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    A California baker has won another lawsuit over claims of discrimination against a lesbian couple over her refusal to make a wedding cake.  On Saturday, Cathy Miller, owner of Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, California, announced that a Kern County judge had sided with her after a years-long battle.    'Thank you Tastries friends and family, the bakery said in a post on Facebook.  'Yesterday, after much consideration and analysis of details regarding the Cathy's Creations and Tastries Bakery discrimination case, Judge Eric Bradshaw ruled in favor of Cathy Miller,' the post continued.  'We appreciate your prayers and support as we joyfully continue to do business with you in the future.' 'I'm hoping that in our community we can grow together,' Miller said, 'and we should understand that we shouldn't push any agenda against anyone else.'  Kern County Judge Eric Bradshaw sided with Cathy Miller Friday in a suit brought by the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment This is the California couple who asked Cathy Miller of Tastries Bakery to make their wedding cake in 2017, which she refused to...
    (Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images) It appears nothing is immune to cancel culture, not even emojis. Now, Reddit users have targeted one of the most popular emojis, the thumbs-up symbol, as potentially “hostile.” A post from Reddit user u/Dry_Interaction6220 is going viral this week, despite being posted 10 months ago in regards to emoji etiquette. Posted to the thread r/Adulting, the message laments the use of emojis as a means of communication. “I started an ‘adult’ job where we use Microsoft Teams to connect with each other for work. Currently, there only a few emojis you can use to react to a message (unless of course, you respond, and can use any emoji),” they wrote. “Most people at work use the ‘thumbs up’ reaction all the time. I don’t use it much. I either ‘heart’ reactions or reply even if it’s a short “Great!” or “Thanks!”… Anyway, I think it’s normal — to ‘thumbs up’ messages, but I still feel like it’s such an unsettling response. Does anyone else feel this way?” they asked. The comment board quickly...
    Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill Thursday to limit solitary confinement in California’s jails, prisons and private detention centers, rejecting advocates’ hopes to restrict a practice that many experts have likened to torture. In his Assembly Bill 2632 veto statement, Newsom said he supported “limiting the use of segregated confinement” but claimed the measure was too expansive. “Segregated confinement is ripe for reform in the United States — and the same holds true in California. AB 2632, however, establishes standards that are overly broad and exclusions that could risk the safety of both the staff and incarcerated population within these facilities,” he said. Newsom said he would direct the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation “to develop regulations that would restrict the use of segregated confinement except in limited situations, such as where the individual has been found to have engaged in violence in the prison.” Assemblymember Chris Holden, the Pasadena Democrat who wrote AB 2632, said in a statement that the proposal was California’s chance to correct a “dark history” of solitary confinement and “get it...
    by Joseph Weber   Career federal prosecutors have reportedly recommended against charging GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz is a sex-trafficking investigation, telling Justice Department superiors that a conviction is unlikely. The recommendation is in part because of credibility issues with the case’s two key witnesses, people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post, which on Friday reported on the status of the roughly 2-year-old investigation. Senior department officials have not made a final decision on whether to charge Gaetz, but rejecting such advice is rare, said the newspaper’s sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The investigation started in late 2020 and focuses on the Florida congressman’s  alleged involvement with a 17-year-old girl several years earlier. The now 40-year-old Gaetz, a President Trump ally, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, saying he has never paid for sex. He has also said the only time he had sex with a 17-year-old was when he was also 17. Gaetz’s lawyer and a Justice Department spokesman have declined to comment. The case centers on whether Gaetz paid for sex in violation of federal sex-trafficking laws and his...
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Citing an “immediate threat to human life,” Cloudflare has dropped the notorious stalking and harassment site Kiwi Farms from its internet security services following an online campaign started by transgender Twitch streamer Clara Sorrenti. “This is an extraordinary decision for us to make and given Cloudflare’s role as an Internet infrastructure provider, a dangerous one that we are not comfortable with,” CEO Matthew Prince wrote in a blog post Saturday in an about-face after earlier insisting that the company would not block the site. “However, the rhetoric on the Kiwifarms site and specific, targeted threats have escalated over the last 48 hours to the point that we believe there is an unprecedented emergency and immediate threat to human life unlike what we have previously seen from Kiwifarms or any other customer before.” For years, members of the site created and operated by Joshua Conner Moon, 29, have congregated on what they call a “lighthearted discussion forum” to organize vicious harassment campaigns against transgender people, feminists and others they deem mockable. They gang up on victims...
    Fraser Ross, owner of the once-white-hot boutique chain Kitson, is not shy about two things: dropping the names of celebrities who have shopped at his stores and expressing his dislike for the restrictions politicians put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. During an interview Monday, Ross was interrupted while name-checking a Kardashian, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan and taking a dig at California Gov. Gavin Newsom and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti for implementing pandemic “rules for thee, not for me.” “There’s a customer coming in with a mask,” he said, “and I need to tell them they can’t come in with one.” That’s the new reality at Kitson on Robertson Boulevard in Beverly Hills, where Ross has banned face masks out of concern for the “safety of our staff & assets of store,” according to a sign posted in a front window. The 58-year-old owner, who admits that he uses political social media posts and store displays to stir controversy and publicity, said the mask ban is different. The move, he insisted, was prompted by employees who...
    LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Citing a limited supply of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has issued a health advisory encouraging residents to take precautions to avoid becoming infected with the disease.As of July 15, more than 12,000 cases of monkeypox had been reported globally, including 1,814 cases in the United States, 250 in California and 85 in Los Angeles County.While people of any gender and sexual orientation can acquire and spread monkeypox, most cases have been among men who have sex with men and transgender women.Monkeypox is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. It is rarely fatal. The symptoms are similar to those of smallpox, but milder. Symptoms of monkeypox typically include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. A rash that can look like pimples or blisters sometimes appears on the face, inside the mouth and on other parts of the body.While exposure to respiratory secretions can lead to monkeypox infection, most reported cases both locally and nationally have been linked to skin-to-skin contact with someone...
    (CNN)At least two people were killed and 10 others wounded after a shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Oslo, Norway on Saturday, Reuters reported, citing public broadcaster NRK.The shooting took place at the London Pub, which describes itself on its website as "the largest gay and lesbian venue in Oslo.""I saw a man arrive with a bag, he picked up a gun and started shooting," an NRK journalist said in the broadcaster's report.A suspect was apprehended nearby, but it is not immediately clear what the motive for the attack was, according to the Reuters report, citing local police.Three people were severely wounded, police told reporters at the scene.Read MoreOslo is set to hold its annual Pride parade later on Saturday.
    Marchelle Tigner, a firearms instructor, teaches a student how to shoot a gun during a class in Lawrenceville, Ga. After George Floyd’s murder in 2020, the National Shooting Sports Foundation reported a gun sales jump of 58% among Black Americans. According to NBC News, in 2021, 90% of gun shops reported a marked increase in sales to Black customers, with an 87% increase, specifically, to Black women. “You look at Buffalo, and the feeling of ‘This could have been me’ is there. We could be the next target,” Michael Moody, a federal government employee, told NBC News. “And when it’s you, what are you going to do? Are you going to run and hide? Or are you going to be able to protect yourself? Protect your family? I didn’t want a gun; I’m not a gun person. But this world has made me get one. Getting one for my wife next.” Of course, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Black Americans feel a need to protect themselves and their families. Before the shooting in Buffalo, New York, by a self-proclaimed white...
    NEW DELHI (AP) — India has banned exports of wheat effective immediately, citing a risk to its food security, partly due to the war in Ukraine. A notice in the government gazette by the Directorate of Foreign Trade, dated Friday, said a spike in global prices for wheat was threatening the food security of India and neighboring and vulnerable countries. Before the war, Ukraine and Russia accounted for a third of global wheat and barley exports. Since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, Ukraine’s ports have been blocked and civilian infrastructure and grain silos have been destroyed. At the same time, India’s own wheat harvest has suffered from a record-shattering heat wave that is stunting production. Even though it is the world’s second-largest producer of wheat, India consumes most of the wheat it produces. It had set a goal of exporting 10 million tons of the grain in 2022-23, looking to capitalize on the global disruptions to wheat supplies from the war and find new markets for its wheat in Europe, Africa and Asia. Much of that would...
    PICO-UNION, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A bitter battle is unfolding between street vendors in one of Los Angeles' most polluted corridors and local politicians who want them off the streets as part of a new city beautification project.The city says the vendors are unsanitary and have created unsafe conditions along the stretch of Vermont Street, but those who make their living selling on this stretch said their livelihood is at risk.Bryan Fuentes' family has been selling their Salvadoran specialties in the El Salvador Corridor along Vermont Street between 11th and 12th for nearly two decades.Now the city says it's time to go."There are so many families that depend on this site," Fuentes said. "For example, my family -- this is where the income comes from."L.A. city councilman Gil Cedillo is leading the push to clear out dozens of street vendors as part of a sanitation repair and beautification project.The more than 50 vendors who work in the area, including more than two dozen who were paying rent to create a street food market in the parking lot, said they have...
    STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden said Friday it was reintroducing temporary border controls at ferry terminals, airports, road crossings with other countries and other entry points to the Scandinavian nation because there “still is a serious threat to public order and internal security.” The Swedish government said the temporary controls would start immediately and last until Nov. 11, meaning travelers will have to show passports and visas during the 6-month period. The government did not mention a specific threat in its announcement but said the security situation in the country’s region of Europe is “extremely serious, and the overall terrorist threat level in Sweden remains elevated.” Swedish Justice Minister Morgan Johansson noted that once inside Europe’s passport-free travel zone known as the Schengen Area, people can move relatively freely among 26 countries — 22 European Union nations plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Normally, people and goods move freely between these countries without border checks. Temporary controls are allowed for security or health reasons, and several other Schengen countries, including Germany, Austria, Norway and Denmark, have them in place, Johansson...
