Federal Agencies Spent $13.5 Million on Vehicles They May Not Use

Two federal agencies spent $13.5 million to maintain 2,441 vehicles they may not need, a congressional watchdog reported Tuesday.

“Given the billions of dollars spent annually to operate and maintain federally owned vehicles … it is critical for agencies to have sound fleet management practices,” the Government Accountability Office report said.

Customs and Border Protection didn’t know if 81 percent of its 2,300 official vehicles were used in 2015. The Natural Resources Conservation Service, a Department of Agriculture agency, didn’t know if nearly 600 of its 6,223 vehicles were used the same year.

“CBP and NRCS cumulatively incurred an estimated $13.5 million in depreciation and maintenance costs in fiscal year 2015 for vehicles with unknown utilization,” the report said. Without “corrective action, agencies are incurring expenses to retain vehicles without determining if they are utilized.”

Both agencies have policies in place to assess vehicle usage and justify their necessity. But collecting necessary usage data “would not be efficient or cost-effective,” and it is “too difficult” to develop justifications for vehicles with low mileage, CBP officials told GAO.

“CBP management cannot determine which vehicles, if any, are being properly utilized by CBP staff, and the agency may be spending millions of dollars on vehicles that are not needed,” the report continued.

GAO also analyzed Department of the Navy vehicles, but the military service couldn’t provide usage data for all 3,652 automobiles.

Overall, federal agencies spent $3.4 billion to maintain and operate almost 450,000 government-owned vehicles in 2015. Agencies also purchased 64,500 vehicles at a cost of more than $1.6 billion from 2011 through 2015, 90 percent of which were bought by just five federal departments.

Additionally, federal agencies must purchase automobiles that use alternative fuels in some cases, which can increase vehicle fleet costs.

“For example, an electric-only sub-compact car costs approximately 82 percent more than the standard gasoline-only model,” the report said. “However, in other cases, acquisition costs for alternative fuel vehicles were the same as those of their gasoline-powered counterpart.”

Agencies also must purchase electric charging stations, which can “be costly and difficult to manage,” the report said.

Blood-thinning Drug Xarelto Faces 18,000 Lawsuits

The first court test of Bayer/J&J’s billion-dollar bonanza, blood-thinner, Xarelto, is coming up in New Orleans next week. The outcome will influence how the 18,000 lawsuits behind it will be handled.

The plaintiff in the first suit is Joseph Boudreaux. “While Xarelto was supposed to help cut his stroke risk, Boudreaux says it instead caused internal bleeding that required a week-long hospital stay in the intensive-care unit, several blood transfusions and multiple heart procedures. ‘I don’t want anybody else to suffer like I have from that drug,’ the part-time security guard says,” reports the Chicago Tribune.

Lawyers for Bayer and J&J will argue, in the main, that Xarelto was approved by the FDA as safe and effective.

This is the normal front-line strategy in cases where the drugmaker believes it can’t be accused of purposely concealing a medicine’s dangers from the FDA.

“Well, the government says the drug is safe and effective, so what else do you want from us? We’ve done our duty. We’re off the hook.”

It’s called shift the responsibility.

The last time I looked, the FDA doesn’t develop, manufacture, and sell drugs. Pharmaceutical companies do. If their drugs kill people and maim them, why shouldn’t they shoulder the blame, regardless of what a government agency says?

A simple change in law would remedy this situation: irrespective of what the FDA claims or doesn’t claim, ultimate accountability for a drug’s effects lies with the company that created it.

If you own a business that makes a product, and 18,000 people are lined up to sue you because they claim the product seriously harmed them, you’re the one who’s going to have to go to court and try to defend your actions.

You’re not going to be able to claim it was your second cousin’s fault or the man in the moon’s responsibility.

Even if we assume the FDA is honest and thorough and honorable (laughable, I know), they’re simply offering their assessment. It doesn’t matter that they’re the only body that can certify a drug for public use. That’s not a reason to exonerate a drug company.

Drug companies try to make hay from the fact that the FDA is certifying their medicines. “Don’t blame us. The FDA liked our drug. Blame them. And good luck with that.”

This would be like a mother saying, “Yes, I was in the park with my child, and yes, I wandered away to talk to an ice cream vendor, and I came back a half hour later to find her with a broken leg, but you see, it was my husband’s fault. He decided I would be competent to take care of our children…”

Forget all about the clinical trials of new drugs, and the published studies, and the back-and-forth between the pharmaceutical company and the FDA, and the FDA certifications.

It’s far simpler. It’s the sign in the store that says, “You break it, you pay for it.”

You break people, you pay.

The only ones who don’t understand that are criminals.

This article first appeared at NoMoreFakeNews.com.

3 Months Since Trump’s Inauguration: Planned Parenthood Has Performed 81,567 Abortions

Although President Donald J. Trump promised to defund Planned Parenthood if elected president, and the GOP House and Senate often claim that they want to defund the group, there reportedly is no language in the continuing resolution to fund the government through next September to defund Planned Parenthood, a group that has performed approximately 81,567 abortions since Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.  That’s about 877 abortions per day, 36 per hour,  or 1 every two minutes.

The continuing resolution, or CR, is a funding mechanism that — absent a budget and the regular appropriations process — wraps federal spending into one package for a set period of time. The deadline for the Congress to pass and the president to sign the CR is this Friday, April 28.  If the CR is not signed or it is filibustered, the federal government will shut down.

