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Daily News Digest – July 8, 2021

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Thursday, July 8.

1. Second bill targeting Critical Race Theory filed for ’22 legislative session

  • A second bill targeting how theories on race and bias are taught has been pre-filed in the Alabama House, this one applying to education institutions and the training state employees and contractors receive.
  • House Bill 9, filed in advance of the 2022 legislative session that starts in January, says “the State of Alabama shall not teach, instruct, or train any employee, contractor, staff member, student, or any other individual group to adopt or believe divisive concepts.”
  • Sponsor Rep. Ed Oliver, R-Dadeville, said he knows concepts prohibited in his bill are being taught in the state. He said one of his children had “inclusion and diversity training” at a public university, which included the principles of Critical Race Theory.
  • Training of state employees is managed by the Alabama State Personnel Department. Director Jackie Graham in an email to ADN said after a cursory review that the bill wouldn’t seem to impact any of the training programs the department provides.
  • Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, said legislation like this is simply a way for Republicans to pander to their base using the most recent culture war topic.
  • Read more from Mary Sell HERE.



2. Johnny Ford takes saw to Confederate statue in Tuskegee


  • A council member using a saw cut into a 115-year-old Confederate memorial at the center of historic Tuskegee on Wednesday but failed to topple it, marking the latest move in a push to remove the contentious monument from the nearly all-Black Alabama town.
  • Johnny Ford, a former mayor whose City Council district includes the park where the monument is located, said he took action because constituents voted in a public meeting last week in favor of removing the rebel memorial, which has been the subject of complaints and a target for vandals on and off for years.
  • Using a lift to reach the statue of a Confederate soldier atop a stone pedestal, Ford said he sawed into a leg of the memorial, which was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The group has refused to take down the statue even though Tuskegee, a town of 8,100, is 97% Black and known internationally as a home of Black empowerment.
  • Ford said he stopped cutting when Sheriff Andre Brunson showed up and asked him to quit.
  • No arrest was made, Brunson said, but a report will be sent to the district attorney and he added charges are possible.
  • “I understand what many people think and what he thinks, but it’s still destruction of property,” Brunson said.
  • Read more from Kim Chandler HERE.



3. State sees uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations

  • Alabama has seen a slight uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations and the percent of tests coming back positive, state numbers show. There were 256 people in state hospitals with COVID-19 on Wednesday, although that is a fraction of the 3,000 that were hospitalized at the peak of the pandemic.
  • Dr. Don Williamson, the former state health officer who now heads the Alabama Hospital Association, said he thinks the increase is tied to low vaccination rate plus the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.
  • Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Division of Infectious Diseases, said Alabama’s low vaccination rate makes the state vulnerable to an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.
  • However, Williamson said he is hopeful it won’t return to where it was in January because of the high vaccination rate among elderly people, who are most at risk for complications.
  • Read more HERE.



4. Job openings rise to record high, layoffs hit record low

  • U.S. employers posted a record-high number of open jobs for the second straight month as a rapidly rebounding economy generates intense demand for workers.
  • The number of available jobs on the last day of May rose slightly to 9.21 million, from 9.19 million in April, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That is the highest since records began in December 2000. The previously-reported figure for April of 9.3 million was revised lower.
  • The number of people quitting their jobs slipped in May from a record high in April, but remains elevated. And the percentage of workers getting laid off hit a record low in May, the report said.
  • The figures point to a tight job market, with employers forced to pay more to attract workers yet still struggling to fill open jobs. And many workers are leaving jobs for better-paying positions at other companies. It’s unusual for such dynamics to have kicked in with the unemployment rate still elevated at 5.9% in June, as the government reported last week.
  • In May, there was essentially one open job for every unemployed American, a situation that is far more typical of an economy with a much lower unemployment rate.
  • Alabama’s unemployment rate currently sits at 3.4%. An updated rate for June will be released next week.
  • Read more HERE.



5. Trump files suit against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

  • Former President Donald Trump has filed suit against three of the country’s biggest tech companies, claiming he and other conservatives have been wrongfully censored.
  • Trump announced the action against Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube, along with the companies’ CEOs Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai, at a press conference Wednesday in New Jersey, where he demanded that his accounts be reinstated.
  • Trump has been suspended from the platforms since January, when his followers violently stormed the Capitol building, trying to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s presidential win. The companies cited concerns that Trump would incite further violence and have kept him locked out. All three declined comment Wednesday.
  • “We’re asking the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to order an immediate halt to social media companies’ illegal, shameful censorship of the American people,” Trump said of the filings. “We’re going to hold big tech very accountable.”
  • Twitter, Facebook and Google are all private companies, and users must agree to their terms of service to use their products. Under Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, social media platforms are allowed to moderate their services by removing posts that, for instance, are obscene or violate the services’ own standards, so long as they are acting in “good faith.” The law also generally exempts internet companies from liability for the material that users post.
  • But Trump and some other politicians have long argued that Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms have abused that protection and should lose their immunity — or at least have it curtailed.
  • Read more HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Second bill targeting Critical Race Theory filed for ’22 legislative session


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – State sees uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Johnny Ford takes saw to Confederate statue in Tuskegee


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US job openings rise to record high, layoffs hit record low


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump files suit against Facebook, Twitter and YouTube


