Tijuana’s Health Department Reports that 2,267 Migrants at Border Are Being Treated for Disease and Lice
Tijuana’s Health Department reports that out of 6,000 migrants currently residing in the city, over a third of them (2,267) are being treated for health-related issues. About 60% of the migrants treated have respiratory illnesses, with three confirmed cases of tuberculosis, four cases of HIV/AIDS and four separate cases of chickenpox, in addition to at least 101 cases of lice and multiple skin infections. Officials worry that Hepatitis could break out in the unsanitary conditions.
Hundreds of migrants have accepted free flights home rather than continue to stay in the filth-strewn sports complex that has become their temporary home. The sports venue can accommodate only 1,000 people. Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said Tuesday that the city has enough money to assist the migrants only for a few more days, with the city saying it’s spending around $30,000 a day.
Meanwhile reports declare that 10,000 new migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are on their way to the US border.
Migrants who came with the caravan are suffering from respiratory infections, tuberculosis, chickenpox and other serious health issues, Tijuana’s Health Department warned on Thursday morning.
The spokesman told Fox News that out of 6,000 migrants currently residing in the city, over a third of them (2,267) are being treated for health-related issues.
There are three confirmed cases of tuberculosis, four cases of HIV/AIDS and four separate cases of chickenpox, the spokesman said.
At least 101 migrants have lice and multiple instances of skin infections, the department’s data shows.
Rand Paul Blocks $38-Billion in Aid to Israel. Says US Cannot Subsidize the Country Forever
Top pro-Israel lobbying groups in America are mobilizing against Senator Rand Paul (R- KY) for blocking the continuation of US aid to Israel amounting to $38-billion in taxpayer funds over 10 years. AIPAC, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, bought ads on Facebook complaining of Paul’s hold on the funds while CUFI, Christians United for Israel, a Christian-Zionist organization, launched an email campaign to pressure the senator to back away from is position. Paul says he wants time limits on assistance to Israel and cuts in aid to countries that are hostile to the US. -GEG
The Kentucky Republican also said he wanted cuts in aid to countries he says are hostile to the United States.
“While I’m not for foreign aid in general, if we are going to send aid to Israel it should be limited in time and scope so we aren’t doing it forever, and it should be paid for by cutting the aid to people who hate Israel and America,” Paul’s office said in an statement.
Paul said he planned to introduce an amendment to the legislation, the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018, in coming days. The bill codifies into law the $38 billion defense aid package for Israel over 10 years that was negotiated in the final days of the Obama administration.
The Washington Free Beacon first reported Paul’s hold, a parliamentary procedure that allows senators to prevent a motion from reaching a floor vote, and which usually is anonymous. The hold has been countered vigorously by major pro-Israel groups, including the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and Christians United for Israel, through online ads and action alerts to membership. CUFI has specifically targeted Paul through actions in Kentucky, including ads in newspapers there.
In his statement, Paul blamed AIPAC and other unnamed pro-Israel groups for not meeting his demands.
“Each time I’ve tried to stop giving aid to enemies of the U.S. and Israel, I have been thwarted. Often by groups that claim they are pro-Israel,” he said. “Why would supposedly pro-Israel groups oppose my legislation to end aid to the Palestinian Liberation Organization? Maybe it’s because they fear any debate on anyone’s foreign aid threatens a broader debate on whether we should be borrowing from foreign countries simply to send the money to other foreign countries.”
AIPAC has in the past opposed radical cuts to the Palestinians, heeding in part Israeli security officials who say the assistance helps stabilize the region. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently endorsed President Donald Trump’s wide-reaching cuts in assistance to the Palestinians. It is not clear yet whether AIPAC is on board with the cuts as well.
AIPAC also vigorously advocates for foreign assistance in general, which Paul opposes. The lobby believes broader foreign assistance is critical because it advances U.S. influence generally and builds support for Israel overseas, and because making Israel a special case while other countries are neglected does Israel no favors.
