The Democrats walked out of the state House last night before the midnight deadline, leaving their Republican colleagues unable to vote on the measure, which among other things would have made it harder to vote by mail. Democrats say the bill would have particularly affected voters of color, and have likened it to Jim Crow laws, with President Joe Biden calling it “wrong and un-American.” Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer is planning to bring a measure to protect voting rights to the floor next month, but it has little chance of passing due to GOP opposition.
What do you think? Should Congress pass a federal law against voter restriction efforts? Vote here or on Twitter.
2. Netanyahu In Peril Amid New Israel Coalition Talks
It might be bye-bye Bibi. Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could soon be replaced. The leader of a small right-wing party said yesterday he was working toward a coalition deal with a centrist party to form a new government. Netanyahu failed to win a decisive majority in March elections, and now ultra-nationalist Naftali Bennett of the Yamina party could become premier if he joins the Yesh Atid party and others to form a coalition. Netanyahu slammed Bennett and warned that getting rid of him would destabilize the country. Formal agreements now need to be signed and then parliament has a week to vote on the arrangement.
3. Chinese Government to Allow Three-Child Families
No more “little emperors.” Having relaxed its strict one-child policy in 2016 to allow people to have two children, China today announced that couples can have three, as Beijing battles a population decline. State media reported President Xi Jinping had approved the change, which comes after the latest census showed China’s population growth had slowed to its lowest level in decades. The politburo said the relaxed rules would “maintain our country’s advantages in human resource endowments.” But users on Weibo didn’t show much enthusiasm for the change, with some saying they don’t want to have children at all.
Alcohol sales on delivery apps tripled last year in lockdown, compared to 2019, and the trend for takeaway booze seems here to stay. Companies like Grubhub and Uber Eats are hustling for the business, as are high-end restaurants and supermarkets. More than 30 states loosened rules about to-go drinks last year, some also allowing at-home delivery for drinks. Now many of the changes are becoming permanent. But there are critics of deliverable drinks, including those who worry it will make it easier for young people to get alcohol, and liquor store owners in New York state who are pushing for a return to the old rules.
Two people were killed in an attack on a Florida nightclub last night and more than 20 others injured after three shooters fired indiscriminately into the crowd. Scores of children have been abducted from a school in Nigeria after it was attacked by gunmen. And North Korea has slammed the U.S. for lifting restrictions on South Korea’s ability to build more powerful missiles.
Coronavirus Update: Over 400 U.S. colleges and universities have announced that students must be vaccinated in order to return to campus. Vietnam has started mass testing in Ho Chi Minh City amid a new coronavirus outbreak.
Alright, alright, alright — The Carlos Watson Show is excited to bring you a special episode with proud Texan and Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey. The Dazed and Confused actor reveals he is certainly not confused about a future in politics and shares insight into his process for writing his new book, Greenlights. Plus, hear him gush about wife Camila Alves and the family they have built together.
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They certainly look alien. NASA is sending 5,000 tardigrades — also called water bears — to the International Space Station this week. Why? Tardigrades are microscopic critters that can survive extreme radiation, freezing, boiling and can even go for days without oxygen. Researchers will study how they adapt to high stress environments and the implications of the health impacts of long-duration space travel for humans. The tardigrades will be joined on their trip by 128 glow-in-the-dark baby squid, which will be studied to see how space travel affects microbiomes and their animal hosts. SpaceX’s 22nd resupply mission is set to launch on Thursday.
Stetson has pulled its products from a hat store in Nashville, after the shop’s owner came under fire for selling anti-vaccine Star of David badges. HatWRKS advertised the badges on Instagram, saying they were selling for $5 and anti-vaccine trucker hats would be in store soon. The post led to some protests outside the shop over the weekend, with demonstrators holding signs with slogans such as, “Sell hats not hate.” HatWRKS’ owner has since removed the post and issued an apology saying it was not meant to trivialize the Holocaust, when Nazis forced Jews to wear Star of David patches.
3. Boris Johnson Marries in Secret Weekend Wedding
He didn’t appear to brush his trademark mop of messy hair for it, but British Prime Minister Boris Johnson got married to girlfriend Carrie Symonds in a secret wedding over the weekend. Johnson, 56, and 33-year-old Symonds, who have a 1-year-old son Wilfred, wed at Westminster Cathedral and then had a small party in the gardens of Number 10 Downing Street. The conservative leader, who is known for his gaffes and disheveled appearance, became the first prime minister to marry while in office in 199 years. The couple have delayed their honeymoon and the premier will be back at his desk today.
Turns out the Dark Side actually gets plenty of natural light. A home in Houston, Texas, nicknamed the “Darth Vader House” for its resemblance to the Star Wars villain’s space helmet, has gone on sale for $4.3 million. At that hefty price tag, it’s not enough that the force be with you, it’ll need to be with your bank account too. The ultra-modern-style house, built in 1992, has a sunken neon-lit lounge and massive windows as well as big lawns perfect for practicing your lightsaber skills. Whoever purchases the dark lord’s mansion is likely to have to contend with diehard fans of George Lucas’ films stopping by to take pictures.
5. Naomi Osaka Facing Disqualification For Avoiding Press
The Japanese tennis star was fined $15,000 after she refused to hold a press conference following her opening victory at the French Open on Sunday, and officials have warned she could be disqualified completely if she keeps up her media ban. The four-time Grand Slam winner and sports’ highest-earning female athlete said ahead of the tournament that she finds news conferences bad for her mental health and would therefore not be doing them, but the organizers say she has contractual media obligations. The world number two is set to play her second round against Romanian Ana Bogdan on Wednesday.
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