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Upper house

Locks under review in west New South Wales, as outbreak in the south grows

Closures are under consideration in parts of regional New South Wales as the virus stabilizes in the west, but continues to spread further south.

The number of cases in the local health district of West New South Wales remained relatively stable, with seven more people contracting the virus.

Of these, four cases were in Dubbo and one in Walgett, Mudgee and Cowra.

The Cowra Shire Council has entered its first full day of lockdown after a nine-year-old boy was contagious in the community and at school for two days.

Today’s new case is a relative of the boy, who attends Cowra Public School, which has been closed to allow testing and cleaning.

Inclined locking extension for Hilltops

It’s a different picture in the south of the state.

In the South New South Wales Local Health District, nine cases have been detected in the past 24 hours; three in Goulburn and Yass, two in Queanbeyan and one in Upper Lachlan Shire which is still under investigation.

Concerns remain for Murrumbidgee LHD, where five people tested positive overnight, including a woman in her 40s and three children who are household contacts of a previously reported case.

The other is a teenager.

Almost half of LHD cases are in children between the ages of two and 18.

Hilltops Mayor Brian Ingram expects the seven-day lockdown to be extended as the number of cases continues to rise.(

ABC News: Luke Wong

)

Last Friday, the Hilltops Council in the Southern Tablelands returned to lockdown after a case was first identified in the current outbreak in Young.

The local government area, which also includes Harden-Murrumburrah, has recorded a total of 12 cases so far.

Mayor Brian Ingram said he expects stay-at-home orders to be extended by at least a week as the number of cases continues to rise and the source of the original infection remains under investigation .

“They got out of containment in town and you couldn’t move, it was buzzing.”

Cr Ingram encouraged residents to continue getting vaccinated to ensure the community was protected if the virus spreads further.

A nurse gives a vaccine to a girl wearing a face mask.
Mayor Brian Ingram urges those who have not been vaccinated to seriously consider receiving the vaccine.(

ABC News: Freya Michie

)

Detections of virus fragments in Griffith’s sewage have worried authorities as there are no known cases in this area.

Lockout Notice

Upper House MP Sam Farraway said a decision on which local government areas would be released from lockdown was due to be announced on Thursday.

The reopening of Orange, Narromine, Gilgandra and Brewarrina Shire city councils will be discussed at a crisis cabinet meeting as regions approach the 14-day mark with zero new cases.

The decision to relax the restrictions is based on the risk factor of any recent case.

Dubbo’s member state Dugald Saunders said the situation “could change overnight”.

From tomorrow, surveillance tests through LHD will be available in every city, meaning people without symptoms are not required to self-isolate while awaiting test results.

The number of tests has increased since the program was introduced.

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Legislature

The Fiji Times »Legislature to fill in the gaps – AG

In the history of law-making, the legislature will make changes if there is a reason to fill a loophole or loopholes in the law, Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told Parliament yesterday while granting the right of reply to the bill amending the voter registration bill. 2021.

Speaking on the bill, opposition MP Niko Nawaikula, however, objected to the way the issue was brought before Parliament through rule 51.

He said the bill was a response to the chief justice’s ruling on his case in the contested returns courts.

“This amendment goes to the dispute that we have against me personally and it is to change the voter registration,” he said.

He said the GA lied that the proposed amendment was a constitutional provision for a fair vote.

“Why didn’t you make the amendment earlier? “The government should be honest, it is not happy with the chief justice’s decision.”

In response, Mr. Sayed-Khaiyum said voter identification has been used since 2014 as a form of authentic identification.

“In this particular case, they are the disputed returns tribunals, given the law, given the submissions, not the actual full submissions and the disputed returns tribunals do not have the luxury of sitting for weeks or months, he has only 21 days since the case was brought to his attention, ”he said.

“Therefore, the lawyer did not explain to the court what would be the consequences of accepting the principles of the common law, these came from the last century.

“We live in the 21st century, there is identity theft, money laundering, terrorism and human trafficking, all countries are moving towards authenticating the identities of individuals living in their country, otherwise you have people traveling under different passports and different pseudonyms. “

He said that laws were made by Parliament and interpreted by the courts, which was nothing specific to this government.

The bill to amend the Voter Registration Bill in 2021 is expected to be debated and passed in parliament on Wednesday through Standing Order 51.

The proposed amendment seeks to ensure that the constitutional provisions require and guarantee that a registered voter actually votes in elections.


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Puerto rico government

On The Money – Democrats dare GOP to vote shutdown, by default

Happy Monday and welcome to On The Money, your evening guide to everything related to your bills, your bank account and your results. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-inscription.

The big deal today: Democrats are upping the ante on the tax chicken game. We’ll also see how Wall Street reacts to worrying work for global markets and President BidenJoe BidenCapitol’s fencing begins to drop after ‘Justice for J6′ rally Senate MP rejects Democrats’ immigration plan Biden pushes Democrats back on taxes MOREpressure on taxes.

But first, some elements adjacent to social justice ice cream news.

