Thursday, October 23, 2014

Department of Homeland Security issues a warning about fake Halloween contacts

On October 23, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning to consumers against counterfeit decorative contact lenses. With Halloween rapidly approaching, ‘Operation Double Vision’ is underway to seize fake contacts from store shelves. As a result of the operation, this year alone there have been 74 seizures with a total of more than 20,000 pairs of counterfeit and decorative contact lenses being seized by the DHS.

Decorative and colored lenses are a hot ticket item, especially during autumn holidays. Agencies involved in the operation are working to seize counterfeit contact lenses, illegally imported decorative lenses, and lenses unapproved by the FDA. Blood-drenched vampire eyes, glow-in-the-dark lizard lenses or oversized doll-eye contacts can certainly add a spooky, eye-popping touch. They can also bring real horror into your life, since there is no such thing as a "one size fits all" with contact lenses.

Contacts that are not properly fitted may scratch the cornea, cause an infection, damage blood vessels and even lead to blindness. Fashionistas with perfect vision still need an eye exam and a prescription from an eye-care professional to wear colored or decorative contact lenses.

Department of Homeland Security raids the store, confiscates panties as evidence

Birdies Panties’ Lucky Royals boyshorts are no longer on the market.

On October 20, 2014, agents with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) marched into Kansas City’s underwear store, Honig’s Birdies Panties shop. Peregrine Honig, the shop’s owner, asked one of the unwelcome visitors what size he was looking for. In response, he surprised Ms. Honig by flashing his badge and escorting her outside.

Apparently, the DHS was deeply perturbed by the Lucky Royals boyshorts that were set to go on sale Tuesday. The owner of Birdies Panties designed the undies to help celebrate the hometown team. The panties featured a hand-drawn design, with “Take the Crown” and “KC” printed across the bottom. Homeland Security officials said that by connecting the “K” and the “C” in her design, Ms. Honig allegedly infringed on major league baseball copyright.

DHS agents proceeded to confiscate the few dozen pairs of underwear, placing them into the evidence bag with the agency’s insignia. Ms. Honig was told to sign a statement, stating that Birdies Panties wouldn’t use the logo, as that would constitute a violation of copyright laws.

ISIS crisis: the West keeps missing warning signs

On October 22, 2014, the reign of terror continued in Canada. A soldier was gunned down, while guarding a war memorial. That violent act was followed by the shootout in the halls of the Canadian Parliament. The attacker was identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, also known as Michael Joseph Hall, a recent convert to Islam. Zehaf-Bibeau was reportedly designated as a “high-risk traveler” and his passport was seized by the government. After the attack, ISIS affiliates reportedly posted his photograph on Twitter.

Just two days earlier, a man who Canadian authorities said was "radicalized," deliberately hit two soldiers with his car, killing one and injuring another. The attacker, Martin Rouleau Couture, was then shot and killed. If there was any doubt about his motivation, the perpetrator called a 911 dispatcher to explain that he was “acting in the name of Allah.” He reportedly converted to Islam in April 2013 and started to call himself Ahmad Rouleau, as well as Abu Ibrahim AlCanadi.

DHS announces travel restrictions related to Ebola

On October 21, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security announced travel restrictions, allegedly designed “to prevent the spread of Ebola to the United States.” The new measures are set to be implemented starting on Oct. 22, 2014.

The Department of Homeland Security still has no plans to cancel or to stop issuing thousands of visas to tourists from Ebola-stricken countries. To the contrary, the agency is offering “immigration relief” to nationals of those three countries who are currently in the United States, even if they entered illegally or overstayed their visa. The DHS is offering fee waivers and expedited processing of immigrant petitions for the nationals of Ebola-affected countries.

The new travel restrictions are quite limited in scope. Passengers of commercial flights from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will now have to enter the U.S. via one of the following airports:
  • New York’s JFK Airport
  • Newark Liberty International Airport
  • Dulles International Airport
  • Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  • Chicago O'Hare International Airport

The DHS implemented “enhanced screening measures” at these 5 airports. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs & Border Protection (CBP) officers will ask questions pertaining to potential Ebola exposure and measure the temperature of travelers from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

CDC tells people not to drink chlorine or bleach as a cure for Ebola

On October 20, 2014, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in anticipation of the arrival of the newly appointed Ebola Czar, produced new factsheets about Ebola. The first creation notifies the health workers of alleged “rumors that drinking chlorine or disinfectant solutions could cure or prevent Ebola virus disease (Ebola). Chlorine is NOT a cure for Ebola. No one should ever drink chlorine or disinfectant solutions containing chlorine.”

So far, there have been no media reports of people in the U.S intentionally drinking chlorine/bleach as a perceived Ebola cure. Nonetheless, the CDC’s latest guidance warns: “When chlorine, sometimes called bleach, is swallowed it can make people very sick or be fatal. How sick they get depends on the amount of chlorine in the product swallowed and the amount they drink. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of drinking chlorine.”

The second factsheet re-states the obvious: “Drinking chlorine is NOT a cure for Ebola. Drinking chlorine can make you very sick or kill you. Do NOT drink chlorine or other liquids that have chlorine in them.” This announcement is also quite graphic, in case you didn’t already know how a person might look while having a headache, experiencing abdominal pain, vomiting or defecating.

