Ex-Brooklyn Center Police Officer Potter Found Guilty of Manslaughter

A verdict was reached Thursday in the trial of ex-Brooklyn Center Police officer Kimberly Potter, who faced first and second degree manslaughter charges in the shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in April. 

Potter was found guilty of both charges. She faces up to 15 years in prison during the sentencing phase of the trial. Sentencing is scheduled for  Feb. 18.

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Nashville Community Oversight Board Votes in Opposition to License Plate Readers

A majority of members on the Community Oversight Board on Monday voted against a measure to pass any license plate reader (LPR) bills.

The vote from the group comes as the Metro Council has proposed two separate bills that would allow the cameras to be installed around the city.

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Commentary: Abundant Evidence Shows Critical Race Theory Is in Our Schools

Mary Nicely, who is now second-in-command at the California Department of Education, went on her personal Facebook page this summer to denounce conservatives who oppose teaching critical race theory in schools as “yet another White right and education reformer distraction.”

Nicely also reposted a newspaper column in July defining critical race theory as a key used in law schools to expose racism in the legal system: “It is taught, if at all, in law school — not high school.”

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FDA Won’t Say Why Some Non-Approved Pfizer Vaccines Were Deemed ‘BLA-Compliant’

Through Ohio attorneys representing Miami University in a lawsuit against the school over its mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy, The Ohio Star confirmed that at least none batches of Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) vaccine were deemed Biologics License Application (BLA) compliant. 

BLA compliance is typically reserved for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs. That is the licensing procedure for drugs seeking to become FDA approved. 

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Durham Zeroes In on Clinton Campaign, Could Call Some Aides to Testify, Court Memo Reveals

Hillary Clinton’s team long fought to keep its ties to Christopher Steele’s dossier from public view, but Special Counsel John Durham is now making clear he has a strong interest in her campaign’s behavior during the Russia collusion probe. He is even suggesting some of her aides could be summoned as trial witnesses.

Durham’s earth-shaking revelation came inside a routine court filing this month in the case of Igor Y. Danchenko, a Russian analyst who was a primary source in 2016 for Steele’s now-infamous dossier. Danchenko has been charged with repeatedly lying to the FBI during the Russia collusion probe and has pleaded innocent.

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Commentary: The Glaring Similarities Between the Whitmer Kidnapping and January 6

As questions mount about the government’s animating role in the Capitol protest on January 6, the criminal case against the men charged with conspiring to “kidnap” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 continues to collapse.

Defense attorneys in the Whitmer case are carefully compiling evidence that depicts an elaborate tale of FBI entrapment; at least a dozen FBI informants were involved in the failed plot—equaling one FBI asset per defendant. FBI agents handling the informants directed every move. They funded training and reconnaissance trips, and even organized a “national militia” conference in Ohio in June 2020 to lure potential accomplices.

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Arizona Seizes Record Amount of Fentanyl, Now Cited as Leading Cause of Death of Young Americans

Fentanyl

Authorities in Arizona seized $9 million worth of fentanyl pills in the state’s largest bust of the illicit drug – enough, they said, to kill half the population of Arizona.

The bust comes after a nonprofit group cites fentanyl as the leading cause of death among Americans between the age of 18 and 45. Arizona and Texas attorneys general and governors vowed to fight what they called the “lawlessness of the Biden administration,” which they argue is enabling fentanyl to be brought into the U.S. through its open border policies.

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Commentary: The Flaw in Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying’s Proposal for the Future of Humanity

Bret Weinstein podcast

Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying, evolutionary biologists and visiting fellows at Princeton University, have written a fascinating new book, A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century, which Penguin Random House released in September.

The instant New York Times bestseller is riddled with interesting ideas and clever insights, ultimately arriving at a radical conclusion about how humanity must be governed in the future if we are to avoid civilizational collapse. However, the book’s concluding argument is built upon one fundamental economic fallacy, and to understand the flaw in the proposal is to understand how truly catastrophic the pursuit of Weinstein and Heying’s vision would be.

The Fear of Abundance

Weinstein and Heying’s fundamental claim is about the human propensity to seek economic growth, and the ultimate unsustainability of that goal.

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Over 160 Mediterranean Migrants Drowned from Shipwrecks in One Week

Two shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea resulted in more than 160 Europe-bound immigrants drowning over the weekend, according to the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration, the Associated Press reported.

At least 102 people died in a shipwreck off the coast of Libya on Friday, while 8 were rescued, a spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration said, the AP reported. The Libyan coast guard reportedly found at least 62 bodies after a separate boat capsized Saturday, and it intercepted a third ship transporting at least 210 migrants.

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Tennessee Department of Transportation Announces No Lane Closures Over the Holiday Season

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) announced earlier this week that there will be no lane closures over the holiday season. From midnight December 23 through 6 AM January 3, drivers in Tennessee drivers will not experience any lane closures. 

The announcement read, “Road construction won’t delay travelers during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The Tennessee Department of Transportation is once again halting all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways in anticipation of higher traffic volumes across the state.”