For The Hill, I’m Sylvan Lane. Email me at [email protected] or @SylvanLane. You can reach my colleagues from the Finance team Naomi Jagoda at [email protected] or @NJagoda and Aris Folley at [email protected] Where @ArisFolley.

Let’s go.

Democrats aim to suspend debt ceiling with bill to avoid government shutdown

House Democrats will combine a short-term government spending bill with a debt limit suspension, a package expected to fall to the ground this week, the president said Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden pushes Democrats back on taxes Yarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package could be lightened From partisan fights and follies, or why Democrats should follow Manchin, not Sanders MORE (D-Calif.) Announced Monday.

The move comes after weeks of debate over how best to increase the government’s borrowing limit and avoid default in the face of opposition from Senate Republicans, who are threatening to oppose the measure in protest. President Biden’s spending plans.

Combining the increased debt limit with the continuing resolution, which will extend government funding until December, Pelosi dares Senate Minority Leader Mitch mcconnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump Seeks Challenger For McConnell As Senate GOP Leader: President Budget Report: Tackling Debt Ceiling “A Ridiculous Position To Be” Buckle Your Belt For More Trump, With The kind permission of the Democratic Party MORE (R-Ky.) To sink the package and risk a government shutdown on October 1.

Mike Lillis from The Hill explains here.

The background: Congress has until Oct. 1 to pass a short-term funding bill to avoid a shutdown and a few weeks later to raise the federal debt ceiling. While Republicans should support the former, they have ruled out supporting an increase in the debt ceiling and want Democrats to do so through the budget reconciliation process, which would take time on the ground and scold their huge debt ceiling. expenses.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Made this clear in remarks in the Senate shortly after Pelosi and Schumer’s announcement.

“Senate Republicans would support a clean, ongoing resolution that included appropriate disaster relief and targeted aid to Afghans. We will not support legislation that increases the debt ceiling ”, McConnell said of the Senate floor.

What shall we do now? Unless Republicans abandon their position en masse for some unknown reason, the bill to be passed by the House is likely to die in the Senate, meaning Congress will have to pass a “clean” RC by October. After this point, who knows?

Learn more about the debt ceiling battle: Five questions and answers on the fight against the debt ceiling

LEAD THE DAY

Stocks crash as debt ceiling deadlock, global threats scare Wall Street

Stocks closed with losses on Monday as numerous concerns about the strength of the economy led to a wide sell-off on Wall Street.

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a loss of 593 points on Monday, falling 1.7% after losing as much as 900 points earlier.
  • The Nasdaq composite closed with a loss of 2.2% and the S&P 500 index closed with a loss of 1.7%, each also gaining ground before the closing bell.

Why?

  • Investors and analysts attributed Monday’s sell-off to a flurry of concerns over the global economy, including the potential economic impact of the delta variant and how it could affect the Federal Reserve’s plans to reduce stimulus measures.
  • The gradual collapse of Chinese real estate giant Evergrande, which investors fear could cause a larger credit crunch in China, has also weighed on the market.

“Investors are eager for a significant pullback in the stock market. Now we could finally get one, ”wrote Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist for Ally Invest.

AN IMPRESSIVE TIME

Biden pushes back Democrats on taxes

President Biden is pushing to prevent Congressional Democrats from reduce his tax proposals, as lawmakers work on a $ 3.5 trillion social spending program to advance the president’s economic agenda.

  • The White House and Congressional Democrats both want to raise taxes on the wealthy and businesses, and strengthen law enforcement, to fund investments in areas such as child care, health care and the climate. .
  • But legislation that the House Ways and Means Committee approved on Wednesday raised some taxes less than what Biden had previously proposed, and left out some of Biden’s proposals.

It remains to be seen whether the administration can get lawmakers to be more aggressive about raising and enforcing taxes, given the slim Democrats’ majority in Congress. Naomi explain why here.

NOTHING BETTER THAN BEING AT HOME

Biden administration launches new national initiative to tackle homelessness

The Biden administration on Monday launched a new national initiative to tackle homelessness, which will work with local governments to help those suffering from the national housing crisis.

The initiative, dubbed “House America,” will call on heads of government in cities, counties, states and tribes across the country to publicly commit to reducing homelessness in their regions.

The federal government will then provide advice and support to help local jurisdictions provide permanent housing for homeless people and build new affordable housing options for those in difficulty, according to Bloomberg.

Good to know

The pharmaceutical industry is in on the verge of defeat a major Democratic proposal that would allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices.

Here’s what else we have on our minds:

  • A group of Senate Democrats are calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to develop new rules to protect data confidentiality in a context of stalled progress on a national framework.
  • The progressive group Tax March announced on Monday that it was leading a new $ 2 million campaign to pressure GOP lawmakers in major states and districts to support President Biden’s economic agenda.

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finances page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.



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Legislature

The legislature prepares to draw new political maps during the 3rd extraordinary session | New

Returning to Austin on Monday for their third extra session of the year, lawmakers will attempt to draw new district lines for the state’s Congressional and House and Senate districts in the face of a primary season approaching at length. not. Delays due to COVID-19 and court challenges have pushed the release of critical US Census data months back and made redistribution impossible during regular session. While there is still time to draw maps and set primary dates scheduled for March, the last session, the Legislature approved two backup primary election dates in April and May if the contentious process were to unfold. to prolong.