Asked about Paul’s claims, AIPAC’s spokesman, Marshall Wittman, would only say, “We believe it is critical for Congress to adopt this legislation before adjourning given the growing threats to Israel’s security from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.”
CUFI noted in its statement that it has supported cuts to assistance to the Palestinians, and said the argument over those cuts were not germane to aid to Israel bill.
“Sen. Paul’s decision to hold this bill does not make America safer and does not ensure taxpayer dollars are used most efficiently – quite the opposite,” said CUFI Action Fund Chairwoman Sandra Parker. “Aid to Israel provides the U.S. with an extraordinary return on investment.”
The Senate passed the act in early August and the House of Representatives followed suit the following month. Now the Senate must pass a final version in line with the bill passed by the House.
The $38 billion deal negotiated in 2016 is the most generous ever to Israel. The act also expands a stockpile of weapons that the United States keeps in Israel, which may access the stockpile in wartime. It also enhances Israel’s qualitative military edge and urges space research cooperation between Israel and the United States.
Paul, a presidential candidate in 2016, alienated pro-Israel Republicans almost as soon as he became a senator in 2011, when he embraced his congressman father’s longtime call to cut defense assistance to Israel. The younger Paul later backtracked, saying he regarded Israel as a close ally, and would cut assistance only once it was clear the country was self-sufficient in its defense needs.
California Man Accepts $78 Million Award in RoundUp Glyphosate Weed Killer Lawsuit
Dewayne Johnson, who has been diagnosed with a case of terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma, has agreed to accept a $78 million settlement after a judge slashed the jury’s original award of $289 million. The poison-producing company says it plans to appeal, and claims that Johnson developed cancer before using Roundup. Lawyers for Johnson claim that Monsanto was aware of the medical risks posed by its glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, but covered it up through a campaign of misinformation and attacks on studies that proclaimed the dangers. Johnson’s case was the first to directly connect Roundup with deadly cancer. Bayer, which acquired Roundup earlier this year, faces about 8,000 more lawsuits.
A case that raised questions about what the maker of Roundup knew about the dangers of its popular Roundup product has turned a new page. Dewayne “Lee” Johnson has agreed to accept a $78 million settlement after a judge upheld the jury’s original ruling but slashed the civil case’s $289 million award.
Johnson’s case was the first to directly connect Roundup with deadly cancer. Bayer, which acquired Roundup earlier this year, faces about 8,000 more lawsuits, according to Reuters.
The company says it plans to appeal.
In August, Judge Suzanne Bolanos lowered the punitive damages from $250 million to $39 million, the same amount awarded for compensatory damages. Bolanos gave Johnson and his attorneys until Dec. 7 to either accept the new amount or ask for a new trial, a call they answered this week. At the time, Bolanos said she was considering eliminating the entire $250 million in punitive damages because she said there was no compelling evidence that Monsanto ignored evidence that Roundup caused cancer. In the end, Bolanos decided to honor the jury’s ruling and instead lowered the amount of punitive damages.
It was an outcome DeWayne Johnson’s family wasn’t sure he would see in person.
Lawyers for Johnson focused their efforts on proving Monsanto suppressed evidence that its Roundup herbicide has cancer-causing properties. Opening statements began in San Francisco on July 9.
Johnson’s attorney said Monsanto took away his client’s freedom to choose, reported KGO. “If you don’t give someone a choice and somebody gets hurt or, God forbid, gets cancer, then I personally believe and I think you will as well that you should be responsible for the consequences of that,” attorney Brent Wisner said.
“I don’t think it’s a surprise that after 20 years, Monsanto has known about the cancer-causing properties of this chemical and has tried to stop the public from knowing it,” said attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Monsanto argued that Johnson developed cancer before using Roundup. “The scientific evidence is overwhelming that Glyphosate-based products do not cause cancer and did not cause Mr. Johnson’s cancer,” said defense attorney George Lombardi. “The single most relevant study — best study, study of human beings who, like Mr. Johnson, are licensed pesticide applicators — concluded glyphosate is not associated with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Mr. Johnson’s cancer.”
