Gideon Rubin

Drug-resistant bacteria found in recalled eyedrops leads to multiple cases of vision loss — and one death

A rare drug-resistant bacteria strain found in recalled eyedrops has been linked to dozens of infections and resulted in eight reports of vision loss, four reports of surgical removal of eyeballs, and one death, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a news release.

The agency on Feb. 1 issued a recall of Global Pharma Healthcare's Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops.

EzriCare Artificial Tears, a preservative-free, over-the-counter product packaged in multidose bottles, was the brand most commonly reported brand among 10 reportedly used by patients, the agency said, noting that some patients used multiple brands.

The CDC said it has identified 68 patients in 16 states who have had been infected with P. aeruginosa.

Symptoms of the infection include eye pain or discomfort, yellow, green or clear discharge from the eye, redness of the eye or eyelid, blurry vision, light sensitivity and felling something on one’s eye.

'Extreme' and 'abnormal': 5 Black children remain in state custody after traffic stop over tinted windows

Five Black children, including an infant, were taken into custody after their parents were pulled over in rural Tennessee over tinted windows, and the Georgia family remained separated nearly a month later, Tennessee Lookout reports.

Bianca Clayborne and Deonte Williams were driving to Chicago on Feb. 17 to attend a funeral when Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled them over in Coffee County for having "dark tint[ed windows] and traveling in the left lane while not actively passing," the report said.

Williams was arrested and Clayborne cited after a trooper found a small amount of cannabis during a search of their Dodge Durango.

Clayborne said she was told she could leave with her children but was also given the option to follow the patrol car to the Coffee County Justice Center to bail out Williams.

But the children, including the breastfeeding baby who is now four months old, were taken from Clayborne after she'd been waiting at the criminal justice center for six hours.

The state's Department of Child Services had requested and received an emergency court order to take the children into custody, the report said.

The family's attorneys described the DCS actions as "extreme" and "abnormal," and suggested race played a role in how they were treated.

Nashville attorney Jamaal Boykin is representing the family.

A DCS spokesperson issued a statement obtained by Tennessee Lookout that said the agency is prohibited from releasing details about the ongoing case, which remains ongoing in Coffee County Juvenile Court.

"DCS does not remove children from custody, only the courts have the authority to make that ruling," the statement said.

"DCS and law enforcement follow protocol for collecting evidence," the statement said. "Those findings are then presented to the court. In this instance, the evidence resulted in the court placing children in DCS custody."

Donald Trump announces plan to avert WW3 but goes off script in attack on neocons and Marxists

Donald Trump on Thursday announced plans to avert World War III, but the former president went off script to launch attacks on neocons and Marxists, among others.

"We have never been closer to World War III than we are today under Joe Biden, a global conflict between nuclear armed powers would mean death and destruction on the scale unmatched in human history. It would be nuclear Armageddon," the former president said in a video he posted on his Truth Social website.

The former president said new leadership is needed to avoid "that nightmare."

Trump described Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukraine a "proxy battle" and that "our objective is to immediately have a total cessation of hostilities."

"We need peace without delay."

Trump called for a “complete commitment to dismantling the entire globalist neocon establishment that is perpetually dragging us into endless wars, pretending to fight for freedom and democracy abroad, while they turn us into a third world country and a third world dictatorship, right here at home.

"The State Department, the defense bureaucracy, the intelligence services, and all of the rest need to be completely overhauled and reconstituted to fire the deep Staters and put America first. We have to put America first."

Trump suggested America needs to reassess its role in NATO and a "foreign policy establishment keeps trying to pull the world into conflict with a nuclear armed Russia based on the lie that Russia represents our greatest threat."

"But the greatest threat to Western civilization today is not Russia. It's probably more than anything else. ourselves and some of the horrible, USA-hating people that represent us."

The America-haters in Trump's estimation support abolishing national borders and are behind the failure to police our own cities, the destruction of the rule of law from within, the collapse of the nuclear family and (lower) fertility rates, "like nobody can believe is happening."

"It's the Marxists who would have us become a godless nation worshipping at the altar of race and gender and environment."

He said the globalist class that wants to keep America dependent on China aims to "squander all of America's strength, blood and treasure, chasing monsters and phantoms overseas while keeping us distracted from the havoc they're creating right here at home."

"These forces are doing more damage to America than Russia and China could ever have dreamed," Trump said.

