Tag Archive for: UK


Trump sued for wrongful death of Capitol police officer after Jan. 6.

3.3 million American adults displaced by natural disasters last year.

Oil giant Shell to pay $2 billion in windfall tax in EU, UK.



Trump sued for wrongful death of Capitol police officer after Jan. 6

Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick.

On the second anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the partner of Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick is suing former President Trump over Sicknick’s death. Sicknick was one of the many officers at the Capitol that day who fought to hold off an assault by Trump’s supporters. In the melee, a rioter sprayed Sicknick in the face with bear spray, temporarily incapacitating him. Later in the day, Sicknick suffered a series of strokes and was taken to a hospital. He died the next day. Sicknick was the first, but not the last, Capitol police officer to die in the aftermath of the standoff.

The suit by Sandra Garza, Sicknick’s longtime partner, alleges that Trump “intentionally riled up the crowd” that attacked Sicknick with a “campaign of lies and incendiary rhetoric”. In addition to Trump, Garza’s suit names Julian Khater and George Tanios, the two rioters who attacked Sicknick. Garza is demanding at least $10 million in damages from each of the three defendants.

The suit alludes to evidence and testimony from the House Jan. 6 hearings and the hundreds of federal prosecutions of rioters. “Many participants in the attack have since revealed that they were acting on what they believed to be Defendant Trump’s direct orders in service of their country,” the lawsuit says. 

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3.3 million American adults displaced by natural disasters last year

A new survey by the US Census Bureau found that natural disasters forced 1.3% of American adults (3.3 million) from their homes in the last years. More than half of those displaced were due to hurricanes. Others had to leave their homes due to wildfires, tornados, floods or other disasters. Of those displaced, about 1 in 6 (about 550,000 people) never returned to their homes.

Some states saw more displacement than others. About a million Floridians had to leave their homes last year due to hurricanes, as did over 400,000 in Louisiana. Indiana, Maine, North Dakota, Ohio and Oklahoma suffered the fewest displacements. 

However, another recently released study found that 90% of US counties had suffered a weather disaster between 2011 and 2021. These counties are home to  93% of the population, or about 300 million people. Some of these counties suffered as many as 12 federally declared disasters over those 11 years. This study found that California, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Iowa and Tennessee had suffered the most disasters during that decade, at least 20 each.

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Oil giant Shell to pay $2 billion in windfall tax in EU, UK for last quarter of 2022

British multinational oil company Shell has announced it expects to pay about $2 billion in windfall taxes in the UK and EU, only for the company’s profits in the last 3 months of 2022. The EU and UK have both imposed hefty windfall taxes on oil companies which have earned record profits in the last year due to the war in Ukraine. Worldwide, Shell expects to pay between $4.3 billion and $4.7billion in taxes on its fourth quarter profits alone.

The Biden administration has threatened oil giants operating in the US with such a tax to discourage them from price-gouging, but so far no such legislation has materialized.

In May, the British government imposed a 25% windfall tax on oil companies, then increased it to 35% in November. Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden said himself in October that it was both necessary and “inevitable” that nations would have to impose windfall taxes on energy companies to protect those most vulnerable to skyrocketing fuel costs. Speaking at an energy conference in London, Van Beurden said, “One way or another there needs to be government intervention. Protecting the poorest, that probably may then mean that governments need to tax people in this room to pay for it”.

Van Beurden stepped down as head of Shell Oil only this week.

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Court battles over Title 42 continue as migrants amass at border. California county votes to consider secession. Massive public sector strikes paralyze UK.




Court battles over Title 42 continue as migrants amass at border

El Paso, TX, and other border towns have seen a recent uptick in arriving migrants. At El Paso alone, some 2,000 migrants a day are crossing the border and seeking asylum. Border towns are are struggling to process and shelter people, many of whom have small children in tow. Some of these migrants have attempted to cross the border multiple times, only to be turned back under Title 42 pandemic restrictions. Many have waited in encampments at the border for months.

Back in April, the Centers for Disease Control declared Title 42 was no longer necessary. The measure went into force under former President Trump, ostensibly as a safeguard against COVID-19. Critics say the measure only succeeded in forcing more hardship on migrants. Under US law, migrants who meet certain criteria have a legal right to seek asylum. Title 42 was supposed to be an emergency suspension of that right.

A broken system

In its attempts to lift Title 42, the Biden administration has met numerous legal challenges from Republican states who want to keep Title 42 in place. Last month, a federal judge ruled Title 42 unlawful and ordered it to end on Dec. 21. The GOP states have launched another appeal, claiming that Title 42’s end would create a “disaster” at the border. If an circuit court turns them down, the states could appeal to the Supreme Court to keep the restrictions in place.

Department of Homeland Security Head Alejandro Mayorkas says that the chaos on the border as well as the legal tussles underscore the need for long overdue action on immigration reform by Congress. “Our asylum system is broken,” Mayorkas said. “Our immigration system as a whole is broken. It hasn’t been updated or reformed in more than 40 years”.

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One of California’s largest counties votes to consider secession

San Bernadino County, one of California’s most populous counties, has voted to consider seceding from the state. The county is home to an ethnically and racially diverse population of 2.2 million people, and sits just to the east of Los Angeles. By area, San Bernadino is the largest county in the state at 20,000 square miles, larger than 9 states. In an advisory ballot, this politically mixed county voted by a thin margin to direct local leaders to study the possibility of seceding from California.