    ATLANTA (AP) — Emory University in Atlanta will remove the names of a former psychologist and a former U.S. Supreme Court justice from campus institutions and professorships. President Gregory Fenves announced the changes on Wednesday. They follow his decision to convene a committee in 2020 to examine people whose names are honored by Emory. The Yerkes National Primate Research Center is named for psychologist and primatologist Robert Yerkes, who the university said “vigorously supported” eugenics. That idea called for genetic improvement of humans and was often used to discriminate against racial minority groups and people with disabilities. The facility will become the Emory National Primate Research Center. Two professorships in the university’s law school now named for L.Q.C. Lamar, an Emory graduate who wrote Mississippi’s secession ordinance and defended slavery and white supremacy, will become Emory School of Law Distinguished Professors. Georgia’s largest private university already renamed a dormitory that honored a president who defended slavery and named a building on its Oxford campus for Horace Johnson Jr., a Black judge who died of an apparent heart attack in 2020...
    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — With declining cases of COVID-19, South Africa on Tuesday ended its national state of disaster, the legal framework used for two years to impose restrictions to combat the pandemic. South African sports fans can now return to stadiums in large numbers to watch soccer, rugby and cricket matches. Sports venues can take up to 50% of capacity with people who show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test done within 72 hours. Most restrictions will be lifted, but people will be required to wear masks in indoor public spaces. International travelers must provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test done within 72 hours. “While the pandemic is not over, and while the virus remains among us, these conditions no longer require that we remain in a national state of disaster,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a nationally televised speech Monday night. “Going forward, the pandemic will be managed in terms of the national health act.” The government used the state of disaster to impose some of the world’s toughest COVID-19 restrictions, including...
    SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (KGO) -- Drive overhead on highway 101 in San Rafael, and you probably wouldn't even know it was there.But beneath this noisy underpass near 5th and Mission, is a city managed homeless encampment.It's where James Hellard lives.On Wednesday, Hellard says he sued the city of San Rafael.RELATED: San Mateo County makes huge strides to end homelessness this yearHe claims that after living at the site for months, he and other residents have had a series of health problems."I've got ringing in my ears. We have coughs. We have just these slowly manifesting health problems that we're not quite sure where it's going to go to five years from now," Hellard said.Hellard says the the conditions at the city-sanctioned encampment are unlivable."We're human beings. And getting in this position of homelessness is a very easy thing to do, and it's a paramount, almost impossible thing to get out of," he said.VIDEO: 'I covered their eyes and we ran away': Family recounts what it's like living in SF's Tenderloin EMBED More News Videos From seeing people die from a...
    Tate Reeves Less than a year after Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said, “I am not aware of any school district that currently allows for” the teaching of critical race theory (CRT) in his state, he sounded the alarm about the alleged spread of CRT that had forced him to sign a bill banning it.  “Students are being force-fed an unhealthy dose of progressive fundamentalism that runs counter to the principles of America’s founding,” Reeves said as he signed the law, in a pretty straightforward admission that racism is one of the principles of America’s founding. “Children are dragged to the front of the classroom and are coerced to declare themselves as oppressors, that that they should feel guilty because of the color of their skin, or that they are inherently a victim because of their race.” Big claim there, but, “He did not point to any real-life examples of the scenario he described happening in Mississippi, though he may have been referring to a single alleged incident at a public charter school in Las Vegas, Nevada,” the invaluable Ashton Pittman of the Mississippi Free...
    A Molotov cocktail was thrown into a boarding house with 10 people inside on Thursday early morning, WGAL News 8 reports citing fire chief Brian Enterline. The Molotov cocktail broke through a window of the home at the corner of 19th and Chestnut streets in Harrisburg on Mar. 3 around 4:20 a.m., the outlet reports citing the chief. "Had it not been for that sprinkler system extinguishing the fire, we probably, without a doubt, would have had a much, much different outcome," the chief told the outlet. No injuries were reported and the incident is under investigation. Click here to watch WGAL News 8’s full report.
    And with nearly seven in 10 Americans living paycheck to paycheck, storing money in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum may help them achieve some financial stability. The recently passed bipartisan infrastructure deal requires cryptocurrency brokers — Coinbase, Crypton.com, Gemini, etc. — to disclose the names and addresses of their customers. In order to coerce compliance with tax laws, the bipartisan infrastructure deal also required cryptocurrency brokers to provide the IRS, and each customer, with a Form 1099-B detailing exchanges, withdrawals, and holdings. Earlier this month, the Russian central bank proposed an outright ban of cryptocurrencies and last September the Chinese Communist Party declared all cryptocurrency transactions to be illegal. On the other end of the spectrum, El Salvador became the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin as legal tender. In El Salvador, people may use Bitcoin for buying a cup of coffee or a house, or even use it to pay their taxes. The U.S. government has been preparing to regulate the cryptocurrency market for a while now. Prior to the Biden administration endorsing the idea...
