Janet Leigh, Rucker Preston and Jason Wolfe — the three candidates running in the upcoming Belton ISD school board race — will spend their evening on Wednesday, April 5, at Schoepf’s BBQ in Belton speaking with stakeholders about why they want to represent the district.
European Union leaders are playing down the risk of a banking crisis developing from recent global financial turmoil and hitting an already weak economy. The deliberations Friday by EU government heads in Brussels follow U.S. regulators shutting down two U.S. banks and a Swiss-orchestrated takeover of troubled lender Credit Suisse by rival UBS. The emergency actions on both sides of the Atlantic revived memories of the 2008 global financial meltdown and the ensuing EU sovereign debt crisis, which almost broke apart the euro currency now shared by 20 European countries. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz says “the banking system is stable in Europe.” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says “I think we are in good shape.”
PARIS (AP) — Armed with Molotov cocktails or paving stones, black-clad radicals are increasingly invading large, peaceful protest marches against pension reforms in France, attacking police in spiraling violence.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ $3.8 billion proposed spending on state building projects got the thumbs down from Republicans, sending the final decision on funding to the GOP-controlled Legislature’s budget committee. Republicans on the state building commission voted Thursday against Evers’ proposal, just as they have for his prior two budgets. That means it will be up to the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to make the final call. That committee begins taking testimony from state agencies about the Evers budget on Tuesday. The Legislature is expected to pass its plan sometime in June, sending it to Evers who can make changes with his line-item veto power.
The White House is defending President Joe Biden’s order that federal employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 after a federal appeals court blocked it. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Thursday rejected arguments the nation’s chief executive has the same authority as a private corporation's CEO to require employees be vaccinated. The ruling from the 16-judge appeals court reversed a ruling by a three-judge appellate panel that upheld the vaccination requirement. Opponents of the policy say it was an encroachment on federal workers’ lives that neither the Constitution nor federal statutes authorize. The White House on Friday cited the high compliance rate among federal workers in defending the order.
FRIDAY, March 24, 2023 (HealthDay News) – Sen. John Fetterman, who checked himself into Walter Reed Hospital for depression five weeks ago, should be back at work soon, his aide said Thursday.
Majority Democrats in the Maine Legislature are pushing through a “baseline budget” to ensure government operations continue in the new fiscal year while leaving the door open to discussions on new spending initiatives later. The pared-down budget must be adopted by the end of next week for a simple majority-approved bill to go into effect on July 1. The proposal emerged Thursday after closed-door negotiations between the parties and Democratic Gov. Janet Mills over her proposed $10.3 billion, two-year budget. It prevents Republicans from using a state government shutdown as a negotiating tactic but preserves their negotiating clout for proposals to be considered later.
French President Emmanuel Macron condemns unrest at pension reform protests, says 'violence has no place in a democracy'
French President Emmanuel Macron condemns unrest at pension reform protests, says 'violence has no place in a democracy.'
King Charles III’s state visit to France has been postponed indefinitely amid widespread protests over President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms, putting a damper on the new monarch’s debut on the international stage. Charles will still travel to Germany on Wednesday in what was scheduled to be the second-leg of his first overseas trip since ascending the throne in September. The original six-day visit to France and Germany, the two biggest countries in the European Union, was designed to highlight efforts to rebuild relations between Britain and its neighbors after six years of squabbling over Brexit. But the prospect of Charles being confronted by protesters and piles of garbage in the streets of Paris forced officials in France and Britain to rethink their plans.
Key Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi has lost his parliamentary seat after a court found him guilty of defamation over his remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname and he was disqualified from the lawmaking body. A parliamentary statement said Friday that Gandhi, who represented a constituency in southern Kerala state, was disqualified from his membership in the lower house of Parliament from March 23, the date of his conviction. A court in the western Indian city of Surat sentenced Gandhi to two years in prison on Thursday. But he won’t go to jail immediately as the court granted him bail for 30 days to file an appeal against the verdict. Gandhi briefly visited the Parliament on Friday.
For years skateboarding was branded as a hobby for rebels or stoners in city streets, schoolyards and back alleys. Those days are long gone. Skateboarding, which has Indigenous roots connected to surfing, is an Olympic sport and boasts numerous competitions across the U.S and abroad. And on Friday, the U.S. Postal Service is issuing stamps that laud the sport — and what Indigenous groups have brought to the skating culture. The agency is debuting the “Art of the Skateboard" stamps at a Phoenix skate park, featuring designs from Indigenous artists. The stamps underscore the prevalence of skateboarding, especially in Indian Country where the demand for skate parks is growing.
