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Tuesday, Feb 07th

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Larry Flynt, porn publisher and free speech activist, dead at 78: Washington Post

Larry FlyntHustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt Jr., the self-described “smut peddler who cares,” who used his pornography empire and flair for the outrageous to push the limits of free speech, has died at the age of 78, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

The newspaper said Flynt’s brother Jimmy Flynt confirmed his death but did not cite a specific cause. Flynt suffered from a variety of health problems since a 1978 assassination attempt that left him a paraplegic.

Flynt loved to aggravate his critics with stunts such as wearing a diaper made from an American flag to court and was involved in a number of legal battles.

In the most famous, the U.S. Supreme Court made an important First Amendment ruling in favor of Flynt in a libel battle with evangelist Jerry Falwell.

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Woman who allegedly helped steal Pelosi laptop to be released from jail

Woman involved in pelosi laptop theft released

A Pennsylvania woman facing charges that she helped steal a laptop from the office of the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, during the attack on the US Capitol will be released from jail, a federal judge decided on Thursday.

US magistrate judge Martin Carlson directed that Riley June Williams be released into the custody of her mother, with travel restrictions, and instructed her to appear on Monday in federal court in Washington to continue her case.

“The gravity of these offenses is great,” Carlson told Williams. “It cannot be overstated.”

Williams, 22, of Harrisburg, is accused of theft, obstruction and trespassing, as well as violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Carlson noted Williams has no prior criminal record.

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3 new Democratic senators to be sworn in, which will flip control of the Senate

Three Democratic Senators sworn inVice President Kamala Harris is expected to swear in three new, barrier-breaking Democratic senators on Wednesday afternoon following her own inauguration, officially giving Democrats control of the Senate for the first time since they lost the chamber in the 2014 elections.

Earlier this month, Georgia elected two Democrats -- the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff -- to the US Senate, flipping the chamber. Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and Ossoff will be joined on Wednesday by Harris' successor, Alex Padilla, the former California secretary of state appointed to the Senate by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The swearing-in of the three new senators will be groundbreaking. Warnock and Ossoff will be the first Black and first Jewish senators, respectively, representing Georgia, while Padilla will be California's first Latino senator.

First lady's chief of staff and former WH press secretary resigns over violent protests

Stephanie Grisham resignsStephanie Grisham, the former White House communications director and press secretary and current chief of staff for first lady Melania Trump, submitted her resignation Wednesday afternoon, effective immediately, in the wake of the violent protests, a White House official says.

Grisham was one of the longest-serving Trump administration officials, having begun her tenure working for then-candidate Donald Trump in 2015 as a press wrangler on the campaign trail. Grisham entered the White House as deputy press secretary under Sean Spicer, but in March 2017, Melania Trump hired her for her East Wing staff. As East Wing communications director, Grisham quickly became the first lady's most prominent staffer, acting as defender, enforcer and, often, protector.

Trump downplays Russian role in US cyberattacks, claims he won election

Trump downplays Russia's role in cyber attacks

In his first comments since news broke of an ongoing cyber attack on the United States believed to be unprecedented in scale, and which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said is likely the work of Russia, US President Donald Trump has tried to downplay Moscow’s role.

“The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality. I have been fully briefed and everything is well under control. Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!)” Trump tweeted.

“There could also have been a hit on our ridiculous voting machines during the election, which is now obvious that I won big, making it an even more corrupted embarrassment for the USA,” he added.

TVNL Comment: Poor Donald.  He has to protect Putin.  One day we;ll know what the Russians have on him.  And, of course, he cannot face losing the election.  Daddy would be angry.  Geez.

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Analysis: First U.S. delivery of COVID-19 vaccine will leave out many high-risk workers

Pfeiser vaccines may mis many workersThe U.S. government’s first shipment of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses to be divided among states and federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, will fall far short of protecting high priority groups such as healthcare workers, a Reuters analysis has found.

Across the country, state health departments are preparing local hospitals for the first shipments of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorizes it, possibly as early as mid-December.

The first shipment is expected to cover inoculations of 3.2 million people, nowhere near enough for the 21 million U.S. healthcare workers. And government officials said initial shipments would also go to five government agencies including the Departments of Defense, State and the Veterans Health Administration.

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Appeals court upholds Kentucky abortion law requiring clinics to have transfer agreements with hospitals

EMW Women's Surical CenterA federal appeals court on Friday upheld a Kentucky law that requires abortion clinics to have written agreements with a hospital and ambulance service in case of medical emergencies.

The 2-1 ruling from the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a 2018 district court ruling that found the law, first passed in 1998, violated constitutionally protected due process rights.

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