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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.

Elias Marat

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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

Animals

Police Rescue Dogs Trapped In Car on Sizzling Hot Day, Owners Complain About Broken Window

Elias Marat

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Police in the UK acted quickly to save a two dogs locked inside a car in sizzling hot temperatures by smashing open a window, upsetting the car’s owner over the damage.

Officers responded Sunday to reports that a beagle and another dog were trapped in a car parked in the seaside British city of Brighton on a day of boiling heat.

In video captured of the incident, an officer can be seen jamming his baton through a rear window before finally shattering it to free the pooches.

This prompts the car alarm to go off as the car’s owners can be seen rushing toward it, upset over the police intervention.

A woman, standing with her shocked family, says: “You broke my window out!”

One of the officer responded: “It’s a hot day. You shouldn’t be leaving the dog in the car in this weather.”

The incident happened on a day when people across the region flock to the seaside resort city to dip into the beaches amid surging hot temperatures.

The onlooker who filmed the incident noted that the owners seemed unaware of the dangers posed to their pets by weather conditions.

“Where they had parked there is just no shade,” they told The Sun. “It’s directly on the seafront in 25°C (77°F) weather outside – I’ve got no idea what it was inside the car.”

The family was indignant over what they claim was an overreaction by the police.

“At first it was ‘what the f*** are you doing, why did you break my car window? I was only gone for 10 minutes,’” another witness explained.

“The bloke obviously thought he was completely in the right,” they added. “He didn’t really seem to have much empathy.”

According to UK animal welfare group RSPCA, outside temperatures of 22°C (71°F) can reach a brutal 47°C (116.6°F) inside a car within an hour.

“Police officers attended and tried to get a contact number for the owners of the car but were unable,” a Sussex Police spokesperson said. “Officers had no choice but to smash the side window to gain access and a kind member of the public donated a bottle of water.”

Authorities added that the officers let the pet owners off with a stern warning, without ticketing the family or separating their dogs from them.

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Scientists Prove What Causes Aurora Borealis for the First Time

Elias Marat

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Since the dawn of time, humans have been mystified by what causes the aurora borealis or northern lights. However, a group of scientists have finally uncovered what causes the dazzling lightshow that has captivated people for so long.

Researchers at the University of Iowa have proven that the shimmering auroras are the result of powerful electromagnetic waves during geomagnetic storms, according to a newly published study.

According to the study, phenomena known as Alfven waves propel electrons toward Earth and cause the particles to produce the brilliant display of northern lights seen in the higher latitudes of our planet,

“Measurements revealed this small population of electrons undergoes ‘resonant acceleration’ by the Alfven wave’s electric field, similar to a surfer catching a wave and being continually accelerated as the surfer moves along with the wave,” Prof. Greg Howes, a co-author of the study, told CNN.

Scientists have long understood that the aurora was the likely result of electrons surfing across the electric field, at least since the theory was introduced in 1946 by Soviet scientist Lev Landau.

However, the University of Iowa professors were able to finally put the theory to the test through a simulation at a lab at the Large Plasma Device (LPD) in the Basic Plasma Science Facility of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Using a 20-meter-long chamber to simulate the magnetic field of the Earth through state-of-the-art magnetic field coils, scientists were able to generate plasma similar to that which exists in spac.

“Using a specially designed antenna, we launched Alfven waves down the machine, much like shaking a garden hose up and down quickly, and watching the wave travel along the hose,” said Howes.

While this didn’t result in the type of auroras we might see in the sky, “our measurements in the laboratory clearly agreed with predictions from computer simulations and mathematical calculations, proving that electrons surfing on Alfven waves can accelerate the electrons (up to speeds of 45 million mph) that cause the aurora,” Howes noted.

Scientists across the country were elated by the results of the experiment.

“I was tremendously excited! It is a very rare thing to see a laboratory experiment that validates a theory or model concerning the space environment,” said Patrick Koehn, a scientist in the Heliophysics Division of NASA.

“Space is simply too big to easily simulate in the lab,” he added.

Researchers are hopeful that a greater understanding will allow forecasters to better understand weather conditions in space.

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Arizona Restores Gas Chamber Where ‘Nazi-Era’ Gas Will be Used for Executions

Elias Marat

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Arizona has restored an old gas chamber retired during the 20th century in a bid to continue executing its inmates on death row, renewing criticisms about capital punishment and a method of execution the United States once rejected for being excessively cruel and unusual.

The gas chamber, which hasn’t been operated since it executed its last inmate 1999, has been refurbished to ensure that it can properly function as an option for death row prisoners to choose, reports Associated Press.

The move comes after the Grand Canyon State made a large purchase of ingredients to manufacture its own hydrogen cyanide gas.

The same chemicals Arizona plans on using were also used by the Nazis during the holocaust under the brand name Zyklon B. News articles about Arizona’s plans have provoked outrage among survivors of Nazi death camps in Germany and Israel.

“Whether or not one supports the death penalty as a general matter, there is general agreement in American society that a gas devised as a pesticide, and used to eliminate Jews, has no place in the administration of criminal justice,” wrote the American Jewish Committee said in a statement. 

The federal government has also used the gas in past executions of prisoners.

Arizona’s revival of the old execution method comes as prison authorities across the country continue to grapple with problems over another form of execution decried by critics as brutal, namely the use of lethal injection.

Once depicted as a more humane and painless form of killing prisoners, lethal injection has often led to slow, torturous and excruciating deaths. Additionally, many of the chemicals used in lethal injection drugs are impossible to attain due to the refusal of drug makers to continue manufacturing them – effectively cutting off the “choices” given to death row inmates about their preferred method of death.

In South Carolina, a recently-passed law would see inmates being forced to choose between firing squad and an electric chair, reports NPR.

In the waning days of the Trump administration, the outgoing president also vigorously pushed to fast-track the use of death by firing squad and death by electrocution.

At the time, former federal prosecutor Miriam Krinsky, who also heads the Fair and Just Prosecution advocacy group, said:

“As we find itself in the midst of a national reckoning with racism and our history of racial violence, ending the death penalty must be part of our transformation … Abolishing the death penalty would be a signal that the Biden-Harris administration is committed to fairness, equity, and evidence-based justice — and the time for this definitive move is long overdue.”

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