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Author: T. Roebuck

October 20, 2021

Families of Parkland victims receive $25 million settlement

In Florida, the Broward County school district reached a $25 million settlement with the families of the victims of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

The settlement will go to 17 families that filed wrongful death lawsuits, 16 surviving victims, and a separate 19 victims who now have post-traumatic stress disorder. The parties are still finalizing the settlement.

“There isn’t enough money in existence that would compensate the victims and their families adequately,” attorney David Brill said in a statement. “But this settlement provides a measure of justice and accountability to them and the other families and victims.”

News of the settlement comes as the alleged shooter faces over 30 charges stemming from the February 2018 shooting.

Nikolas Cruz reportedly plans to plead guilty to 17 counts of murder and another 17 counts of attempted murder, punishable by the death penalty or life in prison.

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Families of Parkland shooting victims reach $25 million settlement with school district

October 20, 2021

Mayorkas tests positive for COVID-19 days after meeting with Biden

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tested positive for COVID-19, a spokesperson for the department announced Tuesday.

“Secretary Mayorkas tested positive this morning for the COVID-19 virus after taking a test as part of routine pre-travel protocols,” Marsha Espinosa, DHS assistant secretary for public affairs, said in a statement. “Secretary Mayorkas is experiencing only mild congestion.”

Mayorkas is the highest-ranking Biden administration official to reveal he tested positive for the coronavirus.

In July, the White House changed its policy regarding the disclosure of positive COVID-19 tests, saying it would publicly disclose officials who test positive only if they have had close contact with the president, vice president, first lady, or second gentleman.

Mayorkas attended a ceremony on Saturday with President Biden to mark the 40th Annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service.

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DHS Secretary Mayorkas tests positive for COVID-19, days after event with Biden

October 20, 2021

Nebraska congressman indicted, accused of lying to the FBI

On Tuesday, a federal grand jury indicted Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) on one charge of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts and two counts of making false statements to federal investigators.

The indictment stems from an FBI investigation into $180,000 in illegal campaign contributions from Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury. A group of Californians funneled contributions from 2012 through 2016 to four US politicians, including $30,200 to Fortenberry in 2016.

According to the indictment, Fortenberry erroneously told investigators that he wasn’t aware of illegal contributions, that he’d publicly disclosed donors, and that he wasn’t aware of any contributions from a foreign national.

However, the indictment alleges that a cohost of a 2016 fundraiser told Fortenberry that the donations probably did come from Chagoury.

“We will fight these charges,” Fortenberry said in a YouTube video posted Monday night. “I did not lie to them. I told them what I knew.”

Knowingly making false statements to a federal agent is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

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Indictment accused Nebraska congressman of lying to FBI

October 20, 2021

Trump blasts media for treating Colin Powell ‘beautifully’ in death

Former President Trump criticized the media for their overly-favorable coverage of former Secretary of State Colin Powell after his death on Monday.

“Wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes on Iraq and famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction, be treated in death so beautifully by the Fake News Media. Hope that happens to me someday,” Trump said Tuesday in a statement.

Trump called Powell “a classic RINO,” an acronym for “Republican in name only.”

“He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!” Trump added.

Throughout his time in office, Trump criticized Powell and other architects of the Iraq War, including former President George W. Bush.

Powell was an outspoken critic of Trump. Following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Powell said he could “no longer call myself a fellow Republican.”

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Trump calls Colin Powell a ‘classic RINO’ who ‘made big mistakes’ in Iraq: ‘But anyway, may he rest in peace!’

October 20, 2021

DeSantis says Florida ports could fix supply chain issues, save Christmas

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said the Sunshine State’s ports could handle the imports currently offshore on the West Coast and Georgia.

“We are going to make sure Americans get their Christmas Gifts this season,” DeSantis said.

Last week, DeSantis called President Joe Biden “the Grinch that stole Christmas due to the ongoing supply chain crisis robbing our loved ones of gifts under the tree.”

On Tuesday, DeSantis announced that Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) and other Florida ports are offering incentives to businesses who want to move their cargo to Florida.

“We in Florida have the ability to help alleviate these logjams and ameliorate these problems with the supply chain,” DeSantis said. “It really is, I think, a model for the rest of the country.”

“Florida’s here. We’ve got capacity,” the Governor said.