Planned Parenthood is the biggest abortion provider in the United States. In its latest annual report from 2014-15, Planned Parenthood reported a total revenue of $1.29 billion, of which $553.7 million came from “government health services grants & reimbursements,” i.e., the taxpayers.

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Coca-Cola to Cut 1,200 Jobs as Sales Slump

Coca-Cola’s sales continue to fizzle — and the company is planning to cut 1,200 jobs to try and get back on track.

Coke (KO) said in its earnings report Tuesday that the layoffs, which will begin in the second half of this year, are part of a broader cost cutting plan aimed at saving $800 million.

The layoffs are a relatively small fraction of the company’s overall headcount. Coke employs more than 100,000 people worldwide.

Incoming CEO James Quincey said the moves are being made to make Coke more agile and lean. The company is also in the process of refranchising some of its bottling operations in North America to save money.

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WATCH: Coca-Cola Busted Using Junk Science! Could Make You Fat, Sick

And a special flashback video from the Infowars archives: Secret Ingredient Of Coke Revealed

Hundreds of Illegal Voters Uncovered in North Carolina in 2016

Hundreds of illegal voters participated in the 2016 general election in North Carolina, according to a new report.

The post-election audit report, released by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE), an independent and bipartisan agency that oversees elections in the state, found hundreds of illegal votes, including votes cast by felons and non-citizens, double voting, voter impersonation, and irregularities that affected mail-in absentee ballots.

The audit uncovered 441 cases where suspected active felons voted during the 2016 elections.

“In late January 2017, NCSBE sent letters to suspected felon voters identified through data audits, notifying recipients that they may have illegally voted and their registrations would be canceled in 30 days unless they objected in writing and presented evidence that they are not active felons,” the report states.

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ATF Reverses Controversial Stance on Shouldering AR-15 Pistols

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) clarified its opinion Tuesday on whether putting an arm brace designed to stabilize certain pistols against one’s shoulder constitutes “redesigning” them into highly regulated short-barrel rifles, effectively reversing its previous position from a 2015 official letter.

“To the extent the January 2015 Open Letter implied or has been construed to hold that incidental, sporadic, or situational ‘use’ of an arm-brace (in its original approved configuration) equipped firearm from a firing position at or near the shoulder was sufficient to constitute ‘redesign,’ such interpretations are incorrect and not consistent with the ATF’s interpretation of the statute or the manner in which it has historically been enforced,” ATF assistant director Marvin Richardson wrote in an official letter.

The ATF’s opinion deals with a complicated part of the National Firearms Act of 1934. That federal law sets standards for which firearms are subject to a special tax and registration with the federal government. One type of firearm regulated under the act are short-barrel rifles, which have rifled barrels under 16 inches in length and are designed to be fired with the stock of the firearm pressed against the shooter’s shoulder.

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Al Gore’s New Group Demands $15 Trillion To Fight Global Warming

A group of executives who want to fight global warming has published a new report calling for countries to spend up to $600 billion a year over the next two decades to boost green energy deployment and energy efficiency equipment.

The Energy Transitions Commission’s (ETC) report claims “additional investments of around $300-$600 billion per annum do not pose a major macroeconomic challenge,” which they say will help the world meet the goals laid out in the Paris agreement.

ETC is made up of energy executives, activist leaders and investment bankers, including former Vice President Al Gore, who would no doubt get a piece of the trillions of dollars they are calling for.

ETC’s goal is to “accelerate change towards low-carbon energy systems that enable robust economic development” and limit global warming. ETC’s report comes out as the Trump administration considers whether or not to stay party to the Paris agreement, which went into effect in 2016.

President Trump’s First 100 Days in Office: Major Accomplishments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Noting that this coming Saturday, April 30, 2017, marks President Trump’s 100th day as president, the White House has begun listing accomplishments.

“In his First 100 Days President Trump has taken dramatic steps to undo burdensome regulations, restore law and order, bolster our military, revive the American dream, change Washington by holding it accountable, put the American worker first and confirm Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch,” the White House press office said in a statement published Monday.

“The people who put him in office can see and feel the promises he is delivering on. According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, an incredible 96% of those who supported the President in November say they’d do it again today,” the White House statement continued.

The White House also summed up President Trump’s first 100 days in office “by the numbers, noting the following:

  • Enacted more legislation and signed more executive orders in the First 100 days than any president in a half century;
  • Enacted 28 pieces of legislation, more than any other president since Truman;
  • Signed 25 executive orders, the most of any 100 days in over 50 years (will be over 30 by day 100);
  • Achieved first Supreme Court Confirmation in 100 days since 1881;
  • Instituted tough immigration policies that have driven illegal border crossings to a 17-year low;
  • Removed more job-killing regulations through legislation than any president in U.S. history;
  • Estimated savings: $18 billion annually;
  • Economic optimism has been renewed, with consumer confidence reaching its highest level in 16 years; and
  • Ordered the toughest new rules to stop the revolving door between Washington lobbyists and government officials in history.

Already, the Trump administration can point to accomplishments that fulfill campaign promises.

The Associated Press reported on March 3, 2017 that according to the U.S. Department of Labor, unemployment claims dropped by 19,000 from 242,000 the previous week to the lowest level in 44 years, since March 1973, when Richard Nixon was president.

The Labor Department further reported that 2.07 million Americans are collecting unemployment insurance, down more than 7 percent from a year ago.

