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CDC chief calls for rethinking Ebola prevention

Photo By Courtesy of tcu360.com/AP

The infection of a Dallas nurse who treated the nation’s first Ebola case “substantially” changes the way public health officials address infection control, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventionsaid on Monday.

“We have to rethink how we provide care,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC. “Even a single infection is unacceptable.”

Frieden, who said a detailed investigation is under way to determine how the nurse involved in the late Thomas Eric Duncan‘s care was infected, was vague about exactly what needs to change. But he did say the CDC will “double down” on training to hospitals that may not be as prepared for Ebola cases as previously believed.

The CDC Sunday announced it had confirmed the nurse contracted Ebola, the first transmission of the deadly disease in the United States. CDC leaders described the case as “deeply concerning,” but repeated there is little risk of a widespread outbreak.

On Monday, the Dallas Morning News and other news organizations identified the nurse as Nina Pham, 26, of Dallas.

The graduate of Texas Christian University’s nursing school was monitoring her own temperature and went to the hospital Friday night as soon as she found out she was running a low fever. She’s now in isolation and in stable condition.

By Monday evening, she had received a transfusion of plasma from Kent Brantly, a Texas physician who survived the virus, her pastor and the nonprofit medical mission group Samaritan’s Purse told the Associated Press.

Frieden, who was criticized for a comment Sunday that a “breach in protocol” led to the nurse’s contracting of the disease, said he didn’t mean to blame anyone. He said it was possible for workers to contaminate themselves in taking off protective clothing.

“I feel awful that a health care worker became infected trying to help an Ebola patient survive,” said Frieden.

Frieden also provided statistics on President Barack Obama‘s new airport screening policy, which took effect Saturday at John F. Kennedy International. Of 91 passengers arriving from West Africa, five were referred for additional evaluation and none was determined to be at risk for Ebola. Screening will begin at four additional airports this weekend.

By Todd Ackerman

General: If Ebola Reaches Central America, ‘There Will Be Mass Migration into the U.S.’

Photo: Weekly Standard

Those looking for good news on the fight against Ebola will not find much encouragement from Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, the commander of the U.S. Southern Command. As Jim Garamone of Department of Defense News reports, Kelly told an audience at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday that, if the disease reaches Central America, “it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States.” He also said with certainty that “there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa.”

“By the end of the year, there’s supposed to be 1.4 million people infected with Ebola and 62 percent of them dying, according to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]…”

“So, much like West Africa, it will rage for a period of time,” Kelly said.

This is particularly possible scenario if the disease gets to Haiti or Central America, he said. If the disease gets to countries like Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador, it will cause a panic and people will flee the region, the general said.

“If it breaks out, it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States,” Kelly said. “They will run away from Ebola, or if they suspect they are infected, they will try to get to the United States for treatment.”

Kelly said that human trafficking could be an additional wrinkle in the battle to contain the disease. He related a disturbing anecdote from a recent visit to Central America where some men from Liberia were headed to the United States:

Also, transnational criminal networks smuggle people and those people can be carrying Ebola, the general said. Kelly spoke of visiting the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua with U.S. embassy personnel. At that time, a group of men “were waiting in line to pass into Nicaragua and then on their way north,” he recalled.

“The embassy person walked over and asked who they were and they told him they were from Liberia and they had been on the road about a week,” Kelly continued. “They met up with the network in Trinidad and now they were on their way to the United States — illegally, of course.”

Those men, he said, “could have made it to New York City and still be within the incubation period for Ebola.”

Earlier this year, General Kelly gave some chilling testimony about the limitations on the United States’s ability to protect the southern border:

In spring hearings before the Senate and House Armed Services Committees, Kelly said that budgets cuts are “severely degrading” the military’s ability to defend southern approaches to the U.S border. Last year, he said, his task force was unable to act on nearly 75 percent of illicit trafficking events. “I simply sit and watch it go by,” he said. But the potential threats are even greater. Kelly warned that neglect has created vulnerabilities that can be exploited by terrorist groups, describing a “crime-terror convergence” already seen in Lebanese Hezbollah’s involvement in the region.

While Centers for Disease Control director Tom Frieden recently expressed some optimism in the fight against Ebola in West Africa, he acknowledged that “globally, this is going to be a long, hard fight.”