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Commentary: Saying Christians Fuel ‘Martyr Dreams of Being Ostracized’ During Christmas Ignores International Persecution

An opinion piece published in The Battalion, a student-operated newspaper at Texas A&M University, recently argued that the Christmas season is a time when conservative Christians “perpetuate their martyr dreams of being ostracized.”

“Winter is Coming,” penned by Abbie Beckley, is an opinion piece that takes a deeper drive into Christmas’ purported true meaning.

According to the author, the commercialization of the holiday is not necessarily a bad thing as she attributes that trend to the expansion of inclusivity.

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Georgia, 23 Other States File Lawsuit Against Head Start Vaccination, Mask Mandate

Georgia is again pushing back against the Biden administration’s COVID-19 mandates.

Georgia and 23 other states are asking the court to block the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Administration for Children and Families from requiring Head Start program staff, certain contractors and volunteers to wear masks and be fully vaccinated by Jan. 31.

Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr announced the court challenge against the Head Start vaccination and mask mandate Tuesday.

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Trump to Hold News Conference on January 6, 2022 to Discuss ‘Rigged’ 2020 Election

Former President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he plans to hold a news conference at Mar-a-Lago on January 6, 2022, the one year anniversary of the Capitol Hill riot.

In a statement, Trump said the real insurrection took place on November 3rd, not January 6, which was a “completely unarmed protest.” The former president  questioned why the partisan select committee is not exploring the reason his supporters were on Capitol Hill that day, which was to protest the “rigged” 2020 election.

Why isn’t the Unselect Committee of highly partisan political hacks investigating the CAUSE of the January 6th protest, which was the rigged Presidential Election of 2020? Does anybody notice that they want to stay as far away from that topic as possible, the numbers don’t work for them, or even come close.

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Top Republicans Pressure Manchin to Switch Parties

Republicans are upping their calls for West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin to switch parties after he said he would not vote for President Joe Biden’s domestic spending bill.

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn told Nexstar that he texted Manchin to encourage him to switch after he came out as a “no,” telling him, “Joe, if [Democrats] don’t want you we do.”

While Cornyn said he did not get a response, he said that Manchin switching would be “the greatest Christmas present I can think of.”

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Commentary: Biden’s Blind Spot on Democracy

President Biden’s Summit for Democracy hasn’t yet provoked the sort of debate about Biden’s relationship to his church that abortion has. But questions about the president’s adherence to church teaching may be as applicable to democracy as it is to a woman’s right to choose since, in both cases, Roman Catholicism has much to say. In the case of democracy, Americans used to view Rome, a hierarchical church that had a long history of cooperation with emperors and monarchs, as an arch opponent of the nation’s democratic politics. Until the 1960s, the perception may have been accurate, but today it is a relic of an earlier era in church history.

One question that emerged after the Summit for Democracy is whether Biden’s faith might explain the presence of nations who seem to lean more authoritarian than democratic. As the story in the New York Times put it, “It was no surprise that China and Russia were not included, but the administration was second-guessed for its decision to invite other countries with checkered human rights records, like the Philippines and Nigeria, while excluding NATO allies Turkey and Hungary, both led by rulers with authoritarian streaks.”

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Florida Is Second Behind Texas in Population Growth from 2020 to 2021

While the nation recorded a historically low population growth rate from 2020 to 2021, the state of Florida had the second highest population increase in the U.S. behind Texas, according to a report on Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau (USCB).

Following Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ efforts during the pandemic to keep Florida relatively open compared to most other states, from July 1st, 2020, to July 1st, 2021, the census report showed that the state’s population grew by 211,196, making the total population 21,781,128.

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Pennsylvania State Rep. Zimmerman to Sponsor Bill Penalizing Crimes Against Unborn

Pennsylvania state Rep. David Zimmerman (R-East Earl) this week proposed a measure enabling prosecution of those who kill or injure an unborn child while committing a non-homicidal crime against the mother.

Current law only allows murder charges for killing an unborn human when the perpetrator is also charged with murdering that child’s mother. Criminal acts against an expecting mother causing a pre-born child’s death that Zimmerman’s legislation would cover include assault, fatal drug delivery and reckless endangerment, according to a memorandum to Pennsylvania House members.

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Lee Monument Time Capsule Opened, but It Doesn’t Match Historical Descriptions

Conservators at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) opened a time capsule from the Lee Monument pedestal on Wednesday afternoon, but the capsule and its contents don’t match the description of a capsule reportedly placed in the monument in 1887, leading to speculation that there may be an additional capsule somewhere on site. Governor Ralph Northam and First Lady Pamela Northam were at the Department of Historic Resources at 12 p.m. for the opening of the box. Opening the box without damaging it took longer than expected, due to corrosion and masonry from the pedestal in the box seams.

“I’ve been asked a number of times if we’re going to use a torch,” Conservator Chelsea Blake said. “That’s not an option.”