House Republicans are pressing forward with a vote on a midterm campaign promise. The bill would give parents greater oversight of what is taught in public schools. Critics say it is a burdensome proposal that would fuel a far-right movement that has resulted in book bans. Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has made the Parents Bill of Rights Act a top priority during the early weeks of his tenure atop the House. It will be an early test of unity for House Republicans, who have a thin majority. Lawmakers have proposed a score of potential amendments to the bill, adding a degree of uncertainty to Friday’s vote.
Health experts proposed detailed plans for a gradual end to anti-virus controls, but the Chinese government rebuffed them and dropped restrictions in December with no preparations to cope with the chaotic aftermath, The Associated Press has found. Over a year ago, scientists called on authorities to begin preparations for reopening. But Beijing took none of the steps experts said were needed before dropping controls. Millions of older people weren’t vaccinated, and hospitals weren’t reinforced for a possible surge in cases. Experts and scientific models estimate China’s lack of preparation led to hundreds of thousands of deaths that could have been avoided.
Irma Reyes feels like she can’t wake up from nightmare. In a Texas case involving her daughter, prosecutors gave two men charged with sex trafficking a deal to walk free with five years’ probation. Reyes’ daughter was 16 when the men were accused of keeping her at a motel where men paid to have sex with the girl. Their cases are among thousands under a cloud of dysfunction at Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office. The Republican’s staff declined to answer questions about the cases. One of the men’s lawyer’s said his client would have been acquitted but trial was too risky. Reyes addressed the men in court, her voice breaking. Hundreds of miles away, her daughter struggles to cope. They’re both are still grasping for closure.
Saudi Arabia is in talks with Syria to reopen its embassy in the war-torn nation for the first time in a decade. That's according to a Saudi state television late Thursday. The development represents the latest diplomatic reshuffling in the region. The announcement on state TV comes after Chinese-mediated talks in Beijing saw Saudi Arabia and Iran agree to reopen embassies in each others’ nations after years of tensions. Syrian President Bashar Assad has maintained his grip on power in the Mediterranean nation rocked by the 2011 Arab Spring only with the help of Iran and Russia, which made a historic call earlier in the day to Oman.
As revelations that a defense witness was also an FBI informant roil the already contentious Capitol riot trial of members of the far-right Proud Boys group, prosecutors say the informant was never told to gather information about the defendants or their lawyers. An FBI agent says investigators ended their relationship with the informant after they learned this past January that the person had received a subpoena to testify. The revelation came Wednesday when a defense lawyer said in court papers that the defense was told by prosecutors that afternoon that the witness they were planning to call to the stand on the next day had been a government informant. The judge held a hearing on the issue Thursday.
New Mexico will build its first wildlife overpasses across highways to provide safe passage to free-roaming cougars, black bears, bighorn sheep and other creatures. It is also setting aside $100 million for conservation projects. Those two initiatives were signed into law Thursday by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Advocates for the initiatives say the state stands to capture millions of dollars in federal matching funds for wildlife crossings and an array of established conservation programs. Several hundred large animals are killed in New Mexico each year in road collisions that can also total cars and severely injure human passengers.
The Senate Ethics Committee is admonishing South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham for soliciting campaign contributions inside a federal building after a November 2022 Fox News interview in which he asked viewers to donate to a GOP candidate. Because Graham was in a Senate office building when he did the interview, the leaders of the ethics panel said, he violated Senate rules and standards of conduct. Coons and Lankford wrote that Graham solicited campaign contributions for Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s campaign committee “five separate times” during the interview. It is unclear if Graham could face any criminal penalties. He says he "will try to do better in the future.”
Two women who experienced life in Chinese “reeducation” camps for Uyghurs were among the witnesses as a special House committee focused on countering China shines a light on human rights abuses in the country. One witness told of Uyghur men and women being tortured. The other said detainees were subjected to “11 hours of brainwashing lessons on a daily basis.” The Chinese government has been widely condemned for alleged atrocities against Uyghur Muslims in its far western Xinjiang region. The allegations include genocide, forced sterilization and the mass detention of nearly 1 million Uyghurs. Beijing has denied the allegations.
