Howard University will postpone the start of its spring semester, citing the recent surge in coronavirus cases.
The university said it will start in-person classes on Jan. 18 instead of the scheduled Jan. 10 date. Administrative functions will begin on Jan. 3.
Students returning to classes will have to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test four days before arrival, Howard said in a statement Monday.
All faculty, staff and students will be required to receive a COVID-19 booster by Jan. 31 if eligible for a booster, or within 30 days after becoming eligible.
Read more: https://www.washingtoninformer.com/howard-university-delays-spring-semester-as-covid-cases-spike/
FLAGSTAFF, Az. Two proposed laws would have potential to inflict considerable harm on young Transgender Arizonans and the medical professionals who treat them LGBTQ+ activists say.
The author of both proposed measures is Republican state Senator Wendy Rogers (R-SD6), an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump and a member of the Oath Keepers, an anti-government militia organization whose members took part in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol. This past Fall in October 2021, Rogers spoke at a QAnon-linked political conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rogers first measure, Senate Bill 1045 would prohibit medical procedures that affirm the gender identity of children and teens who are transgender. The law would ban medical professionals in Arizona from performing gender affirming surgeries on Trans minors and also would forbid prescribing testosterone to Trans male youth or estrogen to Trans female youth who are under 18. Any Health professional found guilty would be convicted as a Class 4 felony offender, with a prison sentence of one to three years.
Her second measure, Senate Bill 1046 would restrict transgender children from participating in sports at public and private schools, community colleges and universities. The measure would divide all interscholastic and intramural sports teams into male, female and co-ed teams based on biological sex.
Read more: https://www.washingtonblade.com/2021/12/30/arizona-lawmaker-proposes-two-anti-trans-bills-for-2022/
Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, were facing what many experts predict will be the largest spike in cases yet. Across Maryland, hospitals are reaching full capacity, and we havent even seen the inevitable post-holiday season increase. January promises to be difficult for all of us.
The abundant availability of vaccines and booster shots means we have a powerful tool to save lives and many people who get sick with the virus will have no symptoms or very mild ones thanks to the incredible work of the scientists who developed the vaccines, and the health care workers and public health officials who have administered them. Still, many people remain at risk, and the coming wave will stress many of our systems.
But just as weve entered another very challenging phase of this crisis, state employees are about to lose a critical support that has helped them weather this storm. Hazard pay for our front-line state workers will expire on December 31st, and Governor Hogan should take immediate action to extend this benefit for at least three months as the omicron spike takes its toll on the people of Maryland.
As many people once again retreat to their homes to telework, our essential front-line workers often dont have this option. These are committed public servants who work in our correctional facilities and state hospitals. They drive public buses and care for and educate children in our juvenile facilities. They process applications at the Department of Motor Vehicles and applications for critical public benefits.
Read more: https://www.marylandmatters.org/2021/12/27/tom-perez-governor-hogan-should-extend-and-expand-hazard-pay-for-essential-workers/
The Biden administration announced another round of private investment in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador earlier this month.
Its a significant step in addressing the lack of economic opportunity that is a factor driving people to migrate from the region to the US border, where they make up about 40 percent of migrants encountered by immigration authorities. But results wont be immediate, and theres a chance they wont help as much as the US hopes.
As part of a partnership with the US government, American companies pledged to inject $750 million in the three countries, which are collectively known as Central Americas Northern Triangle. These latest commitments, part of a Biden administration effort launched in May, bring the partnerships total investments to more than $1.2 billion over a multi-year horizon. Those funds will go towards supporting entrepreneurs and coffee farmers; creating new manufacturing jobs; making Northern Triangle economies more resilient to climate change; and giving millions access to the digital economy and the internet.
That kind of direct foreign investment is striking. New US investment in the region will come close to global foreign investment in 2020, when countries invested a combined $1.5 billion, according to data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
Read more: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/22836881/biden-central-america-investment-honduras-salvador-guatemala
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will forego their usual trip to the Caribbean and celebrate New Year's Eve in Delaware, according to a White House press briefing.
After spending several days at their home in the North Shores community near Rehoboth Beach, the Bidens traveled upstate to Greenville on Wednesday. Of course, the couple couldn't leave before taking their new dog, Commander, out for a walk on the beach.
According to the president's public calendar, he and his wife were scheduled to arrive in the Wilmington area around 6:50 p.m. Wednesday. Flights in the area will be temporarily restricted until 8:45 p.m. Jan. 2, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. This means Biden may stay in Delaware through Sunday night.
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The Internal Revenue Service is standing by its decision to deny tax-exempt status to a self-described church in Des Moines that allegedly uses a hallucinogenic drug in religious ceremonies.
Earlier this year, the Iowaska Church of Healing sued the IRS in U.S. District Court, challenging the federal agencys decision to deny the church status as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization.
