As Gas Prices Reach Record Highs, Biden Bans Russian Oil Imports

President Joe Biden announced a ban on the importation of Russian oil, coal and gas as a response to the nation’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine just as gas prices in the U.S. reached a record high Tuesday.

Biden said Tuesday that the decision was intended to “inflict further pain” on Russian President Vladimir Putin and defund his war in Ukraine. He also acknowledged it would further raise the price of gasoline for Americans.

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Tennessee State Rep. Robin Smith Resigns from Office After Federal Indictment for Alleged Conspiracy Involving Former Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada

Tennessee State Representative Robin Smith (R-Hixson) resigned from office effective Monday, March 7 after being federally indicted of one count of wire fraud due to allegations of a conspiracy reportedly involving a former speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives.

According to a court information document, Smith is charged with Honest Services Wire Fraud, a felony violation which carries a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison with no minimum sentence. The maximum fine if convicted is $250,000.

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Tennessee Senate Unanimously Approves Legislation Targeting Organized Speed Racing

The Tennessee State Senate unanimously approved legislation targeting organized street racing.

State Senator John Stevens’ (R-Huntingdon) SB1673 was approved by the Senate on February 28. It was engrossed on March 1. It now sits on the House desk for consideration.

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Congressman Mark Green Introduces Bill to Ban Purchase of Oil from Russia, Iran, and Venezuela

Mark Green signs legislation

U.S. Representative Mark Green (R-TN-07) on Monday introduced legislation to ban the U.S. from purchasing oil from Russia, Iran, and Venezuela.

Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers have expressed support for banning the purchase of Russian oil amid the country’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. However, the Biden administration has remained hesitant to make the decision.

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Commentary: ‘Wokeness’ on Energy Is Weakness

As Joe Biden’s approval numbers sink further into the sewer, the only thing he’s building back better is 1970s-style inflation. Up until Biden, most polls usually named Jimmy Carter as one of the weakest and most inept presidents we’ve ever had. That was until Biden showed up and said, “Hold my beer!” Which you have to know has brought so much joy to Carter. Heck, he probably has a set of “Let’s go Brandon!” PJs that he wears every night as he thanks God for the gift of Biden. 

Fact is, this country is now being “led” by a man who absolutely will go down as one of the worst presidents in our history. In just over a year, Biden has brought inflation roaring back to levels not seen in 40 years, has destroyed our southern border as millions of illegal aliens, along with Chinese fentanyl, flood the country, and now we have been involved in two major international debacles with Afghanistan and Ukraine. The list could go on, but perhaps that’s too depressing. 

Rest assured, however, it’s not going to get better. Biden is like the anti-Midas, turning everything he touches into crap.

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Report Shows Tennessee State Parks Had $2.1 Billion Economic Impact in 2021

Tennessee State Parks had an economic impact of $2.1 billion in Fiscal Year 2021, as the parks posted 38.5 million visits, according to a report done for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), the department announced Monday.

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Commentary: Trump Was Right Again About the U.S. Subsidizing Europeans’ Healthcare and Defense

It took Russia’s naked aggression against Ukraine for Germany to admit that Donald Trump was right all along: Europe needs to stop relying on U.S. subsidies and spend more on its own defense. 

In a stunning policy reversal, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany would do what Trump was long urging and commit at least two percent of GDP to defense spending. 

That the United States has been subsidizing Europe’s defense is well known, thanks mainly to Trump’s harping on it. Another thing Trump thundered about, correctly, is that the United States also subsidizes Europe’s socialized healthcare. Pharmaceutical companies rely upon sky-high U.S. drug prices to render economically viable their ability to sell drugs in other countries. The United States thereby subsidizes socialized healthcare in the rest of the world, especially in the wealthiest European countries. 

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Franklin & Marshall Poll: Biden Tanking Among Pennsylvania Independents

Joe Biden waving

A new Franklin & Marshall College (F&M) Poll shows President Joe Biden’s positivity numbers have fallen from 38 percent to just 25 percent among independents since August.

The survey also found that, broadly speaking, more Pennsylvania voters now rate President Joe Biden as doing a “poor job” than at any previous point in his presidency.

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Omar Hamada Joins Host Leahy In-Studio to Discuss His Background and Potential Run for TN-5 House Seat

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed potential GOP candidate for TN-5 and Williamson County resident, Omar Hamada in-studio to talk about his background and why he may run.

