Abolitionist, Advisor to President Abraham Lincoln – Frederick Douglass Statue Vandalized in New York Park

Police in Rochester were trying to determine Monday who ripped a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass from its base on the anniversary of one of his most famous speeches, delivered in the upstate New York city in 1852.

The statue of Douglass was taken on Sunday from Maplewood Park, a site along the Underground Railroad where Douglass and Harriet Tubman helped shuttle slaves to freedom. The statue was found at the brink of the Genesee River gorge about 50 feet from its pedestal, police said. There was damage to the base and a finger.

Read More

Slow Processing, Lost Markets Mean New Challenges for Livestock Farmers

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many sectors of the economy and livestock farming is one of them.

Closures of public spaces such as schools, restaurants, bars, and hotels mean decreased demand for meat products. In addition, outbreaks of coronavirus-caused illness at meatpacking plants caused some large operations to shut down temporarily, swamping small mom-and-pop operations that are now booked into spring 2021.

Read More

Kanye West Says He’s ‘Running For President,’ Picks Up Elon Musk’s Endorsement

by Mary Rose Corkery   Kanye West said he’s “running for president” on Saturday. “We must realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States,” West wrote on Twitter Saturday. We must now realize the…

Read More

Cornell University Slammed for Allegedly Donating Student Fees to Black Lives Matter

In a letter to the editor published by The Cornell Sun, one student blasted the Ivy League’s Student Activities Funding Commission after it allegedly gave $10,000 to the Cornell Students for Black Lives fundraiser using mandatory student fees, without first telling the student body.

Read More

Bellagio Error May Be Biggest Sportsbook Loss for Las Vegas

The nearly quarter-million dollars in winning wagers reportedly placed at MGM Resorts last Sunday might be the largest sportsbook loss in Las Vegas history on bets made after an event has started.

Seven longtime Las Vegas bookmakers can’t recall a larger loss, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. But each oddsmaker has taken hits on past posts and said it’s a fairly common occurrence at books.

Read More

Despite Supreme Court Win, Energy Companies Cancel $8 Billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The developers of the long-delayed, $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline announced the cancellation of the multi-state natural gas project Sunday, citing uncertainties about costs, permitting and litigation.

Despite a victory last month at the United States Supreme Court over a critical permit, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy said in a news release that “recent developments have created an unacceptable layer of uncertainty and anticipated delays” for the 600-mile project designed to cross West Virginia and Virginia into North Carolina.

Read More

FBI Arrests Antifa Ringleader of Attempt to Topple Andrew Jackson Statue in DC

The alleged “ringleader” in a recent attempt to destroy the Andrew Jackson statue in Washington DC was arrested Thursday, and charged with destruction of federal property.

Jason Charter, a known antifa agitator, was arrested at his home by the FBI and U.S. Park Police as part of a joint task force, Fox News reported.

Read More

Activist Leaves Hong Kong After New Law to Advocate Abroad

Prominent Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law has left the city for an undisclosed location after testifying in a U.S. congressional hearing about a tough new security law imposed by mainland China on the semi-autonomous territory.

Law, who declined to disclose his whereabouts for safety, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday that he left because Hong Kong needs an advocate for democracy who can work internationally.

Read More

New Virginia Gun Laws Take Effect Amid Nationwide Unrest

A host of gun control laws, passed months ago and spearheaded by Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, took effect on Wednesday in the commonwealth after months of fierce opposition from pro-firearm groups.

Northam signed the slew of gun restrictions in April after they passed the state’s General Assembly, where Democrats hold the majority, USA Today reported. The lawmakers faced dissent from over 20,000 angry citizens — many of whom were heavily armed — in the state’s capital in late January, according to Fox News.

Read More

LA City Council Okays Replacing Police with Community Responders for Non-Violent Calls

The Los Angeles City Council approved a measure Tuesday that would allow unarmed community responders to step in for uniformed officers on non-violent calls, according to news reports.

The local government’s initiative was unanimous and will replace cops on calls for drug overdoses and mental health issues, among other non-violent situations, according to CBS Los Angeles. The city is likely to draw on its health and homeless departments to strategize on the new style of policing.

Read More

‘When Is Fourth of July?’: Here Are the Top Five Google Searches Asking About Independence Day

Google revealed the top five searches and questions people are asking about July 4 when they visit the company’s platform ahead of Independence Day.

“Independence Day is upon us, and that means searches for fireworks, sparklers and tons of delicious recipes are on the rise,” Google Trends noted Tuesday three days ahead of Independence Day. Along with the greeting, the company also showed the top questions people are asking regarding July 4.

Read More

Iran Declines to Disclose Cause of Mysterious Nuke Site Fire

An online video and messages purportedly claiming responsibility for a fire that analysts say damaged a centrifuge assembly plant at Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear site deepened the mystery Friday around the incident — even as Tehran insisted it knew the cause but would not make it public due to “security reasons.”

