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Arizona Democratic Party Censures Sinema over Filibuster Stance

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) speaks in support of a judicial nominees during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., December 4, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters) The Arizona Democratic Party’s Executive Board passed a motion to censure Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) on Saturday, as a result of her refusal to push Democrat-backed voting bills through the Senate by changing filibuster rules earlier this week. “While we take no pleasure in this announcement, the ADP Executive Board has decided to formally censure Senator Sinema as a result of her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy,” ADP chair Raquel Terán said in a statement. “In the choice between an archaic legislative norm and protecting Arizonans’ right to vote, we choose the latter, and we always will,” Terán said. Arizona Democratic Party Exec Board censures AZ Sen. Kyrsten Sinema: "While we take no pleasure in this announcement, the ADP Executive Board has decided to formally censure Senator Sinema as a result of her failure to do whatever it takes to ensure the health of our democracy.” pic.twitter.com/3XEzR9S2xs — Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) January 22, 2022 #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a1905d6 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.2rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a1905d6 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a1905d6 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a1905d6 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #e92131; background-color: #e92131; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a190732 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a190732 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a190732 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a190732 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #eba605; background-color: #eba605; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a1907b6 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.3rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #dd9933; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a1907b6 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a1907b6 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #999999; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a1907b6 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #dd9933; background-color: #dd9933; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a19085f .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #0f733c; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a19085f .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a19085f { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec48a19085f .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #0f733c; background-color: #0f733c; color: #ffffff; } Sinema spokeswoman Hannah Hurley said the senator has long supported the filibuster, in a statement to the media. “During three terms in the U.S. House, and now in the Senate, Kyrsten has always promised Arizonans she would be an independent voice for the state — not for either political party,” Hurley said. “She’s delivered for Arizonans and has always been honest about where she stands.” The vote in favor of censuring Sinema was unanimous, according to AZCentral. While a censure is purely symbolic, the move is the latest in a series of rebukes from Democratic officials and donors. Representative Jamaal Bowman (D., N.Y.) referred to Sinema last week as a “traitor,” while Mondaire Jones (D., N.Y.) deemed Sinema, Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), and Republican senators “white nationalists.” Senate Democrats failed to pass two voting bills on Wednesday evening, and failed to change filibuster rules in another attempt to pass the legislation due to opposition from Sinema and Manchin (D., W.Va.). Send a tip to the news team at NR.

State Dept. Tells Families of Embassy Workers in Ukraine to Leave Starting Monday: Report

Flags of European Union, Ukraine and the U.S. fly in central Kiev, Ukraine September 25, 2019. (Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters) The State Department has ordered families of workers at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to leave the country beginning as soon as Monday, U.S. officials told Fox News. The State Department will also begin telling American civilians in Ukraine next week to leave the country on commercial flights “while those are still available,” one U.S. official told Fox on Saturday. With Russian fighter jets currently stationed in Belarus, the country on Ukraine’s northern border, another official said the Pentagon is concerned Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv is “now in the crosshairs.” The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv had already requested authorization to begin an evacuation of nonessential personnel as well as their families, CNN reported earlier on Saturday. When asked for comment, a State Department spokesperson told CNN the agency had “nothing to announce at this time.” The reports come amid speculation over whether Russian president Vladimir Putin intends to invade Ukraine. Russia has stationed over 100,000 troops at the Ukrainian border in recent weeks, while Putin has demanded that Ukraine be barred from joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv touted an American arms shipment that arrived in Ukraine on Friday. #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa597edc .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.2rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa597edc .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa597edc { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa597edc .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #e92131; background-color: #e92131; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa59807a .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa59807a .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa59807a { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa59807a .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #eba605; background-color: #eba605; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa598105 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.3rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #dd9933; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa598105 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa598105 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #999999; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa598105 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #dd9933; background-color: #dd9933; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa598185 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #0f733c; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa598185 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa598185 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61ec3aa598185 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #0f733c; background-color: #0f733c; color: #ffffff; } The shipment – and $2.7 billion USD since 2014 – demonstrates U.S. commitment to helping Ukraine bolster its defenses in the face of growing Russian aggression. 🇺🇸🇺🇦 #partnershipstrong [2/2] pic.twitter.com/scPFWM3we7 — U.S. Embassy Kyiv (@USEmbassyKyiv) January 22, 2022 “My guess is he will move in, he has to do something,” President Biden said of Putin at a press conference on Wednesday. While Biden said “Russia will be held accountable if it invades,” he then added “It depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, et cetera.” The remark led Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to state on Twitter that there are “no minor incursions.” “We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones,” Zelensky wrote. “I say this as the President of a great power.” We want to remind the great powers that there are no minor incursions and small nations. Just as there are no minor casualties and little grief from the loss of loved ones. I say this as the President of a great power 🇺🇦 — Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) January 20, 2022 Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Austrian Parliament Approves Covid-Vaccine Mandate for All Adult Residents

