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Pediatricians Release Migrant Children’s Drawings of Their Time Spent in US Border Prisons

The disturbing images were drawn by migrant children separated from their parents while in US custody.

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(TMU) — Pediatricians have shared harrowing images drawn by migrant children separated from their parents while in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention camps that show people in prison-like conditions.

The drawings were released by a social worker at the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas to the American Academy of Pediatrics, who released them on Wednesday to U.S. media outlets. The shelter is the first place where many families can take their first shower, receive a clean change of clothes and a hot meal after their arduous trek across the border.

One drawing was by an 11-year-old boy from Guatemala, another was by a 10-year-old from Guatemala, and the third was by a different 10-year-old whose national origin is unknown.

Dr. Sara Goza, the incoming president of the academy who toured the CBP camps last week told NBC News that the images reveal the dire and inhumane conditions in which the children are being confined. She explained:

“Children do not belong in Customs and Border Protection facilities, or in any detention facilities.

No amount of time spent in these facilities is safe for children.

More children will continue to die if we do not make sure that every child who passes through federal custody is seen by a pediatric-trained medical professional.

I personally toured two CBP facilities and did not encounter a single pediatrician at either one.”

Pictures drawn by migrant children at the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas. Photo: AAP

 

The past president of the AAP, Dr. Colleen Kraft, corroborated Goza’s observations to CNN, explaining:

“The fact that the drawings are so realistic and horrific gives us a view into what these children have experienced.

When a child draws this, it’s telling us that child felt like he or she was in jail.”

Noting that pediatricians are eager to assist the children, Kraft added:

“We have pediatricians who would volunteer to go to the border tomorrow and work with these children and advise medical personnel and train them.

That’s still our ask, but it’s gotten nowhere.”

The group had initially held a series of meetings with CBP leadership after urging the agency to place child heath care professionals at the border to train CBP medical personnel. According to Kraft, the meetings came to an end after the federal agency failed to follow through with AAP recommendations.

Goza was appalled during her tour of two border facilities by the fact that she “did not encounter a single pediatrician” at either one. During her visit to the CBP Central Processing Center in McAllen known as Ursula, Goza explained:

“The first thing that hit me when we walked in the door was the smell … the smell of sweat, urine and feces.

 And I heard crinkling to my left and I looked over there and it was a sea of silver … there were young children, boys in there. Unaccompanied boys in there.”

The doctor described a room filled with children between 10 and 12 years old that was silent beside the rustling of mylar blankets, “and they had no expression on their faces, there was no laughing, there was no joking, no talking.”

“They were quiet, and just staring, blankly … There were just blank stares and no expressions on their faces.

I describe them almost like dog cages with people in each of them … And the silence was just hard to watch, hard to see.”

In his characteristically callous fashion, President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that CBP personnel are “not hospital workers, doctors or nurses,” adding in a separate tweet that if the migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees—whom he referred to pejoratively as “illegal aliens”—“are unhappy with the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detentions centers, just tell them not to come … All problems solved!”

Dr. Carlos Gutierrez of the nonprofit Annunciation House in El Paso explained that migrants who are taken into U.S. custody regularly have their medications seized. “It’s just not right. That’s not the way to practice good medicine,” he said.

Gutierrez also noted that contact between “whoever is providing the medical care” in the camps and “us on the outside” is prohibited. He added:

“That is not medical care. That’s malpractice … It’s very upsetting and I hope to God that this changes quickly.”

Kraft explained:

“CBP agents are police. They’re law enforcement. They have an important job to do, but they’re not trained to take care of children.”

Another pediatrician who visited the McAllen CBP warehouse, Dr. Dolly Sevier, evaluated dozens of children who had fallen ill at the Ursula facility, which she also said smelled like body odor and soiled clothing.

Sevier, who believes that the role of the pediatrician should include “being the voice for the kid, the advocate,” saw evidence across the facility of widespread infection, malnutrition, dehydration, sleep deprivation and psychological trauma among the imprisoned children. She said that two-thirds of the children she examined had clear symptoms of respiratory infection.

Sevier spent much of her day at the South Texas facility demanding to see a three-year-old girl, but a guard made excuses as to why he could not produce “the body,” as he referred to the child.

In an informative article about the visit published by Atlantic Magazine, journalist Jeremy Raff explained:

“At 5:53, the guard with the surgical mask brought in the 3-year-old Sevier had requested to see, holding her by the armpits, like a puppy. Thin and subdued, the girl was crying but didn’t turn away. ‘Underweight, fearful child in no acute distress,’ Sevier wrote. ‘Only concern is severe trauma being suffered from being removed from primary caregiver.’