BY JERYL BIER

TEXAS EBOLA PATIENT NOT RECEIVING EXPERIMENTAL MEDICATION

Immigrants from Ebola outbreak nations caught along the border

Photo: ValleyCentral.com Action 4 News

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a level three warning for US citizens to avoid traveling to West African countries experiencing an outbreak of Ebola.

Immigrants from West African countries have entered the US illegally, according to Chris Cabrera with the National Border Patrol Council.

“Not too long ago we did catch some people, I believe, from Liberia,” he said.

During the 2013 fiscal year, national statistics from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website show Border Patrol agents apprehended 112 immigrants from Guinea, 231 from Liberia and 145 immigrants from Sierra Leone, which are the three countries currently experiencing the most cases of Ebola.

“Our main concern like it’s always been is the health and safety of our agents,” Cabrera said.

He worries agents are not properly protected in the event they come across an immigrant with the Ebola virus.

“Our agents are trained, however, they are not medical professionals,” he said.

If an immigrant with the virus does make it past agents, he worries they could possibly pass the contagious virus to other immigrants while in a stash house like they saw recently during a scabies outbreak.

“Some of our agents did contract scabies, and some of the other things that illegal aliens had. Luckily it’s not something deadly like Ebola,” Cabrera said.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirms agents are trained to recognize signs of illnesses, including Ebola, and are told to contact to the CDC immediately if they find someone they believe to be infected.

The union worries immigrants with the disease may slip by because sometimes symptoms of the virus do not show up for 2-21 days.

“We need to be more pro-active about trying to prevent it from coming in as opposed to trying to contain it once its hear,” Cabrera told Action 4 News.

CBP is working with the CDC to develop procedures to identify travelers and immigrants with contagious diseases.

by Nadia Galindo

CLEAR CREEK SCHOOL DEALING WITH BACK TO BACK TRAGEDIES

Photo: abc13.com

The principal at Clear Creek ISD’s McWhirter Elementary says this has been the most challenging week in his eight years at the school. 

A second grader’s sudden death started a week of back to back tragedy for students and staff at McWhirter Elementary. 

“One of our second grade students wasn’t feeling well,” says Dr. Michael Marquez. “Mom did take him to the emergency room and he did pass away Thursday afternoon.” 

That student, who Dr. Marquez identifies as Aaron, and his twin brother had recently moved here from Honduras. He left school with a fever early last week, and within 48 hours, he died. Administrators were at the hospital when his family got the news. 

Staff has raised money to give Aaron a proper burial in Honduras. 

“The information that we have is that to have final arrangements in Honduras will be about $6,000. So so far we’re $2300 in just a few days,” said Dr. Marquez.

And Monday, a fire in an apartment complex across the street from the school displaced five families, including six students. It started in Heather Johnson’s apartment. 

School administrators were on the scene within an hour, and have made good on promises to help. 

“They’ve gotten clothes, and shoes, and food. it means a lot to my heart because they’ve been really good to us,” Johnson says. 

Principal Marquez tells us rallying behind their own is what they do at McWhirter because they’re one big family, and family comes first. 

“The important thing is that we are a community and we can lean on each other,” he says. “So when something like this happens, we’ve got to make sure we take care of our family.” 

McWhirter works closely with a non-profit called Communities in Schools to coordinate help for these families. 

By Tracy Clemons 

Potential Ebola patient being monitored in Houston suburb

Photo: Screen Shot ABC Channel 13

First Dallas, now Houston.

Thankfully, Governor Perry put together a Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response. The task force, “will assess and enhance the state’s existing capabilities to prepare for and respond to pandemic disease, such as the Ebola virus.”

Perry also, “called on the federal government to immediately begin enhanced screening procedures at all points of entry, including obtaining additional information, checking temperatures and staffing quarantine stations to help prevent the disease from entering the country.”

According to a local ABC News affiliate:

A hospital in Cypress says it is treating a patient with an “extremely low-risk” chance of having Ebola.

The North Cypress Medical Center, located along the Northwest Freeway, says the patient was admitted Monday and is being monitored. The hospital issued the following statement about the patient’s admission:

“North Cypress Medical Center is treating a patient who has not been diagnosed with ebola. He is considered to be of extremely low risk to the ebola virus. Hospital personnel are taking all precautions as prescribed by the Harris County Health Department and the U.S. Center for Disease Control. The patient is in stable condition and is showing no signs of a fever. Admitted earlier today (October 6th), he has been isolated from other patients. We are working closely with local health and CDC officials who will determine all the steps we need to take to ensure the patient’s recovery and the community’s safety.” 

