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Union Says NYC Congestion Pricing Plan ‘A Slap in the Face’

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA’s) board on March 27 voted 11–1 to set a controversial congestion toll that would charge motorists $15 to drive on Manhattan streets south of 60th Street, despite opposition from opponents who claim it will hurt blue-collar commuters and do damage to the city’s already struggling business community. Anger over the plan prompted several of the city’s largest municipal labor unions to join lawsuits in Manhattan federal court to block the $15 per charge, claiming it would crush the blue-collar workers most vital to the city. The head of the Transport Workers Union (TWU), John Samuelsen, told The Epoch Times that the $15 daily toll to enter Midtown or Lower Manhattan would do nothing to improve service as had been initially promised while also penalizing the lower and middle-class workers who depend on it the most. “I support congestion pricing, but as part of the plan, we were also supposed to see massive increases and improvements in mass transit that improve New York City, and they decided not to keep their part of the bargain,” said Mr. Samuelsen. “Absent the long ago promised expansive targeted increase in outer borough transit options, it’s a slap in the face to hundreds of thousands of blue-collar New Yorkers,” he added. Mr. Samuelsen said he had worked for the commission tasked with drafting the MTA’s toll proposal but resigned after officials rejected his demands to increase service on the agency’s express bus service. Among the promises made was an expansion of 24-hour-a-day express bus service, which is essential for many New Yorkers who don’t have access to reliable and timely transportation into Manhattan, according to Mr. Samuelsen. “We’re sick of people just trying to shove things through,” he added. New York’s controversial congestion pricing plan is set to kick off in mid-June after facing years of delays and lawsuits. The MTA has argued that the additional toll, which they claim would lower congestion on Manhattan streets, would fund $1 billion per year that would be used for upgrades to subways, commuter railroads, and bus systems and would also pay for modern computerized subway signals and new train cars. The plan would charge drivers $15 once per day during peak hours, while the overnight toll would be $3.75. Trucks would be charged $24 or $36 per day depending on their size, but would also pay lower rates during the overnight hours. David Mack, who represents Nassau County, was the only person who voted against the plan. He cautioned the board before the vote not to “kill the goose that lays the egg,” according to reports. However, this is only the latest critique of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has been under fire for her handling of the city’s transit system, where high crime rates have pushed many residents to opt out of public transportation. Earlier this month, the governor deployed 1,000 members of state law enforcement, including 750 National Guard members, to target transit crime and conduct bag searches after several recent violent incidents occurred throughout the city’s subway system. The move sparked bipartisan condemnation, including from New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. “Militarizing the subway with the National Guard and suggesting a wholesale ban on individuals from accessing public transportation are dangerous misuses of resources which could be better spent addressing these issues at their root,” Mr. Williams said in a statement. Earlier this month, the TWU placed a full-page ad in the New York Post, recruiting a primary challenger for the Democrat governor. Mr. Samuelsen says that Ms. Hochul needs to prioritize blue-collar New Yorkers. He claims the current plan is simply a revenue grab that will saddle already cash-strapped residents—especially those from the lower and middle classes—and that his group will ensure it comes at a political cost to Ms. Hochul. “I can promise you that it is going to hurt her politically,” said Mr. Samuelsen.

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Ahead of 2024 Election, Abortion Battles Heat Up Across Nation