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Drunk-Driving Michigan State Rep. Loses License

A member of the Michigan State House of Representatives has lost his driver’s license after accepting a plea deal in February for charges related to a drunk driving arrest last year. 

State Representative Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) won’t be driving until September, at which point, according to the lawmaker, he will get his license back on restricted terms. 

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Williamson County Resident Omar Hamada on His Roots and Educational Upbringing

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed Williamson County resident and Tennessee Fifth Congressional District potential GOP candidate, Omar Hamada in studio to talk about his background.

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Potential Candidate for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional Seat, Omar Hamada Plays ‘Taking the Fifth,’ Scores 5 out of 7

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed potential candidate for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District, Omar Hamada in studio to answer quiz questions of Taking the 5th.

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State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson Comments on Rapid Residency Senate Bill 2616 and Education Funding

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed State Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the bipartisan support for SB2616 and education funding.

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OH-13 Republican Candidate Max Miller Has Nearly $1 Million Financial Lead over Nearest Competitor

Republican Candidate Max Miller has a nearly $1 million financial lead over his nearest competitor in the race for Ohio’s 13th Congressional District, as of the December 31, 2021 filing deadline.

According to FEC records, Miller has raised $1,828,312.50 and has $968,976.38 cash on hand in the bank. No other candidate in either the Republican field or the Democrat field have more than $15,000 on hand.

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DeSantis Spokesperson Responds to ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Moniker, Outrage Follows

Christina Pushaw

The spokesperson for Governor DeSantis, Christina Pushaw, responded to the “Don’t Say Gay” label with a moniker of her own and outrage ensued from LGBTQ advocates.

Pushaw tweeted that the “bill that liberals inaccurately call “Don’t Say Gay” would be more accurately described as an Anti-Grooming Bill.” And added, “If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8-year-old children. Silence is complicity. This is how it works, Democrats, and I didn’t make the rules.”

The backlash was quick.

First, Joe Saunders, the political director for Equality Florida responded by mischaracterizing Pushaw’s comments.

Saunders tweeted, “@GovRonDeSantis chief spokesperson just called us all pedophiles. We’ve always known the #dontsaygaybill was a about anti-lgbtq animus. She just said the quiet part out loud. DSG is on the Senate floor Mon and students are organizing. Bring your outrage to Tallahassee #flapol.”

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Crom’s Crommentary: ‘Biden Is Such a Grifter That He Just Simply Doesn’t Understand What He’s Doing’

Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report, host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist, Crom Carmichael in studio for another edition of Crom’s Crommentary.

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Connecticut School Superintendent on Leave After Allegations of Misconduct Suddenly Resigns Claiming Threats, Racism

Miiddletown High School

The superintendent of Middletown Public Schools in Connecticut, who has been on paid leave due to an investigation into allegations of misconduct by top district officials, has resigned suddenly, claiming he received threats and a racist letter.

Middletown Police are investigating the letter, that now former Superintendent Michael Conner has alleged was mailed to him and contains death threats and racist language.

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Minnesota Republicans Continue Calls for Tax Cuts amid Budget Surplus

Minnesota Republican Mike Goggin

Republicans in the Minnesota Senate continue to push their proposal to cut taxes in the state, pointing to the $9 billion surplus the state has amassed.

However, the forecast warned that “inflation and geopolitical conflict pose risk to the budget and economic outlook.”

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U.S. Senate Candidate Herschel Walker Officially Qualifies for Ballot

Herschel Walker signing papers

Herschel Walker, who is running to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate, on Monday officially qualified for the ballot in the state.

Walker is running in the Republican primary to take on current Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) in the upcoming November general election.

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Despite Virginia Republican Control of House and the Governor’s Mansion, Most Pro-Life Legislation Hits Senate Democrat Brick Wall

man's hand holding an infants head

With Republicans in control of the House of Delegates and the governorship, and with a pro-life Democrat in the Senate who could offer ties to the Republican lieutenant governor, there were high hopes for pro-life policy when the 2022 General Assembly session began. But with the session approaching its March 12 adjournment, only a few lower-profile pieces of pro-life legislation will make it to the governor’s desk.

“In many ways, it was very much what we expected. We expected the Senate to be nothing but a giant roadblock to any rational or reasonable legislation that would have truly moved the ball forward for protecting unborn children and their mothers. And they did exactly that,” Virginia Society for Human Life President Olivia Gans Turner told The Virginia Star.

