Report: Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials Made the Lowest Number of Arrests in at Least a Decade

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials made the lowest number of arrests from September 2020 through September 2021 in at least a decade, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations agents made around 72,000 arrests in the fiscal year 2021, according to the Post. During the same time frame in 2020, the officials made 104,000 arrests and averaged another 148,000 arrests annually between 2017 and 2019.

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Commentary: Schiff, Democrats Pivot Hard on Justice Department Election Interference

U.S. Department of Justice headquarters

For five years, U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) insisted, without evidence, that the Russians helped Donald Trump win the White House in 2016. Schiff, along with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), first seeded the collusion narrative in July 2016—the same month James Comey’s FBI launched Crossfire Hurricane—by falsely claiming Kremlin hackers confiscated thousands of emails off the Democratic National Committee’s server, correspondence damaging to Hillary Clinton.

From that point forward, Schiff leveraged his political power and newfound cable news stardom to perpetuate the lie that the 2016 presidential election was illegitimate.

So it’s beyond ironic that Schiff now sits on the January 6 select committee, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s latest weapon to annihilate TrumpWorld. After spending every waking minute during Trump’s presidency to conduct what author Lee Smith called The Permanent Coup, Schiff is flipping his coup-plotting script on anyone who questions the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s presidency.

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Two Border Patrol Agents Fired, Dozens More Punished for Involvement in Facebook Group ‘I’m 10-15’

Two U.S. Border Patrol agents have been fired in connection with a probe that found roughly 60 of them committed misconduct while participating in a private Facebook group that mocked migrants and lawmakers, investigators said Monday.

Most agents’ penalties were significantly reduced from those recommended by an internal agency review board, according to a House Oversight and Reform committee staff report obtained by the Associated Press.

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Chicago Set to Pass One of U.S.’s Biggest Guaranteed Income Plans, Amid Calls to Put Money to Violence

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot

The Chicago City Council is expected to pass a measure this week that would results in one of the largest guaranteed basic measures in the country, amid that if pass would be one of the largest in the county, amid calls from black lawmakers to put the money toward the city’s violent crime problem.

The Chicago police department as of last week reported 649 murders this year, compared to 634 for all of 2020.

The program, if passed, would give 5,000 low-income households $500 a month, using funding from the federal stimulus package that was rolled out earlier this year to address economic hardship as a result of the pandemic.

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Treasury Department Hires First-Ever ‘Counselor for Racial Equity’

The Treasury Department announced Monday it hired its first every Counselor for Racial Equity to support President Biden’s push for economic opportunities for people of color.

Janis Bowdler, former president of the JPMorgan Chase & Co. Foundation, will serve as the first “Counselor for Racial Equity,” the Treasury Department said.

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Western Nations Are Still Far Behind Their Climate Pledges Made Years Ago

Most countries have fallen far behind the climate pledges they made in Paris more than five years ago, the United Nations said Tuesday ahead of its upcoming climate conference.

Actions taken by nations since 2015 would only reduce emissions 7.5% by 2030, not the Paris Climate Agreement goal of 55%, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report. Climate negotiators determined that a 55% reduction in emissions by 2030 would ensure that the world could meet a goal of capping global warming at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

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In Fallout over National School Board Group’s Letter to Biden About Parents, Ohio, Missouri Depart

Man standing in front of a room, giving a lecture with a presentation

The backlash from the incendiary language in a recent letter from the National School Board Association to President Biden asking for federal law enforcement to intervene on outspoken parents at school board meetings escalated this week when the group’s Ohio and Missouri chapters withdrew their respective memberships.

The Missouri School Boards Association in announcing its departure said the national group “demonstrated it does not currently align with MSBA’s guiding principles of local governance.”

The Ohio chapter was more direct, saying in its letter Monday that its departure was a “direct result” of the Sept. 29 letter to Biden.

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Facebook-Linked Grants Backed Democrats in Pennsylvania in 2020

A new report reveals that multiple private grants tied to the Big Tech giant Facebook overwhelmingly backed Democratic candidates and counties in the state of Pennsylvania in 2020, as reported by the New York Post.

The report by the publication Broad + Liberty (BL) reveals that one such grant, the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), spent more money on turning out registered voters in Democrat-majority counties than Republican-majority counties. In addition to the increased push for voter turnout, these counties were given a jumpstart on this grant and information on how to apply by state officials.