The vote is largely symbolic as secession would require approval from both California’s Legislature and Congress, which isn’t likely. However, it does reflect growing frustration with the state’s government. Some are unhappy about the state’s progressive politics and high taxes, while others are frustrated by the state’s inaction on major social problems like homelessness.

The debate is reminiscent of the Greater Idaho movement further north. Majority conservative counties in Northern California and in Eastern Oregon and Washington State are campaigning to leave their relatively progressive states to join the neighboring conservative state of Idaho. Two Oregon counties recently joined the growing movement by passing ballot measures.

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Massive public sector strikes paralyze UK

Tens of thousands of public sector workers in the UK have joined a coordinated campaign of strikes to protest stagnant wages and working conditions. The UK public sector covers a much wider array of services than in the US. Unions representing the country’s nurses, railroad workers, airport workers and postal workers have all called strikes this month.

Susan Milner, a University of Bath professor who researches labor matters, says the economic standing of the UK’s public sector workers never really recovered following the 2008 financial crisis. Following the crash, Britain made massive wage cuts and layoffs across the public sector.

Things have gotten even worse in the last few years. When COVID hit, Conservatives in Parliament implemented a public sector wage freeze. Only nurses received a 3% pay rise last year. But with inflation now at 11%, many British public sector workers are struggling to make ends meet, and even relying on food banks. All the while, they are working more hours than ever before due to successive layoffs and a growing number of resignations. 

Conservatives in Parliament remain steadfast in their desire not to “give in” to labor unions. This won’t help their waning popularity. Current polls show that the Labor Party has huge margins of support over the ruling Conservatives. But there won’t be another general election in the UK until 2024.

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St. Louis: School shooting leaves 3 dead, including gunman. Court temporarily blocks Biden’s student debt relief after GOP challenge. Rishi Sunak named new British PM.



St. Louis: School shooting leaves three dead, including gunman

Around 9am local time this morning, a male who appeared to be about 20 years old entered the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, MO. Carrying what witnesses described as a long gun, he killed a teenaged girl at the scene and also shot an adult woman who died in hospital. School security had apparently observed the gunman’s efforts to enter the school and summoned police.

From the moment teachers were alerted to the gunman’s presence, classrooms went into “drill mode”- lights off, doors locked, students and teachers huddled in classroom corners where they wouldn’t be seen. Math teacher David Williams says the gunman attempted to enter his locked classroom. Williams heard a man’s voice shout. “You are all going to f**king die”. The gunman was unable to enter the classroom, but Williams heard several more shots, which he said sounded like a semi-automatic weapon. Shortly thereafter, a group of officers quickly arrived and engaged the shooter, killing him. The whole ordeal lasted about 40 minutes.

St. Louis police have not yet identified the shooter, nor his victims.

Around the same time in Michigan, 16-year-old Ethan Crumbley was pleading guilty to charges stemming from a shooting he carried out at his school last year. Crumbley killed four people, all his fellow students, with a gun his father had bought for him as a Christmas present only days before.

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Court temporarily blocks Biden’s student debt relief after GOP challenge

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, MO, has put a temporary hold on President Biden’s efforts to forgive billions of dollars in student debt. The order that Biden issued a few weeks ago forgives $10,000 in student debt to borrowers making under $125,000 per year. Recipients of Pell Grants, issued to low-income borrowers, would have $20,000 in student debt wiped clean.

Biden’s order fulfilled a campaign promise and increased his poll numbers significantly. Republican groups immediately began filing case after case in an effort to block the relief. Most of the cases were rejected for lack of standing since plaintiffs could not demonstrate harm. Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett turned away such a case just last week.

On Friday, the 8th Circuit issued a temporary stay pending a review of a challenge brought by Attorneys General in 6 GOP-led states, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina. A lower court had again ruled that the 6 states had not established standing.

The 6 states argued that loan servicing companies in their states would be harmed by the loan forgiveness. Although the companies would be fully reimbursed for the loans by the federal government, the loan companies would be deprived of the added interest and service fees that borrowers would have to pay if the term of their loans dragged out longer. The servicing companies themselves have not filed any challenges to the law.

Over 22 million people have already applied for loan forgiveness. The Department of Education are urging student borrowers to continue applying so their claims will be processed more quickly when the stay is lifted, as seems likely. The problem now is whether that will happen before the Jan. 1 deadline to begin repayments. Biden has said the extension to Jan. 1 would be the last.

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Rishi Sunak named new British PM

Last week, Liz Truss stepped down from her brief but troubled tenure as British Prime Minister. Her 45-day stint in office is the shortest ever premiership in Britain’s long history. In a few short weeks, Truss managed to tank the markets and crash the pound with an unrealistic budget plan. Even though she did a quick U-turn, the damage was done and her MPs called for her resignation.

Assuming office today is Rishi Sunak, former Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) under Truss’ predecessor Boris Johnson. Embarrassingly, Sunak had warned that Truss’ economic policy would be disastrous. Once this prediction came through, Truss fired her Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and installed Jeremy Hunt in his place. Hunt immediately announced his intent to implement a plan previously endorsed by… Rishi Sunak.

The Conservatives announced Sunak’s ascension today after he managed to gain enough support in the party. Astoundingly, Boris Johnson was also in the running to retake the seat from which he resigned in disgrace less than 7 weeks ago. Johnson claimed to have the requisite number of parliamentarians (100) supporting him, though there’s some doubt as to whether that’s actually true. But we will never know because just this morning, Johnson announced he was withdrawing his candidacy. Although Johnson insisted he had adequate support, he said he’d decided that running again wasn’t “the right thing to do”.

