Chinese Nationals Have Bought Thousands of Acres of Strategically Located U.S. Farmland

Ownership of U.S. farmland by Chinese nationals has risen significantly in the last decade and amounted to 338,000 acres as of 2020, according to U.S. Agriculture Department data.

Since 2010, Chinese nationals have reportedly purchased an additional 75,000 acres of U.S. farmland, according to U.S. Agriculture Department data obtained by the WSJ. Although amounting to less than 1% of all U.S. agricultural land held by foreign citizens, ownership of U.S. farmland by Chinese nationals has received increased scrutiny in recent years following warnings from U.S. government officials claiming that the Chinese government may seek to use land for military and espionage purposes, according to the WSJ.

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Popular AI Less Likely to Flag ‘Hateful Content’ That Targets Whites, Republicans, Men, Research Finds

OpenAI, the company behind the headline-grabbing artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT, has an automated content moderation system designed to flag hateful speech, but the software treats speech differently depending on which demographic groups are insulted, according to a study conducted by research scientist David Rozado.

The content moderation system used in ChatGPT and other OpenAI products is designed to detect and block hate, threats, self-harm and sexual comments about minors, according to Rozado. The researcher fed various prompts to ChatGPT involving negative adjectives ascribed to various demographic groups based on race, gender, religion and various other markers and found that the software favors some demographic groups over others.

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Minnesota House Democrats Pass Voting Rights for Felons Currently in Prison

Minnesota Democrats want to join just a handful of states where felons never lose their right to vote.

This was revealed during a House floor debate Thursday night, which saw the passage of State Rep. Cedrick Frazier’s, DFL-New Hope, bill to restore voting rights to felons once they are released from incarceration. Under current law, felons are not allowed to vote until they complete their entire sentence, including probation and parole.

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Commentary: A Lesson in Chinese Communist Media Control

Democrats and neocons proclaim that Russia represents the primary geopolitical threat to American interests. They are wrong. In fact, it is China that has demonstrated its blatant willingness to manipulate the American psyche through direct intervention of the American media.

Much of China’s power is exerted in the shadows, through subversion and infiltration. Still, they are also mastering the art of lawfare and the use of frivolous legal threats to enact their agenda of silencing opponents and quashing harmful information.

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Commentary: The Unacceptable Cost of Open-Border Mission Creep

One of the pitfalls of political extremism is that a few bad foundational ideas beget a host of even worse ideas and results. Such is the case with our immigration crisis, as what began with faculty lounge bull sessions has become accepted government policy that now threatens America’s future.

The idea that America’s borders should be softened to the point that any noncitizen could enter the country on his own terms was always problematic. From that flawed logic has come an intricate web of problems that most in our government have no will, no courage, and no competence to repair.

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Commentary: Legalized Sports Betting Has Transformed the Fan Experience

A couple of days before Christmas, I went to see the NHL’s Nashville Predators play on their home ice against the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.

Amid all the silliness of a modern pro sports experience – the home team skating out of a giant saber-toothed tiger head, the mistletoe kiss cam, a small rock band playing seasonal hits between periods – there was a steady stream of advertising for DraftKings, a company known as a sportsbook that takes bets on athletic events and pays out winnings.

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‘Disgraceful’: Associated Press Directs Journalists Not to Use ‘Crisis Pregnancy Center’ in New Abortion Guidance

The Associated Press added an entry to its style guide directing journalists to put the term “crisis pregnancy center” in scare-quotes, and to use “anti-abortion center” instead, to convey that “the centers’ general aim is to prevent abortions.” 

The AP added this entry between Nov. 20 and Nov. 27, 2022, according to The Daily Signal’s search of the Wayback Machine. The guide describes the centers as “set up to divert or discourage women from having abortions” and warns writers against “potentially misleading terms” like “pregnancy resource centers or pregnancy counseling centers.”  

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GOP to Investigate John Kerry’s Secret Negotiations with Chinese Communist Party

Congressman James Comer (R-Ky.), Chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, will be directly probing secret negotiations held between John Kerry and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

As reported by Fox News, Comer sent a letter to Kerry on Thursday informing the Biden official that Comer himself would be investigating the matter. Kerry, a failed presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Senator, was named Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Climate (SPEC) at the start of Biden’s term; the position of SPEC was created specifically for Kerry.