Over the weekend, it was thought a person in Katy may have had Ebola, but that turned out to be malaria. 

The health department says they’ve conducted two Ebola tests on patients in the Houston area. Both have come back negative.

 

In other Ebola news, the first case of Ebola infection in someone who did not contract the virus in Africa was reported today in Spain. The woman who treated a Spanish priest and a Spanish missionary after they contracted the virus has tested positive. Both individuals died from the virus, and the woman is currently receiving treatment.

CNN Reports:

The woman helped treat a Spanish missionary and a Spanish priest, both of whom had contracted Ebola in West Africa. Both died after returning to Spain.

Health officials said she developed symptoms on September 30. She was not hospitalized until this week. Her only symptom was a fever.

“We are working in coordination to give the best care to the patient and to guarantee the safety of all citizens,” the health minister said.

An investigation is under way to find everyone the assistant may have had contact with while contagious. So far, there are no other known cases.

The assistant was one of about 30 health professionals in Spain who helped to treat the Ebola patients.

 

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Military to allow undocumented immigrants to serve

(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

A small number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. will have an opportunity to join the military for the first time in decades under a new Department of Defense policy unveiled Thursday.

The new rules will expand an existing program allowing recruiters to target foreign nationals with high-demand skills, mostly rare foreign language expertise or specialized health care training.

For the first time, the program — known as Military Accessions in the National Interest, or MAVNI — will be open to immigrants without a proper visa if they came to the U.S. with their parents before age 16. More specifically, they must be approved under a 2012 Obama administration policy known as Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, or DACA.

The new Pentagon policy may be the first phase of a broader government-wide effort to ease pressure on immigrants and create new paths to citizenship. President Barack Obama, frustrated with the failure of Congress to pass any substantial immigration reform, has vowed to aggressively use his presidential authority to change the way immigration policies are carried out.

The Pentagon program is capped at 1,500 recruits per year. Officials say it’s unclear how many of those might be unlawful DACA status immigrants as opposed to others who are also eligible for military service under MAVNI, including those with legal, nonpermanent visas such as students or tourists.

Estimates suggest between 1.2 million and 2.1 million children, teenagers and young adults in the U.S. have no legal immigration status but meet the criteria for the DACA program. Those targeted by recruiters under the MAVNI program likely will be immigrants with language skills critical to national security, such as Arabic, Chinese, Pashto or Persian.

But Pentagon officials don’t know how many of those immigrants have actually learned their ancestral language to the proficiency required by the military.

“We’re just not sure how many within that existing population of DACA would have the linguistic skills to qualify,” said one defense official familiar with the policy change. “These are kids who entered the country at a fairly young age and have basically grown up in the United States, so the limit of their language talents would probably be the language that they received at home.”

DACA status is granted by the Department of Homeland Security and includes a background check.

On average, the military recruits about 5,000 noncitizens each year, nearly all of them permanent U.S. residents, or so-called “green card” holders. Starting in 2006, the military began accepting some foreigners with nonpermanent visas, such as students or tourists, if they had special skills that are highly valued.

After entering military service, foreigners are eligible for expedited U.S. citizenship. Since 2001, more than 92,000 foreign-born service members have become citizens while serving in uniform.

The MAVNI program began in 2008 and remains a pilot program. The Pentagon notified Congress on Thursday that the program, which was due to expire at the end of this fiscal year, will be extended for another two years and will for the first time include DACA-status immigrants.

The military services are not required to accept recruits under MAVNI. In recent years, the Army has been the only service to accept a significant number of recruits under the program. The Air Force has accepted only a few and the Navy and Marine Corps have not sought MAVNI recruits in recent years.

Audit: Texas Enterprise Fund gave out $222M with no strings attached

Photo: David Paul Morris

An independent audit of the Texas Enterprise Fund has found that roughly $222 million doled out from the fund went to companies that submitted no applications or made no promises to create jobs. The fund has been highly touted over the years by Gov. Rick Perry, who has said it was an invaluable tool to bring jobs to Texas and to stem the flow of jobs that might otherwise have left the state.

The audit, conducted by the Texas State Auditor’s Office, was the first time the Texas Enterprise Fund’s activities were reviewed by an outside agency. Among its findings, the report says that during 2004-2005, the fund did not require recipients to submit applications or create direct jobs for 11 projects that received awards totaling $222 million, roughly 44 percent of the $505 million awarded in total by the fund.

