AG Barr Appoints Federal Prosecutor to Review Obama Admin ‘Unmasking’ of Trump Associates

Attorney General William Barr appointed a federal prosecutor to review so-called “unmasking” requests that Obama administration officials submitted against Trump associates, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department said Wednesday.

Kerri Kupec, the Justice Department spokeswoman, said on Fox News that Barr appointed John Bash, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, to conduct the review.

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Wisconsin to Mail Absentee Ballot Applications to 2.7 Million Voters

The Hill reports, the Wisconsin Elections Commission agreed to mail out 2.7 million absentee ballot applications to most voters in the state this fall ahead of November’s presidential election.

The vote came just a week after the six-person panel split 3-3 along partisan lines on whether to mail the forms to nearly all registered voters, even if they hadn’t requested one. The bipartisan commission on Wednesday unanimously passed the plan.

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Carol Swain Helps NoTax4Nash.com and 4GoodGovernment.com in Nashville to Stop the 32 Percent Property Tax Increase

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Dr. Carol Swain to the studio.

At the top of the second hour, Swain described two local grassroots groups she is working with that hope to offer budgetary alternatives in order to avoid Mayor John Cooper’s proposed 32% property tax increase. She urged people to get involved and make their voices heard by going to NoTax4Nash.com and 4GoodGovernment.com and by contacting their local city council members.

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Reports: Largest Concentrations of ‘at-Risk’ Coronavirus Patients Are in States with Best Health Infrastructures

Many individuals considered to be the most at-risk for coronavirus live in states that had the best health infrastructures in place before state restrictions began in March, according to two recent analyses.

Residents of West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia were found to be the most vulnerable, according to personal-finance website WalletHub’s analysis of States with the Most Vulnerable Populations to Coronavirus.

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Emily Hackett Releases Heartfelt ‘Handle’

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – I first interviewed Emily Hackett in October 2018 when she was featured in my Music Spotlight column. There has been a lot of shifts in the music world since then and we were able to talk about how that is affecting her/the industry.

As mentioned in my column, in 2018 Hackett released her EP By the Sun, and in 2019 she released its counterpart By the Moon which landed her as one of CMT Next Women of Country for 2019.

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Genealogy Detective: Michael Patrick Leahy Digs Deep into the Ancestry of Dr. Carol M. Swain

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed former Vanderbilt professor Dr. Carol Swain to the studio.

During this segment, Leahy puts on his genealogy hat and looks into Swain’s family tree. 

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Bill Prohibiting the Governor from Using Law Enforcement to Enforce Unconstitutional Executive Orders Advances in Tennessee House

  A bill that would prohibit a governor of Tennessee from using law enforcement to enforce executive orders that violate constitutional rights advanced in the House State Committee Wednesday. While the bill will serve to address elements of fascism that could be used in conjunction with executive orders such as…

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Justice Department Says George Floyd Investigation ‘Top Priority,’ Trump Briefed

The U.S. Department of Justice promised a “robust criminal investigation” into the death of George Floyd in a statement released Thursday.

A joint statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office said the investigation into the fatal Monday night incident is “a top priority.”

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Minnesota Sees Another 28,615 People File for Unemployment

Minnesota’s unemployment numbers continue to tick slightly upward, according to U.S. Department of Labor numbers released Thursday morning.

The state added another 28,615 to its unemployment ranks in the week ending May 23, down only 278 claims from the previous week’s 28,893 claims. The total number of claims reported last week is 443,254, up 5,564 from the prior week’s reported 427,690 unemployment claims.

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Jason Lewis Calls for Curfew Amid Minneapolis Riots, Slams City Leaders for ‘Incompetence’

U.S. Senate candidate Jason Lewis called on Minneapolis leaders to institute a curfew in response to the ongoing riots that have left portions of the city in ruins.

“For many decades now, with only a rare exception or two, Minneapolis and St. Paul have been governed by liberal Democrats. The promise of a new day or the ‘good life’ has animated their political ascendancy but the reality is things have deteriorated to the breaking point we are now witnessing,” Lewis said in a statement.

