Feds Subpoenaed Hunter Biden During 2016 Election, Raising Worry over Unpaid Taxes on Ukraine Work

As the 2016 election kicked into full gear, Hunter Biden’s inner circle feared an impending federal criminal indictment of his long-time business partner might expose the then-vice president’s son to legal jeopardy because he had avoided paying taxes on income from the Ukrainian gas firm Burisma Holdings, according to emails on an abandoned laptop seized by the FBI.

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Embattled Nashville Judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle to Retire

Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle announced on Thursday that she has decided to retire, opting not to run for reelection. 

Lyle, a native Tennessean who attended the University of Tennessee College of Law, has served as a judge for almost three decades; however, many of her recent rulings have frustrated constituents and Tennesseans across the state.

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Governor Bill Lee Calls for Congressional Hearing on Border Crisis

Illegal Alien Detention center

In a letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Governor Bill Lee (R-TN) and Governor Kim Reynolds (R-IA) called for a hearing into the ongoing crisis at the country’s Southern border. 

Both governors urged the hearing largely due to reports of the Biden administration relocating unaccompanied migrant children to the states. In Tennessee, multiple planes carrying unaccompanied minors landed in Chattanooga under the cover of darkness. Similarly, Gov. Reynolds has received no answers from the Biden administration after migrants were flown from California to Iowa.

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Keystone XL Pipeline Project Terminated, Developer Says

Keystone XL Pipeline

The developer of the Keystone XL Pipeline announced that it was abandoning the contested project months after President Joe Biden revoked the pipeline’s federal permit.

TC Energy permanently canceled further construction of the pipeline after conducting a comprehensive review of its options alongside the Government of Alberta, Canada, which had been a project partner, according to the energy company’s announcement on Wednesday afternoon. The company noted that the project, which had been strongly criticized by environmental groups, was suspended on Jan. 20 after Biden issued an executive order revoking its permit.

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Dr. Manny Sethi Resumes Role at Healthcare Non-Profit

Dr. Manny Sethi, after taking time off to focus on his campaign for U.S. Senate, will resume his role as President and CEO of Healthy Tennessee, the non-profit he started with his wife Maya. 

The non-profit’s goal is to combat growing healthcare challenges facing Tennesseans across the state. To complete its goal, Healthy Tennessee offers free services to encourage preventative health measures. Since its founding, it has provided free health fairs, educational opportunities, and symposiums to thousands of Tennesseans in dozens of locations over the last decade

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IG Report: President Trump Did Not Order the Park Police to Clear Out ‘Peaceful Protesters’ with Tear Gas for a Photo Op

The Park Police did not clear protesters outside the White House last summer to make way for President Donald Trump’s photo opportunity,  according to a new report released by the Interior Department’s inspector general on Wednesday.

The report determined that Park Police were given permission to clear the park long before anyone even knew the former president had plans to walk over.

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Inflation Surges Five Percent, Largest Spike Since 2008

The Consumer Price Index has increased 5% over the last 12 months, the fastest pace of inflation since August 2008, according to a Department of Labor report.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a common tool used to measure inflation, increased 0.6% between April and May, according to the Labor Department report released Thursday morning. Economists projected that the CPI increased by 0.5% and 4.7% over the 12-month period ending in May, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Jobless Claims Drop to 376,000, Hit Another Pandemic Low

Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Bytemarks. CC BY 2.0.

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims dropped to 376,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending May 29, when 385,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was unrevised from the figure initially reported last week.

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Arizona Attorney General Launches Campaign for Senate

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced on Thursday his intentions to run to represent the Grand Canyon State in the U.S. Senate.

In a video announcing his candidacy, Brnovich said, “We entrust our elected leaders to protect our freedom and they’ve failed us. Today, Arizonans lack confidence in the state of the world, the safety of their communities, their vote, their personal freedoms, and definitely in our representatives in Washington. What we have is a real vacuum of leadership.”

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Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Launches Videos Explaining Proposed Amendments to Roll Back, Prevent Property Tax Hikes, and More

Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act

Earlier this week, 4 Good Government published a video series explaining the purposes and benefits of their voter referendum, the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. The 7 short videos addressed each of the 6 amendments in the referendum. 

Jim Roberts, the attorney and founder behind 4 Good Government, explained that he founded the organization to improve Metro Nashville government.

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Roger Simon Talks Tennis and the Psychological Health of Naomi Osaka’s Public Appearances

Naomi Osaka

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist and tennis enthusiast Roger Simon in studio to discuss the game and psychological issues facing Naomi Osaka.