"Evicting the sick and corrupt establishment is the monumental task for the next president. And I'm the only one who can do it. I'm the only one that can get the job done. I know exactly what has to be done."

Watch the video below or at this link.

Marjorie Taylor Greene's claim that cartel planted bomb at border is not true, 'high-level' source tells Fox

Marjorie Taylor Greene on Wednesday morning posted a photo on social media of what appears to be an explosive device found at the border that she alleges was planted by the cartel. But the object was actually filled with dirt, according to a Customs and Border Protection source who spoke to a Fox News journalist.

The far-right Republican congresswoman from Georgia called for military action against the cartels before her claims were deemed false by a Fox News journalist. "Explosive found by Border Patrol Agents Jan 17th.Agents have surveillance of who brought it in and when and confirmed it was the Cartel," Greene tweeted.

"This changes everything."

Greene seemed to suggest that the device was part of a broader effort to harm Americans.

"Not only are the Cartels murdering Americans everyday through drugs and crime, but now they are planting bombs on our land in our country," Greene said.

"Our US military needs to take action against the Mexican Cartels. End this Cartel led war against America!"

But authorities said that what appeared to be an explosive device was determined to be fake, Fox News reporter Bill Melugin tweeted.

"A high level CBP source tells me that this was a fake, and was actually filled with dirt," Melugin said.

"It was discovered by Border Patrol agents in Rio Grande City in the RGV, and while it appeared nefarious, I'm told it did not contain any explosives."

'A disgruntled vocal minority': Arizona Democrats flip the script on Kari Lake's election denial lawsuit

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and Secretary of State Adrian Fontes have for months have been on the receiving end of allegations attributing their November election victories to voter fraud.

Now they’re turning the tables on their most vocal accuser.

Hobbs and Fontes are seeking court sanctions for failed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and her attorneys, Arizona Mirror reports.

Fuentes told the Arizona Supreme Court earlier this week that Lake and her attorneys "continue to malign and erode the foundations upon which our great state stands," the report said.

Bryan Blehm, an Arizona divorce lawyer, and corporate lawyer Kurt Olsen are representing the former TV news anchor turned celebrity MAGA election denier.

Lake alleges the 2022 election she lost to Hobbs by 17,000 votes was stolen and claims to be the state's "true governor," according to the report.

Hobbs, Fontes and Maricopa County are named as defendants in the case brought by Lake.

Lake blames her loss on voter suppression and pervasive fraud in Maricopa County.

She took the case to the state's Supreme Court after a lower court dismissed it in December after a two-day trial and an appellate court upheld the dismissal.

"Those who invoke our Courts must do so in good faith," Craig Morgan, an attorney for Fontes, wrote in a response to the Supreme Court obtained by Arizona Mirror.

"We cannot allow a disgruntled vocal minority to weaponize our Courts, sow unfounded distrust in our election processes, malign our public servants, and undermine our democracy – all for the purpose of trying to overturn the People's will and topple an election."

Lake claims 35,563 illegal ballots were illegally cast in Maricopa County, but hasn't backed up her assertion with evidence.

Hobbs' attorney, Abha Khanna, said Lake's claim "blatantly misrepresents key facts from the record."

Silicon Valley Bank's collapse triggers concern over potential 'bloodbath' and risk to broader markets

The sudden implosion of Silicon Valley Bank has fueled concerns over potential risk to the broader financial sector, The Washington Post reports.

The federal government seized control of the bank Friday, after SVB's announcement that it sold $21 billion in assets triggered a sell-off.

SVB, which mostly serves start-ups and venture capital investors, is the biggest financial institution to fail since Washington Mutual's collapse amid the Great Recession.

The bank, which reported around $209 billion in assets late last year, plays an integral role in the tech industry, but according to an Associated Press report, "there is little chance of contagion in the banking sector similar to the chaos in the months leading up to the Great Recession."

But SVB's collapse prompted the U.S. Department of Treasury to issue a statement Friday confirming that Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen convened a meeting with leaders from the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to discuss the implications of the nation’s 16th largest bank going under.

"Secretary Yellen expressed full confidence in banking regulators to take appropriate actions in response and noted that the banking system remains resilient and regulators have effective tools to address this type of event," the statement said.

And some leading experts are nevertheless concerned.

"Silicon Valley Bank's rapid failure shocked the tech industry, prompting fears that the economic situation for the sector is worse than previously thought," The Post reports.

