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Illinois bill would make flying US flag upside down a felony

1 min ago

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Democratic Illinois State Rep. Harry Benton, a veteran, has introduced a pair of bills in the Illinois Legislature aimed at addressing the practice of flying the American flag upside down. HB5860 would make it a felony for any government official to knowingly fly an American flag upside down on government property. Meanwhile, HB5861 proposes imposing a fine of up to $25,000 on such government officials.

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Recent headlines have highlighted this issue, with reports accusing Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito of hanging the flag upside down at his personal residence in 2021. However, Alito is not the only one drawing attention.

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The legislation comes in the wake of Homer Township Supervisor Steve Balich, R, flying the American flag union-side down outside of the official administration center.

Balich’s action occurred on May 31, one day after former President Donald Trump was convicted on 34 counts of falsifying business records in a New York courtroom.

“As Americans, no matter which political party you support, we should be outraged and very concerned,” Balich said in a statement. “Yesterday, I temporarily flew our nation’s flag upside down. Flying the flag upside down represents distress, and I truly believe that our country is in distress and our Constitution is under attack.”

“The flag of the United States is an enduring symbol of our national spirit and pride, as well as the sacrifices made by every generation of Americans,” State Rep. Harry Benton, D, said in response. “As elected leaders, we swear our oath to that flag and the nation it represents, not to a political leader. There’s no excuse for such disrespect of our flag and the men and women who served to defend it.”

Currently, there is no federal law restricting government officials from flying the American flag upside down on government property. The proposed legislation does not address personal property.

If the bills pass the Illinois Legislature and are signed into law, they would take effect immediately. Violating the law could result in government officials facing up to three years in prison.

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[LAUREN TAYLOR]

A PROPOSED LAW IN ILLINOIS IS FLYING IN THE FACE OF ADVOCATES OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT.

A STATE REP INTRODUCED A PAIR OF BILLS GEARED AT ADDRESSING FLYING THE AMERICAN FLAG UPSIDE DOWN.

ONE WOULD MAKE IT A FELONY FOR ANY GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL TO KNOWINGLY FLY AN AMERICAN FLAG UPSIDE DOWN ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY.

AND THE OTHER – WOULD IMPOSE A FINE UP TO $25,000 ON THAT GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL.

THE PRACTICE HAS BEEN IN THE HEADLINES IN RECENT WEEKS – WITH REPORTS OF SUPREME COURT JUSTICE SAMUEL ALITO BEING ACCUSED OF HANGING THE FLAG UPSIDE DOWN AT HIS PERSONAL RESIDENCE IN 2021. 

BUT IT’S NOT JUST ALITO GETTING ATTENTION – THE ILLINOIS LEGISLATION COMES ON THE HEELS OF HOMER TOWNSHIP SUPERVISOR STEVE BALICH FLYING THE AMERICAN FLAG UNION SIDE DOWN – OUTSIDE THE OFFICIAL ADMINISTRATION CENTER – ONE DAY AFTER FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP WAS CONVICTED ON 34 COUNTS OF FALSIFYING BUSINESS RECORDS IN A NEW YORK COURTROOM.

BALICH RELEASED A STATEMENT SAYING IN PART: “AS AMERICANS, NO MATTER WHICH POLITICAL PARTY YOU SUPPORT, WE SHOULD BE OUTRAGED AND VERY CONCERNED. YESTERDAY, I TEMPORARILY FLEW OUR NATION’S FLAG UPSIDE DOWN. FLYING THE FLAG UPSIDE DOWN REPRESENTS DISTRESS, AND I TRULY BELIEVE THAT OUR COUNTRY IS IN DISTRESS AND OUR CONSTITUTION IS UNDER ATTACK.”

THE DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE WHO INTRODUCED THE BILLS SAID IN RESPONSE: “THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES IS AN ENDURING SYMBOL OF OUR NATIONAL SPIRIT AND PRIDE, AND OF THE SACRIFICES MADE BY EVERY GENERATION OF AMERICANS. AS ELECTED LEADERS, WE SWEAR OUR OATH TO THAT FLAG AND THE NATION IT REPRESENTS, NOT TO A POLITICAL LEADER. THERE’S NO EXCUSE FOR SUCH DISRESPECT OF OUR FLAG, AND THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVED TO DEFEND IT.” 

RIGHT NOW – THERE’S NO FEDERAL LAW RESTRICTING GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FROM FLYING THE AMERICAN FLAG UPSIDE DOWN ON GOVERNMENT PROPERTY. 

THE BILL MENTIONS NOTHING ABOUT PERSONAL PROPERTY.

IF THE LEGISLATION PASSES THE ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE AND SIGNED INTO LAW – IT WOULD TAKE EFFECT IMMEDIATELY.

IF A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL IS FOUND TO BE IN VIOLATION – THEY COULD FACE UP TO THREE YEARS IN PRISON.

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U.S.

Hawaii youth-led climate change case reaches historic settlement

56 mins ago

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The state of Hawaii settled a landmark case with a group of youth alleging the state was violating their rights with pollution-causing infrastructure. The group called on the state to commit to a transportation system with zero emissions by 2045.

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The case, Navahine v. Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation, is the world’s first youth-led constitutional challenge to address transportation climate pollution.

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Gov. Josh Green announced the settlement Thursday, June 20, praising the young people who he said had been “suing the crap out of me for the better part of the last couple years.”

“The passion demonstrated by these young people in advocating for a healthy, sustainable future for their generation and those to come, is laudable,” Green said.

Thirteen youth from Hawaii brought the case forward in the summer of 2022, and the Hawaii government has spent around $3 million arguing against it. The settlement came just a couple days before the expected June 24 trial. 

As part of the settlement, the Hawaii Department of Transportation will create a plan to reach zero emissions for all transportation systems in the islands, land, air, and sea, by 2045. The state already had a pre-existing goal of becoming carbon neutral by that year. 

“Climate change is indisputable,” Hawaii Director of Transportation Ed Sniffen said. “Burying our heads in the sand and making it the next generation’s problem is not pono.”

In Hawaii, the word pono means to be righteous and upstanding. 

The department will also set aside at least $40 million to build additional public electric vehicle charging stations by 2030. These efforts will be advised by a volunteer youth council that will be established in the coming years.

“We’re the most isolated land mass on the planet.” Green said. “We’re too dependent on fossil fuels. We’re vulnerable to climate change impacts like sea level rise, coastal erosion, extreme weather events as we saw in Maui, coral bleaching – which is devastating to the fauna that are in the ocean – so it’s very important that they stand up for the future.”  