The Labor Department considers the U.S. job market to be solid, with employers adding a healthy 227,000 jobs in January, pushing the unemployment rate to 4.8 percent, close to what economists consider full employment.

On Feb. 28, 2017, Fox News reported there was a significant drop in illegal immigration across the southwest border during President Trump’s first month in office compared to that of the last three months of the Obama presidency, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB).

In January 2017, 31,575 individuals were taken into custody between ports of entry on the southwest border, compared with an average of more than 45,000 for each of the previous three months, according to the CPB.

In an effort to detail President Trump’s major accomplishments, Infowars.com surveyed the White House press releases since the Inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017, coming up with a detailed list, focusing on Executive Orders and legislation signed since President Trump became president.

  • Estimated savings: $18 billion annually;
  • Economic optimism has been renewed, with consumer confidence reaching its highest level in 16 years; and
  • Ordered the toughest new rules to stop the revolving door between Washington lobbyists and government officials in history.

Already, the Trump administration can point to accomplishments that fulfill campaign promises.

The Associated Press reported on March 3, 2017 that according to the U.S. Department of Labor, unemployment claims dropped by 19,000 from 242,000 the previous week to the lowest level in 44 years, since March 1973, when Richard Nixon was president.

The Labor Department further reported that 2.07 million Americans are collecting unemployment insurance, down more than 7 percent from a year ago.

The Labor Department considers the U.S. job market to be solid, with employers adding a healthy 227,000 jobs in January, pushing the unemployment rate to 4.8 percent, close to what economists consider full employment.

On Feb. 28, 2017, Fox News reported there was a significant drop in illegal immigration across the southwest border during President Trump’s first month in office compared to that of the last three months of the Obama presidency, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB).

In January 2017, 31,575 individuals were taken into custody between ports of entry on the southwest border, compared with an average of more than 45,000 for each of the previous three months, according to the CPB.

In an effort to detail President Trump’s major accomplishments, Infowars.com surveyed the White House press releases since the Inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017, coming up with a detailed list, focusing on Executive Orders and legislation signed since President Trump became president.

Number of Migrant Criminal Suspects in Germany Surged in 2016

The number of migrant criminal suspects in Germany soared by more than 50 percent in 2016, data from the Interior Ministry showed on Monday – a statistic that could boost support for the anti-immigration party five months ahead of a federal election.

More than a million migrants have arrived in Germany in the last two years. Fears about security and integration initially pushed up the poll ratings of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD), but the party’s support has slipped as the rate of arrivals has slowed.

The number of suspects classed as immigrants – those applying for asylum, refugees, illegal immigrants and those whose deportation has been temporarily suspended – rose to 174,438, 52.7 percent more than the previous year.

The number of German suspects declined by 3.4 percent to 1,407,062.

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Medical Marijuana Program ‘could save US taxpayer $1bn’ – Study

A new study claims that medical marijuana use directly correlates with a decline in prescription drug use, which could save the US taxpayer up to $1.1 billion a year on Medicaid prescriptions.

The research follows up on another study carried out last year by Ashley Bradford and W. David Bradford which found that taxpayers would save half a billion dollars each year through the provision of medical marijuana.

“Patients and physicians in the community are reacting to the availability of medical marijuana as if it were medicine,” the father-daughter team wrote in their latest findings, published online this week in the Health Affairs publication. Medical marijuana is legal in 28 states and in Washington DC.

“Using quarterly data on all fee-for-service Medicaid prescriptions in the period 2007–14, we tested the association between those laws and the average number of prescriptions filled by Medicaid beneficiaries,” the researchers wrote.

The revised estimates in the latest study are even more optimistic, and predict that if medical marijuana was made available nationwide it would lead to: an 11 percent drop in prescriptions for pain medication, including opioids; a 17 percent drop in prescriptions for nausea medications; a 13 percent drop in depression medication prescriptions, and a 12 percent decrease in both anti-seizure and anti-psychotic medications.

All of which would amount to a total savings of up to $1.1 billion to the US taxpayer.

A study published on April 1 in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence also found that states which have legalized medical marijuana have seen an overall reduction in opioid-related hospitalizations per capita compared with those where the drug is still illegal, even for medicinal purposes.

The researchers did concede that a uniform replacement of FDA-approved treatments with medical marijuana across the board would be harmful.

However, they also disputed the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Schedule 1 classification of the drug which is reserved for drugs that have no “currently accepted medical use[s].”

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been a noted critic of marijuana legalization, claiming that “there’s more violence around marijuana than one would think,” in a meeting with reporters in February, as cited by CBS. He has also expressed surprise that the American people do not support his anti-marijuana stance.

Trump eyes summer deadline for $1 trillion infrastructure plan

The Trump administration is eyeing a summer deadline to unveil the president’s $1 trillion infrastructure package.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told the Boston Globe that the proposal will likely debut this summer, after the administration tackles tax reform. Chao has previously said the plan could land on Capitol Hill as soon as next month.

“We’re on track,” Chao said while touring the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Mass. “There’s a great deal of discussion over the most difficult part of the initiative, which is funding it.”

Congressional leaders initially said the legislation would take shape in the fall, but the timeline has been sped up as the administration looks to score a legislative victory.

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Study: Infants With DTP Vaccine 5 to 10-Times More Susceptible to Dying

For many years, public health advocates have vainly urged the CDC and WHO to conduct studies comparing vaccinated vs. unvaccinated populations to measure overall health outcomes.

