Jobless Claims Fall Slightly to About 1 Million, Still at Historic Levels

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 1,006,000 last week as the economy continues to suffer the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Department of Labor figure released Thursday represented a slight decrease of 98,000 new jobless claims compared to the week ending on Aug. 15. The number was about where Wall Street analysts expected it to be, according to CNBC.

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Commentary: America, Land of Heroes

Last night, Tennesseans saw the Republican National Convention highlight America as the Land of Heroes. I’m proud, as a Republican, that we are not only proud of our heroes, but we also celebrate them. And I’m grateful to President Trump and Vice President Pence for working to ensure that America will continue to be a Land of Heroes for generation to come.

It’s been said: Not all heroes wear capes. In fact, they’re all around us. And Tennessee’s 7th district has too many to count. As I’ve traveled the district the last few weeks, I’ve had a chance to meet and thank many of these heroes.

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UN Watchdog: Iran to Allow Access to Two Suspected Nuke Sites

Iran has agreed to allow inspectors in to two sites where the country is suspected of having stored or used undeclared nuclear material, the U.N. atomic watchdog agency said Wednesday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran was “voluntarily providing the IAEA with access to the two locations specified by the IAEA and facilitating the IAEA verification activities to resolve the issues.”

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ISIS Has 10,000 Members and Has Bolstered Propaganda Efforts, Attacks During the Pandemic, UN Warns

Members of the Islamic State have reportedly attempted to use the coronavirus pandemic to their advantage, increasing propaganda and attacks, a United Nations counter-terrorism official announced Monday.

Since ISIS reportedly began to rally in Syria and Iraq this year, there has been an increase in threats made to conflict zones and a decrease in threats to peaceful zones experiencing coronavirus related lock-downs and restrictions, Head of the U.N. Office of Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov said.

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Commentary: Joe Biden Will Sell Out the American Worker Again

In 2016, President Donald Trump won on an America first message on trade, uniting blue-collar union and conservative households to get over the top in the Electoral College in the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Trump successfully made the case that America had gotten ripped off in prior trade dealings, particularly in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and in trade dealings with China, and that he alone could negotiate a better deal.

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Woman Who Punched Philadelphia Churchgoer Will Not Be Charged, Police Say

The Philadelphia Police Department deferred charges against a woman who it says punched an unsuspecting churchgoer during Catholic Mass on Sunday.

Police chose not to charge the suspect, who they identified Monday, because of her mental health issues, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The decision was made with Catholic Church officials and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

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Commentary: How to Recognize a Bad Teacher

The sign of a good music teacher, I was told as a teenager, is a willingness to allow parents to sit in on lessons. A teacher willing to have parents observe their lessons demonstrates that she has nothing to hide, is open to critique or comments, and is one who partners with parents in helping students succeed. Having witnessed this policy firsthand with my own piano instructor, a woman whose students won competitions and entered world famous music schools, I followed suit when I began teaching myself.

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Kanye West Sues Ohio Election Head to Get on November Ballot

Rapper Kanye West sued Ohio’s election chief Wednesday in an effort to be placed on the November presidential ballot after the Secretary of State deemed him unqualified as an independent candidate.

West’s emergency filing against Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose comes days after the election’s chief rejected the nearly 15,000 signatures and other paperwork the rapper submitted earlier this month in an attempt to run for president, citing mismatched information on the signature-gathering documents.

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Gov. Evers Doubles National Guard Presence in Kenosha to 500 as Shooting Suspect Faces Murder Charge

There will be more Wisconsin National Guard troops in Kenosha, but not nearly as many as local leaders have requested. 

Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday doubled the number of troops he’s sending to Kenosha to 500 to help police officers trying to quell riots and looting in the wake of the Sunday shooting of a Black man by police officers. 

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TN Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe on Roger Stone and the Republican National Convention

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe to discuss Roger Stone and takeaways from the Republican National Convention.

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POLL: Nearly Half of Americans Say They’ve Saved More Money or Paid Down Debt During Outbreak, Recession

About half of all Americans say they are saving money and paying down debt amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to an Associated Press poll published Tuesday.

Roughly 45% of Americans surveyed said they saved more money than usual amid the pandemic, according to the poll. Nearly 30% of respondents in the poll said they are paying down debt faster than they were before the coronavirus pandemic, the poll showed.

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The Ohio Star’s Jack Windsor Points to Partners in Health’s Contact Tracing Contract and Ties to Social Justice

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed The Ohio Star Managing Editor Jack Windsor to the program to talk about his recent story regarding Partners in Health’s contact tracing contract with Ohio.

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Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Takes a Big Step Toward Appearing on December Ballot

Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee (AFP-TN) this week announced that members of the group and other concerned citizens would turn in roughly 20,000 signatures to the Metro Clerk’s office in support of the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act.

