KANSAS CITY, Mo. — State health officials in Missouri on Saturday identified the first local case of monkeypox, a viral infection that has now been reported in nearly 20 states, the largest outbreak in U.S. history. But monkeypox has been here before, including the Kansas City metro. The first outbreak in the United States, in 2003, affected six Midwestern states, including Kansas and Missouri, when people became sick after coming in contact with pet prairie dogs that had been infected by animals imported from Africa. The current outbreak is also linked to Africa, where monkeypox is endemic in...
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United States Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) on Sunday offered some unusual advice for her fellow Americans as they gear up to recognize the 246th anniversary of the nation's independence from imperial Great Britain.
On her podcast, the right-wing freshman lawmaker, conspiracy theorist, climate change rejecter, and backer of former President Donald Trump's attempt to steal the 2020 election said that the country is teetering on the brink of collapse and that there is no reason for citizens to express their domestic pride.
"It's just, you can't be this arrogant. You can't be this arrogant. Anyone that is a student of history has to understand that nations rise and nations fall. And we have enough problems here in the United States of America and we're in a very fragile state," Greene said. "We are not too big to fall. But being arrogant is definitely the way to get there. We all know one thing is true. Pride comes before the fall. And America has definitely become prideful."
Continuing her rant on Sunday, Greene said that "we shouldn't fall" because "the American people want good things for our country, good things for our people," and "good things for our children's future."
She added that "we do not want what our government is doing to us."
Watch below via PatriotTakes:
\u201cMarjorie Taylor Greene warns the United States \u201cis in a very fragile state,\u201d \u201cnot too big to fall,\u201d and \u201chas definitely become prideful.\u201d\u201d— PatriotTakes \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@PatriotTakes \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1656882495
Perhaps coincidentally, if not ironically, Greene's remarks landed less than a week after the conclusion of Pride Month, which she demanded an end to in a Twitter post on June 1st.
“Only one day each year, we honor military members who died serving our country for ALL of us to be free. An entire #PrideMonth and millions in spending through corporations & our government on LGBTQ sexual identity needs to end. The movements [sic] goals were achieved, were they not?” she tweeted.
\u201cOnly one day each year, we honor military members who died serving our country for ALL of us to be free.\n\nAn entire #PrideMonth and millions in spending through corporations & our government on LGBTQ sexual identity needs to end.\n\nThe movements goals were achieved, were they not?\u201d— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene\ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1654096047
Around that same time, Greene made the bizarre prediction that “probably in four or five generations, no one will be straight anymore. Everyone will be either gay, or trans or non-conforming, or whatever the list of 50 or 60 different options there are.”
The timing of Greene's comments is also vexing for a couple of seemingly self-defeating reasons.
The first is due to their proximity to the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe versus Wade and Planned Parenthood versus Casey on June 24th, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion and fulfilling the Republican Party's decades-long prophesied victory over women's bodily autonomy.
The decision in Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health versus Jackson Women's Health Organization has ignited celebratory fervor and manifested invaluable political theater among conservatives throughout the alleged Land of the Free.
The second is that Greene supported Trump's insurrection and failed coup to overthrow the federal government to keep himself in power. Ex-White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the House January 6th Select Committee that Greene sought a pardon from Trump, and although Greene has said she did not, she was nonetheless in lock-step with other GOP House members who approached Trump for clemency to absolve their irreverent collusion.
The real kicker, however, is that Greene has obstructed President Joe Biden's efforts to ease at least some of the economic – and indeed existential – pain that Americans are feeling.
Greene voted against three pieces of legislation that would have a) allowed for the import of baby formula, b) forced fossil fuel producers to end price gouging, and c) imposed modest restrictions on handgun purchases to ensure that individuals with harmful intent are denied access to weapons.
Finally, every person is entitled to their own opinions about July 4th and how to observe it or dismiss it. What is shared, though, is a complex collective history that people like Greene want to whitewash. On Monday, let us all find a way to enlighten ourselves; for our health, our friends, our neighbors, our communities, and our imperfect union.
Reacting to a claim made by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) that more White House insiders are coming forward after Cassidy Hutchinson delivered damning testimony about Donald Trump's behind-the-scenes actions on Jan 6th, CNN legal analyst Elie Honig stated there are more like her to come.