The nonprofit law firm Our Children’s Trust, one of the parties representing the youth, is also supporting several other groups of young people in suing their state governments for accelerating climate change through both their policies and inaction. This is the first of its kind to reach a resolution.

Riley Brook, one of the plaintiffs, called out to other youth to be active in their climate advocacy.

“Today is a testament to what can be achieved when we stand together with purpose and conviction to hold our governments to their promises for our planet,” Brook said.

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LAUREN TAYLOR: THE STATE OF HAWAI’I SETTLED A LANDMARK CASE WITH A GROUP OF YOUTH ALLEGING THE STATE WAS VIOLATING THEIR RIGHTS WITH POLLUTION-CAUSING INFRASTRUCTURE. THEY CALLED ON THE STATE TO COMMIT TO A TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM WITH ZERO EMISSIONS BY 2045.

THE CASE IS THE WORLD’S FIRST YOUTH-LED CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE TO ADDRESS TRANSPORTATION CLIMATE POLLUTION.

GOV. JOSH GREEN ANNOUNCED THE SETTLEMENT THURSDAY, PRAISING THE YOUNG PEOPLE. 

GOV. JOSH GREEN: JUST A FEW MOMENTS AGO WE WERE SITTING OVER IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM AND I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE WITH THE VERY GROUP THAT HAD BEEN SUING THE CRAP OUT OF ME FOR THE BETTER PART OF THE LAST COUPLE YEARS.

LAUREN TAYLOR: THIRTEEN YOUTH FROM HAWAI’I BROUGHT THE CASE FORWARD IN THE SUMMER OF 2022, AND THE HAWAI’I GOVERNMENT HAS SPENT AROUND $3 MILLION ARGUING AGAINST IT. THE SETTLEMENT CAME JUST A COUPLE DAYS BEFORE THE EXPECTED JUNE 24TH TRIAL. 

AS PART OF THE SETTLEMENT, THE HAWAI’I DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION WILL CREATE A PLAN TO REACH ZERO EMISSIONS FOR ALL TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS IN THE ISLANDS, LAND, AIR, AND SEA, BY 2045. THE STATE ALREADY HAD A PRE-EXISTING GOAL OF BECOMING CARBON NEUTRAL BY THAT YEAR. 

“CLIMATE CHANGE IS INDISPUTABLE,” HAWAI’I’S DIRECTOR OF TRANSPORTATION SAID, “BURYING OUR HEADS IN THE SAND AND MAKING IT THE NEXT GENERATION’S PROBLEM IS NOT PONO.” IN HAWAI’I, THE WORD PONO MEANS TO BE RIGHTEOUS AND UPSTANDING. 

THE DEPARTMENT WILL ALSO SET ASIDE AT LEAST $40 MILLION TO BUILD ADDITIONAL PUBLIC ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS BY 2030. THESE EFFORTS WILL BE ADVISED BY A VOLUNTEER YOUTH COUNCIL THAT WILL BE ESTABLISHED IN THE COMING YEARS.

GOV. JOSH GREEN: WE’RE THE MOST ISOLATED LAND MASS ON THE PLANET. WE’RE TOO DEPENDENT ON FOSSIL FUELS. WE’RE VULNERABLE TO CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS LIKE SEA LEVEL RISE, COASTAL EROSION, EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS AS WE SAW IN MAUI, CORAL BLEACHING – WHICH IS DEVASTATING TO THE FAUNA THAT ARE IN THE OCEAN – SO IT’S VERY IMPORTANT THAT THEY STAND UP FOR THE FUTURE. 

LAUREN TAYLOR: THE NONPROFIT LAW FIRM OUR CHILDREN’S TRUST, ONE OF THE PARTIES REPRESENTING THE YOUTH, IS ALSO SUPPORTING SEVERAL OTHER GROUPS OF YOUNG PEOPLE IN SUING THEIR STATE GOVERNMENTS FOR ACCELERATING CLIMATE CHANGE THROUGH BOTH THEIR POLICIES AND INACTION. THIS IS THE FIRST OF ITS KIND TO REACH A RESOLUTION.

RILEY BROOK, ONE OF THE PLAINTIFFS, CALLED OUT TO OTHER YOUTH TO BE ACTIVE IN THEIR CLIMATE ADVOCACY. 

RILEY BROOK: TODAY IS A TESTAMENT TO WHAT CAN BE ACHIEVED WHEN WE STAND TOGETHER WITH PURPOSE AND CONVICTION TO HOLD OUR GOVERNMENT TO THEIR PROMISES FOR OUR PLANET.

LAUREN TAYLOR: FOR STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS, I’M LAUREN TAYLOR. IF YOU WANT MORE UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS – DOWNLOAD THE SAN APP OR VISIT SAN.COM.

U.S. Elections

Biden chooses right side of TV screen over final word at debate. Why?

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CNN gave President Joe Biden an option ahead of the first presidential debate to choose between two debate advantages. He opted for stage positioning over a closing statement advantage that could shape how viewers perceive him in the critical showdown against former President Donald Trump.

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Biden won the coin toss conducted by CNN. It allowed him to choose between the placement on the debate stage or the opportunity to deliver the final remarks of the evening. He chose to position himself on the left side of the stage, translating to the right side of the television screen for viewers at home.

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Biden’s decision could be a calculated move to maximize visibility. It could potentially capitalize on some studies suggesting viewers’ eyes are naturally drawn to the right side of a screen. While the White House has not offered an official explanation, there may be psychological reasoning behind Biden’s choice.

In a similar context, late-night talk show hosts consistently prefer the “stage left” placement, aligning them on the right side of television screens. According to Slate Magazine, this positioning centers around the cultural tendency to read and watch from left to right. The right side of the screen commands more attention.

This is not unfamiliar territory for Biden. In the 2020 presidential debates against Trump, Biden also stood on the right side of the screen, maintaining a consistent strategy in televised confrontations.

With just days left before the debate and a significant portion of voters still undecided or leaning toward third-party options, the stakes are high. Recent polling from Reuters indicates 20% of voters remain uncommitted or are considering alternative candidates. That poll highlights the importance of the upcoming debate performances.

In the latest NPR/PBS poll, Trump and Biden are tied at 49% each among likely voters. The poll underscores the competitiveness of the race.

Financially, the campaigns also remain locked in a tight battle. Despite trailing in fundraising earlier this year, Trump closed the gap, surpassing Biden’s fundraising efforts in April and May. More notably, Trump raised tens of millions of dollars after a jury convicted him of falsifying business records.