The multiple, different claims by a self-described group called the “Cheetahs of the Homeland” included language used by several exiled Iranian opposition organizations. They also focused almost entirely on Iran’s nuclear program, viewed by Israel as a danger to its very existence.

Read More

Ohio School District Dropping Redskins Name for Sports Teams

An Ohio school district has decided that its high school sports teams should no longer be known as the Redskins.

The Forest Hills Board of Education voted 4-1 on Thursday to “retire” the name and mascot at Anderson High School. A new name has not been chosen, and officials plan to soon announce a timeline and process for how a new name and mascot will be selected.

Read More

LA School Police Chief Quits After Budget Cut by School Board

The Los Angeles School police chief resigned from his post Wednesday, less than a year after he took the job and less than 24 hours after the district’s board cut $25 million from his department’s budget, Fox News Reports.

Police Chief Tod Chamberlain said the cuts put him in a “position that makes my ability to effectively, professionally and safely impact those groups unachievable.”

Read More

Hundreds of Bush Administration Officials Declare Support for Joe Biden

A large group of officials who worked for former President George W. Bush will endorse the former Democrat Vice President Joe Biden.

The group formed a super PAC Wednesday, called “43 Alumni for Biden,” a reference to Bush, the 43rd president and described its formation as an effort to restore “the principles of unity, tolerance and compassion to the greatest elected office in the world,” according to Reuters.

Read More

PG&E Exits Bankruptcy, Pays $5 Billion into Wildfire Fund

Pacific Gas & Electric has emerged from a contentious bankruptcy saga that began after its long-neglected electrical grid ignited wildfires in California that killed more than 100 people.

The nation’s largest utility announced Wednesday it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and paid $5.4 billion in initial funds and 22.19% of its stock into a trust for victims of wildfires caused by its outdated equipment.

Read More

AP Source: NFL to Play Black Anthem Before National Anthem

“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” will be performed live or played before “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to each NFL game during Week 1 and the league is considering putting names of victims of police brutality on helmet decals or jersey patches, a person familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press.

The person said the league is working collaboratively with players to recognize victims of systemic racism throughout the season in a variety of ways. The person spoke to the AP on Thursday on condition of anonymity because discussions between the league and the NFL Players Association are ongoing.

Read More

Steve Bannon Presents: Descent Into Hell

An all new LIVE STREAM of Descent Into Hell starts at 9 a.m. Central Time on Saturday.

The two-hour special takes a closer look at the life of everyday Chinese citizens under the Chinese Communist Party and will air live on the John Fredericks Radio Network, America’s Voice Network, Dish TV Channel 219, The Epoch Times, ND TV, GTV and GNews in Mandarin.

Read More

As Americans Gather at Rushmore to Hear Trump, Protesters Set Roadblocks

President Donald Trump planned a fiery Mount Rushmore speech Friday night including denunciations of protesters he says are trying to “tear down” the nation’s history. He’s adding the condemnation of those who pull down statues to a big fireworks show and his more traditional July Fourth praise of America’s past and values.

Read More

US Tries to Seize Iranian Gas Heading Toward Venezuela

U.S. federal prosecutors are seeking to seize four tankers sailing toward Venezuela with gasoline supplied by Iran, the latest attempt to disrupt ever-closer trade ties between the two heavily sanctioned anti-American allies.

The civil-forfeiture complaint filed late Wednesday in the District of Columbia federal court alleges that the sale was arranged by a businessman, Mahmoud Madanipour, with ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization.

Read More

Law Prof Wants to Scrap US Constitution’s ‘Racist’ and ‘Gendered’ Language

A law professor is calling for changes to the “outdated” language of the Constitution.

Richard Albert, a professor of law and government at the University of Texas-Austin, denounced the Constitution in an op-ed for The Hill published Tuesday, saying that “its gendered and racist words stand in the way of true reconciliation in this divided country and have no place in any modern society.”

Read More

FBI Arrests Epstein Pal, Accused of Enabling Abuse of Girls

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested Thursday on charges she helped lure at least three girls — one as young as 14 — to be sexually abused by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of victimizing dozens of girls and women over many years.

According to the indictment, Maxwell, who lived for years with Epstein and was his frequent companion on trips around the world, facilitated his crimes and on some occasions joined him in sexually abusing the girls.

Read More

June Jobs Report: 4.8 Million Jobs Added, Unemployment at 11.1 Percent

The U.S. added 4.8 million jobs in June, while the unemployment declined to 11.1%, according to Department of Labor data released Thursday.

Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 4.8 million in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 3.2 million to 17.8 million. These numbers mark the second month of both increasing jobs and dropping unemployment since the country lost a record 20.5 million jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic closures.

