More Police Officers Died in 2021 Than in Any Other Year on Record: Report

More police officers in the U.S. died in 2021 than any other year officer fatalities have been recorded, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

From Jan. 1 to Dec. 28, 2021, 358 active duty officers died. That’s compared to 296 over the same time period last year, the Memorial Fund reports. Fire-arms related deaths were up 31%; traffic-related deaths were up 30%.

Last year’s numbers were significant because officer deaths in 2020 were the second-highest the Memorial Fund recorded since 1930, when 312 officers died.

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Andrew Cuomo to Face No Charges After Sexual Harassment Investigation

Former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will not face any charges over alleged inappropriate conduct investigated by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, according to an announcement Tuesday.

The decision came after a “thorough” investigation into allegations made by two women against Cuomo, according to the announcement. Both women accused the former governor of kissing them without their consent.

“Our investigation found credible evidence to conclude that the alleged conduct in both instances described above did occur,” the announcement said.

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Federal Judge Upholds Vaccine Mandate for Oklahoma National Guard

On Tuesday, a district court judge ruled against the state of Oklahoma in its effort to block the coronavirus vaccine mandate for members of the state’s National Guard, The Hill reports.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot explained his reasoning in a 29-page ruling, in which he rejected a motion filed by Governor Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.) and Attorney General John O’Connor (R-Okla.) to indefinitely block the mandate; Judge Friot claimed that the plaintiffs’ claim was “without merit.”

“The court is required to decide this case on the basis of federal law, not common sense,” said Friot in his ruling. “But, either way, the result would be the same. The claims asserted by the Governor and his co-plaintiffs are without merit.”

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Missouri Counties Appeal Circuit Court Ruling Nullifying COVID Public Health Orders

St. Louis and Jackson Counties are appealing to the Missouri Court of Appeals a circuit court judge’s declaration that all state and local COVID health orders are unconstitutional, null and void.

On Nov. 22, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green delivered an 18-page ruling stating all state and local health departments cannot issue orders, close businesses, quarantine students, and stated parts of Missouri’s Code of State Regulations pertaining to the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) violated the state constitution. St. Louis and Jackson Counties filed motions to appeal the ruling within the prescribed 30-day window. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt stated he would not appeal the ruling, despite the DHSS’ “apparent wish to appeal,” according to the appeal. However, Judge Green on Dec. 22 denied all pending motions.

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Florida Surgeon General Says Biden Is ‘Actively Preventing’ Monoclonal Shipments

Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo sent a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra saying the Biden Administration is “actively preventing” the shipments on Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatments to states, including Florida.

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Over 500 Freedom of Information Act Requests Filed Against Loudoun County School District

Man looking at folders

The Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) district, which has faced widespread backlash and scrutiny over its handling of a two-time rapist, is now dealing with over 500 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by county parents, Breitbart reports.

The sheer amount of new requests represents an increase of more than five times the previous yearly average; from 2012 to 2018, the average amount of FOIA requests for LCPS was about 90. Roughly 40 percent of the new requests have been filed on behalf of the group Fight for Schools, a nonprofit watchdog group that has been fighting for transparency from the school board.

As the process of fulfilling a FOIA request under Virginia state law, much like the federal equivalent, is a time-consuming process, LCPS “has begun billing VFOIA requesters because it cannot handle the current volume free of charge,” according to LCPS Public Information Officer Wayne Byard. In addition, the district has had to hire twice as many staffers to focus solely on processing such requests.

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U.S. Home Prices Surged Almost 20 Percent in October

U.S. home prices surged in October as the housing market remains strong after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a key economic indicator.

Home prices climbed 18.4% in October compared to one year earlier, a deceleration from a 19.1% year-over-year increase in September, according to the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Index. Experts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected the index would grow 18.6% in November.

All 20 cities included in the index posted double-digit annualized gains. Phoenix saw a 32.3% increase, Tampa Bay, Florida, grew 28.1% and Miami increased 25.7%, according to the report.

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Virginia Supreme Court Approves Final Congressional and Legislative Districts

The Virginia Supreme Court on Tuesday approved the final version of congressional and legislative maps that will enact political boundaries for the next decade.

The process allowed for the judicial branch to determine the districts after the Virginia Redistricting Commission failed to produce any maps.