The report noted that a $40 million award in 2004 to then-Austin based Sematech Inc., a research consortium, had no requirements to create jobs, nor did the company submit an application for its funds. At the time of the award, Perry said the funding would allow Sematech to add 350 workers here, and economic research groups touting the award said it could eventually create up to 4,6000 new jobs in the area. By 2007, the company had moved its headquarters to Albany, New York.

The auditor’s report calls on policymakers to make significant revisions to how the fund is managed and overseen. Recommendations include better maintenance of records, the development of an objective scoring tool to evaluate fund applications, and a requirement for more detailed compliance reports from recipients. It also recommends that all award agreements and disbursements include such basic information as signature dates for all parties involved.

In a statement, Gov. Perry spokesperson Lucy Nashed defended the Texas Enterprise Fund as an essential tool for economic development in the state.

“The Texas Enterprise Fund is a critical deal-closing tool that has helped attract businesses to Texas that have in turn created thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in capital investment, and the Legislature has continued to recognize its value by reauthorizing it every session since it was created,” reads the statement. “This audit confirms that funds awarded through the program have been allocated in accordance with state law. Administrative processes and procedures are regularly reviewed and updated as necessary to ensure effective, efficient and responsible distribution and oversight of all TEF awards.”

The auditor’s report also found that the governor’s office did not consistently hold companies to the same requirements in order to get grants. For instance, the term “full-time” was not defined in 107 of the 110 award agreements that the auditor’s office tested. The fund did not consistently withhold funding until recipients made good on job-creation requirements, the audit report noted, and 15 of the award agreements included provisions that required the disbursement of funds before recipients had complied with job-creation or other requirements.

What’s more, the governor’s office did not adequately monitor recipients adherence to job creation requirements, the report noted, making it hard for state officials to impose penalties for failing to do so.

The report also found that the governor’s office did not ensure that terminated fund awards were returned to the state. The governor’s office collected a total of $19.2 million in terminated fund awards, but should have collected an additional $3.8 million. The auditor’s report chalks the difference up to errors made in calculations by the governor’s office.

The report also found that the governor’s office did not comply with statutory reporting requirements in its biennial reports on the fund. It noted that the fund’s January 2013 report disclosed that recipients of funds were required to create 66,094 jobs, but did not disclose that only 48,317 jobs had been created.

The full report, 99 pages long, can be downloaded here.

– Digital Editor-Austin Business Journal

DHS secret revealed: Tens of thousands of illegals released during the border crisis didn’t show up for their immigration hearings

Photo by Nathan Lambrecht

Of course they didn’t. Who thought they would? This is precisely what amnesty shills have in mind when they demand “due process” for illegals. You’re detained, you’re given a date to meet with immigration agents or appear before an immigration judge to decide whether you’ll be deported, and then you’re sent on your merry way into the United States — never to be seen by the state again. The point of “due process” is to give illegals an easy way to avoid the process. DHS understands this.

So rest easy. Our immigration system is working exactly the way it’s supposed to.

An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed that about 70 percent of immigrant families the Obama administration had released into the U.S. never showed up weeks later for follow up appointments.

The ICE official made the disclosure in a confidential meeting at its Washington headquarters with immigration advocatesparticipating in a federal working group on detention and enforcement policies. The Associated Press obtained an audio recording of Wednesday’s meeting and separately interviewed participants.

On the recording obtained by the AP, the government did not specify the total number of families released into the U.S. since October. Since only a few hundred families have already been returned to their home countries and limited U.S. detention facilities can house only about 1,200 family members, the 70 percent figure suggests the government released roughly 41,000 members of immigrant families who subsequently failed to appear at federal immigration offices.

The same ICE official admitted in the meeting that, of at least 860 people caught entering the U.S. since May and subsequently slapped with an order of final deportation, 14 showed up to be deported. Let me stress, in case the boldface above didn’t catch your attention, you’re not supposed to know any of this. It’s potentially a giant headache for Obama as he tries to muster the courage to issue his executive amnesty later this year, after the voting suckers of America have cast their ballots and can’t punish his party for another two years. That’s why, as the AP notes, officials in the White House and DHS repeatedly dodged questions about the number of immigration scofflaws (at least seven separate times) in June when AP reporters demanded to know if they had any data. Apparently, only pro-illegal friends of the Most Transparent Administration Ever can be trusted with this information. In fact, I assume the reason it was shared with them is because DHS knew how happy it would make them to know that the system’s performing as terribly as they’ve hoped. That’s a nice consolation prize for amnesty shills after O broke their hearts by delaying his order for a few more months.