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Democrats Propose Expanding MinnesotaCare to Include Illegal Immigrants

by Anthony Gockowski   Democrats have introduced a bill that would make illegal immigrants eligible for MinnesotaCare, a state-subsidized health insurance program. The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Esther Agbaje, DFL-Minneapolis, and State Sen. Alice Mann, DFL-Edina, would allow “undocumented noncitizens” to qualify for the program. Lawfully present noncitizens are already…

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Commentary: The State of the Debt

When Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, at least three things seem pretty certain. He’ll suggest America is now in its Golden Age, no doubt begun sometime in late January 2021. He’ll offer a laundry list of new things on which he’d like to have the government spend Americans’ hard-earned money. And he won’t say a thing about how we’re now $31.4 trillion in debt—roughly triple the $10.6 trillion tally from when Biden became vice president just 14 years ago. 

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College Enrollment Decline Tied to Pandemic-Era Mandates, Population Decrease, Expert Says

College enrollment rates still have not recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to National Student Clearinghouse data published Thursday.

While fall undergraduate enrollment rates stabilized in 2022 after tallying about 0.6% fewer students than 2021 levels, there are still 1.1 million fewer students enrolled than was recorded in 2019, according to data released Thursday. Adam Kissel, visiting fellow on higher education reform at the Heritage Foundation, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that that there are multiple factors that could contribute to this downward trend including population decline, pandemic-era mandates and deemphasized importance on college degrees.

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Commentary: The American Medical System Is Broken

Anyone who’s recently visited a hospital in America knows the system is broken. Prices are outrageous, answers are slim, and insurance companies are insufferable. Each time I think about how the medical system in America is terrible, one of the only small comforts is that Canada’s healthcare situation is worse.

Still, we didn’t arrive here without a string of bad decisions leading to an overpriced, unhelpful, and increasingly woke medical system. So how did we get here?

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After Legal Challenge, Local Library Allow Christian Book Story Hour

An Arizona library that censored a local resident from hosting a Christian book reading is backing down after a religious liberty law firm’s demand letter.

“We appreciate the county’s quick response to our letter and are working with the library staff on scheduling a time when our client can host story time,” Andy Gould, senior counsel with the First Liberty Institute, told The Daily Signal.

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Report Finds ‘Pervasive Noncompliance’ in Minnesota Grant Management

Minnesota issues an average of $514 million in state-funded grants to nonprofits each year but demonstrates “pervasive noncompliance” with oversight measures, according to a new report published Thursday.

The report from the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) specifically looked at whether the Minnesota Department of Education and the Department of Public Safety’s Office of Justice Programs are complying with grants management policies.

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Human Rights Group Warns FBI: Cuban Regime Members Are Masquerading as Asylum Seekers

A project from the Florida-based Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba that works with activists and victims of political persecution in Cuba recently reported the presence of an alleged repressor of the Cuban communist regime in the United States. Cuban Repressors, a program of the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FDHC), filed a formal complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Jan. 4, against 55-year old Cuban citizen Iran Septiem Suarez, accusing him of “advising and participating in the repressive political persecution of Cuban activists on the island,” according to former political prisoner and Florida Cuban Repressors Director Rolando Cartaya told ADN Cuba.

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State Democrats Consider Repealing More of Minnesota’s Abortion Restrictions

Democrats just passed the Protect Reproductive Options Act, which critics are calling the most radical abortion law in the nation, if not the world. But they’re not done yet.

Next on the Minnesota DFL’s agenda is HF 91/SF70, which would essentially repeal what remains of Minnesota’s regulations on the abortion industry, including medical protections for infants who survive abortions and a ban on using public funds for the procedure under MinnesotaCare.

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Fed Likely to Raise Interest Rates, But at a Less Aggressive Rate

The Federal Reserve is likely to further slow its historically aggressive pace of interest rate hikes at its Wednesday meeting as inflation cools, but consumers will still feel the pinch of higher interest rates, according to economists who spoke with the Daily Caller News Foundation. The Fed is likely to hike interest rate hikes by just 0.25 percentage points after its Wednesday meeting, setting the range for its target federal-funds rate to between 4.5% and 4.75%, due to slowing inflation, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Big Tech-Aligned Group Wants to Go ‘Nationwide’ in Shaping Election Operations

A Big Tech-aligned group funded through liberal dark money is moving to expand “nationwide,” even though about half the states have banned using private money to run elections. The Center for Tech and Civic Life launched the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence in partnership with organizations funded by the liberal Arabella Advisors and Democracy Fund, as The Daily Signal previously reported. The tech center is the same group that distributed $350 million in election-administration grants in 2020 from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife.

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Commentary: ‘Restorative Justice’ Endangers Students and Teachers

As millions of children settle into an uninterrupted academic term, widespread classroom disorder is undermining efforts to reintroduce students to in-person learning. This increased disorder corresponds with an increase in district-approved “restorative justice” programs, which address classroom dysfunction through nonpunitive measures. Though these programs have existed for decades, they are gaining momentum nationwide.