Both campaigns are preparing for a fundraising push with hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank. With just months to go until Election Day, and days until the first debate, campaign season is in full swing.

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[KARAH RUCKER]

THE SIDE OF THE SCREEN WHERE AMERICA SEES BIDEN DURING THE FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO HIM THAN GETTING THE FINAL WORD OF THE EVENING.

THOSE WERE BIDEN’S TWO ADVANTAGES TO CHOOSE FROM WHEN HE WON CNN’S COIN FLIP.

THE WINNER GOT TO CHOOSE STAGE PLACEMENT. OR. ORDER OF CLOSING STATEMENTS.

BIDEN WILL BE ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE STAGE –

WHICH TRANSLATES TO THE **RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR TV SCREEN.

SO WHY IS IT THAT BIDEN CARED MORE ABOUT THAT POSITIONING THAN GETTING TO BE THE DEBATE CLOSER?

THE WHITE HOUSE HASN’T YET SAID.

BUT THERE MIGHT BE A PSYCHOLOGICAL REASONING BEHIND IT.

 

SOME STUDIES SUGGEST THAT A VIEWER’S EYES ARE INHERENTLY DRAWN TO THE RIGHT.

SO IN THE CASE OF A SPLIT SCREEN WITH TRUMP ON THE LEFT AND BIDEN ON THE RIGHT –

BIDEN COULD BE BANKING ON GETTING MORE ATTENTION FROM THE AUDIENCE BY CHOOSING THIS SIDE.

NOT BY HIS WORDS OR EVEN ACTIONS.

JUST BY THE NOTION THAT A PERSON’S EYES NATURALLY GRAVITATE TO THE RIGHT OF A SCREEN. 

A 2010 ARTICLE BY SLATE LOOKED INTO A SIMILAR STAGE SETTING.

LATE NIGHT TALK SHOWS. 

AND HOW THE SHOW HOSTS ARE ALWAYS POSITIONED “STAGE LEFT” WHICH PUTS THEM ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR TELEVISION.

FROM DAVID LETTERMAN AND JOHNNY CARSON. TO JIMMY FALLON AND JIMMY KIMMEL. 

“SLATE MAGAZINE” EXPLAINS WHY HOSTS PREFER THIS PLACEMENT.

THE ARTICLE SUGGESTS “BECAUSE IT MAKES THEM SEEM POWERFUL. IN WESTERN CULTURE, WE READ FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, AND WE WATCH THEATER AND TELEVISION THAT WAY, TOO. OUR EYES END UP ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE SCREEN.”

IT’S A PLACE OF FAMILIARITY FOR BIDEN TOO.

IN 2020’S TWO PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES – BIDEN WAS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE SCREEN IN BOTH OF THESE DEBATE MATCH UPS.

THE STAGE IS SET.

THE RULES ARE IN PLACE.

AND APPARENTLY –

THERE’S A LOT ON THE LINE –

A GOOD CHUNK OF UNDECIDED VOTERS.

ACCORDING TO THE LATEST REUTERS POLLING –

20 PERCENT OF VOTERS SAY THEY HAVE NOT PICKED A CANDIDATE IN THIS YEAR’S PRESIDENTIAL RACE, ARE LEANING TOWARD A THIRD-PARTY CANDIDATE, OR LEANING TOWARD NOT VOTING AT ALL.

IN THE LATEST NPR/PBS POLL –

TRUMP AND BIDEN ARE DEAD EVEN – AT 49% APIECE.

IT’S A TIGHT RACE –

AND FURTHER PROOF OF IT IS IN THE POCKETBOOKS OF EACH CAMPAIGN.

AT THE START OF APRIL – TRUMP WAS BEHIND BIDEN’S FUNDRAISING EFFORTS BY MORE THAN 100 MILLION DOLLARS.

TRUMP OUTFUNDRAISED BIDEN IN APRIL AND MAY –

AS “POST-CONVICTION TRUMP” CONTINUES TO SEE DONATIONS SURGE.

WITH HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ABOUT TO POUR IN FROM BOTH CAMPS –

FOUR MONTHS TO GO BEFORE THE ELECTION AND LESS THAN A WEEK FROM THE FIRST DEBATE.

CAMPAIGN SEASON IS IN FULL SWING.

I’M KARAH RUCKER.

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Tech

London cinema cancels screening of film written by ChatGPT after backlash

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A London cinema has cancelled the world premiere of a film following backlash it received over being written by ChatGPT. The film, “The Last Screenwriter,” shows the saga of a screenwriter faced with the task of working with an AI system whose skills match his own.

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The movie’s human director, Swiss filmmaker Peter Luisi, said his film is meant to start a conversation about artificial intelligence and its impact on the entertainment industry.

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However, when Prince Charles Cinema posted on social media it would be screening the “first feature film written entirely by AI,” the theater was hit with comments denouncing the decision.

“The feedback we received over the last 24 hours once we advertised the film has highlighted the strong concern held by many of our audience on the use of AI in place of a writer which speaks to a wider issue within the industry,” the cinema said in an update on June 18.

In 2023, Hollywood actors and screenwriters went on strike, and one of the main sticking points was the role of AI in entertainment.

In an interview with Screen Daily, Luisi said he had hoped the London theater hadn’t been scared off from holding the screening “just because a few people are upset.” The filmmaker added, “you can never do anything that everyone likes, especially with this subject.

Luisi said he will be releasing the full film online, along with the script that was fully generated by AI. He will also include the step-by-step process of how the film all came together.

“As a screenwriter, I have worked hard to craft characters that are complex and relatable, with dialogue that is both sharp and natural,” ChatGPT — the screenwriter — posted in a statement on the film’s website. “Ultimately, I hope that this film will be a reminder that while technology can augment and improve our work, it can never replace the unique and irreplaceable qualities of human creativity.”

Despite the cancellation, Luisi thinks it is important for everyone to take a look at the movie. He said it should help the cause of screenwriters, and noted that “people might be astonished that you can write a movie already without a person.”

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[KARAH RUCKER]

A LONDON CINEMA HAS CANCELED THE WORLD PREMIERE OF A FILM THAT WAS SCHEDULED FOR THIS WEEKEND THANKS TO BACKLASH IT RECEIVED OVER THE FILM’S CONTROVERSIAL SCREENWRITER – CHATGPT.

[FILM CLIP]

“How would you start a screenplay…that’s um decent.”

