Friday, October 15, 2021

Wake-Up Call: Appeals Court Allows Texas To Enforce Abortion Law

A federal appeals court yesterday allowed Texas' restrictive new abortion law to be enforced, rejecting a U.S. Justice Department request to prevent enforcement. This is the third time the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has let the law that took effect in early September stand, which bans abortions once cardiac activity is detected, which is usually about six weeks. The Justice Department has the option of appealing to the Supreme Court. But the high court also recently allowed the law to stand as the court case against it proceeds. The law has so far evaded being struck down because of the unusual enforcement mechanism Texas set up, in which private citizens can sue anyone who provides an abortion or helps someone obtain one.

➤FDA ADVISORY PANEL RECOMMENDS MODERNA BOOSTERS FOR SOME: An outside panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration recommended yesterday that some Americans who got Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine at least six weeks ago should get a booster -- but the boosters will be a half-dose. Those eligible would be the same groups that health regulators last month recommended a Pfizer booster for -- seniors and younger adults with health problems, jobs or living situations that put them at higher risk.

➤JAN. 6TH COMMITTEE TO VOTE ON RECOMMENDING CRIMINAL CONTEMPT FOR BANNON FOR DEFYING SUBPOENA: The House select committee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol yesterday set next Tuesday for a vote on recommending criminal contempt charges for former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon, after he defied a subpoena from them for yesterday. Bannon part of Trump's administration for the first seven months, but continued to speak with him afterward, including ahead of the January 6th attack. If the committee approves the contempt recommendation, it would go to the full House. If the chamber approves it, it would then go to the Justice Department, which decides if there should be a prosecution. Bannon's attorney said Trump told him not to comply, citing information potentially protected by executive privilege when he was president. Bannon, however, was not a White House staffer at the time.

➤NORWAY BOW-AND-ARROW ATTACK CALLED 'ACT OF TERROR': The bow-and-arrow attack in Norway Wednesday that left five people dead and three wounded was a, quote, "act of terror," the head of Norway's domestic intelligence service said Thursday. However, he said they didn't know the motive yet. The suspect, who is in custody, is a 37-year-old Danish man named Espen Andersen Braathen who lives in Kongsberg, the small town where the attack took place at a supermarket and other locations. Regional Police Chief Ole B. Saeverud described Braathen as a Muslim convert and said there, quote, "earlier had been worries of the man having been radicalized." Norwegian media said he had past convictions for burglary and drug possession, and was given a restraining order last year to stay away from his parents for six months after threatening to kill one of them.

➤UNEXPECTED HEARING TODAY IN FLORIDA PARKLAND SCHOOL SHOOTING, SUSPECT TO REPORTEDLY PLEAD GUILTY: An unexpected court hearing was scheduled Thursday for today in Florida in the case of Nikolas Cruz, who's accused in the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in which 17 people were killed. The purpose wasn't described for the hearing, but local station WSVN-TV reported Cruz will plead guilty to all 17 counts of murder as well as 17 counts of attempted murder. If that happens, a jury would still decide whether the 23-year-old faces the death penalty or life in prison.

Daily Mail graphic 10/15/21

Former President Bill Clinton was hospitalized in California Tuesday (October 12th) with a non-Covid infection. His spokesman, Angel Urena, said yesterday of the 75-year-old, "He is on the mend, in good spirits and is incredibly thankful to the doctors, nurses, and staff providing him with excellent care." Another statement from the spokesman cited two doctors who said he'd been given IV antibiotics and fluids at the University of California Irvine Medical Center and that "his white blood cell count is trending down and he is responding to antibiotics well." A Clinton Foundation spokesman said Clinton had been in Los Angeles area for private events related to the charitable organization.

➤TRUMP SET FOR DEPOSITION IN 2015 CASE OVER HIS SECURITY TEAM: Former President Donald Trump is set to provide a videotaped deposition in New York City in a case from 2015 about his security team’s crackdown on a protest in the early days of his presidential campaign. AP cited Bronx state Supreme Court papers as saying Trump is expected to sit for the deposition Monday. The case is related to a September 2015 protest outside Trump Tower over comments Trump had made about Mexico and Mexican immigrants. Six protesters who said they were assaulted sued Trump, the Trump Organization, his presidential campaign and security personnel.