A Native American tribe has retained its title to a portion of a national preserve in northern New Mexico following a yearslong court battle against the federal government. The 10th U.S. Circuit of Appeals issued a split ruling Wednesday in the case of Jemez Pueblo and the Valles Caldera National Preserve. The pueblo argued its aboriginal property rights were never extinguished despite a lower court ruling that found the U.S. government had clear title to the expansive preserve. The pueblo eventually narrowed its claims to our specific areas within Valles Caldera's boundaries. The court confirmed title to just one of those spots — Banco Bonito. The National Park Service has declined to comment on the ruling.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is determined to end the divisive crisis over his plan to overhaul the country's judiciary. But he gave no details on how he plans to do so and his opponents quickly rejected his pledge. He spoke Thursday after Israel's parliament passed the first of several laws that make up the contentious plan. The law would protect the Israeli leader from being deemed unfit to rule because of his corruption trial and claims of a conflict of interest. Protesters demonstrated again Thursday to raise alarm over what they see as the country’s descent toward autocracy.
Russia has issued a full-throated warning that the West risks further escalation in Ukraine after the British government announced it's providing depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine. Moscow falsely claims the munitions have nuclear components. The White House denounces Russia’s claims as disinformation. While depleted uranium is a byproduct of the uranium enrichment process needed to create nuclear weapons, it cannot generate a nuclear reaction. However, the rounds' radioactive properties do carry some risks. The U.N. nuclear watchdog has urged caution when handling the munitions and warns of possible dangers of exposure.
Georgia Republicans are shelving a plan to broaden state funding for private school tuition and home schooling vouchers, at least for now. They apparently lacked votes Thursday for passage in the state House after a long debate. The plan would give $6,500 educational vouchers to students who would otherwise attend low-performing public schools. The Georgia push is part of a nationwide GOP wave for what supporters call education savings accounts. Opponents say they will divert needed funding from public schools. Only children served by public schools in the lowest 25% of the state’s academic rating system could benefit under the Georgia measure.
President Joe Biden arrived in Canada on Thursday with a focus on big global issues. Two important areas of agreement already appear in hand: Canada will escalate its timeline for military upgrades to the North American Aerospace Defense Command, and the two nations will reach an agreement on migration. That's according to a senior Canadian official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Other issues on the agenda are the war in Ukraine, climate change and an increasingly assertive China and global trade. The Biden administration has made strengthening its friendship with Canada a priority over the past two years.
South Carolina's Republican-controlled Senate is moving to bar citizens of a “foreign adversary” from buying property in the state in an anti-espionage measure that critics fear will chill overseas investments over outsize concerns. The bill in question was approved Thursday by a 31-5 vote. It would apply to citizens of so-called adversary nations on a U.S. Department of Commerce list that currently includes China, Russia, Cuba, Iran and North Korea. Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey says those countries “have specifically given us reason to have more scrutiny and to be a little bit more concerned.” Democratic Sen. Dick Harpootlian questions the premise that a Chinese-owned company’s purchase of land equates to “establishing a nest of spies.”
WASHINGTON — Since former President Donald Trump predicted the Manhattan district attorney would indict him earlier this week on charges stemming from hush money payments he allegedly paid a porn star to cover up an affair, the 3D chess players among the Beltway’s punditry have breathlessly …
A Pennsylvania judge is dismissing a lawsuit filed by the Republican National Committee that had sought to prevent counties from helping voters ensure their ballots count by fixing minor, technical errors on mail-in ballot envelopes. The judge wrote Thursday that county courts, not a statewide court, have jurisdiction. Republicans had argued that state law prevents what is known as “ballot curing” and must be barred. Ballot curing has been practiced primarily by Democratic-leaning counties in Pennsylvania. It includes notifying voters that they forgot to do things like date or sign their mail-in ballot envelope and gives them the opportunity to fix it. The state's lawyers say no law bars it.
Four families have filed a federal lawsuit against Florida health officials. They're challenging the state’s prohibition against puberty-blocking hormones and gender-affirming surgeries for minors. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Tallahassee federal court against Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and the state boards of medicine and osteopathic medicine. It claims the ban violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution by singling out transgender minors and blocking them from obtaining medically necessary care for gender dysphoria. The anonymous plaintiffs are four mothers with transgender children. The families are asking the federal court to halt the policy while their case against it proceeds.