[KARAH RUCKER]

CALLED “THE LAST SCREENWRITER” – THE FILM TAKES A META APPROACH AT STORYTELLING – SHOWING THE SAGA OF A SCREENWRITER FACED WITH THE TASK OF WORKING WITH AN AI SYSTEM WHOSE SKILLS MATCH HIS OWN.

SWISS FILMMAKER PETER LUISI (LOUIE-SEE), THE MOVIE’S HUMAN DIRECTOR, SAYS HIS FILM IS MEANT TO START A CONVERSATION ABOUT ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND ITS IMPACT ON THE INDUSTRY.

BUT ONCE PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA POSTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA IT WOULD BE SCREENING THE SELF-DESCRIBED FIRST FEATURE FILM WRITTEN ENTIRELY BY AI – THE THEATER WAS HIT WITH COMMENTS DENOUNCING THE DECISION.

THE NEXT DAY — THE CINEMA POSTED AN UPDATE SAYING QUOTE: “THE FEEDBACK WE RECEIVED OVER THE LAST 24 HOURS ONCE WE ADVERTISED THE FILM HAS HIGHLIGHTED THE STRONG CONCERN HELD BY MANY OF OUR AUDIENCE ON THE USE OF AI IN PLACE OF A WRITER WHICH SPEAKS TO A WIDER ISSUE WITHIN THE INDUSTRY.”

LAST YEAR IN THE U.S. — HOLLYWOOD ACTORS AND SCREENWRITERS WENT ON STRIKE – WITH ONE OF THE MAIN STICKING POINTS BEING THE ROLE OF AI IN ENTERTAINMENT.

SPEAKING TO SCREEN DAILY – LUISI SAYS HE HAD HOPED THE LONDON THEATER HADN’T BEEN SCARED OFF FROM HOLDING THE SCREENING QUOTE “JUST BECAUSE A FEW PEOPLE ARE UPSET” – HE ADDED “YOU CAN NEVER DO ANYTHING THAT EVERYONE LIKES, ESPECIALLY WITH THIS SUBJECT.”

LUISI SAYS HE WILL BE RELEASING THE FULL FILM ONLINE– ALONG WITH THE SCRIPT THAT WAS FULLY GENERATED BY AI AND THE STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS OF HOW IT ALL CAME TO BE.

IN A STATEMENT POSTED TO THE FILM’S WEBSITE – THE SCREENWRITER – ONCE AGAIN THAT’S CHATGPT – SAYS, “AS A SCREENWRITER, I HAVE WORKED HARD TO CRAFT CHARACTERS THAT ARE COMPLEX AND RELATABLE, WITH DIALOGUE THAT IS BOTH SHARP AND NATURAL…ULTIMATELY, I HOPE THAT THIS FILM WILL BE A REMINDER THAT WHILE TECHNOLOGY CAN AUGMENT AND IMPROVE OUR WORK, IT CAN NEVER REPLACE THE UNIQUE AND IRREPLACEABLE QUALITIES OF HUMAN CREATIVITY.”

DESPITE THE CANCELATION — LUISI THINKS IT’S IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE MOVIE – SAYING IT SHOULD HELP THE CAUSE OF SCREENWRITERS – BECAUSE AS HE NOTED – “PEOPLE MIGHT BE ASTONISHED THAT YOU CAN WRITE A MOVIE ALREADY WITHOUT A PERSON.”

[VIDEO CLIP]

“This my friend is the future. Hello, Jack, I’m your new screenwriter assistant…It’s going to change the way work.”

Tech

Breakthrough study reveals doctors used shockwaves to regenerate heart tissue

2 hrs ago

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For the first time, doctors succeeded in regenerating damaged heart tissue. The findings were published in the European Heart Journal on Thursday, June 20. Surgeons in Austria used a device named the “space hairdryer” during open-heart bypass surgery to send gentle shockwaves to the patient’s heart. Ten minutes of treatment led to the reactivation of heart muscle and the regrowth of new vessels in the damaged area, which was previously believed to be impossible by medical experts.

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world, according to the World Health Organization. However, the breakthrough is now lending hope to millions of people who have cardiovascular diseases. Heart bypass surgery only maintains heart function, while this experimental procedure apparently improves function.

The study found that those who received the treatment could walk further and blood flow to their heart improved by more than 11%. Researchers said that the findings suggest that patients who have the procedure can expect longer lives and better quality of life.

Right now, the sample size is small, consisting of 63 patients divided into two groups. Half of the patients underwent bypass surgery with shockwave treatment while the other half just underwent bypass surgery. Doctors said that they hope to expand trials to other patients to see if the findings can be further verified.

Eventually, the researchers believe that more than one-third of heart failure patients will be able to receive the treatment. The BBC reported that the researchers have developed a spin-off company called Heart Regeneration Technologies to develop the new medical device that is set to be available by 2025.

Researchers who used the shockwave method of treatment maintain that it is “feasible” and “safe.” The treatment is already used to treat injured ligaments and to break up kidney stones.

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[KARAH RUCKER]

HEART DISEASE IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH AROUND THE WORLD– BUT NOW A MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH IS LENDING HOPE TO MILLIONS WITH THE CONDITION.

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER– DOCTORS SUCCEEDED IN REGENERATING DAMAGED HEART TISSUE.

USING A DEVICE DUBBED THE “SPACE HAIRDRYER” DURING OPEN-HEART BYPASS SURGERY, MEDICS IN AUSTRIA SENT GENTLE SHOCKWAVES TO THE HEART– FINDING JUST 10 MINUTES OF TREATMENT– LED TO REACTIVATION OF HEART MUSCLE AND REGROWTH OF NEW VESSELS IN THE DAMAGED AREA– PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED TO BE IMPOSSIBLE.

BYPASS SURGERY ONLY MAINTAINS HEART FUNCTION. THIS NEW PROCEDURE WOULD IMPROVE IT. 

THE STUDY FOUND THOSE WHO RECEIVED THE TREATMENT COULD WALK FURTHER AND BLOOD FLOW TO THEIR HEART IMPROVED BY MORE THAN 11 PERCENT– SUGGESTING A LONGER AND BETTER-QUALITY LIFE FOR PATIENTS.

RIGHT NOW, THE STUDY SAMPLE SIZE IS SMALL, AROUND 30 PATIENTS, BUT DOCTORS WANT TO START LARGER TRIALS TO CONFIRM THE FINDINGS. THOSE WHO USED THE “SPACE HAIRDRYER” SAID IT IS “FEASIBLE AND SAFE.”