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Commentary: Ground Zero of Woke

Many of our once revered and most hallowed institutions are failing us. To mention only the most significant ones: our top-ranking military echelon, the leadership of our federal investigatory and intelligence agencies, the government medical establishment—and of course the universities.

For too long American higher education’s reputation of global academic superiority has rested mostly on the sciences, mathematics, physics, technology, medicine, and engineering—in other words, not because of the humanities and social sciences, but despite them. The humanities have become too often anti-humanistic. And the social sciences are deductively anti-scientific. Both quasi-religious woke disciplines have eroded confidence in colleges and universities, infected even the STEM disciplines and professional schools, and torn apart the civic unity of the United States. Indeed, much of the current Jacobin revolution was birthed and fueled by American universities, despite their manifest hypocrisies and derelictions.

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George Soros Teams Up with Billionaire Who Backed Liberal Disinformation Efforts to Fund Anti-Disinformation Media Venture

Liberal tech billionaire Reid Hoffman, a funder of numerous disinformation projects, is backing a new media venture launched Tuesday that seeks to combat disinformation, according to a report.

Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, joined ranks with financier George Soros to fund Good Information Inc., which will “fund and scale businesses that cut through eco chambers with fact-based information,” Axios reported.

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Russian Hackers Behind SolarWinds Attack Are Targeting the Supply Chain, Microsoft Says

silhouette of person with hoodie on

The same group of Russian hackers behind the December 2020 SolarWinds attack are targeting companies in the U.S. technology supply chain, according to a Monday report released by Microsoft.

Russian hacking group Nobelium is targeting cloud infrastructure companies and information technology software resellers in an attempt to gain access to these companies’ customers, according to Microsoft’s research. Microsoft believes Nobelium to be the same group responsible for the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 that affected multiple Cabinet-level agencies, federal contractors and critical infrastructure companies.

“This recent activity is another indicator that Russia is trying to gain long-term, systematic access to a variety of points in the technology supply chain and establish a mechanism for surveilling – now or in the future – targets of interest to the Russian government,” Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president for customer security and trust, wrote in the report.

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Commentary: The Farce of American Despotism

Reflecting on Joe Biden’s disastrous “town hall” with Anderson Cooper on Thursday, The Spectator’s Dominic Green asks a question that has to weigh heavily on the mind of every American adult: “Is it more worrisome that Joe Biden might not be in charge, or that he actually is in charge?” I have long argued that allowing Biden to appear in public is a form of elder abuse, and I have speculated that he really is not in control of his actions but is manipulated, puppet-like, by a shadowy cadre of unnamed string-pullers I have called “The Committee.”

I do not have any proof that such is the case. I infer the existence and machinations of The Committee from Biden’s ostentatious incompetence and apparent senility. Has any president in the history of the Republic overseen such a destructive litany of failures so early in his tenure? Observers around the world caught their breath in August as our botched exit from Afghanistan went from appalling to something much worse and more deadly. What will be its defining image? The desperate Afghans clinging to and then falling from the landing gear of a transport plane as it took off from the Kabul airport? Or will it be the images of the slaughter perpetrated by a suicide (that is, a homicide) bomber outside the airport, an incident that killed some 170 people include more than a dozen U.S. military personnel?

Or maybe it will be the image of the drone strike launched in retaliation for that slaughter, a strike that was supposed to have targeted an ISIS-K operative but in fact killed zero terrorists and instead blew to bits 10 Afghan civilians, including seven children. The United States initially said they had obliterated an ISIS-K operative along with the collateral damage, but eventually they had to admit that, nope, they got no bad guys, just 10 innocent Afghans. 

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Border Patrol Reports 192,000 Border Encounters in September, Says 26 Percent Immigrants Making Multiple Tries

On June 17, 2020, Tucson Sector Border Patrol Agents conduct operations at the Highway 86 checkpoint near Tucson, Ariz. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo by Jerry Glaser)

The United States recorded 192,001 encounters with immigrants last month along the country’s southwest border with Mexico, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The agency on Friday reported 1.7 million apprehensions along the entire U.S. southern border in fiscal 2021, which ended Sept. 30.

The agency reported 26% percent of the encounters in September involved individuals who had at least one prior encounter in the previous 12 months. Last month’s overall number marked a 9% decrease compared to August.

