Iowa Awards Two-Thirds of Strengthening Communities Grants to YMCA or YWCA Projects

Kids at a table, wearing masks, with teacher who is wearing a mask

Projects in the rural communities of Clinton, Hampton, Keokuk, Lake City, Maquoketa, Red Oak and Stanton will all together receive $250,000 in Strengthening Communities grants, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced Thursday.

The Iowa legislature appropriated funding for the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund for the Strengthening Communities grants. The grants support communities of fewer than 28,000 residents (based on the 2010 Census) that are renovating facilities or undertaking construction projects that promote “youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.” Organizations must present a minimum of 50% of the grant amount they request. The funding must be secured, dedicated to eligible expenses, raised through public and private funding (not including state funding), and be spent between 2022 and 2024.

The funding will support the following projects:

$65,000 for the YWCA in Clinton’s reconfiguration of childcare spaces and youth classrooms to expand capacity and improve efficiency to help increase child care accessibility and provide a safe environment.

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Operation Lone Star Border Security Efforts Get Additional $38.4 Million In Funding

An additional $38.4 million of Texas taxpayer money has been allocated to fund border security efforts at the Texas-Mexico border. It’s money Texas shouldn’t have to spend, Gov. Greg Abbott said, but is because of President Joe Biden’s open border policies that have ushered into the state rampant trafficking of drugs, people and crime.

The money will provide additional funding for Operation Lone Star, which Abbott launched in March and go towards law enforcement, jail operations, and court administration costs. It brings the total PSO funding for Operation Lone Star to $74 million to date designed to assist border cities and counties.

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Report: Biden Considering $450,000 Payments to Illegal Immigrant Families Separated at Border

The Biden administration is considering paying illegal immigrant families who were separated at the border under former President Donald Trump’s policies up to $450,000 per person, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The illegal immigrants filed a lawsuit claiming the federal government detention resulted in major psychological trauma, according to the WSJ. Most of the families were made up of one parent and child who could receive around $1 million in payouts, though the amount could vary by family depending on the circumstances.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) represents some of the families involved in the lawsuit against the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services, the WSJ reported. Around 940 families filed claims and the number of those who might qualify for the settlement is expected to be lower.

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Commentary: The Movement of Black Lives Matter

If Black Lives Matter were a civil rights organization, one would reasonably expect its patron figure to be Martin Luther King, Jr., and its aspiration to be King’s vision of a race-free America where individuals are judged on their merits and not by their skin color. Instead, the revered figure and inspirational icon for Black Lives Matter activists is a designated terrorist and convicted cop killer: Assata Shakur. 

In the 1970s Shakur was a member of the Black Liberation Army, a group that robbed banks and murdered police officers to achieve a Marxist revolution. Shakur is still wanted for the 1973 murder of Werner Foerster, a New Jersey state trooper who stopped her for a broken taillight on her car, whereupon she pulled out a gun and shot him. The 34-year-old officer and Vietnam vet was lying wounded on the pavement pleading for his life when Shakur walked over and finished him off, execution-style. Foerster left behind a wife and two young children. Shakur was convicted of the murder but escaped from prison in 1979 with the help of left-wing terrorists, including Susan Rosenberg. With the help of Rosenberg and others, Shakur fled to Communist Cuba, where she has lived as a fugitive for nearly 40 years. After being pardoned by Bill Clinton, Rosenberg went on to become board vice chair of Thousand Currents, the left-wing nonprofit organization that served as Black Lives Matter’s fiscal sponsor from 2016 to 2020. 

The dedication page of Patrisse Cullors’s memoir, When They Call You a Terrorist, contains these lines written by Shakur, which allude to the most famous incitement from Marx’s Communist Manifesto:

It is our duty to fight for our freedom. 

It is our duty to win. 

We must love each other and support each other. 

We have nothing to lose but our chains.

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Georgia Department of Public Safety: Salary Increase for Employees Is ‘Mandatory’

officer using radar gun in SUV to check Georgia residents' speed

One of Georgia’s top law enforcement officials is calling on Georgia lawmakers to increase taxpayer-funded pay and benefits for state law enforcement employees.