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Hennepin County Commissioners Call for ‘Immediate Arrest’ of All Officers in George Floyd Case

Two members of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners asked the county attorney Thursday to “immediately arrest and press charges against the officers involved in the murder of George Floyd.”

All four officers involved in the tragic Monday night incident have been fired from the Minneapolis Police Department, including Derek Chauvin, the officer who was recorded pressing his knee into the neck of a handcuffed Floyd.

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Target Announces Temporary Closure of 24 Stores in Response to Minneapolis Riots

Target Corporation announced Thursday that it will temporarily close 24 stores throughout the Metro area in the wake of mass looting and rioting in Minneapolis.

Wednesday night’s riots in response to the death of George Floyd left one Target store in south Minneapolis completely demolished.

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Whitmer Requests Extension to Continue Using National Guard for Coronavirus Response

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has submitted a letter to President Trump requesting the authority to continue using the Michigan National Guard to help in coronavirus response and recovery through the end of July.

Whitmer originally asked the National Guard to assist with the state’s coronavirus response on March 18. Trump approved her request on March 30.

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Gov. Walz Activates National Guard in Response to Minneapolis Riots, Declares Emergency

Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday afternoon that he has signed an executive order activating the Minnesota National Guard to help respond to the riots in Minneapolis.

Wednesday night’s riots were marked by widespread looting, vandalism, and arson, leaving portions of south Minneapolis in ruins. In one case, a construction site being developed for low-income housing was set ablaze early Thursday morning and collapsed into the street below it as rioters cheered.

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Michigan Adds Another 57,714 Unemployed Last Week

Michigan’s unemployment still hovers near 1.5 million claims, according to U.S. Department of Labor numbers released Thursday morning.

Michigan’s unemployment level is slightly under 23 percent, more than a 400 percent increase since the beginning of measures implemented by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in late March.

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Nashville Health Department to Continue Sharing COVID-19 Patient Data with Law Enforcement

The Metro Public Health Department in Nashville will still provide COVID-19 patient information to first responders and law enforcement.

Metro Public Health Director Michael Caldwell said the practice is “temporary,” but that it’s working, WPLN reported Thursday.

“This is an emergency,” he says. “This is critical, timely, life-saving information that has reduced and contained the spread of this disease within our medical institutions and within our jails. I’m puzzled by why the state reversed course.”

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U.S. Unemployment Claims Top 40 Million Since March

More than 40 million Americans have filed unemployment claims since mid-March, when state governments across the U.S. began restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19, including closing businesses deemed nonessential.

Last week, an additional 2.12 million workers filed claims, according to U.S. Department of Labor data released Thursday, the 10 consecutive week in which new jobless claims were in the millions. The 2.12 million claims from the week ending July 23 is down 323,000 from the 2.44 million workers who filed for benefits in the week ending May 16 and is the lowest number of new claims since the week ending March 15.

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Commentary: Let America Work Again

It was Monday morning on March 10, 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 lurched away from the gate, rolled to a sprint, and peeled its wheels off the runway for the last time. Aboard, 157 souls including eight Americans and one veteran on vacation doing missionary work, were flying.

Six minutes after takeoff, Flight 302 plunged back to earth, trailing white smoke across the sky until reaching its terminus near Bishoftu, Ethiopia. All aboard perished when the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft screamed into the ground at nearly 700 miles per hour, leaving a massive crater with wreckage driven up to 30 feet deep into the soil.

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Blackburn Leads Bill to Fight ‘Digital Authoritarianism’ in China, Russia

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced a bill Friday that she says would help prevent authoritarian governments in Russia and China from restricting “Internet freedom.”

“Leading censors like China and Russia are not only employing more sophisticated means to control the lives of their citizens online; they are also exporting their censorship and surveillance tactics to illiberal regimes abroad,” Blackburn said in a press release.

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Commentary: Liberal Group ‘Veterans Education Success’ Seeks to Re-Instate Obama-Era Education Policy Targeting Private Colleges

A new TV ad campaign seeks to overturn a key reform of the Trump administration. In the name of veterans, the campaign attempts to lure President Trump into breaking his word, endangering educational institutions in a difficult time.