Now a team of Scandinavian scientists has conducted such a study and the results are alarming.  That study, funded in part by the Danish government and lead by Dr. Soren Wengel Mogensen, was published in January in EBioMedicine.  Mogensen and his team of scientists found that African children inoculated with the DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine, during the early 1980s had a 5-10 times greater mortality than their unvaccinated peers.

The data suggest that, while the vaccine protects against infection from those three bacteria, it makes children more susceptible to dying from other causes.

The scientists term the study a “natural experiment” since a birthday-based vaccination system employed for the Bandim Health Project (BHP) in Guinea Bissau, West Africa had the effect of creating a vaccinated cohort and a similarly situated unvaccinated control group.  In the time period covered by this study, Guinea-Bissau had 50% child mortality rates for children up to age 5.  Starting in 1978, BHP health care workers contacted pregnant mothers and encouraged them to visit infant weighing sessions provided by a BHP team every three months after their child’s birth.  Beginning in 1981, BHP offered vaccinations at the weighing sessions.  Since the DPT vaccine and OPV (oral polio) immunizations were offered only to children who were at least three months of age at the weighing sessions, the children’s random birthdays allowed for analysis of deaths between 3 and 5 months of age depending on vaccination status.  So, for example, a child born on January 1st and weighed on April 1st would be vaccinated, but a child born on February 1st would not be vaccinated until their following visit at age 5 months on July 1st.

In the primary analysis, DTP-vaccinated infants experienced mortalities five times greater than DTP-unvaccinated infants.  Mortalities to vaccinated girls were 9.98 times those among females in the unvaccinated control group, while mortalities to vaccinated boys were 3.93 times the controls.  Oddly, the scientists found that children receiving the oral polio vaccine simultaneously with DTP fared much better than children who did not.  The OPV vaccine appeared to modify the negative effect of the DTP vaccine, reducing mortalities to 3.52 times those experienced among the control group.  Overall, mortalities among vaccinated children were 10 times the control group when children received only the DTP.

Mogensen and his colleagues hypothesize that the DTP vaccine might weaken a child’s immune system against non-target infections.  They conclude, “Though protective against the target disease, DTP may increase susceptibility to unrelated infections… DTP was associated with 5-fold higher mortality than being unvaccinated.  No prospective study has shown beneficial survival effects of DTP.”

The Mogensen study supports the conclusions of previous investigations into child survival following vaccination.  An earlier study by Dr. Peter Aaby, of the introduction of DTP in rural Guinea-Bissau, indicated a 2-fold higher mortality among vaccinated children (Aaby et al. 2004a).  The Aaby report is one of several early studies that documented vaccination status and followed children prospectively.  All of them indicated that DTP-vaccinated children died at rates far exceeding mortality amongst the control group.  A meta-analysis of all eight known studies found a two-fold higher mortality for DTP-vaccinated compared to DTP-unvaccinated (Aaby et al. 2016) (Appendix A).

In 2014, The World Health Organization (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) conducted its own literature review of the potential non-specific effects (NSEs) of several vaccines, including DTP, and found that the majority of studies reported a detrimental effect of DTP (Higgins et al., 2014; Strategic Advisory Group of Experts of Immunization, 2014) due to its penchant for increasing susceptibility to unrelated infections.  SAGE recommended further research.

Moreover, Mogensen and his colleagues observe that the studies reviewed by SAGE probably underestimated the lethal effect of the DTP vaccine because of unusually high mortality in the control groups, ”Unvaccinated children in these studies have usually been frail children too sick or malnourished to get vaccinated and the studies may therefore have underestimated the negative effect of DTP”.  The Mogensen study sought to avoid this pitfall by using controls selected by birthday and by eliminating underweight children and orphans from both the study group and the control group.  It included only children who were breastfed.  All the infants were healthy at the time of vaccination.  Nevertheless, the Mogensen authors point out that, even in their study, the unvaccinated children had slightly worse nutritional status and travelled more – biases that would tend to increase mortality. They conclude that, “The estimate from the natural experiment may therefore still be conservative.”

The significance of the Mogensen study findings is underscored by the observation that, “Unfortunately, DTP is the most widely used vaccine, and the proportion who receives DTP3 is used globally as an indicator of the performance of national vaccination programs.”

The authors close with a bracing rebuke to public health regulators, “It should be of concern that the effect of routine vaccinations on all-cause mortality was not tested in randomized trials.  All currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis.  Though a vaccine protects children against the target disease it may simultaneously increase susceptibility to unrelated infections.”  Those words should serve as a cold water wake-up call to the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC and other public health officials.  The public in both poor and rich countries has a right to scientifically-based evidence that international vaccine programs are as safe as possible and that they have been thoroughly safety-tested.  The best metrics for measuring safety are studies comparing health outcomes of vaccinated versus unvaccinated cohorts.  Yet, both the CDC and the WHO have aggressively discouraged the pursuit of such studies.

Finally, it’s important to note that the DTP vaccine used in Guinea-Bissau in the early 1980s almost certainly contained high concentrations of both mercury and aluminum. Vaccine makers first created the combined diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine in the 1940s, mixing in an aluminum adjuvant and a mercury preservative (thimerosal) from its inception.  At that time, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended DTP for mass use in children. Prior to 1990, DTP was the only thimerosal-containing vaccine recommended for infants.