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Ohio Supreme Court Hears Challenges to State’s New Congressional Map

Ohio Republicans argued voters have more competitive congressional districts than before, despite claims in lawsuits the General Assembly gerrymandered new maps to benefit Republican candidates.

Attorney Phillip Strach, who represents Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, told the Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday the state’s new congressional district map contains seven competitive districts, at least as many as any other plan offered.

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Michigan Approves New U.S. House Map, Leading to an Incumbent Versus Incumbent Primary

Michigan’s independent redistricting commission voted to adopt the state’s new congressional map Tuesday afternoon, with five of the 13 new districts being potentially competitive as both parties fight for control of the House.

The new map creates competitive seats along Lake Michigan, around the state capital and in metro Detroit. President Joe Biden would have won seven of the districts in 2020, while former President Donald Trump would have won six, according to David Wasserman, a senior editor at the Cook Political Report.

Despite Biden’s narrow edge on the new map, incumbent Democratic Reps. Elissa Slotkin, Dan Kildee and Andy Levin could be forced to run in very competitive seats as their party faces political headwinds ahead of the 2022 midterms. Republican Rep. Peter Meijer may also face a contentious race in 2022, as his current Grand Rapids-based 3rd district was put into a new district that Biden would have won by nine points in 2020, Wasserman said.

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Wisconsin Public Health Quarantine Letter Threatens Legal Action for Failing to Isolate After COVID Test

A letter, dated December 21, from the St. Croix County Public Health Department threatens legal action against residents who do not quarantine properly after testing positive for COVID. The letter goes on to detail all the recommended “voluntary” actions the person should take following a positive COVID test.

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Kendall Qualls Steps Down from TakeCharge, Hinting at Run for Minnesota Governor

Republican Kendall Qualls announced Tuesday that he is stepping down as president of TakeCharge, a nonprofit he founded earlier this year, prompting speculation that he will be running for governor of Minnesota.

Qualls first gained notoriety in 2020 during his unsuccessful bid against Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips in Minnesota’s Third Congressional District. A few months later, he launched TakeCharge, which has focused on inspiring a “new movement in the black community to return it to its cultural roots of faith, family and education.”

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Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Renacci Opposes Calls for Additional Mask Mandates

Ohio gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci on Wednesday opposed additional mask mandates, after healthcare leaders called the measure for children.

The statement from Renacci follows a letter from the Ohio Hospital Association to education officials and school board members across the state, asking for mask requirements for students.

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New York Attorney General Letitia James and 22 Attorneys General Fight Arizona’s Law to Ban Abortions Based on Fetal Abnormalities Like Down Syndrome

This past year, the Arizona Legislature passed a law banning the abortion of babies for reasons of genetic abnormalities such as Down Syndrome, but a federal judge who was appointed by President Barack Obama halted it from going into effect due to a legal challenge. Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James and 22 other attorneys general jumped into the litigation, filing an amicus brief supporting the challenge to SB 1497, which is also known as the “Reason Ban.”

James stated, “Arizona is just the latest in the long line of conservative-led states that are seeking to impose their will on millions of women with laws that aim to control our bodies, our choices, and our freedoms, but we will never stop fighting them. We’re asking the appeals court to uphold the lower court’s decision and strike down this unconstitutional law.”

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Ohio Senate Candidate JD Vance Blasts Fauci for Suggesting a Vaccine Mandate for Domestic Air Travel

U.S. Senate candidate J.D. Vance on Tuesday blasted Dr. Anthony Fauci for suggesting the U.S. should consider a coronavirus vaccine requirement for domestic air travel.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases explained, in an interview with MSNBC, that he believes the mandate “is reasonable to consider.”

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey Challenges Biden over Hypocrisy of Federal Vaccine Mandates

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, who has been a constant critic of vaccine mandates, challenged President Joe Biden over his apparent hypocrisy in handling the coronavirus pandemic.

In a recent address, Biden claimed it is not up to the federal government to solve the coronavirus pandemic. However, as Governor Ducey noted, Biden has remained determined to impose federal vaccine mandates for individuals across the country.

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Pennsylvania Congressional Candidate Jim Bognet Denounces Illegal-Immigrant Flights, Says Rep. Matt Cartwright ‘Asleep at the Switch’

Congressional candidate Jim Bognet this week denounced transport of illegal aliens into Pennsylvania and rebuked his prospective opponent Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) for inattention to the issue.

