Montana to Vote on Referendum That Protects Infants Who Survive Abortions

Montana to Vote on Referendum That Protects Infants Who Survive Abortions

A pro-life referendum takes center stage in Montana as state residents are set to decide whether to give additional legal protections to babies who survive abortions.

Montana LR-131, also known as the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, says that infants born alive after an abortion are legal persons and that healthcare providers must take “necessary actions to preserve the life of a born-alive infant.” These “necessary actions” include “the right to appropriate and reasonable medical care and treatment.”

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Commentary: The History of How Saint Patrick’s Day Played a Key Role in Irish Nationhood

Commentary: The History of How Saint Patrick’s Day Played a Key Role in Irish Nationhood

Traditionally, March 17 was a day to remember St Patrick, who ministered Christianity in Ireland during the 5th century. But over time, the day has evolved to represent a celebration of Irish culture more generally. Today, as with Halloween and Christmas, the true meaning of the celebration has been watered down even further. Now, it is just as likely to be marked by non-Irish people who use it as an excuse to consume large quantities of alcohol and dress as leprechauns.

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Renowned Constitutional Scholar: Ongoing Border Crisis Fits Constitution’s Definition of an Invasion

Renowned Constitutional Scholar: Ongoing Border Crisis Fits Constitution’s Definition of an Invasion

A renowned constitutional scholar said what is happening now at the southern border does constitute an “invasion” under the U.S. Constitution.

“The kind of organized entry that we are seeing now where you got some of the gangs down in Mexico facilitating it and getting paid to put people across the border, that does qualify as an invasion even when no arms are involved,” Rob Natelson, the Independence Institute’s senior fellow in constitutional jurisprudence, said.

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‘Only a Small Cushion’: Oil Prices Surge Again as Demand Approaches Highest Level Ever

‘Only a Small Cushion’: Oil Prices Surge Again as Demand Approaches Highest Level Ever

Global crude oil prices surged Friday, continuing their steady approach toward $100 per barrel, as a top energy group projected greater demand through 2022.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil index, which measures U.S. prices, increased more than 1.89% to $91.73 per barrel while the European Brent Crude index ticked up nearly 1.71%, hitting $92.94 per barrel as of Friday afternoon. Both indices inched closer to their highest price in multiple years, according to data tracked by Business Insider.

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Report: Afghan Refugee Who Is Accused of Rape in Montana Will Not Have His Work Permit Removed

Report: Afghan Refugee Who Is Accused of Rape in Montana Will Not Have His Work Permit Removed

An Afghan refugee in Montana who faces a felony rape charge will not have his work permit revoked, according to the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).

Robert Law, who is CIS’ director of regulatory affairs and policy, said his Department of Homeland Security sources told him that the Biden administration will not remove Zabihullah Mohmand’s employment authorization document (EAD) at this time.

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Report: Metro Nashville Public Schools Paid Consultants $11 Million to ‘Help Students Return to School,’ But Insider Says They Did ‘Almost Nothing’

Report: Metro Nashville Public Schools Paid Consultants $11 Million to ‘Help Students Return to School,’ But Insider Says They Did ‘Almost Nothing’

Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) in January paid millions of dollars to Meharry Medical College Ventures (MMCV) to help students return to school, however, according to a person who worked in a city public school, the workers did “almost nothing.”

“It was boring, it was really boring and I said to this guy, ‘So this is what you do? You sit in this room for 8 hours?’ He said ‘No, occasionally I get up and walk the hall and at the end of the day go to one of the doors where the children leave’ and that was it,” an unidentified person told Fox 17 News.

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Almost 75 Percent of Tennesseans Will See a Monthly Increase in Flood Insurance Payments Starting October 1

Almost 75 Percent of Tennesseans Will See a Monthly Increase in Flood Insurance Payments Starting October 1

Seventy-two percent of Tennesseans will end up paying more money in flood insurance prices starting October 1 when the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s new flood insurance rules begin.

This summer, FEMA rolled out its new rating methodology called “Risk Rating 2.0.” FEMA said this new methodology will deliver rates that are “actuarily sound, equitable, easier to understand and better reflect a property’s flood risk.”

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Arizona Becomes First State to Sue Biden Administration over Its New COVID-19 Mandate

Arizona Becomes First State to Sue Biden Administration over Its New COVID-19 Mandate

Arizona became the first state to sue the Biden administration over its federal vaccine mandate, according to Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s press release.

“The federal government cannot force people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Biden Administration is once again flouting our laws and precedents to push their radical agenda,” Brnovich said. “There can be no serious or scientific discussion about containing the spread of COVID-19 that doesn’t begin at our southern border.”

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Georgia Attorney General and 14 Other State Attorneys General Files Amicus Brief in Support of Virginia Church

Georgia Attorney General and 14 Other State Attorneys General Files Amicus Brief in Support of Virginia Church

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr along with 14 other state attorneys general filed an amicus brief before the Supreme Court in support of allowing a Virginia church to determine who is a minister “under its own doctrine.”