After the exam, the child lingered, and Sevier offered to hold her. She climbed into the doctor’s lap and fell asleep in less than a minute. The squalor, the lighting, the agents, and the event that evening fell away from Sevier’s consciousness. As if in rebellion against her careful training, her mind shut down, she told me. And for what seemed like an eternity, she sat in vacant silence with the child.”

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Corruption

Chris Cuomo “indefinitely” gone from CNN after his deep role in brother’s sex scandal is revealed

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CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was suspended indefinitely by CNN on Tuesday after it was revealed by the New York Attorney General’s Office that the star anchor, the most popular on the news network, was deeply involved in assisting his scandal-embroiled brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid a flurry of sexual harassment allegations that ultimately led to him resigning.

While Chris Cuomo had apologized in the past for advising his brother’s senior aides – effectively shattering the wall typically standing between policymakers and journalists – the thousands of pages released by Attorney General Letitia James show that the anchor played a deeply intimate role in damage control efforts stemming from the accusations.

The network and its top leadership, including president Jeff Zucker, had backed their star anchor to the hilt in recent months despite accumulating info showing Cuomo’s breach of basic journalistic standards. The anchor also had apologized for advising the governor while simultaneously downplaying or omitting the extent of his direct involvement in the scandal.

Late Tuesday, the network released a statement acknowledging that “the documents, which we were not privy to before their public release, raise serious questions.”

“When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly,” the statement explained. “However, these documents point to a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than we previously knew. As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation.”

Text messages show that Chris Cuomo clamored to play an increasingly direct role in the scandal, ranging from offers to draft statements for his brother to demands that he play a commanding role in strategic matters. Cuomo also looked into potential angles for news reports and researched the women who accused his brother of sexual misconduct.

“Please let me help with the prep,” Cuomo wrote at to his brother’s top aides as evidence damning the governor mounted.

The move to indefinitely suspend the argumentative and charismatic anchor came as a shock to some anchors, who were aware that he was dear to CNN management. CNN president Zucker also declined to discipline him as reports poured in about his misconduct, reports New York Times.

Chris Cuomo had long admitted that for him, the matter was about “family first, job second.”

“I can be objective about just about any topic, but not about my family,” he said on May 20. He also played down his fervent role in the scandal, claiming that he had been haplessly “looped into calls” with the governor’s inner circle, which he claims was a “mistake” that spilled over onto his work life and placed his CNN colleagues in a “bad spot.”

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Corruption

Jeffrey Epstein’s pilot testifies: Clinton, Trump, Prince Andrew among “Lolita Express” passengers

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Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime pilot took the stand on Tuesday, the second day of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial, and detailed the names of famous passengers who rode in the private jet of the disgraced financier who has been accused of a range of crimes, including sex trafficking minors.

Testifying at the trial of Maxwell, who was Epstein’s girlfriend and alleged co-conspirator, pilot Larry Visoski explained how he met a number of notable and powerful people. The names included Prince Andrew, Donald Trump (before he was president), former President Bill Clinton, Chris Tucker, Kevin Spacey, George Mitchell, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and astronaut John Glenn.

The pilot explained that he met the celebrities over the course of decades while flying Epstein’s Boeing 727 Gulfstream jet — often referred to in media as the “Lolita Express” — as well as helicopters.

“I certainly remember President Trump, but not many people associated with him,” the pilot said during cross-examination by Maxwell’s defense team, adding that the future head of state flew on the plane before he became president in 2016.

Clinton was mentioned as Visoski testified about a meeting with a female singer in the cockpit of the jet before flying off from an airport in Palm Beach, Florida. Visoski claims that he remembered the singer, identified as Jane Doe in the courtroom, by her “piercing blue eyes” and that she didn’t appear to be young at the time.

“You’ll forgive the question, Mr. Visoski, but I think you’ll remember that at the time you saw her, you also remembered she had large breasts. Isn’t that right?” asked Assistant U.S. Attorney Maureen Comey.

“Uh. She was a mature woman,” Visoski answered in response.

According to prosecutors, Jane was 14 years old when she was essentially “recruited” by Maxwell in 1994, not long before Visoski met her in the cockpit.

“I can’t visualize her sitting in the passenger compartment like I would, say, President Clinton. It was so long ago,” the pilot said.