Five manufacturers supplied UNICEF with the DTP vaccines used in West Africa in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  One of these, Biken of Japan, described the industry standard in its 1987 lab report: “Outline of Method of Manufacture—The preparation [of DTP] also contains thimerosal as a preservative.”

By the early 1980s, a cascade of lawsuits filed across the United States on behalf of vaccine-injured children were driving DTP manufacturers from the market and threatening to shut down production of the DTP shot and other vaccines. That threat led the U.S. Congress to bestow legal immunity on vaccine makers via the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Program in 1986, followed in December, 1987, by the rollout of “Vaccine Court.”  Following the recommendation by the Institute of Medicine, vaccine makers removed thimerosal from the American DTaP between 2001-2003.  However, multi-dose DTP vaccines given to tens of millions of children across the African continent continue to contain massive doses of thimerosal (25mcg of ethylmercury per injection) that exceed the EPA’s maximum exposure levels by many times. Neither the CDC nor the WHO has ever published a vaccinated vs. unvaccinated study that would be necessary to determine the overall health impacts of this potent toxin on African children.  The Mogensen report is a loud call for such a study.

This article originally appeared at the WorldMercuryProject.org.

238 murdered in France by jihadists since 2015

The devastating scale of Islamic extremism that has struck France has been exposed by new figures that show some 238 people have been murdered by Islamic extremists in France alone since 2015.

There have been some 21 Islamist attacks in France since 2015, including the Bataclan massacre and attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

Make no mistake about it, France is at war with radical Islam along with the rest of Europe. As their people go the poll tomorrow, this is perhaps the defining issue of our time which will likely play a huge part in deciding who is elected France’s next President.

TOP 10 Alex Jones Performance Art Characters

The mainstream media continues to attack Alex Jones by claiming he is an actor in an attempt to discredit the message of freedom and liberty.

This video shows the top 10 performance art characters Alex Jones has created throughout the years. Let us know your favorite character in the comments below!

More: Secret DHS Training Video Leaked

Alex Jones as “The Joker”

Cobra Commander for President!

DHS: Almost as Many Americans Died of Drug Overdoses in 2015 as in ’12 Years in Vietnam’

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly has largely blamed Latin American drug cartels for the unprecedented 52,000-plus drug overdose deaths in America during 2015 alone, the latest year for which data is available.

During a discussion that George Washington University (GWU) hosted about the threats facing the United States, retired Gen. Kelly noted in his prepared remarks:

It’s the highest number of drug-related deaths our country has ever seen. It’s more deaths than the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1995. In a single year, we’ve lost nearly as many Americans to drug overdose as we lost in battle in World War I. Almost as many as was lost in 12 years in Vietnam.

And that’s just overdose deaths. That number—as high as it is—says nothing about the long-term health damage to our citizens who survive, to say nothing about the human misery, the families ripped apart, and the extremes of crime and violence inherent in the illegal-drug enterprise.

Kelly identified transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) in the form of Latin American drug cartels and violent international gangs like MS-13 as “one of the greatest” threats against the American public.

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Despite Record Collections, 52,062,499 Filers Paid No Income Taxes in 2014

In tax year 2014, according to a report published by the Internal Revenue Service, the federal government hauled in a then-record $1,377,797,136,000 in individual income taxes.

Nonetheless, of the 148,606,578 individual income tax return filers that year, 52,062,499 (or 35 percent) filed what the IRS calls “nontaxable returns,” which means they paid no net individual income taxes.

Among these 52,062,499 filers who did not pay income taxes in 2014, according to Table 3.3 in the report, were 31,129,405 filers who also received $90,276,007,000 in payments from the federal government for “refundable” tax credits.

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Chaffetz to Leave Congress After 2018

U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz, who chairs a House committee with broad investigative powers, on Wednesday announced his plans to leave Congress after the 2018 midterm elections, saying he had no intention of running for any political office.

“I have no ulterior motives. I am healthy. I am confident I would continue to be re-elected by large margins. I have the full support of Speaker (Paul) Ryan to continue as Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. That said, I have made a personal decision to return to the private sector,” Chaffetz said in a statement on Facebook.

The conservative Republican, who was first elected to the House in 2008 and represents a district in eastern Utah, gained prominence as head of the committee that was investigating Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

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Sessions: MS-13 Gang could be Designated as Terrorist Organization

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the MS-13 gang could be designated as a terrorist organization.

Asked by Fox News’s Tucker Carlson on Tuesday whether he thinks the designation would be helpful, Sessions replied, “I think so, perhaps. I believe it could qualify for that.”

“There are rules that I guess the State Department does to establish that,” he added. El Salvador has already designated MS-13 a terrorist group.”

Sessions called the gang “one of the most violent gangs in the history of our country.”

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Huge Asteroid To Give Earth a Very Close Shave on April 19

Call it a close shave of a celestial sort.

On April 19, an asteroid roughly the size of the Rock of Gibraltar will speed safely by Earth at a distance of 1.1 million miles — or less than five times the distance from Earth to the moon.

NASA says there’s no chance the 2,000-foot-wide space rock will hit our planet. But the flyby — remarkably close by astronomical standards — serves as a reminder that somewhere out there an asteroid may have our name on it.