Give me a reason why the appropriate House committee shouldn’t return to D.C. next month and hold a hearing on why these numbers weren’t publicly released but rather reserved for the White House’s amnesty allies. Don’t tell me “they’re busy campaigning.” That’s stupid three times over: Some things are obviously more important than campaigning; the number of Republicans called back as part of the committee would be small to begin with; and given the fact that amnesty’s become more important to midterm voters as Obama inches closer to an illegal executive order, a hearing on just how broken the process is would be fine politics. Let’s go.

BY ALLAHPUNDIT

Illegal Immigrants get free education, housing and healthcare for crossing border; Americans get $5,000 fine

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(NaturalNews) Scores of polls taken over the past few years have regularly shown that the majority of Americans do not want amnesty for illegal aliens, do not want the federal government to continue conveying taxpayer-supported benefits onto them and do not support legal measures that legitimize them in any way. The Obama Administration and too many in Congress, however, are not paying attention to the will of the people.

And now, there comes one additional insult: The Department of Homeland Security is fining Americans for accidentally crossing borders, but our government gives free education and other benefits to those who break our laws and sneak into our country illegally.

As reported by InfoWars.com and other alternative media, DHS has fined an American and a Canadian $5,000 apiece for cross the U.S./Canadian border, though fines are never given to the tens of thousands of illegals who are detained by U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) and other agencies on a daily basis.

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol press release, the two men — a 40-year-old American and 44-year-old Canadian — had been walking down a dirt road with mountain bikes near the border when they were approached by a USBP agent.

“Questioning by the agent revealed that the two suspects illegally entered the U.S. from Canada,” a USBP press release stated. “Subsequently, both males were arrested for violation of U.S. law and transported to the Rangeley Station for further processing.”

“Following database verifications, Border Patrol agents turned over both subjects to CBP officers at the Coburn Gore port of entry for assessment of fines and penalties,” said the release.

The government assessed for both men “a $5,000 civil penalty under 19 USC 1459 for Failure to Report” to border patrol officials. As InfoWars.com stated sardonically, it isn’t very likely the two men crossed into the U.S. in quest of President Obama’s de facto amnesty for illegal aliens.

Americans and Canadians pay, but illegal crossers don’t

“Since this is an administrative fine, the individuals do not have to go through a judicial process and will have approximately 30 days to pay the fine,” the press release added.

Are their political implications involved in the administration’s decision to fine Americans and Canadians but not illegal aliens? Of course there are; immigrants — once they are able — are eight times more likely to vote for Democrats than Republicans, which makes it all the more confusing why too many Republicans would support amnesty in the first place.

Nevertheless, those who break into the country are not fined; most, under the current administration, are increasingly being allowed to stay in the country, especially minors. And all are given taxpayer benefits like free food, shelter, medical care and primary education.

Obama Administration officials say that the illegal border crossers are given “notices to appear” before immigration judges — before they are taken to destinations throughout the U.S., again at taxpayer expense — but courts are heavily backlogged. Court dates are being scheduled for four years from now.

“They know they are going to be processed and released and they are free to go wherever they want to go in the United States and the likelihood of them ever showing up for their court date is slim to none,” Stu Harris of National Border Patrol Council Local 1929 told Infowars.

Aimed his gun at the scout’s head

The site added:

This selective enforcement of immigration laws, in which an American is fined for crossing the border while thousands of illegal aliens are encouraged to do so, exemplifies how the Obama administration is directing federal agencies to target peaceful Americans but not illegal immigrants the White House is exploiting for political gain.

For instance, in July federal agents detained a Boy Scout Troop, of all people, for taking pictures near a border checkpoint. In that case, one agent aimed his weapon at a scout’s head.

“He hears a snap of a holster, turns around, and here’s this agent, both hands on a loaded pistol, pointing at the young man’s head,” Troop 111 leader Jim Fox told KCCI.

Meanwhile, American citizens will continue to suffer these indignities until those in power get the message that voters are tired of being ignored.

Sources:

http://www.cbp.gov

http://youngcons.com

http://www.cnsnews.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/047004_illegal_immigrants_free_education_border_crossing.html#ixzz3F1X4TY62

 

By: J. D. Heyes