David Daleiden, the man behind the undercover Planned Parenthood videos and project lead at the Center for Medical Progress, revealed on CNN Friday morning that an unreleased video has one biotech company “very scared.”
Daleiden said the group met with “top leadership” at StemExpress, a biotech company that supposedly partners with Planned Parenthood on the harvesting of fetal tissue. Further, he claimed the officials made a shocking admission.
“In a meeting with their top leadership, they admitted that they sometimes get fully intact fetuses shipped to their laboratory from the abortion clinics they work with, and that could be prima facie evidence of born alive infants,” Daleiden said. “And so that’s why they’re trying to suppress that videotape and they’re very scared of it.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 31, 2015
Daleiden said there are eight to 10 videos that have yet to be released. He also asserted that the Center for Medical Process has followed all applicable laws throughout the course of its investigation and is prepared to fight for its First Amendment rights following an effort to suppress the videos.
Following publication of this article, StemExpress provided TheBlaze with the following statement regarding the allegations:
Cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease — StemExpress is proud of the work we do to accelerate the prevention and cure of these and other deadly and life-altering diseases.
We coordinate with clinics and hospitals to obtain human tissue and blood — specimens that wouldbe otherwise be disposed of — and provide them to biotechnology and academic institutions performing research to find a cure. The nation’s and the world’s greatest research facilities need a reliable source of healthy human-derived blood, tissue and cellular specimens to perform their studies. As a point of clarification, StemExpress has never requested nor received an intact fetus.
Ninety percent of our work is with healthy living donors whose blood and bone marrow are collected with the highest ethical standards and respect set within the industry.
StemExpress performs extensive work to test, isolate and purify the cells so that researchers can use them to help find cures and treatments for life’s significant medical conditions. It is for this work that we are paid.
This is an opportunity for companies and researchers to educate globally on the work that is being done. In this instance the most important thing we will do going forward is to continue the dialogue about practices for the collection of rare and important materials, stem cell research and regenerative medicine so that we can improve the quality of life of so many people stricken with disease.
Mary Chaffee Grantham got a call Sunday morning and couldn’t believe what she heard.
Her brother Adam, a 23-year-old college senior living in Kalamazoo, Michigan, had been in a swimming accident and was rushed to the hospital. He was found to have severed his spinal cord and had limited sensation below his neck.
“Just complete shock. It didn’t seem real,” Grantham, who originally hails from Michigan but now lives in Rochester, New York, told TheBlaze in a phone interview. “We got the news and got in the car and drove out here.”
Learning one family member was in a paralyzing accident is shocking enough, but Grantham’s shock was coupled with the fact that just eight months prior, her other younger brother, Matt, had been in a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Matt Chaffee said that when he got the call, he wasn’t even worried about the possibility of his brother being paralyzed like him. It didn’t seem possible that both he and his brother could become paralyzed within a year of each other.
The Chaffee family’s hardship was compounded by the death of their father, Greg. He died in 2012 at 55 years old after a heart attack, a GoFundMe page set up for the family explained.
‘He Did All the Stuff I Couldn’t Do’
While Adam is now at Bronson Methodist Hospital on a ventilator, he used to be the one helping his brother.
“Right when my accident happened … [Adam] got on a plane and he got there within hours,” Matt said, explaining that his motorcycle accident in November 2014 occurred in Memphis, Tennessee.
“He stayed with me in the hospital. When I went to rehab, he visited me all the time, motivated me to work hard,” Matt said.
Later, he moved in with his brother.
Adam would do everything from cutting his brother’s hair to cooking for him to helping him make his bed to doing the laundry in the basement.
“He did all the stuff I couldn’t do,” Matt said.
Now, he said he plans to do everything he can to help his brother in return.
“Me and him want to stick together. I’m just going to do whatever I can to make sure that he’s happy and comfortable,” he said.
Community’s Support Helps Curb Some Worry
Grantham said her family has been operating in survival mode since hearing the latest news, but some of the worry over how they will go forward has been softened by a GoFundMe page set up by Adam’s friends. The page has raised more than $30,000 in just three days.
“There are so many costs to paralysis that people don’t even consider,” Matt said.
A mobility van, for example, costs up to $50,000 and is not usually covered by insurance because it’s not deemed a medical necessity, Matt said. An electric wheelchair, he noted, usually is at least partially covered by insurance. Top that off with doctor visits, medications and home retrofits and you have just a small list of what the Chaffee brothers face.
Matt, who before his accident worked as a process engineer at a chemical plant, said he hasn’t worked since his accident last year. He said if his brother doesn’t get the use of his hands back, he won’t be able to work either.
Adam, who has a complete spinal cord injury at his C5 vertebra, has been getting a little bit of feeling back. Matt said his brother can feel the skin between his thumb and pointer finger and has sensation in his forearms.
As a best-case scenario, the family said they hope to see Adam breathe on his own without a ventilator and be able to move his arms and hands enough to use an electric wheelchair and transfer himself.
“It makes so many things easier,” Matt Chaffee, who knows first-hand how important this bit of independence can be, said. “Without having that much mobility in his arms he’d have to have 24/7 care.”
But for now, Grantham, one of Matt and Adam’s older sisters, said they’re rotating as a family to make sure someone is in Adam’s room at all times.
Watch this report from WWMT-TV about the Adam accident:
After Brandon Kelley said he and his family fell victim to road rage on a Texas freeway Wednesday, something with potentially much farther-reaching consequences occurred after 911 was called.
As it happens, Kelly crossed through several jurisdictions during the alleged incident, and KTVT-TV reported that dispatchers didn’t know how to send help to them.
“That’s not a suitable explanation,” Kelly told the station, “especially in a situation like this when people are in fear for their lives.”
Kelly said two pickup-truck drivers repeatedly tried to run him off the road beginning in Fort Worth and ending in Northlake in Denton County, KTVT reported.
Here’s cellphone video from inside Kelly’s vehicle showing part of what happened after he said he accidentally changed lanes. (Content warning: One instance of profanity):
We were driving and went to change lanes at the same time as this truck by accident and I guess made these guys mad. The black truck got in front of us and slammed his brakes then the brown got beside us so we couldn't switch lanes! We were terrified didn't know what to do, we just slowed down but they just kept on trying to wreck us. They had no license plates on 35w going north. After the incident they exited 114 and went east trying to find us. At 12:30pm. Watch out for them if you are in DFW. Two old 90s model fords a black pulling a trailer and a brown one. Slammed their brakes and swerved towards us and ran off the road. Then the tried to sideswipe us multiple times! Because the had no license plates the cops can't do anything about it. We will file a police report anyway. Pass this on, share it and be safe. We are thankful we got away even though they tried to follow us. These are criminals and it sucks that they are going to get away with trying to kill my whole family with their trucks. This was the most terrifying thing I've ever been through and let me tell you it was all in a couple minutes! Thank God we lost them and got away in my little Hyundai.
Posted by Bess Aine Kelley on Wednesday, July 29, 2015
KTVT obtained a recording of the 911 call, during which a Denton County dispatcher tried to give information to a Fort Worth dispatcher:
Denton Dispatch: “… apparently this all occurred in Fort Worth so our Northlake officer is requesting that a Fort Worth officer be en route.”
Fort Worth Dispatch: “Yeah, they’re going to have to come into Fort Worth. We can’t send an officer into Northlake.”
Fort Worth Dispatch: “If you could just have the officer tell her to just come into Fort Worth, anywhere in Fort Worth, then we can send an officer to her”
Denton Dispatch: “Okay, can I not give you her information and you guys can contact her and work out a location?”
Fort Worth Dispatch: “I mean your officer is there on the scene with here, it would just be easier if … tell her she can call us.”