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Nurses in Illinois Win Temporary Restraining Order Against Vaccine Mandate

An Illinois judge granted a temporary restraining order to nurses who sued Riverside Healthcare over the hospital system’s vaccine mandate.

Kankakee County Judge Nancy Nicholson granted a temporary restraining order until Nov. 19. She will then hold a hearing on a motion for a preliminary injunction requested by the nurses.

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Facebook Employees Actively Censored Conservative Websites, Even in Defiance of Managers

Facebook logo with smartphone showing lock in front

A series of new leaks from Big Tech giant Facebook has revealed even more bias against conservatives from the company’s employees, even to the point of causing internal debates between employees and upper management, according to the New York Post.

The latest leaks come from message board conversations reviewed by the Post, which showed back-and-forth discussions within Facebook about how to deal with conservative news outlets during last year’s race riots by far-left domestic terrorist organizations such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa.

Some employees expressed their desire to completely remove sites such as Breitbart from Facebook’s “News Tab” feature. When one such employee asked a manager about doing so, the manager responded by pointing out that “we saw drops in trust in CNN 2 years ago,” before rhetorically asking “would we take the same approach for them too?”

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Legislation Would Allow Pennsylvanians to Sue Big Tech Companies for Censorship

Two Pennsylvania state senators said recently they want to hold social media companies accountable for religious or political censorship.

Sens. Doug Mastriano, R-Gettysburg, and Scott Hutchinson, R-Oil City, said their Senate Bill 604, also called the Social Media Accountability Act, would create a private right of action to allow residents to sue social media companies like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter for banning or censoring their account due to sharing religious or political beliefs on the platform.

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Commentary: Targeting Citizens for Expressing Traditional Values is a Hallmark of Tyranny

All my life I’ve felt a bond with places and with people.

Growing up in Boonville, North Carolina, population then about 600, I went to elementary school and the Methodist church, knew many of the merchants in town—Harvey Smith, grocer and mayor for many years, Donald the barber, Mr. Weatherwax who owned the pharmacy and was kind enough to let me read comic books on the premises, and a dozen more adults—and relished my friends and their families. Boonville’s red clay and rolling hills are as much a part of me as any genetic code.

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Commentary: $28 Per Day Triggers IRS Surveillance Program

The entire Democrat multi-trillion dollar socialist spending scam is bad for Americans, and bad for our economy. One particular provision that is especially terrible is their “IRS Surveillance” program, which would grant the government access to spy on nearly every Americans’ bank accounts. Their bill wants to use $80 billion of taxpayer funds to hire 85,000 more bureaucrats, nearly doubling the size of the IRS, to go through individuals’ personal banking information.

President Biden, and his colleagues in Congress, must have realized how unpopular this policy was with the American people, so they decided to make some “changes.” They created the impression they were raising the threshold in transactions individuals would need to hit before triggering the IRS to spy on their personal banking accounts.

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‘Way Off Track’: Emissions Levels Hit New Record in 2020 Despite Pandemic, Paris Accords

Person filling up red car with petrol/gasoline

Total global greenhouse gas emission levels hit a new record last year despite the pandemic-induced economic shutdowns and previous commitments from world leaders, the United Nations said.

“The abundance of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere once again reached a new record last year,” the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) stated Monday morning after releasing its Greenhouse Gas Bulletin report.

While total emissions unsurprisingly hit a new record, however, the year-over-year increase between 2019-2020 was lower than the 2018-2019 increase, according to the report. Fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions, the largest contributor to greenhouse gas warming, dropped 5.6% last year compared to the year prior.

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Pro-LGBTQ Chalk Displays Go Undisturbed as Conservative Sidewalk Messages Get Defaced

Chalk displays are common tools for spreading messages on college campuses, but they can also be examples of the different treatment that conservative and liberal students experience.

This semester, a College Republicans’ chapter had their chalk messages defaced while another group of liberal students were able to celebrate National Coming Out Day without harm to their chalk display.

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Commentary: Newly Uncovered Documents Show Senior Virginia Officials Smearing a Whistleblower to Avoid Congressional Oversight

VA office of Administration

Whistleblowers—and the truths they tell—far too often become the first casualties in the clash of bigger forces with other agendas. People tend to oversimplify complex stories to fit their preferred political narrative or to protect their own interests.

