More police officers in the U.S. died in 2021 than any other year officer fatalities have been recorded, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
From Jan. 1 to Dec. 28, 2021, 358 active duty officers died. That’s compared to 296 over the same time period last year, the Memorial Fund reports. Fire-arms related deaths were up 31%; traffic-related deaths were up 30%.
Last year’s numbers were significant because officer deaths in 2020 were the second-highest the Memorial Fund recorded since 1930, when 312 officers died. Read More
In 1972, three black men, Melvin Cale, Louis Moore, and Henry D. Jackson, Jr., hijacked Southern Airways Flight 49, demanding $10 million and safe passage to Cuba. The hijacking lasted nearly 30 hours and involved multiple stops throughout the United States, Canada, and eventually, Cuba. In the process of negotiating with the FBI, the hijackers threatened to ram their aircraft, a Douglas DC-9, into the High Flux Isotope Reactor in Oak Ridge, Tennessee if their demands weren’t met.
Until that point, American airlines had resisted installing metal detectors in airports, worried that treating Americans like common criminals to board a plane would wreck their burgeoning industry. But that threat of nuclear attack, and the 130 other hijackings between 1968 and 1972, convinced the government to take a stand at last. In 1973, the FAA used its bureaucratic and administrative powers to make passenger screening mandatory. In 1974, Congress validated the requirement, ignoring passenger rights’ groups that protested the intrusive screening of luggage and persons in order to board aircraft. Read More
Over half of the states in the U.S. will institute a minimum wage increase in 2022, according to a report.
A total of 26 states will raise the minimum wage in 2022, with 22 of the states starting the pay hikes on Jan. 1, accordingto payroll experts at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
“These minimum wage increases indicate moves toward ensuring a living wage for people across the country,” Deirdre Kennedy, senior payroll analyst at Wolters Kluwer, said in the report. “In addition to previously approved incremental increases, the change in presidential administration earlier this year and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have also contributed to these changes.” Read More
The price of gasoline is set to increase to $4 per gallon or more within five months, according to an industry analysis released Tuesday.
The gas price surge is forecasted to take place by Memorial Day in late May, according to the report from GasBuddy, an app that tracks pump prices, and shared with CNN. But the analysis said the average cost of gasoline at pumps nationwide would then fall throughout the summer and fall of 2022, declining below current prices.
“We could see a national average that flirts with, or in a worst-case scenario, potentially exceeds $4 a gallon,” Patrick De Haan, the director of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told CNN. Read More
Homeless encampments have begun cropping up near schools throughout the city of Los Angeles, even despite a citywide ban on any such encampments near public areas, as reported by the Epoch Times.
The Los Angeles City Council had previously passed a new resolution, Ordinance 41.18, which was signed into law by Mayor Eric Garcetti (D-Calif.), forbidding any such homeless camps from being set up within 500 feet of “sensitive-use” areas, including schools, daycares, libraries, and parks. The ordinance also banned such camps from forming near freeway overpasses and underpasses, ramps, tunnels, and bridges.
But in order for the ordinance to be enforced, each individual district’s councilmember must introduce a motion to do so, which then must be approved by the council. As such, homeless encampments have begun sprouting up near schools in the Venice Beach neighborhood, which falls under District 11; that district is represented by Councilman Mike Bonin (D-Calif.), who has a history of refusing to enforce anti-homeless measures for other districts, and has not yet introduced any such measures to protect his own district. Read More
After a Chinese student at Purdue University spoke out against the Chinese Communist Party, fellow Chinese students at the American school allegedly threatened to report him to China for espionage.
Zhihao Kong told ProPublica that after he posted a letter condemning the Tiananmen Square Massacre, China’s Ministry of State Security began threatening him and his family.
“His family back home, in this case China, was visited and threatened by agents of that nation’s secret police,” President Mitch Daniels said in an email published by the Purdue Exponent. Read More
Iowa Department of Public Health is conducting interviews for the state medical director and epidemiologist position vacated last October by Dr. Caitlin Pedati.
DPH Public Information Officer Sarah Ekstrand told The Center Square in an emailed statement Oct. 25 that the department was in the process of filling the position and would provide an update when the details were finalized. Read More
Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty Wednesday on five of the six charges related to sex trafficking.
The British socialite faced six charges related to sex trafficking. She was convicted by the 12-person jury on all counts except for the second one. Read More
Just as it did last year, the most dangerous pandemic in a century spawned all sorts of junk science in 2021, running the gamut from pure quackery to ideology-fueled misinformation. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to spot junk science, especially when it’s disguised in techno-babble or parroted by governments, doctors, or other traditionally trusted sources. This sneakiness, combined with the unprecedented stress of a novel, highly-infectious disease, makes almost anyone prone to falling for BS.