According to the 2020 census, the total population of Texas grew to 29.1 million, up nearly 4 million over the past decade, with most of that growth coming from minority groups. The state’s demographer’s office reports that 39.7 percent of Texans described themselves as “non-Hispanic white,” up from 45.3 percent 10 years ago. “Black non-Hispanic” Texans grew more modestly, rising from 0.3% to 11.8% of the population. Texans identifying themselves as “non-Hispanic Asians” also increased, from 3.8% of the state’s population in 2010 to 5.4% in 2020. By far the fastest growing group were Texans who declared a Latino or Hispanic origin. Almost half of the state’s total growth of sixteen percent can be attributed to an increase in this population, which now represents 39.3 percent of Texas’ population from 37.6 percent in 2010.

Texas was also a big winner according to Congressional census redistribution data, being the only state that will add two seats to its congressional delegation. Florida, Oregon, Montana, North Carolina and Colorado will each win a seat in Congress, while California, New York, Illinois, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan will each lose one. The Texas Senate is set to open a third round of public hearings regarding the proposed cards starting at the end of the week.

While much thinner than the summer special session agendas, this session still has a few additional questions added by Governor Greg Abbott. Back before the legislature for the fourth time, a bill would require boys and girls to participate in school sports based on the biological sex listed on their original birth certificate. This measure has been approved by the Senate on three occasions but has not yet been adopted by the House. The governor also wants to see legislation that would resolve the issue of local governments implementing COVID vaccine mandates. It also gave lawmakers the leeway to continue to appropriate federal COVID aid dollars.

The latest issue of the Governor’s Initial Appeal brings to mind an issue from the regular session: cruelty to animals – particularly the illegal restraint of dogs. SB 474, by Brownsville Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., reportedly created state standards for adequate shelter, cruelty-free collars and leashes, and treatment for dogs left outside. This would have made it illegal to use a chain to restrain a dog outside and would have required adequate shelter, shade and water for the animal. The governor vetoed the bill saying it was far too prescriptive.

“Senate Bill 474 would require all dog owners, under pain of criminal penalties, to monitor such things as the tailoring of the dog collar, the time a dog spends in a truck bed and the ratio between the length of the tether and the dog, measured from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail, ”reads the governor’s veto declaration. “Texas has no place for this kind of micro-management and over-criminalization.”

For the fall session, Abbott took the matter back to the Legislature, calling for a bill that protects dogs from inhuman restraint or confinement while addressing concerns listed in his veto statement. The Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Monday passed a measure identical to SB 474. Lucio told members he would bring forward amendments that would address the governor’s concerns when the measure is presented to the full Senate.

The Senate will meet again at 12 noon on Tuesday, September 21.


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Legislative assembly

Territorial election campaign underway in Nunavut, Canada – Eye on the Arctic

The Nunavut legislature before the COVID-19 changes. Monday marks the first day of the election campaign to elect the next territorial government on October 25. (Jane Sponagle / CBC)

The election takes place on October 25. Anyone running as a Member of Parliament must register with Elections Nunavut by Friday

The writ fell for the Nunavut territorial election and Monday officially marks the start of the campaign to elect the next territorial government.

The election will take place on October 25.

There are 22 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut, which has a consensus style of government.

Anyone wishing to run for office must register with Elections Nunavut by 2 p.m. ET on Friday.

Dustin Fredlund, Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Nunavut, said residents of Nunavut who are not in the territory can still vote by mail or, in very extreme situations, by phone.

“Some of our citizens work on fishing boats off the coast of Greenland and will not be able to get a ballot,” said Fredlund.

“They will be able to call us and vote by phone, but in order to do that you have to meet strict criteria. “

To be eligible to vote in territorial elections, you must have lived in Nunavut for at least one year.

Achievements and challenges

Nunavut’s fifth legislative assembly ended Thursday.

On the last day of the Legislature, Premier Joe Savikataaq said he was proud of what his government has accomplished over the past four years.

Savikataaq said the territory has taken a further step towards greater autonomy from the federal government. Some of his government’s accomplishments, he added, have been the implementation of a new mental health law, the hiring of 240 Inuit government employees, and the creation of a new mental health law. education to better reflect cultural values.

But there were also many challenges.

“COVID-19 has had a huge effect on our mandated accomplishments, but we have been able to overcome them and complete the elements of our mandate,” said Savikataaq.

“Sir. Mr. President, another reason given was ransomware. Ransomware affected the government considerably. All the computers were down.

‘You can tell the difference’

Three current MPs have announced they will not seek re-election, including Allan Rumbolt, who served as the Hudson’s Bay MP for 13 years. Uqqummiut MP Pauloosie Keyootak and Iqaluit-Sinaa MP Elisapee Sheutiapik will also not be running.

But Sheutiapik encouraged people to come up with their name.

“You could be a hunter, you could be a welfare recipient. If you care about your community, you can run for office, ”said Sheutiapik.

“And I hope today that is still true because if you care and have the staff to help you figure it out, you can make a difference.”