Parents could be charged with child abuse if they prevent their minor daughter from getting an abortion, according to an Illinois law proposed by Democrat state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray. And the New Hampshire Legislature is wrestling with a proposal to ban abortion at 15 days gestation, effectively banning abortion in the state, where it is currently allowed up to 24 weeks. These recently introduced measures are just a few among a flood of proposals and changes triggered by the 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade, in which abortion regulation was sent back to the states. In November, voters in at least seven states will see abortion proposals on their ballots. Even in states where access to abortion isn’t on the ballot, voters may still cast votes for candidates who align with their beliefs on the issue. Immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, trigger laws in 13 states went into effect, completely banning or limiting abortions to very early pregnancy, with few exceptions. Last year, states without trigger laws, including Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina, enacted similar pro-life laws. Many states also enacted or proposed “safety net” legislation to help new and expectant mothers meet the demands of motherhood. Ohio state Sen. Sandra O’Brien, a Republican, introduced SB 159, a tax credit for donations to pregnancy centers. In Indiana, SB 98 identifies an unborn child as a dependent for tax purposes. The bill was sponsored by Republican state Sen. Andy Zay. Another Indiana safety-net bill would increase the Medicaid reimbursement rates for prenatal and postnatal care services. Then there’s Kentucky’s bipartisan “Momnibus” legislation, an omnibus bill offering tax credits for adoption, and tax credits and grants for pregnancy help centers. It includes provisions for mental health service, parenting classes, and online and home visits for new mothers without transportation. The pro-abortion movement is working hard to counter these actions, and is striving for legislation and ballot measures that allow for abortion up to birth in many cases. “You’re seeing a direct reaction from the other side that is panicking, based on the Dobbs decision,” Kelsey Pritchard, director of state public affairs at Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, told The Epoch Times. “They are running as fast as they can to unlimited abortion funded by the taxpayer. And they’ve gotten so extreme on the issue.” The bill compares a woman’s womb to rental property and reasons that in the surrogacy market, “a woman’s uterus is not unlike rental property, as a commissioning couple agrees to pay a gestational surrogate certain compensation for carrying a fetus to term and giving birth to a child.” It continues that since South Carolina may not constitutionally use a citizen’s rental property without just compensation, “it may not constitutionally require a woman to incubate a child without appropriate compensation.” The bill stipulates that after a baby’s heartbeat is detected, the mother would be automatically enrolled in public assistance programs including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and that those benefits could not be withdrawn until the child is 18. The bill would pay a nurse to provide home visits from early pregnancy through the child’s second birthday; costs associated with health, dental, and vision insurance for the child until the age of 18; and a fully funded South Carolina 529 College Savings Plan for the benefit of the child. If the woman has a miscarriage, she may sue the state for compensation and damages. In the case of an unmarried woman, the bill stipulates that if the biological father accrues more than $5,000 in child-support arrearage, he would be charged with a misdemeanor and, if convicted, could serve up to 3 years in prison. “The court may suspend any portion of the prison sentence if the man consents to a voluntary vasectomy and to payment of restitution to the woman in the amount of the child-support arrearages owed,” the bill reads. “I just want to make sure that those of us who call ourselves pro-life, that we are doing something to help the living, and my bill does that,” Ms. McLeod said in a February video posted on social media. “It also gives my colleagues who refer to themselves as pro-life an opportunity to prove it by investing in South Carolina’s women and girls, and making sure that they have the resources and support that they need.” Pro-life group South Carolina Citizens for Life opposes the legislation. “Comparing a woman’s uterus to rental property, and incentivizing men to have a vasectomy is really disturbing and vile language, and it’s intended to devalue members of our human family—born and waiting to be born,” Holly Gatling, the group’s executive director, told The Epoch Times. “The intent of this bill is to obfuscate the fact that we have a vast network of pregnancy-care centers in South Carolina … where women are given free health care … and diapers, formulas, job training, parenting classes, and assistance with getting back into a regular workforce and lifestyle by the time this baby is 2 years old,” she said. “So the bill is based on a false premise that we don’t do anything for mothers and babies after the child is born.” In Pennsylvania, Democrat lawmakers say they want to “facilitate safe abortion access,” by reversing a 2011 state law requiring abortion businesses to meet all the same regulations as ambulatory surgical facilities, including submitting to unannounced inspections. It means abortion clinics, which sometimes fail health inspections, would no longer have to be inspected. “Here in Pennsylvania, the pro-abortion extremism starts at the top with Gov. Josh Shapiro unilaterally eliminating the state contract for alternatives to abortion funding—a program that had bipartisan support and operated for 30 years under Republican and Democrat governors alike,” Michael Geer, president of Pennsylvania Family Institute, told The Epoch Times in an email. Mr. Shapiro often expresses support for abortions in social media posts. “Mifepristone will be available on the shelves in Pennsylvania,” he posted on March 1. “I’ll continue working to protect women’s access to abortion across this Commonwealth.” Mifepristone is a progesterone-blocking drug that causes women’s bodies to abort their baby outside a doctor’s office. “As long as I’m Governor, abortion will be safe, legal, and accessible here in Pennsylvania,” he posted on March 4. The Shapiro administration made available online a form solely for complaints against pregnancy resource centers. House Bill 2749 in Kansas would require abortionists to ask women why they are terminating their pregnancies and to rank their top reasons for seeking an abortion, including financial or health concerns, or pregnancy as result of rape or incest. In Oklahoma, where abortion is almost completely banned, House Bill 3013 would make trafficking abortion pills a felony, punishable by a $100,000 fine and/or 10 years in prison. In some states, voters may collect signatures to get an item on the state ballot. In other states, the legislature must vote to add an initiative to the ballot. In November 2023, nearly 58 percent of Ohio voters chose to write abortion into the state’s constitution. The measure allows women to “make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions, including but not limited to” decisions about abortion, contraception, fertility treatment, miscarriage care, and continuing pregnancy.” It allows the state to restrict abortion after fetal viability, except when necessary to protect the pregnant woman’s life or health. Voter turnout was high in Ohio for an off-year election with many turning out specifically for this issue. More ballot measures related to when women can or cannot get an abortion are set to appear in upcoming elections. States considering changes to their laws often take an all-or-nothing approach, either largely banning abortion or greatly expanding it. For example, abortion is banned in Arizona after 15 weeks, parental consent is required for a minor’s abortion, and a doctor must perform the abortion. But the “Arizona Right to Abortion Initiative” may appear on the state ballot, potentially adding to the state constitution the right to unlimited abortion up to the point of birth, removing safety standards at abortion clinics, eliminating the requirement that a medical doctor perform the abortion; and excluding parents of minors from the decision-making process. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona, Affirm Sexual and Reproductive Health, Arizona List, Healthcare Rising Arizona, Reproductive Freedom for All, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona are behind the initiative. The groups aim to collect signatures from 384,000 registered voters in an effort to get the initiative on the 2024 ballot. Several pro-life coalitions, including the Arizona Right to Life’s “It Goes Too Far” campaign, Moms for Arizona, the Center for Arizona Policy, and Students for Life of America are pushing back, trying to keep the measure off the ballot by encouraging people not to sign. The Catholic Church also is opposed to the initiative. “Millions of dollars from the pro-abortion industry are flooding into Arizona from out of state,“ a letter signed by four Arizona Catholic bishops reads. ”This includes paying workers to collect signatures in front of grocery stores and other public locations for an amendment to our State Constitution. We urge the citizens of Arizona not to sign or endorse this signature campaign.” The letter calls the measure’s language vague, and contends that even those who support abortion in limited instances may find the proposed constitutional amendment extreme. It was signed by Bishops John Dolan, Eduardo Nevares, James Wall, and Edward Weisenburger. “Younger women are fed all this propaganda. We are trying to lovingly engage in conversation, one person at a time,” Susan Haugland, a volunteer with Arizona Right to Life told The Epoch Times. “I just feel a strong moral responsibility to communicate the truth about the violent nature and abhorrence of abortion. Women need to know all the facts.” She said unborn babies feel pain, and women suffer emotionally after abortion. “In our society, we yell and scream if an animal is abused, and we do so much to protect the environment, but here we have a living, breathing, unique human being,” Ms. Haugland said. “While a woman may become pregnant—and it’s untimely, or she doesn’t have support—it’s a big fallacy that people are doomed if they’re pregnant, and there’s no other way. That’s not true anymore. Women are more powerful and more capable than they’ve ever been … and there are people like me and many, many others all over the country, stepping up willing to help.” Arizona and other states are considering allowing non-physicians, such as nurse practitioners, to perform certain abortions, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Abortion activists in Arkansas seek to enshrine abortion in the state constitution, but state Attorney General Tim Griffin has twice rejected their wording on the ballot question, including the name of the measure, the “Arkansas Reproductive Healthcare Amendment.” In a November 2023 letter, Mr. Griffin said the name is tinged with partisan coloring, and is misleading because the proposal is solely related to abortion, not ‘reproductive healthcare’ generally. He also took issue with using the term “access” instead of “abortion services.” If Mr. Griffin approves the wording of the proposed state constitutional amendment, supporters must collect 90,700 signatures from registered voters by July 5 to qualify the initiative for the November ballot. A coalition of pro-abortion groups in Florida are seeking a constitutional amendment allowing elective abortions until birth. This would be a drastic change from Florida’s current law banning abortion at 15 weeks and requiring women to go to the abortion clinic twice, once for in-person counseling and a second time at least 24 hours later for the abortion. The new measure in Florida would cut counseling out of the equation. The new ballot measure, Amendment 4, is being driven by “Floridians Protecting Freedom,” which is a cooperative effort including the ACLU of Florida, Florida Rising, Planned Parenthood, Florida Women’s Freedom Coalition, Women’s Voices of Southwest Florida. and the union 1199 SEIU (United Healthcare Workers East). The language of the proposed ballot measure is being challenged. Abortion activists seem to oppose pre-abortion counseling, cutting it out of proposed legislation. In Missouri, there is also controversy around the language of a potential state constitutional amendment. Some proposals would allow abortion up to when the baby is viable outside the womb, while others would allow abortion up until the moment of birth. “Out-of-state extremists pushing Big Abortion’s agenda are intent on using the initiative petition process to reverse all of the pro-life work our state has undertaken to protect the dignity of life, safety of women, and parental rights.” Stephanie Bell, a spokeswoman for Missouri Stands With Women, said in a statement. “We are united in our efforts to ensure these out-of-state extremists are not allowed to tear the fabric of our constitution by placing [sic] unregulated, taxpayer-funded abortions up to the moment of birth, effectively overriding all Missouri’s pro-life laws.” Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, states have enacted more than 1,000 bills related to abortion, according to the NCSL. Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen blocked abortion activists’ efforts to put unlimited abortion on the ballot. In a Jan. 16 memo, Mr. Knudsen said the proposed ballot measure from Planned Parenthood Advocates of Montana violates the Montana Constitution by adding multiple choices into one initiative. Nebraska’s law currently allows abortion throughout the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, but Planned Parenthood Advocates of Nebraska wants abortion to be legal up to 23 weeks, or when a baby is viable outside a womb.It is being argued in the state Supreme Court. A South Dakota ballot measure known as “Restore Roe v. Wade” would amend the state constitution to prevent the state from regulating abortion up to 13 weeks of pregnancy, then would allow the state to regulate abortion thereafter “only in ways that are reasonably related to the physical health of the pregnant woman.” But the pro-abortion movement in South Dakota is contentious. Some say it does not go far enough, and the largely Republican legislature is not in favor of the proposal, which requires 35,000 signatures to get on the ballot. Organizers have said in recent media reports that they have 50,000 signatures. Similar ballot measures have been discussed in Idaho, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Maine, but have yet to materialize, Ms. Pritchard said. “In Idaho specifically, abortion activists are engaged in a PR campaign to mislead Idahoans, attempting to pin rural health care access problems on the state’s pro-life law and imply women cannot receive emergency care when pregnant,” she said. A ballot measure to change the South Carolina Constitution has been floated, but it has not gained traction, Ms. Gatling said. “[South Carolina] can expect to see efforts by the abortion industry, and their collaborators in our government, attempt again next year to get a ballot measure. But right now, with the rules that we have, it’s certainly not going anywhere this year.”