“This is another example of the threat to religious liberty and we will continue to defend the First Amendment,” said Carr. “We joined this coalition to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the rights of religious organizations.”

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Ohio County Sherriff’s Office Says It Will Not Enforce Local City’s Indoor Mask Mandate

Ohio County Sherriff’s Office Says It Will Not Enforce Local City’s Indoor Mask Mandate

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that it will not enforce the indoor mask mandate that Gambier passed this week.

“If you have read information from the Gambier ordinance concerning the mask mandate, it indicates a $25 fine and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office is the enforcing body,” the sheriff’s office said. “I have spoken with Mayor [Leeman] Kessler and informed him that deputies will not be citing anyone for violations. We will not put deputies in that situation. We have not enforced mask mandates in the past, and we will not enforce this mandate.”

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Arizona Gov. Ducey Calls for Afghan Refugees Even as Thousands of Americans Still Remain in Afghanistan

Arizona Gov. Ducey Calls for Afghan Refugees Even as Thousands of Americans Still Remain in Afghanistan

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and state Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers (R-District 25) announced Thursday that Arizona will welcome refugees from Afghanistan.

“The Afghans fleeing the Taliban regime served alongside America’s military forces and fought for freedom,” the press release states. “We’re grateful for their efforts and Arizona wholeheartedly welcomes our fair share of the refugees in our state.”

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Mesa Public Schools Updates Dress Code Policy to be ‘More Equitable,’ Will Define ‘Hate Speech’ Based on Dictionary

Mesa Public Schools Updates Dress Code Policy to be ‘More Equitable,’ Will Define ‘Hate Speech’ Based on Dictionary

Mesa Public Schools (MPS) updated their dress code policy to make it more equitable and prohibit “hate speech.” Nowhere in their current policies does MPS define “hate speech.”

As reported by The Arizona Sun Times last month, MPS General Counsel Kacey Gregson said that students would have a right to express their political beliefs unless it could be perceived as “hate speech,” promoting violence, or immediately or potentially causing substantial interference with the learning environment.

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Arizona Department of Education Awarded NAU $1 Million to Teach Culturally Responsive Education

Arizona Department of Education Awarded NAU $1 Million to Teach Culturally Responsive Education

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) awarded Northern Arizona University (NAU) $1 million to teach culturally responsive education in tribal schools. The grant, awarded at the beginning of last month, will apply to professional development programs and fellowships for tribal educators.

“Believing in the power of teachers and the desire to grow their capacity to write and teach curriculum that is culturally responsive is at the forefront of the Institute for Native-serving Educators (INE)[,]” read NAU’s press release.

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More Headlines…

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to Visit Arizona on Thursday

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg will visit Phoenix on Thursday to discuss the Biden Administration’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan. The Arizona Sun Times inquired with the DOT for further details of Buttigieg’s visit. They didn’t respond by press time.

Buttigieg is scheduled to host a press conference at 10 am MST. During the press conference, Buttigieg is expected to address the infrastructure plan’s impact on tribal communities. In April, Buttigieg promised that tribal communities would benefit from the infrastructure plan’s investments into roads, broadband, water, higher education, and transportation.

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Newly Introduced Ohio House Bill Would Give Ohioans Data Privacy Rights

Two Ohio legislators put forward a bill Monday that would protect data rights for Ohioans.

In House Bill 376, introduced by State Reps. Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Township) and Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.), it would “establish data rights for Ohioans while requiring businesses to adhere to specified data standards,” according to the Ohio House of Representatives press release.

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Arizona Attorney General Seeks Injunction on Biden’s Order to End Border Wall Construction

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is seeking an injunction on President Joe Biden’s executive order halting the border wall construction. Brnovich wants the Biden Administration to reverse their current border policies and refrain from any further action until they analyze the environmental impact of those policies per the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The attorney general’s office submitted the injunction request in an amended complaint. The original lawsuit, State of Arizona v. Mayorkas et al, argues that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and federal officials violated NEPA by not providing environmental impact statements or assessments when they halted construction of the border wall and permitted additional migrant entry by ending the “Remain in Mexico” policy. 

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ASU Professor Says Parents Should Lose Veto Power Over Children’s Transgender Medical Decisions

An Arizona State University (ASU) professor asserts that parents shouldn’t have a say when it comes to their children’s transgender medical decisions. These sentiments appeared in an article by ASU assistant philosophy professor and bioethicist Maura Priest, published early last month by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Priest argues that only the child can decide what’s best for them when it comes to medical treatments for transitioning genders. 

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Arizona Department of Health Services Says No Word from White House on Delta Variant Response Teams

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) informed The Arizona Sun Times that the White House hasn’t contacted them about the Delta variant response teams.

The Biden Administration announced in a press briefing last week that it would be launching these response teams due to the expectation of a surge in the COVID-19 Delta variant, which they claim is more infectious and dangerous. White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients explained that these response teams would have five focuses: increase testing and contact tracing; provide therapeutics for the infected; deploy federal personnel for vaccination, testing, and therapeutics; assist with public health response work like epidemiology, data analysis, field investigations; and increase vaccinations through campaigns. 

