New York Will Ban Gas Car Sales by 2035, Copying California

Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York said Thursday that it will follow California’s lead by banning the sale of gasoline-powered cars and light trucks by 2035.

All passenger cars, pickup trucks and SUVs sold in the state will have to be classified as “zero-emissions vehicles” by no later than 2035, according to a press release. Hochul directed the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation to begin implementing the new rules that will also require 35% of state vehicle sales to consist of electric cars by 2026, rising to 68% by 2030.

“With sustained state and federal investments, our actions are incentivizing New Yorkers, local governments, and businesses to make the transition to electric vehicles,” Hochul said.

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21 Attorneys General Want U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold Immigration Law

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is leading a group of 21 attorneys general in an amicus brief regarding federal immigration law.

The attorneys general are asking the Supreme Court of the United States to uphold a federal statute to enforce federal immigration law in United States v. Hansen.  

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Mortgage Rates Surpass Seven Percent for First Time in 20 Years

Mortgages have hit their highest rates in decades, with the 30-year fixed interest mortgage rate surpassing 7% for the first time since 2002, according to the Mortgage News Daily (MND) index.

At 7.08%, the current fixed rate is a far cry from September 2021 rates of 2.86%, and has increased by nearly 2% since the end of August 2022, according to MND. Applications for home refinancing have dipped by 10.9% and new home buyer applications fell by 0.4% in September as interest rates continue to climb, Trading Economics reported.

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Test Scores Show Ohio Students Continue to Struggle in Classroom

Over two years removed from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio students are still struggling to succeed in the classroom, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

The latest release of state test scores shows that 51% of students were unable to pass high school algebra in 2022, compared to 39% before the pandemic, according to state test data reported by the Dispatch. In addition to math scores, reading scores fell below pre-pandemic levels at a 33.5% proficiency.

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‘Right to Work’ Amendment to Tennessee Constitution Allows Union Opt-Out

The citizens of Tennessee will have the opportunity to vote to add a “right to work” provision into the state constitution on election day this November 8.

Constitutional Amendment 1 would amend Article XI of the Tennessee Constitution to add:

It is unlawful for any person, corporation, association, or this state or its political subdivisions to deny or attempt to deny employment to any person by reason of the person’s membership in, affiliation with, resignation from, or refusal to join or affiliate with any labor union or employee organization.

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Feds Used Private Entity to Target Millions of Social Posts in 2020

A consortium of four private groups worked with the departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and State to censor massive numbers of social media posts they considered misinformation during the 2020 election, and its members then got rewarded with millions of federal dollars from the Biden administration afterwards, according to interviews and documents obtained by Just the News.

The Election Integrity Partnership is back in action again for the 2022 midterm elections, raising concerns among civil libertarians that a chilling new form of public-private partnership to evade the First Amendment’s prohibition of government censorship may be expanding.

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Commentary: Time to Investigate the FBI’s Confidential Human Sources Program

To the surprise of no one paying attention, the Department of Justice recently acknowledged the use of several FBI informants in its investigation of the Oath Keepers, an alleged militia group tied to the events of January 6. 

Prosecutors last week asked for a protective order to conceal from jurors information about confidential human sources (CHS) expected to testify during the seditious conspiracy trial of five members of the Oath Keepers; jury selection is now underway. Not only does the government want to prevent defense attorneys from asking personal questions that could reveal the informants’ identities but prosecutors don’t want the sources to publicly disclose any involvement in past or pending criminal investigations or details of “the FBI’s CHS program and the training and methods used by the FBI as part of their undercover operations.”

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CompassCare CEO Says Police Won’t Return His Surveillance Video of Firebombing Attack Because It Might Inspire Rightwing Violence

The CEO of a crisis pregnancy center in Buffalo, New York, says the police and FBI will not give back his surveillance footage from the night abortion extremists firebombed his facility because they are afraid it may inspire rightwing violence.

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Gavin Newsom Signs Bill Making California Sanctuary State for Parents Seeking Child Transgender Surgery

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill (SB-107) into law Thursday that makes his state a safe haven for parents who want their gender dysphoric children to be treated with drugs and surgeries when their own states have attempted to protect minors from such life-altering interventions.

“In California we believe in equality and acceptance,” Newsom said in his signing message. “We believe that no one should be prosecuted or persecuted for getting the care they need – including gender-affirming care.”