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Census May Add First New Ethnic Group since 1997

A new proposal from the Biden Administration calls for the census and federal surveys to add a new group labeled “Middle Eastern and North African,” which would mark the first new ethnic group added to federal records since 1997. According to ABC News, the new proposals released Thursday would combine all questions about race and Hispanic ethnicity into a single question, rather than keeping them separate as the 1997 standards do. The proposals were crafted by a group of selected representatives from multiple federal agencies, organized by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

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Commentary: There Is a Reason Why DEI Is Little More Than a Costly Failure

Earlier this month, amid howls from the “progressive” Left, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis demanded an accounting of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) expenditures from the state’s public colleges and universities. The results are exactly what you might expect. According to a recent report from Campus Reform, in 2022, Florida institutions spent $28 million on DEI initiatives, more than half of that ($15 million) funded by taxpayers.

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Alliance of Big Tech, Dark Money Groups Partners with Counties in State That Bans ‘Zuckerbucks’ for Elections

The group that distributed most of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s controversial election grants in 2020 has designated at least two Utah counties as part of a new effort, despite a state ban on private money funding election operations. The two local juridictions are Cache County, with a population of 137,00, and Weber County, population 267,000.

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Top Soros Director Is Frequent Guest at Biden White House

One of the highest-ranking executives with George Soros’ far-left Open Society Foundation (OSF) has been revealed to have close access to the Biden White House, according to newly-released records. As reported by Fox News, the executive director of OSF U.S., Tom Perriello, has made numerous visits to the White House for private meetings and public events over the last two years. Perriello also sits on the board of Governing for Impact, and is part of Soros’ inner circle.

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Minnesota House Passes 100 Percent Clean Energy Bill

The Minnesota House passed legislation after seven hours of debate late Thursday night that would require the state’s electricity grid to be 100% carbon-free in 17 years.

This is an unrealistic timeline that could endanger the lives of Minnesotans if it fails while causing their electricity bills to skyrocket, Republicans argued throughout the night.

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Commentary: The Unknown Impact of Inflation on Rural Americans

When the Federal Reserve convenes at the end of January 2023 to set interest rates, it will be guided by one key bit of data: the U.S. inflation rate. The problem is, that stat ignores a sizable chunk of the country – rural America. Currently sitting at 6.5%, the rate of inflation is still high, even though it has fallen back slightly from the end of 2022.

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Commentary: The Left’s New Scheme That Threatens Free Elections

Like a bad movie sequel, leftwing nonprofits like the Center for Tech and Civil Life (CTCL) are once again pumping millions of dollars in left-wing “dark money” into election offices across the country. Just like they did in 2020, these groups are looking for ways to skew elections and boost liberal turnout in battleground states. But this time, there’s a twist. CTCL and its allies aren’t just doling out eye-popping grants. They are aiming for nothing less than a shadow takeover of election offices. Through their new $80 million program, called the “U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence,” the left is targeting local election offices. The goal: push liberal voting policies and systematically reshape how our elections are run.

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Commentary: The Importance of Reading Difficult Books

In his work The Western Canon, Harold Bloom wrote that a “reader does not read for easy pleasure or to expiate social guilt, but to enlarge a solitary existence.” The apparent message in Bloom’s flourish is that a reader ought to be after something more difficult to attain than mere pleasure. Passive consumption of entertainment will simply not do. Instead, readers are to be fully engaged with the work in front of them, especially when the process is difficult. It’s through this difficulty that a reader inevitably enlarges what Bloom refers to as a “solitary existence,” or, put another way, an existential engagement with the human condition.

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Radical Muslim Cleric Convicted in New York of Supporting ISIS

Radical Islamic cleric Shaikh Abdullah Faisal was convicted Thursday on several counts of supporting terrorism after working as a recruiter for the Islamic State (ISIS), according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Faisal promoted a radical interpretation of Islam that supported the idea of killing nonbelievers, leading to his incarceration in Britain in 2003 and deportation from Kenya in 2010, according to the New York Times. On Thursday, District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced Faisal had been found guilty several counts of lending support for terrorism after attempting to recruit an undercover officer into ISIS.

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Trump Unveils Plan to ‘Save’ Education from ‘Radical Left Maniacs’

Former President Donald Trump announced Thursday his plan to “save American education” from “the Radical Left maniacs” as part of his 2024 presidential campaign. The plan, unveiled on Twitter, focuses on tackling cultural issues in education including critical race theory (CRT) and gender ideology. Trump proposed cutting federal funding from schools that promote “[CRT], gender ideology, or other inappropriate racial, sexual, or political content onto our children,” the investigation of schools which engage in “race-based discrimination,” and keeping men out of women’s sports.

