Georgia Opens Investigation into Possible Illegal Ballot Harvesting in 2020 Election

Georgia authorities have launched an investigation into an allegation of systematic ballot harvesting during the state’s 2020 general election and subsequent U.S. Senate runoff and may soon issue subpoenas to secure evidence, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed to Just the News.

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Metro Nashville Council Surveying Residents on Preferred Spending of Federal Coronavirus Relief Funds

The Metro Nashville Council released a survey on Monday for the city’s residents to note their preferred recipients of federal coronavirus relief funds that will be dispersed throughout the year.

The survey responses, which will be collected throughout January, will be considered by the committee with the authority to appropriate the funds.

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Victor Davis Hanson Commentary: The Truths We Dared Not Speak in 2021

As the long year of 2021 finally came to a close, there were a number of truths Americans on the Left found themselves privately acknowledging but unable to say in public for fear of doing damage to their political cause, their own reputations, or their sense of security. But as 2022 advances, it will become even more difficult to hide these truths.

Collusion, RIP
No one wishes to speak of the “dossier” anymore. Everyone knows why: it was never a dossier. It was always a mishmash concoction of half-baked fantasies and outright lies, sloppily thrown together by the grifter and has-been ex-British spy and Trump hater, Christopher Steele—all in the pay of Hillary Clinton, the original architect of the collusion hoax.

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Federal Judge Pauses COVID Mandates for Head Start Program Following Lawsuit from Tennessee Attorney General, Other States

A federal judge in Louisiana granted a temporary injunction that will protect members of the Head Start early education program from a mandate that would force masking and vaccinations for certain individuals.

U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty ruled the Biden administration attempted to use powers of the executive branch to make laws, a move not supported by the Constitution.

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Montana the Latest State to Begin Recreational Marijuana Sales

Montana became the latest state to sell legal recreational marijuana, with its law going into effect on New Year’s Day.

While Montana residents adopted the law on Election Day in 2020 with 57% of the vote, the state legislature-passed law, which came a year later, includes provisions limiting where in the state the substance can be purchased. Under the law, those in “green counties,” where a majority of residents voted in favor in 2020, are allowed to sell the drug for recreational use, while those in “red counties,” where a majority of residents voted against legalization, are not, according to the Montana Department of Revenue.

Red county vendors are not able to sell recreational marijuana, unless they put the matter up to a county-wide vote and a majority of residents support the provision, according to the department. Licenses are required for both the sale and use of the substance.

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Commentary: The United States Should Avoid Waging a Two-Front Cold War

Xi Jinping, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin

The Biden administration appears to be heading in the direction of waging a two-front Cold War over Ukraine in Eastern Europe and Taiwan in East Asia, both of which could turn “hot” any day. The imprudence of such an approach should be obvious, but the great danger is that such “crises” could get out of hand before the leaders involved step back from the brink.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin may want to extend Russia’s rule to Ukraine and other former Soviet republics, but he definitely wants to ensure the end of NATO expansion. China’s Xi Jinping, like all of his predecessors, wants Taiwan unified with the mainland, and while he would prefer to do it peacefully, he may be willing to risk war with the United States to achieve his goal–especially if he believes he can win such a war at an acceptable cost.

That leaves the Biden administration, which to date has been sending mixed signals to both Russia and China. Administration spokespersons have warned of severe consequences should Russia invade Ukraine, but President Biden has stated that those consequences will be primarily economic in the form of sanctions. Meanwhile, President Biden has stated that the United States will defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack, but administration spokespersons have walked that back and reaffirmed the U.S. policy of “strategic ambiguity.” This is a recipe for confusion, misunderstanding, and possibly war on two fronts.

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Major Phone Companies Prepare to Launch 5G, over Concerns of Interference with Aviation Equipment

Two of the largest cell phone providers in the country are moving forward with their original plans to launch 5G wireless service this week, even as federal officials warn that such technology could pose a risk of interfering with aviation equipment, according to Politico.

In a joint letter sent to the State Department by the CEOs of AT&T and Verizon, the executives argued that an expansion of cell phone coverage via 5G is necessary amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“With continued COVID crises, it has never been more important that our country’s critical communications infrastructure have the spectrum needed to handle escalating traffic demands from our customers,” said AT&T’s John Stankey and Verizon’s Hans Vestberg.