The Republican attorney and small-business owner who challenged Cartwright in 2020 aims to do so again next year and is taking the Democrat to task for his pro-open-borders record and his general alignment with President Joe Biden on migration and border security. A Hazleton native, Bognet said illegal immigration has palpably burdened parts of the Keystone State’s northeast. He called for a return to the tighter security policies pursued by former President Donald Trump and for the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

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DeSantis Spokesperson Dismisses Criticism of Omicron Response

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings (D) criticized Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) this week saying the governor has been absent from helping local communities against the fight from the omicron variant of COVID.

“Our residents, all Florida residents, should be outraged and they should ask the question, ‘Where is our state? Where is our governor? Where is Ron DeSantis now?’ When is the last time you saw the governor do a press briefing on COVID-19?” said Jerry Demings.

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A Record Number of Minnesotans Moved to Other States This Year

New Census Bureau population data show that Minnesota’s population grew by just 225 people in 2021. One particularly alarming aspect of this was a loss of 13,453 residents to other states. This was our state’s biggest net loss of domestic migrants to other states in at least 30 years.

As Figure 1 shows, until 2001 Minnesota received more residents from other states each year than it lost to them. Since then, in all except for two years, 2017 and 2018, our state has seen more residents leave than have chosen to come here from elsewhere in the United States. The loss of residents in 2021 might be especially large, but it is not a new development.

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Confirmed: CNN Producer Who Sent Lewd Texts About Fiancée’s Underage Daughter No Longer with Network

A CNN producer who was busted by Project Veritas for sending lewd text messages to a woman about his now ex-fiancée’s underage daughter is no longer with the media outlet.  

“Rick Saleeby does not work for CNN. He resigned from his position two weeks ago,” CNN’s Head of Strategic Communications Matt Dornic confirmed Wednesdays to The Virginia Star. 

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Gov. Brian Kemp Attracts Criticism After He Tells Georgians He Did What He Promised to Do

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, up for reelection next year, released a campaign ad on Wednesday and told voters he has done everything he said he would do during his first term. Two Republicans running against Kemp said Wednesday that the incumbent governor has fallen short.

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Arlington School Board Weighs Ending Homework Grades, Unlimited Redoes

In a proposed shift towards what it calls more “equitable” grading practices, the Arlington School Board wants to make several massive changes to the way student achievement is measured.

The changes would include removing due dates and eliminating grading of homework, unlimited redoes and retakes on assignments, and eliminating extra credit, which the School Board alleges “leads to biased grades and penalizes students with fewer resources.”

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The Left Attacks Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper

The Intercept, a left-of-center publication has published a new article that tries to connect U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) to slavery and segregation. The article, which The Intercept published late last week, links Cooper to what it calls “a segregationist political dynasty on his father’s side” and slaveholders on his mother’s side.

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Lebanon Woman Faces Federal Charges for Interfering with Flight Crew

A woman from Lebanon, Tennessee is facing federal charges after she disrupted flight attendants onboard Spirit Airlines over Thanksgiving weekend, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Tuesday.

Amanda Renee Henry on a flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Nashville appeared intoxicated and became disruptive, according to the DOJ press release.

Authorities said that passengers seated next to Henry asked flight attendants to move seats due to her behavior, but since she was sitting next to an emergency exit, attendants decided to move her for the safety of everyone on the plane.

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Commentary: The DOJ’s Whitmer ‘Kidnapping’ Case Faces Uncertain Future

Gretchen Whitmer

The U.S. Department of Justice received an unwelcome Christmas gift from defense attorneys representing five men charged with conspiring to “kidnap” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020: a motion to dismiss the case.

The Christmas Day filing is the latest blow to the government’s scandal-ridden prosecution; defense counsel is building a convincing argument that the FBI used undercover agents and informants to entrap their clients in a wide-ranging scheme that resulted in bad press for Donald Trump as early voting was underway in the key swing state last year. What began as random social media chatter to oppose lockdown policies quickly morphed into a dangerous plan to abduct Whitmer as soon as the FBI took over.

A Michigan judge delayed the trial, now set for March 8, so defense attorneys could investigate the misconduct of FBI special agents handling at least a dozen government informants involved in the caper.

