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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — United States Steel Corp. on Tuesday announced it’s building a $3 billion mill in northeast Arkansas that’s expected to employ at least 900 people. The Pittsburgh-based company announced it has chosen Osceola for the site of its new mill, with construction expected to begin early this year and to be completed 2024. Osceola is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Memphis, Tennessee. “With this location selected and shovels ready, we are reshaping the future of steelmaking,” U. S. Steel President and CEO David B. Burritt said in a statement. “We had numerous competitive site options, but Osceola offers our customers incomparable advantages.” Arkansas lawmakers last month passed an incentive package aimed at helping lure the steel project to the state, including an income tax credit for recycling equipment for the facility. The facility will be located near the existing Big River Steel plant, also owned by U.S. Steel. Another steel mill owned by Nucor Steel is also in the area. “Arkansas has created an ideal business environment for the growth of the...
    New York Governor Kathy Hochul has delighted constituents who tipple with a surprise move to permanently legalize to-go alcohol orders from bars and restaurants. 'Cheers, New York,' Hochul said after announcing the move during her State of the State address to the legislature in Albany on Wednesday, as the Omicron wave further disrupts the Empire State economy. Carry-out booze had been temporarily allowed last year during the pandemic, which Hochul noted was a 'critical revenue stream' in tough times, but the measure expired in June. In her speech Hochul also announced a $1 billion plan to boost small businesses, including a tax credit for pandemic-related capital expenditures, such as for outdoor heaters or booth dividers. New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced permanent legalization of to-go alcohol, raising a champagne flute and saying 'cheers, New York' A New Yorker is seen carrying to-go drinks in May 2020. The temporary provision for carry-out booze had expired in June, but will now be permanent RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next New York state records 53,276 new covid cases...
    SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Crossing the Bay Area's state-owned bridges now costs $1 more.The increase applies to all the Bay Area bridges, except the Golden Gate. The toll is now $7 at the Bay Bridge toll plaza.RELATED: Bay Area bridges go all-electronic with toll collectionBack in 2018, voters approved three, gradual toll increases with Regional Measure 3. The voter-approved bill is funding $4.5 billion worth of highway and transit improvements.The final toll hike is scheduled for January 1, 2025.
    EL SERENO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- State and Los Angeles elected officials on Friday announced a proposal that would purchase state-owned property in El Sereno for a housing and amenities plan."We evaluated every single property to see what would fit in that site and what could be constructed or rehabbed in a way to quickly make affordable housing a reality," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Kevin De Leon, who represents the area.The effort, known as the El Sereno Vision Plan, would purchase vacant land and homes from Caltrans near the 710 freeway to create affordable housing and more."In May, I added to the city budget $2 million so we can quickly purchase these properties," said De Leon. "In total we anticipate that we will have 252 affordable units."The plan stems from state Senate Bill 51, a law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this year. According to officials, it allows the vacant properties to be sold at the original price when the state purchased them in the 1950s."The homes are selling for over a million dollars. I can't afford to...
    BEIJING (AP) — U.S. regulators are expelling a unit of China Telecom Ltd., one of the country’s three major state-owned carriers, from the American market as a national security threat amid rising tension with Beijing. China Telecom (Americas) Corp. is required to stop providing domestic interstate and international service in the United States within 60 days, under an order approved Tuesday by the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC cited the danger that Beijing might use the company eavesdrop or disrupt U.S. communications and “engage in espionage and other harmful activities against the United States. The Biden administration has extended efforts begun under then-President Donald Trump to limit access to U.S. technology and markets for state-owned Chinese companies due to concern they were security risks or helping with military development. China Telecom is among companies that were expelled from U.S. stock exchanges under an order by Trump barring Americans from investing in them. The FCC said in 2019 that due to security concerns it planned to revoke licenses granted two decades earlier to China Telecom and another state-owned carrier, China Unicom...
    (CBS4) – A high country business owner says Colorado’s grant to help businesses recover from the pandemic violates his constitutional rights by giving priority to minority-owned businesses. On Tuesday, a judge agreed. In December of 2020, the General Assembly passed, and Gov. Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 20B-001, which allocated $4 million for COVID-19 relief payments to “minority-owned businesses,” but a small business owner challenged this program with a lawsuit forcing the General Assembly to revise law. READ MORE: Longmont Shooting: USPS Mail Carrier Fatally Shot In Front Of MailboxesThe new law was revised so that it applies not just to “minority-owned businesses,” but to what the law refers to as “disproportionately-impacted businesses.” (credit: CBS) For Alma-based business owner Steve Collins, the law still didn’t work. He said it still gave priority to minority-owned businesses, so he filed the second lawsuit against the program. “There are general eligibility criteria which every business owner, minority owned or not, must meet,” said Wen Fa, Attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation. “For example, you have to have lost over 20% of...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Total enrollment at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities has declined to the lowest level in decades, according to data released Monday. The State System of Higher Education figures indicate the loss of another 5,000-plus students this fall, dropping the universities’ total enrollment below 89,000 students — a level not seen in more than three decades, dating nearly to its founding, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. READ MORE: Appeals Court Throws Out Life Sentence For Washington County Woman In Murder Of Her Newborn In 2004PennLive.com reported that the percentage drop in enrollment was the highest in well over two decades. System officials earlier warned state lawmakers and others that the 2021-22 year would be a “very challenging” one for enrollment, citing factors such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The system, founded in 1983, saw its enrollment peak at about 119,500 students in 2010, but saw the total drop to 94,000 last year. A review of system data indicates that the current total below 89,000 is lower than in any year since 1989, the Post-Gazette reported. Chancellor Dan Greenstein said...
