Nearly 400 inmates quarantined after mumps outbreak at L.A. Men’s Central Jail

Nearly 400 inmates have been quarantined after a mumps outbreak at Men’s Central Jail, authorities said.

The outbreak has infected 18 people in the jail since Oct. 22, when at least one inmate unaware he was infected with the virus was housed at the jail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which runs the lockup. The inmate showed flu-like symptoms and had swollen glands around his neck.

Authorities are still investigating the source of the outbreak, which originated on the third floor of the jail in downtown Los Angeles. Inmates on that floor and the second floor are being quarantined. Inmates who are infected with the virus are being housed in the medical ward on 7000 floor.

Since the outbreak, about 350 of the quarantined inmates and 200 jail staff members have been vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella. Three staff members are under medical observation and it’s unclear if any are infected.


Through mid-October, there were 2,618 reported mumps infections nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus can be transmitted through physical contact, sharing drinks and utensils, or touching surfaces that have also been touched by someone infected.

While those quarantined can’t attend court proceedings, they still can have contact with their attorneys, the Sheriff’s Department said.

New York train rider reports suspicious packages, turn out to be machines used to report suspicious packages

A train rider at a New York station on Monday noticed some suspicious packages sitting around, so they reported it to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority through a special intercom system designed to report such incidents.

Kevin McCarthy says impeachment probe won’t stop GOP from winning back House in 2020

Democratic efforts to impeach President Trump will not stop the GOP from winning back the House in 2020 and regaining full control of Congress, said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on “Fox & Friends” Wednesday.

McCarthy said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s, D-Calif., attempts to appease the extremist wing of her party will fail, and Democrats will still lose control of the House to Republicans next year.

“She’s going [to lose her power]. It only takes 19 seats to win the majority,” McCarthy said. “They have 31 Democrats sitting in seats that President Trump carried. And we’re going to carry those again.

“But what’s more important here, watch the Democrats as they now approve of impeachment every time they get a primary opponent,” he continued, arguing Democrats are moving to the left out of concern over primary challengers who will forcefully call for impeachment.


“Watch Max Rose, [a] congressman, who said impeachment was wrong. Now he’s changed the entire system [so] that you’re not innocent until proven guilty.”

McCarthy also singled out House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and said his obsession with impeachment has been a distraction from lowering drug costs, instituting a military pay raise and other matters of state that should have already been handled.

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“Adam Schiff … lied to the American public [about] not knowing about the whistleblower,” he said earlier in the interview. “He put us through a two-year nightmare with millions of dollars spent. And the worst part about all of this … [the] government is not funded.

“Our military is not getting their pay raise. Prescription drug prices are not being lowered,” McCarthy added. “The agreement with Mexico and Canada, our number one and number two traders, are not ratified, while we’re sitting down talking to China — our number three trader. We are making America weaker just because [Democrats] dislike this president.”

Whistleblower’s lawyers: We’ve faced death threats

The legal team representing the whistleblower who ignited the impeachment investigation confirmed they have received death threats that have led to at least one law enforcement investigation, according to a source familiar with the situation.

The FBI deemed the threat not to be credible after meeting with the individual who sent it, the source said.

“There have been a myriad of disturbing emails and voicemails sent to the legal team, with a few select messages crossing the line enough into direct threats of harm that have resulted in follow up from relevant law enforcement entities,” according to the source.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that the threats led to at least one law enforcement probe.

L.A. Unified files lawsuit against vaping company Juul

Los Angeles school officials on Tuesday joined a growing number of public agencies taking legal action against youth vaping, filing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of school districts throughout the state against San Francisco-based industry leader Juul.

The litigation seeks unspecified compensation to the school district for financial harms and punitive damages. It also petitions the court to allow L.A. Unified’s suit to be a vehicle for school systems across the state to receive compensation from Juul. In the complaint and in a downtown news conference, officials and attorneys laid out the alleged damage suffered by schools systems and the students they serve.

“We are taking this step to hold Juul accountable for the role it has played in creating an epidemic that affects the health of our students, disrupts student learning and is taking money away from our core mission — educating students,” L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner said in a statement. The use of Juul electronic-cigarette devices “has led to violence on our campuses. We have had to divert dollars away from classroom instruction and instead spend it on counseling and programs to help inform students of the dangers of vaping.”

Attempts to contact a Juul representative on Tuesday were not successful, but Juul has characterized its response to increasing scrutiny and health concerns as appropriate and responsible. The company has said it will suspend the sale of mango, creme, fruit and cucumber pods in the U.S., while also suspending U.S. advertising.


Flavored pods are especially appealing to young, first-time nicotine users, experts have said. And critics contend that advertising has been aimed at teenagers, using techniques honed by the tobacco industry over decades to hook young people onto cigarettes.

“Big Tobacco is now prohibited from employing these tactics and strategies to market traditional cigarettes,” the lawsuit states. “Nothing prevented Juul from doing so.”

Juul also hired social media “influencers,” to attract youths to its product, the suit stated. “Juul now insists it never marketed to young people. This assertion is patently false.”

In its court filing, L.A. Unified said it tallied 435 vaping incidents last year. The number is trending higher this year and is actually an extreme undercount, according to the suit, which noted that L.A. school police estimate they responded “to over 1,000 vaping incidents.” In fact, most vaping may go completely undetected, officials said.