While a Denton police officer eventually met the family at a gas station, Kelly called the apparent confusion among dispatchers “absolutely unbelievable.”
“It kinda sounds like to me one department was wanting to work more than the other,” he added.
This story has been updated.
Follow Dave Urbanski (@DaveVUrbanski) on Twitter
Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) introduced a bill earlier this week that would place “an immediate suspension on allowing immigrants into the United States under the refugee resettlement program, until the Government Accountability Office (GAO) completes a thorough examination of its costs on federal, state and local governments.”
In a press release, Babin’s office argued the state of Texas and its taxpayers are being asked to take in more immigrants than any other state.
“It is extremely unsettling that the Obama Administration would continue to expand the U.S. resettlement program at such an irresponsible pace in light of our economic and national security challenges,” Babin said in a statement. “While this program may be warranted in certain situations, it is continuing at an unchecked pace. For the past decade the U.S. has been admitting roughly 70,000 new refugees a year, with little understanding of the economic and social costs on our communities.
He claimed the proposed legislation “institutes a common sense pause in the program so that we can better understand the long-term and short-term costs that this program has on local governments, states and U.S. taxpayers.”
He added, “It also gives us an opportunity to examine potential national security issues related to entry and resettlement, particularly as federal law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned about home-grown terrorists.”
Jeb Bush “did not vote on or approve individual projects or programs” while serving as a leader on one of Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropies that gave millions to Planned Parenthood, his campaign said.
The anti-abortion news outlet LifeSiteNews.com reported Thursday that Bush was named a founding director of the ex-New York City mayor’s Bloomberg Family Foundation, where he served until the end of last year. Before Bush departed, the organization gave $50 million for a reproductive health initiative that included work with Planned Parenthood’s global arm to “expand access to comprehensive reproductive health services.”
Life Site News reported on Bush’s affiliation following a series of undercover sting videos released that purport to show Planned Parenthood doctors and officials discussing the sale of aborted fetal body parts.
“As a board member of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Governor Bush did not vote on or approve individual projects or programs,” Bush campaign spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger told TheBlaze in a statement. “Governor Bush and Mayor Bloomberg disagree on several policy areas, including Planned Parenthood. They do share a passion for reforming education, which was Governor Bush’s focus on the board.”
Brandenburger said Bush has shown a proven pro-life record.
“Governor Bush’s strong record of fostering a culture of life is clear, and he has called on Congress to investigate and defund Planned Parenthood in light of the recent alarming revelations about its practices,” Brandenburger said. “During his eight years in office, Governor Bush took measures to protect innocent life by passing a partial-birth abortion ban, fighting for a constitutional amendment requiring parental notifications and doing everything possible to promote adoption.”
LifeSiteNews reported that Bush earned $37,100 during his time as the head of the Bloomberg board.
At least one activist believes Bush carries some accountability.
“Bush’s people are probably right that as a board member he did not vote on every project,” Human Life International spokesman Stephen Phelan told Life Site. “But Bloomberg has been so open about his foundation’s goals for so long that it really stretches credibility to say that Bush or his people wouldn’t have known that the foundation pushes abortion and other population control efforts.”
Comcast is refusing to air commercials that challenge the traditional TV “status quo.”
The familiar cable conglomerate, which is the parent company of NBC, has reportedly told Sling TV that it will not run the small start-up’s ads on NBC owned and operated stations in major cities across the country.
Sling TV is a new online service providing its users with multiple channels for a much smaller monthly fee.
Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch took aim at Comcast in a video uploaded to YouTube on Friday.
“The ads you are about to watch have been banned by Comcast-owned NBC stations in the markets where we asked them to run them,” Lynch said. “All of the other major networks – ABC, CBS, FOX – are running these commercials for us.”
The markets Lynch was referring to are San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., according to a blog post on the Sling TV website.
Watch the CEO’s message below:
Lynch speculated that the commercials “hit a little too close to home” for Comcast, because they call out tactics that often associated with traditional cable companies, such as price increases, equipment fees and poor quality customer service. Sling TV published the ads it says were banned by Comcast in a blog post right beneath the executive’s admonishing video message.
“Comcast has a demonstrated history of shutting down ideas it doesn’t like or understand, predictably to its benefit and at the expense of consumers,” the post, written by Lynch, read.
Lynch further pointed to the recent failed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, alleging that the company tried to use the business deal as a way to “thwart” live Internet programming services, like Sling TV.
“This is why we aggressively fought Comcast’s merger with Time Warner Cable,” Lynch explained. “Unfortunately, it appears ‘old TV’ may grasp at any tactic in attempt to preserve the status quo.”
Comcast did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze.
Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter
White House press secretary Josh Earnest took a swipe at Fox News’ “impartiality” during a discussion about Planned Parenthood, after describing the New York Times as a balanced voice in the controversy over the undercover sting videos.
Earnest had quoted the New York Times’ traditionally liberal editorial board, which called the videos a “campaign of deception.”
“That’s why I’m pointing out to you that the New York Times has described the release of these videos as a campaign of deception,” Earnest told Fox reporter Kevin Corke.
Corke followed, “You’re not calling the New York Times impartial are you?”
“Of course I am, Kevin,” Earnest said.
Corke responded laughing, “Josh, seriously. You can’t say the Times is impartial about all things vis-a-vis Planned Parenthood. I’ve never seen them criticize Planned Parenthood for anything. Yet you’re saying they are impartial somehow.”
Earnest followed with a clear knock at Fox, the latest in a series of slams the White House has taken against the news organization.
“I’m going to resist the urge to raise questions about impartiality about any news organization, particularly in the contexts of this discussion,” Earnest said.
Earnest simply cited the New York Times, never making it clear it was an opinion piece.
TheBlaze later followed up asking if he puts an opinion piece in the context of impartiality.
Earnest responded, “Yes I am.”
“I’m not saying they don’t have an opinion, but I do think these are individuals who take a look at the facts and render an opinion. That’s what they do,” Earnest said of the Times editorial board. “In this case they call it a campaign of deception. We saw FactCheck.org, if you want to raise questions about their credibility ironically, you can do that as well, they described that as unspinning the Planned Parenthood video.”
“So, I think the point that I’m making here is that I haven’t seen the videos, but those who have and have taken a look at them have raised some concerns about the content,” Earnest continued. “Ultimately, what the president believes is that our position on this is that if a Department of Justice inquiry is required, then that’s a decision they will make.”
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen made a pledge before the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Oversight Subcommittee on Wednesday, saying that his agency would not go after the tax-exempt statuses of any religious colleges and universities that oppose same-sex nuptials.
“Will you commit to me that while you remain on as the commissioner … you will not in the absence of a directive by Congress or by the courts, that you will not take any action to remove the tax-exempt status from religious colleges and universities based on their belief that marriage is between a man and a woman?” Republican Sen. Mike Lee asked Koskinen.
The commissioner affirmatively responded that he would be able to make that commitment, with Lee expressing his deep appreciation for the pledge. Koskinen did go on to explain how such a change would potentially be made beyond his tenure.
“We would issue a regulation … the Treasury and the IRS issue jointly,” he said. “If we ever did that, we would issue it for public comment. There would be no surprises.”
Koskinen continued, “The public would have plenty of notice and plenty of opportunity to comment, and that’s not going to happen in the next two and a half years.”
Watch the commissioner’s comments below:
Koskinen did say that he cannot predict the future, seemingly leaving the door open to the fact that tax-exempt statuses could come under fire in the future, pending the directional move of public policy, the Christian Post reported.
Lee’s question of Koskinen comes amid fears that the tax-exempt statuses of Christian colleges could be targeted following the Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriage earlier this summer.
