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Gender: Male
Hometown: TX
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Jul 23, 2020, 07:05 PM
Number of posts: 953

Journal Archives

Teacher quits in protest after being punished for banned books sign

Summer Boismier got through only one day of the school year before a parent complained and administrators descended on her high school classroom to investigate. Days later, she quit in protest of a new Oklahoma law that restricts teaching about race and gender.

ven before the first day of the school year at Norman High School, Boismier suspected her personal classroom library would get her in trouble by running afoul of that law, so she covered her books with butcher paper. But she added a touch of defiance, scrawling a message in permanent marker across the paper.

“Books the state doesn’t want you to read,” it said.

Boismier, 34, included a QR code that her sophomore English students could scan with their phones, taking them to an application for a Brooklyn Public Library card. The site said that, even if they lived out of state, teenagers could still access materials as part of the library’s Books Unbanned project, “a response to an increasingly coordinated and effective effort to remove books tackling a wide range of topics from library shelves.”

Hours later, a parent complained to school officials about Boismier, accusing her of violating a new state law limiting public school lessons or materials that lead students to “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress” because of their race or gender.


China punishes 27 people over 'tragically ugly' illustrations in maths textbook

Chinese authorities have punished 27 people over the publication of a maths textbook that went viral over its “tragically ugly” illustrations.

A months-long investigation by a ministry of education working group found the books were “not beautiful”, and some illustrations were “quite ugly” and did not “properly reflect the sunny image of China’s children”.

The mathematics books were published by the People’s Education Press almost 10 years ago, and were reportedly used in elementary schools across the country. But they went viral in May after a teacher published photos of the illustrations inside, including people with distorted faces and bulging pants, boys pictures grabbing girls’ skirts and at least one child with an apparent leg tattoo.

The statement said the illustrators and designers were “dealt with accordingly” but did not give details. They and their studios would no longer be engaged to work on textbook design or related work, it said.


Zelenskiy vows to restore Ukrainian rule in Russia-annexed Crimea

Source: Reuters

KYIV, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy vowed on Tuesday to restore Ukrainian rule over Russia-annexed Crimea, a move that he said would help re-establish "world law and order".

He told an international conference on Crimea that regaining control of the peninsula - seized and annexed by Russia in 2014 in a move not recognised by most other countries - would be the "biggest anti-war step".

"It all began with Crimea, and it will end with Crimea," Zelenskiy said in an opening address to the Crimea Platform, a forum that seeks to restore Ukraine's territorial integrity and end Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Calling for victory over Russia, he said: "It is necessary to liberate Crimea from occupation ... This will be the resuscitation of world law and order."

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/zelenskiy-vows-restore-ukrainian-rule-crimea-2022-08-23/

Biden decision to forgive student-loan debt may come on Wed -source

Source: Reuters

Aug 23 (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to announce a decision to forgive student loan debt as early as Wednesday, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

The current pandemic-linked government pause in student loan interest and payments is due to expire at the end of August. Borrower balances have been frozen since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, with no payments required on most federal student loans since March 2020.

Several debt-relief advocates expect the administration to extend its current pause on student loan repayment through the end of the year, while also announcing plans to forgive as much as $10,000 in student debt for borrowers whose income falls below $125,000 a year.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/bidens-decision-forgive-student-loan-debt-could-come-soon-this-week-source-2022-08-23/

Machine Politics: How America casts and counts its votes


Deep dive into process and some pretty good graphics. Worth a bookmark.

Misinformation online and false claims of election fraud by former President Donald Trump and his allies have sharply eroded public trust in the integrity of U.S. elections. Trump’s camp has zeroed in on electronic vote-tabulating systems, falsely alleging that they were somehow rigged against him. How Americans vote — and the equipment they use — varies widely, and some methods are more vulnerable to efforts to shake that trust. Heading into the 2022 midterms, election experts say the move in most states to hybrid voting systems – paper ballots tallied by electronic machines – could give voters greater confidence.

Explosives detonated after being discovered in multiple buildings in small W. Va. city


A series of explosive devices were detonated in a sleepy West Virginia city Monday after they were left at a federal courthouse, a church and a suspect’s home, according to reports.

