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‘Rapid acceleration’ in US school book censorship leads to 2,500 bans in a year

  1. Rapid acceleration of book banning in USThere is a “rapid acceleration” of book censorship occurring across the US, with more than 2,500 different book bans taking place over the past school year, a new report has found.

A total of 1,648 individual book titles, many of them that mention issues relating to race or sexuality, were the subject of bans by school districts in 32 states in the last school year, according to the new analysis.

More than 5,000 schools nationally have had books barred from access by students in libraries and classrooms, according to the report compiled by Pen America, a non-profit that supports freedom of expression in literature.





Crime Judge Orders Adnan Syed Freed After Prosecutors’ Request

Adney Syed freed

A judge on Monday ordered the release of Adnan Syed, a Baltimore man serving a life sentence for a 1999 murder he says he did not commit. His conviction was chronicled in the popular podcast “Serial.”

Baltimore Circuit Judge Melissa Phinn’s decision to overturn his conviction follows a request from prosecutors last week to vacate Syed’s conviction in the killing of his former high school girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Prosecutors cited a lack of confidence “in the integrity of the conviction” after completing a yearlong investigation with Syed’s attorneys.

Prosecutors said they weren’t asserting that Syed is innocent, but that they have uncovered new evidence that potentially links two previously known suspects with Lee’s murder. Evidence about those individuals, who were not identified, had been withheld from Syed’s defense attorneys during his trial, according to a motion filed by the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office Wednesday.

Syed, now 42, has served more than 20 years in prison for the strangulation death of Lee, whose body was found buried in a Baltimore park.


John Stearns, four-time All-Star catcher with New York Mets, dies at 71

John Stearns dead at 71John Stearns, a four-time time All-Star catcher in his 10 seasons with the New York Mets, has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 71.

Stearns, who played football and baseball at the University of Colorado, died Thursday night in Denver, according to the Mets.

He died less than three weeks after attending an Old Timers' Day at Citi Field in New York that coincided with the Mets' 60th anniversary. He was noticeably thin in his Mets jersey Aug. 27 and waved to the crowd when he was introduced on the field.

"No one played the game with more spirit or determination than John Stearns," Mets president Sandy Alderson said Friday in a statement. "He literally willed himself to attend Old Timers' Day last month so he could visit friends and old teammates. Despite his illness, he even managed to step into the batting cage to take a few swings. His nickname, 'Bad Dude' couldn't have been more appropriate."


America's Christian majority is on track to end

America's religious majority shrinking

Eliza Campbell had spent her entire life as a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

She was born in Utah, a state in which the majority of residents belong to the church, and attended Brigham Young University, a private institution owned and operated by the church.

"It's part of your whole professional network, your whole emotional community," she said. "Basically, it touches every facet of your life."

Then, two years ago, after nearly three decades, Campbell left the church.

She is one of a growing number of Americans who were raised Christian but are disaffiliating from the religion.


Family Dollar recalls toothpaste, mouthwash sold in 11 states

Toopaste recall at Family Dollar in 11 states– Family Dollar is asking locations in 11 states to stop selling certain varieties of Colgate toothpaste that had been “stored outside of labeled temperature requirements,” according to a voluntary Family Dollar recall notice shared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

News of the recall follows similar notices issued by Family Dollar in July and August, which also concerned products that were improperly stored before being shipped to stores.

The latest recall, which affects Colgate Optic White toothpaste and mouthwash, concerns products shipped between May and June 21 to stores in Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah.

The recalled products include six different varieties of Colgate Optic White.


DeSantis Flying Migrants to Martha’s Vineyard May Have Violated Federal Law, Experts Say

De Santis

Migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis claim they were lured into boarding the flight with deceptive promises that they’d be taken to Boston for work opportunities and expedited papers, something experts say could constitute a violation of federal law.

Approximately 50 Venezuelan and Colombian migrants landed in Martha’s Vineyard airport Wednesday afternoon, and were left to find their way into the town with little to no information about where they were or where to go for resources. State Rep. Dylan Fernandes told the Vineyard Gazette that some of the migrants were “told they would receive housing and jobs immediately upon arrival,” yet the island was not notified of the transport before it landed.


Biden calls tentative labor deal a 'big win for America' as railroad strike is averted

Rail strike avertedAfter around-the-clock negotiations, President Joe Biden said Thursday that freight railway companies and workers had reached a tentative agreement that will avert a rail shutdown that could have paralyzed the economy.

Biden celebrated the deal alongside union leaders and rail executives at the White House Rose Garden, calling it a “big win for America” and for both sides of the labor dispute. He said rail workers will receive better pay, improved working conditions and a “peace of mind” over health insurance, while companies will strengthen their ability to recruit and retain workers

“Together we reached an agreement that will keep our critical rail system working and avoid disruptions of our economy,” the president said, characterizing the deal as "validation" that unions and management “can work together.”


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