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Ivy League Researcher Hits Brick Wall with Medical Journals on COVID Vaccine Death Study

A Columbia University researcher who estimates COVID-19 vaccine-related deaths are “underreported by a factor of 20” told Just the News that medical journals are rebuffing his research, largely for “not very substantive” reasons.

His study has been “desk rejected by over 10 editors at medical journals,” said clinical neurobiologist Spiro Pantazatos. “I’ve lost count at this point.”

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CDC Shortens Isolation Window for Positive COVID-19 Result to Five Days

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated the amount of time it recommends people isolate themselves after testing positive for COVID-19, shortening it from 10 days to five.

“Given what we currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days, if asymptomatic, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others,” the CDC said in a statement Monday.

The CDC changed the guidance because officials believe the data indicates the majority of COVID-19 transmission takes place early in the course of the illness, “generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after,” the statement said.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Top 10 Lies of 2021

Joe Biden at desk, looking over documents

President Joe Biden has stumbled, mumbled, and bumbled his way through his first year in office. While many of his gaffes leave us laughing, much of what comes out of his mouth isn’t just nonsense, it’s outright lies. Here’s a look at Biden’s Top 10 Lies of the past year.

Georgia election reforms

Biden claimed “Georgia’s new law ends voting hours early so working people can’t cast their vote.”

Even the Washington Post called Biden out for this lie (after the paper repeatedly repeated it for months!)

Biden repeatedly condemned a new Georgia election law that imposed new restrictions on voting, but one of his complaints was simply false: “It ends voting hours early so working people can’t cast their vote after their shift is over.” Many listeners might assume he was talking about voting on Election Day. But Election Day hours were not changed. The law did make some changes to early voting. But experts say the net effect of the new early-voting rules was to expand the opportunities to vote for most Georgians, not limit them.

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Commentary: ‘Roots,’ ‘Dreams,’ and the Unequal Punishment of Fraud

A week before Christmas, on the occasion of Alex Haley’s centennial year, Michael Patrick Hearn penned a lengthy tribute to his one-time Hamilton College prof. The first 4,000 words of the New York Times article Hearn fulfilled the promise of its title, as Hearn recounted in loving detail how “Alex Haley Taught America About Race — and a Young Man How to Write.”

Only about 500 words before the article’s completion does the Times reader learn there were problems with Haley’s 1976 “magnum opus”— Roots: The Saga of an American Family. Writes Hearn, much too matter-of-factly, “Haley and Doubleday might have saved themselves a lot of trouble had they acknowledged from the first that their big best seller was based on a true story.” This is Hearn’s gentle way of saying the book is a fraud. If additional irony were needed, Hearn wrote his paean to Haley under the Times rubric, “Nonfiction.”

Haley, in fact, stands accused of three counts of literary fraud. He passed off fiction as fact. He passed off another’s work as his own. And he plagiarized. Only one popular writer in recent times has faced comparable accusations. That is Barack Obama, author of his own imagined family saga, Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. More on Obama in a minute.

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Iowa Farmers Prepare for California’s Prop 12

Man in gray tee and blue jeans walking in a field with two hogs behind him

Hogs born Jan. 1, 2022, or later are subject to California’s Prop 12.

Some Iowa agricultural leaders have criticized the law, which prohibits the sale of pork from hogs that are the offspring of sows that were raised in pens with less than 24 square feet of usable floorspace per pig.

California accounts for about 15% of the U.S. pork market, the National Pork Producers Council said in a September news release. The NPPC is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to determine Prop 12’s constitutionality.

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Analysis: States Where Unelected Bureaucrats Took over Redistricting Experienced Difficulties

In Michigan, the state’s civil rights agency said proposed maps of legislative districts “do not measure up to the requirements of the law.” In Pennsylvania, Republican lawmakers complained about an “extreme partisan gerrymander.” And in Virginia, incumbents and potential challengers scrambled to work with proposed district maps.

In theory, new bureaucracies to draw up maps for congressional and legislative districts were supposed to save democracy from politics and block the practice of gerrymandering.

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Football Legend John Madden Dies Unexpectedly at 85

Pro-Football Hall of Fame coach John Madden died unexpectedly Tuesday morning at the age of 85, the NFL reported.

“We all know him as the Hall of Fame coach of the Oakland Raiders and broadcaster who worked for every major network, but more than anything, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said, adding that he sends his condolences to Madden’s family.

“Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football. He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today,” Goodell concluded.

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Nurses Blast New CDC Emergency Guidance That Allows Healthcare Workers Infected with COVID to Return to Work

Healthcare worker in hair net and mask

Healthcare workers are up in arms over a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emergency guidance that allows healthcare workers who have had “higher risk exposures” to COVID, and even those infected with COVID to return to work after a five day quarantine as long as they’re asymptomatic.

Nurses groups are condemning the CDC’s guidance as  “potentially dangerous” for both workers and patients.

Earlier this month, the CDC issued the alert to health care workers across the United States as a “contingency” plan for anticipated staffing shortages due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

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‘Who Better to Help Make That Change But Me?’: Virginia Lieutenant Governor-Elect Winsome Sears Says Democrats Are Losing Grip on Two Key Demographics

Winsome Sears, the Republican lieutenant governor-elect of Virginia, told The New York Times that Democrats are at risk of losing Black and immigrant voters.

As an immigrant from Jamaica and the first black woman elected to statewide office in Virginia, Sears told the NYT she was the perfect person to kickstart her demographic’s political realignment in America.

“The message is important,” Sears told the outlet. “But the messenger is equally important.”

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Nasdaq Expected to Underperform the S&P 500 for First Time in over Five Years

The Nasdaq Composite, a technology-heavy index of publicly-traded companies, is set to underperform the S&P 500 for the first time since 2016, according to CNBC.

The S&P 500, a stock market index consisting of the 500 largest publicly-traded companies in the U.S., climbed 28% in 2021 as of Monday, while the Nasdaq was up 23% on a year-over-year basis, according to CNBC. The S&P 500 previously beat the Nasdaq in 2016 and 2011.

The Nasdaq had a strong start to 2021, almost doubling the S&P 500 in February, CNBC reported. Trading slowed after the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines, which boosted sentiment among investors that the pandemic was ending, reducing demand for remote work technology and other tech-focused goods.

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Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Shipwrecks, Find Hundreds of Silver Coins from Almost 2,000 Years Ago

Archaeologists discovered two ancient shipwrecks off the Mediterranean cost filled with ancient coins from 2,000 years ago, the Associated Press reported.

Artifacts from the discovery, made near the ancient city of Caesarea, date back to the Roman and Mamluk periods, nearly 1,700 and 600 years ago, respectively, according to the AP. The findings included hundreds of silver and bronze coins dating to the middle of the third century, with more than 500 silver coins dating back to the Middle Ages.

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U.S. Tech Giant Apologizes to China After Telling Suppliers to Avoid Products from Xinjiang

U.S. chip maker and technology company Intel apologized to its Chinese business partners and customers Thursday after telling its suppliers to avoid sourcing from the Xinjiang region of China.

Intel sent a letter to suppliers earlier this month urging them to avoid products, labor and materials from Xinjiang, home of China’s Uyhgur Muslim minority. The letter, written by Intel’s Jackie Sturm, vice president and general manager of global supply chain operations, said Intel had an expectation that suppliers were “prohibiting any human trafficked or involuntary labor” in their supply chains.

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Nashville Scene Apologizes for Promoting New Years Event with No COVID Restrictions

A weekly Nashville magazine apologized to readers Monday after promoting a Fox News sponsored New Years Eve event that will not require guests to wear masks, present a negative COVID-19 test or show proof of vaccination to partake. 

“Due to a communication breakdown, a Nashville Scene marketing email went out this morning promoting a Fox News-sponsored event at Wildhorse Saloon requiring no proof of vaccination or negative COVID test. We regret this error and apologize to our readers. It won’t happen again,” Nashville Scene said on Twitter. 

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Commentary: Five Times Pro-Life Advocates Fought for Their Beliefs on Campus in 2021

Even at religiously affiliated institutions, pro-life students fight to have their voices heard peacefully.

Below are five times in 2021 that pro-life advocates overcame adversity on college campuses.

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Commentary: The Biggest Myth About Nuclear ‘Waste’

Biohazard sign

With a dismissive wave of the hand, nuclear power opponents play their trump card to argue why they will never support this safe, dependable, carbon-free source of energy.

“Radioactive waste.”