"The collapse is also strengthening calls from Wall Street analysts and investors that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes are too aggressive and risk causing serious damage to the economy."

Christopher Whalen, who serves as chairman of Whalen Global Advisors, a New York-based firm, warned of a "bloodbath" in a statement to Reuters.

"I think the Fed badly miscalculated the impact of rising interest rates and so these are self-inflicted wounds and if we see more banks fail then the Fed is faced with a very tough situation which may force them to drop interest rates," Whalen told the news service.

"There could be a bloodbath next week as banks are in trouble, the short sellers are out there and they are going to attack every single bank, especially the smaller ones."

But not all financial experts hold such a grim view of the implications of the bank’s collapse.

Bank of America Analyst Ebrahim H. believes the selloff in bank stocks is likely "overdone," Reuters reports.

"We believe that the sharp sell-off in bank stocks yesterday was likely overdone as investors extrapolated idiosyncratic issues at individual banks to the broader banking sector," Poonawala told Reuters.

"However, the sell-off also highlights a (belated) realization among investors that higher for longer interest rates are negative for the sector's earnings per share outlook."

Trump hush money case could be tough to beat: legal experts

All indications point to President Trump facing criminal charges over alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and the case against the former president could be tough to beat, two legal analysts said Thursday on MSNBC’s Alex Wagner Tonight.

Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal offered grim assessments of Trump’s legal situation during a joint appearance on the cable show that followed reporting in The New York Times indicating the Manhattan district attorney’s office has signaled criminal charges against the former president are likely.

Alvin L. Bragg, the Manhattan D.A., is investigating Trump over allegations the former president made hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence in the period leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

“The Manhattan district attorney’s office recently signaled to Donald J. Trump’s lawyers that he could face criminal charges for his role in the payment of hush money to a porn star, the strongest indication yet that prosecutors are nearing an indictment of the former president, according to four people with knowledge of the matter,” The Times reports.

“The prosecutors offered Mr. Trump the chance to testify next week before the grand jury that has been hearing evidence in the potential case, the people said. Such offers almost always indicate an indictment is close; it would be unusual for the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, to notify a potential defendant without ultimately seeking charges against him.”

McQuade and Katyal both acknowledged that they were “reading tea leaves,” but they believe Bragg wouldn’t be notifying Trump of his right to appear before the grand jury if prosecutors didn’t already have the goods on Trump.

“I think that it suggests to me that they are at the end of the investigation. In New York law requires that the prosecutors at least invite the target in to testify, but they're not going to invite that person in until you are at the very end because before you interview, someone who's the target of an investigation, you want to be as informed as you can be about that investigation,” McQuade said.

Katyal said the $130,000 Trump is accused of paying Daniels for her silence is itself a misdemeanor, but the case would rise to a felony if prosecutors can prove he knowingly concealed the crime from investigators.

“My gut is that it’s not going to be a very difficult thing to prove,” Katyal said.

“I think that the evidence here so far looks pretty damning. And I think if I'm Donald Trump at this point, you know, I'd be pretty worried because this is a hard thing, I think, for him to get out of.”

Wagner noted a Rolling Stone report suggesting Trump’s lawyers are considering a novel legal strategy in which the ex-president claims he was buying Daniels’ silence to protect his wife, not his political ambitions.

McQuade said she doesn’t believe that will work.

“I think he can believe that to be true, but it's not a valid legal defense,” McQuade said.

She compared the case to a city official implicated in a bribery scandal claiming they’d have voted for a measure even if they weren’t paid off to do so.

“Both things can be true at the same time. Perhaps his overriding motive was to keep this information from his wife. But if there was a concealing of campaign expenditures, then that's a crime regardless of why he did it, whether it was to protect his wife or protect himself from the wrath of his wife," McQuade said. " If he failed to disclose a campaign expenditure, then that can be the underlying crime that Neil was thinking of that can turn a misdemeanor into a felony.”

Watch the segment below or at this link.

'A line attorneys cannot cross': Ex-Trump legal advisor Jenna Ellis censured for false claims

A Colorado judge has censured an attorney who represented former President Donald Trump for false claims over the 2020 elections.

Jenna Ellis was Trump's senior legal advisor in 2020, when the former president tried to overturn the results of the presidential election.

Ellis as part of an agreement admitted to making "misrepresentations," Colorado Newsline reports.