If the facts do not fit neatly into a convenient set of preconceptions, too often they are ignored, dismissed, or twisted to cater to well-known biases. This tactic is common among those who are the subject of whistleblower disclosures. They often attempt to change the subject to avoid accountability by pointing a finger at the whistleblower, even if they don’t know who it is.

It’s probably just a “disgruntled employee” who has “an axe to grind.” The implication is that there is no need to look into it. Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Minnesota College Renames its Arboretum over Racism Controversy

Gustavus Adolphus College, a private college in St. Peter Minnesota, has renamed their arboretum due allegations that it honored a proponent of racism.

The individual in question is the famed botanist Carl Linneaus, known as the ‘father of taxonomy’ for formalizing the classification of living organisms, also known as binomial nomenclature.

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Commentary: Activating the ‘Secret Police’ to Aid School Boards

The FBI will investigate threats and intimidation against school board members, administrators, teachers, and staff, United States Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Oct. 4. In so doing, Garland claimed federal jurisdiction over local law enforcement, in clear violation of the U.S. Constitution.

This power grab by the AG supposedly came as a response to a letter from the National School Boards Association (NSBA), a leftist advocacy group with vast influence over the nation’s school boards. To gain some insight into how this ukase or edict is playing out, I attended a school board meeting in the charming village of Greenwich (“It’s Greeen-wich, not Gren-itch”) in northern New York state.

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School Boards Group That Equated Parental Activism with ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Owes IRS $20 Million

A national education group that implied some parental activism is tantamount to “domestic terrorism” owes nearly $20 million to the IRS, according to tax forms reviewed by Just the News.

Most of that comes from “accrued pension liability,” as disclosed by the National School Boards Association’s 2017 and 2018 Form 990 filings. Unlike those two, the 2019 form — the most recently filed — does not include an itemized list under the federal income taxes subheading for “other liabilities.”

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Commentary: The Deliberate Attempts to Wreak Havoc on America

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, joined by White House staff, participate in a virtual bilateral meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Since Jan. 20, 2021, many of us have wondered whether the policies of the Biden administration are driven by folly and stupidity, or whether they are deliberate attempts to wreak havoc on the United States of America. The foolish and tragic withdrawal from Afghanistan, the ongoing demolition of businesses and occupations by a prolonged pandemic and now by vaccine mandates, the shipping and trucking crisis, the skyrocketing inflation: Do these and so many other fiascoes, we ask ourselves, derive from ignorance or from calculation?

Two days ago a definitive answer to this question arrived in the mail.

It’s deliberate.     

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Stauber Resolution Condemns Biden’s ‘Weaponization’ of Federal Agencies Against Parents

Twenty-five House members have introduced a resolution to support the free-speech rights of concerned parents speaking at school board meetings nationwide.

The chief proponent of the resolution is Rep. Pete Stauber of Minnesota. Its stated purpose is to “express the sense of the House of Representatives that the First Amendment rights of parents at school board meetings shall not be infringed.”

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White House Report Proposes Granting Refugee Status for ‘Climate Change Activism’

A Thursday White House report on climate change and national security proposed granting refugee status for individuals identified as “climate change activists” or “environmental defenders.”

“Climate activists, or environmental defenders, persecuted for speaking out on government inaction on climate change may also have a plausible claim to refugee status,” the report said. It notes that if a government “withholds or denies relief from the impacts of climate change” to people who “share a protected characteristic in a manner and to a degree amounting to persecution,” then these individuals could also be “eligible for refugee status.”

The report goes on to discuss actions for the U.S. government to consider in addressing the relationship between climate change and migration, including considering claims based on “climate change activism” and situations where individuals may not be granted governmental relief from climate change’s impact.

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Commentary: Migration Crisis Is a Battle of Americanists Against Transformationists

The ongoing mass illegal migration crisis is best understood as an existential conflict between two forces: Americanists vs. Transformationists. These forces, in turn, represent two competing regimes or ways of life. But first, let us review what has been going on at the U.S.-Mexico border since Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The September surge of thousands of illegal Haitian border crossers from Chile and Brazil camped under an international bridge in Del Rio, Texas is simply the latest debacle in the never-ending migration crisis. Month after month, day after day, the border between the United States and Mexico becomes more porous, more chaotic, more lawless, and more violent. Nine months after January 20 there is no end in sight as record numbers of illegal migrants pour into the United States. In early October both NBC News and the Daily Mail reported that, according to the Department of Homeland Security, up to 400,000 illegal migrants could cross the border this month, doubling the 21-year record set in July. 