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Illegal Entrance into U.S. Lowest in 17 Years, Mexicans Too Afraid of Trump

One of Donald Trump’s promises in “Making America Great Again” was securing our southern border and ensuring illegal aliens stopped flowing into the country and burdening the system. Well, it’s already happening even before the wall is built.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared on Howi Carr’s radio show in Boston and spread the news:

“I’ve been excited about progress at the border… March was the lowest level of illegal entrants to the country in 17 years. It was 72% below the last month of the Obama Administration.”

Later on Sean Hannity’s program on Fox News, Sessions added, “I thought if we had clear leadership by the President, by our officers, and tell people please don’t come illegally, if you want to come to America, wait your turn. If we do that, we’d see a decline, and so far it’s exceeded my expectation.”

“It is just beyond my comprehension how we drifted so far away from the common sense notion that sovereign nations have borders and those borders should be honored,” Sessions continued. “Any country that has common sense, and almost all do, has laws that if you commit a crime while you’re in the country, lawfully or unlawfully, you are to be deported.”

And what happens when our government simply enforces the law? Illegals stop coming.

In fact, an article in the liberal Daily Beast states that “migrants” are disappearing from the Mexican border because of “fear of Trump.”

Speaking with a couple that runs a northern Mexican shelter for those heading to the United States, reporter Betsy Woodruff said the shelter now sits mostly empty:

Since they opened it, upward of 1 million people have slept there on their way to the U.S. But on the day I visited, it was almost empty.

It didn’t used to be this way, Gilda and Juan Francisco, known as Paco, explained. In the decades since they opened the space to give migrants a place to shower and sleep before crossing the border, the shelter—with separate rooms full of bunkbeds for men and women—would regularly house 100 migrants per night. Sometimes, that number would hit 300 or more, and Gilda and Paco would pull out thin mattresses to fit everyone on the floor.

But today, those mattresses are neatly stacked in a closet, untouched. And the shelter is almost empty—no women travelers, and fewer than a dozen men. That’s despite the fact that April, with its mild weather, should be the busiest time of year for migrants. The place is all but dead. Gilda and Paco have never seen anything like it.

The Franciscos have only one theory as to why this is happening: “President Donald Trump.”

Imagine that. All it took was having a president who actually enforces the law of the land. It just goes to show you how much damage not doing that for eight years can really do.

Fear Grips Communities as MS-13 Gang Proliferates

At first, Evelyn Rodriguez thought her teenage daughter had forgotten to charge her phone—it kept going straight to voicemail. Or maybe she had just lost track of time. But Kayla Cuevas and her best friend Nisa Mickens never blew through their 9 p.m. curfew, especially without checking in.

“She would call me if she was going to be two minutes late,” said Rodriguez. Sept. 13 was a typical Tuesday in Brentwood, New York, and the girls had gone for a walk while it was still daylight.

Earlier in the evening, Cuevas, who had turned 16 two months prior, and Mickens had been planning Mickens’s birthday party. Mickens was turning 16 the next day.

Rodriguez got home from work after 11 p.m. She drove past an accident site about a block away from her home. Yellow police tape cordoned the area off, and she remembers thinking, “Wow, I hope the person is OK.”

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The Great Japan Potato-Chip Crisis: Panic Buying, $12 Bags

Demand for potato chips has surged in Japan this week, with products on offer for 6 times their retail price online after Japanese snack company Calbee Inc. halted the sale of some of its most popular chip brands.

Calbee’s pizza-flavored chips were going for about 1,250 yen ($12) on Yahoo Japan Corp.’s auction website Friday. One bag usually sells for less than 200 yen. Photos of near-empty shelves at their local supermarkets were trending on Twitter.

The crunch came after Calbee warned on Monday that it will temporarily halt the sale of 15 types of potato chips due to a bad crop in Hokkaido, a key potato-producing region. The northern island was hit by a record number of typhoons last year. Calbee, which has a market value of 507.9 billion yen and is 20 percent-owned by PepsiCo Inc., has a 73 percent market share of potato chips.

Potato chips are a big deal in Japan, a country also known for its senbei rice crackers and Pocky sticks. Calbee’s potato-snack products were the most and second-most popular snacks in a TV Asahi poll of 10,000 people and 13 confectionery makers last year, and the subject of a primetime show that lasted more than two hours.

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Suicide Barriers Going Up At Golden Gate Bridge After Over 1.5K Deaths

Work officially began Thursday on a net under the Golden Gate Bridge intended to prevent and deter the dozens of suicides that take place at the iconic landmark each year.

More than 1,500 people are thought to have died there over the bridge’s 80-year lifespan.

The stainless steel net, located about 20 feet below the bridge’s sidewalk, will span 1.7 miles of roadway on each side of the bridge and extend 20 feet out over the water.

It will be built over a period of four years, at a cost of just over $200 million drawn from a mix of federal, state and local sources.

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Government Collects $1.47 Trillion in First Half of Fiscal 2017

The federal government collected $1,473,137,000,000 in taxes in the first half of fiscal year 2017, but still ran a $526,855,000,000 deficit during that time, according to the latest monthly Treasury Department statement.

Treasury receipts include tax revenue from individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, social insurance and retirement taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, excise taxes, estate and gift taxes, customs duties, and other miscellaneous items.

In the first half of fiscal 2017, which included the months of October, November, December, January, February, and March, the government collected a slightly lower amount of taxes than in the same period seen last year. The 2017 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, 2016, and runs through Sept. 30, 2017.