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Ron DeSantis says Florida ports could save Christmas, solve supply issues

October 19, 2021

Trump sues to block release of sealed documents

Former President Donald Trump sued Congress and the National Archives to block the release of White House files related to his actions and communications surrounding the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Trump argued that the documents should remain sealed for reasons of executive privilege. According to Trump, the Constitution gives former presidents the right to confidentiality — even though President Joe Biden has refused to assert executive privilege over the documents.

“In a political ploy to accommodate his partisan allies, President Biden has refused to assert executive privilege over numerous clearly privileged documents requested by the committee,” Trump’s lawyer Jesse R. Binnall wrote in his complaint.

The lawsuit kicks off what is likely to be a major legal battle between Trump and the House committee investigating the riot. Its outcome will carry consequences for how much the panel can uncover about Trump’s role in the incident, pose thorny questions for the Biden administration, and potentially forge new precedents about presidential privileges and the separation of powers.

Biden’s top White House lawyer, Dana Remus, made it clear Biden doesn’t find executive privilege legitimate under these circumstances.

“The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself,” Ms. Remus wrote.

Do you think the lawsuit will be successful? Sound off in the comments!

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Trump Sues to Block Release of White House Papers to Jan. 6 Inquiry

October 19, 2021

Chemicals in food packaging may cause 100,000 US deaths annually

A new study found that a type of chemicals found in food packaging, phthalates, may play a role in early deaths of 107,000 older adults in the US each year.

According to the study published in “Environmental Pollution,” adults between 55 and 64 with the highest concentrations of phthalates in their urine were more likely to die, especially of heart disease, than adults with lesser exposure.

“Until now, we have understood that the chemicals connect to heart disease, and heart disease in turn is a leading cause of death, but we had not yet tied the chemicals themselves to death,” said Dr. Leonardo Trasande, the study’s lead author.

Phthalates are restricted or banned in toys, but are less restricted in cosmetics and food packaging.

“Our research suggests that the toll of this chemical on society is much greater than we first thought,” Trasande said. “The evidence is undeniably clear that limiting exposure to toxic phthalates can help safeguard Americans’ physical and financial wellbeing.”

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Chemicals used in packaging may play role in 100,000 US deaths a year – study

October 19, 2021

Elementary school cancels Halloween parade citing racial insensitivity

In Washington, an elementary school canceled its yearly Halloween parade after staff determined the event “marginalizes students of color who do not celebrate the holiday.”

The Racial Equity Team at Benjamin Franklin Day Elementary School made the decision.

“In alliance with SPS’s unwavering commitment to students of color, specifically African American males, the staff is committed to supplanting the Pumpkin Parade with more inclusive and educational opportunities during the school day,” a statement read.

“This was an isolating situation and not consistent with our values of being an inclusive and safe place for all our students,” Principal Stanley Jaskot said. “Especially students of color and those with a sensitivity to all the noise and excitement of the parade.”

The school sent a newsletter to parents instructing them not to allow their children to wear costumes to school.

According to the newsletter, costume parties may be uncomfortable for students whose families can’t afford a costume.

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Elementary school cancels Halloween parade due to racial insensitivity

October 19, 2021

Over half of Bay Area residents plan to relocate permanently

A new poll from Joint Venture Silicon Valley finds that over half of San Francisco Bay residents consider leaving the area for good.

Fifty-six percent of respondents said they were likely to leave the area within “the next few years.”

“It’s housing, stupid,” said Russell Hancock, Joint Venture Silicon Valley president and CEO. “That is driving almost all of the results we see in this poll.”

Of the participants who said they were likely to leave, 84 percent cited the cost of living as a significant reason, while 77 percent specifically cited housing costs.

Additionally, 62 percent listed quality of life as their driving reason.

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More than half of Bay Area residents plan to leave permanently: poll

October 19, 2021

Woman who called Jan. 6 the ‘best f—ing day ever’ sentenced

A Jan. 6 Capitol riot participant who called the event the “best f—ing day ever” received a sentence of 14 days of incarceration and 60 hours of community service.

Indiana resident Dona Sue Bissey also has to pay $500 in restitution.

In July, Bissey pled guilty to a single charge of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building. Authorities dropped three other charges against her as part of the plea agreement.

Bissey and a friend went to the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the breach of the Capitol. The pair were inside for roughly 10 minutes.

Bissey posted photos and videos of the incident on Facebook showing the women inside of the Capitol. The caption read “Inside Capitol Building.”

“Best f—ing day ever!! I’ll never forget,” Bissey wrote in a Facebook comment.

Witnesses brought the Facebook posts to the attention of authorities.

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Woman who called Jan. 6 ‘best f—ing day ever’ sentenced to jail

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