A health-care professional prepares a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Melbourne, Australia, February 22, 2021. (Sandra Sanders/Reuters) The Austria parliament’s lower house on Thursday voted 137-to-33 in favor of a nation-wide Covid-vaccine mandate for all residents over age 18. The upper house of parliament is expected to approve the mandate in early February. Pregnant women, people who recovered from Covid in the past six months, and people who can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons will be exempt from the mandate. Close to 72 percent of Austrians were fully vaccinated for Covid as of Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. “This is how we can manage to escape the cycle of opening and closing, of lockdowns,” Austria health minister Wolfgang Mueckstein said in parliament before the vote. “That is why this law is so urgently needed right now.” The government also introduced a vaccine lottery for residents who have not yet been vaccinated. Austrian citizens will receive one ticket for each Covid vaccine shot they receive, and every tenth ticket will come with a 500-euro prize. #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76bdd .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.2rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76bdd .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76bdd { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76bdd .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #e92131; background-color: #e92131; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76dfb .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76dfb .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76dfb { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76dfb .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #eba605; background-color: #eba605; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76ea1 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.3rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #dd9933; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76ea1 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76ea1 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #999999; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76ea1 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #dd9933; background-color: #dd9933; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76f17 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #0f733c; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76f17 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76f17 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e9b77f76f17 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #0f733c; background-color: #0f733c; color: #ffffff; } “To put it bluntly, we have earmarked up to 1 billion euro for the vaccination lottery which is based on reward and incentive,” Austrian chancellor Karl Nehammer told reporters prior to the vote. “I believe it’s totally justified to spend this money.” The vaccine mandate is scheduled to go into effect at the beginning of February, while police will begin enforcing the mandate on March 15. Police will be able to check residents’ vaccination status, and residents could face fines of up to 600 euros for repeated failure to prove they are vaccinated for Covid. Should an adult resident without a valid exemption continue to refuse to get vaccinated, Austria’s mandate will allow the government to set a vaccination appointment for that resident and continue to fine them for failure to show up. Residents face maximum fines of up to 3,600 euros four times a year for continued refusal to get vaccinated. Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Weekly Jobless Claims Surge to Highest Level Since October

Residents of Meridian Heights apartments in Northwest Washington display a painted bedsheet protesting for the cancelation of rent due to the loss of jobs during the pandemic in Washington, D.C., August 20, 2020. (Sarah Silbiger/Reuters) Jobless claims rose by 55,000 to 286,000 for the week ending January 15, reaching the highest level since October, the Labor Department announced on Thursday. Meanwhile, the four-week average of jobless claims stood at 231,000, the highest since November. About 1.6 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits as of January 8. A rise in jobless claims over the past three weeks ending January 15 has coincided with the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid throughout the U.S. The ongoing pandemic has forced the closure of businesses across the U.S. while forcing employees who are able to do so to work remotely. #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0c03 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.2rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0c03 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0c03 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0c03 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #e92131; background-color: #e92131; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0e50 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0e50 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0e50 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0e50 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #eba605; background-color: #eba605; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0eee .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.3rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #dd9933; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0eee .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0eee { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #999999; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0eee .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #dd9933; background-color: #dd9933; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0f74 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #0f733c; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0f74 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0f74 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e975e3b0f74 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #0f733c; background-color: #0f733c; color: #ffffff; } “If Omicron is truly the last major wave of the pandemic and life returns to normal by March, the second quarter should see a solid rebound in economic activity,” J.P. Morgan chief global strategist Dr. David Kelly told the Wall Street Journal. “However, if Covid lingers, it could continue to restrain leisure and entertainment spending and labor supply throughout the year.” The report on Thursday comes two weeks after Bureau of Labor Statistics found that December saw the fewest new hires of any month in 2021, with 199,000 new jobs added. The unemployment rate fell that month to 3.9 percent, a level that could rise in January if the number of jobless claims continues to rise. The U.S. added a record 6.4 million new jobs in all of 2021, however the American economy has still not recouped all job losses from the beginning of the pandemic. As of December, the economy was short 3.6 million jobs from the level in February 2020, just before the arrival of Covid forced mass business closures. Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Harris Dodges on Whether Biden Cast Doubt on Election Legitimacy