    If you feel like you’re reading a lot more about book bans in the United States, you’re not wrong. According to data from Pew, for example, the latest Republican effort to ban (if not burn) books from school libraries and classrooms is the biggest challenge books have had in literal decades. We’re seeing anti-intellectual movements take over school boards across the nation, but there’s a special focus on the fight recently in Texas. Even the governor of the state, Republican Greg Abbott, weighed in on the subject, saying he’s concerned about “pornography” in schools and endorsing a surreal “Parental Bill of Rights” to keep public education as conservative as possible. (Sadly, as previously covered at Daily Kos, the framing of this issue as being about parental “rights” is spreading—and that’s very, very bad.) How many books are being challenged? In Texas alone, hundreds of books have already been pulled from school library shelves. And—surprising no one—the vast majority of these titles are by LGBTQ+ folks and people of color. For example, Republican state Rep. Matt Krause recently released a list of 850...
    This photograph taken on May 28, 2021 shows the new TotalEnergies logo during its unveling ceremony, at La Defense on the outskirts of Paris.CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT | AFP | Getty Images French oil giant TotalEnergies and U.S. energy firm Chevron on Friday announced plans to withdraw from Myanmar, citing the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in the Southeast Asian country following last year's coup. TotalEnergies said it had started the process of withdrawing from the Yadana offshore gas field and the MGTC transportation system as the situation in the country "no longer allows TotalEnergies to make a sufficiently positive contribution in the country." The company said its partners had been notified and the withdrawal "will be effective at the latest at the expiry of the 6-month contractual period."'Unprecedented' crisisMyanmar's security forces are estimated to have killed nearly 1,500 people and arrested thousands as they continue to crack down on dissent since the coup in Feb. 2021. The country's military junta has disputed these figures. The U.N. has said the situation in Myanmar has been getting worse since the turn of the year, warning...
    By Thomas Seal | Bloomberg Some 37 people have “exited” Activision Blizzard Inc. and 44 have been disciplined in response to allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct at the company, according to a report Monday in the Wall Street Journal. The company disclosed in October as part of an internal investigation that more than 20 employees have “exited” and at least 20 others have received disciplinary action. The paper cited a company spokeswoman for the higher numbers. Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick held back a report summarizing the actions that was due to be released before the winter holidays, telling people it could make the company’s problems appear bigger than was known, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not name. More than three dozen staff had been fired or pushed out, the paper reported, citing the people. Representatives for Activision Blizzard didn’t immediately respond to a request from Bloomberg for comment. The Santa Monica, California-based business has been facing a reckoning after a July lawsuit accused it of fostering a “frat boy” culture of...
    Dr. Anthony Fauci’s hearing before the Senate Health Committee went further off the rails as he and Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) sparred over the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) alleged link to the emergence of the coronavirus. Shortly after Fauci’s explosive rematch with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Marshall was called upon to speak, and promptly told Fauci “you’ve lost your reputation. The American people don’t trust the words coming out of your mouth.” Fauci countered that Marshall’s comments are “a real distortion of the reality” of his efforts to promote the CDC’s health recommendations, though Marshall reiterated “you are hurting the team right now.” From there, Marshall invoked a Project Veritas report based on leaked emails which push the notion Fauci lied in previous testimony that the NIH never funded gain of function research in partnership with EcoHealth Alliance. Marshall read through the emails as he accused Fauci of breaking the gain of function moratorium with the NIH’s funding grants, and he eventually arrived at three questions: Why did you tell the committee that your agency has never funded gain...
    Demonstrators call for the closure of immigration detention facilities, Nov. 2020. Immigrant and civil rights advocates are again urging the release of people from dangerous federal immigration detention facilities as omicron spreads across the U.S. Immigrants in detention are already vulnerable, due to inhumane conditions, lax to non-existent medical care, and abusive staff. But as the quickly-spreading variant is resulting in record cases, advocates are renewing their calls for release. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has every ability to do this, they make clear. “The most important thing to remember about immigration detention is that people who are in detention are awaiting adjudication of their civil immigration cases. They could very well be waiting these cases in the safety of their homes,” American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) National Prison Project Senior Staff Attorney Eunice Cho told NPR. Litigation launched by the organization and its partners from the earliest weeks of the pandemic allowed many immigrants to continue fighting their cases from their homes instead of detention facilities, where infection rates have been 20 times higher than on the outside. “What the Biden administration needs to do now is to continue these efforts,” Cho...
    PURCHASE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Despite the troubling and ever-increasing number of COVID-19 cases in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams is urging corporations and financial institutions to end their reliance on telecommuting and bring their employees back to work. He says the city’s economic health depends on it, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Monday. READ MORE: Students Returning To New York City Public Schools Greeted By Many COVID-19 Protocols And, In Some Cases, Substitute TeachersScores of New York businesses and Wall Street financial institutions may have delayed plans to bring their employees back to the office because of the record-setting surge in COVID infections, but Adams is urging them to change their minds. “We must get open. You can’t run New York City from home. We must have everyone participate in our financial ecosystem to allow the low skilled, unskilled and people who are doing hourly employees to actually be part of our ecosystem. They can’t remotely do their job,” Adams said. COVID VACCINE New York State book online here or call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX New York City book online here or call 877-VAX-4NYC Track NYC vaccinations...
