Illegal Alien and Convicted Felon in Memphis Sentenced for Unlawful Reentry and Possessing a Firearm

Federal officials in Memphis have sentenced an illegal alien to 30 months in prison for unlawful reentry into the United States and for illegally possessing a firearm. This, according to a press release that Joseph C. Murphy Jr. the acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, published this week.

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Commentary: Remembering D-Day

D day

This Sunday marks the 77th anniversary of the greatest gamble in World War II.

On June 6, 1941, more than 156,0000 allied forces launched from the sea onto the beaches of Normandy.  Nearly 7,000 allied ships commanded the French coastline, and more than 3,200 aircraft dominated the skies.  A few miles inland, 23,000 paratroopers landed to block German reinforcements from the shore.

After years of preparation, practice, and training, the Allies had come to break German power in Europe.

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High Court Hears Arguments on Tennessee’s School-Choice Program

ORNL Traveling Science Fair at the TN 4th Annual Tennessee STEM Innovation Summit and STEMx Event, Nashville, TN

Tennessee’s highest court heard arguments on a disputed school choice program.

Tennessee’s Education Savings Accounts (ESA) pilot program, approved by the state Legislature in 2019, would provide state-funded scholarships of about $7,100 to low-income students in Nashville and Memphis – home to the state’s two lowest-performing school districts. Students would be able to use the funds to attend nonpublic schools of their choice.

A district court ruled the program unconstitutional when the two counties sued the state to stop the program. The state Court of Appeals upheld that ruling, and the state Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: American Businesses, Celebrities Need to Stop Kowtowing to China

China Tiananmen

This past week marked the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre.

On June 4, 1989, pro-democracy protesters gathered in Tiananmen Square in Beijing for peaceful demonstrations. Led by students, the demonstrators denounced China’s ruling Communist Party and sought greater freedoms for the Chinese people.

In response, the Communist Party sent the military to crush the protests. The Chinese government has never released any figures, but we know the People’s Liberation Army massacred anywhere from several hundred to several thousand people.

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Inside Story on How the 1776 Commission Refused to be Canceled by Biden

Joe Biden in the office

Despite being abolished by the Biden administration, the 1776 Commission established by President Trump to develop a patriotic education curriculum lives on.

The commission’s executive director, Matthew Spalding, told Just the News that the panel is staying operational despite losing its federal charter and shifting its focus to state and local education. A Web site and new social media presence are forthcoming.

“You can abolish a commission, you can take a report off the website, but you can’t erase history,” Spalding told the John Solomon Reports podcast in an episode that aired Wednesday.

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Music Spotlight: Devon Beck

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  When I listened to songs from Devon Beck’s first EP, One Sided Expectations, the first thing I thought was she sounds like an American version of Adele. Not only that, Beck’s songwriting ability is mature beyond her years and is reminiscent of the songs in Adele’s 21 album. I found out that Beck is just 18 years old and has only been performing for a little over two years.

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Biden Civil Rights Nominee Pressed Colleges to Adopt Policies Often Struck Down in Court

Catherine Ilhamon

The Biden administration reached back into Team Obama to fill an Education Department slot that oversees civil rights, including Title IX enforcement.

Catherine Lhamon’s nomination last month drew immediate concern from advocates of due process and fair procedures in college Title IX investigations because so many court decisions — 200 by one count — have since challenged the approach she and others in the Obama administration took in investigating campus sexual assaults.

Two more rulings arrived this week, from the 8th U.S. Circuit of Appeals and an Iowa district court under its jurisdiction.

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Commentary: 3.7 Million People Dead Due to Covid Cover-Up of Potential Wuhan Lab Origin of Virus

Almost 3.7 million people have died worldwide from the Covid pandemic that began in the Wuhan province of China in late 2019, and now, the American people are learning that the U.S. government has had intelligence for months that indicates the virus might have been released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology in a laboratory accident.