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Symantec says CIA Tools found Across 16 Countries

The CIA’s cyberespionage toolkit made public by WikiLeaks has been linked to 40 spying operations in 16 countries, an early public assessment of the intelligence agency’s global hacking operations, computer security company Symantec said Monday.

In a blog post published [Monday], the California-based Symantec Corp. said the tools in WikiLeaks’ recent releases have been linked to the electronic infiltration of international, financial, energy and aerospace organizations across the world. Like many security firms, Symantec draws on data supplied by its clients. Researcher Dick O’Brien declined to provide further details, saying might prompt speculation as to the identity of the people or organizations involved.

“I will say, in terms of the regions, the largest region represented in terms of those targets was the Middle East,” O’Brien said in a telephone interview.

The word “CIA” was mentioned nowhere in Symantec’s post, but few if any doubt that that’s where the tools come from. When WikiLeaks began releasing them in early March, it gave an unusually explicit account of how the tools had been taken from the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence. The U.S. government has since all but publicly accepted the embarrassing claim; about a week later, President Donald Trump told a television host: “I just want people to know the CIA was hacked, and a lot of things taken.”

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Major Obamacare Insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield Won’t Turn a Profit in 2017

Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers operating in the Affordable Care Act individual market will get close to break-even margins in 2017, according to a report from Standard & Poor’s Global Market Intelligence.

Obamacare’s individual market is fragile and needs about five years to stabilize since its inception in 2014, the report says. This means insurers in this market will likely not hit target profitability until 2018.

“After starting on the wrong foot in 2014, and deteriorating further in 2015, we are seeing the first signs in 2016 that this market could be manageable for most health insurers,” the report said. “But it isn’t on stable footing either.”

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2 Adults and 1 Child Dead, 1 Student Critically Injured in Shooting at San Bernardino Elementary School

A teacher and a student were shot dead and another child was critically wounded Monday in a murder-suicide inside an elementary school classroom in San Bernardino, California. The suspected shooter was also killed.

The 8-year-old child was identified as Jonathan Martinez by San Bernardino police. He was taken to Loma Linda University Medical Center via helicopter where he later died.

The teacher was identified by law enforcement officials as Karen Smith, 53, Monday afternoon. The suspected shooter was identified as Smith’s husband, Cedric Charles Anderson, a 53-year-old resident of the City of Riverside, multiple law enforcement agencies confirmed to NBC4.

Two children, including Martinez, were struck by gunfire behind Smith in the apparent murder-suicide shooting, according to police.

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South Korean Paper Reports China Has Deployed 150,000 Troops To North Korea Border

While the catalyst is unclear, it appears the market dropped as headlines of further sanctions against Russia appeared and reports of China deploying 150,000 troops to its North Korea border.

According to Korean news agency Chosun, the “Chinese army has deployed about 150,000 troops to the North Korean border in two groups to prepare for unforeseen circumstances.” The reason: the prospect of “military options”, such as preemptive attacks on North Korea, like the one the United States launched on Syria.

More Google translated:

As the United States announced its independent North Korean behavior and moved the United States Navy’s nuclear-powered Calvinus (CVN-70) carrier class to Singapore, the Chinese army has deployed about 150,000 troops in two groups to prepare for unforeseen circumstances.

“The report said. It is because of the prospect of taking “military options”, such as preemptive attacks on North Korea, just as the United States has launched an air raid on Syria.

Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reported on the 9th that the Syrian missile strike in the United States shocked China, suggesting that the People’s Liberation Army forces are moving toward the Yalu River, .

The newspaper said the video was also broadcast on the Internet, but the authorities removed the relevant information, saying the move was a medical and aft support unit for the Shenyang bulb (the northern light bulb)

Another possible catalyst is a report by Russia’s interfax that Moscow is preparing for more sanctions, and has warned local air companies about a possible suspension of charter flights with Tu


Whatever the catalyst, the reaction is clear:

Dropping stocks below the levels right before Syrian airstrikes began…

The Dow is back at crucial support at the 50–day moving average…

Taking everything but Trannies back into the red for the day.

Gold is bid back over $1250 as USDJPY suddenly plunges.

Snowden Documents Reveal Scope of Secrets Exposed to China in 2001 Spy Plane Incident

WHEN CHINA boldly seized a U.S. underwater drone in the South China Sea last December and initially refused to give it back, the incident ignited a weeklong political standoff and conjured memories of a similar event more than 15 years ago.

In April 2001, just months before the 9/11 attacks gripped the nation, a U.S. Navy spy plane flying a routine reconnaissance mission over the South China Sea was struck by a People’s Liberation Army fighter jet that veered aggressively close. The mid-air collision killed the Chinese pilot, crippled the Navy plane, and forced it to make an emergency landing at a Chinese airfield, touching off a tense international showdown for nearly two weeks while China refused to release the two-dozen American crew members and damaged aircraft.

The sea drone captured in December was a research vessel, not a spy craft, according to the Pentagon, so its seizure didn’t risk compromising secret military technology. That wasn’t the case with the spy plane, which carried a trove of surveillance equipment and classified signals intelligence data.

For more than a decade, U.S. officials have refused to say what secrets China might have gleaned from the plane. Two years after the incident, journalists saw a redacted U.S. military report, which revealed that although crew members had jettisoned documents out an emergency hatch as they flew over the sea and had managed to destroy some signals-collection equipment before the plane fell into the hands of the Chinese, it was “highly probable” China had still obtained classified information from the plane. Attempts by journalists and academics to learn more over the years have been unsuccessful.