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House Passes Sweeping Antitrust Package Targeting Big Tech

The House of Representatives passed sweeping antitrust legislation targeting Big Tech with bipartisan support following a Thursday afternoon vote.

The bill, known as the Merger Fee Filing Modernization Act, passed 242 to 184, combining a trio of antitrust bills designed to limit the impact of Big Tech firms by increasing merger application fees to fund stricter antitrust enforcement, requiring companies to disclose foreign subsidies when applying for a merger and exempting antitrust lawsuits brought by state attorneys general from processes that can result in court cases being transferred to districts more favorable to defenders. The package, passed with 39 Republican votes, was endorsed by the White House on Tuesday as part of its ongoing efforts to beef up antitrust enforcement.

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1,000 Memphis First Responders Will Newly Qualify for Benefits from 1978 Pension Plan, Pending City Council Approval

The City of Memphis announced Wednesday that roughly 1,000 first responders will qualify to take part in the city’s 1978 pension plan, pending the Memphis City Council’s approval.

“I am happy to say that we have agreed with the association to provide those firefighters and police officers who currently do not qualify for the 1978 pension plan  – those hired since July 1, 2016, and all future hires – to have the option to choose the 1978 or the 2016 pension plan beginning July 1, 2023, subject to city council approval. Currently, there are about 1,000 firefighters, police officers, and dispatchers who would qualify,” Mayor Jim Strickland said.

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Congressman John Rose Votes ‘No’ on Deficit Spending Bill to Assist Ukraine

Tennessee Congressman John Rose (R-TN-06) voted against the Continuing Appropriations and Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023 on Friday.

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Michigan Mother Sues School Board over COVID-19 Policy ‘Retaliation’

After Sandra Hernden voiced her opinion to the Chippewa Valley School District school board, she says the district retaliated.

Now she’s suing the district with help from the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, alleging the board violated her First Amendment rights. Her request in damages if successful, is a public apology and one dollar.

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Companies Donate More than $10 Million in One Day to Help Floridians

Companies nationwide donated more than $10 million in one day to help Floridians in the aftermath of destruction caused by Hurricane Ian.

Ian, which is believed to be the costliest storm in U.S. history, has devastated communities throughout much of southwest and central Florida.

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Minnesota Students Protest Vice Principal’s Use of Divisive Language in Email

About 100 students at Farmington High School walked out of class Wednesday in protest of an assistant principal who admonished her colleagues for their “straight, white privilege,” parents told Alpha News.

An email from Vice Principal Laura Wagner was circulated among parents and students this week. In the email, she encouraged admin to use their “straight, white privilege” to support a new gender-neutral homecoming court.

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Star News Reporter Goes Inside the Destruction of Hurricane Ian

ROTONDA WEST, Florida – More than 36 hours after the devastating Category 4 Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida, a Star News Network reporter trekked to the rural town of Rotonda West to do a wellness check on his parents, who live in the sprawling community. 

The deed restricted community of Rotonda West, located in Charlotte County, spent approximately eight hours inside the eyewall of Hurricane Ian on Wednesday, as the storm moved slowly northeast towards Orlando and later Jacksonville. 

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Kari Lake Blasts Katie Hobbs for Taking a Week to Reject a Referendum as Arizona’s Universal ESA Law Is Now Set to Go into Effect

Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake blasted her Democrat opponent, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, for taking a week to reject a referendum to stop Arizona’s universal Empowerment Scholarship Account law from going into effect, despite evidence already showing the motion failed.

“It is shameful that Katie Hobbs aligned herself with the radical unions’ effort to permanently trap Arizona’s kids in failing schools, then hung Arizona’s parents out to dry for a week by suspending the school choice program despite overwhelming evidence the referendum failed to get enough signatures,” Lake said in a statement to the Arizona Sun Times. “Katie Hobbs is on the side of corrupt, bloated school bureaucracies, but I will never stop fighting to give Arizona’s parents more choice in their children’s schools and more control over their children’s education.”

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Federal Court Rules for Wisconsin Catholic School in Split Busing Decision

Parents at the St. Augustine School in Colgate could soon be putting their kids on the school bus after a federal judge ended a long-simmering court battle over Wisconsin’s school choice busing program.

A federal judge in Milwaukee last week issued a final decision in the case that questioned both First Amendment religious protections and Wisconsin state law.