Vice President Harris waits to deliver virtual remarks from the White House in Washington, D.C., January 17, 2022. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters) Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday dodged a question from Today Show host Samantha Guthrie on whether President Biden is “really concerned” that the midterm elections may not be legitimate. When a reporter asked Biden if he would view the results of the 2022 midterms as “legitimate” if Democrats’ voting legislation failed in the Senate, Biden responded “it all depends,” at a press conference on Wednesday evening. The voting legislation failed in the Senate hours after Biden’s press conference after Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin refused to endorse a filibuster carve out to pass the bill without GOP support. It is “astonishing to hear a president question whether our elections will be legitimate. We’ve heard it before, but not from this president,” Guthrie told Harris during an interview on Thursday morning, apparently in reference to former president Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen. “Is he really concerned that we may not have fair and free elections?” Harris insisted that Biden “has been consistent on this issue,” and claimed that the “issue at hand” is a group of state laws that allegedly make it harder for Americans to vote. Harris said the two voting bills Democrats tried to pass in the Senate would have ensured voting opportunities for Americans. #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce605254 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.2rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce605254 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce605254 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce605254 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #e92131; background-color: #e92131; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce6054bd .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce6054bd .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce6054bd { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce6054bd .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #eba605; background-color: #eba605; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce60555a .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.3rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #dd9933; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce60555a .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce60555a { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #999999; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce60555a .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #dd9933; background-color: #dd9933; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce6055dd .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #0f733c; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce6055dd .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce6055dd { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e96ce6055dd .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #0f733c; background-color: #0f733c; color: #ffffff; } Is President Biden really concerned that we may not have free and fair elections? –@SavannahGuthrie to @VP pic.twitter.com/pQmv6MLVb5 — TODAY (@TODAYshow) January 20, 2022 Guthrie then interjected, “but the specific question, if you don’t mind: does [Biden] think, now that these bills haven’t been passed, that the ’22 midterms won’t be legitimate or fair?” “Let’s not conflate issues,” Harris responded. “We, as America, cannot afford to allow this blatant erosion of our democracy, and in particular, the right of all Americans who are eligible to vote, to have access to the ballot unfettered.” Democrats’ two voting bills failed to pass the Senate on Wednesday evening after they were filibustered by Republicans. Send a tip to the news team at NR.

NCAA Updates Transgender Athlete Participation Guidelines

An NCAA logo flag at the NCAA Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field. Jun 11, 2021, Eugene, Oregon. (Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters) The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced on Wednesday that it has updated its transgender participation policy to reflect the practices of the U.S. and International Olympic Committees. Under the new policy, transgender participation in a particular sport will be determined by that sport’s national governing body. If no such governing body exists, participation will be determined by the sport’s international federation rules, while if an international federation has no transgender policy, the American branch of a particular sport will follow the IOC policy. “Transgender student-athletes will need to document sport-specific testosterone levels beginning four weeks before their sport’s championship selections,” the NCAA said in a press release. “Starting with the 2022-23 academic year, transgender student-athletes will need documented levels at the beginning of their season and a second documentation six months after the first. They will also need documented testosterone levels four weeks before championship selections.” The changes to the policy came after a transgender swimmer, who was deemed eligible after transitioning from a man to a woman, broke records during competition for the University of Pennsylvania female swim team. The NCAA’s previous policy was to allow male swimmers to compete as female following one year of testosterone suppression. “We are steadfast in our support of transgender student-athletes and the fostering of fairness across college sports,” NCAA board chair and Georgetown University president John DeGioia said in a statement. “It is important that NCAA member schools, conferences and college athletes compete in an inclusive, fair, safe and respectful environment and can move forward with a clear understanding of the new policy.” Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Justices Sotomayor, Gorsuch Deny Reported Clash over Mask-Wearing