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Wisconsin Lawmakers Push to Remove the Gray Wolf as an Endangered Species

Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Wisconsin Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), are pushing to remove the gray wolf from the list of endangered species.

The group of lawmakers introduced legislation to return the management of the species to state and local government organizations, arguing the animals have made a recovery in western Great Lakes states.

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DeSantis Holds Roundtable with Doctors Who Say Pandemic Is Over

Led by Governor Ron DeSantis (R), a roundtable of doctors, scientists and academics gathered in-person and virtually Monday to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, and specifically the ramifications that lockdowns and other measures have had on American society. 

“There was time and again when the data would diverge from the [Dr. Anthony] Fauci pronouncements, or the corporate media, or the medical establishment – and whether that was having businesses open, whether that was having kids in school, whether that was about mandating cloth masks, whether that was about mandating vaccines – we always sided with the data and rejected the narrative,” DeSantis said during the proceedings, noting that the United States is close to the two-year anniversary of the “15 days to stop the spread” campaign by the federal government. 

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Pennsylvania Senator Doug Mastriano Hosts Expert Panel on Medical Freedom After Introducing Bill Promoting Early COVID Treatment

Doug Mastriano

Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-Harrisburg) hosted a panel discussion Friday with medical experts to highlight the four pillars of pandemic response, the failed medical establishment, and his new Medical Freedom legislation.

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Commentary: Debunking the Myth That Minimum Wage Laws Are ‘Progressive’

The minimum wage is a sort of litmus test. And not only for economists. For social justice advocates, too.

Forget, for a moment, the economics of it. In essence, minimum wage legislation imposes compulsory unemployment on the poor, the unskilled, racial minorities, the young, the physically and even more so the mentally handicapped—the very people all men of good will most want to help. Before the advent of this law, the unemployment rate for white middle-aged people and black teens was just about the same. Now, the latter are unemployed at quadruple the rate of the former.

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Governor Youngkin Renews Calls for a Gas Tax Exemption to Combat Rising Fuel Prices in Virginia

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin announced his plan to combat rising gas prices in his state Monday while delivering a speech to ChamberRVA.

During his speech, the Governor blamed the current energy price hikes as results of bad energy policies at the federal level. Youngkin also admitted that inflation could not be fixed through the actions of one state’s governor alone, however, continued his push to suspend Virginia’s gas tax increase for one year.

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Connecticut AG Warns Against Price Gouging as Gas Prices Approach Record Highs

As gas prices near record highs in Connecticut, the state’s Attorney General is warning gas distributors against price gouging. 

“Gas prices fluctuate constantly, and price changes and price increases are normal. But what we have seen this past week is not typical, and we can expect even more volatility due to the unprovoked and unconscionable Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Attorney General William Tong (D) said in a Monday statement. 

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Florida Cabinet Members Travel to Panhandle to Visit Wildfire Sites

As wildfires rage across Florida’s Panhandle, three of Florida’s four cabinet members traveled to the region to assess the damage and offer state support. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis (R), and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried all traveled to the Panama City region to assess the three wildfires in the Bay County area.

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DeSantis Makes Final Pitch for Constitutional Carry

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), when speaking to reporters last week, said if constitutional carry were passed, he would sign it. DeSantis directly responded with “put it on my desk, I’ll sign it.”

The Florida Capital Star has previously reported that the bill, HB 103, was likely dead last month. Historically, bills that do not receive much backing after the halfway point in the legislative session will likely die. In the case of the constitutional carry legislation, it has yet to make it out of committee or have a Senate companion sponsor.

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Stock Market Sinks, Oil Tops $130 as West Considers Russian Energy Sanctions

oil fields

The stock market dropped during early trading Monday after the U.S. benchmark oil index briefly touched its highest level since the Great Recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, an index measuring 30 major U.S. corporations, dropped 0.94% as of early Monday. The S&P index, which measures 500 of the largest publicly-traded companies, fell more than 0.93% while the NASDAQ, an index largely comprised of technology firms, declined 0.98%.

Late Sunday, the benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures hit more than $130 per barrel for the first time since July 2008. The index remained high on Monday, hovering above $118 per barrel, up more than 3%.

