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Louisiana law requires public classrooms to display Ten Commandments

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Louisiana becomes the first state to require the Ten Commandments be displayed in public classrooms. And the prehistoric landmark Stonehenge was defaced by climate activists. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Thursday, June 20, 2024.

Louisiana law requires public classrooms to display Ten Commandments

Louisiana’s governor has signed a law that makes the state the first in the nation to require all public classrooms to display a copy of the Ten Commandments. That legislation is already getting pushback from several civil rights groups. 

The law says all public classrooms from kindergarten to college must display the Ten Commandments on a poster or framed document by the start of 2025. The displays must also feature a statement on how the Ten Commandments have been a “prominent part of American public education for almost three centuries.” 

Republican Gov. Jeff Landry said the law is aimed to bring “drastic reform” to the education system and “common sense back” to the classroom. 

“This bill mandates the display of the Ten Commandments in every classroom in public, elementary, secondary, and post education schools in the state of Louisiana,” Landry said. “Because if you want to respect the rule of law, you got to start from the original lawgiver, which was Moses.” 

Critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, have vowed to sue, calling the law “unconstitutional.” 

In its criticism of the law, the ACLU cited a 1980 Supreme Court decision where the justices ruled a similar law in Kansas violated the First Amendment’s “establishment clause.” That clause is intended to prevent government from preferring one religion over others. 

3 dead in Mexico; Texas issues disaster declaration due to tropical storm

The first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season has already turned deadly. Mexican authorities reported three deaths from Tropical Storm Alberto’s rains. 

Alberto — which is bringing strong winds, heavy rainfall and some flooding along the coasts of Texas and Mexico — is expected to make landfall in northern Mexico early Thursday. Once it does, forecasters expect it to weaken rapidly before moving inland. 

Parts of Mexico are expected to see up to 20 inches of rain with this storm and Texas’ coast could see up to 15 inches. Flooding has already become a problem for coastal areas like Corpus Christi. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, R, has issued a disaster declaration in 51 counties to ensure “at-risk regions have the resources and personnel needed to respond to this storm.” 

95% of power restored in Ecuador after nationwide blackout

Power has been almost fully restored in Ecuador after a nationwide blackout left millions in the dark Wednesday, June 19. The blackout affected hospitals, homes and a major subway system. 

The country’s public infrastructure minister said in a post on X Wednesday, June 19, the outage was caused by maintenance and transmission issues in the country’s electrical system. The minister stressed the outage could have been avoided if the country had invested more in its infrastructure. 

Ecuador has been struggling with an energy crisis for years. In April, the president declared an energy emergency, ordering eight-hour nationwide electricity cuts. 

Deal reached to allow Dali crew members to go home

A deal has been reached with the City of Baltimore and the owner of the Dali cargo ship that would allow crew members who remain on the ship to leave the U.S. and go home, according to court documents. They’ve been stuck on the ship since March 26, when it lost power leaving Baltimore Harbor and crashed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing it to collapse and killing six people. 

Eight of the crew members, all from India and Sri Lanka, had been cleared to go home as early as Thursday, June 20. But on Tuesday, June 18, attorneys for the City of Baltimore filed a lawsuit looking to keep them in the U.S. amid ongoing investigations into what led up to the deadly collapse. 

The City of Baltimore is suing to stop eight crew members of the cargo ship that caused a bridge collapse in March from leaving the U.S.
Getty Images

A hearing on the matter had been scheduled for Thursday morning, but Wednesday night, June 19, the city’s attorneys sent a letter to the judge saying all sides reached a compromise and the Dali’s owner and managing company have agreed to make sure the crew members return for deposition if needed. 

Climate activists target Taylor Swift’s private jets Stonehenge

Climate activists with the group “Just Stop Oil” targeted the private jets of Taylor Swift in a British airport Thursday, June 20, spraying them with orange paint as the pop superstar is set to perform in London this weekend. Swift has been criticized in the past for her use of private jets. 

The two activists were arrested — just a day after a similar protest by the group at Britain’s iconic landmark Stonehenge, where visitors to the site jumped in to try to stop them. 

The protesters in both instances are calling on the British government to take action on climate change. They’re demanding Britain’s next government phase out fossil fuels by 2030. 

The group said the paint used was made of an “orange cornflour” and washes away in the rain. 

English Heritage, the charity that manages Stonehenge, told The BBC the paint has been cleaned off and there appears to be no lasting damage.

The protest came as thousands were expected to visit the site to witness the sunrise on the first day of summer. 

Snapchat Inc. agrees to pay $15M to settle discrimination lawsuit 

The parent company of the popular social media app Snapchat has agreed to pay $15 million to settle a lawsuit claiming it discriminated against female employees. A three-year investigation by the California Civil Rights Department found Snapchat discouraged women from applying for promotions, failed to prevent sexual harassment in the office and retaliated against those who spoke out through negative performance reviews and termination. 

The settlement covers employees who worked for the California company from 2014 to this year. 

Snapchat said while it disagrees with the claims, it decided to settle to avoid costly and lengthy litigation. 

