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Senators set to vote on bill to codify Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage protections

Senators to vote to codify same sex marriageThe Senate is set to vote this week on a bill to codify the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage protections after a bipartisan group of senators unveiled a deal earlier Monday, signaling they believe they have the votes to get past a filibuster and move the measure to President Biden’s desk.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) filed cloture on the legislation on Monday, teeing up the first vote on the measure for Wednesday.

“Because my top priority is to get things done in a bipartisan way whenever we can, we determined that this legislation was too important to risk failure, so we waited to give bipartisanship a chance. I hope for the sake of tens of millions of Americans that at least 10 Republicans will vote with us to protect marriage equality into law soon. The rights and dignity of millions of Americans depend on it.”




Jay Leno’s face burned in LA garage after car bursts into flames

Jay Leno

Jay Leno was taken to Grossman Burn Center after his face was burned in his Los Angeles garage when one of his cars burst into flames.

The left side of former The Tonight Show host’s face was burned, but Leno’s eye and ear were not severely damaged.

Leno confirmed the news to Variety, saying in a statement, “I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire. I am OK. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet.”

The website Deadline confirmed the gasoline fire.


Israel will not cooperate with FBI inquiry into killing of Palestinian American journalist

Israel will not cooperate with US probe of jounalist's death

Israel has said it will not cooperate with an FBI investigation into the killing of the Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by the Israeli army.

Israel’s defence minister, Benny Gantz, denounced the inquiry as “interference in Israel’s internal affairs” and said he “made it clear to the American representatives that we stand behind the IDF [Israel defence forces] soldiers, that we will not cooperate with any external investigation”.

“The decision of the US Department of Justice to investigate the unfortunate death of Shireen Abu Akleh is a grave mistake. The IDF conducted an independent and professional investigation, which was presented to the Americans who shared the details,” Gantz said.

But an outright failure to cooperate would complicate relations with Washington and reinforce claims of an Israeli cover-up of Abu Akleh’s death as she reported on a military raid on the West Bank city of Jenin in May.


Appeals court blocks Biden student debt cancellation plan

Appeals court blocks student lawn forgivenessA federal appeals court on Monday temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program, which had already been halted nationwide by a separate court ruling.

The latest ruling, by a unanimous three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, added to the legal jeopardy surrounding President Biden’s massive debt-relief plan.

The panel, which comprised two Trump-appointed judges and one appointee of former President George W. Bush, said their order would remain in effect until further notice by the 8th Circuit or the Supreme Court.

The ruling was a win for six conservative-led states — Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and South Carolina — which argued they were harmed by a freeze on the collection of student loan payments and interest.



Biden tells Xi the U.S. will take 'defensive' action if North Korea's nuclear missile tests continue

Biden and Xi JinpingPresident Joe Biden said Monday that he told his Chinese counterpart on Monday that Beijing has “an obligation” to dissuade its neighbor, North Korea, from test-firing nuclear missiles and that the U.S. would take unspecified “defensive” action should the provocations continue.

At a news conference following a three-hour meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden did not specify how the U.S. might respond to further nuclear tests by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He added that any actions the U.S takes in reprisal “would not be directed against China, but would send a clear message to North Korea: We are going to defend our allies as well as American soil and American capacity.”

Biden also said he does not believe that rising tensions with China have devolved into a new “cold war.”

“We’re going to compete vigorously, but I’m not looking for conflict” with China, the president said. “I’m looking to manage this competition responsibly. And I want to make sure that every country abides by the international rules of the road.”


This week, the world’s population ticks over a historic milestone

World populationWe never know precisely how many of us are alive at any one time, but this Tuesday is the United Nations’ best estimate on when we’ll reach 8 billion human beings.

Eight billion. It’s a number too big to imagine but think of it this way: In the time it takes you to read this paragraph, the world’s population grew by around 20 people.

While the Earth’s population is growing quickly, the growth rate is starting to slow down. Eventually, it will start falling and our societies will shrink.

Humanity is changing day by day in ways we can’t perceive over short periods, but in ways that will reshape our world over the coming century.


U.S. Supreme Court again spurns challenge to gun 'bump stock' ban

SCOTUS spurns gun bump stock rulingThe U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away another challenge to a federal ban imposed under former President Donald Trump on devices called "bump stocks" that enable a semi-automatic weapon to fire like a machine gun.

The justices declined to review an appeal by a group of firearms dealers andindividuals in Minnesota, Texas and Kentucky after a lower court rejected their argument that the government had violated the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment "takings clause" by effectively taking their private property without just compensation.

Trump's administration moved to reclassify bump stocks as machine guns, which are forbidden under U.S. law, in a rare firearms control measure prompted by a 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. The Supreme Court in 2019 declined to block the ban from going into effect. The justices last month rejected appeals by a Utah gun lobbyist and firearms rights groups of lower court rulings upholding the ban as a reasonable interpretation of a federal law prohibiting machine gun possession.



Trump Repeatedly Called For IRS, Justice Department Probes Of Foes

Trump tried to get probes of enemies

When Donald Trump was president, he repeatedly demanded investigations by the IRS and Justice Department against foes he thought had made him “look bad,” his former White House chief of staff John Kelly told The New York Times.

Trump often demanded probes in the wake of news reports involving perceived enemies who angered him, according to Kelly, who said he viewed Trump’s plans as an unacceptable “weaponization” of the power of the presidency.


Supreme Court Rules Against Arizona GOP Leader In Records Fight

SCOTUSThe Supreme Court has cleared the way for the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol to get phone records belonging to the leader of the Arizona Republican Party.

The high court on Monday rejected GOP state chair Kelli Ward’s request to halt the turnover of records while a lawsuit proceeds. The court lifted a temporary order that had been put in place by Justice Elena Kagan that had paused anything from happening while Ward’s appeal was at the Supreme Court. Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito said they would have sided with Ward.

Ward has said her First Amendment rights would be chilled if investigators were able to learn whom she spoke with while trying to challenge former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election defeat.


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