State records indicate the church was formed in Iowa in September 2018, and is run by Admir Dado Kantarevic, along with Billy Benskin and Merzuk Ramic. The churchs official location is Kantarevics home, located at 4114 27th St., Des Moines. The lawsuit makes references to the church having 20 members at one point in time.
Kantarevic says the church has never conducted any ceremonies at his home or anywhere else in the state of Iowa.
Read more: https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2021/12/29/irs-stands-by-decision-on-iowa-church-and-the-use-of-hallucinogenic-drugs/
At the request of Hennepin County officials, a Medina police officer investigated how an independent photojournalist got photos of Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinsons totaled, black Ford Explorer he crashed while driving drunk.
The officer, Josh McKinley, visited the home of conservative journalist Rebecca Brannons parents in Eden Prairie after she posted photos on Twitter of the county-owned vehicle Hutchinson crashed near Alexandria, according to a recording of a phone conversation with Brannon provided to the Reformer.
It startled me, Brannon said in an interview with the Reformer. I was mostly concerned with my parents because they were worried. They worry so much. I think I was more concerned for them.
Hutchinson, who was elected in 2018 with support from Democrats, pleaded guilty to driving drunk after leaving a state sheriffs conference on Dec. 8.
Brannon has a large following on Twitter, where she primarily tweets about politics and protests. She used to be heavily involved in the state Republican Party, and her day job is a videography business that produces videos for churches and candidates, including a launch video her company produced last summer for Bloomington police officer Jai Hanson, who is running against Hutchinson for sheriff. She said it was a three-day contract, she hasnt done any work for him since.
Read more: https://minnesotareformer.com/2021/12/29/police-looked-into-how-journalist-got-photos-of-hennepin-county-sheriffs-wrecked-suv/
Now fuelled by the highly-transmissible Omicron mutation, the pandemic disaster is exposing the determination of big business and its governments to drive up profits and wealth accumulation, regardless of the human cost in infections, hospitalisations and deaths.
Outrage is intensifying throughout the population, as well as among doctors and public health scientists, because the governments are moving nakedly to satisfy the demands of the financial elite for workers to be herded into workplaces, even if ill or potentially infectious.
Todays official figures are staggering enough. They show that the number of new daily COVID cases jumped nationally overnight from around 21,000 to more than 32,000, exceeding all modelling forecasts. This was just days after first hitting 10,000, thus showing an exponential rise. Hospitalisations and deaths are also starting to surge, for all the official and media claims that Omicron is mild.
These statistics underestimate the true level of mass infection. This is not least because thousands of people have been turned away already from overwhelmed testing sites in recent days. Now, the governments are blocking PCR testing to virtually everyone, unless they are symptomatic after a personal household contact for more than four hours.
Read more: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/12/31/acov-d31.html
MADISON, Wis. (AP) One of the leaders of the Legislatures rules committee demanded Thursday that the Wisconsin Election Commission submit draft regulations to his panel governing absentee ballot drop boxes and corrections to absentee ballot information.
Republican Sen. Steve Nass. the rules committees co-chairman, wants the commission to submit draft rules codifying guidance the commission supplied to local election clerks as the COVID-19 pandemic was taking hold in March 2020. That guidance dramatically expanded the use of absentee ballot drop boxes to include mail slots at municipal facilities and book return slots at libraries. It also stated that clerks could set up alternate sites for returning absentee ballots.
Republicans are upset with the guidance because officials in Madison, a Democratic stronghold, used it to justify collecting ballots in city parks ahead of the 2020 presidential election. The GOP argues that the move opened to the door to fraud, however there is no evidence that it did.
An Associated Press review of every potential case of voter fraud in the six battleground states where former President Donald Trump is still disputing results, including Wisconsin, found fewer than 475 cases, a number so low it would have made no difference in the 2020 presidential election. Some of those charged with fraud are registered Republicans or told investigators they were Trump supporters.
Read more: https://spectrumnews1.com/wi/milwaukee/news/2021/12/31/nass-demands-commission-submit-drop-box--absentee-rules
A former Denton police officer accused of possessing child pornography will no longer face a jury trial next year after instead pleading guilty.
David Schoolcraft was first arrested in March for allegedly sending and viewing child pornography late last year. While he first pleaded not guilty shortly after his arrest, Schoolcraft now has changed his plea to guilty.
Instead of a jury trial, a judge now will sentence Schoolcraft, 37, in the child pornography case. The plea agreement, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, was sealed Tuesday. In a plea agreement, parties can agree upon a sentence for the defendant, but the sentencing is ultimately left to the judges discretion.
The penalty, according to a document filed Tuesday, is up to 20 years in prison if the content showed minor(s) who werent yet 12 years old. The court record says Schoolcrafts phone had images of child pornography involving a prepubescent minor and a minor who wasnt yet 12 years old.
Read more: https://dentonrc.com/news/crime/ex-denton-officer-changes-plea-to-guilty-in-federal-child-porn-case/article_c1353bea-885b-593c-90d0-f73fc7ee83df.html
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