Read More

Stocks Rise on Jobs Data, S&P 500 Ends Week with Solid Gain

Stocks are closing higher Thursday after a report showed the U.S. job market continues to climb out of the crater created by the coronavirus pandemic in the spring. The S&P 500 rose 0.45% and finished the holiday-shortened week with a gain of 4%. Stocks also rose across Europe and Asia, while oil prices strengthened on hopes that a recovering economy will mean more demand. Worries about the virus are still weighing on investors, however. Florida reported another sharp increase in confirmed cases, helping to cut the S&P 500′s earlier gains by more than half. The bond market was also showing continued caution.

Read More

Study: Unemployment Pays Better Than Work for 68 Percent of U.S. Workers

The federal unemployment insurance emergency payments of an additional $600 per week to those laid off because of COVID-19 restrictions discourages work and slows down economic recovery, several reports indicate. Several congressmen have introduced proposals to address the issue.

A report published by the Foundation for Government Ability (FGA) found that by nearly tripling average unemployment benefits through the CARES Act, “Congress has created a situation where unemployment now pays better than work” for roughly 68 percent of U.S. workers.

Read More

Insurer Centene Plans 3,200 Jobs at New N.C. Regional Hub

Government health insurance provider Centene Corp. said on Wednesday it will build an East Coast campus in Charlotte, North Carolina, developing a $1 billion construction project that’s expected to create more than 3,200 new jobs by 2032.

Gov. Roy Cooper described the expansion as the state’s largest single jobs announcement by number in nearly two decades.

Read More

Seattle Police Dismantle ‘Occupied’ Zone, Arrest More Than 30

Seattle police turned out in force early Wednesday at the city’s “occupied” protest zone, tore down demonstrators’ encampments and used bicycles to herd the protesters after the mayor ordered the area cleared following two fatal shootings in less than two weeks.

Television images showed police, many in riot gear, confronting dozens of protesters at the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone that was set up near downtown following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Read More

Stonewall Jackson Removed from Richmond’s Monument Avenue

Work crews wielding a giant crane, harnesses and power tools wrested an imposing statue of Gen. Stonewall Jackson from its concrete pedestal along Richmond, Virginia’s famed Monument Avenue on Wednesday, just hours after the mayor ordered the removal of all Confederate statues from city land.

Mayor Levar Stoney’s decree came weeks after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the removal of the most prominent and imposing statue along the avenue: that of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which sits on state land. The removal of the Lee statue has been stalled pending the resolution of several lawsuits.

Read More

‘An Amazing Deal’: U.S. Secures Most of Global Remdesivir Supply

The United States has secured nearly the entire global supply of remdesivir, a drug that has been effective in fighting coronavirus.

Remdesivir, which is manufactured by American pharmaceutical giant Gilead, has proven to help patients with coronavirus recover faster, according to The Guardian. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secured more than 500,000 doses of the drug, accounting for the vast majority of Gilead’s July, August and September supply, according to a Monday press release.

Read More

Boston Arts Commission Votes to Remove Abraham Lincoln Statue

The Boston Arts Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to take down the city’s historic Emancipation Memorial after activists demanded the statue’s removal.

The memorial depicts Abraham Lincoln standing with one arm raised over a freed slave crouched on his knees. Broken chains are depicted around the black man’s wrists and the word “emancipation” is written at the statue’s base.

Read More

Background Checks, a Metric for Gun Sales, Hit All-Time High

Historic numbers of background checks to purchase or possess a firearm were done in June, a trend in a year marked by uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic, a subsequent economic recession, protests over racial injustice and calls to reduce police funding.

FBI numbers released Wednesday show that 3.9 million background checks were conducted last month, the most since the system was created in November 1998 to ensure felons and other prohibited people could not buy or possess a firearm. The previous monthly record came in March, when 3.7 million checks were done. Each week in June is now in the top 10 weeks for background checks.

Read More

Gun-Toting Restaurateur Upsets 5-Term Colorado Congressman

A pistol-packing restaurant owner who has expressed support for a far-right conspiracy theory has upset five-term U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton in Colorado’s primary elections.

Tipton became the fourth House member to lose renomination bids this year. Republican Reps. Steve King of Iowa and Denver Riggleman of Virginia, and Democrat Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, have already been ousted by challengers.

Read More

Citing Racial Bias, San Francisco Will End Mug Shots Release

San Francisco police will stop releasing the mug shots of people who have been arrested unless they pose a threat to the public, as part of an effort to stop perpetuating racial stereotypes, the city’s police chief announced Wednesday.

San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said the policy, which goes into effect immediately, means the department will no longer release booking photos of suspects to the media or allow officers to post them online.

Read More

Conservatives Praise Supreme Court for Ruling States Can’t Discriminate Against Religious Schools

The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that states can’t cut religious schools out of programs that send public money to private education in a 5-4 ruling. 