The bomb scares in Bluefield, a city with a population of just under 10,000 people, started just after 9:30 a.m. with a full evacuation of the historic Elizabeth Kee Federal Building, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph said

At around 11:40 a.m., police yelled “fire in the hole” ahead of a loud blast as at least one device was detonated from inside the courthouse, said the local paper, which saw a bomb-squad robot leaving the site.

As federal staff started being allowed back in the complex in the early afternoon, a second bomb scare forced the evacuation of the nearby neighboring Westminster Presbyterian Church, police said.

Rich Getting Richer: Wealthy Celebs Have Their PPP Loans FORGIVEN After Borrowing Millions

Full headline:

Rich Getting Richer: Kanye West, Khloé Kardashian, Nancy Pelosi's Husband, Jay-Z & More Wealthy Celebs Have Their PPP Loans FORGIVEN After Borrowing Millions

Talk about the rich getting richer! Kanye West, Khloé Kardashian, Reese Witherspoon, Nancy Pelosi's husband, and Jay-Z's companies are among the list of brands owned by wealthy celebrities whose loans have been forgiven after they borrowed from Uncle Sam during the pandemic.

Radar has learned that each of the well-known stars listed above participated in the Payment Protection Program, which the government set up to help companies that suffered during the COVID-19 shutdown.

The loan program reportedly cost hardworking taxpayers nearly $953 billion, with an estimated 15 percent of those claims being fraudulent.

However, billionaires like Kanye and Jay-Z and a slew of other rich A-listers' loans were "forgiven."


CNN Parts Ways With Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin, the veteran legal analyst and writer who has opined on cases and the courts for CNN since 2002, appears to have offered his last testimony at the Warner Bros. Discovery-backed news outlet.

In a letter sent Friday to colleagues, Toobin revealed that he is parting ways with CNN, which has backed him in good times and bad. CNN placed Toobin on leave in the fall of 2020 after he acknowledged exposing himself during a video call with staffers from The New Yorker, where he had been working since 1993. Toobin and the Conde Nast publication cut ties, but CNN put its contributor back on the air in June of 2021 after a months-long leave. When he reappeared, he told CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota that “I hope to be a better person off camera as well as on camera.”

Toobin, an attorney, has become a celebrated writer over the years, and one of his books became the basis for a popular FX series about the trial of disgraced football great O.J. Simpson.

”I wanted to let you know that after twenty years I’ve decided to leave CNN after my vacation. It was great to spend my last day on air, like so many before, with my pals at Sit Room, AC360 and Don Lemon Tonight. It’s been a privilege (and fun) being your colleague,” Toobin wrote. “The work of CNN is enormously important, and I know you’ll continue doing it with the same passion and intelligence as always.”


Snickers maker apologises for advert suggesting Taiwan is a country

BEIJING, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Mars Wrigley, maker of the Snickers candy bar, apologised on Friday for a Snickers product launch which Chinese social media users said suggested that Taiwan was a country.

Videos and pictures showing a Snickers website promoting a limited edition Snickers bar and saying the product was only available in the “countries” of South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan triggered an outpour of anger on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo on Friday.

Mars Wrigley later published an apology on its Snickers China Weibo account and said the relevant content had been amended.

“Mars Wrigley respects China’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity and conducts its business operations in strict compliance with local Chinese laws and regulations,” Mars Wrigley added.


Two 'Squad' members survive primary challenges

Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.), two progressive lawmakers who are members of the “Squad,” fended off primary challengers on Tuesday, making them favorites to win their third and second terms, respectively.

Bush earned 69.5 percent of the vote in her primary, easily beating out Missouri state Sen. Steve Roberts, who garnered 26.6 percent of the vote.

Roberts had run a more moderate campaign, saying Bush put “publicity” ahead of her constituents in the district, which includes St. Louis and nearby suburbs, and noting her votes against legislation like the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

“For anyone who wondered if you can go to Congress as a single mom, nurse, pastor, politivist, & survivor, be your full self, vote your conscience, deliver for your community and get re-elected—St. Louis and I have our answer,” Bush tweeted on Tuesday evening shortly after The Associated Press called the race in her favor.

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