    Moscow (CNN)A shooting was reported at a university in Perm, Russia, according to RIA Novosti, the country's state-owned news agency."Some students and teachers have locked (themselves) into the classrooms," the press service of the Perm State University said Monday, according to RIA.One person has been injured in the shooting, the university said, according to TASS news agency, which is government-owned.
    Gabby Petito update: Searches continue for missing woman and her fiancé Brian Laundrie World awaits verdict in trial of Hotel Rwanda hero Paul Rusesabagina CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian state-controlled payments firm e-finance for Digital and Financial Investments said on Sunday it would offer up to 14.5% of its capital in an initial public offering in the fourth quarter of 2021. Load Error Founded in 2005, e-finance said in a statement it is the sole entity authorised to operate the government's financial network, including processing and settling payment and collection transactions. The sale is one of several planned for this year. In May, Egypt sold a 51% stake in state-owned Arab Investment Bank (AIB) to privately owned EFG Hermes, its first sale of a majority bank stake since 2006. The government announced in 2018 it intended to sell minority stakes in nearly two dozen companies, but those sales have been delayed repeatedly by market downturns and more recently by the coronavirus pandemic. e-finance said it would float 177.8 million new shares on the stock exchange and...
    President Joe Biden has often shown pride in his Irish Catholic roots, but on another side of his ancestry, the progressive commander-in-chief's family lineage can be traced back to America's shameful past of slave ownership. Jesse Robinett, Biden's great-great-great grandfather, owned two enslaved people in Maryland in the 1800s, according to a Politico story adapted from a bombshell new book, The Bidens.  Another ancestor of Biden's also reportedly owned a slave in Maryland - a 14-year-old boy.    The new book delves into President Joe Biden's sometimes fraught history on racial issues, revealing that in the 1970s he lived in a home with a restrictive deed banning black owners or occupants. The book by Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger, titled The Bidens, is due out next week, and one chapter explores the incident with the racist covenant, according to an advance copy obtained by Fox News.  Biden's father first purchased the home in Faulkland, Delaware in 1969, and Biden then swapped houses with his dad in order to remain within the council district he then served. Biden, now 78, lived in the home...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — A new pot of money has been made available for minority-owned businesses that took a major hit throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported Wednesday, there is a focus on equity for minority-owned businesses and in particular Latino-owned businesses for a reason. City, state, and federal leaders explained that because of language barriers, concerns over immigration status, and other issues, access to help for businesses affected by the pandemic has not been equal across the state – and that is why this program is in place. READ MORE: I Could Not Talk: COVID Long Hauler Tells Her Story As New Study At Rush Hopes To Solve Some Mysteries Café Colao at 2638 W. Division St. is a little slice of Puerto Rico in Humboldt Park. “We focus on our Puerto Rican pastries,” said owner Wanda Colon. At the café, Colon has been serving a community she chose to invest in almost 20 years ago. “I’ve been in this community all my life,” Colon said. But like small businesses everywhere, the longtime neighborhood favorite...
    California's public pension system (CalPERS) has more than $3 billion tied up in Chinese companies, including 14 state-owned enterprises blacklisted by the Trump administration because of their ties to the Chinese military, according to a report Thursday. Records reviewed by The Washington Free Beacon reportedly show that CalPERS had more than $450 million invested in the 14 companies blacklisted by the previous administration. More than $490 million were invested in other seven of companies owned by the Chinese government, which are reportedly funding the state's Belt and Road Initiative. While those weren't blacklisted by the previous administration, the other 14 raised questions about California's compliance with the executive order signed by President Trump. One of those – China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) – is also state-owned and has reportedly flouted international agreements by building military installations in the South China Sea. CalPERS invested $6 million in the company, which faced intense criticism from former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Aug. of 2020. GAVIN NEWSOM PRAISED CHINESE OUTLET DESIGNATED FOREIGN AGENT, WITH REPORTED TIES TO COMMUNIST PARTY "CCCC led the...
    CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois has more than 132,000 Black-owned businesses, and August is Black Business Month.The state said the advancement of minority-owned businesses is essential to the growth of Illinois' economy. However, the last year and a half have been difficult with business owners working long hours, losing sleep and looking for new ways to attract customers.WATCH: Our Chicago Part 1EMBED More News Videos Business owners expresesd excitement about the relief effort, according to Siri Hibbler, CEO and founder of Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce. "What I'm hearing from the business owners that we talk to across the state is that they're not giving up, for one, and they are excited about the relief effort that has been coming down," said Siri Hibbler, CEO and founder of the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce. "They're asking us some of the creative ways they can market themselves. They're focusing a lot on marketing, more so probably than they did before, and they're realizing their customer base is not just right around the corner, right next door. Their customer base is broad, so...
    ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Comptroller Peter Franchot outlined a plan Monday to increase equity and inclusion for Black Maryland residents as part of his campaign for governor, including a pledge to name a Black woman as his running mate. Franchot, a Democrat, announced he would create a Cabinet-level office called the Secretary of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to review state policies. The secretary would release a report on promoting diversity in government, addressing existing biases in government policies and promoting economic opportunity. READ MORE: Lawrence Sakkestad Pleads Guilty In Brutal Germantown Murder Of Jennifer Sparks If recreational marijuana is legalized in a ballot initiative, the comptroller said he would focus on ensuring it would help economic growth in areas of the state disproportionately affected by enforcement for cannabis-related offenses and addresses past criminal justice inequities. Franchot also noted plans to explore creating a state-owned bank to ensure access to credit for Maryland small businesses, particularly minority- and women-owned businesses. READ MORE: Former Mayor Of Glenarden Edward Estes Pleads Guilty To Misconduct Another part of the proposal would seek to provide...
    A Chinese state-owned newspaper on Tuesday condemned online gaming as “opium for the mind,” prompting Chinese tech giant Tencent to announce new game controls and fueling investor fears of a start to government crackdowns on the gaming industry. The original version of the Economic Information Daily article included an argument that “society has come to recognize the harm caused by online gaming and it is often referred to as ‘opium for the mind’ or ‘electronic drugs,’” according to The Wall Street Journal.  While the article was eventually deleted and reposted with some of the harsher language removed, both versions detailed a rise in gaming addictions, arguing that it is negatively impacting child education and is fueling social alienation.  While the article did not target specific media companies by name, it criticized Tencent’s game Honor of Kings, which has been the world’s top-grossing game for the past two years.  The article argued, “No industry, no sport, can be allowed to develop in a way that will destroy a generation.” Hours later, Tencent announced that it would be implementing a series of new...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — Fifty-five new pot businesses are about to get the green light in Illinois with the state’s first lottery tomorrow for dispensary licenses. Licenses that were delayed for more than a year and a half, even as the state raked in millions in taxes and fees on legalized marijuana. READ MORE: Women May Have Gotten Botched Mammograms At Hoffman Estates Office CBS 2’s Tara Molina has been tracking this for us since the beginning. Not one minority-owned business has opened up yet because of the delays, but that’s about to change. It’s changing now. The first lottery Wednesday will award the first 55 new licenses and the second lottery next week will award another 55, specifically for owners who will diversify the industry here. “It was not easy.” Kiana Hughes sitting down with us in Park Forest hours before the first state lottery awarding cannabis dispensary licenses. “At least now, you see a light at the end of the tunnel because it was complete darkness before.” As an applicant and advocate, she’s been waiting more than a year...
    The newly announced Democratic House candidate in Iowa's 1st Congressional District appeared to use her official position as a state senator to secure millions of dollars in tax breaks for a client of her family-owned business. Liz Mathis, who announced on Tuesday that she was challenging freshman Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, rallied support among her fellow state senators in 2016 to secure up to $2.5 million in sales tax rebates for Prospect Meadows, an Iowa-based nonprofit that paid her husband's marketing firm tens of thousands of dollars for consulting services.  "It took a lot of hard work to get this bill to the Capitol and convince fellow legislators Prospect Meadows would be a good project for not only our area, but for the state," Mathis said after convincing several of her colleagues to reverse their votes. "People wrote off the bill to defeat, but never say never." The final approval of the $2.5 million tax rebate was given to Prospect Meadows, a complex of 17 baseball and softball fields in Marion, Iowa, in late 2018 in time for the 2019...
    MPS fear state secrets could be stolen by China using "hacked CCTV" as thousands of security cameras in the UK are owned by Beijing. Chinese state-backed surveillance technology is believed to have been installed in several government buildings in the UK. 4 4Chinese state-backed surveillance cameras have been installed in UK government buildingsCredit: Dan Jones - The Sun 4Pedestrians walk below CCTV cameras in Wangfujing Street in Beijing, ChinaCredit: Alamy And cameras are still being actively bought by government departments and local councils, the China Research Group (CRG) told The Sun Online. In a grave warning, MPs said Chinese intelligence agencies have the potential to "tap into camera feeds in sensitive locations". China's Hikvision cameras - which are banned for government use in the United States and used in Xinjiang's surveillance state - have been installed in ministerial departments, the group said. There are an estimated 1.2 million Hikvision cameras across the UK - and the Chinese state has a controlling stake in the firm. It has previously been revealed that some 16 of London's boroughs have bought...
    MSNBC host Chris Hayes pushed a Chinese state propaganda cartoon Tuesday criticizing the U.S. over its firearms deaths, saying he was "fascinated" by how gun violence played into America's perception around the world. "Continue to be grimly fascinated by how much America's truly exceptional levels of gun violence figure in the perception of the country around the world," Hayes tweeted, with a link to a crudely drawn cartoon from thee state-owned Xinhua News. In the cartoon, two Americans toast "to freedom" on the Fourth of July while a third gun-toting man adds "of SHOOTING!" Unsubtle like most political cartoons, it includes a gravestone with the humorously translated, "Death From Firearm." CHINA EXPANDS INFLUENCE AS IT WARNS NATIONS OF ‘BROKEN HEADS’ IF THEY INTERVENE The Xinhua News account is labeled state-owned by Twitter. The repressive Chinese government blocks its citizens from use of Twitter and other foreign websites and platforms. Before Hayes promoted it, the cartoon had already drawn sharp mockery from American commentators, pointing out China's dismal human rights record and coverup of the coronavirus outbreak that went on to...
