ID: Hospital Ends All Labor and Delivery Care, Citing Abortion Ban

Source: Common Dreams

“Rural areas in the U.S. have faced a decline in hospitals that provide obstetric services for years, and the fate of one hospital in northern Idaho suggests that abortion bans could worsen the trend. As The Washington Post reported reported Tuesday, Bonner General Health in Sandpoint, Idaho has been forced to announce the impending closure of its labor and delivery department, citing staffing issues as well as the state’s punitive abortion ban (one of the strictest in the nation) and threats from state Republicans to make the law even more stringent. The state’s ban criminalizes abortion cases in almost all cases and threatens doctors who provide care with felony charges, suspension or termination of their medical license, and up to five years in prison.” (03/22/23)

Pols form working group to push for renewal of warrantless spying program

Source: The Hill

“The House Intelligence Committee has launched a working group to address renewing one the country’s most controversial spy tools, a heavy lift made more challenging by growing GOP distrust of the intelligence community. The group, comprised of three members of each party, will weigh Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which allows for the warrantless surveillance of foreigners outside of the United States, even while they are communicating with U.S. citizens on domestic soil. The law is set to expire at the end of the year, and while its reauthorization is widely backed by Intelligence members, it faces hurdles before the broader legislature.” (03/22/23)

US regime issues rare rebuke of Israeli regime

Source: NBC News

“The United States has issued a rare diplomatic rebuke to Israel, in a sign of the Biden administration’s growing frustration over moves by the country’s far-right government to entrench control over the occupied West Bank. Israel’s ambassador to Washington was asked to come to the State Department on Tuesday, where Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman protested changes to Israeli law that would allow new [illegal squats] in the northern West Bank. … it was the first time in more than a decade that Israel’s ambassador had been called to such a meeting by its closest ally, and it led news bulletins across the Jewish state Wednesday. Washington said earlier it was ‘extremely troubled’ at the latest move by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition — which prominently features [squatter] leaders — to inflame tensions with the Palestinians and draw condemnation from the international community.” (03/22/23)

Report: Doctors may miss how addiction patients cheat drug tests

Source: Yahoo! News

“Doctors often use urine tests to make sure patients taking medication for opioid addiction are sticking with treatment. A new study suggests they may be missing some cheaters. Nearly 8% of these patients sometimes spike their urine by adding their treatment medicine, buprenorphine, to the samples. Such spiking may go unnoticed by doctors who use rapid tests instead of more sophisticated lab tests that can reveal who’s cheating. ‘These patients are at particularly high risk for opioid overdose, as they are not receiving the protective effects of buprenorphine,’ said Dr. Jarratt Pytell of University of Colorado School of Medicine, who led the study published Wednesday by JAMA Psychiatry. About 2.4 million U.S. adults are prescribed this gold standard medication for opioid addiction. It works by preventing craving and is often paired with counseling and other support.” (03/22/23)

Five dead as Tanzania detects first-ever Marburg virus outbreak

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar state media]

“Tanzania has confirmed eight cases of Marburg, a high-death viral hemorrhagic fever with symptoms broadly similar to those of Ebola, in its first-ever outbreak, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO said in a late Tuesday statement that the confirmation by Tanzania’s national public laboratory followed the death of five people in the northwest Kagera region who developed symptoms, which include fever, vomiting, bleeding and renal failure. Among the dead was a health worker, WHO said. The three who survived were getting treatment, with 161 contacts being monitored.” (03/22/23)

CA: Shasta County “in a bad place;” Mike Lindell may be to blame

Source: SFGate

“California’s Shasta County — now controlled by a conservative supermajority on the Board of Supervisors — is still gripped by 2020 presidential election conspiracy theories. Nearly two months after the board terminated its contract with Dominion Voting Systems, county leaders have yet to determine a replacement, setting the stage for a possibly contentious meeting next week. By a 3-2 margin, the board voted to end its Dominion contract in January because of debunked claims of mass voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The claims prompted Dominion to file a high-profile defamation lawsuit against Fox News and also prompted multiple incidents in Shasta County. The board is scheduled to address the matter again during its March 28 meeting. County elections chief Cathy Darling Allen told SFGATE that identifying a replacement by then is ‘essential,’ because of special elections for local offices in the county that could be scheduled for as early as August.” (03/22/23)

LA: Effort to recall New Orleans mayor fails

Source: Los Angeles Times

“The effort to recall New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell — the city’s first female leader — has failed, an official count of petition signatures showed Tuesday. Although the petition sheets released by the Louisiana governor’s office contained more than 67,000 signatures, most where declared invalid by the registrar. Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that only 27,243 of the signatures were valid — falling about 18,000 short of what was needed to force a referendum. … Recall efforts against Cantrell, the first woman to serve as New Orleans mayor, began in August, less than a year after she began her second term. She was easily reelected in 2021 but has since faced numerous problems, including violent crime, fitful progress on major street projects and unreliable garbage collection. Questions also have been raised about her travel expenses and her personal use of a city-owned apartment.” (03/22/23)

Locks of Beethoven’s hair reveal secret family history and health issues

Source: CNN

“Before composer Ludwig van Beethoven died on March 27, 1827, it was his wish that his ailments be studied and shared so ‘as far as possible at least the world will be reconciled to me after my death.’ Now, researchers have taken steps to partially honor that request by analyzing Beethoven’s DNA from preserved locks of his hair and sequencing the composer’s genome for the first time. A study detailing the findings published Wednesday in the journal Current Biology. … The five hair samples helped scientists discover insights about family history, chronic health problems and what might have contributed to his death at the age of 56. In addition to hearing loss, the famed classical composer had recurring gastrointestinal complaints throughout his life, as well as severe liver disease.” (03/22/23)

North Korea: Regime fires several cruise missiles off its east coast, Seoul regime alleges

Source: France 24 [French state media]

“North Korea fired multiple cruise missiles Wednesday, Seoul’s military said, the latest launch which comes as South Korea and the United States stage major joint military drills. ‘The South Korean military has detected multiple cruise missiles launched into the East Sea’ by North Korea, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, referring to the body of water also known as the Sea of Japan. ‘Detailed specifications are being analysed by South Korea-US intelligence authorities,’ it added. After a record-breaking year of weapons tests and growing nuclear threats from Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington have ramped up security cooperation, and on March 13 kicked off their largest joint military drills in five years. Known as Freedom Shield, the drills run for at least 10 days.” (03/22/23)

Surveillance state agency NRO signs agreements with commercial providers of hyperspectral imagery

Source: Space News

“The National Reconnaissance Office has signed five-year agreements with six commercial providers of hyperspectral satellite imagery, the agency announced March 22. The selected companies — BlackSky Technology, HyperSat, Orbital Sidekick, Pixxel, Planet and Xplore — are a mix of established remote-sensing industry firms and startups. … Hyperspectral sensors provide data across multiple spectral bands to enable analysts to detect phenomena in colors that typically can’t be seen by the human eye. The technology has government and commercial applications and the NRO has for years expressed interest in using the data.” (03/22/23)