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Pittsburgh Public Schools Board Adopts ‘Culturally Relevant’ Sex Ed Policy Based on National Standards

The Pittsburgh Public Schools Board unanimously adopted changes to the district’s sex education policy that is aligned with national standards, shifting the focus away from abstaining from sex and including “culturally relevant” information related to gender identity.

Rather than emphasize “sexual abstinence as the expected norm,” the new policy “stresses that abstinence from sexual activity is the only completely reliable means of preventing sexually transmitted infections and HIV when transmitted sexually,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday.

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Youngkin Wins on Public Higher Ed Tuition Freeze After Holdout GMU Votes to Refund Increase

George Mason University’s (GMU) Board of Visitors voted Thursday to refund a three percent tuition increase charged to undergraduates for the 2022-2023 academic year. GMU was the last holdout among Virginia’s public colleges and universities resisting Governor Glenn Youngkin’s call for a tuition freeze.

“Today, George Mason University joined the 14 other public college and university boards, which serve more than a quarter-million undergraduate college students in Virginia, by pledging to keep tuition flat for in-state students,” Youngkin said in a Thursday press release.

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Arizona Corporation Commissioner Disputes Kris Mayes’ Claims During Arizona Attorney General Debate of ‘Prosecuting’ While a Commissioner

The first debate between Trump-endorsed Republican Abraham Hamadeh and Democratic candidate Kris Mayes for Arizona Attorney General (AGO) took place Wednesday evening on Arizona PBS, sponsored by the Clean Elections Commission. The two candidates sparred for much of time over whether the other was qualified for the position. The moderators’ questions focused primarily on the candidates’ willingness to prosecute abortion laws and voter fraud from the 2020 presidential election, where there were stark differences. 

In Mayes’ opening statement, she touted her seven and a half years serving on the Arizona Corporation Commission, and said she’d been a member of the Arizona State Bar for 15 years. She claimed she had experience prosecuting consumer fraud, and pledge to protect reproductive rights and democracy if elected. 

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Spanberger Blasts House Democratic Leadership for Intentionally Killing Congressional Trading Reform, Vega Says It’s a Stale Pre-Election Routine

Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) criticized Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) and House Democratic leadership for moves that killed bipartisan congressional stock trading reform legislation, but her opponent in the election Yesli Vega said in a press release that the congresswoman “isn’t fooling anyone.”

“This moment marks a failure of House leadership. This moment is yet another example of why I believe that the Democratic Party needs new leaders in the halls of Capitol Hill — as I have long made known,” Spanberger said in a Friday press release.

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Putin Signs Decree Bringing Ukrainian Territory Under Russian Rule

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties to inaugurate the annexation of four Ukrainian territories in a ceremony at 3 p.m. local time Friday.

Separatist leaders from Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions in southern Ukraine and the self-styled Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics agreed at a ceremony in Moscow to recognize the results of Russian-backed referendums in the breakaway territories, Forbes reported. The Kremlin said it will consider any attack on the annexed territories a direct attack on Russia, urging Kyiv to return to the negotiating table to avoid a catastrophic escalation in the war.

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Fauci and Wife’s Net Worth Skyrocketed During Pandemic, Analysis Finds

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci and his wife saw a net worth increase of $5 million during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an analysis by a government watchdog group.

Between Jan. 1, 2019 and Dec. 31, 2021, the Faucis expanded their net worth from $7.6 million to more than $12.6 million, according to OpenTheBooks’ Wednesday analysis of the 81-year-old retiring NIAID director’s financial disclosures. The director was the highest paid federal employee in both 2021 and 2022, earning $456,000 per year and $480,000 per year, respectively, the analysis noted.

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Georgia Congressman to Introduce Legislation Banning Federal Agencies from Pressing Big Tech to Censor

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) plans to introduce legislation called the Free Speech Defense Act that will prohibit federal officials from collaborating with Big Tech to censor Americans’ voices and create some legal recourse for those harmed by free speech infringement.

Clyde unveiled his plans for the bill during an appearance Thursday night on the “Just the News, Not Noise” TV show.

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Inflation Rose More than Expected in August, Federal Data Shows

Inflation rose more than expected in August, leaving Americans facing even higher prices on a range of everyday purchases, according to newly released federal inflation data.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released the pricing data, which showed the Personal Consumption Expenditure excluding food and energy, a key marker of inflation, rose 0.6%, higher than expected by Dow Jones.

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