Judge Neil Gorsuch is sworn in as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, April 10, 2017. (Carlos Barria/Reuters) Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor issued a joint statement Wednesday denying that Sotomayor had asked Gorsuch to wear a mask, following an NPR report claiming that Gorsuch’s refusal to do so forced Sotomayor to work remotely. “Reporting that Justice Sotomayor asked Justice Gorsuch to wear a mask surprised us. It is false,” the two justices said in a statement on Wednesday. “While we may sometimes disagree about the law, we are warm colleagues and friends.” The NPR story stated that Chief Justice John Roberts asked justices to wear masks in light of the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid, because Sotomayor’s diabetes puts her at greater risk for complications from Covid. The story claimed that Gorsuch’s refusal to wear a mask forced Sotomayor to attend Court hearings remotely. Citing a source “familiar with the situation,” CNN also reported that Sotomayor decided to work remotely because she did not feel comfortable working in-person with unmasked colleagues including Gorsuch. #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d77949d .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.2rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d77949d .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d77949d { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d77949d .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #e92131; background-color: #e92131; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d7796eb .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d7796eb .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d7796eb { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d7796eb .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #eba605; background-color: #eba605; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d7797b3 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.3rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #dd9933; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d7797b3 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d7797b3 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #999999; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d7797b3 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #dd9933; background-color: #dd9933; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d77986b .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #0f733c; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d77986b .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d77986b { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e855d77986b .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #0f733c; background-color: #0f733c; color: #ffffff; } Gorsuch, a conservative appointed by President Trump, and Sotomayor, a liberal appointed by President Obama, have collaborated in various dissents issued in cases put before the Court. The two have struck up a friendship across their ideological divide that has been remarked on in the media. “We’ve already disagreed a lot,” Sotomayor told Bloomberg Law in 2019, but the two agreed to “disagree agreeably.” Sotomayor also described Gorsuch as “a lovely person.” Gorsuch and Sotomayor appeared jointly in an April 2021 address to the Center for Strategic & International Studies, discussing the need for shared national community and an ability to listen to opposing political arguments. Partisan debate “can turn into an awful thing, into something that destroys the fabric of our community if we don’t learn to talk to each other,” Sotomayor said in the address. “It is no surprise that a lot of the false information spread on social media is deliberately spread by our enemies to sow disagreement internally in the country,” Gorsuch said. “If we allow them to destroy our sense of ‘we the people,’ our sense of community, our sense of our shared liberties that we love and treasure, that’s hard to come back from.” Send a tip to the news team at NR.

GOP Senators Turn on Biden FDA Nominee over Abortion Pill Rule Change

Then-FDA Commissioner nominee Robert Califf testifies during his nomination hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., November 17, 2015. (Gary Cameron/Reuters) Pro-life groups are working to oppose confirmation of Robert Califf as director of the Food and Drug Administration, over concerns about the agency’s decision to remove restrictions on abortion-inducing pills. Senators Tommy Tuberville (R., Ala.) and John Marshall (R., Ka.) both shifted from initially backing Califf’s confirmation to opposing him following outreach from pro-life groups, Politico reported on Wednesday. The FDA in December permanently lifted requirements for women to obtain abortion-inducing pills in-person. Prior to that decision, Califf told the Senate Health Committee during his confirmation hearings that he trusted the FDA to decide the issue based on available data. “Just a few days after Dr. Califf’s confirmation hearing, the FDA announced it would permanently allow abortion drugs to be available by mail order,” Tuberville told Politico in a statement. “I believe Dr. Califf will continue to advance this administration’s pro-abortion agenda, and I cannot support his nomination.” #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23eff8b .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.2rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23eff8b .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23eff8b { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23eff8b .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #e92131; background-color: #e92131; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23f0156 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23f0156 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23f0156 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23f0156 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #eba605; background-color: #eba605; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23f0204 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.3rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #dd9933; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23f0204 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23f0204 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #999999; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23f0204 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #dd9933; background-color: #dd9933; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23f029e .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #0f733c; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23f029e .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23f029e { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e82f23f029e .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #0f733c; background-color: #0f733c; color: #ffffff; } Califf previously led the FDA during the Obama administration, and the Senate voted 89-4 at the time to confirm him. A letter to senators organized by the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List noted that in 2016, during Califf’s tenure, the FDA changed the type of data it collects on adverse reactions to abortion pills from severe and fatal reactions to just fatal reactions. “Under Califf’s leadership during the Obama Administration, the FDA significantly undermined the reporting and safety requirements on medication abortion, also known as chemical abortion,” the letter states. “The FDA needs a leader who will follow the science and prioritize the health and wellbeing of women and girls. Based on his past (successful) effort to weaken data and safety requirements for chemical abortion, we must oppose his nomination.” Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Schumer Proposes Talking Filibuster in Attempt to Introduce Voting Bills