In an ad by “Veterans Education Success,” we see servicemembers in uniform, overseas, and hugging their children, and shaking hands with President Trump. The images remind me of the strong support the President has had among active and retired military, who voted for him by 60-34 percent in 2016.

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Abbreviated Tennessee General Assembly This Year Delays Consideration of Crime Victim Law

Tennessee General Assembly members will apparently wait another year before they consider Marsy’s Law for Tennessee, which, according to advocates, would strengthen the rights of crime victims in Tennessee’s State Constitution.

Advocates for the law said this week that members of the legislature have postponed considering the law. This, because COVID-19 forced legislators to shorten this year’s session. Marsy’s Law advocates said this in an emailed press release.

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Senators Graham, Cornyn, Murkowski and Lankford Among Republicans Set to Block Trump’s Guest Worker Immigration Pause

Several Republican senators asked President Donald Trump to preserve key guest worker programs for foreign nationals, revealing a split in the conservative base on how to best protect U.S. workers and the economy.

Nine GOP senators signed onto a letter delivered to the president on Wednesday, asking that he keep in place non-immigrant temporary visa programs as a means to aid the recovery of the U.S. economy. Their request came in sharp contrast to immigration hardliners who have recently pressed Trump to scrap the programs amid record job losses.

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California DA Launches Investigation into Whether Tara Reade Lied While Testifying as Expert Witness

A California district attorney’s office is investigating whether 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden’s accuser Tara Reade lied while acting as an expert witness.

Reade testified for a number of years in domestic violence cases as an expert witness for the Monterey County District Attorney’s office, Politico reported. Media coverage of Reade’s academic credentials has thrown her years testifying as an expert under the spotlight, prompting concerns that Reade lied about her credentials in order to qualify as an expert.

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Twitter Dings Trump’s Tweets But Refuses to Fact Check Chinese Officials’ Virus Misinformation

Twitter has declined to take action against Chinese officials who spread coronavirus misinformation even after the company fact-checked President Donald Trump for suggesting California’s mail-in ballots are fraudulent.

A tweet from Chinese politician Lijian Zhao in March suggesting that the U.S. inserted coronavirus into China has not been removed or fact-checked. Twitter has previously said that Zhao’s tweets do not violate the company’s rules, but Twitter updated its policies on May 11, effectively making tweets from world leaders subject to misinformation labels.

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‘I Dial And Dial And Dial’: California’s Million-Dollar Aid Program for Illegal Aliens Clogged by Thousands of Calls

California’s multi-million dollar aid program for illegal aliens has been bogged down by technical issues, with many applicants inundating phone lines every day to no avail, according to NPR.

The implementation of California’s Disaster Relief Fund, a $125 million initiative backed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom that provides one-time cash payments to undocumented immigrants, remains rocky as there are simply too many callers for workers to handle. Reports of jammed phone lines and unanswered calls have plagued the program’s rollout.

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Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe Talks Svetlana Lokhova and Michael Flynn Russia Hoax

On Wednesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star’s National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line.

During the third hour, McCabe explained his exclusive story about UK scholar Svetlana Lokhova who has been falsely linked to Michael Flynn as his spy recruiter. He proceeded to lay out the timeline of the Russian hoax narrative and suggested that Stefan Halperformer, who is a University of Cambridge professor and member of the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar (CIS), should be looked at further.

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Commentary: Are States That Refuse to Reopen Losing the Consent of the Governed?

What happens to a government when the consent of the governed breaks down?  History has many instances of this some ending with peaceful transformation, others with successful revolution as in our own history and still others with military crackdowns as we currently see in Hong Kong.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in our nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, which was written as a series of reasons why the American colonists no longer accepted the rule of King George III.  The opening two paragraphs of this seminal document used to be memorized by school children as part of their school exercises, a practice which was largely abandoned in the 1960s. So as a refresher, here is what Jefferson penned:

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Tennessee Star Senior Reporter Laura Baigert Discusses Two Grassroots Nashville Campaigns Opposing Mayor Cooper’s Property Tax Increase

On Wednesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed the Tennessee Star Senior Reporter Laura Baigert to the newsmakers line.

During the second hour, Baigert discussed the two grassroots groups opposing Mayor John Cooper’s 32% property tax increase and how that will affect Davidson County homeowners and renters.