    South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has signed a Santee Cooper oversight bill into law but maintained his preference for the state to sell and privatize the government-owned utility. “Although the resulting compromise is far from perfect, this legislation will nevertheless provide a measure of much needed and long overdue oversight, transparency and accountability," McMaster wrote this week in his signing statement for House Bill 3194. The new law creates four-year terms for a 12-person board of directors for Santee Cooper, along with increased oversight of any new debt taken on by the utility. There also are strict requirements that board directors must have a degree from a recognized college or university, along with a background in energy issues, consumer protection and advocacy, waste and wastewater issues, finance, economics and statistics, accounting, engineering or law. The governor is in charge of nominating board of director replacements, with advice from the Senate. The director must be screened by the State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee before being approved by the Senate. Santee Cooper is $6.8 billion in...
    Florida’s Miami-Dade County city of Doral voted unanimously on Wednesday to officially ban gambling and casinos in the city, potentially putting in jeopardy reported plans for the Trump-owned Doral golf resort to establish its own casino.  With the 4-0 vote from the Doral city council, properties wishing to establish gambling or a casino must get a request approved by residents in a referendum.  The move follows last month’s approval from the Florida state legislature for a 30-year compact between the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the state of Florida.  Under the agreement, the tribe would be prohibited from interfering if the state government decides to give a gambling license to a facility that is more than 15 miles “in a straight line” from the tribe’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. Trump’s Doral resort is located about 18 miles from the Hard Rock, thus opening the door should former President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer House Republican to challenge DeWine for Ohio gubernatorial nomination GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot Overnight Defense: Austin directs classified initiatives to counter...
    A popular gun show that’s been held at the OC Fair & Event Center since 1996 might have to find a new venue, if a bill from state Sen. Dave Min, D-Irvine, becomes law. Min’s bill – which passed in the Senate June 1 and awaits consideration in the Assembly – would ban gun shows on state property, including state-owned fairgrounds. That would put an end to the OC fairgrounds’ hosting of the Crossroads of the West Gun Show, a Utah-based business that typically has several shows per year in Orange County and has brought the fairgrounds more than $6 million in revenue over the past 25 years. Crossroads also holds regular shows at the Ontario Convention Center and San Bernardino’s National Orange Show Event Center, but the legislation doesn’t affect those properties because they’re not owned by the state. Min said in an interview that the idea for his bill was born in 2019, when mass shootings took place on two consecutive days in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The day of the Dayton shooting, Aug. 4, Min...
    Security forces in Mexico have arrested a fugitive former governor and his daughter on money laundering charges in a predawn raid on a home which is reportedly owned by a cartel. Roberto Sandoval, who governed the Pacific coast state of Nayarit from 2011 to 2017, and Lidy Sandoval, were apprehended on Sunday in Linares, a city in the northeastern state of Nuevo León. The ex-governor and his daughter were flown to Nayarit and on Monday appeared before a judge, who ordered Roberto Sandoval held without bail because he is considered a flight risk. Lidy Sandoval was released from custody after paying $75,000 bail bond. Both are being investigated for crimes of illicit enrichment, embezzlement and for allegedly being linked to criminal organizations. Mexican newspaper El Universal reported that they were staying at a home owned by members of the Güeros Cartel, a cell linked to the Sinaloa Cartel.  Roberto Sandoval (left) who governed the Mexican Pacific coast state of Nayarit from 2011 to 2017, was arrested along with his daughter Lidy Sandoval (right) on Sunday at a ranch...
    Loading the player... This year’s Urban One Honors, which airs on TV One on Sunday at 9 p.m., has a different twist. The 2021 theme is “Women Leading the Change” and the show’s honorees are all Black women.  Read More: ‘Foot soldiers’ of Birmingham to BLM: ‘Keep on keeping on’ Voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, groundbreaking journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, health equality advocate Dr. Ala Stanford, Walgreen’s CEO Rosalind “Roz” Brewer, Martha’s Table CEO Kim Ford and reparations advocate Robin Rue Simmons will all receive recognition for their accomplishments. Journalist, pundit, and author Roland Martin is one of the few males on this year’s show. The accomplished media personality is co-hosting with gospel singer and radio personality Erica Campbell. Via his Roland Martin Unfiltered show on YouTube and his appearances on CNN, MSNBC, and other platforms, his career has been about advancing the voices of Black America. In the last year, with everything from the coronavirus to George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and more police shootings in 2021 along with nationwide voter suppression efforts, Martin remains busy....
                        Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) Monday announced his appointment to fill the vacant seat on the five-member panel of the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). Attorney Gabriella Passidomo, daughter of state Sen. Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) was selected, according to POLITICO. The elder Passidomo is the Senate president-elect in 2022. Gabriella Passidomo has a political science degree from the University of Florida, and a law degree from Washington and Lee University. According to FloridaPolitics.com, Gabriella Passidomo served as a legal intern in the U.S. Department of Energy and a law clerk for the Florida Solicitor General in the Office of the Attorney General before her appointment as commissioner. The position pays an annual salary of $135,997. The seat has been vacant since DeSantis tapped former panel member Julie Brown to head the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in February. He chose Passidomo over state Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Lake Mary), PSC chief policy adviser Ana Cristina Ortega, and prominent Florida lobbyist Rosanna Manuela Catalano. “The Florida Public Service Commission is committed to making sure that Florida’s...
    Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the powerful chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Committee, plans to attempt to use a bipartisan piece of legislation meant to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s technological advances to instead steer what could end up being a huge boon of a federal contract worth billions of dollars to a company operating in her home state owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos. Cantwell, the chair of the panel that will consider the supposedly anti-China bill on Wednesday, is proposing amendment language to the plan that would authorize a second contract from NASA for a key part of the Artemis program that aims to put Americans back on the moon soon. NASA, through the Artemis program, awarded a contract last month for what is called a Human Landing System (HLS) to billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, a direct competitor of Bezos’s Blue Origin company. Both Musk’s and Bezos’s companies competed for the HLS contract in the Artemis program, as did another firm called Dynetics. SpaceX won the deal, NASA announced on April 16, in a hyped-up press release that was...
    Workers cut up coal carts in Dec. 2019 at a coal mine in Mentougou, west of Beijing, where many mines have been shut as China scrambles to cut carbon emissions.Greg Baker | AFP | Getty Images BEIJING — China's bond defaults are increasingly concentrated in a part of the country whose growth could face greater pressure from tough new restrictions on carbon emissions, according to analysis from Nomura. Fifteen regions in the northern half of China, including Beijing and Inner Mongolia, accounted for 63.4% of the number of national bond defaults last year, up from 51.5% in 2019, according to Nomura's estimates published in an April 27 report. It's the latest sign of growing economic disparity within the country, where GDP and population growth in the north already lags that of the south. Now, China's pledge to to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 means production restrictions are coming for the northern region's economy. Zoom In IconArrows pointing outwards "The new environmental campaign has the potential to hit North China — where a majority of steel, aluminum, and other raw materials...
                        Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel this month said her organization will hold U.S. President Joe Biden and other Democrats accountable for putting out false narratives about Georgia’s voter integrity law. McDaniel, in a press release, said Democrats’ distortions cost Georgia millions of dollars when Major League Baseball pulled events out of the state. McDaniel laid out her plan on the FOX Business channel this week. “We took out ads in all the Black newspapers, letting them know how much money was lost by the MLB moving out of Cobb County. It was $100 million,” McDaniel said. “We have billboards up in Georgia. We are fighting back.” One RNC ad was an open letter to MLB ownership, as shown in an RNC press release. “Your decision to betray Georgians was based on false information spread by partisan politicians acting in bad faith. Joe Biden, Stacey Abrams, and the Democrat Party have been lying to you about Georgia’s new election law, Senate Bill 202,” McDaniel wrote in the...
                      by Scott McClallen  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the state will increase state-owned facility renewable energy by 85% by 2025, up from the current 15%, but didn’t explain how. The governor announced the goal on April 22 to coincide with Earth Day. Whitmer cited a partnership between the state and energy providers DTE, Consumers Energy, and Lansing Board of Water and Light. Energy purchased from the utilities will expand those companies’ renewable energy portfolio in Michigan. Whitmer’s office didn’t respond to The Center Square’s inquiries for further information or a cost estimate. “Since my first day in office, we’ve continued to make real, lasting progress on environmental and climate issues across our state,” Whitmer said in a statement. “By moving state-owned buildings to 100 percent clean, renewable energy, we are working towards protecting public health and our environment, while attracting more clean energy jobs to Michigan. Actions like this and the MI Healthy Climate Plan will be paramount within the next 10 years to reduce the harmful impacts of climate change.”...
    CHICAGO (CBS) — This April 20, the unofficial holiday celebrating marijuana, we’re learning the State of Illinois is smashing recreational sales records again with $109 million in sales last month. But CBS 2’s Tara Molina learned as the state continues to rake in millions, not one minority-owned pot business has opened up shop yet because of state delays. READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Freezing Overnight The state is running almost a year behind on those new licenses, and those delays continue – with the state’s social equity plan still a work in progress more than a year into legalization. Meanwhile, dispensaries in areas like River North generated hundreds of millions in sales for the state. Illinois has puffed past $1 billion in total sales since legalizing pot in January 2020. Even through the pandemic, as other industries suffered, dispensaries have opened their doors and weed sales have continued to grow and break records. The State of Illinois has cashed in on pot, raking in more than $100 million in taxes and fees. And the same companies are getting...
    KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Belarus’ Foreign Ministry on Tuesday expressed regret over sanctions that the United States reimposed on nine state-owned companies in the ex-Soviet country, citing human rights violations. Belarus has become a target of Western sanctions after authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko won his sixth term in office in a widely disputed election in August and unleashed a harsh crackdown on subsequent mass protests that demanded he steps down. More than 34,000 people have been arrested, many of them beaten, and most prominent opposition figures have fled Belarus or have since been jailed. On Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department announced it was revoking a license that has allowed transactions with nine sanctioned state-owned companies in Belarus since 2015, including the oil company Belneftekhim, which accounts for 30% of the country’s industrial output. U.S. companies will have to wind up transactions with the nine entities by June 3. “This action is a further consequence of the Belarusian authorities’ flagrant disregard for human rights and Belarus’ failure to comply with its obligations under international human rights law,”...