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Shocking: Joy Villa Releases Viral Video: 10 Hours Walking NYC as a Trump Supporter

Singer Joy Villa, who recently gained international fame after wearing a jaw-dropping “Make America Great Again” dress to the Grammy Awards, has released a video documenting her experience walking the streets of New York City in a blazing pro-Trump outfit.

Villa donned a “Make America Great Again” hat and Trump/Pence campaign t-shirt, accompanied by American flag-themed jumpsuit and backpack, and ventured out to gauge the public’s reactions – with some surprising results.

The response to Villa’s outfit was balanced, with the expected “f**k Trump” outbursts, but also some genuinely intrigued observers, and even admiration and support.

One man, a retired Army sergeant, expressed his appreciation for her ensemble, pulling a new MAGA hat from his bag and requesting a nearby store employee to take their picture, who responded semi-jokingly, “I’m probably gonna get fired.”

Another man told Villa that he does not like Trump because of “the way he talks,” before admitting that he primarily gets his (fake) news from CNN.

It may not have hurt Villa’s cause that she is an attractive mixed-race woman – her bio lists her as African-American, Italian, and Choctaw Indian – but the social experiment provided a promising glimpse that anti-Trump furor may be cooling off with the election nearly three months in the rear-view mirror.

As a whole, New York City voted overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton at over 78%, and the borough of Manhattan, where much of Villa’s video was shot, eclipsed 86% vote support for Clinton, despite Trump being arguably the most famous and productive thoroughbred New Yorker of our time.

Ms. Villa’s decision to wear a custom-designed, pro-Trump dress to the Grammy’s was highly effective in exhibiting the power of the Silent Majority, as sales of her albums and singles exploded by more than 54 million percent on Amazon in the days following the awards show, pushing her to dominance at the top of multiple charts in the process.

The latest video from Ms. Villa is a play on a viral video from 2014 called “10 Hours of Walking In NYC As a Woman.”

Dan Lyman: Facebook | Twitter

Twin Church Bombings in Egypt Kill 37, Wound Another 100

Bombs tore through two Egyptian churches in different cities as worshippers were marking Palm Sunday, killing at least 37 people and wounding around 100 in an assault claimed by the Islamic State group.

In the first, attack, a bomb exploded at Saint George church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta, killing at least 26 people and wounding over 70, officials said.

Later, an explosion hit Saint Mark’s Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt, killing at least 11 people and wounding 35 just after Pope Tawadros II finished services. His aides later told local media that he had escaped unharmed.

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Marines Punished for Social Media Comments; 15 Other Servicemembers Investigated

The Marine Corps has punished two California-based Marines for derogatory remarks that they expressed on social media about a female Marine and service leadership, and law enforcement agents have uncovered at least 56 people suspected of involvement in a nude-photo sharing scandal, military officials said Friday.

The punished Marines were both reduced one rank Wednesday in a non-judicial sentence that also included 45 days of extra punitive duties for their remarks posted on the Facebook page “United States Grunt Corps,” said Lt. Col Warren Cook, the commander of 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton, Calif., the unit to which the Marines are assigned.

It marks the first time active-duty Marines have faced discipline for inappropriate actions on social media and comes in the wake of the photo-sharing scandal uncovered in February that Marine leaders have said indicated the service had a cultural problem.

Cook said the two Marines he punished failed to maintain “the good order and discipline of the unit.”

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Austin to Dallas in 20 minutes? ‘Texas Triangle’ among 11 proposed Hyperloop routes in the U.S.

Hyperloop One unveiled 11 potential projects April 6 during meetings with policy makers in Washington, D.C. The company also announced that it has finalized tube installation on its 1,650-foot-long DevLoop in the Las Vegas desert.

So far the activities of Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One have focused around building a commercial high-speed tube transportation system in the United Arab Emirates with a track connecting Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

But the Hyperloop One Global Challenge, which invited individuals, universities, companies and governments to propose Hyperloop routes in their regions, has yielded 11 U.S. routes. Five of these — in Texas, Florida, Colorado, Nevada and Missouri — involve officials from their state departments of transportation.

The Texas Triangle route — a 640-mile system that would connect five metros — is considered a potential frontrunner, the Dallas Business Journal reports. The proposed Texas route has endpoints in DFW, Austin, Houston and San Antonio, as well as a leg down to Laredo, Steven Duong, senior urban designer in the Dallas office of Aecom, told the DBJ.

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PolitiFact Retracts ‘Mostly True’ Ruling That U.S. Removed ‘100 Percent’ of Syria’s Chemical Weapons

Fact-checking website PolitiFact on Wednesday retracted a 2014 article that found it “Mostly True” the Obama administration helped broker a deal that successfully removed “100 percent” of chemical weapons from Syria.

“We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out,” then-Secretary of State John Kerry said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in July 2014. Kerry was referring to a deal the U.S. and Russia struck in September 2013 in which the Russians agreed to help confiscate and then destroy Syria’s entire chemical weapons stockpile.

When making its ruling, PolitiFact cited a statement from Ahmet Üzümcü, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

“The last of the remaining chemicals identified for removal from Syria were loaded this afternoon aboard the Danish ship Ark Futura,” Üzümcü said in June 2014.

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