Georgia Department of Public Safety Chief of Staff Maj. Joshua Lamb told members of the Senate Retirement Security for Georgians Study Committee on Thursday it is “mandatory” to increase pay to recruit and keep current law enforcement employees.

Lamb said the department has a 22% turnover rate and annual job applications have decreased by 60% over the past three years.

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Fauci-Funded Wuhan Lab Viruses Exhibited over 10,000 Times Higher Viral Load Than Natural Strain, Documents Show

Anthony Fauci

U.S. and Chinese researchers funded by Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) created viruses in a Wuhan lab that exhibited over 10,000 times higher viral load in humanized mice than the natural virus they were based on, according to an infectious disease professor citing documents recently released by the agency.

The U.S. nonprofit group EcoHealth Alliance notified the NIAID in two reports that between June 2017 and May 2018 it had created three lab-generated chimeric SARS-related coronaviruses in China that exhibited “significantly higher” viral loads, documents first reported by The Intercept show, but the agency continued to fund the project with taxpayer dollars without flagging it for review by an independent federal committee created in late 2017 to oversee gain-of-function research.

Rutgers University professor Richard Ebright, a vocal opponent of gain-of-function research, said the data was a “bona fide bombshell” that proves the NIAID, under Fauci’s leadership, violated federal policies, endangered the public and lied to the public.

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Georgia to Start Accepting Applications for American Rescue Plan Funds Sunday

COVID Testing station

Georgia is still deciding how to divide more than $8.1 billion from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March.

Applications for more than $4.8 billion in funding opens up Sunday. State government entities, local governments, businesses and nonprofits have 30 days to apply for the aid.

The aid will be issued in two installments and cover expenses from March to the end of 2026, but the state has until December 31, 2024, to allocate all of the funds.

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Tensions over Capitol Police Funding Bill Hit Boiling Point in the Senate

Senate tensions over a Capitol Police funding bill are nearing a boiling point, with Democrats and Republicans unable to agree on an amount with just weeks before its funding runs dry.

The department said last week that its funding could run out as soon as next month, risking furloughs and sparking bipartisan concern. But while the House passed a $1.9 billion funding bill in May, partisan divisions in the Senate have stalled it, with Democrats insisting for even more funding and Republicans calling the House bill a nonstarter.

Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and Alabama Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, the Senate Appropriations Committee’s chair and ranking member, have both put forward plans only to see them shot down by one another.

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House Appropriations Committee Votes to Prohibit Funding to Wuhan Institute of Virology

The House Appropriations Committee in meeting

The House Appropriations Committee voted to include an amendment to prohibit funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for the upcoming fiscal year on Thursday.

The amendment was introduced by Republican Rep. Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania for the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill. “It is deeply disturbing that American taxpayers footed the bill for over $1 million to support dangerous and potentially deadly research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a laboratory run by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and tied to military biological research,” Reschenthaler said in a press release Thursday.

“I thank my colleagues for including my amendment to end the flow of federal dollars to the WIV. We must ensure Americans’ hard-earned money never again funds risky experiments in labs operated by our adversaries,” he added.

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Advocacy Groups Ask Biden Admin to Stop Surveilling Approximately 100,000 Immigrants

Close the camps protest, dated 2019

Immigration advocacy groups asked the Biden administration to end an Immigration and Customs Enforcement digital program surveilling approximately 100,000 immigrants, The Guardian reported Tuesday.

Latino social justice movement Mijente and immigrant rights group Just Futures Law released “Ice Digital Prisons,” a report explaining how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) monitors immigrants using ankle monitors, facial recognition and digital applications, according to The Guardian.

The report asserts that the strategies currently in use “do more harm and inhibit any true progress in providing the social and economic tools for immigrants to thrive in their communities,” The Guardian reported.

The technology used by ICE criminalizes immigrants and can negatively impact their quality of life, the report claims.

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