    The United States on Thursday announced sanctions against a Burmese state-owned company that produces precious stones, saying it wanted to overthrow the Manna military junta, which has led to severe repression of pro-democracy protesters. The U.S. Treasury Department has announced that it will freeze all affected property Myanmar will ban any transaction with James Enterprise, which oversees the mining and marketing of jade and other precious stones. Washington promises “The Burmese military is losing financial resources, especially from major government agencies across Burma“Andrea Khaki, the manager overseeing the sanctions, said. Sanctions against leaders “America will continue to work tirelessly, With partners in the region and around the world, for the restoration of democracy and the rule of law in Burma, and for holding accountable those who seek to undermine these values.“ The US administration has already imposed targeted sanctions against Burmese military leaders who seized power by arresting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, and has severely cracked down on any opposition, killing hundreds. The sanctions announced on Thursday did not go far enough to re-impose...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Thursday hit Myanmar’s junta with new sanctions in response to February’s coup in the Southeast Asian nation. The State and Treasury departments announced they were imposing sanctions on the country’s main, state-owned gem company, Myanmar Gems Enterprise. The sanctions freeze any assets the firm holds in the U.S. or in U.S. jurisdictions and bar American citizens from doing business with it. The company is a major exporter of gems and semi-precious stones like jade, which bring in significant amounts of revenue to government coffers. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the sanctions send “a clear signal to the military that the United States will keep increasing pressure on the regime’s revenue streams until it ceases its violence, releases all those unjustly detained, lifts martial law and the nationwide state of emergency, removes telecommunications restrictions, and restores Burma to the path of democracy.” The U.S. and other Western nations have been steadily ramping up sanctions pressure on Myanmar, also known as Burma, since the Feb. 1 coup and subsequent deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protesters....
    BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota House agreed Wednesday to fund a rail spur to help a troubled shipping center in Minot, but balked at giving more than $8 million in taxpayer money to bail out a trio of banks — including one owned by Republican U.S. Sen. John Hoeven — that obtained the facility through foreclosure. The GOP-controlled House voted 84-7 to provide a loan of up to $2.5 million for track improvements for the facility. The bill passed with an emergency clause so that the funding is available to complete the work before a late-summer deadline imposed by BNSF Railway, which is currently allowing intermodal unit trains to be temporarily loaded on its mainline. The original legislation, sponsored by five Minot-area lawmakers, would have allowed an economic development group to buy the shipping facility from the three banks that bought its assets through foreclosure — the state-owned Bank of North Dakota, First Western Bank and Trust, and the State Bank and Trust of Kenmare. Hoeven, who served as North Dakota’s governor from 2000 to 2010, is part...
    Shanghai (China), March 26 (EFE) .- The largest bank in China and one of the largest in the world, the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), obtained a net profit of 315.906 million yuan in 2020 (48,302 million dollars, 40,977 million euros), 1.18% more than the previous year. In its income statement for the year 2020, sent today to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the entity points not only to the “disruptions” caused by the COVID pandemic but also to “factors of uncertainty” at the domestic and international level, despite to which it achieved “deserved growth” while providing financing to the “real economy” of the country. ICBC’s operating billing rose by 3.1% during the year, while its operations cost it less in 2020, lowering that figure by 0.6%. However, the advance of losses due to impairment of assets continued to be a problem for the bank, since they stood at 202,668 million yuan (30,993 million dollars, 26,278 million euros), 13.3% more than in 2019 and, looking further back, 130.6% more than in 2016. ICBC ended the year of...
    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Even sooner than critics had expected, a court in Mexico issued an injunction Thursday to block a new law that favors government-owned power generation over cleaner private electrical plants. The law went into effect Tuesday, and within two days the court granted an injunction to block it. The ruling was sought by a company that operates a 160-megawatt wind farm in the southern Pacific coast state of Oaxaca. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said the law is meant protect government-owned fossil-fuel plants against what he call unfair competition from private wind, solar and natural gas-fired power plants. But investors, many of them foreign, say it violates the U.S.-Mexico Canada free trade pact and Mexico’s commitments to cut carbon emissions. They claim it also creates a de-facto government monopoly, hurts competition and will make Mexicans buy dirtier, more expensive electricity. “There is a societal and public interest in suspending the law,” the Second Administrative District Court wrote in the ruling. It said the action aims to protect “the continuity of public policies” that...
    GILROY (CBS SF) — The licenses of two Gilroy liquor stores owned by a couple accused of human trafficking and wage theft have been revoked, state authorities said Thursday, The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) revoked the licenses of M and M Liquor at 7901 Westwood Drive and Gavilan Market at 8110 Westwood Drive following a joint investigation by ABC and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. READ MORE: Powerful Earthquakes Up To 8.1 Magnitude Strike Off New Zealand; Hawaii Tsunami Watch Canceled The Gavilan Market license revocation was stayed for one year to allow for an ownership transfer approved by the ABC, although the license was suspended for 45 days and indefinitely for up to one year. A months-long probe led to the arrest last November of Balwinder Singh Mann, 66, and Amjarit Mann, 66, who allegedly harbored at least one victim in the back of M and M Liquor store where the victim slept on a mattress in unhealthy conditions. According to the DA’s office, the victim “worked 15-hour shifts, seven days a week, slept...