Netflix to open brick-and-mortar entertainment venues

Netflix is moving away from the digital space for its next venture. The company has announced it is planning to open two brick-and-mortar entertainment destinations in the U.S. 

Called Netflix House, the venues will feature various in-person experiences catered to fans of the streaming platform. Netflix says visitors will be able to walk through a replica of the “Bridgerton” set, compete in a challenge from “Squid Game,” and eat at a restaurant with food inspired by its shows. 

The two Netflix houses will be located at shopping malls in Dallas, Texas and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. 

Netflix is just the latest digital brand to open a physical property, following the likes of Amazon, Wayfair and Meta. 

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[KARAH RUCKER]

LOUISIANA’S GOVERNOR HAS SIGNED A BILL INTO LAW THAT MAKES THE STATE THE FIRST IN THE NATION TO REQUIRE ALL PUBLIC CLASSROOMS TO DISPLAY A COPY OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. AND THAT LEGISLATION IS GETTING PUSHBACK FROM SEVERAL CIVIL RIGHTS GROUPS. 

THE LAW SAYS ALL PUBLIC CLASSROOMS FROM KINDERGARTEN TO COLLEGE MUST DISPLAY THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ON A POSTER OR FRAMED DOCUMENT BY THE START OF 2025. 

ACCORDING TO THE LAW — THE DISPLAYS WILL ALSO FEATURE A STATEMENT ON HOW THE TEN COMMANDMENTS HAVE BEEN A QUOTE “PROMINENT PART OF AMERICAN PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR ALMOST THREE CENTURIES.” 

REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR JEFF LANDRY SAYS THE LAW IS AIMED TO BRING “DRASTIC REFORM” TO THE EDUCATION SYSTEM AND “COMMON SENSE BACK” TO THE CLASSROOM. 

GOV. JEFF LANDRY | R-LA 

“This bill mandates the display of the Ten Commandments in every classroom in public, elementary, secondary, and post education schools in the state of Louisiana. Because if you want to respect the rule of law, you got to start from the original lawgiver, which was Moses. All right.” 

[KARAH RUCKER]

CRITICS – INCLUDING THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION AND THE FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUNDATION – HAVE VOWED TO SUE – CALLING THE LAW “UNCONSTITUTIONAL.” 

IN ITS CRITICISM OF THE LAW — THE ACLU CITES A 1980 SUPREME COURT DECISION WHERE THE JUSTICES RULED A SIMILAR LAW IN KANSAS VIOLATED THE FIRST AMENDMENT’S “ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE” WHICH IS INTENDED TO PREVENT GOVERNMENT FROM PREFERRING ONE RELIGION OVER OTHERS. 

THE FIRST NAMED STORM OF THE ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON HAS ALREADY TURNED DEADLY. 

MEXICAN AUTHORITIES REPORTING THREE DEATHS FROM TROPICAL STORM ALBERTO’S RAINS. 

ALBERTO — WHICH IS BRINGING STRONG WINDS, HEAVY RAINFALL AND SOME FLOODING ALONG THE THE COASTS OF TEXAS AND MEXICO — IS EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL IN NORTHERN MEXICO EARLY THURSDAY. 

ONCE ALBERTO HITS MEXICO — FORECASTERS EXPECT IT TO WEAKEN RAPIDLY BEFORE MOVING INLAND. 

PARTS OF MEXICO ARE EXPECTED TO SEE UP TO 20 INCHES OF RAIN WITH THIS STORM… AND TEXAS’ COAST COULD SEE UP TO 15 INCHES… 

FLOODING HAS ALREADY BECOME A PROBLEM FOR COASTAL AREAS LIKE CORPUS CHRISTI. 

TEXAS GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT HAS ISSUED A DISASTER DECLARATION IN 51 COUNTIES TO ENSURE “AT-RISK REGIONS HAVE THE RESOURCES AND PERSONNEL NEEDED TO RESPOND TO THIS STORM.” 

POWER HAS BEEN ALMOST FULLY RESTORED IN ECUADOR — AFTER A NATIONWIDE BLACKOUT LEFT MILLIONS IN THE DARK WEDNESDAY. 

THE BLACKOUT AFFECTED HOSPITALS, HOMES, AND A MAJOR SUBWAY SYSTEM. 

THE COUNTRY’S PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE MINISTER SAID IN A POST ON X WEDNESDAY NIGHT — THE OUTAGE WAS CAUSED BY MAINTENANCE AND TRANSMISSION ISSUES IN THE COUNTRY’S ELECTRICAL SYSTEM — WHICH HE STRESSED COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED IF THE COUNTRY HAD INVESTED MORE IN ITS INFRASTRUCTURE. 

ECUADOR HAS BEEN STRUGGLING WITH AN ENERGY CRISIS FOR YEARS… AND IN APRIL — ECUADOR’S PRESIDENT DECLARED AN ENERGY EMERGENCY, ORDERING EIGHT-HOUR NATIONWIDE ELECTRICITY CUTS. 

ACCORDING TO COURT DOCUMENTS — A DEAL HAS BEEN REACHED WITH THE CITY OF BALTIMORE AND THE OWNER OF THE DALI CARGO SHIP THAT WOULD ALLOW CREW MEMBERS WHO REMAIN ON THE SHIP TO LEAVE THE U.S. AND GO HOME.  

