Colin Powell, First Black Secretary of State, Dead at 84 of COVID-19 Complications

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell died Monday morning due to complication from COVID-19, according to his family. He was 84.

Powell was the first black U.S. secretary of state, serving in the second Bush administration from 2001-2005. From 1989-1993, he served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the presidency of George H.W. Bush.

He was fully vaccinated, the family said.

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11 Months After 2020 Election Georgia Secretary of State Missing Chain of Custody Documents for 6,995 Absentee Ballots Deposited in Fulton County Drop Boxes

A review of transfer forms provided to The Georgia Star News in response to an open records request reveals that the Secretary of State’s office in Georgia is missing chain of custody documents for 6,995 absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes in Fulton County during the November 2020 election.

The number of absentee ballots for which the office has no evidence of the origination of the ballots represents 9 percent of the 79,460 total that Fulton County has recorded as being deposited into drop boxes during the more than month-long early voting and election day period.

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‘They Lied to Us’: Hundreds of American Citizens and Others with Green Cards Were Left in Afghanistan

Hundreds of American citizens and people with green cards were left in Afghanistan after U.S. forces withdrew from the country, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who were left in Afghanistan were reportedly told after the last American flight took off from the Kabul international airport to expect information about routes out of the country, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said, according to the AP.

“We will communicate directly to them personalized instructions on what they should do, when they should do it, and how the United States government feels we are best positioned to help them do that,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said, the AP reported.

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Georgia Public Broadcasting Reveals Secretary of State Raffensperger Delivered Some Fulton County Absentee Ballot Chain of Custody Documents to Them in April

An interview between The Georgia Star News and Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News revealed that they had received Fulton County’s drop box absentee ballot transfer forms from the Secretary of State’s office in April.  GPB News, however, did not report on their findings until after The Star News report in June.

Stephen Fowler of Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) News requested an interview with John Fredericks, which also included Laura Baigert, of The Georgia Star News, as part of his fact-check for a story and to get comments from everyone involved.

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Georgia Secretary of State Says He Wants Fulton County Elections Taken Over by State

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Just the News on Wednesday that he wants Fulton County elections taken over by the state under a new law that addresses localities with habitual problems counting ballots, dramatically escalating his battle with the state’s largest urban center in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

“I think people are saying, enough is enough,” Raffensperger said in a podcast interview in which he discussed using the new election integrity law known as Senate Bill 202 to have the State Elections Board take over the Atlanta-area election counting in time for the 2022 elections.

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Conservative Sues Twitter, California Officials, and Biden Campaign Consultants For Colluding to Deplatform Him

Screen cap of Fox News interview

Conservative political commentator and attorney Rogan O’Handley is suing former California Secretary of State and now U.S. Senator Alex Padilla, current Calif. SoS Shirley Weber, Twitter, Team Biden campaign consultants SKDK, and others, for coordinating to deplatform him from Twitter after he tweeted his concerns about the 2020 election.

The Center for American Liberty in conjunction with the Dhillon Law Group, Inc. filed the federal civil rights lawsuit on Thursday in the United States District Court in Central California.

O’Handley spent years developing a verified Twitter account with 440,000 followers only to find his account permanently suspended at the direction of the Secretary of State’s office, according to a press release from Center for American Liberty.

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New Georgia Bill Would Demand More Detailed Vote Reporting System from Secretary of State

Georgia legislators have submitted a bill that would require the secretary of state create a far more detailed election reporting system for general primaries, general elections, and runoffs from general primaries and general elections. “Such system shall provide for the entry of the number of ballots cast by type in each precinct, the results of state and federal races by precinct, the number of absentee ballots issued and returned, the number of absentee ballots certified, the number of absentee ballots rejected, the number of provisional ballots cast, and such other information which the Secretary of State deems relevant and useful to the citizens of this state,” according to the language of the bill.

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Fifteen Secretaries of State Endorse Keep Nine Amendment

A group of 15 secretaries of state this week issued their support for the “Keep Nine Amendment” recently introduced in Congress, marking the latest victory for the organization seeking to preserve the independence of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Keep Nine Amendment said in a statement that the 15 sent the letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader of the House Kevin McCarthy.

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Georgians Demand Answers from Department of Labor on Missed Payments

Georgians are circulating petitions demanding that the state government, particularly the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) begins responding to their requests for information. 

“This petition was started and organized by residents all throughout the State of Georgia that have filed claims with the Georgia Department of Labor,” says a Change.org petition started by Felicia Primus. “Many of Georgia Residents [sic] haven’t received any updates on claims or they’re missing payments from the Department of Labor. GDOL has not provided better Self-service [sic] options for its website or phone support to help with the increasing demand of unemployment claims, during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Georgia State House Republicans Continue Push for Change Ahead of U.S. Senate January Runoff Elections

Republican Georgia lawmakers increased their push for election changes Friday ahead of the Jan. 5 runoff elections for U.S. Senate.

House Majority Leader Jon Burns (R-Newington) sent a second letter to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Friday asking him to respond to an initial letter calling for two specific changes to the election process.

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Trump Pulls Out of Military Transparency Treaty with Russia, Europe

The Trump administration officially withdrew from the Open Skies Treaty, a 2002 agreement to promote military transparency signed by more than 30 countries including Russia.

The Department of State said Sunday that the U.S. had officially withdrawn from the Open Skies Treaty, which went into effect nearly two decades ago. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both announced on May 21 that the U.S. intended to exit the agreement, according to The Associated Press.

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