Vaping has made it difficult for students to use bathrooms as bathrooms, the lawsuit states, and has exacerbated attendance problems for many students, directly hindering their learning. Moreover, resources that are increasingly used to combat vaping are not available for helping improve student achievement.

On Aug. 19, the Los Angeles County of Department of Public Health released survey results indicating that more than 30% of high school students said they used e-cigarette products; 10% said they were regular users.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked vaping to 1,479 cases of a mysterious lung disease over the last six months. At least 33 people have died since the outbreak began.

The illness is marked by chest pain, shortness of breath and vomiting, and it has largely affected young people. The vast majority of cases, almost 80%, involve e-cigarette users younger than 35, and an additional 15% are younger than 18.

And although e-cigarette manufacturers have advertised their products as a better option for adult smokers already hooked on nicotine, experts say vaping plays the opposite role for young people who have never smoked: It establishes a nicotine addiction that will ultimately lead to cigarette smoking and other harms.

In recent weeks, school systems in St. Charles, Mo.; Olathe, Kan.; and on Long Island in New York filed suit against Juul. And cities and states are increasingly imposing restrictions on e-cigarette products.

New segment of Highway 58 at Route 395 relieves bottleneck, opens way for Kern distribution activity

Caltrans says it is mostly finished resolving an east-west traffic bottleneck that has long frustrated Kern’s ambitions of becoming a major distribution center, not to mention the headaches it caused county residents trying to get to or from Las Vegas.

On Thursday, the agency opened a nine-mile stretch that allows motorists crossing the Mojave Desert to bypass a stoplight at the critical intersection of Highway 58 and U.S. Route 395.

It said $200 million of mostly federally funded work that began along that portion of Highway 58 in January of 2018 is now two-thirds complete and will be finished in June of 2020, weather permitting.

An average of 14,100 tractor-trailers per day crossed the west side of that intersection in 2016, according to Caltrans records. Some say the resulting delays along Highway 58, which has only two lanes in that area, were known to last as long as half an hour.

The “long overdue” relief of congestion at Kramer Junction will improve safety, speed freight and reduce air pollution caused by idling engines, said Ahron Hakimi, executive director of the Kern Council of Governments, which coordinates regional transportation planning.

“The opening of Kramer Junction bypass is great not just for Kern County motorists but motorists across the nation and the state who use Route 58 to access Interstate 40 and (Interstate) 15, and from there they can access the rest of the United States,” Hakimi said.

The project, located just east of the Kern County line in San Bernardino County, takes on added significance in the context of ongoing work on the Centennial Corridor, which is planned to connect Highway 58 with the Westside Parkway.

Retired Congressman Bill Thomas, probably the county’s most successful advocate of local roadwork improvements, said the opening of an alternative segment along Highway 58 leaves just one other project in need of renewed government funding: a recently deferred grade separation at the intersection of Highways 41 and 46 in the Wasco area.

He called the Kramer Junction bypass exciting and long overdue, a sign Bakersfield is becoming a major distribution center.

“We already are,” he said, “but it’s going to be dramatic evidence that the federal government and the state government has recognized that we are an important interstate corridor.”

Paris police arrest man who allegedly shouted ‘Allahu akbar!’ during ‘Joker’ film screening

Police in Paris have detained a man who stood up and started shouting “Allahu akbar!” during a screening of the film “Joker,” sending moviegoers into a panic, witnesses say.

The 34-year-old individual, who has not yet been identified, is now being observed in the psychiatric ward of police headquarters following the incident Sunday night at the massive Grand Rex theater, according to Le Parisien.

A witness told the newspaper that during the middle of the film, the man first started shouting: “It’s political!”

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Joaquin Phoenix in a scene from "Joker."

This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Joaquin Phoenix in a scene from “Joker.” (AP/Warner Bros. Pictures)

“He repeated at least six times the sentence,” the witness said. “At first, people laughed, then some worried and others asked him to shut up.”


The witness said the man then stood up, put his hands on his chest and started yelling “Allahu akbar!” – which is “God is great” in Arabic.

“People panicked, ran to the exits,” he added. “Some were crying. A mother was looking for her daughter.”

Another witness told Le Parisien that the chaos had moviegoers climbing over their seats and there were “women on the floor and others who were stepping over them.”


The suspect fled the theater but later was tracked down by police after leaving his phone and jacket at the scene.

The theater operator told Le Parisien that some people stayed to continue watching the film.

Trump asks why people he’s never heard of are being deposed

Brendan Smialowski / AFP Brendan Smialowski / AFP

The House will vote on Thursday to formalize the procedures of its impeachment probe into Trump.

So what happens after that? House Democrats are discussing a time frame that would include public impeachment hearings before Thanksgiving and votes on whether to impeach Trump by Christmas, according to multiple Democratic sources.

However, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi did not put a time frame on it at a closed-door leadership meeting yesterday to discuss the resolution and she has been hesitant to do so, as the timing is subject to change depending on how witnesses cooperate or if additional leads come up, according to multiple Democrats.

Remember, the impeachment process can take months. Take the three presidents who have faced impeachment as examples:

  • For Andrew Johnson, the entire process lasted 94 days. From first congressional action to Senate acquittal, it lasted from February 22, 1868 to May 26, 1868.
  • For Richard Nixon, it lasted 184 days. The House approved the impeachment inquiry on February 6, 1974 and Nixon resigned.
  • For Bill Clinton, it lasted 127 days. The House approved the impeachment inquiry on October 8, 1998, and the Senate acquitted him on February 12, 1999.