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Drone Attack on U.S. Base Foiled on Anniversary of Iran’s Top General’s Assassination

DeltaQuad VTOL surveillance

Two armed drones were shot down as they approached a base near Baghdad’s international airport containing U.S. forces on Monday, Iraqi security sources told Reuters.

The base’s defense system engaged “two fixed-wing suicide drones,” an official of the U.S.-led international military coalition told Reuters. Both were downed “without incident” and no injuries were sustained.

“This was a dangerous attack on a civilian airport,” the coalition official said in a statement, Reuters reported.

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Elizabeth Holmes Guilty on Four Counts of Fraud and Conspiracy

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes was found guilty Monday on four counts: three of wire fraud and one of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The jury remained deadlocked on three charges and found her not guilty on four other felony charges.

The former entrepreneur reportedly remained emotionless as the verdicts were read, The Associated Press stated. Her partner, Billy Evans, reacted similarly.

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As Omicron Surges, Understaffed Hospitals Ease Mandates, Rehire Unvaxxed Employees

After unvaccinated healthcare workers were fired for refusing to comply with vaccine mandates, some are being asked to return to work due to staffing shortages amid increasing COVID-19 cases.

In Canada, for example, Alberta Health Services announced on Dec. 23 it will allow unvaccinated healthcare workers to resume their jobs starting Jan. 10 if they submit to frequent testing. AHS cited expected increased demands on the health system due to the spread of the Omicron variant for the policy change. As of the date of the announcement, 1,400 healthcare workers who were not fully vaccinated had been placed on unpaid leave.

AHS said that unvaccinated workers will be responsible for paying for and coordinating their COVID tests, which they must complete no more than 48 hours prior to their shifts.

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Mount Zion Baptist Church Moves Services Online, Citing COVID Case Rates

The Mount Zion Baptist Church announced last week that it would be moving services online. In a Facebook video, Pastor Joseph Walker said that God had told him and those planning the New Year’s service to hold it virtually. 

“God is so amazing, right?” Walker said. “Because God sees so far down the road… little did we know that this pandemic would be moving at the pace it’s moving. And you know, out of an abundance of caution and out of much prayer and counsel, I as your leader always want to make the right decisions concerning our church.”

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Nationwide, Americans Brace for a Busy Election 2022 Year

This past week was the last one before the US officially entered a midterm election year. Below are the latest updates.

States

In Alaska, the Lieutenant Governor is not running for reelection. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump has said he will endorse the incumbent Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy, so long as Dunleavy does not back incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski.

In Colorado, Mesa County dropped a lawsuit against their County Recorder over an ongoing dispute about attesting to documents. The County Recorder is still facing other investigations.

In Georgia, a review of elections found that only four deceased people voted in the 2020 election.

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Facebook Bans Conservative Kid’s Book Publisher Heroes of Liberty From Running Ads

Facebook permanently suspended the ads account of Heroes of Liberty, a conservative children’s book publisher, claiming the company’s ads violated the tech giant’s policies against “Low Quality or Disruptive Content.”

“We began investing in Facebook four months before we launched our first book,” Bethany Mandel, Heroes of Liberty editor and board member, told Fox Business. “We invested most of our marketing budget on the platform, and now our budget (the money we’ve already spent), as well as our assets and data are gone. Marketing-wise we are back in square one, financially it’s even more challenging.”

Facebook initially banned Heroes of Liberty’s Facebook Ads account on Dec. 23, according to Mandel, claiming the account “didn’t comply with our policy on Low Quality or Disruptive Content.”

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Navy, Air Force Allegedly Issuing Blanket Denials of Religious Exemptions from COVID Vax Mandate

The Navy and Air Force are allegedly issuing predetermined blanket denials of requests for religious exemptions from the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, in violation of federal law and regulations.

Vice Admiral John Nowell, deputy chief of naval operations for manpower, personnel, training, and education, created a 50-step standard operating procedure streamlining the denials of these requests, known as religious accommodation requests (RARs).

The military is required by law to evaluate RARs on an individual basis to ensure due process under the Fifth Amendment and protect service members’ First Amendment right to religious freedom.

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Nashville Mayor John Cooper Says City Reached Record Highs of Positive COVID Rates

Nashville Mayor John Cooper tweeted this week that COVID cases were on the rise in the city. Cooper said the average positive test rate was at 34.4 percent, up higher from the previous week’s 20.6 percent. He added the 10,186 reported cases were double than the high week of January 2021. 

