21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.

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Facebook Executive Resigns After Apparently Being Caught in Underage Sex Sting

A corporate director at Facebook is out of the company after the release of what appeared to be footage of him being caught in an underage sex sting operation.

Jeren Miles, formerly a manager of global community development at Facebook parent company Meta, departed the company after video of the apparent bust was posted to the YouTube channel of the amateur group PCI Predator Catchers Indianapolis.

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Sixteen States File New Lawsuit Against Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate

Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.

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New Bill Could Prohibit Critical Race Theory in State-Funded Schools, Universities

Indiana may effectively ban Critical Race Theory (CRT) tenets from being taught in public schools and universities.

Senate Bill 167, which is sponsored by seven Republican lawmakers, states that no “state educational institution” can “engage in training, orientation, or therapy” that includes stereotypes on the basis of “sex, race, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, [and] political affiliation.”

The state senate bill was read Jan. 4. A House version, House Bill 1040, has been introduced but makes further provisions that prohibit the teaching that “socialism, Marxism, totalitarianism, or similar political systems are compatible with the principles of freedom upon which the United States was founded.”

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Indianapolis Administrator Fired After Leaking School District’s Social Justice Initiatives

An Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) administrator was fired Monday for “sharing public files” with news outlets as well as recordings of a “Racial Justice Speaker Series” that was presented to students, according to a statement.

Tony Kinnett was fired from his job as District Science Coordinator & Instructional Coach for IPS for “Sharing that IPS recorded children in required racial justice sessions, not sending IPS the personal info of” two reporters, “quoting Dr. Payne’s racist comments to students” and for “sharing public files,” according to his Twitter.

Kinnett told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the HR team pulled him into several meetings that they repeatedly said were non-disciplinary, but he said at the meetings he was not allowed to speak freely, initially bring an attorney or record anything.

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Commentary: The Worst Campus in America for Free Speech is Indiana’s DePauw University

For the second straight year, survey data shows that a small private school in western Indiana is the nation’s worst college for free speech.

DePauw University again finished last in the 2021 College Free Speech Rankings, the second annual campus-speech-related survey and rankings project sponsored by the research firm College Pulse, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and RealClearEducation. More than 37,000 students at 159 colleges and universities participated in the survey, and their responses helped determine each school’s place in the 2021 rankings.

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Indiana Attorney General Investigates University’s Ties to Chinese Communist Party

Xi Jinping

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita announced that his office will investigate the  and the Chinese Communist Party’s Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University. 

“The investigation is aimed at identifying and getting to the bottom of the true intent of any relationships between Valparaiso University’s programming and the Chinese Communist Party,” a statement from Rokita’s office reads. 

Valparaiso, a private Lutheran institution, received $1.1 million from the Chinese government between 2010-2019 and acknowledges the Rokita’s investigation on its Confucius Institute website. 

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Data Shows Increased Homicides in Six Major Cities Across the Country

Police line do not cross tape

The number of homicides in six major cities across the country has increased compared to last year, disproportionately affecting black people, according to crime data.

Black people have represented a massive share of murder victims in six major cities through the first six months of 2021 compared to last year, which itself saw a large crime surge, according to data analyzed by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The DCNF analyzed both police department data and homicide reports compiled by local news outlets to determine how black people have been victimized in the wake of the 2020 crime spike.

“We are seeing an uptick in violent crime across the country, specifically gun violence,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told The New York Times earlier this month.

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21 States Sue Biden Admin for Revoking Keystone XL Permit

A group of red states sued President Biden and members of his administration on Wednesday over his decision to revoke a key permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, The Hill reported.

The lawsuit is led by Montana and Texas, and backed by 19 other states, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

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