Despite the end of the federal election campaign on Monday, Angela Briffett, a resident of Nunavut, said she was not afraid to return to the polls in October for the territorial elections.

“I think it’s a great opportunity, in fact, for Nunavummiut to do it all at once, without delay,” Briffett said. “Get out of the old with the new and hope for a better future for the region.”

Nunavut resident Jennifer Moore tells him that territorial elections may have more impact on her daily life than federal elections in a way. She also says she does not take care of back-to-back campaigns.

“I’m just going to do my research and then I’m going to vote for who I think is the best candidate.”

-With files from Jackie McKay and Matisse Harvey

Related stories from the north:

Canada: Arctic Council to Celebrate 25th Anniversary, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: Greenland’s greater role in the Arctic Council is an important signal for the international community, says Foreign Minister Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norway gets new government as voters take a strong left turn, The Independent Barents Observer


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Upper house

Bengal BJP Won’t Challenge Rajya Sabha Poll: Suvendu Adhikari | Latest India News

Calcutta: West Bengal’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday decided not to challenge Rajya Sabha’s poll vote on October 4, a development that will pave the way for the candidate to be elected to the Trinamool Congress (TMC) without opposition .

Last week, the TMC appointed Sushmita Dev, who recently joined the party after stepping down from Congress, as its by-poll candidate.

The poll was made necessary after TMC leader Manas Bhunia stepped down from Rajya Sabha’s seat after his victory in the Sabang parliamentary election in the West Midnapore district.

“The BJP will not nominate any candidate for the Rajya Sabha poll due to West Bengal. The result is predetermined. Our goal is to make sure that unelected MCs are elected again. Jai Ma Kali, ”tweeted Suvendu Adhikari, leader of the opposition in the West Bengal assembly.

Adhikari, who defeated Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram in the April parliamentary elections, was referring to his candidacy for the Bhabanipur seat in Kolkata. Banerjee must earn the bypoll to become a member of the assembly in order to continue to preside.

Reacting to the BJP’s decision, TMC spokesman Kunal Ghosh said: “At least 24 BJP lawmakers oppose the leader of the opposition (in the state legislature). The party would get fewer votes than they calculated. Many would not even go to vote and give multiple excuses. That is why they do not nominate any candidate for the Rajya Sabha poll. As the days go by, the number of BJP lawmakers will go down and the number of TMC lawmakers will increase. Jai Ma Durga.

Also earlier, on August 9, the state’s BJP unit failed to field its candidate for a by-election for a seat in Rajya Sabha, paving the way for the unopposed election of TMC candidate Jawhar Sircar.

The TMC controls 11 of Rajya Sabha’s 16 seats, while Congress has two and CPI (M) one.

Last week, TMC leader Arpita Ghosh resigned from the upper house on instructions from the party’s high command. The seat is now vacant.


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Puerto rico government

Federal Court Should Review Constitutionality of Vaccine Warrants in Puerto Rico Case

On Tuesday, a federal court in Puerto Rico will hear arguments over the constitutionality of the territory’s vaccination mandate for public employees. The case, Rodriguez Velez and. Al. V. Pierluisi-Urrutia, represents the first time that a federal court will rule on the constitutionality of a government mandate. And while the outcome of tomorrow’s hearing has no precedent-setting, an appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals will surely follow, whoever wins, making this case a case to watch. Here’s what you need to know.

First things first: Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and for the purposes of the issue – the constitutionality of the vaccination mandate – they have the same rights under the U.S. Constitution as citizens. of the fifty states. Like states, which also have their own constitutions, Puerto Ricans also enjoy protection guaranteed by the constitution of Puerto Rico. While the lawsuit alleges violations of both constitutions, of national interest, this will be how federal courts interpret the US Constitution.

The vaccination mandate in question in Rodriguez Vélez came in the form of a decree signed by Puerto Rican Governor Pedro Pierluisi on July 28, 2021. Decree 58 spanned fourteen pages, the first nine of which recited in numerous paragraphs “WAITING” for the details of the pandemic of COVID-19 and various statements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, as well as identifying current precedents on vaccination mandates. The mandate then ordered: “all public bodies of executive power [to] require employees who work in person, except as otherwise provided below, to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. “

Employees exempt from the mandate include people with weakened immune systems or those allergic to vaccines or with another medical condition that makes the vaccine unsafe for employees. The decree also provides for a religious exemption, but requires the employee to provide an affidavit signed by the employee and their minister attesting under penalty of perjury that they reject the vaccine on the basis of their religious beliefs.

Curiously, while the decree only provides for two exemptions from the vaccination mandate, the section titled “refusal of vaccination” allows government employees to refuse vaccines if they provide either proof of a positive COVID-19 test from all three. months, as well as documents establishing that they have recovered, or undergo weekly COVID-19 tests, within 72 hours of the start of the Monday work week. Employees exempted due to a health condition or religious belief must also submit to the weekly COVID-19 test, in the absence of proof of a COVID diagnosis within 3 months.