THE ‘SHOCKWAVE” METHOD IS ALREADY USED TO TREAT INJURED LIGAMENTS AND TO BREAK UP KIDNEY STONES.

FOR MORE ON BREAKTHROUGH MEDICAL TREATMENTS AND MORE– DOWNLOAD THE STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS APP AND SIGN UP FOR NEWS UPDATES.

U.S.

Report: Americans take fewest vacation days in the world

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Summer is officially here, and many Americans are gearing up for vacation — right? Maybe not. After surveying more than 11,000 people from 11 countries, Expedia’s annual “Vacation Deprivation Report” found that 2 out of 3 Americans say they don’t take enough time off.

Americans already take the fewest vacation days every year, averaging out at just 11 days, with an average allotment of 12. Still, only a little more than half of those surveyed plan to use all their time off. 

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When compared to the rest of the world, Americans are twice as likely to go a year or more without taking a vacation.

In 2023, the top reason 53% of Americans didn’t use all their vacation time was because life was “too busy to plan or go on vacation.” 

While Americans are feeling more vacation deprived than ever, Japan took the top spot as the least vacation deprived, according to the report. However, almost two-thirds of those surveyed in Japan only used 12 of their 19 days off on average. 

While Japan tops the list for people feeling like they have enough time off, it is last when it comes to people actually taking all their days off. Expedia said that’s because they maximize on federal holidays and school or office closures to schedule more frequent, short getaways. 

That’s a tactic of the French too, with France also taking the top spot for most vacation days. Despite having a month off annually, 69% of the French surveyed said they don’t feel like they get enough time off, compared to 65% of Americans who said that about our 11-day average. 

Expedia said more than 90% of French workers believe vacation time is a fundamental right and critical to overall health – philosophies that Expedia said Americans could benefit from taking on. 

Meanwhile, Hong Kong was the only one to report using more vacation days than respondents were allocated and not leaving vacation days unused.

However, it could be worse; Germany sat at the bottom of the list, with more than 80% saying they don’t take enough time off. However, the survey found they’re more determined than ever to use all their time off this year. 

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[LAUREN TAYLOR]

SUMMER IS OFFICIALLY HERE AND MANY AMERICANS ARE GEARING UP FOR VACATION – RIGHT? 

MAYBE NOT. 

EXPEDIA JUST RELEASED ITS ANNUAL ‘VACATION DEPRIVATION REPORT’ – A LOOK AT HOW MANY PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THEY DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME OFF. 

AFTER SURVEYING MORE THAN 11-THOUSAND PEOPLE FROM 11 COUNTRIES – IT FOUND TWO OUT OF THREE AMERICANS SAY THEY DON’T TAKE ENOUGH TIME OFF. 

WHAT’S WORSE? 

AMERICANS ALREADY TAKE THE FEWEST VACATION DAYS EVERY YEAR – AVERAGING OUT AT JUST 11 DAYS… WITH AN AVERAGE ALLOTMENT OF 12. 

BUT STILL ONLY A LITTLE MORE THAN HALF OF THOSE SURVEYED PLAN TO USE ALL THEIR TIME OFF. 

AND WHEN COMPARED TO THE REST OF THE WORLD – AMERICANS ARE TWICE AS LIKELY TO GO A YEAR OR MORE WITHOUT TAKING A VACATION. 

THE TOP REASON 53 PERCENT OF AMERICANS DIDN’T USE ALL THEIR VACATION TIME LAST YEAR… IS BECAUSE THEY SAY “LIFE IS TOO BUSY TO PLAN OR GO ON VACATION”. 

BUT HERE’S SOMETHING INTERESTING – WHILE AMERICANS ARE FEELING MORE VACATION DEPRIVED THAN EVER… JAPAN TOOK THE TOP SPOT AS THE LEAST VACATION DEPRIVED ACCORDING TO THIS YEAR’S REPORT. 

THAT’S DESPITE ALMOST TWO-THIRDS OF THOSE SURVEYED ONLY USING 12 OF THEIR 19 DAYS OFF ON AVERAGE. 

 SO WHILE JAPAN TOPS THE LIST FOR PEOPLE FEELING LIKE THEY HAVE ENOUGH TIME OFF… IT’S *LAST* WHEN IT COMES TO PEOPLE ACTUALLY TAKING ALL THEIR DAYS OFF. 

EXPEDIA SAYS THAT’S BECAUSE THEY MAXIMIZE ON FEDERAL HOLIDAYS AND SCHOOL OR OFFICE CLOSURES TO SCHEDULE MORE FREQUENT, SHORT GETAWAYS. 

THAT’S A TACTIC OF THE FRENCH TOO – WITH FRANCE ALSO TAKING THE TOP SPOT FOR MOST VACATION DAYS. 

BUT DESPITE HAVING A MONTH OFF ANNUALLY… 69 PERCENT OF THE FRENCH SURVEYED SAID THEY DON’T FEEL LIKE THEY GET ENOUGH TIME OFF – THAT’S COMPARED TO 65 PERCENT OF AMERICANS WHO SAID THAT ABOUT OUR 11-DAY AVERAGE. 

EXPEDIA SAYS THAT’S BECAUSE MORE THAN 90 PERCENT OF FRENCH WORKERS BELIEVE VACATION TIME IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT AND CRITICAL TO OVERALL HEALTH – PHILOSOPHIES EXPEDIA SAYS AMERICANS COULD BENEFIT FROM TAKING ON. 

MEANWHILE – HONG KONG WAS THE ONLY ONE TO REPORT USING *MORE* VACATION DAYS THAN RESPONDENTS WERE ALLOCATED AND NOT LEAVING VACATION DAYS UNUSED. 

BUT HEY – IT COULD BE WORSE… GERMANY SAT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST – WITH MORE THAN 80 PERCENT SAYING THEY DON’T TAKE ENOUGH TIME OFF,  THOUGH THE SURVEY FOUND THEY’RE MORE DETERMINED THAN EVER TO USE ALL THEIR TIME OFF THIS YEAR. 

Military

This Frankentank could revolutionize air defense in Ukraine

3 hrs ago

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The dominance of drones in Ukraine is giving rise to another trend: Franken-systems. Whether it is decades-old, American-made HAWK air defense missiles mounted to Soviet-era launchers or World War I and II era machine guns mounted together, the drive to down drones created innovative solutions on the battlefield.

But Rheinmetall, one of the largest defense contractors in Europe, may have the best Franken-system yet: a Frankentank.