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Police said reports of missing black women “unfounded”; then one escaped her captor’s basement. GOP vows to cut Medicare, Social Security if they win House. Truss out as UK PM.



Police called reports of missing black women “unfounded”; then one escaped her captor’s basement

In Kansas City, MO, tensions and distrust between the city’s black community and its police force have been building for years. The federal government is currently investigating the police force for charges of racial discrimination and harassment of black officers. Black residents say there is also a long history of abuse by police and that they do no trust their police department to keep them safe.

These fears recently found justification in a horrific case. Late last month, the Kansas City Defender, a black-owned and operated non-profit new organization, raised the alarm when black residents came forward with reports that at least three black women had recently gone missing from 85th St. and Prospect Ave, an area known for prostitution. One black community leader, Bishop Tony Caldwell, also claimed that four black women had been murdered in the area. 

At the time, KCPD dismissed the reports saying they were “completely unfounded”. But the worries about the three missing black women at least proved to be true.

A month in captivity

Earlier this month, a 22-year-old black woman escaped from a basement in Excelsior Springs, a quiet residential community northeast of Kansas City. The young woman, identified as T.J. in court documents, said she had been held captive and repeatedly raped and whipped for over a month. T.J. made a break for freedom when her captor, 39-year-old Timothy Haslett Jr., who is white, left the home to take his child to school. She ran to the home of a neighbor, nurse Lisa Johnson. Johnson said T.J. was emaciated and nearly naked, wearing nothing but “S&M-type” latex lingerie. She also had scars around her wrists and ankles from being shackled to the wall of Haslett’s basement. Around her neck was duct tape and a metal dog collar, which Johnson described as a homemade shock collar.

By the time Johnson called police, she returned outside to see T.J. running to the home of Ciara Tharp. Tharp’s grandmother put a blanket around T.J. and gave her some food. T.J. told Tharp’s grandmother that Haslett had killed two other black women that were in the basement with her and that he had killed other women as well. 

Furthermore, T.J. said she was taken from Prospect Ave in Kansas City, exactly the area black community members had indicated.

A “loner” with white supremacist views

Haslett has been charged with rape, kidnapping and assault but not murder. Police in Excelsior Springs say they are investigating the possibility that Haslett similarly victimized two other women, but say they have no information about any killings. 

Ryan Sorrell of the Kansas City Defender found social media posts from Haslett indicating that he had white supremacist views and believed we were in a “race war”.

Neighbors of Haslett said that he was “a loner” but that they had no idea what he was doing. They claim never to have seen women in his house. However, they say that his young son was in the home while the alleged crimes were taking place.

It’s not certain how long Haslett has been capturing women or how many victims he may have. One neighbor said that Haslett, a former railroad construction worker, told her in 2020 that he was retiring due to a heart condition. He then began receiving numerous packages daily through the mail. Police say he had constructed a special room in his basement where the tortures took place.

KCPD response

Following T.J.’s rescue and Haslett’s arrest, Kansas City police told the Defender: “We base our investigations on police incident reports of criminal activity. We do still maintain that there is no indication that what you guys reported was accurate and there was no indication that there was anything that supported that claim”.

KCPD says no one had filed any missing persons reports with them. Sorrell at the Defender says that at no time following his initial reporting did KCPD reach out to him to learn more about the reports of missing women. In a statement, Bishop Tony Caldwell said that he had raised concerns publicly to alert police. He did so because “people in the street don’t trust [KCPD] and now we can see that’s rightfully so“.

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GOP vows to cut Medicare, Social Security if it wins House

Various GOP leaders in Congress have recently spoken openly about their desire to cut funding to Medicare and Social Security if they win the House in November, as polls predict they will. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and the four Republican hopefuls to be the next chair of the House Budget Committee have all said they hope to use their positions in the next Congress to decrease so-called “entitlements”. Funding for “entitlements” is deducted from all working Americans’ paychecks to see them through retirement.

McCarthy and the other GOPers say they will use the next debt ceiling negotiations to force concessions from the Democrats. Raising the debt ceiling is necessary to allow the US to meet its debt obligations. It does not increase spending, it only pays down debt the government has already accrued. Failing to raise the debt ceiling would force a default on US debt and send the economy spiraling. Mere delays in approval in the past have resulted in the federal government’s credit rating being downgraded.

Republicans have often used threats not to raise the debt ceiling as a particularly perilous bargaining chip in negotiations. The GOP have consistently fended off past efforts to raise the debt ceiling automatically and thus end these dangerous impasses.

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Truss out as UK PM

After just 45 days, Liz Truss has resigned as British Prime Minister. Following the resignation of her predecessor Boris Johnson, Truss won a vote to lead the Conservative Party and become the new Prime Minister. Only the Conservative Party’s 172,000 dues-paying members could participate in this vote, representing 0.5% of the UK’s population. Truss says she will leave office in a week or so to give the party a chance to hold yet another leadership contest.

Almost from day one, Truss’ stock began to depreciate. She initially swore in Kwasi Kwarteng, a relative unknown, as Chancellor of the Exchequer (equivalent to Finance Minister). Together, Kwarteng and Truss embarked on a controversial economic plan that would reduce taxes, primarily for the wealthiest Britons, while taking on a huge amount of sovereign debt. With this tenuous funding, Truss had also promised to heavily subsidize Britons’ energy costs for up to two years.

News of these reforms sent markets into a tailspin and ultimately gutted the value of the British pound. Truss was forced to oust Kwarteng in favor of Jeremy Hunt. Hunt promptly reversed every part of Truss’ economic plan. Having lost all credibility and legitimacy, Truss’ fellow Conservatives quickly began calling for her resignation. Initially she resisted, saying that she was “a fighter, not a quitter”. Today, she bowed to the inevitable.