On Jan. 15, right at the end of former President Donald Trump’s term in office, the State Department released a fact sheet that stated, “The United States government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in autumn 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses. This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was ‘zero infection’ among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.”

And it accused the Wuhan lab of possibly conducting “gain of function” research on bat-to-human transmission of coronaviruses: “Starting in at least 2016, WIV researchers studied RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar). Since the outbreak, the WIV has not been transparent nor consistent about its work with RaTG13 or other similar viruses, including possible ‘gain of function’ experiments to enhance transmissibility or lethality.”

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The Biggest Freshwater Fish in the World

Monster Sturgeon

It took three biologists to haul a 240-pound (109 kilograms) fish out of the Detroit River in Michigan last month. The nearly 7-foot-long (2.1 meters) “monster’ sturgeon,” caught and released by the Alpena Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, could be more than 100 years old. It’s a mightily impressive catch for sure, but is it the biggest freshwater fish in the world? 

The Detroit River fish is a lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), and while it is believed to be one of the largest ever caught in the U.S., there are much bigger fish swimming in rivers around the world. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the planet’s largest freshwater fish is the beluga sturgeon (Huso huso), living between Europe and Asia in the Black, Azov and Caspian seas, and the rivers feeding them.

Beluga sturgeon can reach a maximum length of more than 26 feet (8 m), or about four times as long as a king-size mattress, and weigh up to 2.2 tons (2,000 kg, or 2 metric tons), according to the Pan-European Action Plan for Sturgeons, prepared by the World Sturgeon Conservation Society and World Wildlife Fund. When they grow up, belugas are at the top of the food chain, eating fish such as roach and carp, aquatic birds and even seals, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

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Royal Caribbean Summer Cruises Will Not Require Vaccination

Miami-based Royal Caribbean, one of America’s largest cruise lines, will resume operations in July, and will not fight the state of Florida on its new law banning vaccine passports. 

Instead, the cruise vacation company recommends that its passengers are vaccinated against COVID-19. 

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Colonial Downs Group Launches Petition to Bring Gaming to Amherst County

The Colonial Downs Group is circulating a petition to bring slot machine-style gaming to Amherst County, according to a Wednesday press release. If five percent of qualified voters sign the petition, county residents will have the opportunity in November to vote to approve a Rosie’s Gaming Emporium.

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Michigan State Health Director Backs COVID-19 Nursing Home Death Numbers Despite Undercounting Allegations

The Michigan House Oversight Committee on Thursday heard opposing testimony related to whether Michigan is undercounting COVID-19 nursing home deaths.

For over a year, Republicans have alleged Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order to place COVID-19 infected patients into nursing homes with non-infected seniors contributed to an excess number of deaths than otherwise would have happened. In March, more than 50 lawmakers asked the federal government to investigate Whitmer’s policy. The death data from Michigan’s nursing homes could be compared to states with similar senior populations that didn’t pursue similar nursing home policy. 

Steve Delie, an attorney for the Mackinac Center For Public Policy, sued the Michigan Department for Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on behalf of reporter Charlie LeDuff, testified before the committee on Thursday. Delie argued the nursing home and long-term care COVID-19 death count in Michigan isn’t accurate, saying MDHHS enacted an accountability check between March 1 and June 30 of 2020, where it located 648 deaths out of a pool of 1,468 vital records deaths that could be traced back to a nursing home facility.

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Minneapolis Fugitive Killed by Marshals Posed for Photo with BLM Lawyer Ben Crump

Winston Smith, the man killed by U.S. Marshals in Minneapolis after he reportedly fired a weapon at them when they attempted to take him into custody over an outstanding state warrant, posed for a photo with high-profile civil rights attorney Ben Crump, apparently while he was a fugitive from justice. 

The photo was posted to Smith’s Instagram with the caption “#Greatness” on May 24. 

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IRS: California Shrank by 165K Taxpayers, $8.8 Billion in Gross Income

Aerial shot of a California suburb

California residents of all ages and incomes are leaving for more tax friendly climates, and they’re taking billions of dollars in annual income with them.