The testimony came just one day before a federal judge threatened to hold Koskinen in contempt if his agency didn’t provide documents in the manner ordered by the court in the case involving the IRS singling out tea party and conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections.
(H/T: Christian Post)
WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — The State Department is releasing fewer than expected numbers of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails.
It says the process is slower because of intense scrutiny by U.S. intelligence agencies to ensure that emails from her private server don’t contain any sensitive or classified government secrets.
In emails the State Department released Friday, the government censored passages to protect national security secrets at least 64 times. Clinton has said she never sent classified information from her private email server, which The Associated Press was first to identify in her home in New York.
The government on Friday released 2,206 pages of emails, roughly 12 percent of the 55,000 pages Clinton had turned over to department lawyers earlier this year.
Some emails about Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attacks — and the security situation prior — were included in the disclosure:
Deteriorating security conditions faced by Chris Stevens and Benghazi personnel seemed pressing. pic.twitter.com/yZ0rU6kRRy
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) July 31, 2015
Under attack. pic.twitter.com/05KjOLBDv5
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) July 31, 2015
Discussion of a Benghazi evac plan if needed. pic.twitter.com/BVjDK2pN3U
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) July 31, 2015
Fox News also reported that a “source with knowledge of the release” said roughly 25 of the newly released emails contain text that has been redacted for “classified information reasons.”
The Washington Times adds on the subject:
The U.S. intelligence community is bracing for the possibility that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email account contains hundreds of revelations of classified information from spy agencies and is taking steps to contain any damage to national security, according to documents and interviews Thursday.
The top lawmakers on the House and Senate intelligence committee have been notified in recent days that the extent of classified information on Mrs. Clinton’s private email server was likely far more extensive than the four emails publicly acknowledged last week as containing some sensitive spy agency secrets.
The Wall Street Journal has posted all of the emails — some heavily redacted — released on Friday for review here.
The Clinton campaign also released a letter from her doctor on Friday, who described the Democratic presidential candidate as in “excellent physical condition and “fit to serve as president of the United States.”
The letter addresses Clinton’s health in 2012, when she sustained a concussion after fainting – a result of a stomach virus and dehydration. Testing the following year showed “complete resolution” of the concussion’s effects, including double vision.
During the course of her treatment, Clinton was also found to have a blood clot and was given medication to dissolve it. She’s remains on the treatment as a precaution.
Clinton is the first 2016 presidential candidate to release her health records. Her campaign says they plan to release her tax returns since 2007 later Friday.
Hundreds of prominent individuals and groups — including A-list Hollywood actresses — are giving a less-than-warm reception to an influential human rights organization’s proposed policy that prostitution be decriminalized.
The massive pushback comes as nearly 500 delegates from Amnesty International are slated to meet next week from August 7-11 in Dublin, Ireland, to discuss and vote on the measure. The proposal is based on the notion that sex — even for pay — is an issue that some believe should remain between two consenting adults, the New York Times reported.
Hundreds of women’s groups, faith organizations and Hollywood stars came together after learning of the plan and signed onto an open letter urging Amnesty International to rethink the proposal, alleging that “it flies in the face of [the organization's] historical reputation.”
“This policy would in effect advocate the legalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying — the pillars of a $99 billion global sex industry,” read a statement from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women.
Among the signatories railing against decriminalization are actresses Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett, Emily Blunt, Lena Dunham, Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet and many others.
“We firmly believe and agree with Amnesty that human beings bought and sold in the sex trade, who are mostly women, must not be criminalized in any jurisdiction and that their human rights must be respected and protected to the fullest extent,” the letter reads. “We also agree that, with the exception of a few countries, governments and law enforcement grievously violate prostituted individuals’ human rights.”
It continues, “However, what your ‘Draft Policy on Sex Work’ is incomprehensibly proposing is the wholesale decriminalization of the sex industry, which in effect legalizes pimping, brothel owning and sex buying.”
Amnesty International’s proposed push for decriminalization of prostitution comes at a time when some countries are looking to punish buyers instead of prostitutes themselves.
Amnesty International, though, appears to be taking a different look at the issue, arguing in the proposal that the punishment of buyers could impede personal privacies and “undermine the rights to free expression of health,” according to the Times.
The organization also seemingly embraces the notion that sex work could go further underground if buyers are punished, which would potentially put prostitutes in greater danger.
Amnesty International doesn’t have sway to immediately change laws in sovereign countries, though the proposal — if adopted — would be the organization’s official stance and would presumably drive how it interacts on issues pertaining to prostitution, internationally speaking.
Read the letter opposed to the measure in its entirety here.
For one Chicago-area woman, a recent day trip to the beach resulted in a heated confrontation involving one woman using the n-word – and part of the confrontation was caught on cellphone video.
Raquel Bolten was visiting Chicago’s Oak Street beach Monday when she says her two small kids who were with her accidentally splashed another woman, causing her to go off on a racist rant and later defend her comments by calling it “free speech.”
Bolten told WMAQ-TV that she tried to explain to the angry woman that they’re just kids and that they were sorry. But the woman, wearing a white top over her bathing suit, wasn’t satisfied with the apology.
“She got in my face and dropped the n-word a few times,” Bolten said.
That’s when she reached for her cellphone to capture the rest of their argument on video.
“Oh, of course you haven’t graduated and you don’t know the Constitution of the United States and what it says,” the woman is heard telling Bolten.
“What?” Bolten responded. “That you can just walk around calling somebody a n*****?”
“It’s called free speech in America – right to free speech. Look it up,” the woman said as she walked away.
Bolten’s sister-in-law, Melissa Marshall couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
“I was in shock,” Marshall told WMAQ-TV. “People argue all the time, but how is that the first thing that comes to your mind?”
Marshall also said a similar incident involving the same woman unfolded in the restroom just minutes later.
Stunned by the woman’s name-calling, Bolten posted the video on Facebook where it has gone viral. (Warning: Video contains use of the n-word)
Wow the hate is real ! I was just locked out my page and I just want know how was my video removed from Facebook almost reaching 100,000 views but I see the most disgusting disrespectful and inhuman videos being shared and going viral ? I'm going to repost the video please share . Race has nothing to with ignorance . While at the beach #oakstreetbeach this lady called us the N Word three times in front of my children all because they splashed water on her. I asked her to stop yelling at the kids and said I'll call the police. She walked in my face twice yes I could've reacted but I didn't. Yes I thought this lady was going to spit or put hands on me first because that's how angry she was….here's her response .
Posted by Raquel Bolton on Tuesday, July 28, 2015
“Prejudice and racism [are] still alive in 2015,” Bolten said, but she added that she doesn’t want this experience to influence her kids’ perception of white people.
“All white people don’t hate them, so I didn’t want them to think that. They shouldn’t have to experience that at all. I don’t want them to feel less or any different than the next child.”
You can see more of the heated exchange here.
Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter
We’ve already seen stories about household items that appear to spontaneously explode, but over the last few years there’s been an uptick of stories around the country revealing that the sunroofs on some vehicles are prone to shattering without warning as well.
The reason? One engineer explained that thinner glass thanks to the push for more fuel-efficient vehicles might be the root cause.
“The main issue is that the glass in the structure around the sunroof is being made thinner in vehicles,” Donald Phillips told KPRC-TV, noting that manufacturers have had to meet new efficiency standards and are cutting down on materials to reduce weight. ”The problem is that going with the thinner materials and the thinner metal in the cars, you’re getting more movement, so now you’re more on the edge of what they used to be, when things were heavier and thicker and more robust.”