After the governor issued the executive decree, four employees of the executive agency filed a lawsuit, seeking a preliminary injunction prohibiting the execution of the vaccination warrant, claiming, in essence, that the warrant violated their rights. of “substantive due process”, namely their interest in liberty “in their personal autonomy, bodily integrity and medical choice”, and their “right not to undergo a medical test for a virus”.

While there are aspects of this case that make the situation in Puerto Rico unique, namely the territory’s limited medical resources for testing, the basic issues facing the court on Tuesday are the same that all courts will have to resolve to rule on the challenges. vaccination. mandates: whether there is an interest in the freedom to refuse vaccination and, if so, what standard must a state meet to justify the mandate.

Here the focus will be on the Supreme Court’s decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 US 11 (1905). In Jacobson, the Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of a Massachusetts law that allowed local city boards of health to require vaccination of adults, with violators facing a fine of five dollars. In February 1902, the Cambridge Board of Health mandated residents to obtain the smallpox vaccine. After Henning Jacobson refused to be vaccinated, he was prosecuted and fined in the statutory amount of $ 5.00. Jacobson then challenged the constitutionality of mandatory vaccinations.

The Supreme Court in Jacobson ruled that Massachusetts had acted within its “state police power” to enact a mandatory vaccination law and that it was not for the courts to consider whether vaccination is the best way to prevent smallpox and protect public health. The Jacobson The court’s analysis included several passages important to the current issue of the constitutionality of COVID-19 warrants.

First, the Court noted that a state’s policing power extends to “reasonable regulations established directly by law that will protect public health and safety,” adding that this power can be delegated to local authorities. The Supreme Court then considered Jacobson’s argument that his constitutional right to liberty outweighed the vaccine’s mandate. The Court rejected this argument, stating that “the freedom guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States to everyone within its jurisdiction does not matter an absolute right of each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, completely free from any constraint “.

Jacobson also considered the argument that there was some disagreement over whether the vaccine argument prevented smallpox or caused other diseases. The Supreme Court rejected this argument, noting that “the fact that the belief is not universal is not determinative, because there is hardly any belief that is accepted by everyone”. Further, “the possibility that the belief may be false, and that science may still show it to be false, is inconclusive, for the legislature has the right to pass laws which, according to the common belief of the people, are adapted to prevent the spread of contagious diseases.

This precedent puts the plaintiffs in the Puerto Rico case in a difficult position. Applicants seek to circumvent detention Jacobson, emphasizing the evolution of constitutional law since the judges rendered this decision in the early 1900s. They also point out the relatively minor consequence of the violation of the vaccination warrant, a fine of five dollars, which, even in dollars d ‘today, is of no consequence to the requirement that unvaccinated employees undergo (and pay for) weekly COVID-19 tests or, in essence, drop out. their jobs.

Here, the complainants point out that, given Puerto Rico’s limited healthcare resources, weekly testing may not even be possible. They also note that instead of requiring vaccinations, the government could allow remote working arrangements. Employees further stress that the reasons set out in the decree to justify the vaccination mandate do not make sense from a factual standpoint given the already high vaccination rates.

Tuesday’s hearing will provide insight into the correctness of those arguments, but given the Seventh Circuit Appeals Court’s refusal to stay, pending appeal, Indiana University’s vaccination mandate for students based on Jacobson, it will likely take a trip to the Supreme Court for citizens to successfully challenge a government-implemented vaccination mandate – even if there is little justification for the mandate and even when the incompetence of the State (or territory) limits the availability of COVID-19 testing.

Puerto Rico’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and its draconian vaccination mandates are further evidence of government incompetence, said Jorge L. Rodriguez, CEO and founder of the newly formed company. Puerto Rico Institute for Economic Freedom (“ILE”), which manages the dispute.

“The lack of institutional capacity of the government of Puerto Rico demonstrates once again how this can have a negative impact on the well-being of the people of Puerto Rico,” he told me.

In addition to the lawsuit challenging the EO requiring vaccinations for public employees, the ILE, through Advocate General Arturo Bauermeister, is pursuing the EO’s vaccination mandate for private employers. Rodriquez tells me that Puerto Rico is the only U.S. jurisdiction that has established a vaccination mandate for the private sector, with only a few cities trying to require COVID vaccines and those limited to restaurants and bars.

“Puerto Rico’s vaccine mandates, enforced through a series of endless continuous executive orders, are the most extreme policies of any U.S. jurisdiction at this point in the pandemic,” said Ilya Shapiro, vice president constitutional studies at the Cato Institute. , who advises lawyers prosecuting Puerto Rico. “It’s bizarre, because the Commonwealth is doing both better on all measures related to COVID than almost any other state or territory and has less institutional capacity for vaccination and testing.”

It might be weird, but is it constitutional? The case heard on Tuesday, because it involves the most extreme government action and is one of the most advanced litigation cases, may well be the landmark case that reaffirms or overrides Jacobson, so stay tuned.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland has served for almost 25 years as a permanent legal assistant to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and assistant instructor at the University of Notre Dame College of Commerce. The views expressed herein are those of Cleveland in a private capacity.