Cooper continued that 62.2 percent of Nashville residents are vaccinated and “Vaccines continue to be highly effective against severe illness if you contract COVID. If you’ve been waiting, please protect your family’s health by getting vaccinated today.”

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ANALYSIS: A Look at Universities’ Foreign Contribution Filings

College student studying

Data collected by the US Department of Education show that during 2021, colleges and universities amassed a total of $1.3 billion in contracts and gifts from foreign sources, including $337 million from foreign governments.

The U.S. Department of Education has expressed concern about foreign nations using funds to influence American institutions of higher education. “For at least two decades,” the Department said in a report published last October, “the industry has been on direct notice that at least some of these foreign sources are hostile to the United States and are targeting their investments (i.e., “gifts” and “contracts”) to project soft power, steal sensitive and proprietary research, and spread propaganda.”

Campus Reform has covered how China uses Confucius Institutes to exert influence on American schools. Needs a line about what Confucius Institutes are Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated the program as “part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus.”

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Virtual Universities Going for the 2022 Academic Year

Woman on laptop working outside

Campus Reform is monitoring the colleges and universities starting the 2022 academic year online.

These institutions are imposing the changes due to the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.

Seven out of the 10 University of California chancellors decided to begin the winter quarter remotely. This includes UC Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.

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Scientists Believe Meteor Exploded over Pittsburgh

aerial view of Pittsburgh, Pa.

Scientists believe a meteor exploded early New Year’s Day over Pittsburgh, causing mysterious loud noises and vibrations that shook the city.

“The loud explosion heard over SW PA earlier may have been a meteor explosion,” the U.S. National Weather Service tweeted Saturday, posting an image showing a flash of light it claimed was “not associated with lightning.”

“No confirmation, but this is the most likely explanation at this time,” the agency said.

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Commentary: There Is No Radical Right

Firebrand Tucker Carlson is the poster boy for the radical Right. His fans are far outside the mainstream. They’re the “deplorables”: the alt-right, white nationalists, and so on. Pragmatic politicians should pick positions halfway between Tucker Carlson’s and those of his counterpoise on the Left—say, Rachel Maddow. These middling positions—flowers across the land of the moderates; reeds across the still waters of the independents—will win elections. 

That’s what many believe, anyway. But why? The mere existence of polar opposites does not, in fact, imply a virtuous mean. Some people murder a lot of people. Some people murder no people. Murdering some people is not, however, the good or pragmatic thing to do. 

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Biden Appoints Far-Left Judge for 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

Nancy Abudu

President Joe Biden has nominated a far-left judge for a seat on the bench of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

From Georgia, Nancy Gbana Abudu is a deputy legal director at the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit known for listing conservative organizations as “hate groups,” which once inspired a violent attack against the Family Research Council. 

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Multiple Wisconsin School Systems Reinstate Remote Learning for Students

Multiple Wisconsin school districts on Monday announced a return to remote learning for students, citing a spike in positive coronavirus cases.

School systems in two of the state’s largest cities, Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), detailed that students will be forced to learn from computer screens when the new semester begins.

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Arlington Public Schools Shares Plan to End Teachers’ ‘Implicit Bias’ in Grading

Teacher interacting with group of kids

Arlington Public Schools (APS) Monday shared with The Virginia Star its proposed plan to eliminate “implicit bias” among its teachers by eliminating graded homework, homework deadlines and extra credit, along with providing students unlimited redoes. 

“APS is in the early stages of revising the grading and homework policies and policy implementation procedures (PIPs). This work is being done as part of the School Board’s work to update all policies and PIPs,” Frank Bellavia, a spokesman for the school system, told The Star. “As of right now, we are having preliminary conversations with instructional staff as to what makes sense in policy and what makes sense in practice at schools. There are two phases of the process before the School Board is scheduled to act on any recommendations in May.”

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Nearly 75 Percent of Pennsylvania Counties Have Signed Onto Opioid Settlement

pill bottles spilled onto a table

Fifty Pennsylvania counties have joined a historic global opioid settlement that is expected to bring $1 billion to the state to fight the opioid crisis.

The $26 billion settlement involves the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal, McKesson and AmerisourceBergen – as well as Johnson & Johnson. The agreement requires industry changes to help prevent a similar crisis in the future, in addition to the funds, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

“Pennsylvania lost 5,172 lives to overdoses in the last year alone, which is 14 Pennsylvanians a day. This settlement is going to provide resources to jumpstart programs that will change lives and impact families across our commonwealth who are struggling to find treatment and help for those struggling with substance abuse,” Shapiro said. “These funds will be earmarked to offer and expand life-saving treatment options, prioritizing the areas that have been most affected by this crisis.”