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Fiscal Year 2021 Becomes Third-Highest Year on Record in Border Encounters, Reaching 1.7 Million

Border officials encountered the third-highest number of migrants at the southern border on record, reaching more than 1.7 million apprehensions, according to Customs and Border Protection data.

Border officials reported 192,000 encounters with migrants attempting to illegally enter the U.S. through the southwest border in September, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. A record high of more than 213,500 migrants were apprehended in July and another 209,800 were encountered in August.

“CBP encounters along the Southwest border declined in September from the prior month, and a majority of noncitizens encountered were expelled under Title 42,” Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller said in a statement. “The men and women of CBP continued to rise admirably to the challenge, despite the strain associated with operating during a global pandemic that has claimed far too many lives among our frontline personnel.”

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Commentary: Three Environmental Doomsday Myths, Debunked

For many, thinking about the future of our planet is terrifying. According to a global survey reported by the BBC, 56 percent of young people believe that humanity is doomed because of climate change and 45 percent say that their anxiety about the climate affects their daily lives. Here in the US, the story is much the same; three-quarters of Americans believe that climate change will result in the extinction of man, and one in five millennials believe that that extinction will occur within their lifetime.

A college student recently wrote the following in a campus newspaper about her climate anxiety:

I stay up into the early hours of the morning, Googling some variation of “Is there hope for climate change,” and “Biden climate change plan good?” (…) I fret over every piece of waste I encounter, wondering whether I should trash it or wash it and hope it qualifies for the recycling bin. What if I wash the aluminum foil I heated leftover lasagna on, does it become recyclable then? The anxiety is crippling.

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Lyft’s Safety Report Shows Thousands of Sexual Assaults over Three Years

Man driving a car with GPS set up on dashboard

Lyft reported 1,807 sexual assaults in 2019 in its first-ever safety report, released Thursday. The release mentioned that in 2019 the company received 156 reports of rape and 114 reports of attempted rape.

The rideshare company’s release listed categories of sexual assault ranging from “non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part” to “non-consensual sexual penetration.” Reports of all five categories of sexual assault included in the release increased from 2018 to 2019.

From 2017 to 2019, rape was reported in about one in 5 million Lyft rides, according to the release. There were 4,158 total reports of sexual assault in Lyft rides during those years.

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Poll: Vast Majority of Americans Want to See Political Change

Woman holding sign that says "Our future's on the line"

A significant majority of Americans see the need for changes to their political system, a Thursday Pew Research Center poll found.

At least 85% of Americans polled stated that their political system “needs to be completely reformed” or “needs major changes,” according to the poll. Meanwhile, 66% of Americans saw the need for change or reform in the U.S. economic system and 76% saw the need for transformation in the healthcare system, the poll found.

Less than half of respondents expressed satisfaction with U.S. democracy, while 58% said they were “not satisfied,” according to the poll. Pew Research Center noted that “Dissatisfaction with functioning of democracy is linked to concerns about the economy, the pandemic and social divisions.”

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Commentary: Biden’s Unlawful Plan to Federalize Elections

Person voting in poll booth

The White House recently issued a statement regarding new actions dozens of federal agencies are taking related to voter registration. These actions come in response to an order President Joe Biden issued back in March.

The order commanded the heads of every federal agency to submit a plan outlining their strategy to engage in voter registration and mobilization efforts to the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Susan Rice. This is an unlawful effort by the Biden administration to federalize elections and keep the president and his political party in power.

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Top House Antitrust Lawmakers Held Meeting with Facebook Whistleblower

David Cicilline and Ken Buck

Top lawmakers in the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee met with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen on Thursday, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, who chairs the subcommittee, and Republican Rep. Ken Buck, who serves as ranking member, held a meeting with Haugen to discuss Facebook and issues related to social media competition, Politico first reported, citing two sources. A person familiar with the matter confirmed the meeting to the DCNF, and said the lawmakers also discussed potential antitrust reforms, as well as matters related to privacy and social media algorithms.

Buck and Cicilline worked together to advance a series of antitrust bills targeting major tech companies out of the House Judiciary Committee in June, and have both advocated for breaking up Facebook and other large platforms. The antitrust bills are currently set to reach the House floor in November.