Appearing on July 4th with "New Day' hosts Brianna Keilar and Boris Sanchez the day after Kinzinger spoke on "State of the Union," the former prosecutor was asked about what Trump can now expect.
"It's interesting that we're hearing from Adam Kinzinger on the committee that other witnesses are coming forward after that testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson," host Keillar prompted. "She had actually come forward when she felt that she had more to share than she had shared with the committee. It appears other people may be doing that as well."
"I think that's the way things normally play out," the former prosecutor stated. "There's more than one Cassidy Hutchinson who worked in the White House, there has to be, right?"
"There's dozens and dozens of staffers, maybe not all of whom had the kind of access that she had, but there have to be other people who saw what was happening and who maybe seeing Cassidy Hutchinson inspired them because I think it's quite clear that what she did was the right thing to do and took some courage" he added.
CNN 07 04 2022 06 05 34 youtu.be
Campaigners in Northern Ireland are closely watching US moves to restrict abortion, particularly concerns that women will now have to travel across states for terminations.
Abortion was only decriminalized in the British province in 2019 -- 42 years after terminations were made legal up to 24 weeks in most circumstances in the rest of the UK.
But despite legislation, lack of government funding and political wrangling have meant women are still having to travel to the British mainland for abortions.
Currently, there are still no surgical abortion services available in Northern Ireland and no options for abortion after 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Last year, 161 women crossed the Irish Sea to England and Wales for an abortion, according to UK government statistics published last month.
"The fact that 161 people travelled last year is totally unacceptable, even one should be a scandal," Dani Anderson from the Abortion Support Network told AFP.
The recent US Supreme Court decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling which enshrined the right to abortion prompted some states to introduce a ban.
That has raised fears women from low-income, rural and black and minority ethnic backgrounds will be hit hardest if they have to travel.
In Northern Ireland, campaigners say this is already a reality.
Grainne Teggart, deputy program director for Amnesty International in Northern Ireland, said traveling for an abortion had not been "safe or viable" for many during the pandemic.
From a healthcare perspective, "later trimester abortions are more complex, so it is the women who should be traveling the least who are being made to travel", added Naomi Connor, co-convener at the grassroots campaign group Alliance for Choice.
She said they have seen cases where women facing domestic violence or in coercive relationships were reluctant to make long journeys because they were "really anxious about anyone finding out".
As in neighboring Ireland, where an abortion ban was overturned in a 2018 referendum, religious conservatism is strong in Northern Ireland, both among Catholics and Protestants. This also led to a delay in legalizing same-sex marriage.
In rural communities particularly, women have been hesitant to explicitly seek terminations because of stigma.
One refugee in Belfast, who fled her home country after a forced marriage, was told she would have to travel to receive an abortion.
But with limited knowledge of English and other restrictions, she was unable to make the journey, said Connor.
She was eventually helped, but there have been times when case workers have had to say nothing can be done.
"It's heartbreaking," said Connor.
Healthcare is a devolved issue for the Northern Ireland Assembly in Belfast.
But the main pro-UK party is currently refusing to join the power-sharing executive between unionists and nationalists in a row over post-Brexit trade.
Northern Ireland's health minister Robin Swann claims he is unable to commission full abortion services without a functioning executive.
Individual health trusts that have stepped in are struggling due to limited funding.
"Since April 2020, when services were supposed to be commissioned, different individual health trusts have had to withdraw services due to a lack of resources," said Connor.
Last year, one trust had to temporarily suspend its early medical abortion services for a year, redirecting patients elsewhere in Northern Ireland.
Campaigners also complain of a lack of public information about options for women before they are past their first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Still, there is renewed hope that abortion services may finally be commissioned, despite the current political paralysis.
MPs in the UK parliament in London recently voted to implement access to services in Northern Ireland, passing the Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2022.
They allow the UK's Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis to step in, controversially overriding the authority of the devolved administration in Belfast.
Teggart welcomed the regulations as a "very necessary move".
"For the health minister (Swann) it is a damning indictment on his failure to prioritize the health of women and girls," she said.
Lewis wants services to be "delivered and available to all across Northern Ireland as soon as possible".
Swann was "currently awaiting legal advice" on the implications of the new regulations, his department said.
© 2022 AFP