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Weekend Digest – September 12, 2021

1. ‘Don’t focus on hate’: World marks 20th anniversary of 9/11

  • The world solemnly marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11 on Saturday, grieving lost lives and shattered American unity in commemorations that unfolded just weeks after the bloody end of the Afghanistan war that was launched in response to the terror attacks.
  • Victims’ relatives and four U.S. presidents paid respects at the sites where hijacked planes killed nearly 3,000 people in the deadliest act of terrorism on American soil.
  • Others gathered for observances from Portland, Maine, to Guam, or for volunteer projects on what has become a day of service in the U.S. Foreign leaders expressed sympathy over an attack that happened in the U.S. but claimed victims from more than 90 countries.
  • “It felt like an evil specter had descended on our world, but it was also a time when many people acted above and beyond the ordinary,” said Mike Low, whose daughter, Sara Low, was a flight attendant on the first plane that crashed.
  • “As we carry these 20 years forward, I find sustenance in a continuing appreciation for all of those who rose to be more than ordinary people,” the father told a ground zero crowd that included President Joe Biden and former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
  • Read more HERE.


2. Bush warns of domestic extremism, appeals to ‘nation I know’

  • Warning that the nation was falling into division and extremism, former President George W. Bush appealed Saturday for a return to the spirit of cooperation that emerged — almost instantaneously — after the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago.
  • Delivering the keynote address at the national memorial to the victims of Flight 93, who forced down their airplane hijacked by al-Qaida terrorists before it could be used as a weapon against the nation’s capital, Bush warned of “violence that gathers within.”
  • “There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home,” he said. “But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.”
  • Bush’s warning came barely eight months after the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election. It marked some of Bush’s sharpest criticism of that attack and appeared to be an implicit criticism of Trump’s brand of politics.
  • Read more HERE.


3. FBI releases newly declassified record on Sept. 11 attacks

  •  A declassified FBI document related to logistical support given to two of the Saudi hijackers in the run-up to the Sept. 11 attacks details contacts the men had with Saudi associates in the United States but does not provide proof that senior kingdom officials were complicit in the plot.
  • The document released Saturday, on the 20th anniversary of the attacks, is the first investigative record to be disclosed since President Joe Biden ordered a declassification review of materials that for years have remained out of public view. The 16-page document is a summary of an FBI interview done in 2015 with a man who had frequent contact with Saudi nationals in the U.S. who supported the first hijackers to arrive in the country before the attacks.
  • Biden ordered the Justice Department and other agencies to conduct a declassification review and release what documents they can over the next six months. He was under pressure from victims’ families, who have long sought the records as they pursue a lawsuit in New York alleging that Saudi government officials supported the hijackers.
  • The heavily blacked-out document was released hours after Biden attended Sept. 11 memorial events in New York, Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. Victims’ relatives had said they would object to Biden’s presence at those remembrances as long as the documents remained classified.
  • Read more HERE.


4. Alabama COVID-19 hospitalizations at plateau, ICUs in crisis

  • Alabama’s rapid rise in the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 appears to have stabilized, yet the state still faces the “real crisis” of an overwhelming number of patients needing intensive care, nearly all of whom aren’t vaccinated, the chief health officer said Friday.
  • After threatening to reach an all-time high for hospitalizations during the coronavirus pandemic, state hospitals have seen a slight decline in recent days, said Dr. Scott Harris, head of the Alabama Department of Public Health.
  • Overall hospitalizations dropped below 2,700 on Thursday for the first time in more than a week, he told a news briefing.
  • “We have had a little bit of a plateau over the last week. I’m very thankful for that. The numbers aren’t great. But the numbers at least have not continued to go up,” he said.
  • Still, unvaccinated people sick with COVID-19 and a relatively small number of vaccinated people who contracted the illness continue to need more intensive care beds than the state has, he said. Patients who normally would be treated in ICU wards are instead being cared for in emergency rooms, normal beds or even gurneys left in hallways, he said.
  • Read more HERE.