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Cargo Companies Warn That Vaccine Mandates Could Worsen Supply Chain Crisis

Several cargo boxes on a ship in the ocean

A trade association representing all of the major cargo companies in the United States is warning that if Joe Biden actively purses more vaccine mandates, it could further disrupt an already-weakened supply chain, according to Politico.

Stephen Alterman, president of the Cargo Airline Association (CAA) sent a letter to the Biden Administration expressing concern over an upcoming December 8th deadline.

“We have significant concerns with the employer mandates announced on September 9th, 2021,” Alterman said, “and the ability of industry members to implement the required employee vaccinations by December 8th, 2021.”

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Commentary: The Republican Party Is the Indispensable Last Line

Group of people at a Trump rally, man in a "Keep America Great" hat

I was the speaker at a large Republican event recently and, inevitably, the grievance was aired in the Q&A portion: “Where’s the Republican Party? They are worthless. They won’t do anything.” 

This is one of the most common refrains on talk radio. Glenn Beck does it almost daily. Steve Deace and his team never stop. Rush used to do it regularly. And therefore, a lot of conservatives and traditionalist Americans think it is true. But is it? 

Exhibit number one in this case is always the failure to repeal Obamacare. That’s where the line of accusation really kicked in. 

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Commentary: Don’t Let Democrats in Washington Mess with Your Credit Card

As President Biden and Democrats in Washington debate trillions of dollars in new government spending, Tennesseans would be wise to hang onto their wallets. And now thanks to a new proposal being discussed by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and other progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tennesseans would be wise to hold onto their credit cards too.

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Commentary: America Needs to Decide How It Will Stand Up to China in Taiwan

USS Alabama at deck in Mobile, AL

According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently announced, “Just like the overwhelming majority of other countries, Russia views Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China. This is the premise we proceed from and will continue to proceed from in our policy.” At the time of this statement, Russian forces were conducting joint naval exercises with Chinese forces in the Pacific—culminating in a 10-ship joint formation sailing through Japan’s Tsugaru Strait on October 18. 

This, following a series of unprecedented Chinese military aircraft incursions into Taiwan’s airspace, has rattled Taiwan and America’s other allies in the region, namely Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia. During the first week of October, over 150 aircraft, including advanced SU-30 fighters and H-6 heavy bombers, flew into Taiwanese airspace. An unprecedented 56 tactical aircraft penetrated Taiwan’s airspace in a single 24-hour period on October 4, the highest single day total to date. 

China has already taken control of multiple islands claimed by these allies in an effort to access vast oil and natural gas resources, as well as project its military power in the contested territorial waters of the South China Sea. China’s ongoing trade dispute with Australia has also ratcheted up tensions in the region. 

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Stock in Trump’s Social Media Venture Soars 190 Percent Following Announcement

Donald Trump

The share price of Digital World Acquisition Corp., the company launching former President Donald Trump’s new social media and entertainment venture, rose nearly 190% following Trump’s announcement of his plans to develop the tech platform.

The company, listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange as DWAC, is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that acts as a public shell corporation to acquire private companies and list them publicly on a stock exchange. The company entered into a merger agreement with Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG) in order to raise public funding for Trump’s social media venture, according to a press release.

Trump announced Wednesday that he was launching a new social media platform called TRUTH Social intended to “fight back” against major tech companies that banned the former president earlier this year. The new venture will also include on-demand video entertainment and news services.

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Thousands of Afghan Refugees Are Resettling in Communities Around the U.S. Every Week

Thousands of Afghan refugees who were temporarily housed at U.S. military bases are resettling in communities around the country every week, CBS News reported on Thursday.

Around 6,000 Afghan refugees who were evacuated from the Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power have resettled around the U.S., according to data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), CBS News reported. Additionally, about 3,000 new residents with U.S. citizenship, green cards and those with close family or friends in the U.S. have left the military bases.

More than 55,000 Afghan evacuees are still at the temporary housing sites across eight military bases in the U.S. and another 5,000 refugees remain waiting in third countries to come to the U.S., according to CBS News. Around 4,000 evacuees were released to resettle in the U.S. in the last week.

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Southwest to Cut More Flights, Lost Almost $75 Million During Last Round of Cancellation

Southwest airplane

Southwest Airlines announced Thursday that it would adjust its December flight schedule to adjust for ongoing labor shortages.