    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The U.S. District Court in Maryland has ordered that all jury selections be postponed until late January, citing the recent surge the state has seen in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. The court also delayed a grand jury selection and canceled a grand jury session scheduled for the first week of January. The court said it will review data on a week-by-week basis to determine whether any grand jury sessions will be held in January. READ MORE: Man, 19, Wounded In Northwest District Shooting, Police SayThe decision to postpone those proceedings was based on several factors, including Maryland’s COVID-19 positivity rate, rising cases and hospitalizations, along with new measures imposed by local governments. “In recent days, certain triggering criteria have once again been met,” the order said. READ MORE: Howard County Celebrates 2021 Kwanzaa VirtuallyAs of Monday, the percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Maryland stood at 16.54%. Additionally, the Department of Health reported over 30,000 new cases of COVID-19 since Thursday, and hospitalizations have topped 1,700. Federal jury and grand jury selections are postponed at...
    Quidditch, a sport inspired by the “Harry Potter” franchise, is changing its name after several associations cited author J.K. Rowling’s “anti-trans positions.” Two major Quidditch organizations, U.S. Quidditch and Major League Quidditch, said in a joint statement various surveys will be conducted to determine a new name for the sport, NBC News reported. The leagues cited several reasons for the name change, including that the name “quidditch” is trademarked by Warner Bros., the studio which produced the “Harry Potter” series, and noted that the expansion for the sport through sponsorships and broadcasting options has been restricted, according to the outlet. (RELATED: Harry Potter Author J.K. Rowling Slams Police For Letting Rapists With Penises Identify As Women) Another reason for the change was to ” distance themselves from the works of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions in recent years,” the joint statement read, according to NBC News. The renowned writer came under scrutiny in June 2020 after she criticized an article that read “people who menstruate,” leading some to accuse her...
    COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Denmark’s prime minister announced Friday that theaters, cinemas, concert halls, amusement parks, museums and art galleries across the country will be closed down under new restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said the measures also require stores smaller than 2,000 square meters (21,528 square feet) and restaurants to limit their number of customers. Restaurants must serve their last meals and alcoholic beverages at 10 p.m. and close at 11 p.m. The partial shutdown order was approved later Friday by Parliament´s 21-member Epidemic Committee. Most restrictions apply as of Sunday at 8 a.m. The Danish government is advising residents to limit social contacts over the Christmas holidays, and urged public and private companies to have employees work from home where possible. Sweden: Cancel Christmas if You Get Coronavirus Symptoms… Even if You Are Fully Vaccinated https://t.co/SHHLlxCt2f — Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 17, 2021 “We are not talking about shutting down the whole country as we did last year,” Frederiksen said. “Our goal is still to keep as large sections of society...
    A far-right website known for spreading 2020 election conspiracies is being sued by election workers in Georgia who say they became the target of harassment and death threats as a result of the outlet's campaign to sow doubt about the legitimacy of President Joe Biden's victory. The Gateway Pundit, a fringe political site run by two brothers named Jim and Joe Hoft, falsely claimed last year that Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Shayne Moss, had manipulated ballots last November as part of their duties as poll workers for the Fulton County elections board, which covers the Atlanta metropolitan area. The conspiracies quickly spread after then President Donald Trump himself called them out by name last December — mentioning Freeman at least 18 times during his infamous call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Now, the pair is suing the outlet for running the evidence-free claims — following similar lawsuits by election equipment companies against right-wing publications, including Fox News, Newsmax and One America News. Freeman and Moss, both of whom are Black, are two of the first...
    Chinese and U.S. flags flutter outside a company building in Shanghai, China November 16, 2021.Aly Song | Reuters WASHINGTON – The Biden administration added a dozen Chinese companies to its trade blacklist on Wednesday citing national security as well as foreign policy concerns. Eight technology entities based in China were added to the list for their alleged role in assisting the Chinese military's quantum computing efforts and acquiring or attempting "to acquire U.S. origin-items in support of military applications." U.S. officials have long complained that Chinese companies are beholden to the People's Republic of China and collect sensitive information on behalf of the People's Liberation Army. The Chinese Communist Party has previously said that it does not engage in industrial espionage.  The Commerce Department also listed 16 entities and individuals operating in China and Pakistan for their work on Islamabad's nuclear and ballistic missile program. In all, the Biden administration added 27 entities and individuals located in the People's Republic of China, Pakistan, Russia, Japan and Singapore. "Global trade and commerce should support peace, prosperity, and good-paying jobs, not national...
    The wife of California Governor Gavin Newsom took to social media to defend her husband and call out 'haters without a life' who criticized Newsom's 12-day disappearance from public view in a since-deleted tweet.  'It's funny how certain folks can't handle truth,' California First Lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom wrote. 'When someone cancels something, maybe they're just in the office working; maybe in their free time they're at home with their family, at their kids' sports matches, or dining out with their wife. Please stop hating and get a life.'    The governor's wife recently reflected on the need to regard 'domestic work' as important in the light of the pandemic, after announcing she will direct a documentary about three couples who try to juggle their family and professional lives.  'If the COVID-19 pandemic has not made it clear how damaging it is to society when we render care and domestic work invisible, I am not sure what else will,' Newsom said about the documentary, based on the book Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (And More...