Hailed as a victory for religious freedom, the justices upheld a Montana scholarship program that allows state tax credits for private schooling in which almost all the recipients attend religious schools.

Read More

Video Appears to Show Mob Attacking Catholics Praying at St. Louis Statue

Multiple videos recorded after a Saturday prayer vigil in St. Louis appear to show Black Lives Matter agitators assaulting Catholics who participated in the event.

“Yesterday, while praying for peace and unity in our city and the protection of the St. Louis statue, Black Lives Matter protesters started to harass, berate, and assault the Catholics that were peacefully praying. We did nothing in retaliation,” Conor Martin, a candidate for Bedford Township Republican committeeman, claimed on Twitter.

Read More

McGrath Wins Kentucky Dem Primary; McConnell Showdown Awaits

Former Marine pilot Amy McGrath overcame a bumpier-than-expected Kentucky primary to win the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination Tuesday, fending off progressive Charles Booker to set up a bruising, big-spending showdown with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Voting ended June 23, but it took a week until McGrath could be declared the winner due to the race’s tight margins and a deluge of mail-in ballots. The outcome seemed a certainty early in the campaign but became tenuous as Booker’s profile surged as the Black state lawmaker highlighted protests against the deaths of African Americans in encounters with police.

Read More

Carl Reiner, Beloved Creator of ‘Dick Van Dyke Show,’ Dies

Carl Reiner, the ingenious and versatile writer, actor and director who broke through as a “second banana” to Sid Caesar and rose to comedy’s front ranks as creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and straight man to Mel Brooks’ “2000 Year Old Man,” has died. He was 98.

Reiner’s assistant Judy Nagy said he died Monday night of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, California.

Read More

Music Spotlight: Tyler Rich

Tyler Rich grew up in Northern California in the small town of Yuba City. He grew up listening to country music with his mom and rock n roll with his dad.

“My Uncle [Tim] always had his guitar at every family function. He was always playing. He didn’t know genres, he just knew good music,” he said. “He would play, Tom Petty, Credence Clearwater, George Strait, Brooks, and Dunn or Garth Brooks. He even played Michael Jackson and the Beatles as long as it was good music.”

Read More

Hong Kong Security Law Takes Aim at Protester Actions

China on Tuesday approved a contentious national security law for Hong Kong that takes direct aim at some of the actions of anti-government protesters last year, in a move many see as Beijing’s boldest yet to erase the legal firewall between the semi-autonomous territory and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist Party system.

Details of the law remained under wraps until 11 p.m. (1500 GMT, 11:00 a.m. EDT), when it was published and took effect immediately.

Read More

‘Enough Is Enough’: Seattle Police Chief Rips CHAZ, Gets Heckled at Press Conference

Seattle’s police chief was heckled while she ripped the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) following fourth shooting in the area at a press conference Monday.

Chief Carmen Best demanded that people still in the area, also known as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP), leave immediately for the sake of everyone’s safety. A 16-year-old died and a 14-year-old is still being treated following a drive-by shooting that took place early Monday morning in the zone, Seattle police said in a press release Monday.

Read More

SCOTUS Strikes Down Ban on Taxpayers Funding Religious Schools

The Supreme Court ruled against a ban on taxpayer funding of religious schools Tuesday in a monumental win for school choice.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined conservative justices in a 5-4 ruling backing a Montana tax-credit scholarship program that gives residents credit if they donated to private scholarship organizations, according to Fox News, which would help the students pay for the private school of their choice.

Read More

Conservatives Call Out Chief Justice John Roberts on Abortion Ruling: ‘He’s a Disgrace’

by Mary Margaret Olohan   Conservatives are turning against Chief Justice John Roberts after the Supreme Court justice sided with liberal judges in a monumental abortion ruling. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with liberal members of the court in the close 5-4 ruling, writing that “the Louisiana law imposes a burden…

Read More

House Speaker Pelosi Calls on Intel Chiefs to Brief Congress on Russian Bounties Targeting US Soldiers

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday called on two top intelligence officials to provide a briefing to all members of Congress regarding reports that Russian intelligence has paid bounties to Taliban fighters to attack U.S. service members in Afghanistan.

“Congress needs to know what the intelligence community knows about this significant threat to American troops and our allies and what options are available to hold Russia accountable,” Pelosi wrote to John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence and Gina Haspel, the director of the CIA.

Read More

Britain’s Boris Johnson says COVID-19 Has Been a Disaster

Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged Monday that the coronavirus pandemic has been a “disaster” for Britain, as he announced a spending splurge designed to get the country — and his faltering Conservative government — back on track.

As the U.K. emerges from a three-month lockdown, Johnson has lined up big-money pledges on schools, housing and infrastructure, in an attempt to move on from an outbreak that has left more than 43,000 Britons dead — the worst confirmed death toll in Europe.

Read More