Fatal attraction: woman tries to break into the house, gets stuck in the chimney

On October 19, 2014, Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa tried to break into a Thousand Oaks, California home, by sneaking in through the chimney. Much to the woman's surprise, she got stuck. The Woodside Drive residents called the police during early morning hours, reporting that a female was heard crying nearby.

Ventura County emergency responders were able to locate Nunez-Figueroa, firmly lodged inside the chimney. In order to free her, authorities had to carefully dismantle the fireplace.

The homeowner called it a case of "fatal attraction," having met Nunez-Figueroa online. The two briefly dated, the woman reportedly had become obsessed. After the break-up, she was caught prowling on his roof.

FBI agent took bribes in exchange for internal law enforcement documents

FBI agent took bribes in exchange for internal law enforcement documents

The Department of Justice announced that on October 17, 2014 two Connecticut men pleaded guilty to bribery charges, admitting that they participated in a scheme to obtain confidential, internal law enforcement documents and information from a former Special Agent with the FBI in White Plains, New York.

Johannes Thaler, 51 and Rizve Ahmed, aka “Caesar,” 35, admitted to bribing Robert Lustyik, who was at the time serving as a Special Agent with the FBI’s counterintelligence squad.

According to the guilty plea, between September 2011 and March 2012, Thaler and Lustyik solicited bribes from Ahmed. In return for the bribes, Lustyik promised to provide internal law enforcement documents and other confidential information to Ahmed.

Ahmed, a native of Bangladesh, wanted to access confidential law enforcement information, including a Suspicious Activity Report, pertaining to a Bangladeshi political figure who was affiliated with a political party opposing Ahmed’s views. Ahmed admitted that he wanted to harm and discredit his intended victim and those associated with the targeted individual. Ahmed also sought Lustyik to aid him in having criminal charges against a different Bangladeshi political figure dismissed.

Pimp known as ‘King Kong’ branded minor victims with demeaning tattoos

Pimp known as ‘King Kong’ branded minor victims with demeaning tattoos

On October 17, 2014, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that Bruce Kelcy Gordon, 30 was sentenced to a total of 27-years-to-life in state prison. He pleaded no contest to human trafficking and a number of related crimes, including assault with a firearm, lewd act upon a child, human trafficking to commit another crime and sodomy by use of force. Gordon admitted to committing crimes reported by his multiple victims.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Daviann Mitchell ordered that Gordon be registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Since August 2003, Gordon was operating as a pimp, using the moniker “King Kong.” He forced one of his underage victims into prostitution. Gordon sexually abused the girl for more than seven years. He branded the victim with demeaning tattoos, including one on her face that said "King Kong." In the pimp subculture, which is nothing less than modern-day slavery, victims are marked with tattoos of gang monikers, bar codes or pimp names. Violent abusers, known as “gorilla pimps,” use violence to control their victims.

Akba Jihad Jordan pleads guilty in terrorism case

On October 16, 2014, Akba Jihad Jordan, 22 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, planning to travel overseas “for purposes of violent jihad.” Jordan, along with his accomplice and co-defendant, Avin Marsalis Brown, were planning to fight side by side with terrorist groups in Yemen and Syria.

Brown and Jordan engaged in numerous discussions with an FBI confidential source, expressing their fervent desire to travel overseas to fight the “kuffar” (non-Muslims) and “munafiq” (Muslims considered to be hypocrites). They were willing to join groups such as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), and jabhat al-Nusrah (JAN).

In preparation for their trip, Jordan was acting as a fitness guru to Brown, as well as his homegrown firearms and tactical training instructor. The duo frequently discussed the use of weapons in fighting the kuffar, both overseas and in the United States. Jordan asserted that he would not hesitate to use the weapons for this purpose, including his AK-47.

Jordan, who was living with his mother, spent the nights sleeping on a blanket in the kitchen, to be like the “brothers” overseas.

FedEx delivers package with cocaine, heroin, meth to the wrong address

FedEx delivers package with cocaine, heroin, meth to the wrong address

On October 15, 2014, Harris County sheriff's officials in Texas reported that three people have been arrested, after a FedEx package containing illicit drugs was delivered to the wrong address. The unintended recipient opened the box and found cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. The resident notified authorities.

Instead of the FedEx package full of drugs they were expecting, a Texas trio received an unwelcome visit from the police. Search of the premises unearthed approximately $100,000 worth of drugs, described as “a hodgepodge of cocaine, heroin, LSD, steroids, assorted prescription drugs and a whole bunch of guns," including an AR-15 rifle with a full 30-round clip and a military-grade night scope. Scales, baggies and other drug paraphernalia were also found at the scene.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ebola Roulette: US protocols are the weakest in the world

On October 16, 2014, international relief group Samaritan's Purse expressed their extreme concern with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) procedures in treating Ebola. Vice President Ken Isaacs told The Hill that American standards for protecting healthcare workers from Ebola are weaker than those widely used in West Africa. “We’re not comfortable with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] procedures,” he said.

For example, when Samaritan's Purse health workers treat Ebola patients in Liberia, they wear two pairs of gloves and spray themselves with disinfectant twice before leaving the isolation ward. They have a three-foot “no touch” policy.

In contrast, U.S. hospitals, such as Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, which has had three cases of Ebola so far, were told by the CDC that medical professionals don't have to hose down their gear or be concerned about leaving their skin exposed in dealing with Ebola patients.

“If you slip, and you touch your skin … you’re going to get Ebola … Can we trust CDC? They said they were going to stop it in its tracks, but I don’t know," said Isaacs.