Weeding out the truth
DeWayne Johnson, 46, worked as a groundskeeper for the Benicia Unified School District in California from 2012 to 2015. In that role, he sprayed Roundup herbicides on school properties. Johnson was healthy when he started the job, but in August 2014, he received a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
By January 2018, Johnson’s body was 80 percent covered in lesions, according to the deposition of his physician; he is often unable to speak or leave his bed, despite a new treatment he started in January. At the time, his doctors thoughts he might only have months to live.
Johnson’s lawsuit alleged that Monsanto’s product caused his cancer, and that Monsanto was aware of the medical risks posed by its glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, but covered it up through a campaign of misinformation and attacks on studies that proclaimed the dangers.
RoundUp Glyphosate Weed Killer May Produce a Bacteria-Killing Antibiotic Effect in the Human Gut
Farmers in the US, UK and Canada are spraying herbicides to desiccate crops which kills the plants and uniformly dries them out, making them easier to cut and harvest. Glyphosate, also known as RoundUp, is the most common desiccant. In 1974, global use of glyphosate was 3,200 tons per year. It is expected to reach 1 million tons per year by 2020. A 2015 study by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found glyphosate in 30% of 3,200 food products. Similar studies have found glyphosate exceeding maximum residue limits (or MRLs) in Cheerios, beer, and wine.
Evidence shows that glyphosate is very toxic, and court documents suggest Monsanto covered up the harmful health effects of the poison on humans, especially links to cancer. Desiccants kill more than plants. Herbicides like glyphosate also kill bacteria, and can act like “antibiotics.” Human gut bacteria are sensitive to antibiotics, which is why we should avoid eating herbicides. When microbes are disturbed, diseases like obesity, Alzheimer’s, or celiac disease can result.
Neither the EPA nor Health Canada consider herbicides as antibiotics. This means that their safety assessments do not consider effects on human gut microbes. Plus, there is other stuff in herbicides, including petroleum byproducts, neurotoxins, and endocrine disruptors, that are dangerous for both animals and microbes. Choose organic instead.
Driving down a grid road in central Saskatchewan, a machine that looks like a giant insect approaches me in a cloud of dust. The cab, hanging 8 feet above the road, is suspended by tires at least 6 feet tall, with wing-like appendages folded along each side. Should I drive around it or under it?
It is harvest season, and the high-clearance sprayer is on its way to desiccate a field. Desiccation may be the most widespread farming practice you’ve never heard of. Farmers desiccate by applying herbicide to their crops; this kills all the plants at the same time, making them uniformly dry and easier to cut. In essence, desiccation speeds up plant aging. Before desiccation, crops would have to dry out naturally at the end of the season. Today, there are examples of desiccation being applied to every type of conventional crop in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.1 Chances are that most of what you ate today was harvested using a desiccant, but you’d never know.
Mike Shewchuk jumps down from his swather as I pull into his farmyard. He is a young farmer whose blond brush cut and a robust stride would have not been out of place 50 years ago. Along with his dad, uncles, and brother, he farms 15,000 acres an hour outside of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. They recently received a century farm award, for having continuously farmed the land since the early 1900s.
He is in the middle of a cut, and asks if I would mind riding with him as we talk. I climb up beside him on a small fold-down seat.
Swathers are giant lawn mowers farmers use to cut crops. The cut plants are left to dry on the ground before combining. It can be tricky knowing when to cut. If you start too early, you’ll get too many green seeds. Depending on the crop, that might lead to early germination (wheat) or self-combustion (canola). But if you wait too long, you may be scraping your seeds off the ground after the snow melts.
I doubt that I’ll be able to tell which fields had been desiccated. But the shriveled, brown peas are in stark relief to the green fields around it.