This, according to a press release that AFP-TN members published on their website. Members of the group helped gather the requisite number of signatures for the initiative for the December 5 ballot.

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Judge Orders Tennessee to Mention Virus on Mail Voting Form

A judge has ordered Tennessee election officials to clearly communicate on absentee ballot applications that people can vote by mail if they believe they or someone in their care face a higher risk of COVID-19.

State officials promised the Tennessee Supreme Court this month that they would inform voters about that eligibility, asserting for the first time that underlying health conditions could qualify someone to vote absentee under their plan. Days later, the justices overturned a vote-by-mail option for all eligible voters that Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle ordered in June.

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Sheldon Silver Begins Prison Sentence in Corruption Case

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, once one of the most powerful politicians in the state, started his prison sentence Wednesday after years of fending off going behind bars.

Silver, 76, reported to a federal prison in Otisville, New York, according to a statement from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He was sentenced earlier this year to 6 1/2 years behind bars in a corruption case.

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The Tennessee Star Report: Crom Carmichael Outlines Election Status as Described by the Constitution

Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to discuss election status as described in the Constitution and its relevance to mail-out and absentee voting.

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Trump Delegation Chairman Fredericks Says Poll Predicting Gloom for Trump in Virginia Is Fake Narrative

A poll from Roanoke College would have you believe President Donald Trump and U.S. Senate candidate Daniel Gade are in trouble in Virginia’s November election.

The chairman of the Virginia Trump delegation refutes the findings.

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Buckeye Institute Files Amicus Brief in Lawsuit Over CARES Act School Funding

An Ohio think tank has entered the fray in a federal lawsuit over a rule the U.S. Department of Education issued for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act includes an Education Stabilization Fund to help schools cover costs to safely reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The law directed the education department to distribute these funds “equitably” between public and private schools and students.

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Department of Justice Requests Nursing Home Data on COVID-19 Deaths from Michigan

The Civil Right Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested information about COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes from the state of Michigan.

The request, made on Wednesday, will help the department determine if it will open up an investigation under the federal Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, which will identify if the state orders requiring coronavirus-positive patients to be admitted to nursing homes were responsible for the deaths of residents.

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More Virginia Localities Established as Second Amendment Sanctuaries

Two more localities have passed resolutions establishing Second Amendment Sanctuaries.

On August 24, the Front Royal Town Council unanimously passed their version of the non-binding resolution, and the next day, Greene County also passed theirs.

The resolutions are the result of lobbying efforts by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, declaring that the localities will not pass laws restricting firearms.  In July, new state laws took effect that allow cities and counties to pass their own gun laws, triggering a flurry of action. Some places are restricting guns, others are passing resolutions declaring they will not restrict guns. The resolutions are like a covenant — local leaders can still pass ordinances to the contrary — but are a way to signal allegiances to citizens and politicians.

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Henrico County Officials Shut Down State Senator’s Fundraiser for COVID-19 Relief and Black Lives Matter

Henrico County officials and the Henrico County Manager shut down a fundraiser to support COVID-19 relief and Black Lives Matter on Tuesday.

State Senator Joe Morrissey (D-16) was hosting and sponsoring the event alongside local Richmond promoters Avantae Jones and Keron Dixon with their company True Society Events, LLC.

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Senate Passes Bill Eliminating Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Assaulting Law Enforcement Officers, Others

The Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would eliminate the mandatory minimum sentence of six months jail time for assaulting a law enforcement officer or other public servants. 

The bill passed by a vote of 21-Y 15-N after over an hour of back and forth between Senators.

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Ohio State University May Shut Down In Person Learning After Outbreak, Suspensions

Ohio State University (OSU) is “preparing for a variety of situations” after violations of the school’s COVID-19 guidelines lead to a wave of suspensions.

Two hundred twenty-eight students received interim suspensions due to breaches of the school’s “Together As Buckeyes Pledge,” The Ohio Star previously reported. The suspensions came after a weekend of partying that violated the new guidelines against large social gatherings of more than 10 people.

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New Court Filings of Autopsy Examiner Say George Floyd Likely Died of Overdose, Not Strangulation

New court filings of the Hennepin County Autopsy Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker show that George Floyd likely died of an overdose rather than strangulation.

On Monday, ex-officer Tou Thao’s counsel requested the complete medical witness opinions from both the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Floyd family’s individual autopsy doctors, Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson.

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Confederate Monuments Coming Down Across State, Triggering Legal Battles

Monuments dominate Virginia’s headlines this week.

On Wednesday, Portsmouth City began removing its controversial Confederate monument. Last week, an anonymous plaintiff petitioned the Virginia Supreme Court to order confederate statues removed by the city of Richmond to go back up. The Richmond Circuit Court has scheduled a trial for October 19 to begin determining whether Richmond’s Robert E. Lee statue can be removed.

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