A week ago, British tabloid The Daily Star set up a webcam on an unrefrigerated head of lettuce to see whether it or Truss’ tenure as PM would last longer. The lettuce won.

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Michigan’s Supreme Court puts abortion on the ballot. Mar-a-Lago papers: DOJ appeals “special master” ruling. Australia: Queen’s death immediately reignites calls for republic.



Michigan’s Supreme Court puts abortion on the ballot

The State Supreme Court of Michigan has ruled that Michiganders will have the opportunity to vote in November on whether to include a right to an abortion in the state’s Constitution. The court’s ruling overturned an earlier decision by the state’s election board not to allow the measure onto the ballot.

Pro-abortion activists gathered over 700,000 signatures, many times the number required to petition for a ballot measure. The election board, composed of two Democrats and two Republicans, is supposed to act as a rubber stamp for ballot initiatives with the requisite number of signatures. In this case, the two Republicans voted it down, denying the 3 votes necessary to include the measure on the ballot.

It’s not surprising that Michigan Republicans are not eager to have abortion on the ballot. Recently, Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed the state’s conservative legislature to restrict or eliminate abortion access. Even in deep red Texas, only 11% of voters support the state’s severe restrictions on abortion.

Having the measure on the ballot is also likely to drive up Democratic turnout in Michigan, a purple state.

MI prosecutors defy court’s order not to enforce 1931 abortion ban

For abortion rights supporters in Michigan, the stakes of the November ballot measure are high. Michigan has a 1931 law on the books, that criminalizes nearly all abortions, with no exceptions for rape or incest. A state judge recently blocked the law from going into effect and ordered that State Attorney General Dana Nessel instruct county-level prosecutors not to enforce it.

However, a group of Republican Michigan county prosecutors is suing, claiming that the judge’s decision doesn’t apply to them. These prosecutors maintain they have the right to criminally prosecute abortion providers regardless of the judge’s ruling.

This is just one of several legal challenges concerning abortion playing out in the state. Conservative prosecutors and legislators continue to seek loopholes that allow them to limit or criminalize abortion. If the new ballot measure passes, as current polling predicts, it will end months of anxiety and uncertainty for women and healthcare providers in Michigan.

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Mar-a-Lago papers: DOJ appeals “special master” ruling

The Justice Department is appealing a ruling by a Trump-appointed federal judge in the Mar-a-Lago papers case earlier this week. District Judge Aileen Cannon granted a Trump’s attorneys’ request for a special master to oversee the review of the documents. She also said the master should ensure none of it is subject to executive privilege. This suggests Cannon’s willingness to entertain Trump’s contention that a former president can invoke executive privilege, despite legal precedent to the contrary.

Contradictory orders

The DOJ’s appeal raises concerns about Cannon’s order that the FBI pause using the seized documents in their investigation until the master’s review is complete. Cannon’s order encompassed both the 11,000+ unclassified documents and the 100+ classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago.

By including the classified material, DOJ says, Cannon contradicts her own opinion that an ongoing U.S. intelligence risk assessment of Trump’s mishandling of the documents should be allowed to continue. The two inquiries cannot so easily be separated, DOJ contends.

National security concerns

DOJ hasn’t expressed any objection to a special master reviewing the 11,000+ unclassified documents. However, they do have concerns about including the classified material in this review. Finding a special master with the necessary security clearances to view this material will be difficult. Vetting an appointee from scratch would also take time. The FBI’s counterintelligence chief submitted an affidavit yesterday saying that Cannon’s order is doing “irreparable harm” to national security.

Reports this week suggest some of the material is so sensitive, even some top Biden administration officials can’t access it. It includes material related to national defense, intelligence-gathering methods and human intelligence assets, as well as nuclear secrets. The FBI agents reviewing the material had to obtain higher classification clearances before beginning work. 

DOJ says that if Cannon hasn’t satisfactorily addressed their concerns by September 15, they will appeal the case to the 11th Circuit Appeals Court.

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Australia: Queen’s death immediately reignites calls for republic

Hours after Queen Elizabeth II’s death, Australian politicians have revived calls for Australia to become a republic. Like Canada, Australia is a self-ruled parliamentary government whose head of state is the British monarch, now King Charles III. A “Republican” in Australia is anyone who supports replacing the current constitutional parliamentary monarchy with a constitutional republic. 

In a tweet, Adam Bandt, leader of Australia’s Green Party, first offered condolences to the royal family. “Now Australia must move forward,” Bandt wrote, “We need [a] Treaty with First Nations people, and we need to become a Republic”.

Another tweet from Bandt’s deputy, New South Wales Sen. Mehreen Faruqi, eschewed any pretense of diplomacy. “I cannot mourn the leader of a racist empire built on stolen lives, land and wealth of colonised peoples,” Faruqi wrote. “We are reminded of the urgency of Treaty with First Nations, justice & reparations for British colonies & becoming a republic”.

Both Bandt’s and Faruqi’s tweets drew swift condemnation. Even Australian PM Anthony Albanese, Labour Party leader and an avowed Republican himself, said “today’s not a day for politics”.