According to a 2013 article in Auto Glass Repair and Replacement magazine, the issue seems to be most prevalent in vehicles 2010 and newer — and they don’t even have to be moving for the explosion to occur.
“The dilemma is that vehicle manufacturers believe it’s an impact break,” Bob Beranek, editor of Auto Glass Journal and CEO of Automotive Glass Consultants Inc., told AGRR at the time. “Some of the higher-end cars are covering it under warranty if the customer says, ‘I wasn’t even in the car, I wasn’t even driving it.’ Those that say, ‘I was driving down the road and there was no reason for the sunroof to blow out and it just did’ well then the manufacturers are going to say it is impact related. Until injuries occur vehicle manufacturers still have the option to charge the customer for the replacement. If they can pass off the cost to the customers, they’re going to.”
Beranek countered manufacterers’ claims that these incidents are caused by impact.
“To get an impact break on the top of the car is practically impossible,” he said. “The rock would have to bounce straight up and come straight down with such a rate of speed that it would cause tempered glass to break. And that’s very difficult to do. And yet, here dealerships are telling all of these numerous people that it’s an impact break. And it’s hard to prove with tempered glass because once it breaks there’s breakage all over.”
Beranek also blamed thinner glass, likely imported from other countries, as part of the problem.
“I think what some of these dealerships have done is ask their suppliers to reduce the weight of the units they send to them,” he told AGRR. “To meet that demand, the suppliers thin the glass out. And what’s happening is that the pressure is popping the glass because the car is so airtight. And I’m not pointing fingers at any particular country. The car manufacturers are seeking cheaper parts. Well, with that comes cheap materials and so forth. I wouldn’t be surprised if the glass being thinner was part of the problem.”
Watch it happen in this video:
Is heat a factor as well though? The examples of sunroof explosion incidents cited by AGRR occurred in August and September, but there have been some reported incidents occurring in traditionally cooler months as well. KYW-TV reported that heat trapped in the car between the sunroof and a closed sunroof shade could play a role.
This is why Phillips suggested on exceptionally hot days that car owners with sunroofs leave their sunroof shade upon to reduce pressure. He also said tinted sunroofs are less likely to spontaneously explode as well.
Either way, if it does happen, like it did to Wade Owens earlier this month on his ride to work in a Kia Sportage, it sounds “like a bomb go off, ” he told KTRK-TV.
According to the KPRC, the National Highway Transportation Safety Board has received hundreds of complaints regarding sunroof glass issues from many manufacturers. Some of these have lead to manufacturer recalls.
Watch KPRC’s report:
It was after 2 a.m. Tuesday and Amy Allen was still awake after her family had attended a baseball game earlier in the evening.
So while her husband and son were fast asleep —
— Allen decided to check on the lawn sprinklers, and came upon a couple of odd sights.
First she noticed a red light on the alarm system, KTVT-TV reported. And then there was the back door.
“From the edge of the kitchen I could see the back door was wide open,” she told KXAS-TV. “I thought maybe I had left it open or hadn’t shut it very well or the wind had blown it open.”
Then Allen saw something else in her Flower Mound, Texas, kitchen.
“It took me a second to process that it wasn’t my husband or my son, and I screamed, ‘Hey!’” she told KXAS. “And when he turned around I realized it was a very tall figure in a black hoodie.”
That’s when instinct overtook her.
“He made a move,” she told KXAS of the man who also wore a white mask. “I don’t know where he was going, but he was between me, my husband and my son, so I ran straight across the kitchen, hit at a full run and just fought and struggled to get him out the back door.”
The intruder grabbed a rum bottle off the counter and used it to attack Allen, but she was winning this fight and managed to get him out of the house.
“I felt good,” she told KXAS. “I had got him out, shut it and locked it.”
But the intruder wasn’t finished.
“He started banging on the door and immediately three strong hits and he was right back through the door,” she told KXAS.
The sound of shattering glass and the resumed struggle roused Allen’s husband Mike, who quickly made his way to the scene.
“I reached over and flipped the light on and said, ‘What’s going on?’” he told KXAS. “And at that point he realized somebody else was in the house and ran toward the front door.”
This time the intruder stayed away — but Mike Allen wasn’t convinced of that.
“It’s awful. It’s hard to go to sleep at night,” he told KXAS. “We sat up, she was afraid he was going to come back because he was so determined to get back in, so we sat on the couch with baseball bats on our laps while I Shop-Vac’d the broken glass up.”
Amy Allen was shocked by the crook’s persistence. “I couldn’t imagine why he would come back in …” she told KTVT. “I figured he would run, and he didn’t. He came back in, and I never… I don’t know that I’ll ever understand that.”
Mike Allen didn’t seem surprised by his wife’s reaction. “This was Mama Bear,” he told KTVT. “She went after him … and was screaming, ‘get out of my house, get out of my house!’”
Police said the intruder apparently didn’t take anything from the house — but he did leave something behind: blood. And police are analyzing it.
The man — who entered the house through an unlocked door — may have glass cuts on his hands, face, or arms, police told KTVT. He’s described as white and about 5-feet-10-inches with a slender build and light-colored hair. He was also wearing dark-colored pants.
While Amy Allen recovered from getting roughed up herself, she shared the one primal thought the drove her through the nightmarish ordeal.
“This is my house,” she told KTVT. “He’s not taking that from me.”
Follow Dave Urbanski (@DaveVUrbanski) on Twitter
“The Daily Show” poked fun at a Christian pastor who expressed his belief that the faithful in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, are being discriminated against following the city’s passage of an anti-discrimination ordinance earlier this year.
Pastor Randall Christy spoke out against Ordinance 2223, which extends anti-discrimination benefits to gays and lesbians in housing, public accommodations and employment, telling “Daily Show” correspondent Jordan Klepper exactly why he opposes it.
“This law deliberately discriminates against the church,” the pastor said. “They have a paragraph regulating church hiring practices.”
But city counsel woman Joyce Zeller pushed back against these claims, telling Klepper the exact opposite.
“Nobody’s taking away the church’s right do to anything,” she said. “They are not a part of this ordinance.”
Watch the segment below:
Zeller went on to say that religious conservatives were upset over the ordinance because “they are anti gay” and described them as descending upon opponents like “a plague of locusts.”
“These ‘poor religious people’ are mean to us,” she said. “They write letters to the editor, they march up and down the street holding signs saying, ‘Divorce is evil.’”
Christy went on to express some of the other concerns he has over the ordinance, including the notion that it will allow “allow biological males to go wherever they want,” speaking about the use of bathrooms that confirm with a person’s preferred gender.
A one-pager published by opponents of the ordinance who are seeking repeal points to some of the reasons why people like Christy oppose the measure.
That document reads in part, “An attorney who does adoptions only for biblically married couples can be prosecuted under this ordinance. A person who does not believe in providing services for a same-sex ceremony can be prosecuted under this ordinance. A counselor who has an objection to providing counseling services regarding same-sex relationships can be prosecuted. The list goes on and on.”
“Yes, this backwards town actually voted to protect the LGBTQ community,” Klepper quipped.
It appears Klepper, though, is an equal opportunity offender, as he also poked fun at atheists in a comical segment not long ago.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A federal magistrate entered not guilty pleas on 33 federal charges, including for hate crimes, for a white man accused of gunning down nine parishioners at a black church in Charleston.
During Friday’s hearing for 21-year-old Dylann Roof, his attorney told U.S. Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant that his client wanted to enter a plea of guilty to all the counts. But the lawyer said that because the government hasn’t decided whether to seek the death penalty on some of the counts, attorneys could not advise Roof on the issue.
Marchant then entered the not-guilty plea on all counts.