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Woman shares delicious stuffed crumpet recipe perfect for quick breakfast snack

A woman has shared a fabulous trick to leveling up your crumpets in the morning as a quick and hearty breakfast snack. The woman, who goes by @emilyscooking_ on TikTok, shared the recipe to her ‘stuffed crumpets’ on her page which garnered almost 10,000 views in just 36 hours. The woman wrote in the caption: “Who likes crumpets? “I did this last year but with a different filling, you have to give it a go, it’s a game changer! By making it this way you can add fillings inside and on the top. I used butter, cheddar, baked beans, some herbs and spices but you can choose whatever you like.” In the short eight-second video, the TikTokker began by cutting the crumpet open then spreading it with butter. She then placed a couple of slices of cheese in and a spoonful of beans and also placed some cheese over the top as well. She then sprinkled some herbs and spices over the top and placed it into the air fryer to cook. It came out as a melting sandwich of cheese and beans hidden inside a toasty crumpet. The woman added in her caption: “I cooked mine in the air fryer at 180°C for about 5-10 minutes, it depends how many you put it. You can cook it in the oven too!” Viewers flocked to the comments section to share their opinion on this new breakfast hack as one wrote: “Once saw a colleague make crumpets w/ beans & cheese. I thought I’d try it, it was decent to be fair.” Another said: “Messing with crumpets now BUT I like it a lot.” A third added: “Oooh that look interesting. Never thought of cutting them in half etc defo a must try.” A fourth noted: “Never thought to open them up, genius.” Another added: “That’s an idea, 100% I will try this. maybe not with the beans but cheese and butter yes!” Join the Daily Record’s WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages.