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Biden’s National Security Council Held Meetings with CDC on COVID Disinformation, Emails Show

President Joe Biden’s National Security Council (NSC) meetings with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about COVID-19 disinformation in 2021, according to documents obtained in an America First Legal (AFL) lawsuit. After the Kaiser Family Foundation published its latest State of Vaccine Confidence Insights Report — a report it routinely produced for the Biden administration — in May 2021, Elisabeth Wilhelm, a “Vaccine Confidence Specialist” at the CDC, shared it with numerous CDC and White House officials, according to emails obtained by AFL. This prompted a meeting between agencies of the federal government, including the CDC and the NSC, about the vaccine disinformation, according to heavily redacted emails.

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Minnesota Republicans Criticize Scope of Universal School Meals Program as Price Tag Revealed

A universal school lunch bill that’s fast-tracking its way through the Minnesota Legislature received an official price tag this week.

HF5/SF123 would ensure all K-12 students are served free breakfast and lunch in public schools, regardless of family income. It would also cost the state $387 million over the next two years and nearly $419 million in the subsequent two-year budget cycle. That’s according a non-partisan fiscal analysis provided to legislators in the House Education Finance Committee on Wednesday.

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Commentary: January 6 Was the Worst Incident of Police Brutality Since Civil Rights Era

One might be inclined to apply Hanlon’s razor—never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity—to the actions of law enforcement on January 6, 2021. One might even be inclined to replace “stupidity” with “incompetence” to explain why police behaved the way they did that afternoon. But a growing body of evidence suggests neither stupidity nor incompetence can justify what now appears to be the worst incident of police brutality against political protesters since the civil rights era. After two years of watching cherry-picked video clips produced by the Department of Justice and the news media to depict Trump supporters as the violent aggressors on January 6, the public now has an opportunity to see what really happened thanks to police body camera footage released at trial.

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U.S. GDP Ticks Up, but Recession Fears Remain

The U.S. economy grew modestly in the fourth quarter of 2022, despite signs of weak domestic demand, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) Thursday. In the fourth quarter, inflation-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) grew by roughly 2.9%, down slightly from 3.2% in the third quarter, the BEA reported. Recession concerns among economists linger, however, amid fears that the Federal Reserve’s campaign of interest rate hikes — intended to reduce economic demand to slow inflation — will lead to reduced spending and layoffs, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Commentary: The Real Differences Between the Biden and Trump Troves

Donald Trump for now certainly seems to have had more documents labeled classified at Mar-a-Lago in Florida than did Joe Biden at his various homes in Delaware. Yet otherwise, the comparisons between the two cases, contrary to popular punditry, hardly favor Biden.

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Commentary: Nationwide Rent Control Is a Dangerous Proposition

Some of our nation’s politicians seem to know very little about basic economic principles despite constantly proposing legislative action on economic issues. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D–N.Y.) now want federal regulators to impose rent control on the entire nation. In their letter to the Biden administration, which was signed by 50 members of Congress, Warren and Bowman request that the administration “pursue all possible strategies” to control high rents. These politicians portray themselves as fighting for the average American, but, if they get their way, the results will be catastrophic.

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Cardinal Says Pope Francis Has No ‘Contact with the Holy Spirit’ in New Book

Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is releasing a book that accuses Pope Francis of giving “privileged status” to his friends that are accused of sexual abuse in the church, according to Catholic news website LaCroix International. The Roman Catholic Church has suffered multiple sexual abuse scandals over the years after several reports from the Vatican found that the clergy, particularly in France, had abused thousands of victims. While Müller says that France’s Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church (CIASE) 2021 report was “inflated and exaggerated,” the cardinal claims in his new book, “In Good Faith: Religion in the 21st Century,” that Francis has helped protect those close to him by granting them a special “status,” citing the case of Argentine Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, who was convicted in March 2022 of sexual abuse of two victims during seminary, as an example, according to LaCroix International.

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Abortion Pill Maker Sues Red States over Bans: ‘Impacts the Company’s Bottom Line’

A company behind the manufacturing of a pill used in chemical abortions filed a lawsuit on Wednesday morning challenging state bans on the abortions, The New York Times reported. GenBioPro, which makes the abortion pill mifepristone, filed the lawsuit in a West Virginia federal court to argue that Federal Food and Drug regulations (FDA) take priority over state laws regulating abortion, according to the NYT. The lawsuit argues that the FDA’s approval of the abortion pill trumps state laws and that abortion bans violate the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which protects interstate commerce.