The legacy of colonialism 

For much of the Queen’s reign, the monarch’s role as head-of-state in 14 nations has been largely symbolic. For commonwealth nations like Australia with histories of brutal settler colonialist oppression of indigenous peoples, that symbolism has become increasingly uncomfortable. Australia remains the only commonwealth nation that hasn’t yet signed a treaty with its indigenous people. In many people’s minds, Australia’s adherence to monarchy is linked with brutal treatment of Aboriginals in the past and racist attitudes to Aboriginals in the present.

In 1999, an Australian referendum to become a republic narrowly failed despite huge public support. Ahead of that referendum, the Queen stated that she had “always made it clear that the future of the Monarchy in Australia is an issue for the Australian people and them alone to decide, by democratic and constitutional means”.

Despite growing mistrust of the monarchy as an institution, Queen Elizabeth herself was overwhelmingly popular. Even Australia’s staunchest Republicans had acknowledged a republic was unlikely to happen while the Queen was on the throne.

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Queen Elizabeth II has died, aged 96. Memphis police arrest man after hours-long shooting spree; 4 dead. TX judge strikes down Obamacare mandated HIV-drug coverage on religious grounds.



Memphis police arrest man after hours-long shooting spree; 4 dead

Memphis police have arrested Ezekiel Kelly, 19, after a shooting spree terrorized the city for several hours. Four people were killed and three others wounded in apparently random attacks. The shootings, some of which the shooter livestreamed on Facebook, took place at seven different locations. At least one took place at an AutoZone. Police haven’t yet released the identities of the victims. 

The first killing took place just before 1 am on Wednesday. As more reports came in, police advised citizens to shelter in place. Some of the details of the killing spree remain a bit sketchy. We do know that one woman was shot dead when Kelly stole her vehicle. At one point, Kelly crossed into Mississippi, dumping the previously stolen car in Southaven before carjacking another vehicle, an SUV. Police apprehended Kelly around 9pm in Whitehaven after a high-speed chase.

At 17, Kelly was charged as an adult for attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, using a firearm to commit a dangerous felony and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon. Kelly eventually pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and received a 3-year sentence. He was released in March of this year, about 11 months after his sentencing. It’s possible Kelly got time off his sentence for his stay in jail before his sentencing.

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Texas judge: Obamacare requirement that employers cover HIV drug violates religious freedom

A federal judge in Texas has ruled that the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) mandate that employer-provided health insurance must cover a common HIV prevention drug violates Christian employers’ religious freedoms. District Judge Reed O’Connor found that plaintiffs in the case successfully argued that mandating this coverage forces companies to “facilitate or encourage homosexual behavior”.

However, the ruling may have wider implications for other preventative healthcare coverage under the ACA. Judge O’Connor ruled that the panel that decided which preventative healthcare measures should be covered was appointed unconstitutionally. That opinion could jeopardize ACA-mandated employer healthcare coverage of birth control, cancer and heart disease screenings among other things. 

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Queen Elizabeth II has died

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has passed away, aged 96, at her Palace in Balmoral, Scotland. Queen II ruled for 70 years, making her Britain’s longest serving monarch ever. Earlier today, Buckingham Palace, her royal seat, had announced that the Queen was under “medical supervision” and that her doctors were concerned for her health. Her heir apparent Prince Charles, his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Charles’ sister Princess Anne were already present and other royal family members were en route.

Though Britain’s dominion has shrunk somewhat since Elizabeth ascended the throne, she was revered in countries the world over and is the only British monarch most living people can remember. Her reign lasted through 15 British Prime Ministers and 14 US Presidents. Her last major official act as monarch was her meeting with newly-sworn-in Prime Minister Liz Truss on Tuesday. 

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NEMIss.news Pink House, Jackson MS




Abortions are no longer available in Mississippi; Scandal-Plagued UK PM Boris Johnson to step down; FBI & Britain’s M15 warn of immense Chinese threat; global inflation pushes millions to poverty level.




Abortions no longer available in Mississippi

Effective today, July 7, 2022: Abortions are not available in Mississippi.

The Pink House, Mississippi’s only abortion clinic, in the Fondren neighborhood of Jackson performed what is likely to be its last abortion yesterday afternoon.

The only exceptions will be when continuing the pregnancy is a demonstrable threat to the life of the mother or when the pregnant woman has reported a rape to Mississippi law enforcement.

The closing of Pink House, officially “Jackson Women’s Health Organization,” appeared to be nearly inevitable after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Jun 24. However, abortion proponents brought a suit against the state citing a 1998 decision by the Mississippi Supreme Court in the “Pro-Choice Mississippi v. Kirk Fordice” case. In that case the state supreme court, as then constituted, upheld the right to abortion in the state.

However, Chancery Judge Debbra Halford ruled Tuesday that since abortion no longer has constitutional protection, the Mississippi Supreme Court, now made up of more conservative judges, was unlikely to uphold any right to an abortion under the 1998 ruling.

Pro- and anti-abortion demonstrators traded insults at the Pink House yesterday.

Pro-abortion advocates warned, “There will be women who will die” because Pink House is closing.

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More info: https://apnews.com/article/abortion-us-supreme-court-health-mississippi-06430712bf221d4da21e7fee7980b0ff





Boris Johnson to step down

Boris Johnson announced this morning that he is resigning as Prime Minister after three colorful, sometimes bizarre, years as the top political leader of the United Kingdom.

Several of his Cabinet members had already resigned in recent days.

His time as Prime Minister has been marked high drunken parties at number 10, sexually related scandals and buffoonery that went beyond the well developed British sense of humor!

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British, American domestic espionage directors warn of Chinese threat

The heads of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Britain’s M15 have warned of an “immense” threat to the economies and political structures of western democracies.