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) is flanked by Sens. Raphael Warnock (D., Ga.) and Jon Ossoff (D., Ga.) as he speaks to the media about the voting bills on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., January 13, 2022. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters) Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said Tuesday that he will propose implementing a talking filibuster to introduce voting legislation, although Senator Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) said he does not support the rule change. Schumer’s proposal would allow a simple majority of senators to vote in favor of introducing legislation, instead of the 60 votes generally required to overcome a filibuster. The new rules would permit a talking filibuster, in which Republican senators could block the two bills’ introduction by speaking continuously on the Senate floor. “If the Republicans block cloture on the legislation before us, I will put forward a proposal to change the rules to allow for a talking filibuster on this legislation,” Schumer told reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday. Once Republican senators stop speaking on the floor, “the debate will have run its course and the Senate will move to vote on final passage at a majority threshold.” A rules change would require the support of all 50 Senate Democrats, and Manchin told reporters on Tuesday that he does not support the change. Schumer made clear that he would push ahead with the attempt. #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feb9ebf .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.2rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feb9ebf .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feb9ebf { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feb9ebf .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #e92131; background-color: #e92131; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feba086 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feba086 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feba086 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feba086 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #eba605; background-color: #eba605; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feba10f .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.3rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #dd9933; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feba10f .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feba10f { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #999999; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feba10f .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #dd9933; background-color: #dd9933; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feba186 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #0f733c; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feba186 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feba186 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e815feba186 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #0f733c; background-color: #0f733c; color: #ffffff; } “The vast majority of our caucus strongly disagree with Senators Manchin and [Kyrsten] Sinema [D., Ariz.] on rules changes,” Schumer said. “The overwhelming majority of our caucus knows that if you’re going to try to rely on Republican votes, you will get zero progress on voting rights.” Democrats will attempt to introduce the two voting bills on Wednesday night, and will likely be filibustered by Republicans. One bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, would restore portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that required districts with a history of discrimination to obtain approval from the Justice Department before changing election procedures. The other bill, the Freedom to Vote Act, has garnered opposition from Republicans who see it as a federalization of election procedures. The bill would establish national voter-ID standards, allowing for a range of documentation, declare election day a federal holiday, and set a minimum 15-day early voting period. Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Man Takes Hostages at Texas Synagogue During Shabbat Services

(carlballou/Getty Images) A man took a rabbi and three other people hostage inside a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, during Shabbat services on Saturday. The man claims to be the brother of Aafia Siddiqui, a convicted terrorist currently imprisoned at Carswell Air Force Base, near Fort Worth, and is attempting to set her free, a U.S. official told ABC News. However, authorities have not yet confirmed the alleged hostage-taker’s identity. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist, was found guilty in 2010 of attempting to kill U.S. military officers while in custody in Afghanistan in 2008. Siddiqui was later sentenced to 86 years in prison. It is unclear to what extent the alleged hostage-taker is armed, although he claimed to have several bombs at multiple locations, the source familiar with the matter told ABC. “We are currently conducting SWAT operations around the 6100 block of Pleasant Run Rd. All residents in the immediate area are being evacuated. Please avoid the area,” Colleyville police stated on Twitter on Saturday. #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a0815ee1 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.2rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a0815ee1 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a0815ee1 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a0815ee1 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #e92131; background-color: #e92131; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a081609f .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a081609f .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #000000; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a081609f { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a081609f .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #eba605; background-color: #eba605; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a081612e .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.3rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #dd9933; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a081612e .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.5rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a081612e { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #999999; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a081612e .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #dd9933; background-color: #dd9933; color: #ffffff; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a08161b0 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta label { font-size: 1.5rem; line-height: 1.7rem; color: #0f733c; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a08161b0 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__cta p { font-size: 1.05rem; line-height: 1.45rem; color: #2d2d2d; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a08161b0 { background-color: #ffffff; border-width: 1px; border-color: #cccccc; } #inline-newsletter-nloptin-61e33a08161b0 .inline-newsletter-subscribe__email-submit { border-color: #0f733c; background-color: #0f733c; color: #ffffff; } That address corresponds to the location of Congregation Beth Israel. The department later said the situation was “ongoing” and asked residents to continue to keep clear. Colleyville police sergeant Dara Nelson said FBI negotiators had contacted the suspect. “The FBI negotiators are the ones who have contact with the person in the building,” Nelson told CNN. There is currently “no threat to the general public.” Commenters on a Facebook livestream of Shabbat services at the synagogue said a man had taken people hostage inside the building. The man ranted about his sister, Islam, his children, and his belief that he is going to die, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “If anyone tries to enter this building, I’m telling you … everyone will die,” the man said. “I’m going to die. Don’t cry about me.” Send a tip to the news team at NR.

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