“Jane Doe” also testified on Tuesday and explained how she was eating ice cream at a youth summer camp when Maxwell and Epstein approached her in a friendly manner.

Before long, however, Maxwell allegedly began training her on how to “massage” Epstein.

Eventually, she explained, she took part in orgies involving both Maxwell and Esptein at the late financier’s massive homes in Palm Beach, New York City, and New Mexico.

Prosecutors have depicted Maxwell as the mastermind of a sadistic sex trafficking gang that preyed on young women and underage girls. The U.S. government has alleged that over the span of at least 10 years, from 1994 to 2004, she “assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse” the girls and young women.

The British media heiress has pleaded not guilty to the six felony counts.

Epstein, 66, died of apparent suicide during his incarceration at a federal prison in Manhattan while facing a likely prison sentence of up to 45 years on charges of pedophilia and sex trafficking.

According to Visoski, from 1991 until 2019, he regularly flew Epstein to his private island in the Caribbean, Little St. James – an island popularly referred to as “Pedophile Island.”

“Every week to every 10 days if we weren’t elsewhere in the world, but, you know, it was a regular destination,” Visoski said.

Visoski also noted that he remembered Maxwell, a one-time girlfriend of Epstein, as an employee of the late sex criminal – albeit one whose specific role was unclear.

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Corruption

Ghislaine Maxwell trial begins as Epstein’s shadow looms large

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On Monday, opening arguments began in the widely anticipated federal trial of accused sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, the notorious British socialite who allegedly helped disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein commit a dizzying array of abusive and exploitative acts toward multiple women and girls, including one as young as 14.

Epstein, 66, died of apparent suicide during his incarceration at a federal prison in New York City while facing a potential prison sentence of up to 45 years on charges of pedophilia and sex trafficking.

The Maxwell trial could be a last-ditch opportunity for the government to secure a conviction for the crimes of Epstein, in effect making this the trial that he prevented from ever occurring.

“The shadow of Epstein is going to loom large here,” former federal judge Moira Penza told the New York Times. “The case is obviously going to be about Maxwell, but he’s going to be right at the center of it as well.”

Early Monday, jury selection drew to a close.

The trial won’t be broadcast on television or online, while attendees will be prevented from broadcasting or photographing the trial, reports NPR.

Maxwell, 59, faces charges of grooming multiple minors to engage in illegal sex acts with Epstein, her ex-boyfriend, and sex-trafficking a minor. The indictment accuses the British media heiress of conspiracy, including recruiting one of her partner’s victims to help recruit other girls to be paid to undergo abuse at the hands of Epstein.

On Monday, prosecutors depicted Maxwell, who circulated in wealthy and powerful circles in the U.K. and U.S., as the mastermind of a sadistic sex trafficking gang that preyed on teenage girls. U.S. Attorneys have alleged that over the span of at least 10 years, from 1994 to 2004, she “assisted, facilitated, and contributed to Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse of minor girls by, among other things, helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse” the girls and young women.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges, while her multiple attempts to be released from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, have all been shot down.

Prosecutor Laura Pomerantz said Monday that Maxwell was a key component in Epstein’s “pyramid scheme of abuse” and criminal sex acts carried out under the color of respectability, reports BBC.

Pomerantz noted that one accuser befriended by the pair was promised bright opportunities in the future.

Prosecutors will call on witnesses including four alleged victims and experts on sexual abuse and those who can inform the jury about the credibility of the couple’s victims, including those who may not have been aware that they suffered abuse at the time.

Experts say that the prosecution will have their work cut out for them and must refrain from making the trial center too much on Epstein’s crimes rather than those of his alleged co-conspirator Maxwell.

Maxwell’s defense will also have to convince the 12-person jury that she was an unwitting player in Epstein’s game, likely by delving into the details of the deceased criminal’s dealings at the top levels of philanthropy, academia, politics, and high finance.

On Monday, the defense protested Maxwell being held liable for Epstein’s crimes and depicted her situation as being one where “memory, manipulation and money” play crucial roles.

However, federal attorneys have pushed back at the idea that she was a victim of Epstein, as opposed to a willing accomplice.

“The government’s yearslong investigation has not developed any evidence that the defendant was victimized in any way by Jeffrey Epstein,” read court papers that were recently filed by the government.

Prosecutors are expected to draw on Maxwell’s so-called “black book,” which meticulously recorded the friends and contacts of Epstein. The FBI gained possession of the book in 2019 when Epstein’s former butler tried to sell it. The government is confident that the book contains “compelling evidence of her guilt,” according to court filings.

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