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Complaint Claims Minnesota Nursing Home Discriminated Against Catholic Employee

Brookdale North Oaks

A North Oaks nursing home rejected a Catholic employee’s request for a vaccine exemption despite granting exemptions to employees of other faiths, a complaint filed Monday claims.

Daniel Reinke, a sales and marketing manager at Brookdale Senior Living Center in North Oaks, says he was placed on unpaid leave and threatened with termination when he refused to get vaccinated for COVID-19 on religious grounds.

“I sincerely believe that receiving an injection produced, developed, or tested using human cell lines derived from direct abortions is sinful. All three available vaccines in the United States were tested, developed, or produced using these cell lines. I believe that abortion is a mortal sin, and any act supporting it, such as receiving the COVID-19 injection, would make me complicit in the act of abortion,” Reinke says in a charge of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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Federal Judge in Florida Blocks Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors

A Tampa federal judge on Wednesday backed Florida’s request to block a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for federal contractors.

U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday issued a 38-page decision in response to a request by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody for a preliminary injunction against the requirement.

Merryday ruled that Florida had demonstrated a “likely irreparable harm to sovereign interests absent a stay” due to the federal guidance requiring a vaccination requirement that is prohibited in Sections 112.0441 and 308.00317, Florida Statutes.

After the ruling, Moody stated, “Proud to secure an injunction in our case to stop @JoeBiden’s vaccine mandate for federal contractors. Floridians should not have to choose b/w the vaccine & their careers. There is still a lot of fight left in us & we will continue to push back against unlawful fed overreach.”

Governor Ron DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw cited a quote from the ruling on her Twitter account: “The absence of evidence…suggests a ruse, a mere contrivance, superficially attempting to justify a sweeping, invasive, and unprecedented public health requirement imposed unilaterally by President Biden.”

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Pfizer’s Comirnaty Available Abroad, Not in U.S.

New York-based Pfizer has sold and shipped hundreds of millions of doses of its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty to the European Union (EU) despite saying last week that it is not being shipped in the United States. 

“Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced they will supply an additional 100 million doses of COMIRNATY®, the companies’ COVID-19 vaccine, to the 27 European Union (EU) member states in 2021,” Pfizer said in an April press release. “This announcement is a result of the European Commission’s (EC) decision to exercise its option to purchase an additional 100 million doses under its expanded Advanced Purchase Agreement signed on February 17, 2021. This brings the total number of doses to be delivered to the EU to 600 million.”

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Minnesota Gubernatorial Candidate Dr. Scott Jensen Responds to Criticisms of Discussion with State Rep. John Thompson

Dr. Scott Jensen, a 2022 gubernatorial candidate, responded to criticisms of his interactions with Rep. John Thompson (D-St. Paul) in an interview with The Minnesota Sun. Jensen said that the way some people are discussing what happened is “just plain silliness.” Jensen explained that Thompson was an invitee to an event he was speaking at.

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Michigan’s Whitmer Signs Off on $409 Million Small-Business Relief Program

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signing legislation

The third time was a charm for a small-business relief provision of Senate Bill 85, which was signed Monday by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

A House version of the bill, House Bill 4047, was proposed by Rep. Timothy Beson, R-Bangor Twp., last March, and signed by the governor. However, Whitmer exercised a line-item veto of the afflicted business relief. Another version of a small-business relief subsequently was passed by the legislature with bipartisan support. Whitmer again exercised her veto authority to squelch it.

SB 85 was introduced by Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth.

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Vernon Jones Says Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Wants to Have It Both Ways on Buckhead as a Separate City

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and members of his staff on Wednesday would not declare his stance on whether Buckhead should formally remove itself from crime-plagued Atlanta. The Georgia Star News specifically asked whether Kemp and members of his team have met or communicated with members of the Buckhead City Committee, including its leader, Bill White. We also asked whether Kemp and members of his team told White and other Buckhead City Committee members that they support the city of Buckhead.

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State of Florida Settles with Leon County over Vaccine Mandate

The State of Florida has agreed to withdraw its $3.5 million penalty directed to the Leon County government over the county’s vaccine mandate. The county rescinded its vaccine mandates earlier this month after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed legislation requiring alternatives to forced COVID vaccinations.

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Arizona Rep. Kaiser Sponsors Bill Providing Exemption From Vaccine Requirements for Those Who Have Had COVID-19

State Rep. Steve Kaiser (R-Phoenix) is sponsoring a bill, HB 2020, that would exempt people in Arizona from government or private businesses imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates if they have already had COVID-19. This includes mandates from the federal government and from corporations at their branches in Arizona. To be eligible, someone must show either proof of antibodies, a positive test, or a positive T-cell immune response to COVID-19.

Kaiser, who came up with the idea for the bill during a discussion with a friend, told The Arizona Sun Times, “It provides a great way for folks who are uncomfortable with the vaccine to keep their jobs. There is a lot of data to support this, and it has a great chance of passing through the legislature.” He said at least one Democrat has said they may support the bill.

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