Ken McCallum, the head of M15, the United Kingdom’s domestic intelligence organization, joined his counterpart, U.S. FBI Director Christopher Wray, in a joint press conference yesterday in London. The rare joint appearance of the two domestic counter-espionage organizations took place at Thames House, MI15’s headquarters.

Wray and McCallum warned of Chinese espionage operations aimed at everything from stealing technology to interfering in a congressional election in the U.S. state of New York.

They said Chinese operatives had even dug seeds out of the ground on rural American farms to steal genetic engineering information that had taken years to develop.

Much of the Chinese espionage is done through the Internet. The Chinese have long been infamous for stealing patents on American designs ranging from heavy equipment to the mechanical devices of “motion furniture.”

McCallum said MI15 had more than doubled its work against Chinese espionage during the last three years and were ready to double it again.

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Global inflation pushing millions into poverty

A UN agency reported today that the world-wide increase in commodities prices, is pushing an additional 71-million people in the world’s poorest countries into extreme poverty.

The UN Development Programme said an analysis of 159 developing countries showed the rapid increase in commodities prices has already slammed Sub-Saharan Africa, the Balkans and many parts of Asia.

The UN report said the number of people living in abject poverty could be pushed to as high as 1.7 billion people.

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Chicago July 4 parade shooter planned attack for weeks. Jan. 6: Former White House counsel agrees to testify; Giuliani, others subpoenaed in GA probe. UK’s Johnson resists calls to resign from ministers after sex misconduct scandal.



Chicago July 4 parade shooter planned attack for weeks

A shooter who killed 7 and injured dozens during a July 4 parade in Highland Park, a Chicago suburb, has been charged with 7 counts of first degree murder, with more charges on the way. Robert Crimo III fired more than 70 rounds into the crowd from his perch atop a commercial building. Among those he killed were the parents of a toddler, who died shielding him.

Police believe Crimo planned the crime for weeks. During the attack, Crimo wore women’s clothes to disguise himself in order to escape the scene. However, it doesn’t appear that Crimo had any particular ideological motive for the shooting. Since Crimo’s arrest, we’ve also learned that he has legally bought five weapons in the past two years, including the murder weapon. He was somehow able to purchase these weapons despite two disturbing 2019 encounters with the authorities. Police came to Crimo’s home on two occasions when Crimo threatened either murder or suicide. There is some dispute over exactly how he purchased the weapons. Illinois has red flag laws which could have prevented Crimo from purchasing weapons.

A fundraiser for the two-year-old boy who was orphaned in the tragedy has raised $2 million.

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Jan. 6: Former White House counsel agrees to testify; Giuliani, others subpoenaed in GA probe

Former Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone has reportedly agreed to testify before the Jan. 6 committee. A source familiar with the matter said the deposition will likely take place Friday behind closed doors and will be videotaped. The committee issued a subpoena for Cipollone last week. He had previously met with members of the committee for an informal interview but had not agreed to testify under oath or on the record. Statements from other witnesses suggest that Cipollone was present at key moments and may be able to fill in a lot of gaps.

Georgia grand jury subpoenas Giuliani, others

A grand jury in Fulton County, GA, is investigating efforts by Trump and members of his inner circle to overturn the state’s presidential election results. Trump infamously phoned Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in an attempt to first cajole, then threaten Raffensperger if he didn’t “find” the 11,000+ votes Trump needed to win the state. That phone call took place just days before Jan. 6 and was taped.

The grand jury issued subpoenas for Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, Cleta Mitchell and Jacki Deason, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).



UK PM Johnson resists calls to resign from ministers after sexual misconduct scandal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is again facing calls to resign from members of his own Conservative Party. This latest test comes after the resignation of Chris Pincher the deputy chief whip, whom Johnson appointed earlier this year. Pincher resigned after accusations came to light that he had drunkenly groped two men. Johnson at first denied knowing about Pincher’s misconduct, but then it was revealed that Johnson knew of a similar incident involving Pincher as far back as 2019.

Several of Johnson’s own ministers are reportedly preparing to ask him to step down. Many Conservative MPs with positions in government have already resigned in protest.

However, Johnson declared today in Parliament that he would “keep going”, touting his “colossal mandate” from the 2019 election. Johnson recently survived a “no confidence” vote in Parliament, which, under current rules, means another cannot take place for a year. Members of the rules committee say they will hold an internal election, which may discuss a rule change.

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Study sees possible COVID link with mysterious child hepatitis cases. Fed announces biggest rate hike since 1994; another likely in July. UK’s controversial plan to deport refugees to Rwanda on hold.




Study finds possible COVID link with mysterious child hepatitis cases

A study investigating the cause of hundreds of cases of severe hepatitis in young children across the world suggests a possible link to prior COVID infection. A few weeks ago, public health officials at the WHO, in Europe, the US, and Britain had flagged hundreds of cases of childhood hepatitis that could not be linked with the viruses that cause hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. About 700 cases in children, ranging from infants to 17-year-olds, have been identified in 34 countries. Of those, 10 have died and 38 required liver transplants.

Israeli researchers conducted a very small study of 5 cases in children from 3 months to 13 years old. All of them had previously recovered from COVID and later developed severe hepatitis, and some required transplant. Researchers stress that the Israeli study is far too small to form a firm conclusion as to the cause of the mysterious child hepatitis cases. However, the findings might point the way for larger studies in future.