Swathing is quickly going out of fashion, as most farmers desiccate to ripen their crops. One of the big agro-chemical companies even has a marketing campaign with the hashtag #sellyourswather, encouraging farmers to desiccate and ditch swathing altogether. I asked Mike why he hadn’t sold his swather yet.
He laughs. “We’re not desiccating canola, and canola is paying the bills right now.”
For many farmers, that is changing. Until recently, farmers did not desiccate canola because it “shattered” the seedpods, shedding the seeds in soil. But breeders have been busy: In 2017, five new varieties of shatter-resistant canola were released in Canada. That will make desiccation viable for Canada’s second-most common crop, and accelerate a trend that began around 10 years ago, when desiccation started to become popular.
Not coincidentally, it was also around then that herbicide use spiked. When you sit down to eat dinner today, there will probably be desiccant in your food.
There are thousands of ways to kill a weed. You can starve it, bleach it, mess with its proteins. You can feed it fake hormones. You can force it to make acid so that it disintegrates from within. There are more than 400 licensed weed killers, or herbicides, in Ontario alone. And we love to use them. Canadians used more than 58,000 tons in 2014, compared with only 21,000 tons in 1994. Our landscape, and our crops, have never been so saturated.
Our thirst for herbicides is partly due to GMOs like RoundupReady corn, soy, and canola. These herbicide-tolerant crops came on the market in the late 1990s, and changed the farming landscape by making it possible to control weeds by using herbicides on crops still in the field.
Herbicide resistance explains part of the increase in herbicide use around the world over the past decades. If you blast a weed with herbicide, eventually its cells become resistant. Farmers are left with fields of weeds they can’t kill. This is what happens in people, with antibiotic resistant bugs. Faced with resistant weeds, farmers double down, spraying even more and using multiple herbicides. But desiccation accounts for a significant part of the growth in herbicide use. It’s impossible to say precisely how much, because stats are tracked for herbicide use by crop—not by usage type.
In theory, anything that kills a plant can desiccate a crop, but farmers can only use herbicides that are licensed as desiccants. In practice, there are only a few that are regularly used.
Glyphosate is increasingly used as, or with, desiccants. It’s sold under the trade name RoundUp, and is the most commonly used herbicide in the world, as well as the most commonly used desiccant. In 1974, global use of glyphosate was 3,200 tons per year. It is expected to reach 1 million tons per year by 2020.1 In the U.S., the rate of growth has been accelerating. Between 1995 and 2004, glyphosate use grew by 356 percent. Between 2005 and 2014, it grew by 637 percent.2
Glyphosate works by interrupting protein synthesis in plants, rendering them unable to photosynthesize. It is also considered relatively safe for humans. But in 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a possible carcinogen, on the basis of an independent survey of the scientific literature. Outrage from governments and industry around the world fueled a reanalysis by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and WHO, which concluded in 2016 that it was “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans through diet.”
Industry, and farmers, breathed a sigh of relief. The reports analyzed, however, did not consider the increase in exposure to glyphosate via desiccation. This practice has dramatically increased the dissemination of glyphosate into the environment, and into us.
There have been no explicit tests of the effect of desiccation on our microbiome.
I asked Sheri Roberts, a crop specialist with Agriculture and Agrifood Canada in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, whether she thought desiccation was safe. She was reluctant to make the call, but said she wished it was not so commonly used. “The timing’s really tight,” she said. “If you don’t get it just right, that herbicide ends up in the grain.” If farmers apply a non-contact herbicide (like glyphosate) too early, it will be taken up by the growing plant and end up inside the seed. Non-contact herbicides are taken up by the living plant and incorporated into still growing tissues, while contact herbicides kill the tissues they touch.