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It is still conceptual at this point, but Rheinmetall released a mockup of what the solution could look like: a Skyranger short range air defense (SHORAD) module mounted to the chassis of a Leopard 1 main battle tank (MBT).

Built during the Cold War, Leopard 1s are not the newest MBTs, but they are still in use. More importantly, they are maneuverable. Ukraine has well over 100 with more on the way. The decades-old tank chassis could be great delivery platforms for one of the newest air defense systems available.

Bjorn Bernhard, the head of land systems at Rheinmetall, announced the plans to augment the older tanks with the Skyranger 35 turret. He spoke to Bild, a German newspaper, while touring a new top-secret workshop Rheinmetall recently opened in western Ukraine.

The Skyranger uses the widely popular 35mm revolver cannon made by Oerlikon. It can be equipped with a number of different sensors, depending on mission parameters. With modifications, the same turret can also accommodate a 30mm gun, which then leaves enough room to attach a twin launcher for Stinger missiles or similar munitions.

Skyranger also makes use of Oerlikon’s “AHEAD” ammunition. It’s an air-burst round, rapidly releasing waves of small projectiles to take down enemy threats. Air-burst ammunition also helps in reducing the amount of collateral damage on the ground from falling debris.

In its 35mm configuration, Rheinmetall’s air defense system is effective against drones, rockets, mortars and even some missiles out to a range of about two and a half miles. The 30mm gun configuration is effective to about 1.8 miles.

Skyranger is a system that could fill a critical need right now for Ukraine. The modular design means troops can upgrade Skyranger quickly. Mounting it to Leopard 1s means it could move into the field fairly quickly as well.

Of course, Rheinmetall would like to see its Skyranger turrets on as many vehicles as possible. That is why the company makes variations that fit the more modern Leopard 2 tanks, the Lynx infantry fighting vehicle, as well as the Boxer wheeled armored vehicle.

Rheinmetall also uses the Oerlikon revolver cannon in its SKYNEX air defense system, which is essentially a Skyranger turret mounted to the back of a truck. Ukraine has at least two of those systems already and could get more.

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[RYAN ROBERTSON]

THE DOMINANCE OF DRONES IN UKRAINE IS GIVING RISE TO ANOTHER TREND–FRANKEN SYSTEMS. WHETHER IT’S DECADES OLD AMERICAN-MADE HAWK AIR DEFENSE MISSILES MOUNTED TO SOVIET-ERA LAUNCHERS, OR WORLD WAR II ERA MACHINE GUNS MOUNTED TOGETHER, THE INNOVATION DRIVE TO DOWN DRONES IS STRONG.

BUT RHEINMETALL, ONE OF THE LARGEST DEFENSE CONTRACTORS IN EUROPE,
MAY HAVE THE BEST FRANKEN SYSTEM WE’VE SEEN YET. MORE OF A FRANKENTANK, REALLY.

IT’S STILL A LITTLE CONCEPTUAL AT THIS POINT, BUT HERE’S WHAT IT COULD LOOK LIKE: A SKYRANKER SHORT RANGE AIR DEFENSE MODULE MOUNTED TO THE CHASSIS OF A LEOPARD 1 MAIN BATTLE TANK.

BUILT DURING THE COLD WAR, LEOPARD 1s ARE NOT THE NEWEST MBTs, BUT THEY ARE STILL IN USE, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, MANEUVERABLE. UKRAINE HAS WELL OVER 100 WITH MORE ON THE WAY. THE DECADES OLD TANK CHASSIS COULD BE GREAT DELIVERY PLATFORMS FOR ONE OF THE NEWEST AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS AVAILABLE.

THE HEAD OF LAND SYSTEMS AT RHEINMETALL ANNOUNCED THE PLANS TO AUGMENT THE OLDER TANKS WITH THE SKYRANGER 35 TURRET, WHICH USES THE WIDELY POPULAR 35MM REVOLVER CANNON MADE BY OERLIKON.

THE SAME TURRET CAN ALSO BE MODIFIED TO ACCOMMODATE A 30MM GUN, WHICH THEN LEAVES ENOUGH ROOM TO ATTACH A TWIN LAUNCHER FOR STINGER MISSILES, OR SIMILAR MUNITIONS.

THE SKYRANGER USES OERLIKON’S ‘AHEAD’ AMMUNITION. IT’S AN AIR-BURST ROUND, RAPIDLY RELEASING WAVES OF SMALL PROJECTILES TO TAKE DOWN ENEMY THREATS.

THE SKYRANGER 35 IS EFFECTIVE AGAINST DRONES, ROCKETS, MORTARS AND EVEN SOME MISSILES OUT TO A RANGE OF ABOUT 2 AND A HALF MILES. THE 30MM GUN IS EFFECTIVE TO ABOUT 1.8 MILES.

SKYRANGER IS A SYSTEM THAT COULD FILL A CRITICAL NEED RIGHT NOW FOR UKRAINE. THE MODULAR DESIGN MEANS IT CAN BE UPGRADED QUICKLY, AND MOUNTING IT TO LEOPARD 1s MEANS IT COULD BE FIELDED FAIRLY QUICKLY AS WELL.
OF COURSE RHEINMETALL WOULD LIKE TO SEE ITS SKYRANGER TURRETS ON AS MANY VEHICLES AS POSSIBLE, WHICH IS WHY THE COMPANY MAKES VARIATIONS THAT FIT THE MORE MODERN LEOPARD 2 TANKS, AS WELL AS BOXER WHEELED ARMORED VEHICLE.

FOR MORE REPORTING ON THE WAR IN UKRAINE, AND THE DIFFERENT WEAPONS BEING USED THERE, BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD THE STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS APP TODAY OR CHECK US OUT AT S-A-N DOT COM.

FOR STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS, I’M RYAN ROBERTSON.

International

Cruise ship rescues 68 migrants headed for Spanish Canary Islands from rough Atlantic

6 hrs ago

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A luxury cruise ship rescued dozens of migrants adrift in the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday, June 20. Spanish authorities said the migrants were trying to reach the Spanish Canary Islands. 

The cruise ship Insignia was near the end of its 180-day trip around the world when it got the call for help. Authorities said 68 people were rescued, but at least five died. 

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A passenger onboard the cruise told CBS News the migrants were from Africa and had been at sea for 20 to 30 days. 

The Spanish Canary Islands have become the main point of entry to Spain for illegal migrants from Africa in recent years — and the deadliest. “Walking Borders,” a migration rights group, said last week nearly 5,000 migrants died at sea on that route during the first five months of 2024. 