To help identify junk science in the future, it’s useful to showcase junk science from the present and past. Here are six of the worst examples from this year:
6. Star NFL Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Was ‘Immunized’ Against COVID-19 With Homeopathy. Through much of the NFL season, Green Bay Packers starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers led reporters and fans to believe that he had been vaccinated against COVID-19. But when Rodgers was diagnosed with the illness in early November, it was revealed that he had not in fact been vaccinated, but rather had been ‘immunized’ with a homeopathic remedy. Homeopathy is a ridiculous, utterly disproven pseudoscience based on the magical notions that “like cures like” and that water can ‘remember’ the essence of a substance. Furthermore, according to practitioners, diluting a substance down to infinitesimal, often nonexistent amounts actually makes the homeopathic remedy stronger. In keeping with this fairytale logic, Rodgers likely imbibed a homeopathic potion (essentially just water) that before dilution may have had some sort of virus in it, and claimed that it raised his antibody levels, rendering him ‘immunized’. It’s utter nonsense. Read More
French officials have closed a mosque following an imam’s sermons “targeting Christians, homosexuals and Jews.”
France Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said two weeks ago that he was starting the process of closing the Great Mosque of Beauvais, in the northern French region of Oise, and gave it two weeks to respond, according to the British Broadcasting Corp. Read More
A new survey suggests that at least half of Americans fall for a number of sleep myths, some of them quite damaging for sleep health.
Assistant Teaching Professor Elizabeth Pantesco and Associate Professor Irene Kan, both in the Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Villanova University, spearheaded the research, which was recently published to the journal Sleep Health.
The duo surveyed 1,120 adults residing in the United States via CloudResearch’s Prime Panels. Participants were queried about their demographics, then asked whether they agreed or disagreed with twenty statements about sleep, for example, “Watching television in bed is a good way to relax before sleep” and “For sleeping, it is better to have a warmer bedroom than a cooler bedroom.” Unbeknownst to them, the statements were all widely recognized as myths by sleep experts. Read More
Former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will not face any charges over alleged inappropriate conduct investigated by the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, according to an announcement Tuesday.
The decision came after a “thorough” investigation into allegations made by two women against Cuomo, according to the announcement. Both women accused the former governor of kissing them without their consent.
“Our investigation found credible evidence to conclude that the alleged conduct in both instances described above did occur,” the announcement said. Read More
On Tuesday, a district court judge ruled against the state of Oklahoma in its effort to block the coronavirus vaccine mandate for members of the state’s National Guard, The Hill reports.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot explained his reasoning in a 29-page ruling, in which he rejected a motion filed by Governor Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.) and Attorney General John O’Connor (R-Okla.) to indefinitely block the mandate; Judge Friot claimed that the plaintiffs’ claim was “without merit.”
“The court is required to decide this case on the basis of federal law, not common sense,” said Friot in his ruling. “But, either way, the result would be the same. The claims asserted by the Governor and his co-plaintiffs are without merit.” Read More
St. Louis and Jackson Counties are appealing to the Missouri Court of Appeals a circuit court judge’s declaration that all state and local COVID health orders are unconstitutional, null and void.
On Nov. 22, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green delivered an 18-page ruling stating all state and local health departments cannot issue orders, close businesses, quarantine students, and stated parts of Missouri’s Code of State Regulations pertaining to the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) violated the state constitution. St. Louis and Jackson Counties filed motions to appeal the ruling within the prescribed 30-day window. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt stated he would not appeal the ruling, despite the DHSS’ “apparent wish to appeal,” according to the appeal. However, Judge Green on Dec. 22 denied all pending motions. Read More
U.S. home prices surged in October as the housing market remains strong after the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a key economic indicator.
Home prices climbed 18.4% in October compared to one year earlier, a deceleration from a 19.1% year-over-year increase in September, according to the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Index. Experts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected the index would grow 18.6% in November.
All 20 cities included in the index posted double-digit annualized gains. Phoenix saw a 32.3% increase, Tampa Bay, Florida, grew 28.1% and Miami increased 25.7%, according to the report. Read More
A CNN producer who was busted by Project Veritas for sending lewd text messages to a woman about his now ex-fiancée’s underage daughter is no longer with the media outlet.
“Rick Saleeby does not work for CNN. He resigned from his position two weeks ago,” CNN’s Head of Strategic Communications Matt Dornic confirmed Wednesdays to The Virginia Star. Read More
Michigan’s independent redistricting commission voted to adopt the state’s new congressional map Tuesday afternoon, with five of the 13 new districts being potentially competitive as both parties fight for control of the House.
The new map creates competitive seats along Lake Michigan, around the state capital and in metro Detroit. President Joe Biden would have won seven of the districts in 2020, while former President Donald Trump would have won six, according to David Wasserman, a senior editor at the Cook Political Report.
Despite Biden’s narrow edge on the new map, incumbent Democratic Reps. Elissa Slotkin, Dan Kildee and Andy Levin could be forced to run in very competitive seats as their party faces political headwinds ahead of the 2022 midterms. Republican Rep. Peter Meijer may also face a contentious race in 2022, as his current Grand Rapids-based 3rd district was put into a new district that Biden would have won by nine points in 2020, Wasserman said. Read More