A 2015 study by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found glyphosate in 30 percent of 3,200 food products.3 Similar studies have found glyphosate exceeding maximum residue limits (or MRLs) in Cheerios, beer, and wine.4,5 MRLs are the allowable concentration of herbicides on food crops. Health Canada and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) come up with MRLs by feeding rats or dogs herbicide until an effect is observed. The figures are important for trade: If countries have different MRLs, shipments can be rejected. In 2011, the European Union rejected a shipment of Canadian lentils because MRLs were 40 times the EU limit. Alternatively, countries can use MRLs to negotiate a lower price, or raise their MRLs in response to industry pressure.
According to the EPA, between 1993 and 2015, glyphosate MRLs increased by 100 percent to 1,000 percent in the U.S., depending on the crop. Desiccation has changed the game: Because we are using more herbicides, herbicide residues and MRLs have also gone up. Countries can use MRLs as a bartering tool to negotiate lower prices, and will raise their MRLs in response to pressure. Monsanto and other manufacturers of glyphosate have requested increases in MRLs, and been granted many of them.2
Trump Scoffs at New Climate Report from Multiple Federal Agencies that Used Skewed Data from Climate Models
President Trump said that he’s skeptical about the conclusion of the US climate assessment report by 13 government agencies, from the Agriculture Department to NASA, that claims human-generated global warming is a threat to the nation and the world that will create extreme weather and fires, and will cost the US economy hundreds of billions of dollars. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that the report is based on extreme data models with the worst scenarios, it contradicts trends, and is not based in facts. Trump’s administration, through his EPA, has rolled back or repealed nearly every climate policy former President Obama put into place, including greenhouse gas rules for power plants, cars and oil and natural gas drillers. The president also took the United States out of the Paris Climate Accords.
The video below explains that the Earth is entering a solar minimum, which is a reduction in sun spot activity that could produce a mini-ice age. Every 11 years, as part of the normal solar cycle, sun spots become calm, a period known as the solar minimum. The sun warms the Earth, not carbon dioxide.
‘I don’t see it’: Trump says people like him aren’t global warming ‘believers’ and he doubts people cause climate change – one day after apocalyptic report comes out of his own administration
President Donald Trump said for the second day in a row that he’s skeptical about apocalyptic global warming predictions from his own administration
‘A lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers,’ he said in an Oval Office interview
On Monday he said more simply: ‘I don’t believe it’
A stunning report was released by multiple federal agencies on Friday, claiming climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars
‘As to whether or not it’s man-made and whether or not the effects that you’re talking about are there, I don’t see it,’ he said Tuesday
Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the climate report was based on computer models that relied on the ‘most extreme’ scenarios possible
President Donald Trump said for the second day in a row that he’s skeptical about his own administration’s conclusion that human-generated global warming is a threat to the nation and the world.
‘One of the problems that a lot of people like myself, we have very high levels of intelligence but we’re not necessarily such believers,’ Trump told The Washington Post on Tuesday.
The president has been pressed for the past two days about a stunning report released Friday that said climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, damaging everything from human health to infrastructure and agricultural production.
‘As to whether or not it’s man-made and whether or not the effects that you’re talking about are there, I don’t see it,’ he told the Post.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders attacked the climate report Tuesday afternoon during a rare press briefing.
‘This report is based on the most extreme modeled scenario, which contradicts long-established trends,’ she said, claiming that ‘it’s not based on facts.’
‘We’d like to see something that is more data-driven. It’s based on modeling, which is extremely hard to do when you’re talking about the climate,’ Sanders added.
‘The president’s certainly leading on what matters most in this process, and that’s on having clean air, clean water,’ Sanders told reporters.
‘In fact, the United States continues to be a leader on that front.’
Trump has in the past boiled ecology policy down to its simplest expression, frustrating environmentalists who have warned consistently for 40 years about a coming climate apocalypse.
‘You look at our air and our water and it’s right now at a record clean,’ he said Tuesday.
The president was more succinct with his doubts on Monday.
‘I don’t believe it,’ he told reporters at the White House before he left for campaign rallies in Mississippi.
‘I’ve seen it, I’ve read some of it, and it’s fine,’ he added then.