Of the 700 worldwide cases, only 12% had an active COVID infection at the time of their diagnosis. But, it’s possible that some of the child hepatitis cases could be linked to well-documented cases of rare multi-organ syndrome (MIS-C) in which children recover from COVID and then suffering severe inflammatory symptoms weeks or months later. Three quarters of the children also tested positive for adenovirus 41, but researchers have said this may be coincidental rather than causative. Gastroenterologist Dr. Madhu Vennikandam says the children may be experiencing “an autoimmune reaction from a viral infection causing hepatitis, where the child’s immune system attacks their own liver cells in an attempt to combat the virus”.

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Related: FDA recommends authorizing COVID vaccine for children under 6


Fed announces biggest rate hike since 1994; another likely in July

The Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark short-term interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point, the largest one-time hike since 1994. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also indicated that a similar hike was on the table for next month. Just last month, the Fed raised the rate by half a percentage point, and projected a similar rise this month. The Fed’s decision to increase the amount of the hike beyond its projection has been interpreted as a reaction to a higher-than-expected rate of inflation last month. 

Earlier this week when the Fed telegraphed its decision to raise rates by three-quarters of a point rather than half a point, it sparked a sell-off on the stock market. Many American CEOs have publicly aired fears that a recession may be on the horizon. Furthermore, economists have echoed this sentiment, with some even warning of the possibility of stagflation, meaning slow growth with high inflation. With more aggressive rate hikes, the Fed is increasing the risk of a recession. Sales of homes and vehicles, for example, have already dropped off sharply in response to the previous, more modest rate hikes. But prices for commodities like gasoline, food, and clothing have continued to rise, with demand seemingly unaffected by higher interest rates.

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UK’s controversial plan to deport refugees to Rwanda on hold

The European Court of Human Rights has temporarily blocked Britain’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda. Minutes before the first flight containing just a handful of refugees, mostly from Middle Eastern nations, was due to take off, the ECHR ruled that the plan carried “a real risk of irreversible harm”.

Britain’s Home Secretary, Priti Patel, hatched the plan as a deterrent to asylum seekers who routinely attempt to cross the busy shipping lanes of the English Channel in unseaworthy vessels. The plan required a £120 million ($150 million) upfront payment to Rwanda, a dictatorship in central Africa. Britain would send essentially warehouse its refugees in Rwanda where they would await their asylum hearings. It is in some ways similar to the Remain in Mexico policy adopted by the US. However, the asylum process foreseen in the plan would only grant asylum in Rwanda, not the UK. Immigration activists have likened the plan to human trafficking on a mass scale.

Rwanda itself has a very poor human rights record. Just recently, Rwandan police gunned down refugees who were protesting conditions in the camps. The conditions of the Rwandan camps where refugees would await the asylum process are similarly dangerous and the living conditions are poor.

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Nearly 200 mysterious hepatitis cases in children worldwide. Fears Ukraine tensions spilling over into neighboring countries.




Nearly 200 cases of mysterious liver disease in children worldwide

Last week, the CDC sounded the alarm about a rare but serious liver disease affecting young children in the US and Europe. As of last week, most of the cases had been detected in Europe, while there had been about a dozen cases in the US. Nine of those were in Alabama, where one child was sick enough to need a liver transplant.

Now, European and UN health officials have tallied about 190 confirmed cases worldwide, including Europe, the US and Israel. One case has also been detected in Japan, the first in Asia. Several have needed liver transplants. There has been one death so far, but officials didn’t say where that death occurred.

The disease has affected otherwise healthy children between the ages of 1-16 with no pre-existing conditions. Officials say they have not found a firm link between cases and no connection with recent travel. Despite widespread speculation, researchers have ruled out any connection to COVID or COVID vaccines. Most of those affected are too young to be vaccinated.

UK sees possible adenovirus link

As of yesterday, the UK Health Security Agency had recorded 111 cases of unexplained hepatitis in children under 10 since January. Researchers with the UKHSA say adenovirus was detected in 75% of the afflicted children they tested. This is not enough to establish a firm causal link, but it is suggestive. Only 40% of cases have tested positive globally.

Adenoviruses are very common in children and usually produce cold-like symptoms. There has also been a sharp rise in adenoviruses among children after a sharp drop during the pandemic. Some researchers have theorized that children who had no exposure to such viruses during school closures and lockdown may now be having more severe reactions.

British officials are looking at one particular adenovirus – Adenovirus 41 – which normally causes gut inflammation. However, officials stress that more work is necessary and the investigation is still ongoing.



Ukraine tensions spilling over into neighboring country

The small nation of Moldova shares its eastern border with Ukraine and has been taking in thousands of Ukrainian refugees since the war began. Moldova is not part of the EU or NATO. Like Ukraine, Moldova also has a region of ethnic Russian separatists called Transnistria on its eastern border. Transnistria has a permanent contingent of 1,500 Russian troops as well as a large Russia arms depot.

This week, a regional security ministry building was shelled and two antennas carrying Russian radio broadcast were destroyed by unknown actors. Moldova’s national government is watching events there with concern as Russia’s front in Ukraine advances in their direction.

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Tick-borne Heartland virus found in 6 states. TX prison conditions violate human rights, Scottish judge says. 2 Brits home after years in Iranian prison.




Tick-borne Heartland virus identified in 6 states

The lone star tick is common in the eastern US and as far south as Mexico. In 2009, lone star ticks in Missouri were found to carry a disease since known as the Heartland virus. The symptoms of Heartland virus include fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle or joint pain. Most cases are mild but severe cases can require hospitalization. However, a few older patients with underlying health conditions have died.