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Gogglebox star George Gilbey dies age 40 after ‘accident

Gogglebox star George Gilbey has died at the age of 40. The reality TV star – who starred in Celebrity Big Brother and Channel 4’s Gogglebox – is believed to have passed away on Wednesday afternoon. Former Georgie Shore star Ricci Guarnaccio was one of the first to pay tribute to George, sharing a collection of pictures of himself and George on social media, reports the Mirror. He captioned the pictures on Twitter (X): “Breaks my [heart] but @georgegilbey you are well and truely going to be missed my friend. Always lit up the room, cared for others & the memories we made I’ll cherish for ever brother. From CBB to speaking to you last week, I’m going to hugely miss you ma boiii! Love you G.” Ricci’s tribute to George on social media sparked some confusion, with many Instagram users noting George’s account was posting on Instagram Stories minutes on from Ricci announcing his death. Clarifying things on Twitter, Ricci wrote: “Spoke with his sister, happened early of hours of this morning. Accidental death. They don’t know who it is posting on his socials.” George was famed for his time on the sofa with his mum and step-dad on Gogglebox. He became a fan favourite when he joined the Channel 4 show in its second series in 2013. The family from Essex left the show in 2014, with George entering the Celebrity Big Brother house that same year – reaching the final. In 2016, George, along with Linda and Pete McGarry, returned to Gogglebox, much to the delight of many telly viewers. Get the latest celebrity gossip and telly news sent straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily Showbiz newsletter here.

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Brendan Rodgers Rangers ban means Celtic double whammy that Parkhead favourite fears will fuel conspiracy crackpots

Brendan Rodgers being banned from the touchline against Rangers will result in a Celtic double whammy to fuel the conspiracy theorists. That’s according to Peter Grant, who is predicting that Rodgers’ absence from the touchline will see imaginations run wild ahead of the Parkhead boss’ tribunal hearing. He’s up in front of the Hampden beaks on Thursday after being taken to task for his comments regarding officials following the champions 2-0 defeat to Hearts at the start of the month. Rodgers was left raging after Yang’s yellow card for a high boot on Alex Cochrane was upgraded to a red by Don Robertson after being urged to take a second look by VAR John Beaton at Tynecastle. And his mood hardly improved when Tomoki Iwata was penalised by VAR for a dubious handball that allowed Jorge Grant put to the hosts ahead from the spot. Rodgers said afterwards that the two officials had cost his team the game and called their competence into question. He’ll have to explain himself at the National Stadium this week, but will have hotshot lawyer Nick De Marco – dubbed the “Lionel Messi of sports law” by his side. The Celtic boss could face a fine and two game ban, which would see him confined to the stands for Sunday’s home clash with Livingston then the title showdown at Ibrox next week. However, it could be a shorter ban or just a fine, while the option to appeal is open to Rodgers. It would then depend on when that appeal is heard if he can lead the champions into their rivals’ backyard. And Grant reckons some theories area lready being cooked up should Rodgers be handed a touchline suspension for the trip across the city, which again will have no away fans in attendance. He told Go Radio: “If Brendan Rodgers misses the Rangers game for whatever reason, you know what people are going to be saying. You know it’s going to be making a mockery of Scottish football. “In respect of that, you;re going there without fans and your manager (on the touchline). You know the conspiracy theorists everybody talks about? That will be building up. You know what everyone will be talking about if Brendan is banned for that game where the away supporters are already away from it.”