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After a Year of COVID Lockdowns and Restrictions, Representative Cooper Writes Letter to Biden Administration to Save Nashville’s Dying Live Music

After a year of supporting mandated COVID closures, Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) begged the Biden Administration to save some of Nashville’s historic live music venues. On Wednesday, Cooper penned a letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA). The representative asked the SBA to expedite their Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) for the businesses that faced several months of mandatory closure and a year of lockdowns and restrictions in his district.

“Nashville’s live music venues and theaters are in dire need of help through the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant program,” tweeted Cooper. “I’ve urged the @SBAgov Administrator to immediately expedite the applications of our cultural centers. Music City can’t lose these treasures.”

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Commentary: The Right Way to Modernize Infrastructure

Everything these days seems to count as infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Elder care is infrastructure. Even court-packing is infrastructure. But in a world where everything is infrastructure, nothing is infrastructure, and our existing infrastructure suffers as a result. Take, for example, President Biden’s recently revised American Jobs Plan, a $2 trillion boondoggle that prioritizes pretty much everything except for the roads, bridges, ports, and waterways that constitute actual infrastructure. The plan comes after we already appropriated $605 billion for infrastructure and transportation in the last three COVID-19 relief bills. 

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Back from California, Craig Huey Reports on the ‘Spirit of Fear’ in the Golden State

Welcome to California

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed California Refugee Craig Huey in studio back from California to discuss the fear and brainwashing still prevalent in the state as people continue to wear masks.

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McAllen, Texas Mayor-Elect Javier Villalobos Talks Election, Baseball, Immigration, and Border Policy

Javier Villalobos Campaign

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Mayor-Elect Javier Villalobos of McAllen, Texas to the newsmakers line to talk about his background, baseball, border policy, and immigration.

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Craig Huey Talks Gavin Newsom Recall and His Potential Replacement as Governor of California

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed marketing guru Craig Huey to the studio to discuss the California recall efforts and who will likely become the next Governor of the state.

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Vernon Jones Returns to Georgia, Describes Arizona Ballot Audit, How Joe Biden’s Policies Enable Drug Cartels

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones just returned from Arizona where he observed an audit of ballots from the November 2020 presidential election and also witnessed up-close what he said was a calamity at the U.S.-Mexico border. Jones talked to The Georgia Star News Thursday. He said a firm overseeing the audit has done a thorough and professional job that leaves little room to allow mistakes. Jones did not name the firm.

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Almost 250 Arrested at Line 3 Protest in Northern Minnesota

protesters

The Northern Lights Task Force in Minnesota arrested several people protesting Line 3 last weekend. Comments on social media led officers to believe that the protesters would be trying to confront law enforcement, leading to the arrest of up to 1,000 people.

The Northern Lights Task Force said in an official statement, “Many protesters did not abide by the law and engaged in actions that forced the hand of law enforcement and dispersal orders were given.”

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Commentary: As the U.S.-China Trade War Continues, Career Training Is America’s Best Defense

People working on desktop computers

Amid the ongoing trade war between China and the United States, lawmakers are moving to pass a comprehensive new bill to boost economic competition, minimize reliance on China, and promote investment in the American workforce. With our economy beginning to recover, we need to focus on preparing young people to fill vital roles in the years ahead and decrease our reliance on tech and talent from abroad. 

China has the world’s second-largest economy and a faster-growing and more lucrative tech industry that “is poised to come out ahead” of the U.S., according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal last year. It’s winning the 5G race, contributes more to AI research, and because its population is so large, it has more data to feed to machine-learning and transportation technologies like self-driving vehicles.

If the U.S. wants to prevail in the tech race, we have to start with education. The pandemic has provided motivation for the U.S. to seek greater economic independence and bring jobs back to our shores. Career-oriented learning solutions can help fill these specialized jobs.

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Visit Florida Leaders Receive over $130,000 in Raises and Bonuses

The Board of Directors for Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, approved over $130,000 in raises for CEO of Visit Florida Dana Young and her staff members.

Visit Florida is a non-profit corporation established in 1996 as a public and private partnership by the Florida Legislature that appropriates public funds or taxpayer money to tourism marketing. In 2021, the Florida tourism marketing budget consists of $75 million in state and federal funds. 

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Virginia Department of Health Nominated for Emmy for ‘Students for COVIDWISE’ Video

Call it the Emmy-nominated Virginia Department of Health (VDH) now. On Tuesday, the VDH announced that a short video advertising the state’s COVID-19 tracking app has been nominated for a regional Emmy and won a Silver Telly Award.