THEY’VE BEEN STUCK ON THE SHIP SINCE MARCH — WHEN IT LOST POWER LEAVING BALTIMORE HARBOR AND CRASHED INTO THE FRANCIS SCOTT KEY BRIDGE, CAUSING IT TO COLLAPSE AND KILLING SIX PEOPLE. 

EIGHT OF THE CREW MEMBERS — ALL FROM INDIA AND SRI LANKA — HAD BEEN CLEARED TO GO HOME AS EARLY AS THURSDAY… BUT ON TUESDAY — ATTORNEYS FOR THE CITY OF BALTIMORE FILED A LAWSUIT LOOKING TO KEEP THEM IN THE U-S AMID ONGOING INVESTIGATIONS INTO WHAT LED UP TO THE DEADLY COLLAPSE. 

A HEARING ON THE MATTER HAD BEEN SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY MORNING — BUT WEDNESDAY NIGHT THE CITY’S ATTORNEYS SENT A LETTER TO THE JUDGE SAYING ALL SIDES REACHED A COMPROMISE… AND THE DALI’S OWNER AND MANAGING COMPANY HAVE AGREED TO MAKE SURE THE CREW MEMBERS RETURN FOR DEPOSITION IF NEEDED. 

CLIMATE ACTIVISTS WITH THE GROUP “JUST STOP OIL” TARGETED THE PRIVATE JETS OF TAYLOR SWIFT IN A BRITISH AIRPORT TODAY —  SPRAYING THEM WITH ORANGE PAINT AS THE POP SUPERSTAR IS SET TO PERFORM IN LONDON THIS WEEKEND.

SWIFT HAS BEEN CRITICIZED IN THE PAST FOR HER USE OF PRIVATE JETS

THE TWO ACTIVISTS WERE ARRESTED. THIS CAME A DAY AFTER A SIMILAR PROTEST BY THE GROUP AT BRITAIN’S PRE-HISTORIC LANDMARK STONEHENGE  —  WHERE VISITORS TO THE SITE JUMPED IN TO TRY TO STOP IT…

IN BOTH INSTANCES  — THE PROTESTERS CALLING ON THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO TAKE ACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE.

THEY’RE DEMANDING BRITAIN’S NEXT GOVERNMENT TO PHASE OUT FOSSIL FUELS BY 20-30. 

THE GROUP SAID THE PAINT USED WAS MADE OF AN “ORANGE CORNFLOUR” AND WASHES AWAY IN THE RAIN. 

THE PROTEST CAME AS THOUSANDS WERE EXPECTED TO VISIT THE SITE TO WITNESS THE SUNRISE ON THE FIRST DAY OF SUMMER. 

THE PARENT COMPANY OF THE POPULAR SOCIAL MEDIA APP SNAPCHAT HAS AGREED TO PAY 15 MILLION DOLLARS TO SETTLE A LAWSUIT CLAIMING IT DISCRIMINATED AGAINST FEMALE EMPLOYEES. 

A THREE-YEAR INVESTIGATION BY THE CALIFORNIA CIVIL RIGHTS DEPARTMENT FOUND THAT SNAPCHAT DISCOURAGED WOMEN FROM APPLYING FOR PROMOTIONS, FAILED TO PREVENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE OFFICE AND RETALIATED AGAINST THOSE WHO SPOKE OUT THROUGH NEGATIVE PERFORMANCE REVIEWS AND TERMINATION. 

THE SETTLEMENT COVERS EMPLOYEES WHO WORKED FOR THE CALIFORNIA COMPANY FROM 2014 TO THIS YEAR. 

SNAPCHAT SAYS WHILE IT DISAGREES WITH THE CLAIMS – IT DECIDED TO SETTLE TO AVOID COSTLY AND LENGTHY LITIGATION. 

NETFLIX IS MOVING AWAY FROM THE DIGITAL SPACE FOR ITS NEXT VENTURE — WITH THE COMPANY PLANNING TO OPEN TWO BRICK-AND-MORTAR ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATIONS IN THE U.S. 

CALLED NETFLIX HOUSE – THE VENUES WILL FEATURE VARIOUS IN-PERSON EXPERIENCES CATERED TO FANS OF THE STREAMING PLATFORM. 

NETFLIX SAYS VISITORS WILL BE ABLE TO WALK THROUGH A REPLICA OF THE “BRIDGERTON” SET, COMPETE IN A CHALLENGE FROM “SQUID GAME,” AND EAT A RESTAURANT WITH FOOD INSPIRED BY ITS SHOWS. 

THE TWO NETFLIX HOUSES WILL BE LOCATED AT SHOPPING MALLS IN DALLAS, TEXAS AND KING OF PRUSSIA, PENNSYLVANIA NEAR PHILADELPHIA. 

NETFLIX BECOMES THE LATEST DIGITAL BRAND TO OPEN A PHYSICAL PROPERTY – FOLLOWING THE LIKES OF AMAZON, WAYFAIR AND META.