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Gubernatorial Candidate David Perdue Wants Georgians to Have a Parents’ Bill of Rights

A spokeswoman for former Republican senator and Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue said Monday that the candidate wants a Parents’ Bill of Rights. This, after Atlanta Public School (APS) officials announced Saturday that they will operate virtually this week for all students and all staff. APS officials said the district’s most recent COVID-19 data prompted the decision.

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Commentary: Republicans on College Campuses Struggle to Find Dates in Today’s Political Climate

Political polarization in the United States is bad. Americans don’t just dislike the other party; we hate anyone associated with it. We increasingly indulge our worst impulses. We grow ever-more biased against people with different political perspectives. Hatred for those in an opposition political party in the U.S. has risen steadily since 2000 – when around 10% to 20% of Democrats and Republicans said they despised the other party – to today, when about half say so.

There’s no end in sight. Generation Lab/Axios polling just released some disturbing new findings: Young Democrats really hate Republicans.

The poll asked 850 college students nationwide from Nov. 18 to 22 whether they would date someone who voted for the opposing presidential candidate. Seventy-one percent of Democrats said they would not date someone who voted for a Republican for president; 31% of Republicans said the same. Forty-one percent of Democrats said they would not shop at or support a business of someone who voted for the opposing presidential candidate; 7% of Republicans said the same. Thirty-seven percent of Democrats said that they would not be friends with someone who voted for the opposing presidential candidate; 5% of Republicans said the same. And 30% of Democrats said they would not work for someone who voted for the opposing presidential candidate; 7% of Republicans agreed.

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Oxford, Michigan School District Requires Students to Wear Clear Backpacks Following Deadly Shooting

Oxford High School

The superintendent of Oxford Community Schools in Michigan says all middle- and high-school students will “for the time being” be required to use clear backpacks upon their return to the classroom, following a recent, fatal school shooting.

The announcement came last week, just about one month after 15-year-old gunman Ethan Crumbley opened fire on his classmates, killing four students and injuring seven others.

Crumbley faces 24 charges including first-degree murder and terrorism resulting in death, he was charged as an adult. Crumbley’s parents, James and Jennifer, were also charged in connection to the shooting.

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Ruling in Pennsylvania Election-Investigation Lawsuit Expected to Come Soon

exterior of Pennsylvania Judicial Court

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court is expected to soon issue a decision on whether the state Senate Republicans’ 2020 election probe may continue.

Specifically, the judges must determine whether delivery of information subpoenaed by the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee would breach voters’ privacy rights as state Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) and other plaintiffs maintain.

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State Senator Hackworth Introduces Bill to Repeal Requirement that Virginia Schools Pass Transgender Policies

Senator Travis Hackworth (R-Tazewell) is seeking to repeal a requirement that Virginia school districts pass policies consistent with the Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students. Alongside policy debates about COVID-19, equity, and accelerated learning, the transgender policies were a major source of contention in 2021 as local school boards were forced to comply with state law — even when local officials didn’t agree with the policy.

“Senator Hackworth believes that education decisions are always best made when handled locally among those closest to the children and families served in those schools,” Hackworth Legislative Aide Tom Lester said in a statement to The Virginia Star.

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Virginia Department of Health Closes Vaccination Centers Monday Amid Snowstorm

Virginia’s state-run COVID-19 vaccination centers will be closed on Monday in response to expected inclement weather caused by a snowstorm affecting parts of the state.

None of the state’s Community Vaccination Centers, run by the Virginia Department of Health, will offer any vaccinations for the day. Portions of central, south central and west central Virginia are in a winter storm emergency, according to the National Weather Service. Privately run vaccination centers are not affected by the announcement and will be subject to their own company’s decision on whether to close or remain open.

In a news release, the VDH urged residents who had scheduled appointments for Monday to reschedule as soon as possible. A person can schedule an appointment with one of the centers through vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877-829-4682. Assistance is available in English, Spanish and more than 100 other languages.

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Doctor Says Minnesota Medical Board Seeks Records of Patients Given Ivermectin

Dr. Scott Jensen, a veteran Minnesota family physician locked in a protracted dispute with state regulators over COVID-19, is raising alarm that the state medical board is now seeking the records of his patients who were prescribed Ivermectin.