Roof appeared in a gray striped prison jumpsuit, his hands in shackles. He answered yes several times in response to the judge’s questions but otherwise didn’t speak.
Marchant also heard briefly from family members of victims of the June 17 attack.
— ESPN (@espn) July 31, 2015
The Baysox marketing team had fun with the promotion, posting ahead of Thursday night’s event:
Is your back well-coiffed? Do you need to shave your back more often than your face? If the answer to these questions is YES, then you need to be at Back Hair Appreciation Night at the Baysox on Thursday, July 30.
… If your family and friends comment about the insane amount of hair you have on your back, or if you are cleaning out the filter in your pool twice a day after YOU get in it, then Back Hair Appreciation Night is YOUR Night to feel appreciated!
Before the game, several brave souls received a free back waxing, seated atop the Baysox dugout and in full view of the public:
Tonight is back hair appreciation night and yes, Robert Andrew spas did wax 4 hairy backs live on the dugout pic.twitter.com/v2YpKFDeuW
— Bowie Baysox (@BowieBaysox) July 30, 2015
Was the promotion a success? It certainly scored media attention on ESPN and other outlets.
Some of baseball’s hirsute fans also chimed in.
— Jamie Costello (@JamiefromABC2) July 31, 2015
The Baysox won Thursday night’s game, beating the Trenton Thunder 4-3.
Watch the “highlights”:
Follow Mike Opelka (@Stuntbrain) on Twitter
Republican presidential candidate and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz fought back Thursday after Mitt Romney criticized him for saying the Obama administration would become the “leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism” if Congress approves the Iran nuclear deal.
Romney had taken to Twitter to say that Cruz’s comment was “over the line.”
I am opposed to the Iran deal, but @SenTedCruz is way over the line on the Obama terrorism charge. Hurts the cause.
— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) July 30, 2015
In a blunt response on KFYO radio in Lubbock, Texas, Cruz hit back at the 2012 Republican nominee, saying: “One of the reasons Republicans keep getting clobbered is that we have leaders like Mitt Romney or like Jeb Bush who are afraid to say that.”
Cruz said the nuclear deal would allow for more than $100 billion to go to Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and that the same money would also end up in the hands of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and other radical Islamic terrorist groups.
“When you send billions of dollars to jihadists trying to kill Americans, you bear responsibility for the murder they carry out with the money you have given them” Cruz told host Chad Hasty, adding that the Iranian supreme leader routinely leads chants in which he shouts, “Death to America.”
Cruz previously characterized the deal as “catastrophic” and said that it poses the “gravest national security threat” more than anything else for three reasons.
“One, if it goes through, hundreds of billions of dollars will flow to Iran that they will use to fund radical Islamic terrorism to murder Americans. Two, because it leaves four American hostages languishing in Iran. The last president to leave hostages in Iran was Jimmy Carter [and] that appeasement profoundly weakened America,” Cruz said. “But three, this deal accelerates Iran’s acquiring nuclear weapons, and they have pledged to use those nuclear weapons.
Listen to Cruz defend his comments below (relevant portion begins around the 12:00 mark):
Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Bullets whizzed past a woman’s head as she fled from an 18-year-old gunman who had posed as a stranded motorist to convince her family to help him on the roadside of a Montana Indian reservation, the woman recounted to relatives.
The man claimed he had run out of gas, then pulled a gun, demanded money and opened fire when Jorah Shane followed her mother’s order to run, Ada Shane said, relaying the story as told to her by her wounded niece.
The relatives listened to Jorah Shane’s story, made sure the television in her hospital room was kept off, and struggled with how to tell her that the man had killed her mother and father in Wednesday’s shooting, Ada Shane told The Associated Press Thursday.
Jorah Shane, 26, did not know her parents’ fate before she went into surgery Wednesday night for the bullet lodged in her spine.
“Last night before she went in, she told everyone to go look for her mom, she’s hiding in the field,” Ada Shane said.
Jorah Shane was recovering in a Billings hospital Thursday, while the suspect in the shooting, Jesus Deniz, also known as Jesus Deniz Mendoza, 18, waited in a Wyoming jail cell for extradition proceedings to begin.
Police arrested the Worland, Wyoming, man Wednesday morning near Meeteetse, about 120 miles away from Pryor, the small town on the Crow Indian Reservation where the shooting happened.
In an interview with two FBI agents on Wednesday, Deniz admitted to shooting three people with a .22 caliber rifle and then driving away in their car, a court statement filed by FBI Special Agent Larry McGrail II said.
“Deniz told the interviewing agents that he shot the victims because he was getting tired of waiting around, and because the daughter had laughed at him,” the statement said.
McGrail’s statement was filed in U.S. District Court with a criminal complaint seeking a murder warrant for Jesus Deniz. A judge’s signed warrant would begin the process of returning Deniz to Montana to face charges in the shooting.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby scheduled a Friday afternoon initial court hearing in Billings.
FBI spokesman Todd Palmer confirmed Jason Shane, 51, and Tana Shane, 47, were killed in the shooting, but would not identify Jorah Shane as the wounded person, saying the FBI does not provide information about potential witnesses.
McGrail’s statement largely confirmed the account of events that Ada Shane told the AP, though it did not name the victims.
On Wednesday morning, Tana Shane drove by a young man who said he had run out of gas on the road less than 50 yards from her home, Ada Shane said.
“Both my brother and sister-in-law have big hearts,” Ada Shane said. “They’re always helping someone else.”
Tana Shane went by her house, picked up her husband and daughter and drove back to the stranded car, Ada Shane said.
The man pulled a gun and pointed it at Jason Shane’s head. He ordered everybody to get out of the car, Ada Shane said.
He told the family to give him their money, but the family said they had only change because they recently returned from a religious revival in Window Rock, Arizona.
The man told them to start walking. Tana Shane told her daughter in their Native American language to run.
Jorah Shane told her aunt that she heard a shot, started running, then heard bullets pass close to her head. McGrail’s statement said the daughter heard her mother scream, felt blood running down her face and then a bullet hit her back.
She yelled and caught the attention of people near St. Charles Mission School, according to the FBI statement. A car approached her and she jumped in when the driver got out. She drove away still hearing gunshots, and relatives took her to a hospital, the statement said.
A bullet grazed Jorah Shane’s head and she had a gunshot wound to the back. Ada Shane said she didn’t know how to tell her niece that her close-knit family was gone.
“Jorah is one always attached to her parents,” the aunt said. “She’s always with her parents and her grandmother.”
It is not clear whether Deniz has an attorney. Messages left on two phone numbers listed under Mendoza’s name were not returned.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement told KULR-TV Deniz is a Mexican citizen who was legally admitted to the U.S. as a permanent resident.
“This individual does not have any criminal convictions, and, as a permanent resident, is not currently removable,” ICE told the news station in a statement. “Thus, an ICE detainer cannot be placed on the individual at this time. However, ICE is closely monitoring this case and coordinating with local authorities. If he is convicted for a criminal offense that allows him to be removed from the country, after the completion of sentence, ICE intends to take him into custody and pursue his removal from the United States.”
This story has been updated to correct the news station from KURL-TV to KULR-TV and to include more information.
Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s ”Meet the Press,” went after Hillary Clinton’s decision to use a private email server during a Friday appearance on “Morning Joe,” accusing her of “deflecting” and of opening herself up to critique over her handling of electronic communications.
Todd, who said that he’s giving the State Department the benefit of the doubt in taking so long to release Clinton’s emails, charged that the 2016 presidential contender is to blame for the delays in the release of her emails.
“The reason it’s taking a long time is because Hillary Clinton chose to do it out of the norm, out of the way it was done,” he said. “And she can claim she’s doing the same protocol as Colin Powell, but that was basically a half generation ago in how communications were dealt with. So, it is a classic deflection and sort of confusing the matter in the moment, but, look, it has had an impact.”