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Chandler Offering $10,000 in Grants for Diversity Education

The city of Chandler, Arizona is offering grants of up to $1,000 each for anyone that can offer diversity education in its K-12 schools. A total of $10,000 may be disbursed for this initiative. Eligible applicants for this annual grant range from individual teachers to schools, nonprofit organizations, and community groups. 

According to the city guidelines, proposals from diversity education projects or programs in K-12 schools will receive first priority. The proposals must include one or more elements of diversity the city listed: age, socio-economic status, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation. 

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Federal Judge Denies Arizona Attorney General’s Petition for Federal Government to Complete Deportations Within Required 90 Days

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton denied Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s request to require timely deportations from federal authorities. Federal law states that authorities must deport illegal immigrants within 90 days.

In the ruling, issued last Wednesday, Bolton conceded that the law does require deportations within 90 days at first glance. However, Bolton explained that closer inspection of the law and history rendered its intent dubious.

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Arizona Attorney General Says He ‘Will Not Tolerate’ Biden Adminstration’s Plan to Go Door-to-Door for Unvaccinated Americans: ‘This Is a Severe Breach of Privacy’

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich called President Joe Biden’s plan to go door-to-door encouraging COVID-19 vaccinations “alarming.” In a letter submitted to the president Tuesday, Brnovich told Biden that he wouldn’t tolerate breaches of privacy concerning Arizonans’ vaccination status.

“I, along with many Arizonans, was greatly alarmed by your White House indicating that it might be in possession of medical records revealing the contact information for Americans who have not been vaccinated,” wrote Brnovich. “If this is the case, this is a severe breach of privacy, and I will not tolerate such intrusions within Arizona.”

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Phoenix City Council Allocates $8 Million in CARES Funding for Homeless Shelters

Phoenix City Council approved $8 million in CARES Act Funding for two nonprofit organizations to provide homeless shelter services. The contracts began on Thursday and end June 2023. 

These contracts are the latest effort to mitigate over 7,400 individuals that make up Phoenix’s homeless population – an estimated 11 percent increase from the 2019. Currently, there are only enough shelter beds for approximately 23 percent of the city’s homeless population.

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Tucson Allocates $500K to Create an Office of Equity

Tucson’s latest budget included a $500,000 allocation for the creation of an Office of Equity to advance social justice and eliminate racism.

Mayor Regina Romero included news of the allocation in an announcement about the budget approval last Monday.

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Supreme Court Upholds Arizona’s Voting Restrictions, ‘Not Racially Discriminatory’

Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) upheld Arizona law prohibiting ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting. The three dissents in the case, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee (DNC), came from Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor. The DNC had argued that the state’s bans on ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting discriminated against minorities, thereby violating the Voting Rights Act. SCOTUS rejected that assessment.

Arizona law prohibits individuals from casting provisional ballots in person on Election Day outside of their designated precinct. It also prohibits ballot harvesting, meaning that only family and household members, caregivers, mail carriers, and election officials can handle individual’s ballots.

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Arizona Election Audit Wraps Up Operations, Moves Out of Coliseum

The Arizona audit is wrapping up its operations and has moved out of its three-month home: the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. For about another week, audit workers will finish up in another building on the fairgrounds, the Wesley Bolin Building. Auditors will be able to use the building until July 14.

Although officials told The Arizona Sun Times that they would be finished by last Saturday, more work popped up after the county submitted additional resources that required review. Randy Pullen, a volunteer consultant to the Arizona Senate for the audit, estimated that they would be done sometime next week. He explained to The Sun Times that the slight delay occurred because the county submitted log reports on duplicate ballots last minute. Those logs showed how many from every batch were taken out by the county for duplication.

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The Arizona Republic Sues State Senate, Cyber Ninjas for Election Audit Records

One of Arizona’s largest newspapers is suing the state Senate and the contracted company running the audit, Cyber Ninjas, for access to their election audit records and financial records. The Arizona Republic, part of the Gannett mass media company, filed a special action on Wednesday in the Maricopa County Superior Court – case number LC2021-000180. Reportedly, the Senate denied the paper’s request for access to the audit and financial records, saying they weren’t public record. The specific information they hope to obtain includes the process for the audit, businesses involved, funding sources, and all communications of those involved.

The plaintiffs in the case are Phoenix Newspapers and Kathy Tulumello, news director for The Arizona Republic. Including the state Senate and Cyber Ninjas, the other defendants named are Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott), Senate Majority Leader Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert), and the secretary for the Senate, Susan Aceves. 

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Tucson Pledges Allegiance to Biden Administration on Gun Regulation, Snubs Arizona’s New Second Amendment Protection Law

Tucson will side with the federal government over state law when it comes to gun regulations, according to its city council’s latest resolution. 

According to the resolution, passed last Tuesday, states don’t have the right to reject federal law. The city council directed the city manager to continue using city personnel and financial resources to carry out any federal actions or programs regulating guns. It also directed the city attorney to engage in litigation concerning Second Amendment sanctuary laws or proclamations.

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