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The Doctrine of Media Untruth: Carmichael Examines Victor Davis Hanson’s Recent Proclamation of Media in Our Society Today

Broadcasting live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy was joined in the studio by all-star panelist Crom Carmichael.

During the third hour, Carmichael weighed in on Victor Davis Hanson’s recent description of the media and it’s coordination with the left-wing Democrats as it rises to levels of new mediocrity. As an example, he went on to correlate the Russia hoax investigation and its connection to the mainstream media and how the truth can be found in the opposite of the narrative.

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Oil and Gas Industry Reports Record-Breaking Job Losses in April

The oil and gas industry lost 26,300 jobs in April, the largest drop of industry jobs in a single month, according to job data dating to 1990.

Texas saw a record surge of more than 2 million claims for unemployment in roughly a six-week period after Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order in March shut down businesses he deemed nonessential to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and to tanking oil prices resulting from an oil war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The economic fallout also sent commodity prices to historic lows.

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Shocking Footage Shows Minneapolis Protesters Wreaking Havoc on Police Precinct, Destroying Squad Cars, Looting Target

Officers with the Minneapolis Police Department were reportedly attacked with rocks and paintballs Tuesday night as protesters rioted in response to the death of George Floyd.

Video from the tragic Monday night incident shows a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee into the neck of a handcuffed Floyd, who repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. Floyd was pronounced dead shortly after he was taken into custody.

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Whitmer Asks EGLE to Investigate Failure of Midland Dams

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy on Wednesday asking the department to investigate what caused the failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams.

The two dams failed last week after heavy rainfall in mid-Michigan. The resulting flood displaced around 10,000 people across several counties and was so heavy it was classified as a 500-year flood, meaning it is likely to happen only once every 500 years, according to MLive. Whitmer issued an emergency declaration and sent in the National Guard.

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Gov. DeWine Calls in Ohio National Guard to Help Test All Residents and Staff in Nursing Homes

Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled Tuesday the formation of the Congregate Care Unified Response Teams that will help test residents and staff in Ohio’s nursing homes, according to the governor’s press release.

Nursing homes across America, including Ohio, have been hotspots for the coronavirus.

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Minneapolis Mayor Calls for Charges Against Officer in George Floyd Case

Mayor Jacob Frey called on the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office to pursue charges against a Minneapolis police officer involved in a viral incident that led to the death of George Floyd.

The global community erupted in outrage after video showed a Minneapolis officer, who has been identified in some reports as Derek Chauvin, pressing his knee into the neck of a handcuffed Floyd, who repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe.

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New Email Shows Gretchen Whitmer’s Office Gave the ‘Green Light’ to Award Coronavirus Contract to Democratic Firms

Gretchen Whitmer

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer distanced herself from a much-criticized decision to award a no-bid contract to two Democratic firms to handle the state’s coronavirus contact tracing.

But a senior adviser in the Michigan Department of the Health and Human Services said that the executive office of the governor [EOG] gave the contract a “green light,” a newly public email shows.

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Tennessee Lt. Governor Suggests Annual Sales Tax Holiday May Be Off the Table This Year

Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) suggested that the annual sales tax holiday is one of the things that would not be done this summer to help compensate for the state’s revenue shortfalls.

The revelation by the lieutenant governor was included in a WBIR 10News report in conjunction with adjustments the Tennessee General Assembly expects to make to the fiscal year 2021 budget.

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State House of Representatives Returns to Work, But Not to Normal

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – While the Tennessee House of Representatives returned to committee and subcommittee meetings this week, the situation was anything but normal.

The Tennessee General Assembly adjourned on March 19, after passing a limited number of bills and a reduced fiscal 2021 budget, in the interest of slowing the spread of COVID-19. At the time, the General Assembly was to stand in adjournment until June 1.

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Commentary: Can the Economy Withstand a Second Round of COVID-19?

Some 100 million people in China are now back in lockdown as fears of a second wave surge. Now that the US and the rest of the world is opening up, the probability of infection will most likely go up, as will the number of infections. What does that mean for the economy?