Presiding Disciplinary Judge Bryon M. Large said that Ellis "though her conduct, undermined the American public’s confidence in the presidential election, violating her duty of candor to the public," the report said.

The Colorado Supreme Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel said in a statement that it is no longer perusing any other charges against Ellis.

"The public censure in this matter reinforces that even if engaged in political speech, there is a line attorneys cannot cross, particularly when they are speaking in a representative capacity," the agency said in a statement.

Ellis' claims of election fraud during an appearance on Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo was among the factual misrepresentations cited, according to the report.

"We have affidavits from witnesses, we have voter intimidation, we have the ballots that were manipulated, we have all kinds of statistics that show that this was a coordinated effort in all of these states to transfer votes either from Trump to Biden, to manipulate the ballots, to count them in secret," Ellis falsely claimed on the show.

Her censure goes into effect immediately, the report said.

'Full elimination of recognition': Parents could legally kidnap trans kids under proposed Florida bill

Parents would be allowed to kidnap their children and take them out of state if they are receiving gender-affirming care or are considered "at risk" of receiving such care under a proposed Florida law, Vice News reports.

Under the bill Republican state Sen. Clay Yarborough introduced Friday, any court could intervene if a child is receiving gender-affirming care, the report said.

The bill is part of a package of so-called "parental empowerment and child safety legislation" that includes a ban on instruction of sexual orientation or gender identity for students through Grade 8, and requiring licensed health care facilities to attest that they do not provide sex-reassignment prescriptions or procedures to patients under 18 years of age, the State Senate’s office announced in a news release.

The package also includes a provision authorizing the state to "fine, suspend, or revoke the license of any public lodging establishment or public food service establishment if the establishment admits a child to a live adult performance that depicts or simulates nudity, sexual conduct, or lewd exposure."

Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School's Cyberlaw Clinic in a tweet described the measure as a "full elimination of recognition and a limitation on access to care for all trans people, including adults."

"A transphobic parent could kidnap their trans child in violation of custody agreements and abscond to Florida and be protected by Florida law under this despite likely committing felony kidnapping in their home state," Caraballo said.

The proposed bill is the latest among a string of measures targeting trans youth. Mississippi, Utah, and South Dakota in the last month have approved bans on health care providers offering gender-affirming care to minors, the report said.

Yarborough said the bill aims to protect children from what he described as a "radical, prurient agenda."

"This legislation sends a strong message that Florida is a safe place to raise children. As the father of four young boys, I know that childhood is as special as it is short. Florida parents are worried about the radical, prurient agenda that has become pervasive across most forms of media, specifically targeting young children," Yarborough said in a statement.

"We need to let kids be kids, and our laws need to set appropriate boundaries that respect the rights and responsibilities of parents, while protecting children from the serious health, safety, and welfare consequences of social agendas that are totally inconsistent with how the overwhelming majority of parents want to raise their children."

Eric Swalwell: Donald Trump's luck avoiding justice may be running out

Former President Donald Trump may have a propensity for skirting criminal investigations, but the former president's luck may be running out.

That's according to Democratic lawmaker and vocal Trump critic Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-California), who said Wednesday that special counsel Jack Smith and Attorney General Merrick Garland are poised to go where Robert Mueller, among others investigating the former president, weren’t.

Trump's "tactic of creating artificial red lines," which stymied the Mueller probe, doesn't appear to be having the same effect on Smith and Garland, Swalwell said on MSNBC's "The Reidout" with Joy Reid.

"We saw this in 2016 when he said the election was going to be rigged. And guess who was trying to rig the election? The Russians. What did that do to the Obama administration? It made them hold back on publicly calling out the Russians," Swalwell said.

"During the Mueller investigation, Donald Trump said it would be a red line to look at his finances. and what ended up happening? Mueller held back on looking at his finances," Swalwell continued. "And now, when it's so clear that this guy has got a trove of classified information that the department of justice wants to seek, Donald Trump is in the heads of FBI agents who are afraid that this would cross some Trump red line and that they would be called out."

Swalwell noted that the fear of consequences has led to investigators "letting him win and rewarding somebody's bad behavior because you're afraid of the backlash."

"Thank God Jack Smith and Merrick Garland and the team persisted because what did they ultimately find? Exactly what the evidence showed was going to be there," Swalwell added, "a trove of highly sensitive, classified documents."

Watch the segment below or at this link.

Eric Swalwell on Trump's "red lines"

@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by