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Glenn Youngkin Inches Closer to Terry McAuliffe in New Poll

Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin is two points below former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe in a new WPA Intelligence poll. This, according to an article that The Republican Standard published Thursday. The poll said Youngkin had 46 percent while McAuliffe had 48 percent.

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DeSantis Doubles Down on Banning Critical Race Theory

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continued his push to ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) from Florida’s classrooms while speaking at the State Board of Education Meeting. He maintained the ideology, which is designed to distinguish people based on skin color and considers the United States’ systems of justice and governance as inherently racist, will not be featured as part of instruction, and will instead focus on “the best possible civics instruction standards.”

During the meeting, the State Board officially banned CRT from classrooms in an effort to prevent “state-sanctioned racism,” DeSantis said on Twitter.

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Democrats Blast Omar for Comparing America, Israel to Taliban

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) caused another rift in the Democrat Party this week when she openly compared the United States and Israel to the Taliban and Hamas in a now-deleted tweet. 

After an exchange with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, wherein Omar demanded an International Criminal Court investigation into possible war crimes in Afghanistan and Palestine, Omar took to Twitter, saying there have been “unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban.”

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Report: Michigan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Failure Contributed to Killing 2,500 People

A USA TODAY article dives into Michigan’s vaccine focus on “equity” instead of protecting those most vulnerable to COVID-19. A surge of COVID-19 cases late in the pandemic killed 2,500 people.

“But in the race to put shots in arms, Michigan lost. Its vaccination rate lagged Minnesota’s, exacerbating a late-pandemic spike in cases that killed 2,500 people,” USA TODAY reported. “The vaccination gap between Minnesota and Michigan was particularly high for older people.”

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Rep. Buddy Carter Introduces Bill to Ban Critical Race Theory in the Military

Congressman Buddy Carter introduced a bill on Wednesday that would prohibit Critical Race Theory (CRT) teachings in the military and require a detailed report about CRT’s total usage. 

Carter’s legislation, the Military Education and Values Act, would require the Department of Defense to ban the usage of any teaching methodology that promotes or causes a racial divide or lack of equality and reinstate all service members on the core tenets of the United States military.

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Fredericksburg City Council Considering Plastic Bag Tax

The Fredericksburg City Council directed city staff to prepare a draft ordinance for a five-cent single-use plastic bag tax. In its Tuesday meeting, most of the city council expressed support for the proposal, introduced by Council Member Kerry Devine.

“The reality is I hope this is a tax we never collect,” Devine told the Council.

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DeSantis Wants Bill Banning Chemical Castration of Minors

In a Monday interview with Daily Caller, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) continued to bolster his chops as a social conservative, saying he would happily sign a bill preventing doctors from prescribing sex-changing hormone treatments to children. 

“I’m very much opposed to chemical castration of minors, I honestly didn’t know this existed until a few years ago,” DeSantis said during the interview. “That would be something I would sign for sure.” 

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Brooklyn Center Makes Changes to Policing Following Daunte Wright Shooting

Brooklyn Center Police Department Squad Car

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota implemented new changes to policing in a 4-1 vote in the city council meeting, following the death of Daunte Wright in April. The changes include a new department of public safety that will have unarmed officers to conduct traffic stops and a mental health division.

Daunte Wright was shot and killed by former Brooklyn Park Police Officer Kim Potter, after it was discovered he had a warrant out for his arrest. Wright did not follow police instructions and reentered his vehicle while the officers were attempting to arrest him.

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Supreme Court Won’t Hear Ohio Teacher’s Union Lawsuit

An Ohio teacher who said she was required to join the teachers union will not be able to plead her case in the front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court refused this week to hear Jade Thompson’s appeal of her lawsuit, which called for an immediate end to laws that force public-sector employees to accept a union’s exclusive representation.

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Tennessee Education Commissioner to Publish Guidance on Critical Race Theory Ban Compliance by August 1

Tennessee Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn promised to publish educator guidance on the state’s critical race theory ban by August 1. The ban was first proposed in the Tennessee General Assembly by State Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge). The law itself doesn’t mention critical race theory by name, but it does address the theory’s tenets and practices at length.

Schwinn revealed the plan to issue guidance in an exclusive interview with Chalkbeat on Wednesday. The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) guidance will also address the question of how the commissioner would uphold the ban, including a complaint evaluation process and financial penalty system. Ragan’s amendment noted that the commissioner would determine how much state funding to withhold for violations.

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