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Falkirk Council orders fact-finding review into ‘lost’ report that highlighted safety fears for Bo’ness swimming pool

A ‘fact-finding’ review will look at how a Falkirk Council report from 2019 – which seemed to highlight major concerns about the dangerous state of Bo’ness Recreation Centre – was overlooked. The issue was raised at F alkirk Council today (Wednesday) by Independent councillor Brian McCabe, who said he was very concerned to hear about a report, written in 2019, which highlighted safety fears about the condition of Bo’ness Recreation Centre’s swimming pool. The report was written when the centre was managed by Falkirk Community Trust and it was discovered this year by council officers who had not been aware of its existence. Read more: Falkirk Council facing questions over ‘unacceptable closure’ of Bo’ness centre The 2019 report stated: “In view of the hazard to the public and the increased risk caused by the weakened corner of the structure, it is my opinion that the swimming pool should be closed and drained as soon as possible.” Director of Place, Malcolm Bennie, told members he shared concerns such a major report could have been overlooked and said he had referred the matter to the council’s Internal Audit team to look into the circumstances. “I’m as interested as you are to find out what happened,” he told councillors. At the meeting, Cllr McCabe called for council officers to undertake a full audit of all of properties that had previously been managed by the Trust, in case similar problems had been overlooked. But the SNP administration said the council has recently undertaken condition reports on all of its properties as part of its ongoing strategic property review and across other major buildings. The SNP group’s deputy leader, Cllr Paul Garner, said these surveys were already identifying issues and a further audit was not required. Cllr McCabe was reminded by Provost Robert Bissett he could not revisit the decision to close Bo’ness Rec, which was made by councillors in February. But the Denny and Banknock councillor said while he accepted that, in his opinion members had not been given the full facts to make the decision. Mr Bennie, said he agreed there was something “concerning about the Bo’ness Recreation Centre” and that was why he had asked for an internal fact-finding exercise. But he said the request for the audit Cllr McCabe was making was unnecessary as the council had already undertaken substantial condition survey reports. A new audit, he said, “would not make our buildings any safer than they are now”. The director said it was important to note the most recent condition survey for the Bo’ness Rec had identified the same concerns presented in the 2019 report. “That surely evidences that the condition survey process is effective in highlighting problems with the building,” he said. Mr Bennie added it was important for councillors not to pre-judge what has happened. “It’s really important that we wait for the fact-finding exercise to finish to identify what the problem was to find the solution,” he said. Independent Bo’ness councillor Ann Ritchie said she was supporting the call for an audit as she was “really worried that there are other issues due to us not maintaining our facilities”. Cllr Ritchie also supported her colleague Laura Murtagh’s bid to find a compromise, although this did not succeed. Cllr Ritchie said: “The people of Bo’ness and Blackness need answers. “All our communities need to know why this has happened to make sure it doesn’t happen in any other ward.” The SNP leader of the council, Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn, commended the officers who had come across the information for bringing it to the attention of elected members and said they should now allow the internal audit process to be followed. The call for a full audit got just five votes, with the Labour group abstaining and the Conservatives supporting the SNP position. For more Falkirk stories, sign up to our newsletter here.

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Lawsuit Challenges New Jersey’s Corrupt Primary System