➤FORMER BOEING TEST PILOT INDICTED ON CHARGES RELATED TO 737 MAX JET: A former Boeing test pilot was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday on charges of deceiving safety regulators about th 737 Max jet, which was later involved in two fatal crashes that killed a total of 346 people. Mark A. Forkner, who was Boeing's chief technical pilot on the Max program, is accused of giving the Federal Aviation Administration false and incomplete information about the jet's automated flight-control system that played a role in the deadly crashes in 2018 and 2019. Prosecutors say that because of the 49-year-old's deception, the flight-control system wasn't mentioned in pilot manuals or training materials. They suggested he downplayed the issue with the system to avoid pilots having to undergo extensive and expensive retraining. He could face up to 100 years in prison if convicted of all counts.
➤STUDY..AMERICANS DRANK, SMOKED MORE IN PANDEMIC:  Many Americans seemingly self-medicated during the pandemic. University of California researchers also found that Americans spent less time exercising, and more time in front of screens. The scientists polled more than 2,700 US adults, and asked them about five lifestyle behaviors. They found time spent on exercise decreased by more than 31 percent, screen time increased by more than 60 percent, alcohol consumption increased by more than 23 percent, and smoking increased by 9 percent. The average consumption of fast food dropped from 1.41 times per week to 0.96 times per week. Study author Dr. Liwei Chen says, “We found that regulations to restrict non-essential activities and stay-at-home orders during the pandemic have had profoundly negative impacts on multiple lifestyle behaviors in American adults. As bad as these changes have been for all Americans, they disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S., who already bear a higher disease burden from COVID-19.”

🚩RED FLAGS ARE TAKING OVER TWITTER:  It’s trendy on Twitter to post the new “red flag meme,” which is really just typing out something you think is a red flag, followed by a series of red flag emojis. Twitter reports that as of Tuesday, there were 1.5 million tweets globally that used the red flag emoji, and in the past week usage of the red flag emoji on Twitter has increased 455 percent. This has sparked a debate over what different people consider to be red flags. Some use very obvious examples, such as “I killed a guy,” while others posted things like “I don’t like mushrooms,” and “I’m not a dog person,” while the official Twitter account tweeted, “I’m not on twitter.”

⚾DODGERS GET 2-1 WIN OVER GIANTS TO ADVANCE TO NLCS: The L.A. Dodgers pulled out a 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants last night, winning their NL Division Series three games to two. Cody Bellinger hit a tie-breaking single in the top of the ninth inning, and Max Scherzer came out of the bullpen for his first career save. 

The game ended on a controversial check-swing strike three by the Giants' Wilmer Flores with a runner on base. The defending World Series champion will now face the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday night.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers downed the Philadelphia Eagles 28-22 last night in Philly, with the reigning Super Bowl champions improving their record to 5-1 while the Eagles fell to 2-4. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady, who was playing with an injured thumb on his throwing hand, was 34 of 42 for 297 yards with two touchdown passes. However, in a bad moment on the night for Tampa Bay, cornerback Richard Sherman left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.

🏒KRAKEN GET FIRST NHL VICTORY: It only took two games for the NHL's newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken, to get their first win, beating the Nashville Predators 4-3 last night. But they didn't do it on their home ice, as the Kraken are playing their first five games on the road as their new arena gets its final touches. Brandon Tanev scored twice for Seattle, and Alex Wennberg and Jared McCann each scored a goal.

⚾CARDINALS FIRE MANAGER SHILDT: The St. Louis Cardinals fired manager Mike Shildt yesterday, his dismissal coming one week after the Cardinals lost the National League wild card game to the L.A. Dodgers on a walk-off home run. Cardinals president John Mozeliak cited unnamed "philosophical differences" between Shildt, the coaching staff and the front office. Shildt has been the manager since August 2018 and had one year remaining on his contract. He won National League manager of the year in 2019.

⚾ESPN...77-YEAR-OLD LA RUSSA TO RETURN AS WHITE SOX MANAGER: Baseball Hall of Famer Tony La Russa will be returning as manager of the Chicago White Sox next season, ESPN reported yesterday (October 14th). White Sox stars Tim Anderson and Jose Abreu had both publicly lobbied this week for the 77-year-old to return, after Chicago was eliminated by the Houston Astros in their American League Division Series. La Russa came out of retirement to manage the White Sox this season.

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