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‘I didn’t come here to shoot, I came here to die’: Oregon militia occupiers fess up to local reporters

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While headliners from the national media are either en route or remaining in their studios to cover the militia takeover of a federal building in Burns, Oregon, local reporters are working the front lines and tweeting updates as the armed “patriots” settle into what they say will be a long occupation.

On social media, many have complained about the big networks either passing on the militia takeover story or soft-pedaling it.  Local reporters, who covered the Hammond trial and saw militia members begin to gather in the small town, have set up their own camp outside of the occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to report on their doings.

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Writing for OPB, Amanda Peacher stated that early estimates of 150 occupiers are wildly inflated, saying, “only a few dozen men are occupying the federal building.”

According to Peacher, federal employees were advised to stay clear of the refuge, in a memo that read: “Our top concern is employee safety. All employees are accounted for, and the Refuge will be closed until further notice. Employees of all land management agencies in the area will operate from alternate worksites, telework, or administrative leave.”

Outside of the refuge, she interviewed one militia member — identifying himself only as “Capt. Moroni” — who told her, “I didn’t come here to shoot, I came here to die.”

A series of tweets from Peacher below:

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According to Jason Wilson, who drove in from Portland to cover the stand-off for the Guardian, “There were no law enforcement agents visible in the area around the refuge. A man with a goatee beard and wraparound sunglasses stood guard, armed with an AR-15-style rifle, and refused entry to the federally owned facility.”

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“He declined to give his name or affiliation, citing ‘operational security,'” Wilson wrote. “He did confirm, however, that the men – several of whom were openly carrying assault weapons – would be camping on the site. ‘This public land belongs to we the people,’ he said. ‘We’ll be here enjoying the snow and the scenery.’”

Wilson was also one of the first to photograph armed militiamen as they began the takeover of the federal facility.

OregonLive reporter Les Zaitz was the first to speak with ringleader Ammon Bundy who told him, “The facility has been the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds. We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely. This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.”

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According to Zaitz, the FBI is in charge at the scene because the refuge is on federal property.

Additionally, the Harney County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police are on the scene as well. Zaitz tweeted this morning that Bundy had scheduled a press conference for 11AM.

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New York firefighter gets emotional talking about EMTs who feel guilty they’re too sick to work

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The New York Fire Department is struggling to make its way through the coronavirus crisis. Currently, 493 members of the NYFD have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 3,000 are out sick.

Anthony Almojera, an EMS Lieutenant-paramedic for the FDNY told CNN Tuesday that he doesn't know how they're managing the constant influx of calls for help from New Yorkers.

"It's truly a testament to the EMS workers that we have here, the EMTs and medics," he told host Jim Sciutto. "It's pretty amazing to see how they're going out in spite of seeing all their co-workers get sick. It's frightening for a lot of us. We don't want to bring it home. We don't want to get sick with it but, you know, this is our job, we treat the sick and injured. We still have all of our regular 9-1-1 calls. It's truly a testament to the EMTs."

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‘Can we get a refund?’ Trump flack Stephanie Grisham faces a landslide of mockery after her abrupt dismissal

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White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham is reportedly being relieved of her duties after having gone a full ten months on the job without holding a single press briefing.

Given that Grisham hauled in a salary of $183,000 despite never actually appearing before reporters to answer questions, some Americans are asking if we can get a "refund" for her purported services.

Others, meanwhile, are simply happy to see her leave despite having rarely, if ever, seen her talk in public.

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Trump’s history as a sketchy vitamin company pitchman might help explain his hydroxychloroquine obsession: report

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In an attempt to understand the myriad of reasons why Donald Trump has gone all-in on pushing hydroxychloroquine as the possible solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, the former spokesperson for the Republican National Committee noted that the president once was the owner of a sketchy vitamin company under the Trump brand.

Writing for the conservative Bulwark, Tim Miller posed the question: "Why is Trump obsessed with hydroxychloroquine?' by noting the president has become one of, if not its biggest, proponents.

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