Column A is a symbol of New Jersey’s notoriously un-democratic Democratic Party primary. Under the “county line” system, party bosses in each county get to choose which candidates show up in the first column of primary ballots, then urge members to “vote Column A, all the way.” Both parties in all but two counties use this system for primaries. Because New Jersey is a safe blue state, putting a Democrat in Column A is basically coronating them for office. “Column A, all the way” has even become a slogan that politicians use to shout down protesters. But the county line system may soon become a relic of the past. Sen. Bob Menendez (D–N.J.) is facing corruption charges, leaving his seat up for grabs. Rep. Andy Kim, one of the Democratic candidates to replace him, is suing county clerks across the state to have the primary ballot redesigned. Congressional candidates Carolyn Rush and Sarah Schoengood have also joined the lawsuit. Over the weekend, Kim’s main Democratic rival Tammy Murphy dropped out of the Senate primary, and county bosses across the state endorsed Kim, setting up his name to be in Column A. The Burlington County Clerk then implied in a Monday court filing that the lawsuit should be thrown out, since “lead Plaintiff Andy Kim will hold the ballot position this very lawsuit alleges is unconstitutional in every county in the state that utilizes this design.” Kim, Rush, and Schoengood have vowed to press on with their case. In a letter to the court filed on Tuesday night, Kim’s lawyers said that he will accept the Column A endorsements but “all Plaintiffs have requested and continue to request” that the system be abolished altogether. “The clerks’ county line primary ballots county line primary ballots continue to violate constitutional rights of all three candidates who are suing, as well as the voters’ rights,” the plaintiffs’ lawyers said in a separate statement to Politico. “New Jersey cannot tolerate one more unconstitutional election.” An expert report submitted to the court by Princeton University neuroscience professor Samuel S.-H. Wang noted that the ballot design is a “powerful force to steer voter behavior towards specific choices.” Just looking at a sample ballot in the report is enough to explain why. Surprisingly, the New Jersey state government appears to agree. Attorney General Matt Platkin said that the county line system was “unconstitutional,” adding that he would not defend it in court. The story of this primary race is the story of a clown car of Democratic Party corruption skidding off the road and crashing. The Senate primary opened up after Menendez was indicted in 2023 for taking bribes—including gold bars and a Mercedes—to benefit patrons from Egyptian military intelligence officers and a Qatari-linked real estate developer to a local businessman accused of loan fraud. It was the second time in a decade that Menendez was charged with corruption. After he was acquitted of bribe-taking charges in 2017, the Democratic Party allowed Menendez to keep his prestigious committee assignments. But this time around, Democrats quickly turned against him, demanding that he resign immediately. Menendez refused. Tammy Murphy, the wife of Gov. Phil Murphy, stepped in to run for Menendez’s seat. Democratic county chairs across the state, many of whom rely on the governor for funding, immediately endorsed her. Murphy’s rivals fired back with what The New York Times called “nonstop claims of nepotism.” The governor accused his wife’s rivals of sexism. “I bet you if she were my husband it would be a different story,” he told the radio station WNYC. But as polls showed Kim beating her by 12 points or more, Murphy dropped out of the race. Menendez, meanwhile, has turned against the Democratic leadership that used to guarantee his seat. An hour after Murphy announced her candidacy, Menendez accused her husband of “a blatant maneuver at disenfranchisement” and said that “they believe they have to answer to nobody.” More recently, Menendez has threatened to run as an independent. “I will not file for the Democratic primary this June,” he said in a March 21 video. “I am hopeful that my exoneration will take place this summer, and allow me to pursue my candidacy as an independent Democrat in the general election.” In a final twist of fate, the lawsuit against the party establishment might benefit Menendez’s attempted return to power. “If the primary ballot access ballot format is held unconstitutional, it should be possible to get reform for the general election ballot format also,” noted Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News, in a recent article. Bucking the party bosses might become easier for everyone—even the party bosses themselves.

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State Employer’s Requiring Employees to Watch “Antiracist”/”Gender Identity” Videos Isn’t Unconstitutional Speech Compulsion

“To establish a prima facie case of retaliation, an employee must show that he engaged in protected activity; he suffered a materially adverse action that would deter a reasonable employee from making a charge of employment discrimination; and there is a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action.” … If the employee establishes a prima facie case at summary judgment or trial, the burden shifts to the employer to articulate a legitimate, non-retaliatory reason for its action. If the employer meets this burden, the burden shifts back to the employee to provide evidence of pretext…. Regardless of whether Aaron satisfied the technical requirements of the qualifications, he alleged that he had worked at DHS for nine years and had been previously considered for positions with the same required qualifications in the past. Aaron alleged that he met the qualifications …, that he was declined an interview after he filed his EEOC charge, and that DHS deviated from its past practice in choosing not to interview him. His complaint is sufficient to raise a plausible inference of discrimination. His claim is further bolstered by the timing, as only three weeks elapsed between the protected conduct and the adverse action…. DHS’s deviation from its past practice, the proximity between the protected activity and the adverse employment action, Aaron’s strong employment record and his qualifications, and DHS’s failure to offer him an interview despite his eligibility [also] give rise to an inference of religious discrimination. The district court gave too much weight to whether Aaron established the existence of similarly situated comparators because courts generally do not inquire about comparators until the “pretext stage” of the inquiry, which arises at summary judgment….