First, uncertainty and fear of another lockdown will negatively influence business decisions and overall economic recovery. Even if your business survived the first wave, would you be willing to go all in, invest, rehire people, renew leases, etc., if you think you will be shut down in the autumn?

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Authorities Investigating Fatal Memorial Day Shooting, Eighth Officer-Involved Shooting This Month

Tennessee authorities announced Tuesday that they are investigating a Memorial Day shooting that resulted in the death of a Washington County man.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report around 11:40 p.m. of a male subject threatening to harm himself and a relative at home. Deputies arrived at the scene and encountered Gary Dorton on the front porch, armed with a large knife.

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Inside the New Poll Showing Unpopularity of Mayor Cooper’s Proposed Property Tax Increase

Live from Nashville, Tennessee Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.– Leahy was joined on the newsmakers line by Nashville Smart’s Lonnie Spivak.

At the top of the second hour, Spivak reviewed recent Triton Polling data which showed that almost a third of Davidson County registered voters disapproved of Mayor John Cooper’s 32% property tax increase. He was certain that with such unfavorable polling results that Mayor John Cooper should definitely rethink his direction.

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Breitbart’s Joel Pollak on His New Book ‘Red November: Will the Country Vote Red for Trump or Red for Socialism’

On Tuesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Joel Pollak who is a South African-American Conservative political commentator, writer, and attorney. Pollack also currently serves as the Senior-Editor-at-Large for Breitbart News.

During the third hour, Pollack discussed his new book, “Red November: Will the Country Vote Red for Trump or Red for Socialism” in which he describes the Democratic primary process and the resurrection of Joe Biden.

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Commentary: Life Is Risky

Perhaps the most unserious response to the coronavirus pandemic has been the facile assertion that lockdowns, the destruction of the economy, and the suppression of our historic freedoms are all justified if they “save just one life.” As Joe Biden put it on Twitter, “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: No one is expendable. No life is worth losing to add one more point to the Dow.”

While every person is unique and has an immortal soul, we do not do anything and everything to save lives from all hazards, nor should we. Adults know that there are no easy solutions to most problems, and real life consists of tradeoffs.  

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YouTube Automatically Deletes Any Comments That Contain Certain Phrases Insulting to Chinese Communist Party

YouTube’s enforcement algorithm is automatically removing any comments that contain one of two Chinese-language phrases that are critical of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

Any comment posted to YouTube, which is owned by Google, that contains the phrase “共匪,” which stands for “communist bandit,” or “五毛,” which translates to “wumao” and stands for “50-cent party,” is deleted within seconds without notification to the user, The Verge reported Tuesday.

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Michael Patrick Leahy and State Senator Kerry Roberts Discuss What Tennessee General Assembly’s Agenda Will Be When It Reopens

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – Leahy was joined in the studio by Tennessee state Senator Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield).

During the second hour, Roberts disclosed that he was still unsure of what the Tennessee General Assembly’s agenda might be once it reopens next week. He added that the predicted models of the coronavirus have not materialized and that the pandemic has truly become a political tool and was in favor of staying and working but not unless the public was allowed.

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ICE Agents Arrest Convicted Killer of NYPD Officer

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took custody of a Panamanian national earlier in May, over 40 years after he was convicted of killing a New York City police officer.

ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) division assumed custody of Carlos Celestino Payne-Archer, a 64-year-old man and Panamanian national, on Thursday, the agency announced in a press release. The apprehension came after Payne-Archer was convicted of first-degree murder of an NYPD detective in March 1978.

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Citizens Fight Back Against Mayor John Cooper’s Proposed 32 Percent Property Tax Increase

At least two citizen-led efforts are underway to fight back against Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s proposed 32 percent property tax increase.

Cooper unveiled his $2.447 billion budget for the fiscal year 2021 – an increase of $332 million over the current year late last month, The Tennessee Star reported.

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Florida, Georgia Would Happily Play Host to Republican National Convention If It Leaves North Carolina

After President Donald Trump took to Twitter to threaten pulling the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte, N.C, other southeast states with Trump allies as governor have offered to host the convention.

The GOP convention is scheduled for late August in Charlotte. North Carolina entered phase two of its reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic last week under Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who has been cautious in lifting restrictions.

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