Jensen, who has faced five licensing investigations in 17 months, told Just the News the latest request is “crossing a line” and invades the medical privacy of patients.

“If the Board of Medical Practice gets documentation for me … I think there’s a lot of folks out there that are concerned that their health privacy would not have been protected, and that indeed they can be identified,” he said in an interview.

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Ohio State University Medical Center Opens Drive-Thru COVID Testing Site

COVID Vaccine Parking sign

Ohio State University along with CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, teamed up to open a new drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility capable of administering 1000 tests per day to students at the school.

“We know that testing is an important tool in our battle against COVID-19,” said Dr. Andrew Thomas, interim co-leader and chief clinical officer at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center said in a press release. “We remain committed to supporting the central Ohio community and to meeting the increased demand for COVID-19 testing. At this point, our focus is testing individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and those with significant exposures to people known to have COVID-19. Knowing your COVID status can help prevent you from spreading this virus to family members, friends and others you come in close contact with.”

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Phoenix Six-Figure Job Growth Ranks Second Among Large U.S. Metros

Phoenix has the second highest percentage change in high-paying jobs out of a list of large U.S. metros, according to a Stessa report. 

Phoenix saw a 217.1% increase in six-figure jobs from 2015 to 2020, marking the second-largest percentage increase among the nation’s largest metropolitan areas. 

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Labor Shortage, Supply Chain, Inflation Hurting Ohio Small Businesses

Small businesses across Ohio find themselves in the middle of what one of the leading advocates in the nation calls a perfect storm of issues, causing continued concern and struggles.

A new survey from the Ohio branch of the National Federation of Independent Business shows labor issues, supply chain problems and inflation create significant hurdles as mom-and-pop businesses around the state continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Florida Juvenile Arrests Reach 46-Year Low

Five people standing ini front of a chain link fence

Last week, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) announced Florida’s juvenile arrest rate reached a 46-year low. Specifically, the arrest rate is down 51 percent in the last five years. The DJJ praised the findings and the work of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and First Lady Casey DeSantis for their efforts and expanding access to opportunities to Florida’s youth.

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Michigan K-12, Colleges Shift to Virtual Learning Amid Omicron, Affecting 100,000

Twenty-two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, some schools and colleges say they will shift to virtual learning amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, which will affect more than 100,000 students.

Detroit Free Press reporter Sally Tato tweeted a list of schools with delayed schedules or shifting to virtual learning briefly (estimated student population added):

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Connecticut Schools Close as COVID-19 Cases Rise Among Students, Staff

Some school districts around Connecticut announced closures to allow students and teachers additional time to recover from COVID-19 as the state is experiencing a rise in cases and quarantines.

Stratford Public Schools posted a notice on its website stating that, “Schools will not be in session on Monday 1/3 and Tuesday, 1/4. We will effectively treat the next two days as Inclement Weather Days. This will position us to allow impacted staff members and students to receive current test results and potentially complete their quarantine for a safer return.”

Stonington Public schools announced the closure for Monday only and that Tuesday would be “closed due to Professional Development in lieu” a scheduled Professional Development Day on March 9, which will now be a regular class day.

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Facebook Suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene for 24 Hours

Smart phone with Facebook etched out

Facebook suspended the account of Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for 24 hours on Monday, one day after Twitter permanently suspended her account over repeated violations of COVID-19 misinformation policies.

Greene posted on Telegram that Facebook blocked her from posting or commenting for 24 hours for not abiding by the company’s “Community Standards” on Monday.

“This is because you previously posted something that didn’t follow our Community Standards,” Facebook’s temporary restriction announcement said, according to Greene.

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DeSantis Pushes for More Monoclonal Treatments from Federal Government

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

At a press conference yesterday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called for more monoclonal treatments to be sent to Florida from the federal government. DeSantis said the vaccine is not preventing COVID transmission like they were marketed to do.

The most recent variant spike, omicron, is the least severe variant of COVID and shows characteristics no more deadly than the common cold.

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University of Memphis Announces New Initiative to Push Social Justice Principles on Students

University of Memphis officials have offered a $3,000 stipend to professors to redesign existing courses to promote the tenets of social justice. This, as part of the university’s Eradicating Systemic Racism and Promoting Social Justice Initiative.

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