Todd went on to say that he’s been trying to figure out what motivated Clinton and her team to turn to a private server during her tenure as secretary of state, offering up a theory that it was potentially driven by paranoia.
“It’s very possible that her and her political team are paranoid about House Republicans and have been for years, are paranoid about transparency and have been for years, and so they said, ‘We’re going to make this as hard as possible for Congress to sort of poke around our personal affairs,’ so we’re going to do something that hasn’t been done before,” he said. “Whatever their motivation was, it only feeds a perception that doesn’t take long to be triggered with American voters.”
When “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Bzrezinski chimed in to say that Todd’s theory would be the “best case scenario” as well as the “best reason,” he added that it wouldn’t be a good one nonetheless.
Watch the segment below:
Worried passersby gathered around the locked minivan in a New Jersey Costco parking lot with one goal in mind: To free the crying toddler inside, strapped in her car seat, on what was a hot and humid Thursday afternoon.
“I’m telling the girl, ‘Don’t cry, we’re gonna get you out,’” Rafael Rodriguez, who was trying to get through the windows cracked open just a few inches, told WNBC-TV. “She was drenched in sweat and crying constantly.”
Soon an observer turned on a cellphone camera and caught the moment a Bergen County Sheriff’s officer smashed a window, allowing another officer to grab the 2-year-old girl and pull her out. They were called by the manager of the Hackensack store, WPIX-TV reported.
“She’s soaking wet,” the female officer was heard saying on camera as she held the crying toddler in her arms and rubbed her back.
“Sweat was just coming down, almost as if someone threw a bucket of water on her,” Rodriguez told WNBC, “that’s how bad it was.” Video of the incident has been viewed more than 3 million times since it was posted to Facebook Thursday.
When the male officer was told the driver might still be shopping, he replied, “What are you kidding me?”
But things really heated up when the mother — Chaeyoung Lim-Kim, WPIX reported — returned to the scene with another child and a full shopping cart.
The officer holding the sweat-soaked girl was heard yelling at the mother: “Is this your kid?”
After she replied with “sorry,” the officer was unmoved: “No ‘sorry!’ She could have died!”
It isn’t clear how long the mother was gone, but Rodriguez figured it wasn’t just a couple of minutes.
“I thought maybe she forgot something that she was gonna grab,” he told WNBC. “I was surprised to see the shopping cart was full.”
The girl was taken to a hospital and released to her father, the sheriff’s office told WNBC, adding that the mother was arrested for child endangerment and released with a desk ticket.
This story has been updated.
Follow Dave Urbanski (@DaveVUrbanski) on Twitter
LONDON (AP) — An experimental vaccine tested on thousands of people in Guinea exposed to Ebola seems to work and might help shut down the ongoing epidemic in West Africa, according to interim results from a study published Friday.
There is currently no licensed treatment or vaccine for Ebola, which has so far killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa since the world’s biggest outbreak began in the forest region of Guinea last year.
“If proven effective, this is going to be a game-changer,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, which sponsored the study. “It will change the management of the current outbreak and future outbreaks.”
Scientists have struggled for years to develop Ebola treatments and vaccines but have faced numerous hurdles, including the sporadic nature of outbreaks. Many past attempts have failed, including a recently abandoned drug cocktail being tested in West Africa by Tekmira Pharmaceuticals.
Researchers gave one dose of the new vaccine, developed by the Canadian government, to more than 4,000 people who were contacts of confirmed Ebola cases within 10 days of being identified. In comparison, more than 3,500 contacts of other Ebola cases got the shot after a 10-day delay. In the group that received the vaccine immediately, there were no Ebola cases versus 16 cases in people who got delayed vaccination. The vaccine has since been licensed to Merck. The study was published online Friday in the journal Lancet.
An expert group monitoring the study’s data and safety recommended the trial be stopped on July 26 so that everyone exposed to Ebola in Guinea could get immunized.
The vaccine uses an Ebola protein to prompt the body’s immune system to attack the virus.
“It looks to be about as safe as a flu vaccine,” said Ben Neuman, a virologist at the University of Reading who was not part of the trial. Researchers are still assessing possible side effects; the most serious seemed to be fever and the stress experienced by patients who believe such symptoms were due to Ebola.
“This [vaccine] could be the key that we’ve been missing to end the outbreak,” Neuman said. “I don’t see any reason on humanitarian grounds why it should not be used immediately.” He said further tests would be necessary to see if the vaccine might also protect pregnant women, children and adolescents; those trials are already under way.
WHO vaccines expert Marie-Paule Kieny said having an effective immunization might avert future disasters but added it would still take months to get the shot licensed.
“Using a tool like this vaccine, we would be able to stop the epidemic from going really wild and spreading further,” she told reporters, noting that stamping out future outbreaks still depends on early detection. WHO first identified Ebola in Guinea last March but did not declare the epidemic to be a global emergency until August, when the virus had killed nearly 1,000 people.
Other Ebola vaccines are being studied elsewhere but the declining caseload – there were just seven new patients reported in West Africa last week – is complicating efforts to finish the trials.
Dr. Bertrand Draguez of Doctors Without Borders, which helped test the vaccine in its treatment clinics in Guinea, said the immunization should immediately be made available.
“With such high efficacy, all affected countries should immediately expand vaccination of contacts of infected patients in order to break chains of transmission and vaccinate all front-line workers to protect them,” he said in a statement.
A TV network has announced that it’s going to do something on Halloween eve that’s reportedly never been done before: air a live, real-life exploration of a purportedly spirit-infested home, and perform an exorcism.
Destination America announced in a press release on Thursday that it plans to air “Exorcism: LIVE!” on Friday, October 30 — a show that will “host the first live televised exorcism in U.S. history.”
If that’s not terrifying enough, consider that the exorcism is slated to take place inside the original home in St. Louis, Missouri, that inspired “The Exorcist” movie; it is the house in which the real-life rite is said to have taken place on a boy named Roland Doe back in 1949.
“No one has ever attempted to rid the lurking spirits and demons that inhabit this home, until now,” read a press release.
The event will incorporate paranormal investigators who star on the network’s show “Ghost Asylum” as well as a psychic medium, as they go through the attic, the basement and other parts of the home to try and figure out what has purportedly been haunting it.
“The ghost hunting team will use state of the art technology to do daytime and nighttime investigations, documenting as much evidence as they can of these true-life demonic entities on live TV,” read the press release.
The goal is to exorcise the home live on television — something that the network said has never been done before.
Additionally, the audience will be able to access various live cameras on the network’s website, where they can participate in a live Twitter chat and also track anything odd that they observe on those feeds.
As TheBlaze previously reported, the terrifying, real-life story about the month-long demon-purging over a young boy in 1949 that inspired the story behind “The Exorcist” has been widely documented, though questions remain surrounding the child’s true identity.
Known by the pseudonym ”Robbie Mannheim,” his real name has never been released to the public and only a few people know of his whereabouts. University archivist David Waide told KSDK-TV in 2012 that Robbie was still alive at the time and was believed to be 78 years old. Read more here.
Front page image via Shutterstock.com.
With two new police body camera videos being released, showing the moments after the fatal shooting of a Cincinnati man last week, two cops from the University of Cincinnati police force were put on paid administrative leave.
One of the latest videos in the case of 43-year-old Samuel DuBose — a man shot and killed on July 19 by Officer Ray Tensing after what started as a traffic stop for a missing front license plate — shows Officer Phillip Kidd running to the scene and pulling out his weapon as he approached the black sedan, its front end damaged near a telephone pole.