    DENVER (CBS4) – The owner of a small, independent pharmacy in Denver says she’s set up to administer hundreds of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, but isn’t getting the chance to contribute. So far, more than 1.3 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the state. Many of those vaccinations have happened through health systems, public health agencies, community clinics and large pharmacy chains. (credit: CBS) The Capitol Heights Pharmacy, located in Denver’s Congress Park neighborhood, is one of the 878 approved vaccine providers. Owner Kristin Holmes says she has yet to receive a single dose. READ MORE: Kaiser Permanente Sets Out To Add Thousands More To Vaccinated List “We don’t know whether our orders will be accepted or denied. It just says pending approvals,” Holmes said. “We send emails. We make phone calls. Nobody can give us anymore information other than keep checking back.” Holmes tells CBS4 she started planning to be vaccination provider in October. She’s since lined up volunteers, invested in appointment scheduling software, and bought a pricey, ultra-cold freezer for storage. “We’re definitely financially...
    AT&T pressured the Commerce Department to keep a Chinese military-controlled telecom company off the United States' sanction list despite their use of forced labor and other human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims, former Commerce Department undersecretary Corey Stewart told "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Wednesday. Stewart verified allegations first reported by the National File, revealing that AT&T executive Ed Gillespie requested that the department keep China Telecom off of what is called the "entities list," reserved for foreign companies who are engaged in human rights or national security violations. The company, headquartered in Beijing, is involved in a joint venture with AT&T and was set to be sanctioned due to its alleged support of human rights abuses by China's Communist government. "It was very disturbing because we had a lot of indications, there is very good intelligence out there, that the Chinese government, through its basically state-owned subsidiary of China Telecom has been using cell phone technology, telecommunications technology, to track minority populations in China, to spy on them, and then to hand this information over to the China police state, and they are rounding up the Uyghur population...," Stewart said. CHINA STATE-OWNED MEDIA USES TIME SQUARE VIDEO SCREENS FOR ADS  Stewart...
              A group of black legislators in Minnesota wants the state to begin awarding contracts on the basis of race, according to a Monday report. “The United Black Legislative Caucus, made up of 10 Black Minnesota state senators and representatives, announced in a recent virtual town hall that they’ll push for the state to require 15% of all public contracts to be awarded to businesses owned by people of color,” The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal said. Citing the Minnesota Department of Administration, the news outlet said that only two percent of state government contracts are awarded to minority-owned businesses currently. One Minnesota congressman says new laws are not necessary for such an arrangement. “We have many laws that are in the books, but sometimes we don’t apply them,” state Rep. Mohamud Noor (DFL-MN-60B) reportedly said. Noor (pictured above), also the director of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota, reportedly referred to Minnesota Statute Chapter 16C. Minnesota Statute Chapter 16C.285 defines what it means to be a “responsible contractor” in the state. It mandates...
    Chinese state-owned media ran messages across a New York City billboard urging unity in the fight against COVID-19, even as Beijing continues to resist cooperating with World Health Organization investigations into the origin of the virus. The so-called China Screen in Times Square has run images for the Xinhua News Agency – the official state-run press agency of Beijing – since 2011.  The "China Screen" in Times Square, New York City (Fox News) The screen usually displays products and travel promotions for China, according to USA China Daily, but it has recently displayed a different message. WHO OFFICIAL SAYS WUHAN COVID LAB-ESCAPE THEORY A 'HYPOTHESIS,' AS UK PRIME MINISTER DEMANDS ANSWERS What followed was a series of messages that talked about the progress made in fighting the virus, such as noting the 48.52% recovery rate and cruise ships passing inspections. The bottom text reads: "China has helped more than 80 countries and territories, will continue to fight the virus hand in hand with the international community." (Fox News) "China has helped more than 80 countries and...
    SHANGHAI (Reuters) - The online bank backed by Alibaba's fintech giant Ant Group has joined China's digital yuan pilot programme, it said on Monday, as the Beijing's expands trials aimed at eventually rolling out the electronic currency for mass use. Ant-backed MYBank said it was one of the parties participating in the research and development on China's e-currency. It plans to "advance the trial pursuant to the overall arrangement of the People's Bank of China(PBOC)," said a bank's spokesperson. China's central bank's digital currency pilot has to date mainly been publicly by state-owned banks, instead of privately-owned banks. Tencent Holdings backed WeBank is also participating in the digital yuan pilot, the state-backed China Securities News said in a Feb. 20 report, in which it also mentioned MYBank's involvement. WeBank declined to comment. MYbank and WeBank's services will soon be introduced to the PBOC's digital yuan app, according to China Securities News and a screenshot of the app seen by Reuters. The e-wallets from the two privately-owned lenders will be similar to the functions offered by the six state-owned lenders in...
    South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem used a state airplane to shuttle her around the country to right-wing political events, racking up huge bills on the taxpayer dime as the GOP darling traveled to events hosted by, among others, the National Rifle Association, Turning Point USA, and a Las Vegas confab put on by the Republican Jewish Coalition. That’s according to flight records reviewed by Raw Story, which also reports Noem unnecessarily blew thousands on air travel by having the state airplane fetch her at her family home in Castlewood, SD, rather than at the official governor's residence in Pierre, where the plane is kept. Noem once had the airplane pick her up at her daughter Kassidy’s wedding, which was held in Custer State Park. From a legal perspective, wrongful use of the plane goes well beyond an ethics violation, as state-owned aircraft are only supposed to be used for official state business. Fines for improper travel can reach 10 times the cost of the flight. "Governor Noem follows the law when weighing whether it is appropriate to use state...