Last year alone, Spain recorded more than 55,000 migrants arrived by sea — most of them to the Canary Islands. That’s almost double the number from 2022. And so far in 2024, more than 23,000 have landed, according to Spain’s Interior Ministry. 

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[KARAH RUCKER]

A LUXURY CRUISE SHIP RESCUED DOZENS MIGRANTS ADRIFT IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN ON THURSDAY, JUNE 20. SPANISH AUTHORITIES SAY THE MIGRANTS WERE TRYING TO REACH THE SPANISH CANARY ISLANDS. 

THE CRUISE SHIP INSIGNIA WAS NEAR THE END OF ITS 180-DAY TRIP AROUND THE WORLD WHEN IT GOT THE CALL FOR HELP. AUTHORITIES SAY 68 PEOPLE WERE RESCUED, BUT AT LEAST FIVE DIED. 

A PASSENGER ONBOARD THE CRUISE TOLD CBS NEWS THE MIGRANTS WERE FROM AFRICA AND HAD BEEN AT SEA FOR 20 TO 30 DAYS. 

THE SPANISH CANARY ISLANDS HAVE BECOME THE MAIN POINT OF ENTRY TO SPAIN FOR ILLEGAL MIGRANTS FROM AFRICA IN RECENT YEARS AND THE DEADLIEST. WALKING BORDERS, A MIGRATION RIGHTS GROUP, SAID LAST WEEK NEARLY 5,000 MIGRANTS DIED AT SEA ON THAT ROUTE DURING THE FIRST FIVE MONTHS OF 2024. 

LAST YEAR ALONE, SPAIN RECORDED MORE THAN 55,000 MIGRANTS ARRIVED BY SEA—MOST OF THEM TO THE CANARY ISLANDS. THAT’S ALMOST DOUBLE THE NUMBER FROM 2022. AND SO FAR IN 2024, MORE THAN 23,000 HAVE LANDED, ACCORDING TO SPAIN’S INTERIOR MINISTRY. 

Politics

Should women be required to register for military draft? Some lawmakers say yes

22 hrs ago

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If the U.S. went to war and turned to the military draft to enlist more soldiers, should women be required to serve? That is the question lawmakers debate on Capitol Hill as they build the military budget for 2025.

Right now, selective service laws require men between the ages of 18 and 25 to register for a potential draft. Women do not have to register for selective service, but the 2025 budget could change that.

The Senate and House both developed versions of the military budget. The House passed its version of the bill on Tuesday, June 18. The Senate’s version includes a provision that would require women to enroll in the mandatory registration process, however, senators have not held a vote yet.

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Many Republican lawmakers are against the proposal, but universal selective service is not a new idea. Democrats, including the chair of the Armed Services Committee, have attempted to pass the provision for several years.

“If we were in a situation requiring a draft, I think we would need all able-bodied citizens 18 and above,” Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said. “It’s not like World War II where we need a lot of infantry. We need cyber experts, we need intelligence analysts, linguists, etc. Wait a second, there are a lot of women out there that can do this better than men.”

While several lawmakers, including Reed, spoke in favor of the provision, others shared strong opinions against women enrolling in selective service. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., told Fox News that he thinks of the bill’s impact on his daughter.

“One day, if she wants to volunteer for the armed forces, that is terrific,” Hawley said. “But the idea that she would be drafted against her will is insane, and I bet every father in America feels the same way.”

The Senate’s version of the defense package, which includes this controversial position, passed through committee in a 22-3 vote. However, some of the senators who voted for the bill face pushback on the campaign trail.

Nevada Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen voted to approve the budget and is in a close race with Republican candidate Sam Brown, an Army veteran who was severely burned by an explosive in Afghanistan. He pushed back against Rosen and the provision in a post on X.

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[KARAH RUCKER]

IF THE U.S. WERE TO GO TO WAR AND TURN TO THE MILITARY DRAFT –

SHOULD WOMEN BE REQUIRED TO SERVE?

RIGHT NOW –

IT’S MANDATORY FOR MEN AGES 18-25 TO REGISTER FOR WHAT’S CALLED “SELECTIVE SERVICE” –

WHICH JUST MEANS IF THERE IS A DRAFT – THEY COULD BE CALLED UP TO JOIN THE MILITARY.

THE DEBATE HAPPENING IN CONGRESS NOW –

IS WHETHER **WOMEN SHOULD BE HELD TO THE SAME STANDARD?

FIRST –

WHY IS THIS CONVERSATION EVEN happening?

CONGRESS IS LOOKING AT ITS ANNUAL MILITARY BUDGET FOR 2025.

THE HOUSE PASSED A VERSION THIS WEEK.

THE SENATE IS CURRENTLY LOOKING AT ITS OWN VERSION.

AND EVENTUALLY THE TWO CHAMBERS WILL HAVE TO COMPROMISE.

THE **SENATE’S VERSION OF THE ANNUAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION –

HAS A PROVISION TO **INCLUDE WOMEN IN THE MANDATORY REGISTRATION PROCESS – THAT IN THE CASE OF WAR – 

THE U.S. WOULD CALL NAMES FROM.

THERE’S BEEN QUITE A BIT OF STRONG REACTION FROM REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS AGAINST THE PROPOSAL – ALTHOUGH ONE PROMINENT REPUBLICAN HAS PREVIOUSLY BEEN IN FAVOR OF IT.

THIS ISN’T A NEW IDEA.

SOME DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET THIS PASSED FOR YEARS –

INCLUDING THE CHAIR OF THE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE.

SENATOR JACK REED SAYS –

“IF WE WERE IN A SITUATIONS REQUIRING A DRAFT, I THINK WE WOULD NEED ALL ABLE-BODIED CITIZENS 18 AND ABOVE.”

“IT’S NOT LIKE WORLD WAR II WHERE WE NEED A LOT OF INFANTRY. WE NEED CYBER EXPERTS, WE NEED INTELLIGENCE ANALYSTS, LINGUISTS, ETC. WAIT A SECOND, THERE ARE A LOT OF WOMEN OUT THERE THAT CAN DO THIS BETTER THAN MEN.”

WHILE  REPUBLICAN  SENATE MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL HASN’T MADE COMMENTS ABOUT THE RECENT PROPOSAL –

HE SOUNDED OFF ON THE IDEA BACK IN 2016.

TELLING THE NEW YORK TIMES – “I PERSONALLY THINK IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR [WOMEN] TO REGISTER JUST LIKE MEN DO.” ADDING WOMEN ARE “PERFORMING VIRTUALLY ALL KINDS OF FUNCTIONS IN THE MILITARY.”