Southwest canceled over 2,000 flights on Oct. 10 and 11, costing the company over $75 million, according to Southwest’s Q3 earnings report.  The airline attributed the canceled flights to weather and air traffic control issues but later admitted to experiencing a labor shortage, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The airline expects to cut its Q4 flight schedule by 8% from 2019, compared to a 5% reduction the company initially planned for, according to the WSJ. The company also expects a decline in staffing compared to its historical average, according to its Q3 earnings report.

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‘They Have No Shame’: National Institutes of Health Doubles Down, Says It Didn’t Fund Gain of Function Research after Releasing Documents That Suggest Otherwise

Lawrence Tabak

The National Institutes of Health reiterated its stance Thursday that it did not fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China, despite having released documents on Wednesday showing that it funded the creation of a lab-made SARS coronavirus that was more deadly and pathogenetic towards mice with humanized cells.

EcoHealth Alliance informed the NIH in August that its lab-created rWIV1-SHC014 S coronavirus killed 75% of mice with humanized cells, while the natural WIV1 virus it was based on killed less than 25% of mice with the same humanized cells. The experiments were conducted with the Wuhan Institute of Virology between June 2018 and May 2019.

“These results suggest that the pathogenicity of SHC014 is higher than other tested bat SARSr-CoVs in transgenic mice that express hACE2,” EcoHealth Alliance told the NIH in its progress report.

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The U.S. Is Running Out of Warehouse Space, Intensifying Supply Chain Bottlenecks and Adding to Inflation

Man in blue polo and jeans working on a warehouse on his laptop

Available warehouse space near significant distribution hubs fell to historic lows in the third quarter of 2021, placing even more pressure on supply chain bottlenecks and increasing inflation, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Demand for industrial real estate in the third quarter outpaced supply by 41 million square feet, increasing the vacancy rate to 3.6%, down 0.7% from Q3 2020 and marking the lowest level since 2002, according to data from CBRE, the WSJ reported.

Warehouses near the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports in California, some of the most important distribution points of entry in the country, reached a vacancy rate of 1% in Q3 this year, according to the WSJ. During the same quarter in 2020, the vacancy rate was 2.3%.

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Multimillion-Dollar Minnesota ‘Black Power’ Group Is Using Strippers to Entice Voters

A well-funded black power group will use strippers and party buses to entice people to vote for a measure to amend the Minneapolis City Charter to “remove” the police department later this month.

The Black Visions Collective is a Minnesota-based organization that promotes “black power” and advocates for total abolition of the police. It has also raised $30 million since the George Floyd riots last summer and is using some of this money to run shuttles from a strip club to a voting center to turn out the vote for the municipal election.

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DOJ Ends Case Quota for Immigration Judges Set by Trump Admin

The Department of Justice ended a Trump-era case quota for immigration judges, CNN Politics reported on Wednesday.

Judges said the Trump administration’s quota policy prioritized moving through cases quickly rather than due process for all immigrants and wasn’t fair, according to documents obtained by CNN. Immigration judges are tasked with moving through a 1.5 million case backlog, and case quotas didn’t necessarily make a difference in how quickly cases were processed, CNN reported.

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Biden Ditches Alaska Oil Drilling Project That Would’ve Created Thousands of Jobs

The Biden administration abandoned an oil and gas drilling project in Alaska approved by former President Donald Trump, which it had previously defended.

The Department of the Interior failed to file an appeal to a federal judge’s August decision blocking the multi-billion dollar Willow Project being developed by the Texas-based oil and gas firm ConocoPhillips. Judge Sharon Gleason of the U.S. District Court of the District of Alaska ruled that the federal government hadn’t adequately reviewed the emissions profile of the project, which she said would ultimately harm the environment and wildlife.

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‘Not Acceptable’: Facebook’s Oversight Board Says Company Hid Details on How It Privileges Popular Accounts

Facebook’s Oversight Board issued a transparency report Thursday scolding the tech giant for concealing details of its content review process and demanding more transparency.

The report criticized Facebook for failing to disclose the existence of its “cross-check” content review system, the details of which were leaked to The Wall Street Journal by Frances Haugen and published in September. The cross-check system applies different moderation standards to accounts belonging to celebrities or other popular accounts, which Facebook did not disclose when asked.

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