The Internal Revenue Service recently released its latest taxpayer migration figures from tax years 2018 and 2019. They reflect migratory taxpayers who had filed in a different state or county between 2017 and 2018, of which 8 million did in that timespan.

California, the nation’s most-populous state, lost more tax filers and dependents on net than any other state.

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DeSantis Press Secretary: Governor Has ‘Earned’ National Spotlight

Ron DeSantis

In response to an Associated Press story that describes Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as “seizing” the national spotlight, his Press Secretary Christina Pushaw told the Florida Capital Star that the governor has earned his newfound respect among Republicans nationwide. 

“Governor DeSantis has earned the national stage by demonstrating real leadership. For elected officials facing a crisis like COVID-19, it’s tempting to abdicate decision-making power to unelected bureaucrats in public health,” Pushaw said. “Governor DeSantis did the opposite. He sought out expertise from health professionals and scientists, he did his own research, and most importantly, he made decisions that were harshly criticized sometimes, but more than a year on, the data has proven that his approach was the right one.”

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Virginia NFIB Director Calls for Back-To-Work Bonuses

Worker in restaurant kitchen

A May survey from the NFIB found that nationally, seasonally-adjusted 48 percent of small businesses reported unfilled job openings for the fourth consecutive month.

“Virginia small businesses are having a historically hard time hiring workers and getting back to pre-COVID levels,” NFIB Virginia State Director Nicole Riley said in a press release.

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Booed at State GOP Convention in Jekyll Island

Governor Brian Kemp booed

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp spoke to members of the state GOP at their convention in Jekyll Island Saturday, but few people in the crowd of about 2,000 heard what the governor had to say. That’s because so many people in the room drowned Kemp’s words out with almost-deafening boos.

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Kemp Suspends Embattled Mayor After Fraud, Identity Theft Charges

Gregory Carswell Jr.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has suspended Waynesboro Mayor Gregory Carswell Jr. from office after the mayor’s indictment on felony fraud, forgery and theft charges.

Carswell, an evangelical pastor, was elected mayor of the city outside of Augusta in 2017. He was indicted in December on one count of identity fraud, one count of theft by taking, one count of theft by deception and one count of forgery in the second degree. Carswell announced May 17 he was taking a leave of absence as mayor because of his legal troubles and personal issues.

“Of course, you know we have legal issues that are going on, and we want to deal with those, and we want the citizens to have the full confidence and trust and knowing the people they elected are going to do the best things for them,” Carswell said at the May 17 city council meeting.

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NCAA Threatens to Pull Competitions Out of Florida over Women’s Sports Act

The NCAA is threatening to pull key competitions and championships out of Florida since Governor Ron DeSantis signed the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” yesterday. The new law prohibits transgender women from competing in high school and collegiate women’s athletics.

“In Florida, girls are going to play girls sports and boys are going to play boys sports,” DeSantis said, speaking at a private school in Jacksonville.

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Ohio Senate Passes Bill to Protect Police, First Responders

The Ohio Senate unanimously passed a bill introduced by Senator Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) that will enhance protection for individuals who serve in law enforcement or as a first responder.

If enacted, an assault of an emergency responder or their families could lead to a possible 4th degree felony. Further, an individual who places a first responder or their family in fear of physical harm can be charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor.

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Metro Nashville City Council Approved Downtown Sales Tax Increase

During Tuesday’s meeting, the Metro Nashville City Council approved a resolution increasing the sales tax for downtown businesses. The .25 percent tax increase will go into effect July 1. According to the Metro Nashville Finance Department, the estimated revenue from this increase amounts to at least $2.4 million. 

Per the state law, certain businesses are exempted from the sales tax increase: professional services, transient lodging, tickets for sporting or other live events, alcoholic beverages, newspapers or other publications, and overnight or long-term parking. 

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