defeat, there has never been anything like what’s happened here: You can go back to Jimmy Carter with the hostages,” Trump said.
Desperation, Pressure for Aid Increase in Haiti After Quake
Pressure for a coordinated response to Haiti’s deadly weekend earthquake mounted Wednesday as more bodies were pulled from the rubble and the injured continued to arrive from remote areas in search of medical care. Aid was slowly trickling in to help the thousands who were left homeless.
Angry crowds massed at collapsed buildings, demanding tarps to create temporary shelters that were needed more than ever after Tropical Storm Grace brought heavy rain on Monday and Tuesday, compounding the impoverished Caribbean nation’s misery.
On Tuesday night, Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency put the number of deaths from Saturday’s earthquake at 1,941. It also said 9,900 were injured, many of whom waited for hours outside in the stifling heat for medical assistance.
Foreign aid was arriving, but slowly. U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crews concentrated on the most urgent task, ferrying the injured to less-stressed medical facilities.
Olympian Auctions Medal to Pay for Infant’s Heart Surgery
Andrejczyk wrote on Facebook last week that she would auction the medal to pay for the boy’s, Miłoszek Małysa, heart surgery.
“Love, just like our Anto oś, has a serious heart defect, surgery is needed,” Andrejczyk wrote. “He also has support in advance from Winnie-a boy who didn’t make it in time, but great people decided to donate his funds to Mi łooszk.”
“And that’s how I also want to help. He’s the one I’m auctioning off my silver medal of the Olympic Games.”
According to The Hill, the boy’s surgery will be performed at Stanford University Medical Center.
Israel allegedly bombs Iran’ post in Syria; Turkey welcomes Taliban statements TV7 Israel News 18.08
1) Damascus accuses Israel of striking two Syrian military posts overnight – one of which was said to house Iranian forces.
2) The Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani welcomed the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan – further claiming that the fate that befell the United States in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq is also reserved for Israel.
3) Israel’s Fire and Rescue Commissioner Dedi Simhi announces that the wild-fire that devastated the Judean Hills, West of Jerusalem, is now under control.
Taliban kill at least 3 protesters who tried to remove regime’s flag
Taliban fighters killed at least three people Wednesday as they fired at protesters who tried to replace the Islamist regime’s flag with the national one of Afghanistan, according to reports.
In what is believed to be one of the first protests since the ousted group took back control of the country Sunday, “hundreds if not thousands” of locals took to the streets of Jalalabad on Wednesday, Al Jazeera said.
Many were seen waving the red, black and green national flag — with some climbing a flag pole in the city’s central square to take down the Taliban’s white flag in a stunning expression of defiance.
But Taliban enforcers started firing in the air — with some shots aimed at the crowds, according to footage on social media and local reports.
Others also attacked the crowds with batons while a military-style vehicle was seen racing dangerously through the crowds.
China holds military drills near Taiwan; US finds fake vaccination cards from China | China in Focus
Over 3,000 fake vaccination cards from China are seized at the U.S. border. They’re even fitted with a counterfeit CDC logo.
Extensive waiting lines form at an airport in Shanghai. Chinese students there are waiting to board U.S.-bound flights, despite skyrocketing ticket prices.
China brings 300 study abroad programs to an end for college students. One-tenth of the shut-downs involve American universities.
Beijing ups its harsh rhetoric surrounding America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, while a China affairs analyst points out a major U.S. problem tied to China.
Beijing holds military drills near Taiwan. Eleven Chinese aircraft entered the island’s air defense zone, including two nuclear-capable bombers.
Gutfeld: This is truly a man-made disaster
Rob O’Neill, Guy Benson, Charlie Hurt and Kat Timpf give their thoughts on the chaos in Afghanistan, policy failures of Biden administration.
Epic, But Costly Vehicle Extraction By Police Officer – LEO Round Table S06E33b
00:57 Man charges officers with a knife and gets shot 06:16 Costly vehicle extraction by police officer on video.
Topic 1 concerns the Metropolitan Nashville (Tennessee) police department releasing body cam footage of the deadly shooting of a knife-wielding man.
Topic 2 concerns the Auburn (Alabama) police department and Officer Joe Michels being sued by Khomphet Phetsadakone for a rough vehicle extraction caught on video.