    Frustrated by the U.S. attorney general's failure to investigate or take legal action against former President Donald Trump and his associates for various potential crimes, Free Speech for People argued Thursday that because Merrick Garland "is unwilling to step up, it is time for him to step down." Free Speech for People's call for Garland to resign came in a lengthy statement outlining his inaction as well as Trump's troubling behavior while running for and serving as president. It followed the U.S. legal advocacy group urging Garland to "establish an independent task force to centralize and coordinate criminal investigations of Trump and his associates." The organization called for a task force in January, just days after news broke that incoming President Joe Biden would nominate Garland to lead the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Since the Senate confirmed his nomination in March, the statement says, Garland hasn't taken "any meaningful action" to hold accountable Trump or "his co-conspirators for attempting to overthrow the government on January 6, 2021 and a flurry" of earlier criminal acts. BREAKING: @FSFP is calling on...
    Nearly every NBA player is vaccinated against Covid, but a select few who are refusing the jab continue to vocalize their skepticism, with some claiming they either have done or will do more research. According to former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy, NBA players should be leaving vaccine research to experts in the field. “You know the one that drives me crazy?” Van Gundy asked during ESPN’s Thursday night NBA preseason broadcast. “’I’m doing my own research.’” “I would like someone to answer this question,” the former NBA coach continued. “What does that look like? You doing your own research? Are you doing studies yourself? Are you in the lab on a nightly basis? What are you doing? I don’t understand what that means.” Jonathan Isaac, Bradley Beal and Kyrie Irving are among the NBA’s most high-profile vaccine skeptics. Isaac has claimed he’s not anti-vax, anti-medicine or anti-science, but the Orlando Magic forward remains skeptical of taking the jab citing his own research and gathering of information. “How about this, we got really smart people,” Van...
    HAVANA (AP) — Beaches and recreation centers reopened in Cuba’s capital Thursday after authorities announced it was time to resume outdoor activities, including strolling on the Malecon coastal promenade that has long been a gathering place for Havana. Officials said the reopening was decided on because 90% of the city’s residents are vaccinated against the coronavirus and the number of new cases has been declining. Some people were quick to take advantage of the announcement and headed to the beach to enjoy the sun and sand. “The water is delicious, but the girl doesn’t want to bathe — she’s afraid of the sea,” retiree Gladys Gonzalez said of her granddaughter. “Psychologically this benefits youth and children. Already more than half of the country is vaccinated. You have to trust,” she said. Yet González also said she is “very afraid of openness.” She worries about a possible resurgence of infections, such as the one Cuba experienced following a relaxation late last year after it had kept the pandemic under control. Roberto García, a kitchen assistant and his wife, Laura, took...
    A Washington Post column published Sunday was slammed by critics for blaming the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan on the American people, rather than the actual perpetrators of the violence unfolding across the war-torn country.  "If you ask me who is to blame, I would point not only to Biden but to former president Donald Trump — and to all of us, the people of America. By carrying out this pell-mell withdrawal from Afghanistan, our leaders, after all, were only giving us what we wanted," columnist Max Boot wrote. WASHNGTON POSTS'S MAX BOOT SOUNDS ALARM ON DESANTIS: HE SHOWS ‘TRUMP-LEVEL SKILL’ IN ‘WAGING CULTURE WAR’ "There are recriminations aplenty, but the sad fact is that the only way to avoid this particular disaster would have been either to stay in Afghanistan indefinitely or to leave our allies behind. Both options would have come with their own costs and were overwhelmingly rejected by the American people … Our leaders were simply giving the American people what they thought we wanted," he added, also citing poll numbers that showed the American public supporting...
    COPENHAGEN, Denmark — The Danish government will no longer consider COVID-19 as “a socially critical disease in Denmark,” citing the large number of vaccinations in the Scandinavian country. “The epidemic is under control. We have record high vaccination rates,” said Health Minister Magnus Heunicke in a statement Friday. Starting Sept. 10, “We can drop some of the special rules we had to introduce in the fight against COVID-19,” he said. In practice, that will mean partially phasing out vaccination card requirements for some major events, like concerts, and in night clubs. On July 1, Denmark introduced a digital coronavirus passport that had to be shown when required. “Although we stand in a good spot, we are not out of the epidemic. And the government will not hesitate to act quickly if the pandemic again threatens important functions in our society,” he added. On Thursday, Heunicke said that 80% of all people over the age of 12 in Denmark have been vaccinated. Getting the shot in Denmark is voluntary and is available to people aged 12 years and older. ___...