5. Cannabis Commission wants plants next year, hires director

  • The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission will ask state lawmakers to revise the state’s medical marijuana law in order to get plants in the ground next year and make the products available to patients sooner, reported.
  • The commission also voted to offer State Treasurer John McMillan the job of executive director of the new agency that will run the medical cannabis program. McMillan served two terms as state agriculture commissioner and is a former commissioner of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. McMillan told the news outlet he expects to accept the job, which would require him to resign as state treasurer. Ivey would appoint a replacement.
  • reports that Commission Vice Chair Rex Vaughn said he has been in discussions with lawmakers about moving up the start date for licensing cultivators from Sept 1, 2022 to early 2022.
  • “It may allow us to grow a crop in 2022,” Vaughn said. “That is our game plan right now.”
  • Read more HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – ‘Don’t focus on hate’: World marks 20th anniversary of 9/11
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Bush warns of domestic extremism, appeals to ‘nation I know’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – FBI releases newly declassified record on Sept. 11 attacks
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama COVID-19 hospitalizations at plateau, ICUs in crisis
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Cannabis Commission wants plants next year, hires director
AL.COM – At Flight 93 memorial, Bush notes ‘splendor’ of bravery on 9/11.
AL.COM – Alabama looks back at 9/11 remembering losses including unity.
AL.COM – Lawsuit filed over Confederate statue in mostly Black Alabama city.
AL.COM – Alabama Democratic Party leader fires back at Kay Ivey over Biden comments.
AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey pays 20th anniversary homage to those who ‘leapt into action’ on 9/11.
AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Vaccine mandates too much? You know we still have a Selective Service, right?
AL.COM – 9/11 20th anniversary: 11 people with Alabama ties lost their lives on Sept. 11.
AL.COM – 3 reasons why Alabama’s COVID hospitalizations are beginning to ‘plateau’: Week in review.
AL.COM – 9/11 20th Anniversary: Remembering 140 of Alabama’s fallen soldiers.
AL.COM – Columnist John Archibald: 20 years later, brother of 9/11 hero begs for unity.
AL.COM – Columnist Amanda Walker: We are more heart than color.
AL.COM – Contributor Karim Shamsi-Basha: 9/11 is a Memory with Jagged Edges.
AL.COM – Columnist Frances Coleman: The lost lessons of 9/11, and why they matter.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Contributor Jake Proctor: On Afghanistan, we just can’t forget.
YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Alabamians support communities and businesses recovering from Hurricane Ida.
AP NEWS – Could Texas abortion ban strategy be double-edged sword?
AP NEWS – Unions split on vaccine mandates, complicating Biden push.
THE HILL – Vaccine mandates test Biden ties with labor.
THE HILL – Salesforce offers to help relocate employees in Texas due to new abortion law.
POLITICO – Child Covid deaths more than doubled in Florida as kids returned to the classroom.
POLITICO – House Democrats unveil plans for array of new tax incentives.
DECATUR DAILY – Morgan County residents seek financial assistance after eviction ban is lifted.
DECATUR DAILY – The Decatur Daily: Biden’s vaccine mandates don’t pass muster.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – Jail staffing remains a challenge for Lauderdale sheriff.
FLORENCE TIMES DAILY – UNA trustees approve deficit budget to avoid tuition hike.
GADSDEN TIMES – Gadsden vows to ‘Never Forget’ 9/11 on 20th anniversary.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – After 43 hospitals turn away Alabama man who needed ICU bed, obituary urges COVID vaccines.
MONTGOMERY ADVERTISER – Alabama schools see small decrease in COVID-19 cases.
WASHINGTON POST – After 9/11, a rush of national unity. Then, quickly, more and new divisions.
WASHINGTON POST – The Washington Post: Vaccine mandates are hard. So is covid.
WASHINGTON POST – Biden’s vaccine push wins cautious business support as political opponents fume.
WASHINGTON POST – Rent relief could save tenants from eviction. But advocates say many have already moved out.
NEW YORK TIMES – The New York Times: Biden Is Right: Vaccine Refusal ‘Has Cost All of Us’
NEW YORK TIMES – The Tragedy of America’s Rural Schools: Outdated textbooks, not enough teachers, no ventilation — for millions of kids like Harvey Ellington, the public-education system has failed them their whole lives.
NEW YORK TIMES – Biden Administration Goes Bigger on Cutting Drug Prices
NEW YORK TIMES – Parents of Young Children Desperately Seek Vaccine Trials
THE GUARDIAN – Top security officials to reinstall Capitol fence ahead of far-right rally.
THE GUARDIAN – ‘Ida is not the end’: Indigenous residents face the future on Louisiana’s coast – photo essay.

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