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Legislature

Two New Mexico lawmakers ask state Supreme Court to grant federal funding discretion to legislature

In a move that is probably not surprising to political insiders, a New Mexico Democratic state senator who sharply criticized the governor joined one of his fellow Republicans in an attempt to block news federal aid spending.

Senator Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, along with Senatorial Minority Leader Greg Baca, R-Belen, filed a petition over the weekend with the New Mexico Supreme Court to try to prevent the governor Michelle Lujan Grisham to spend more federal money without seizing legislation.

In a statement, Candelaria said no one should have the authority to manage federal funds sent to New Mexico.

“When I became a senator nearly ten years ago, I took an oath to defend the Constitution and the laws of the state of New Mexico. We have tabled this petition to end the governor’s unconstitutional efforts to usurp the credit power of the legislature by asserting that it, and it alone, has the power to decide how billions of dollars in federal grants are spent, ”he said. declared Candelaria. “In our country, no one is above the law and no one should ever have the power to decide, unilaterally, how much people are taxed or how public money is spent.”

At issue, $ 1.75 billion in federal funds received by New Mexico under the US Federal Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Some state lawmakers have repeatedly called for legislative oversight of federal stimulus money, and during the 2021 regular legislative session, lawmakers attempted to allocate ARPA money to the budget of the ‘State. Lujan Grisham partially vetoed this budget bill and cited a New Mexico Supreme Court case in 1974 in his explanation for not giving the legislature oversight of ARPA funds.

“The New Mexico Supreme Court has found that federal contributions are not an appropriate subject of the legislature’s appropriation power, and the legislature’s attempt to control the use of these funds violates” the executive function of the ‘administration,’ ”Lujan Grisham wrote in his veto message.

Part of that case, which was filed by then-Republican state senator William Sago, also involved federal credits. The state Supreme Court in that case ruled that the legislature did not have the power to allocate federal funds for universities.

“As already stated, our legislature clearly has the power, and perhaps the duty, in appropriating state funds to review the availability of federal funds for certain purposes, but it does not have the power to to appropriate and therefore try to control the manner and extent of the use or expenditure of federal funds made available to our higher education institutions, ”wrote the New Supreme Court judge -Mexico, LaFel Oman. “The control of the expenditure of these funds rests with the federal government and the boards of regents of the respective institutions.”

This state Supreme Court case also cited a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that the appropriation of federal money should be left to the governor.

In Candelaria and Baca’s petition, the two lawmakers wrote that “Lujan Grisham has been far from available” regarding the legal basis for his office to manage federal money. But the petition speculates and anticipates that Lujan Grisham’s office will respond by citing the two state Supreme Court cases from the early 1970s.

But in their petition, Candelaria and Baca wrote that would be a mistake, arguing that the previous New Mexico Supreme Court case had a narrow focus on higher education.

“Such a detention would be anathema to the fundamental public order of this State which confers on the Legislator, the elected representatives of the people, the power to appropriate public money”, wrote the two senators in the petition.


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Upper house

6 years of Russian intervention in Syria – Victory or “eternal war”?

Moscow’s support for Assad has been proven, but it remains to be seen whether it can turn them into political and economic success in the long term.

As other Arab rulers faded into the winds of the Arab Spring, Bashar Assad enjoyed Russian and Iranian backing and survived, while Moscow skillfully inserted itself into the heart of the Middle East and Mediterranean and expanded its sphere of influence. . What has Russia accomplished in Syria, what lies ahead, and does Russian victory necessarily translate into American defeat?

A few days ago, shortly before the September 17-19 elections in the Russian State Duma (the lower house of the Federal Assembly), Syrian President Assad paid an unannounced visit to Moscow and met with President Vladimir Putin, the man who literally saved his skin six years ago.

In July 2015, Assad’s army suffered major setbacks as rebels fought fiercely for control of highways, towns and villages across the country. At the time, the united front of some 40 factions even tried to open the road to the stronghold of the regime in Latakia from Idlib and Hama. If they were successful, the Assad regime would fight for its life.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Major General Qasem Soleimani paid a visit to Moscow that month: he briefed the Russian leadership on the precarious situation and urged Putin to help the Syrian comrades. Soon Assad sent an official request for Russian military aid.

On September 30, 2015, the Federation Council (the upper house of the Federal Assembly) granted Putin’s request to deploy the Russian Air Force to Syria. On that day, Russian military units already based in government-controlled territory launched an offensive against rebel targets.

Not afghanistan

“I remember that in 2015, many experts said that the Russian engagement in Syria would end like the Soviet engagement in Afghanistan. However, it is clear that Putin is playing his cards well in Syria, ”Alexander Baunov, senior researcher at Carnegie Moscow Center and editor-in-chief of Carnegie.ru, told The Media Line.

“If we compare the Russian campaign in Syria to that of the United States in Afghanistan, then it is obvious that because of Russian support, Assad controls a significant part of Syrian territory – almost 70%. This is far more than the US-backed Afghan government has ever done. There is a regime in Syria – the Assad regime – but still, ”he continues.