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Rural Alabama electric cooperative hit by ransomware attack


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Judge hears arguments in Democratic Party leadership dispute


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In hunt for infrastructure deal, every Dem has leverage


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – As employers struggle, teens come back to the workforce


AL.COM – Ex-Tuskegee mayor tries toppling city’s Confederate monument, stopped by sheriff


AL.COM – Sheriff can’t use ‘everyone-is-doing-it’ defense at Alabama corruption trial, judge rules


AL.COM – Robert Aderholt says FAA should ‘strongly review’ Gadsden chicken rendering plant application


AL.COM – Alabama hospitals report nearly all COVID patients are unvaccinated


AL.COM – Mo Brooks: 2020 election stolen from Donald Trump, ‘kick ass’ speech distorted


AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: A high school will vanish, but that’s not all


AL.COM – Veteran prosecutor elected first Black president of Alabama District Attorneys Association


Montgomery Advertiser – In Alabama, many still lack broadband access


Montgomery Advertiser – ‘Enough’: Tuskegee Councilman Johnny Ford takes saw to Confederate monument in town square


Montgomery Advertiser – Sunny side of life: Annual Autaugaville sunflower field opens to rave reviews


Decatur Daily – Anti-rioting bill pre-filed for 2022 legislative session


Decatur Daily – ‘A hallowed ground’ — New veterans museum location focuses on individual soldiers


Decatur Daily – National Packaging in Decatur to lay off 62 employees


Times Daily – Florence secures softball tournament through 2024


Times Daily – WIC Increase Means Young Children Get Needed Fresh Foods


Times Daily – Anti-rioting bill pre-filed for 2022 session


Anniston Star – Britt raises $2.24M in first three weeks of campaign


Anniston Star – Anniston officials want full cleanup of Cooper Homes site


Anniston Star – Anniston Heritage Festival essay, art competition submissions open


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – HB220 study group meets for first bill review session


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Man says Weiss Lake motel refused him a room because he’s in a wheelchair, motel responds


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Local pharmacies don’t believe Amazon will hurt business


Tuscaloosa News – Five things to do this weekend in the Tuscaloosa area


Tuscaloosa News – Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama named finalist for Chamber of the Year award


Tuscaloosa News – ‘Enough’: Tuskegee Councilman Johnny Ford takes saw to Confederate monument in town square


YellowHammer News – GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Katie Britt on new I-10 Mobile Bay bridge: ‘It can’t be a toll’


YellowHammer News – Vestavia Hills school selected to supply payload for ULA’s Student Rocket Launch


YellowHammer News – New calendar for many Alabama municipal elections; Goal is that ‘citizens will be energized to vote’


Gadsden Times – Rain slows work at megasite; railroad crossing is priority


Gadsden Times – Gadsden man charged in November shooting; police say it was murder-robbery


Gadsden Times – U.S. Rep Robert Aderholt asks FAA to take rendering plant opposition into consideration


Dothan Eagle – Olympic-host Japan declares virus emergency; Haiti faces uncertain future; Tampa Bay Lightning repeat


Dothan Eagle – Body of missing Georgia boy recovered along Florida beach


Dothan Eagle – Latest hack to test Biden’s vow for consequences for Russia


Opelika-Auburn News – Crews give up hope of finding survivors at collapse site


Opelika-Auburn News – Haiti in upheaval: President Moïse assassinated at home


Opelika-Auburn News – 8 victims pulled from rubble in single day; Elsa weakens, nears landfall; more Britney Spears fallout


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery County district attorney to host ‘Second Chance’ job fair


WSFA Montgomery – Historic church begins multimillion-dollar expansion


WSFA Montgomery – Louisiana’s coast is starved for river sand; Wisconsin has it


WAFF Huntsville – Head of vaccine research for UAB says effects from COVID-19 vaccine are only short term


WAFF Huntsville – Alabama cities, counties await millions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan


WAFF Huntsville – Body of missing Alabama doctor recovered after Florida condo collapse


WKRG Mobile – Prichard police investigate homicide, four shootings in same day


WKRG Mobile – Red snapper category added to ADSFR Young Anglers Tournament


WKRG Mobile – Tuscaloosa doctor’s body recovered from Florida condo collapse


WTVY Dothan – County commission chairman, police chief react to Abbeville dispatch transition


WTVY Dothan – Henry County set to receive $300,000 in CAREA Act grant funding


WTVY Dothan – Entertainment district in the works for downtown Enterprise


WASHINGTON POST – Trump charged Secret Service nearly $10,200 in May for agents’ rooms


WASHINGTON POST – Condo collapse response shifts from rescue to recovery as official says no chance of additional survivors


WASHINGTON POST – Undermining Florida’s condo laws: Politics, turf wars and human nature


NEW YORK TIMES – Live Updates: Haiti Hunts Down President’s Assassins as Crisis Deepens


NEW YORK TIMES – Covid Live Updates: World Passes 4 Million Reported Deaths


NEW YORK TIMES – Eric Adams, Once a Political Outsider, Conquers the Inside Game


WALL STREET JOURNAL – China’s Cyber Watchdog to Police Chinese Overseas Listings


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Tokyo Olympics to Be Held Under Covid-19 State of Emergency


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Daily Covid-19 Deaths in Indonesia Nearly Double as Delta Variant Drives Surge




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