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Pope Francis Says Homosexuality Is ‘A Sin’ but Should Not Be Criminalized

Pope Francis I said in an interview with the Associated Press that “homosexuality is not a crime” and encouraged bishops to stop practicing forms of conversion therapy. Francis has come under scrutiny in the past for his statements regarding the LGBTQ community, including his perceived endorsement of same-sex civil unions in 2020. The pope stated during the interview that while homosexuality is considered a sin, it should not be a “crime.”

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Commentary: The Environmentalist Assault on Civilization

No reasonable person would deny the importance of protecting the environment. The accomplishments of the environmental movement over the past 50 years are undeniable: cleaner air and water, protected wildernesses, and more efficient use of resources. The list is endless and illustrious. Environmentalist values are an integral part of any responsible public policy agenda. But the pendulum has swung too far.

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DOJ Official Overseeing Prosecution of Pregnancy Center Attacks Has a History of Disparaging Them

A top Department of Justice (DOJ) official who has criticized pregnancy resource centers, which she called “fake clinics,” is responsible for overseeing the prosecution of two individuals indicted for attacking pregnancy resource centers, according to the DOJ. The DOJ indicted Caleb Freestone and Amber Smith-Stewart this week for various FACE Act violations after they allegedly spray-painted threats on pregnancy resource centers such as “If abortions aren’t safe than niether [sic] are you” and “WE’RE COMING for U,” according to the DOJ. Kristen Clarke, the Assistant Attorney General heading the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, which will be prosecuting this case, condemned the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision to strike down a California law requiring pregnancy resource centers to offer information about state-funded abortions, as previously reported by The Washington Free Beacon.

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Hawley’s ‘PELOSI Act’ Would Outlaw Insider Trading for Congress

Lawmakers and their spouses would be prohibited from using privileged information to trade stocks, under legislation introduced Tuesday by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. Hawley’s bill follows news last year that then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, traded between $1 million and $5 million worth of semiconductor stocks shortly before Congress allocated $52 million to the industry.

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Catholic Churches Have Suffered 118 Attacks Since SCOTUS Dobbs Leak

A recent report found that Catholic churches have suffered 118 attacks since the leak of the Supreme Court draft majority opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center in May 2022. Churches and pregnancy centers across the United States came under attack after the opinion was leaked to Politico, indicating that the Supreme Court intended to overturn Roe v. Wade. CatholicVote (CV) updated its tracker Sunday that keeps track of assaults on Catholic Churches and found that 118 churches had reported attacks since May 2022.

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DOJ to File Lawsuit Against Google over Dominance of Digital Ad Market

The Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging that the company has an unfair dominance over the digital ad market. As reported by the New York Post, the federal lawsuit could be filed as soon as Tuesday against Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. The suit will target Google’s lucrative advertising business, which accounts for 80 percent of Google’s overall revenue; in 2023, Google is projected to make at least $73.8 billion from advertising alone.

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A Planned Parenthood CEO Is Also Voting on Minnesota Abortion Legislation

The CEO of Minnesota’s largest abortion provider is also a sitting legislator who is sponsoring and voting on bills to expand abortion access.

Rep. Ruth Richardson, DFL-Mendota Heights, voted in favor of the “Protect Reproductive Options (PRO) Act” last week, a bill that would enshrine the “fundamental right” to abortion in Minnesota law.

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Poll: Fewer than Three Percent of Hispanic Voters Support Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants

Fewer than 3% of likely Hispanic voters support amnesty for illegal immigrants as they continue to overwhelm authorities stationed on the southern border, according to a poll conducted by Convention of States Action and The Trafalgar Group. Just 2.8% of Hispanic likely voters believe that both individuals with pending asylum cases and those who entered the country illegally should be granted amnesty and eventual citizenship, according to the Tuesday poll. The findings come amid a record surge in illegal migration at the U.S.-Mexico border, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recorded more than 250,000 migrant encounters in December alone and more than 2.3 million in fiscal year 2022.

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Filings: Major Left-Wing Nonprofits Funneled Tens of Millions to China in 2021

Two of the largest left-wing nonprofit organizations in the country collectively sent at least $39 million to China in 2021, according to IRS tax filings. According to the Washington Free Beacon, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sent a total of $30 million to various Chinese organizations and government entities, which included $2.5 million to China’s National Health Commission and $1.4 million to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. The Ford Foundation sent another $9.3 million, which included donations to at least three universities that are under the direct supervision of the government’s defense industry agency.

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