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NATO Countries Given ‘Green Light’ to Send Fighter Jets to Ukraine, Blinken Says

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that NATO member countries have a “green light” to send fighter jets as military aid to Ukraine.

The United States is reportedly in talks with Poland to send U.S. planes to replace any Soviet-era fighter jets that Warsaw sends to Ukraine, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Sending planes to Ukraine “gets a green light,” Blinken told CBS News on Sunday.

“In fact, we’re talking with our Polish friends right now about what we might be able to do to backfill their needs, if, in fact, they choose to provide these fighter jets to the Ukrainians,” he said. “What can we do? How can we help to make sure that they get something to backfill the planes that they’re handing over to the Ukrainians? We’re in very active discussions with them about that.”

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Arizona Could Ban State Money for Businesses That ‘Advocate’ for Abortion

The Arizona House of Representatives wants the state to divest in companies that promote abortion and sexually explicit material to minors.

House Bill 2637, filed by state Rep. Jake Hoffman, R-Queen Creek, would add to the state’s currently existing divestment policy.

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Congress Demands Answers from CCP-Friendly HSBC Bank

Congress is demanding answers from a multinational British investment bank after American citizens’ accounts were frozen for running afoul of the Chinese Communist Party during the Hong Kong protests.

In a letter from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) to HSBC Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn, Congress raised “questions and concerns” regarding “restrictions placed on the accounts of American citizens and the freezing of accounts of Hong Kong activists, independent media, and civic groups,” asking the second largest bank in Europe to “justify” why such actions were taken and if “actions were requested by Hong Kong authorities or officials from the People’s Republic of China” in the wake of the June 2020 National Security Law.

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Gov. Evers Signs Law That Exempts Restaurant Revitalization Grants from State Taxes

Gov. Tony Evers holding up recently signed legislation

Another Republican-driven tax cut has been signed by Gov. Tony Evers.

Evers on Monday signed AB 717, which exempts any and all Restaurant Revitalization grants from state taxes.

“This will ensure that these funds are treated like the Paycheck Protection Loans by making them state-tax-exempt,” Evers said.

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Durham Filing Raises Prospect History Might Have Changed If Clinton Lawyer Hadn’t Lied

It was an allegation that dogged Donald Trump for three years: a claim the Republican nominee-turned-president had a secret backdoor communications channel with the Kremlin. Repeated endlessly by the liberal media, the allegation was never true.

Now, Special Counsel John Durham is raising the tantalizing specter the FBI might never have investigated the claim during the height of the 2016 presidential election if the man who brought it to the bureau — Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann — had told the truth about its origins.

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Texas Lt. Governor Proposes Eliminating Tenure to Rid CRT from Public Universities

Dan Patrick of Texas

The Texas Lieutenant Governor has stated his priority to eliminate tenure in an attempt to stop Critical Race Theory (CRT) from “poisoning the minds of the next generation.”

During a Feb. 18 press conference, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick argued that academia has been infiltrated by “tenured, leftist professors” and called for additional oversight methods to crack down on the controversial curriculum. 

Patrick defined CRT as “an offshoot of critical legal studies, which is an offshoot of a socialist program (which says) that everything that happened in life is based on racism.”

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Menthol Cigarettes Ban Could Cost Virginia More Than $121 Million in First Year

A recent report found a nationwide ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes could cost Virginia hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

If the proposed Food and Drug Administration ban on menthols was to go into effect, the commonwealth would lose more than $121.6 million in its first full year of implementation, according to a report from the Tax Foundation. The losses would be caused by lower excise tax revenue, lower sales tax revenue and lower Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) payments.

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Bakersfield College Funneled Nearly $200K to Undocumented Student Programs

A public community college in California has funneled just under $200,000 to undocumented student programs, documents obtained by Campus Reform show.

The California Campus Catalyst Fund is a “grantmaking initiative” for undocumented students and their families attending California state schools such as Bakersfield College, a community college with over 2,000 undocumented students in attendance.

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Commentary: Trump Knew How to Handle Putin, But Biden Has No Clue

Sometimes we need time to pass and distance to extend to gain fuller perspective on what we did not see contemporaneously from too close. Indeed, G-d tells Moses that no person can see His face (which I teach as meaning an up-close encounter) and live, but people can see the back of G-d’s head (which I teach as meaning a more distant previous encounter, growing ever more distant). See Exodus 33:18-23.

