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Nebraska passes abortion, gender-affirming care ban

Nebraska passes abortion,, trans cae bansNebraska lawmakers on Friday gave final approval to legislation that bans gender-affirming health care for transgender minors and prohibits abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy, sending the measure to Republican Gov. Jim Pillen.

Pillen is expected to sign the bill — which state lawmakers passed by a 33-15 party-line vote — into law on an emergency clause, which means the measure will take effect immediately.

Abortion and medical care for transgender youth are two of the most hot-button issues in state legislatures this year, and conservative lawmakers in the unicameral legislature merged both into a single bill.


White House says 'talks will be difficult' in debt limit deal

Debt ceiling meetingIt became clear how serious the debt limit situation was earlier this week, when Joe Biden cut short his planned trip to Asia in order to be back in Washington DC on Sunday, saying he needed to ensure that the US government is able to avoid a default.

The president kept his travel plans to Japan, but nixed stops in Australia and the first-ever presidential visit to Papua New Guinea, a decision critics say harmed Washington’s efforts to build alliances against China.

It also proved to be a very expensive decision for the media organizations who place their reporters in the White House press corps and task them with following the president’s every move. The Washington Post reports that the White House Travel Office had booked a charter flight to Australia for the dozens of journalists that were planning to come along with Biden, while their employers were also planning to shell out thousands for their hotels, transportation and logistics.


Georgia prosecutor clears decks for possible Trump charges

Fani WillisFulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) asked judges in the Georgia county not to schedule trials and in-person hearings in roughly the first half of August, a signal she may bring charges against former President Trump during that time.

Willis also indicated about 70 percent of her staff will work remotely on various days in August, according to a letter sent Thursday to local judges, law enforcement officials and elected officials.


Charges: High-ranking D.C. cop in cahoots with the Proud Boys!

Proud Boys

A high-ranking lieutenant in the Washington, D.C., police department was indicted by a federal grand jury Friday morning for allegedly obstructing justice and making false statements about his relationship with Enrique Tarrio, the longtime chairman of the far-right Proud Boys.

The indictment, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, alleges that Lieutenant Shane Lamond and Tarrio exchanged hundreds of messages as Lamond helped Tarrio understand police investigations into his group, particularly around the time of the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Lamond could not immediately be reached for comment, and federal court records did not yet indicate who will represent him in court.

In an unsigned official statement, the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPD) said that Lamond was placed on administrative leave in February 2022 and that the department cooperated with the investigation.


Disney scuttles $1B Florida development plan amid feud with DeSantis

Disney scuttles $1b Florida development planWalt Disney Co. officially called off plans Thursday to develop a $1 billion complex in Orlando as the entertainment giant continues to clash with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The move, announced by chair of Disney’s parks Josh D’Amaro in a note to staff, nixes the possibility of some 2,000 Disney workers relocating to Florida as part of a plan that has been in the works for years to build new office space in a venue called Lake Nona, cashing in on a reported $570 million in tax breaks.

Disney officials didn’t mention DeSantis or their ongoing feud with the state in announcing the decision, instead claiming that “new leadership and changing business conditions” were behind the massive shift.


Massachusetts US Attorney Rachael Rollins to resign after Justice Department watchdog probe

Mass. US Atooney Rachel RollinsMassachusetts U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins will resign following a monthslong investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general into her appearance at a political fundraiser and other potential ethics issues, her attorney said Tuesday.

The Justice Department’s watchdog has yet to release its report detailing the findings of its investigation, but an attorney for Rollins told The Associated Press that she will be submitting a letter of resignation to President Joe Biden by close of business Friday.

The resignation of a U.S. attorney amid ethics concerns is an exceedingly rare phenomenon and is especially notable for a Justice Department that under Attorney General Merrick Garland has sought to restore a sense of normalcy and good governance following the turbulent four years of the Trump


PEN America, Penguin Random House sue Florida school district over book bans

Pen America, Random House sue school districtWriters’ group PEN America and publisher Penguin Random House sued a Florida school district Wednesday over its removal of books about race and LGBTQ+ identities, the latest opposition to a policy central to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ agenda as he prepares to run for president.

The federal lawsuit alleges the Escambia County School District and its School Board are violating the First Amendment through the removal of 10 books from library shelves.

The case does not name DeSantis as a defendant though the Republican governor has championed policies that allow the censorship and challenging of books based on whether they are appropriate for children in schools, causing national uproar.

DeSantis, who is expected to announce his presidential candidacy in the coming days, has leaned heavily into cultural divides on race, sexual orientation and gender as he moves to win support from conservative voters who decide Republican primary elections.


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