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Oath Keepers founder sentenced to 18 years in Jan. 6 trial: May 26 rundown

May 26, 2023


The founder of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes, was sentenced to 18 years in prison over his actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, marking the longest term of incarceration handed down so far during the various legal proceedings related to the events of that day. And an investigation into the intense training program for Navy SEALs following the death of a candidate in the program has revealed “widespread failures” in regard to its oversight. These stories and more highlight the rundown for Friday, May 26, 2023.

Oath Keepers founder sentenced to 18 years in prison for role in Jan. 6

Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the Oath Keepers, was handed an 18-year prison sentence on Thursday for his involvement in the Jah. 6 Capitol riots. This marks the longest sentence handed down so far in the numerous cases related to the events of that day.

Rhodes, who was the first among a group of over a dozen individuals to face sentencing for seditious conspiracy, was found guilty last year of orchestrating a week-long plot to disrupt the transfer of presidential power leading up to the Jan. 6 riots. Meanwhile, also on Thursday, another member of the Oath Keepers, Florida chapter leader Kelly Meggs, was sentenced to 12 years for his role in the riots after being convicted on the same charges as Rhodes.

Following the sentencing, attorneys representing Rhodes maintained that he and his fellow Oath Keepers have been unfairly targeted as scapegoats for the violence that unfolded during the Capitol breach. They argue that the blame for the riots should be shared among a wider range of individuals involved.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton faces impeachment proceedings

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is currently on the verge of impeachment after an unanimous vote by a Republican-led House investigative committee on Thursday. The committee has recommended the impeachment of Paxton on 20 counts, which include charges of bribery, unfitness for office, and abuse of public trust.

Paxton has been the subject of a long-running FBI investigation over allegations that he utilized his position to aid a donor. Additionally, he was indicted on securities fraud charges back in 2015; however, he has yet to stand trial for those accusations.

Responding to the impeachment counts in a statement, Paxton suggested that the investigation was a political attack orchestrated by House Speaker Dade Phelan. Paxton dismissed the committee’s findings as “hearsay and gossip,” implying a partisan motivation behind the proceedings.

The Texas state House could potentially vote on the committee’s recommendation as early as Friday. If the House proceeds with the impeachment, Paxton would be compelled to vacate his office immediately.

Indiana doctor reprimanded after providing an abortion to a 10-year-old

Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an Indiana doctor who gained national attention after publicly discussing providing an abortion to a 10-year-old, has been reprimanded by the state’s Medical Licensing Board. In addition to a formal letter of reprimand, the board has also imposed a fine of $3,000 on Bernard for violating federal and state patient privacy laws, though she will be permitted to continue practicing medicine in Indiana.

The board concluded that while Dr. Bernard did keep the identity of the 10-year-old girl protected, she did not anticipate the level of attention her remarks would receive. The timing of her public statements coincided with the national debate surrounding the overturning of Roe v. Wade, making abortion one of the most prominent and divisive issues in the country.

Investigation reveals widespread failures in Navy SEAL training program

The intense training program for Navy SEALs has been under investigation for the past year following the tragic death of a sailor during training week. The investigation’s findings highlight what has been described as “widespread failures” in medical care and poor oversight within the program.

The Naval Education and Training Command compiled a nearly 200-page report that concluded Navy SEAL candidates have been subjected to “significant risk” due to a poorly organized and inadequately supervised training week that places intense pressure on trainees’ bodies. The program is designed to test a person’s physical and psychological strength, including water competency tests, which approximately 50% to 60% of candidates fail to complete during the demanding “Hell Week.”

The investigation also uncovered an increase in the use of performance-enhancing drugs among candidates who are striving to complete the training program. However, the report highlights that these drugs pose an elevated risk of injury and even death. In light of these findings, the report recommends a series of changes in procedure and staffing.

The revelations from the investigation shed light on the challenges and risks faced by Navy SEAL candidates during their training. The report’s conclusions indicate a need for comprehensive reforms within the program to ensure the safety and well-being of trainees, while maintaining the high standards expected of Navy SEALs.

New study finds lower prevalence of long COVID after Omicron infection

A new study conducted in the United States suggests that approximately one out of every 10 individuals experiences long COVID following an Omicron infection. This estimate is lower than what health officials had previously thought earlier in the pandemic. Long COVID refers to a condition where health problems persist for months or even years after a mild case of COVID-19.

According to the study, there are around a dozen symptoms that are most commonly associated with long COVID. These symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, and loss of smell and taste, among others. The identification of these distinguishing symptoms is an essential step in understanding and managing the condition.

Millions worldwide have had long COVID, with dozens of widely varying symptoms. By some estimates, roughly one in three COVID-19 patients have experienced long COVID. This new research included studying more than 8,600 adults who had COVID-19 at different points in the pandemic, comparing them to another 1,100 who had not been infected.

FDA approves Elon Musk’s Neuralink for first in-human clinical study

In a significant development for Elon Musk’s Neuralink, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted approval for the company to conduct its inaugural in-human clinical study using its brain implants. This pioneering technology aims to assist patients with severe degenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in regaining their ability to communicate through mind-controlled cursor movements and typing.

“This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people,” the company wrote in a tweet.

The approval from the FDA allows Neuralink to move forward with its groundbreaking clinical trial, which aims to revolutionize the field of neurology. Patients with Neuralink devices will be able to control external mice and keyboards through a Bluetooth connection, according to the company’s website.

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