While lone star ticks are common in Mississippi, no cases of Heartland virus have yet surfaced in the state. But ticks carrying the virus have been found in neighboring Alabama as well as Missouri, New York, Illinois, Kansas, and Georgia. Lone star ticks also carry the bacterial diseases ehrlichiosis and tularemia. Ehrlichiosis has similar symptoms to Heartland virus, though its treatment differs. Tularemia’s symptoms include fever, skin ulcers, and enlarged lymph nodes.

Experts say it’s unclear if other ticks can carry Heartland virus or if people can contract the disease in other ways.

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Texas prison conditions violate human rights, Scottish judge says 

A judge in Scotland ruled against extraditing a Scottish man to the US who is accused of shooting an unarmed security guard in Austin, TX, in 2016. Daniel Magee, who at the time was 18 and a UT student, allegedly shot the guard who had kicked him out of a frat party. The guard suffered an injury to his foot but survived. Magee was arrested but released on bail and fled back to Scotland before he could be tried.

The judge did not comment on the merits of the case against Magee in his decision. However, he agreed with Magee’s attorney’s assertion that Texas prison conditions are so bad that they violate international human rights. Specifically, the judge cited conditions like overcrowding, bad food, inadequate medical care, and sweltering temperatures as inhumane. The widespread practice of forced unpaid labor by inmates and an over-reliance on solitary confinement as a form of punishment could also constitute human rights violations.

Magee’s attorney Paul Dunne also stated that, “Every other country in the developed world and even some dictatorships allow international inspectors into their prison systems to monitor them for conditions. That is a completely alien concept in America.” 

It is unusual but not unheard of for international courts to extradite prisoners to the US solely on the basis of its poor prison conditions.

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British woman home after 6 years in Iranian prison

British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is home with her husband and young daughter in the UK after 6 years as an Iranian political prisoner. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was returned to the UK yesterday after Britain agreed to repay a £400 million debt owed to Iran since the 1970s. Prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution which brought the Ayatollah to power, the Western-backed Shah of Iran had ordered military vehicles from Britain. That order went unfulfilled after the Revolution, but Britain never repaid the money.

Another British-Iranian prisoner, Anoosheh Ashoori, was also returned after 5 years in prison. Both he and Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been charged with plotting against the Iranian government. Ashoori is a retired civil engineer while Zaghari-Ratcliffe is a journalist and women’s rights advocate.

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Man arrested for stalking, shooting homeless men in NYC and DC. Assange loses latest appeal against US extradition. 100,000 Brits offer to take in Ukrainian refugees.




Man arrested for stalking, shooting homeless men in NYC and DC

Washington DC Metro Police have a arrested a man they believe has been targeting and killing homeless men in both DC and New York City. Since March 3, five men have been shot, of which two have died (one in DC, one in NYC). The suspect is Gerald Brevard, 30, who lives in the DC area. So far, Brevard has only been charged with the Washington shootings and death, but is being questioned by detectives from both DC and NYC.

Police caught up to Brevard today after publishing surveillance camera footage which clearly showed his face. There isn’t yet any firm motive for these killings, but Brevard does have a history of violence. Police had already confirmed a link between the shootings in the two cities using ballistic evidence. This happened after a Washington DC police captain saw footage of the NYC shooter and suspected it was the same assailant they were looking for in DC.

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Assange loses latest appeal against US extradition

The UK Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to block his extradition to the US on espionage charges. Assange, 50, remains in custody in London’s Belmarsh Prison. The case will return to a lower court judge to confirm the ruling. However, Assange is not yet out of options. Britain’s Home Secretary could (but likely won’t) put a stop to the extradition. If she does not block the extradition, Assange could appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Assange is facing assorted charges of hacking and espionage over a release of classified US documents in 2010. The documents exposed US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. This included the infamous “Collateral Murder” video, in which soldiers in an Apache helicopter first kill a journalist and cameraman from Reuters, mistaking them for insurgents. Then, when a minivan with children inside pulls up to the scene, the soldiers killed the adults who got out of the van to help the Reuters journalists.

Humanitarian grounds

The US has been actively seeking to have Assange extradited since 2019. If convicted of all the charges he’s facing, he could be sentenced to up to 175 years in prison. Last year, UK lower court judge Vanessa Barraitser ruled that the US had grounds for extradition based on the charges, but said Assange could not be extradited due concerns for his safety. Pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein had only recently died in federal custody, and Barraitser doubted that US officials could prevent Assange from ending his own life. Assange has been suffering a mental health collapse during his incarceration. 

Higher courts overruled Barraitser’s objection after US officials assured them that Assange would not be in solitary confinement and could be securely held. Officials further claim that, if convicted, Assange’s sentence would likely only be 4-6 years rather than the full 175 years.

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More than 100,000 Britons offer to take in Ukrainian refugees

Yesterday, the British government opened a website to allow ordinary British residents to take in Ukrainian refugees. Since then, the site has been overwhelmed with requests and even crashed at one point. In all, over 100,000 Britons have offered to house Ukrainians fleeing the war. Over 3 million Ukrainians have fled the country since the fighting began.

Some daylight in Russia-Ukraine talks?

Russian and Ukrainian diplomats held talks once again today over video conference. Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said that while “fundamental contradictions” remain between the two sides, “there is certainly room for compromise”.  Another presidential aid said today’s talks were “more constructive” than previous negotiations. Encouragingly, the Russian side appears to have softened its stance somewhat, no longer demanding that Ukraine surrender as it is under attack.

Russian shelling in Kyiv has intensified. Today, heavy artillery struck residential buildings and damaged a subway station, killing several dozen people.


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