WHILE THERE ARE THOSE LAWMAKERS FOR IT – 

THERE ARE ALSO THOSE AGAINST.

LIKE SENATOR JOSH HAWLEY.

INTERVIEWED BY FOX NEWS THIS WEEK ON THE ISSUE.

[JOSH HAWLEY]

“This is insane stuff, i’ve got a 3 year old daughter. One day,if she wants to volunteer for the armed forces, that is terrific. But the idea that she would be drafted against her will is insane and i bet every father in america feels the same way.”

[KARAH RUCKER]

THE SENATE’S VERSION OF THE DEFENSE PACKAGE – INCLUDING THIS CONTROVERSIAL PROVISION – PASSED THE SENATE COMMITTEE WITH A 22 TO 3 VOTE.

BUT SENATORS WHO ALREADY VOTED **FOR IT –

ARE BEING MET ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL WITH OPPOSITION FROM THOSE VYING FOR THEIR POSITIONS IN NOVEMBER.

THAT INCLUDES A HOT CONTEST IN NEVADA FOR A SENATE SEAT.

DEMOCRAT JACKY ROSEN VOTED TO APPROVE THE BUDGET.

AND REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE SAM BROWN – AN ARMY VETERAN WHO WAS SEVERELY BURNED BY AN EXPLOSIVE DURING A TOUR IN AFGHANISTAN–

TOOK TO X TO BLAST HIS OPPONENT OVER THE PROPOSAL.

[SAM BROWN]

“Look at my face. This is the high cost of war. And i just learned this week jacky rosen voted this week  to make signing up for the draft mandatory for our daughters.” 

“This is unacceptable. Our daughters will not be forced into a draft.

[KARAH RUCKER]

LAST YEAR IT TOOK 5 MONTHS TO FINALLY APPROVE THE DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL. LAWMAKERS ARE FACING PRESSURE TO COME TO AN AGREEMENT QUICKLY. 

THAT’S BECAUSE WITH AN ELECTION LOOMING THIS NOVEMBER – CONTROL OF CONGRESS COULD DETERMINE THE FATE OF MILITARY SPENDING FOR YEARS TO COME. 

I’M KARAH RUCKER.

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OR VISIT US AT SAN DOT COM.

Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

Blumenthal, Graham introduce bill making Russia state sponsor of terrorism

22 hrs ago

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced a bill that would require the Biden administration to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terror. It is the duo’s second attempt at pushing this through Congress. The senators first tried in May 2022 with a resolution that urged the secretary of state to make the designation but did not mandate it.

“Russia deserves to be in this small, selective club of atrocity committing killers,” Blumenthal said.

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The senators raised the stakes in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to North Korea. On that trip, Putin signed a military defense agreement with the country’s dictator Kim Jong Un. 

​​”Signing a military partnership hostile to the United States, hostile to peace and liberty and justice around the world,” Blumenthal said, explaining why he believes the measure is so urgent.

If signed into law, the bill would restrict Russia’s sovereign immunity in the U.S. court system and increase penalties for evading sanctions. Countries on the list are also banned from defense exports and sales.

In addition, the list implements restrictions on dual-use items with civilian or military applications, like global positioning satellites, night vision technology and nuclear technology. 

“I don’t think we’re being provocative by labeling Putin a state sponsor of terrorism, I think we’re being rational. I think the designation is earned,” Graham said. “It would matter.” 

The senators do not have a timeline for getting this bill approved. They hope to get it through committee and the normal legislative process. However, they said they are prepared to ask for unanimous consent to get it passed on an expedited basis if necessary. 

“I don’t even need to go into the classified briefings that we’ve received to tell you how frightening the idea is that Russia would be lending its nuclear expertise to North Korea,” Blumenthal said. 

The senators said they do not know how much support the bill would receive in the House.

Graham likened a failure to stand up to Putin now to those who went along with Hitler’s expansion of German territory in the 1930s.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, French Premier Edouard Daladier, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, and the Italian Foreign Minister, Count Galeazzo Ciano, meet in Munich in October 1938. Credit: Getty Images.

“If you give Russia a pass here, given all Putin has done, then we’ve lost deterrence,” Graham said.

The four countries currently designated as state sponsors of terror are Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria. The senators contend Russia deserves to join their ranks for the war crimes committed against Ukraine.

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[RAY BOGAN]

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Lindsey Graham introduced a bill that would require the Biden Administration to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terror. 

It’s the duo’s second attempt at pushing this through Congress. 

They first tried in May 2022 with a resolution that simply urged the Secretary of State to make the designation, but didn’t mandate it. 

[RICHARD BLUMENTHAL]

“Russia deserves to be in this small selective club of atrocity committing killers.” 

[BOGAN]

The Senators are upping the stakes in the wake of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to North Korea where he signed a military defense agreement with the country’s dictator Kim Jong Un. 

[BLUMENTHAL]

Signing a military partnership hostile to the United States, hostile to peace and liberty and justice around the world.” 

If signed into law, the bill would restrict Russia’s sovereign immunity in the US court system and increase penalties for evading sanctions. 

Countries on the list are also banned from defense exports and sales. In addition, there are restrictions on dual-use items which can be used for both civilian or military applications like: global positioning satellites, night vision technology, and nuclear technology. 

[LINDSEY GRAHAM]

I don’t think we’re being provocative by labeling terrorism. I think we’re being rational. I think the designation is earned. It would matter”

[BOGAN]

The Senators don’t have a timeline for getting this bill approved. They hope to get it through committee and the normal legislative process. But they said they are prepared to ask for unanimous consent to get it passed on an expedited basis if necessary. 

[BLUMENTHAL]

I don’t even need to go into the classified briefings that we perceive to tell you how frightening The idea is that Russia would be lending its nuclear expertise to North Korea.”

[BOGAN]

The Senators say they do not know how much support the bill would receive in the House. 

But Graham likened a failure to stand up to Putin now to those who appeased Hitler’s expansion of German territory in the 1930s. 

[GRAHAM]

“If you give Russia a pass here, given all Putin has done, then we’ve lost deterrence.”

[BOGAN]

There are four countries currently designated as state sponsors of terror – Cuba, North Korea, Iran and Syria. 

The Senators say Russia deserves to join their ranks for the war crimes committed against Ukraine. We will keep you updated on this bill’s progress and Russia’s status, so download the Straight Arrow News app.