The Supreme Court Broke Its Own Rules to Radically Redefine Religious Liberty (Reader Steve)
From Slate: “The Supreme Court issued a 5–4 decision in Tandon v. Newsom, which blocked California’s COVID-related ban on religious gatherings in private homes. Chief Justice John Roberts dissented, as did the three liberal justices, making Tandon yet another COVID decision in which Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s vote made the difference. Although the conservative majority’s decision was unsigned and ran just four pages long, it radically altered the law of religious liberty.”
The Fort Bragg Murders (Bethany)
From Rolling Stone: “At least 44 Fort Bragg soldiers died stateside in 2020 — several of them were homicides. Families want answers. But the Army isn’t giving any.”
Steady Increase in Russian Troops in Crimea on Ukraine Border, Says Pentagon (DonkeyHotey)
The author writes, “The number of Russian troops deployed in occupied Crimea near Ukraine’s border has steadily increased over the past two weeks and has surpassed the size of the force that annexed the peninsula in 2014, the Pentagon said on Monday. Press secretary John Kirby declined to provide specific numbers on the growing Russian troop presence. A spokesperson for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said last week there are about 80,000 troops now stationed along the country’s border with Russia, 40,000 of them in Crimea. On Monday, the European Union said there were now over 100,000 in border regions.”
Is Japan’s Low Immunization Rate a Problem for the Olympics? (Dana)
From Time: “There are less than 100 days to go before the Tokyo Olympics and the torch relay is busy crisscrossing all of Japan’s 47 prefectures. But far from building excitement for the delayed 2020 Games, the flame is sparking anxiety about proceeding with the tournament amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Torch runners are being heckled by protesters. … It doesn’t help, of course, that Japan is in the middle of a fourth wave of COVID-19, with 4,111 new cases reported Sunday. Fears are compounded by a vaccination rate of less than 1% across Japan’s population, which is the world’s oldest, with 28% of Japanese aged 65 or above.”
Evicting Ducks From a Park Is the Controversy Seattle Needs Right Now (Reader Steve)
The author writes, “For some time I’ve been thinking we need a classic Seattle-style controversy to distract us from our pandemic-induced rut. Here’s one that might fit the, um, bill. It’s got government incompetence and passionate, outraged citizens. It’s got people who are outraged about the outrage. And it’s got nature, in all its wonder and, sometimes, horror. … What’s happening is the city is trying to evict from Volunteer Park the … ducks. That’s right, this past week, signs went up at the park’s popular duck ponds, giving the inhabitants the heave-ho.”
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