    The president of the Black Lives Matter Utah chapter announced she's stepping down and has fled the state, citing "death threats" over a Fourth of July Facebook post that called the American flag "a symbol of hatred." Chapter founder Lex Scott made headlines last month after she argued on behalf of her group, which is not affiliated with the national BLM organization, that people who fly the U.S. flag are hostile toward people of color. BLACK LIVES MATTER UTAH CHAPTER CALLS AMERICAN FLAG  'SYMBOL OF HATRED' "When we Black Americans see this flag we know the person flying it is not safe to be around," the July 4 post read. "When we see this flag we know the person flying it is a racist. When we see this flag we know that the person flying it lives in a different America than we do. When we see this flag, we question your intelligence. We know to avoid you. It is a symbol of hatred." In a tearful video posted on the group's Facebook page Sunday, Scott announced she was resigning from both her...
    Yolo County on Tuesday ordered that everyone must wear a mask or face covering in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status, beginning Friday. In issuing the order, the county’s Health Department said cases of coronavirus per 100,000 residents has risen eight-fold, from 1.2 to 10, since June 15, when the county lifted capacity limits and other restrictions on businesses and allowed vaccinated people to go unmasked in most settings. The Health Department said the Delta variant, more than twice as contagious as the original virus, was to blame for mounting cases and an increase in hospitalizations. “With case rates as high as they are and rising, everybody needs to add an additional layer of protection in the form of a mask when they are indoors,” Dr. Aimee Sisson, Yolo County’s public health officer, said in a statement. The mask mandate will not be lifted until the county’s case rate falls below 2 cases per 100,000 residents for seven consecutive days, according to a statement from the county health department. Yolo County health officials urged residents to get vaccinated, saying...
    Members of GetEQUAL at a demonstration outside the White House in 2014 Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois is again leading a call urging Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to end the detention of transgender people and people with HIV. A letter, addressed to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. Alejandro Mayorakas and acting ICE Director Tae Johnson, is signed by a number of progressive champions and joined by nearly 70 organizations. “There are grave concerns regarding ICE safely detaining transgender individuals,” legislators write. “Even when ICE has endeavored to set up specific detention units tailored to comply with the requirements of its own 2015 guidance on the detention of transgender individuals, its efforts have failed.” “The dedicated transgender housing unit set up at the Cibola County Correctional Center in 2017 was plagued by alarming deficiencies in medical care, including ‘hundreds of unanswered requests for medical attention, poor quarantine procedures, and deficient treatment for mental illnesses and other chronic diseases,’ documented in federal inspections eventually obtained by Reuters,” the letter said.  That report detailed care so poor that detained immigrants were forced to pool their money together...
    By Salman Saeed, Sophie Jeong and Amy Woodyatt | CNN At least 52 people were killed when a massive fire ripped through a juice factory in Bangladesh, officials said Friday. The fire started Thursday afternoon on the ground floor of a six-story Hashem Foods Ltd. factory in Rupganj, east of the capital Dhaka, Debashis Bardhan, deputy director of the fire service and civil defense said. The presence of chemicals and flammable substances like polythene and clarified butter contributed to the blaze in the factory, and made it more difficult to bring under control, the state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency reported. Three people died when they jumped off the roof on Thursday after suffering burns from the blaze, BSS reported, citing Abdul Al Arifin, the Narayanganj district deputy director of the fire service and civil defense. Almost none of the bodies recovered on Friday could be recognized, BSS reported, citing fire service and civil defense director Lieutenant Colonel Zillur Rahman. Al Arifin said each of the building’s floors was about 35,000 square feet (3,250 square meters) but were only accessible...
    TRACY (CBS 13) — It’s a high-cost battle against a big bird nuisance. City of Tracy Animal Services says they seeing a surge in calls about peacocks in the area – but they want neighbors to try and scare them off on their own because the cost of relocating them can be in the thousands. READ MORE: IN PHOTOS: Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Tahoe Vacation Compound Up For Sale, Asking Price: $41 Million Some people think the birds are a nuisance, but others think they’re a beautiful part of her community. “I would love to see a peacock. I think that would be really neat,” said Tracy resident Susan Magana. Animal services want people to deter the animals from nesting and mating in their yards because moving peacocks can cost up to $30,000, depending on how many there are. “That’s a lot of money,” said Meghan Burke, another Tracy resident. CBS13 asked Tracy city leaders about it but they didn’t have an answer for us in time for this story. READ MORE: Sacramentos Beloved Torch Club Reopens for Live Music Post-Pandemic...
    President Biden called Vladimir Putin’s comparison of Russian opposition protests to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot "ridiculous."  "I think that's a ridiculous comparison," Biden said in a news conference following his Geneva meeting with the Russian president on Wednesday.  "It’s one thing for literally criminals to break through ... go into the Capitol, kill a police officer and be held accountable," Biden said. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died soon after the riot. His death was ruled as a result of natural causes, but the medical examiner ruled that the riot played a role in his condition. Biden said it was different from people marching to say "you are not allowing me to speak freely." Putin, in his own news conference following the meeting, likened both Black Lives Matter protests that raged across the U.S. and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to the pro-democracy movement led by opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Russia.  RUSSIAN COURT OUTLAWS OPPOSITION LEADER NAVALNY'S GROUPS  The Russian president was asked about the long list of his opponents who are dead or in jail and how Putin has...