“And the Syrian army has proven to be more reliable than the Afghan military forces prepared by the United States. I don’t know what will happen if Putin suddenly decides to delete [Russian forces from the] base in Khmeimim [southeast of Latakia], but I doubt they will disappear into thin air. Putin grew up in the Soviet Union. He was careful not to repeat the mistakes he made in Afghanistan, ”Baunov said.

During six years of war in Syria, Russia relied mainly on its air force and refrained from sending its men to the battlefield. Instead, personnel from private military companies (i.e. men from the Wagner Group) as well as other foreign forces – Lebanese, Pakistani and Afghan militiamen – did the dirty work.

Moscow has used its presence in Syria to bolster its air and naval presence in the region, expanding its existing base in Tartus and building a state-of-the-art base in Khmeimim. It extended its influence to neighboring Lebanon and spread as far as the Mediterranean, near the European coasts.

While the question of an economic dividend is debatable, it is well known that close allies of Putin such as billionaire tycoon Gennady Timchenko have won lucrative construction and energy contracts in Syria.

According to Maxim Suchkov, senior researcher at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University), this is how the first phase of the war ended. “Since 2017, when Russia, Turkey and Iran launched the ‘Astana Format’, Russia began the second stage of its campaign in Syria, which was now ‘focused on opportunities’.

Russia has sought to capitalize on its achievements in Syria and monetize its image as a strong and decisive power in the region; it was able to strengthen its position on a global scale. It has managed to mend its previously flawed relations with other countries in the Middle East, such as the Gulf monarchies. In reality, the picture is more nuanced and “the capital earned is now gradually depleted”, explains Suchkov, speaking to The Media Line.

Sand, blood and death

At the end of 2019, shortly after proclaiming victory over Daesh (Russia did too), US President Donald Trump said he would no longer send troops to Syria. “Get out of there. It is sand, blood and death, “President Trump said and ordered the withdrawal of US troops from the country.

He ultimately decided to keep a small American contingent to support the Syrian Democratic Forces in the northeast of the country, but the point was clear. Much like President Barack Obama before him and President Joe Biden after him, President Trump wanted to reduce American involvement in the Middle East, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

“In the short and medium term, Russia has shown that it is ready to pay a higher price for an achievement in the Levant, and the price is not even that high. His support for Assad has been proven – more and more Middle Eastern countries now accept that Assad is part of reality and are interested in interacting with Damascus, ”Ofer Zalzberg, Middle East program director at the Herbert C. Kelman Institute for Interactive Conflict. Transformation, he said speaking to The Media Line.

“One of those countries is Jordan, which is interested in exporting its goods through Syria and importing cheap Syrian products. As for the United States, their focus has shifted from the Middle East to Asia. In addition, its own legislation, such as the Caesar Law, somewhat limited its ability to maneuver in Syria, ”Zalzburg said.

(The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 imposed additional sanctions and financial restrictions on institutions and individuals related to the conflict in Syria – KS)

Baunov believes that if the United States were to deploy a large contingent in Syria, similar to the one that was deployed in Iraq, the Syrian war and the Russian involvement would play out very differently. He also says that this kind of scenario was always unlikely.

“If the United States decided to get heavily involved in Syria and repeat the Iraqi scenario, then Putin would probably back down. But in this case, the American operation would be very different and would include the conquest of Damascus and the overthrow of the regime. Why on earth would Obama or Trump repeat the experience of George Bush Jr. which turned out to be a disaster, which was already clear at that time? Russia has a wide range of interests in Syria – a political interest, showing that “we are not giving up on the allies”, there was a Russian naval base, a trade, an ally. There was something worth fighting for, ”says Baunov.

So as America lost interest in the Middle East, Russian appetite kept growing, prompted by US and European sanctions and the need to increase Moscow’s influence and find new markets. Russia had a clear strategy and an ally in Syria; the United States had neither. However, all is not easy and bright for Russia in Syria.

“Although the United States cannot impose its values ​​on other countries, it can prevent the flow of American and European money to these countries,” Zalzberg said, indicating that the post-war reconstruction of the Syria remains a far-fetched goal for Assad and his Russians. allies.

Indeed, the lack of economic development in Syria is Russia’s Achilles heel. It can neither rebuild Syria on its own nor allow the flow of foreign investment. Moreover, the rebel stronghold of Idlib continues to provoke tensions between Ankara and Moscow, while Assad’s army and the Iranians undermine the Russian-sponsored deal in Daraa.

Six years after Moscow began its direct involvement, it is still celebrating its military triumphs in Syria. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to convert them into political and economic success in the future.


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US launches mass deportation of Haitian migrants from Texas

DEL RIO, Texas (AP) – The United States returns Haitians encamped in a Texas border town to their home country and prevents others from crossing the border into Mexico in a massive show of force that signals the start of this which could be one of the fastest in America, massive expulsions of migrants or refugees in decades.

More than 320 migrants arrived in Port-au-Prince on three flights on Sunday, and Haiti said six flights were expected on Tuesday. In total, US authorities have decided to deport many of the more than 12,000 migrants camped around a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, after passing through the city of Ciudad Acuña, Mexico.