Officers identified and called in to dispatchers that a man, DuBose, had a gunshot wound to the head.
“We need a medic. We’re going to need multiple officers here,” Kidd said, later telling Tensing that he saw him being dragged by the car and asking if he was OK.
A little more than four minutes into the video, Cincinnati city police arrived, after which Kidd told him his bodycam was on and said “don’t say anything.”
Later, Kidd told this city officer that he witnessed the incident.
“You saw him being dragged?” the officer asked Kidd.
“Yes,” he said.
WXIX-TV noted that 13 minutes into the video Kidd turned his bodycam off for a time.
“We’ve been told that when police officers turn their bodycams off, they have to provide an explanation as to why,” the news station reported. “We’re still waiting for that explanation.”
Watch Kidd’s bodycam video:
And in other footage, officer David Lindenschmidt, who is in training, can be heard telling another officer that Tensing “went down, got tangled in the car and drew his gun and fired.” In Lindenschmidt’s video, Tensing can be seen on the ground and then getting up. But there is no indication on the video of how he ended up on the ground.
Here’s Lindenschmidt’s footage:
Previous video from Tensing’s bodycam showed DuBose say “I didn’t do nothing” as he failed to produce his driver’s license for Tensing after the officer requested it several times.
Tensing, who Thursday pleaded not guilty to murder charges and posted an allowed 10 percent of his $1 million bail, then told DuBose to “go ahead and take your seat belt off” and reached for the door handle. The situation escalated from there, Tensing’s bodycam going shaky as he yelled “Stop! Stop!” Then he fired a shot.
Tensing said he was dragged by DuBose and “feared for his life,” his attorney Stewart Mathews said, which is why he shot him. Prosecutor Joe Deters scoffed at Tensing’s claim that he was dragged by DuBose’s car.
Tensing was fired from his post after his indictment, and university spokeswoman Michele Ralston confirmed Thursday that officers Kidd and Lindenschmidt were placed on paid leave during the investigation.
DuBose’s death comes after months of national debate about police use of force against African-Americans, especially when the force resulted in death. The DuBose was black; Tensing is white. But authorities have not focused on race as a factor in the slaying.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A conservative legal firm filed a complaint with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies on Wednesday on behalf of Colorado Family Action, a religious advocacy group, alleging that a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic failed to learn of and report the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl, and performed an abortion in 2012 without notifying her parent.
The complaint filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom alleges that the teen was sexually abused by her stepfather, who raped her and brought her to the Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood clinic for an abortion — the same clinic that is the focus of a fourth undercover video that allegedly shows a doctor discussing the sale of fetal parts.
The girl, known in court documents as “R.Z.,” was then reportedly returned to her stepfather’s custody and the molestation is said to have continued. After learning of the purported year’s long abuse, the teen’s mother, Cary Smith, later filed a lawsuit in Denver District Court against the Planned Parenthood clinic over its alleged failure to report the abuse as well as the abortion that took place on May 2, 2012.
At the center of the lawsuit and complaint was the idea that the young girl was allegedly not counseled about her pregnancy, nor was the mother notified that the procedure would be conducted, according to a 2014 Washington Times report.
“According to court documents, no Planned Parenthood employee inquired into the nature of the girl’s relationship with the predator or about potential abuse even though she is a minor,” read a statement from the Alliance Defending Freedom. “The step-father has since been convicted and incarcerated for his crimes.”
Natalie Decker, an attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom, explained that Colorado law “mandates the reporting of known or suspected abuse of minors,” hitting back at the Planned Parenthood clinic for failing to do so.
“Tragically, had any of their employees made a call to authorities the day they saw this 13-year-old girl with her abuser, as Planned Parenthood is legally obligated to do, her abuse would have ended that day,” she said in a statement. ”Colorado law further requires that written notice be provided to parents of a minor before any abortion is performed, yet in this instance, the child’s mother was unaware of the abortion until more than two months after it had occurred.”
R.Z. was also reportedly given a birth control injection during her visit for the abortion, which attorneys said allowed for the abuse to continue until the teen later told her mother what had unfolded; Smith promptly sought medical attention for her daughter and took legal action.
While initial court documents referenced four unnamed staff members at the clinic as “Jane Does 1-4,” the most recent complaint to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies references an abortion doctor as well as one other staffer. It appears aimed at encouraging the state to investigate the clinic over the incident.
Smith’s lawsuit against Planned Parenthood was recently settled, though the terms are not immediately known. Request for comment from the Alliance Defending Freedom about the terms of that settlement has not yet been returned to TheBlaze.
The clinic at the center of this dispute has been in the headlines this week. As previously reported, footage that was captured by the Center for Medical Progress on April 7, 2015, focuses on Dr. Savita Ginde, vice-president and medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, allegedly discussing payment per organ that is extracted from aborted fetuses.
Ginde, who was also briefly featured in the third video, is seen sitting down with two actors who posed as tissue buyers before taking them into a pathological laboratory, where she is seen sifting through aborted fetal organs and parts to presumably show the buyers what’s available.
Watch the video below (caution: graphic):
“Oh, look, here’s some organs for you. They’re all attached. Here’s a stomach, heart, kidney, adrenal,” Ginde says in the footage, while parsing through the fetal remains. “I don’t know what else is in there.”
A medical assistant adds, “I don’t see the legs. Did you see any legs?”
The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign is attacking the New York Times, calling its reporting of Clinton’s email scandal an “egregious breach” and accusing the newspaper of an “apparent abandonment of standard journalistic practices.”
The campaign sent a 2,000-word letter to the Times, and said the Times did not publish it, CNN reported.
The letter dealt with the story last week that two inspectors general had made a “criminal” referral to the Justice Department to look into Clinton’s private email server. The story was later revised to show the referral wasn’t criminal and the emails, not Clinton herself, were the target.
Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri wrote, “we remain perplexed by the Times’ slowness to acknowledge its errors after the fact, and some of the shaky justifications that Times’ editors have made.”
“I wish to emphasize our genuine wish to have a constructive relationship with The New York Times,” the letter continued. “But we also are extremely troubled by the events that went into this erroneous report, and will be looking forward to discussing our concerns related to this incident so we can have confidence that it is not repeated in the future.”
The campaign sent the letter to New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet on Tuesday, and made the letter public Thursday.
A Times spokeswoman said Thursday night that “our editor’s note and the public editor fully addressed the issues related to this story and we don’t plan to comment further,” CNN reported.
If you wish, you can read the full text of the lengthy letter below:
The New York Times
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, New York
July 28, 2015
Dear Mr. Baquet:
I am writing to officially register our campaign’s grave concern with the Times’ publication of an inaccurate report related to Hillary Clinton and her email use.
I appreciate the fact that both you and the Public Editor have sought to publicly explain how this error could have been made. But we remain perplexed by the Times’ slowness to acknowledge its errors after the fact, and some of the shaky justifications that Times’ editors have made. We feel it important to outline these concerns with you directly so that they may be properly addressed and so our campaign can continue to have a productive working relationship with the Times.
I feel obliged to put into context just how egregious an error this story was. The New York Times is arguably the most important news outlet in the world and it rushed to put an erroneous story on the front page charging that a major candidate for President of the United States was the target of a criminal referral to federal law enforcement. Literally hundreds of outlets followed your story, creating a firestorm that had a deep impact that cannot be unwound. This problem was compounded by the fact that the Times took an inexplicable, let alone indefensible, delay in correcting the story and removing “criminal” from the headline and text of the story.
To review the facts, as the Times itself has acknowledged through multiple corrections, the paper’s reporting was false in several key respects: first, contrary to what the Times stated, Mrs. Clinton is not the target of a criminal referral made by the State Department’s and Intelligence Community’s Inspectors General, and second, the referral in question was not of a criminal nature at all.