    By SONJA SMITH, Associated Press WINDHOEK, Namibia (AP) — The government of Namibia has closed the southern African country's state-owned airline, Air Namibia, saying that it can no longer afford the financial losses. All Air Namibia flights have been canceled, 10 aircraft have been grounded and the reservations system has been closed. Air Namibia's 644 employees have lost their jobs and will receive a severance package of a year's salary, according to a Cabinet announcement. Air Namibia has announced on its social media platforms that customers who have paid for flights should register for refunds. The decision to close the airline was taken after careful consideration, according to the minister of public enterprises Leon Jooste. “The national airline is not profitable and it has not been profitable since its inception. The net economic costs of Air Namibia’s operations far outstrip the net gains and it is thus unsustainable," Jooste said last week. The government has spent more than the equivalent of $550 million to maintain the airline, said Jooste. “At this stage, the country’s economy can no longer afford to...
    WINDHOEK, Namibia (AP) — The government of Namibia has closed the southern African country’s state-owned airline, Air Namibia, saying that it can no longer afford the financial losses. All Air Namibia flights have been canceled, 10 aircraft have been grounded and the reservations system has been closed. Air Namibia’s 644 employees have lost their jobs and will receive a severance package of a year’s salary, according to a Cabinet announcement. Air Namibia has announced on its social media platforms that customers who have paid for flights should register for refunds. The decision to close the airline was taken after careful consideration, according to the minister of public enterprises Leon Jooste. “The national airline is not profitable and it has not been profitable since its inception. The net economic costs of Air Namibia’s operations far outstrip the net gains and it is thus unsustainable,” Jooste said last week. The government has spent more than the equivalent of $550 million to maintain the airline, said Jooste. “At this stage, the country’s economy can no longer afford to perpetually...
    WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' four state-owned casinos reported a 28% drop in revenue last year when they were closed for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic. The four casinos in Kansas City, Mulvane, Dodge City and Pittsburg generated about $300 million revenue in 2020, down from $416 million the year before. That means state and local governments are receiving less money from gambling. “It’s been a really difficult year for a lot of businesses and obviously, our casinos are part of that,” said Stephen Durrell, executive director of the Kansas Lottery, which owns the four casinos that are run by private companies. The Wichita Eagle reports that the casinos closed March 17 because of the pandemic and didn't reopen until May 22. And ever since reopening, the casinos have been operating at reduced capacity. For instance, the Kansas Star casino in Mulvane normally runs 1,650 slot machines and 62 gaming tables along with a 10-table poker room. Now, it’s running about 900 slots and 44 tables, and the poker room remains closed. The casinos also had to spend...
    By: KDKA-TV News Staff MAYFIELD, Pa (KDKA) – A Pennsylvania state trooper is facing a slew of charges in connection with the gentlemen’s club police say he co-owned in Lackawanna County. RELATED: Man Arrested After Crashing Truck Into Gas Station While Attempting To Steal ATM An investigation revealed 38-year-old Robert Covington Jr. with the Bureau of Gaming Enforcement co-owned the Sinners Swing Gentlemen’s Club. Police say Covington and others were operating a corrupt organization involving prostitution, gambling and money laundering. Police say Covington was on restricted duty during an investigation and is now suspended without pay. RELATED: Pittsburgh Weather: Wintry Conditions, Possible Freezing Rain Three others — David Klem, Michael Ball and Deanna Tallo — were also charged after a 17-month investigation. The four surrendered on Thursday. “Members of the PSP take an oath to seek justice without consideration of class, color, creed, or condition, and that means conducting thorough and unbiased investigations into our own troopers when necessary,” said Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police in a statement. MORE: The Impact Of The Coronavirus Pandemic On...
    By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, Associated Press MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico vowed Thursday to continue with attempts to limit private power generation after the Supreme Court ruled against President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s attempt to block permits for renewable power plants. Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero said the court ruling applied only to a 2020 executive order, and said the administration would wage a new court battle over another bill the president sent to Congress this month. The new bill would give priority in electricity purchases to older, more polluting, state-owned power plants. It is the latest chapter in a battle over private and renewable energy plants that were encouraged by López Obrador’s predecessors. “This ruling involved the constitutionality of an (executive) order, and that is very different from a law,” Sánchez Cordero said. “So I think we have enough ammunition in common and constitutional law to go ahead, because I insist, we are not rejecting private investment in the energy field.” With electricity use down during the pandemic, Mexico’s state-owned power company, the Federal Electricity Commission, faces declining revenue and...
    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico vowed Thursday to continue with attempts to limit private power generation after the Supreme Court ruled against President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s attempt to block permits for renewable power plants. Interior Secretary Olga Sánchez Cordero said the court ruling applied only to a 2020 executive order, and said the administration would wage a new court battle over another bill the president sent to Congress this month. The new bill would give priority in electricity purchases to older, more polluting, state-owned power plants. It is the latest chapter in a battle over private and renewable energy plants that were encouraged by López Obrador’s predecessors. “This ruling involved the constitutionality of an (executive) order, and that is very different from a law,” Sánchez Cordero said. “So I think we have enough ammunition in common and constitutional law to go ahead, because I insist, we are not rejecting private investment in the energy field.” With electricity use down during the pandemic, Mexico’s state-owned power company, the Federal Electricity Commission, faces declining revenue and increasing stocks...
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