The United States plans to start seven deportation flights a day on Wednesday, four to Port-au-Prince and three to Cap-Haitien, according to a US official who has not been authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Flights will continue to depart from San Antonio, but authorities could add El Paso, the official said.

The only obvious parallel for such a deportation without the possibility of seeking asylum was in 1992 when the coast guard intercepted Haitian refugees at sea, said Yael Schacher, senior United States lawyer at Refugees International, whose studies of doctoral studies focused on the history of American asylum law.

Likewise, large numbers of Mexicans were sent home during the peak years of immigration, but by land and not so suddenly.

Central Americans have also crossed the border in comparable numbers without facing mass deportations, although Mexico has agreed to accept them from the United States under pandemic-related authority in effect since March 2020. The Mexico does not accept expelled Haitians or people of other nationalities abroad. from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

When the border was closed on Sunday, migrants first found other means to cross nearby until confronted with federal and state law enforcement. An Associated Press reporter saw Haitian immigrants still crossing the river to the United States about 1.5 miles east of the previous point, but they were eventually stopped by border patrol officers on horseback and Texas law enforcement officials.

As they crossed, some Haitians carried crates full of food on their heads. Some took off their pants before entering the river and took them away. Others weren’t afraid to get wet.

Officers shouted at the waist-deep migrants crossing the river to get out of the water. The few hundred who had crossed successfully and were sitting along the bank on the American side were sent to the Del Rio camp. “Go now,” the officers shouted. Mexican officials aboard an airboat told others who were trying to cross back to Mexico.

Migrant Charlie Jean had returned from the camps in Ciudad Acuña to collect food for his wife and three daughters, aged 2, 5 and 12. He was waiting on the Mexican side for a restaurant to bring him an order for rice.

“We need food for every day. I can do without it, but my kids can’t, ”said Jean, who had lived in Chile for five years before starting the journey north to the United States. It was not known if he had returned to the camp.

Mexico announced on Sunday that it would also begin to deport Haitians to their homeland. A government official said the flights would come from towns close to the US border and the border with Guatemala, where the largest group remains.

Haitians have migrated to the United States in large numbers from South America for several years, many having left their Caribbean countries after a devastating earthquake in 2010. After jobs have dried up since the Olympic Games d he summer of 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, many made the dangerous journey by foot, bus and car to the US border, including through the infamous Darien Gap, a Panamanian jungle.

Some migrants from Del Rio camp said the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse made them fearful of returning to a country that seemed more unstable than when they left.

“In Haiti, there is no security,” said Fabricio Jean, a 38-year-old Haitian who arrived in Texas with his wife and two daughters. “The country is in a political crisis.

Since Friday, 3,300 migrants have already been evacuated from the Del Rio camp to planes or detention centers, border patrol chief Raul L. Ortiz said on Sunday. He expected 3,000 of the approximately 12,600 remaining migrants to be moved within the day and aimed for the rest to be gone within the week.

“We are working around the clock to quickly move migrants out of the heat, elements and under this bridge to our processing facilities to quickly process and remove individuals from the United States in accordance with our laws and policies,” Ortiz said at a press conference at the Del Rio Bridge. The Texas city of about 35,000 people is located approximately 230 kilometers west of San Antonio.

Six flights were planned in Haiti on Tuesday – three in Port-au-Prince and three in the northern city of Cap-Haitien, said Jean Négot Bonheur Delva, director of migration for Haiti.

The swift deportations were made possible by a pandemic-related authority adopted by former President Donald Trump in March 2020 that allows migrants to be immediately deported from the country without the ability to seek asylum. President Joe Biden exempted unaccompanied children from the order but left the rest in place.

Any Haitian who is not deported is subject to immigration laws, which include the right to seek asylum and other forms of humanitarian protection. Families are quickly released in the United States as the government generally cannot detain children.

Some people arriving on the first flight covered their heads as they entered a large bus parked next to the plane. Dozens of people lined up to receive a plate of rice, beans, chicken and plantains as they wondered where they would sleep and how they would earn money to support their families.

All received $ 100 and have been tested for COVID-19, although authorities have not planned to quarantine them, said Marie-Lourde Jean-Charles of the National Migration Office.

Gary Monplaisir, 26, said his parents and sister live in Port-au-Prince, but that he was not sure he would stay with them because to join their home, him, his wife and their daughter. 5-year-olds would pass through a gang-controlled area called Martissant where murders are rife.

“I’m scared,” he said. “I don’t have a plan.”

He moved to Chile in 2017, just as he was about to earn an accounting degree, to work as a tow truck driver. He then paid for his wife and daughter to join him. They tried to reach the United States because he thought he could find a better paying job and help his family in Haiti.

“We are always looking for better opportunities,” he said.

Some migrants said they plan to leave Haiti again as soon as possible. Valeria Ternission, 29, said she and her husband wanted to travel with their 4-year-old son to Chile, where she worked as a cashier in a bakery.

“I am really worried, especially for the child,” she said. “I can’t do anything here.”

___

Lozano reported from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, Sanon from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Spagat from San Diego. Associated Press editors Danica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Maria Verza in Mexico City also contributed to this report.

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Follow AP’s coverage of migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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