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ہائیکورٹ ججز کا خط، وزیراعظم کل چیف جسٹس سے ملاقات کریں گے

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The latest front in the abortion wars: South Dakota makes a big change

South Dakota became the first state in the nation to end the confusion about the ability of doctors to provide emergency care to pregnant women, which is allowed under every pro-life bill in the country. Gov. Kristi Noem signed the nation’s first so-called “Med Ed” bill that proponents say will protect the health and safety of pregnant women and push back against abortion misinformation confusing some doctors about when they can perform an emergency abortion to save a life. The bipartisan bill aims to educate medical professionals in South Dakota about the state’s life at conception law, including the ability of doctors to provide emergency care to pregnant women, which is protected under every pro-life law in the country. HB 1224 will “require the creation of an informational video and other materials describing the state’s abortion law and medical care for a pregnant woman experiencing life-threatening or health-threatening medical conditions,” the legislation states. The educational materials will be available as direct education for doctors and be established through the state’s Department of Health. DEMOCRAT WINS ALABAMA SPECIAL ELECTION CONSIDERED BELLWETHER ON IVF, ABORTION BEFORE NOVEMBER Using both the expertise of medical professionals and legal experts, the Med Ed bill will allow the state to directly refute misinformation, including what actions do and do not constitute an abortion, the most common medical conditions that threaten the life or health of a pregnant woman, the generally accepted standards of care in the treatment of a pregnant woman experiencing life-threatening or health-threatening medical conditions and the criteria a doctor should use to determine the best course of treatment for a pregnant woman. Kelsey Pritchard, state public affairs director for SBA Pro-Life America, celebrated the victory for South Dakota moms, thanking Gov. Noem for making South Dakota the first state to protect women’s lives with a Med Ed law. ABORTION PILL USE HAS SPIKED IN RECENT YEARS, NEW REPORT REVEALS: ‘SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE’ “Regardless of political affiliation or whether someone is pro-life or pro-choice, South Dakotans of all philosophies can celebrate that moms will be better protected through direct education to our doctors on their ability to exercise reasonable medical judgment in all situations,” she said. “Though every state with a pro-life law allows pregnant women to receive emergency care, the abortion industry has sown confusion on this fact to justify their position of abortion without limits,” she added. “With many in the media refusing to fact-check this obvious lie, other states should look to South Dakota in combatting dangerous abortion misinformation.” The bill’s sponsor, Republican state Rep. Taylor Rehfeldt, told Fox News Digital that getting the Med Ed legislation passed was the highest priority for her this session. “As a nurse who had three children after suffering a stroke, I understand the stress of navigating high-risk pregnancies,” she said. “Under South Dakota’s pro-life law, doctors’ ability to treat pregnant women who experience an emergency has not changed.” “The Med Ed law protects women’s lives by educating health professionals and creating clarity for the public on our state’s ‘life of the mother’ provision,” she added. GOP SEN BLASTS BIDEN ADMIN CLAIMING ABORTION TRAVEL POLICY IS ESSENTIAL TO MILITARY READINESS The bill passed overwhelmingly in the state legislature with only one instance of opponent testimony, according to SBA Pro Life America’s press release. The only group that publicly spoke out against the bipartisan legislation was the ACLU of South Dakota. “Doctors don’t need legal explainers about the best course of treatment. They need to be able to do their jobs without political interference,” Samantha Chapman, ACLU of South Dakota advocacy manager, said, according to a press release. “A video is not and should never be a substitute for a doctor’s medical education, experience and relationship with their patient.” “But in South Dakota, the lives of pregnant people experiencing life – and health-threatening conditions are at risk while hospital lawyers attempt to interpret the law into what kind of medical care doctors can provide for them,” she said. “Ultimately, House Bill 1224 does nothing to directly address the issue that is really risking the lives of pregnant patients: South Dakota’s abortion ban. Instead, House Bill 1224 gives anti-abortion activists a guise to appear to care about pregnant patients while actually passing legislation that further enshrines anti-abortion cruelty.” CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP The Med Ed bill will serve as model legislation for other pro-life states across the country and the move by South Dakota comes at the same time that the Texas Medical Board is seeking to clarify a “life of the mother” provision currently included in state law. Other states have taken similar steps administratively, including Oklahoma and Kentucky, where attorneys general have issued advisory opinions.

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