By Karah Rucker (Reporter/Producer), Stacey Chamberlain (Digital Producer), Ben Burke (Editor/Producer)
Fox News has settled a lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems just ahead of opening statements in the case. And the Iowa state Senate passes a child labor bill expanding hours and types of jobs kids under sixteen can work. These stories and more highlight the daily rundown for Wednesday morning, April 19, 2023.
Fox, Dominion reach $787 million settlement
Fox News has agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems nearly $800 million. The settlement was reached April 18, just before opening arguments in Dominion’s defamation suit against the company were set to begin.
Dominion originally sought $1.6 billion dollars against Fox News, arguing the news organization damaged Dominion’s name and reputation in its coverage of the 2020 presidential election.
In a statement, the network acknowledged that the court found some of Fox’s claims against Dominion to be false.
The network still faces a similar defamation suit from Smartmatic, another voting system that is seeking $2.7 billion from Fox News.
Suspect in leak of classified docs back in court
A Massachusetts Air National Guardsman charged with leaking highly classified military documents is due back in court on April 19 for a hearing to decide whether he should remain behind bars while he awaits trial.
21-year-old Jack Teixeira did not enter a plea to the espionage act violations against him when he was last in court on April 14. The leak apparently went undetected for months.
The criminal complaint against him refers to dozens, with some reports saying it is in the hundreds of classified documents leaked online.
“To date, most of what has been released reflects incomplete snapshots in time and does not reflect the most up to date or latest assessments. But there could yet be significant, perhaps even grave consequences for our national security and for the safety and security of our people serving and working overseas by the publication of the actual documents,” said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby.
Iowa Senate passes child labor bill
Lawmakers in Iowa’s Senate passed a child labor bill that would allow minors to work longer hours and work in currently banned roles such as serving alcohol at restaurants.
The bill allows children under 16 to work up to six hours a day, which is two more hours than currently allowed for that age group. It would also allow 16 and 17-year-olds to serve alcohol at restaurants, with written permission from their parents or guardian.
The bill still needs to pass the Republican-controlled House and get Republican governor Kim Reynolds’ signature for it to become law. Reynolds has suggested she would support the bill.
Other supporters of the bill said it would give children valuable opportunities to learn, work and get paid, whereas opponents, largely Democrats, said the bill would harm children.
New COVID-19 booster shot for seniors
The CDC is expected to sign off on another COVID-19 booster shot for seniors and people with weak immune systems. The FDA approved the updated guidance April 18.
Regulators also say all Americans getting doses of Pfizer or Moderna will start receiving a new formula that protects against the omicron variant as well as the original COVID vaccines have been phased out.
Only 17% of those eligible have received an updated booster dose according to the CDC.
The FDA has another meeting scheduled for June to further adjust its guidance on COVID vaccines.
Twitter revises Hateful Conduct Policy
Twitter has removed a pre-Musk policy meant to protect trans people from online harassment. The policy protected them from deadnaming, which is when someone refers to a transgender person’s name before they transitioned. It also prevented users from using pronouns a trans person does not identify with.
The policies were first implemented in 2018 and revised this month. Twitter also added updates that put warning labels on some tweets that are potentially in violation of its rules against hateful conduct. Under the old policy, the tweets were immediately taken down.
Twitter’s Hateful Conduct Policy still broadly protects trans people, saying no user can directly attack other people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Dinosaur bones sell for $6 million
A giant tyrannosaurus rex skeleton fetched just over $6 million at a rare auction in Switzerland on April 18. The dinosaur stands nearly 13 feet tall.
The skeleton was constructed with 239 bones from three different t-rex’s that were found in Montana and Wyoming between 2008 and 2013.
The dinosaur had to be shipped overseas in nine giant crates. The buyer’s identity was not disclosed.