In their October 22, 2012, debate, Obama mocked GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for expressing concern about Russia and Vladimir Putin:

Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that al Qaeda is a threat because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia. The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.

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Minnesota Senate Passes Nurse Licensure Compact Bill

Woman healthcare worker in purple scrubs and hairnet on

Minnesota taxpayers will pay $157,000 in fiscal year 2023 from its special revenue fund to the Board of Nursing to join the Nurse Licensure Compact if SF 2302 becomes law.

The base of the appropriation is $6,000 in fiscal year 2024 and $6,000 in fiscal year 2025, according to the bill, which the Senate passed in a 35-32 vote Monday. A motion to re-refer the bill to the Civil Law and Data Practices Policy committee was struck down in a 31-36 vote.

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Line 5 Closure Could Cause Midwest Transportation Costs to Jump $5.9 Billion over Five Years

Man grinding a large pipe on a worksite

Consumers throughout the Midwest may face up to a combined $5.9 billion annual spike in gas and diesel costs if the administration of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is successful in shuttering the Enbridge Line 5.

Over the next five years, the cost could exceed $23.7 billion in additional transportation costs across the region.

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Christian Student Sues Florida School, Alleges He Was Mocked By Students and Teachers for His Faith

A Florida student has sued his school over what he alleges is religious discrimination by his teachers and fellow classmates.

Nicholas Ortiz, a freshman at Miami’s Mater Academy has filed a lawsuit claiming he “was discriminated and retaliated against by his high school … because he is a Christian,” according to the complaint. Ortiz said he regularly brings his bible to school to read, which he alleges has made him a target for “disparaging comments” from other students, as well as school staff and administrators.

The complaint also outlines what it calls false and defamatory statements that circulated among students claiming Ortiz was planning a school shooting. Screenshots of communications between students show them discussing the rumored shooting and details their plans to physically assault Ortiz as a result.

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Captured Russian Soldier Says He Realized Moscow Lied When His Favorite Boxers Joined the Resistance

Ukrainian Protests Continue into the weekend for now it's 5th day, with actions happening at Trafalgar and the Russian Embassy.

A Russian prisoner of war claimed Moscow lied to soldiers before sending them to invade Ukraine.

Lieutenant Colonel Astakhov Dmitry Mikhailovich said soldiers were told Ukraine was “dominated by a fascist regime” and that “nationalists and Nazis had seized power,” according to a translation by the New York Post. He made the accusations during a media conference Thursday alongside two other captured Russian soldiers.

He explained that when he entered Ukraine and saw his favorite boxers, Ukrainians Oleksandr Usyk and Vasiliy Lomachenko, join the resistance, his doubts about the reasons for the invasion were amplified, the NYP reported.

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$800M Opioid Settlement to Start Paying Out in 2022

pill bottles spilled onto a table

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined local leaders to announce the next steps of Michigan’s anticipated receipt of $800 million opioid settlements over the next 18 years. 

The settlement includes the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – and opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

“I took legal action once I took office to try to recoup money for the devastating impact that the opioid epidemic has had on the communities across our state,” Nessel said in a statement. “I am pleased to see our work pay off with this historic settlement that will bring Michigan communities millions of dollars to support abatement efforts. I know that no amount of money will make whole the thousands of Michigan families impacted by opioids, but this is an important victory in a hard-fought battle.”

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Trans Activists Funded by Big Pharma Push Biased Research Promoting Medical Transitions for Children

Researchers are churning out biased studies promoting medical gender transitions for children, often supported by pharmaceutical companies and activist organizations, and the media frequently promotes the conclusions uncritically.

A March 2021 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence comprehensive review of nine studies failed to find evidence that hormonal therapy and puberty blockers were helpful. The review pointed out common flaws in transgender treatment research, such as confounding variables and bias resulting from observational studies that lack control groups.

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Democrat-Sponsored Legislation Would Make It More Difficult for Metro Nashville Citizens to Amend Charter

Democrat-sponsored legislation that would make it markedly more difficult for Metro Nashville citizens to amend the Metro charter is set to be considered by a key state Senate committee.

The measure increases petitions signature requirements to trigger Metropolitan charter amendment ballot referendums in Davidson County. The Metro Charter currently allows citizens to propose charter amendments by ballot initiative for public referendum. The required number of petitions signatures has historically been 10 percent of the voters for the previous general election.

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