    More On: saudi arabia World hasn’t reached peak oil: Demand to exceed pre-COVID levels As war destroys Yemen’s present, museums struggle to preserve its past Russia and Saudi Arabia prepare for joint manned space mission Lawmakers demand release of secret probe docs on Saudi involvement in 9/11 Saudi Arabia is banning foreigners from attending the Hajj again this year because of the pandemic. It will also limit the number of people who can take part in the annual pilgrimage to Mecca to 60,000, a fraction of the 2 million that attend in a normal year. Still, the figure is far more than the 1,000 permitted last year, two-thirds of whom were foreign residents from among the 160 different nationalities that would have normally been represented. One-third were Saudi security personnel and medical staff. A statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency on Saturday said this year’s hajj, which begins in mid-July, would be also limited to vaccinated people aged 18 to 65, The Associated Press reported All able-bodied Muslims who can afford it are required to perform the...
    Four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka announced Wednesday that she will not take part in any press conferences during the upcoming French Open. The No. 2-ranked women's tennis player announced her decision across social media platforms, saying she wanted to focus on her mental health. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/EegFSKnoie— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) May 26, 2021 "I've often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one," the 23-year-old wrote. "We're often sat there and asked questions that we've been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I'm not just going to subject myself to people that doubt me." She described athletes breaking down in front of media after a loss, believing the practice of requiring athletes to talk about their losses after a game is like "kicking a person while they're down." She also said her decision was "nothing personal to the tournament," or to the press, with whom she generally has a friendly relationship.  Osaka ended her statement by...
    Republican governors in almost half of the states have decided to stop accepting the pandemic $300-a-week federal unemployment benefits boost, saying the extra money is discouraging the jobless from looking for work. At least 21 states decided over the past week to cut off the supplemental federal aid provided by President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan, which gave an extra $300 to the unemployed on top of the normal unemployment benefits states provide. The aid is not slated to expire until September. TRUMP CELEBRATES FEC DROPPING CASE OVER STORMY DANIELS ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS: 'FAKE NEWS' “Federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs initially provided displaced Iowans with crucial assistance when the pandemic began,” Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said last week. “But now that our businesses and schools have reopened, these payments are discouraging people from returning to work.” On top of the $300-a-week federal unemployment boost, the average person also receives $387 in state weekly unemployment payments, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, for a total of approximately $687 every week in aid between the federal and state benefits....
    SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean officials say North Korea has told Asia’s soccer governing body it would not participate in World Cup qualifiers scheduled to be played in South Korea next month because of coronavirus concerns. Kim Min-soo, an official from South Korea’s Football Association, said Tuesday that the Asia Football Confederation has asked the North’s soccer association to reconsider its decision. He said the North notified the AFC of its intent to drop out of the matches on Friday. The North’s Olympic committee said last month that it had decided to drop out of this summer’s Tokyo Olympics to protect its athletes from COVID-19. An official from South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, said Seoul still has hope the North will participate in the soccer matches, saying the events would provide a rare opportunity for sports exchanges during a period of poor bilateral relations. The North has virtually stopped all cooperation with the South and resumed testing of short-range weapons amid a stalemate in larger nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington. The two Koreas belong...
    California's Otay Mesa Detention Center The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has called on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas to shut down dozens of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities across the country, citing patterns of abusive conditions and already-reduced population levels due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and other factors. “The Biden administration was elected with a mandate to fix our broken immigration system, and immigrant detention is an early test of its resolve,” ACLU senior advocacy and policy counsel Naureen Shah said. “Closing detention sites should be an easy decision.” In its letter, the ACLU urges Mayorkas to close 39 facilities, including a number of sites that made national headlines last year following massive—and completely preventable—COVID-19 outbreaks. “Fiscal Year 2020 was the deadliest year in ICE detention in 15 years,” the ACLU said. “Last year alone, we saw reports of increased use of force, solitary confinement, patterns of sexual abuse, forced sterilization, and an utter failure to protect people from COVID-19. ICE’s extreme recklessness in handling the COVID-19 virus showed the blatant disregard it had for the health and well-being of detained people,...
    A Miami private school has told teachers and employees not to get COVID-19 vaccines, citing false information and unsubstantiated anti-vaccination theories. The school said it is their policy not to employ anyone who has taken what it called the "experimental" COVID-19 injection. CBS Miami obtained a copy of an email sent to parents from Centner Academy on Monday. The school said until further notice, it is asking any employee who has not yet received COVID-19 vaccines to wait to do so until the end of the school year.  "We also recommended that all faculty and staff hold off on taking the injection until there is further research available on whether this experimental drug is impacting unvaccinated individuals," the email reads. "It is our policy, to the extent possible, not to employ anyone who has taken the experimental COVID-19 injection until further information is known." The Centner Academy email offers no scientific evidence or authority to support the claims made. The school, which is run by Leila and David Centner, opened in September 2020, according to CBS Miami.  The email...
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