But in doing so, they reveal their ignorance. Nuclear ‘waste’ – in the form of spent uranium fuel rods – is not really waste.

The United States, which generates about a fifth of its electricity from nuclear power, produces roughly 2,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel each year, which must be securely stored in immense concrete and steel casks for hundreds of years. That sounds like a taxing task, but if you aggregate all of the spent fuel produced in the U.S. since the 1950s, it would actually fit on one football field stacked about ten yards high. Nuclear plant operators are more than capable of handling this amount for the foreseeable future.

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Part-Time Athens-Clarke County Commissioners Want to More Than Double Their Salaries

Six of the 10 Athens-Clarke County (ACC), Georgia commissioners have proposed an ordinance that, if enacted into law, would more than double their salaries from $15,000 per year to $31,000. County Mayor Kelly Girtz, under this proposal, would enjoy a pay increase as well, but only a small one, from $57,399 to $62,000.

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Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers Celebrates Granting More Pardons Than ‘Any Governor in Contemporary History’

Tony Evers

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Tuesday pardoned 30 individuals that were convicted for a host of violations, including drug distribution.

With the added numbers, Evers has now released 337 convicted criminals in his first three years leading the state. 

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Hunt Clubs Sue Pennsylvania Game Commission Claiming Illegal Searches

Two Western Pennsylvania hunting clubs are suing the Pennsylvania Game Commission claiming unconstitutional warrantless searches of private property.

The Punxsutawney Hunting Club and neighboring Pitch Pine Hunting Club filed suit against the game commission and conservation officer Mark Gritzer alleging Gritzer repeatedly entered clearly marked private property to investigate club members for wildlife violations.

Gritzer issued one hunter a citation for having no hunting license or identification and another for carrying a loaded gun in a vehicle, while other members were approached and issued warnings for minor issues, according to the lawsuit, filed last week.

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Governor Whitmer Signs Bill to Address Michigan Substitute Teacher Shortage

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Monday signed legislation that aims to limit the state’s substitute teacher shortage.

House Bill 4294, sponsored by State Representative Brad Paquette (R-Niles), will allow certain school staff members, like secretaries, to fill open substitute teacher positions through the end of the current school year.

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Missouri Legislators Want to End Sales Tax On Guns, Food, Diapers in 2022 Session

Missouri State Capitol

If the number of bills submitted in the Missouri House of Representatives and the Senate is any indication, lots of time will be devoted to debating taxes during the next legislative session starting Jan. 5, 2022.

Approximately 10% of the 1,020 bills filed contain the word “tax” in the description. Senators filed about 40 bills and joint resolutions while representatives filed approximately 60.

More than 50 bills cover taxation and general revenue.

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Ohio Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Renacci Slams Level of Government Spending Under DeWine

Ohio gubernatorial candidate Jim Renacci on Monday slammed the level of government spending over the past year under Governor Mike DeWine.

The former congressman and DeWine’s GOP primary challenger has remained critical of the incumbent governor’s policies.

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Pennsylvania Secretary of State Suggests in Lawsuit Response That Court Should Draw Congressional Districts

Veronica Degraffenreid

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid (D), in answering a lawsuit concerning congressional redistricting Monday, indicated interest in having the state Supreme Court once again redraw district lines.

Petitioners have complained of an impasse between the Gov. Tom Wolf (D) and the GOP-led General Assembly on creating new districts and Degraffenreid’s attorneys have suggested agreement on the plaintiffs’ suggestion that Pennsylvania’s high court must finally decide.

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Georgia House Speaker David Ralston Announces Strict COVID-19 Policies for 2022 Legislative Session

Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) has notified members of the state house that they must test for COVID-19 and wear protective masks for next year’s legislative session. Ralston said in a memo last week to state house members that they must test for COVID-19 prior to January 5. Legislators must report their results to Human Resources Director Donald Cronin.

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Florida Lawmakers Propose Bills to Allow Criminal Offenders to Opt for Military Service

In an attempt to create an alternative to prison time for low-level offenders, Florida lawmakers proposed identical bills (SB 1356 and HB 187) last week that would allow said offenders to enlist in military service rather than incarceration.

The option to enlist in lieu of going to prison is only eligible for first-time criminal offenders who are ages 25 or younger, whose primary offense is a misdemeanor, and whose sentencing for imprisonment is no more than four years.

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