Just as disturbing as the errors themselves is the Times’ apparent abandonment of standard journalistic practices in the course of its reporting on this story.
First, the seriousness of the allegations that the Times rushed to report last Thursday evening demanded far more care and due diligence than the Times exhibited prior to this article’s publication.
The Times’ readers rightfully expect the paper to adhere to the most rigorous journalistic standards. To state the obvious, it is hard to imagine a situation more fitting for those standards to be applied than when a newspaper is preparing to allege that a major party candidate for President of the United States is the target of a criminal referral received by federal law enforcement.
This allegation, however, was reported hastily and without affording the campaign adequate opportunity to respond. It was not even mentioned by your reporter when our campaign was first contacted late Thursday afternoon. Initially, it was stated as reporting only on a memo – provided to Congress by the Inspectors General from the State Department and Intelligence Community – that raised the possibility of classified material traversing Secretary Clinton’s email system. This memo — which was subsequently released publicly — did not reference a criminal referral at all. It was not until late Thursday night – at 8:36 pm – that your paper hurriedly followed up with our staff to explain that it had received a separate tip that the Inspectors General had additionally made a criminal referral to the Justice Department concerning Clinton’s email use. Our staff indicated that we had no knowledge of any such referral – understandably, of course, since none actually existed – and further indicated that, for a variety of reasons, the reporter’s allegation seemed implausible. Our campaign declined any immediate comment, but asked for additional time to attempt to investigate the allegation raised. In response, it was indicated that the campaign “had time,” suggesting the publication of the report was not imminent.
Despite the late hour, our campaign quickly conferred and confirmed that we had no knowledge whatsoever of any criminal referral involving the Secretary. At 10:36 pm, our staff attempted to reach your reporters on the phone to reiterate this fact and ensure the paper would not be going forward with any such report. There was no answer. At 10:54 pm, our staff again attempted calling. Again, no answer. Minutes later, we received a call back. We sought to confirm that no story was imminent and were shocked at the reply: the story had just published on the Times’ website.
This was, to put it mildly, an egregious breach of the process that should occur when a major newspaper like the Times is pursuing a story of this magnitude. Not only did the Times fail to engage in a proper discussion with the campaign ahead of publication; given the exceedingly short window of time between when the Times received the tip and rushed to publish, it hardly seems possible that the Times conducted sufficient deliberations within its own ranks before going ahead with the story.
Second, in its rush to publish what it clearly viewed as a major scoop, the Times relied on questionable sourcing and went ahead without bothering to seek corroborating evidence that could have supported its allegation.
In our conversations with the Times reporters, it was clear that they had not personally reviewed the IG’s referral that they falsely described as both criminal and focused on Hillary Clinton. Instead, they relied on unnamed sources that characterized the referral as such. However, it is not at all clear that those sources had directly seen the referral, either. This should have represented too many “degrees of separation” for any newspaper to consider it reliable sourcing, least of all The New York Times.
Times’ editors have attempted to explain these errors by claiming the fault for the misreporting resided with a Justice Department official whom other news outlets cited as confirming the Times’ report after the fact. This suggestion does not add up. It is our understanding that this Justice Department official was not the original source of the Times’ tip. Moreover, notwithstanding the official’s inaccurate characterization of the referral as criminal in nature, this official does not appear to have told the Times that Mrs. Clinton was the target of that referral, as the paper falsely reported in its original story.
This raises the question of what other sources the Times may have relied on for its initial report. It clearly was not either of the referring officials – that is, the Inspectors General of either the State Department or intelligence agencies – since the Times’ sources apparently lacked firsthand knowledge of the referral documents. It also seems unlikely the source could have been anyone affiliated with those offices, as it defies logic that anyone so closely involved could have so severely garbled the description of the referral.
Of course, the identity of the Times’ sources would be deserving of far less scrutiny if the underlying information had been confirmed as true. However, the Times appears to have performed little, if any, work to corroborate the accuracy of its sources’ characterizations of the IG’s referral. Key details went uninvestigated in the Times’ race to publish these erroneous allegations against Mrs. Clinton. For instance, high in the Times’ initial story, the reporters acknowledged they had no knowledge of whether or not the documents that the Times claimed were mishandled by Mrs. Clinton contained any classified markings. In Mrs. Clinton’s case, none of the emails at issue were marked. This fact was quickly acknowledged by the IC inspector general’s office within hours of the Times’ report, but it was somehow left unaddressed in the initial story.
Even after the Times’ reporting was revealed to be false, the Times incomprehensibly delayed the issuance of a full and true correction.
Our campaign first sought changes from the Times as soon as the initial story was published. Recognizing the implausibility that Mrs. Clinton herself could be the subject of any criminal probe, we immediately challenged the story’s opening line, which said the referral sought an investigation into Mrs. Clinton specifically for the mishandling of classified materials. In response, the Times’ reporters admitted that they themselves had never seen the IG’s referral, and so acknowledged the possibility that the paper was overstating what it directly knew when it portrayed the potential investigation as centering on Mrs. Clinton. It corrected the lead sentence accordingly.
The speed with which the Times conceded that it could not defend its lead citing Mrs. Clinton as the referral’s target raises questions about what inspired its confidence in the first place to frame the story that way. More importantly, the Times’ change was not denoted in the form of a correction. Rather, it was performed quietly, overnight, without any accompanying note to readers. This was troubling in its lack of transparency and risks causing the Times to appear like it is trying to whitewash its misreporting. A correction should have been posted promptly that night.
Regardless, even after this change, a second error remained in the story: the characterization of the referral as criminal at all. By Friday morning, multiple members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (who had been briefed by the Inspectors General) challenged this portrayal—and ultimately, so did the Department of Justice itself. Only then did the Times finally print a correction acknowledging its misstatement of the nature of the referral to the Justice Department.
Of course, the correction, coming as it did on a Friday afternoon, was destined to reach a fraction of those who read the Times’ original, erroneous report. As the Huffington Post observed:
“…it’s unlikely that the same audience will see the updated version unless the paper were to send out a second breaking news email with its latest revisions. The Clinton story also appeared [on] the front page of Friday’s print edition.”
Most maddening of all, even after the correction fixed the description of the referral within the story, a headline remained on the front page of the Times’ website that read, “Criminal Inquiry is Sought in Clinton Email Account.” It was not until even later in the evening that the word “criminal” was finally dropped from the headline and an updated correction was issued to the story. The lateness of this second correction, however, prevented it from appearing in the paper the following morning. We simply do not understand how that was allowed to occur.
Lastly, the Times’ official explanations for the misreporting is profoundly unsettling.
In a statement to the Times’ public editor, you said that the errors in the Times’ story Thursday night were “unavoidable.” This is hard to accept. As noted above, the Justice Department official that incorrectly confirmed the Times’ initial reports for other outlets does not appear to have been the initial source for the Times. Moreover, it is precisely because some individuals may provide erroneous information that it is important for the Times to sift the good information from the bad, and where there is doubt, insist on additional evidence. The Times was under no obligation to go forward on a story containing such explosive allegations coming only from sources who refused to be named. If nothing else, the Times could have allowed the campaign more time to understand the allegation being engaged. Unfortunately, the Times chose to take none of these steps.
In closing, I wish to emphasize our genuine wish to have a constructive relationship with The New York Times. But we also are extremely troubled by the events that went into this erroneous report, and will be looking forward to discussing our concerns related to this incident so we can have confidence that it is not repeated in the future.
Hillary for America
Cc: Margaret Sullivan,
New York Times