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Rumors are floating around today that Former U.S. Senator David Perdue, a Republican, will run to unseat Gov. Brian Kemp in next year’s primary election. According to a news report published today, sources close to Perdue say he will announce his candidacy Monday. Perdue was unseated after one term in the Senate early this year by Democrat Jon Ossoff. The former Dollar General CEO joins former state Rep. Vernon Jones in the race to unseat Kemp. The winner of the race will likely face Democrat Stacey Abrams in the general election in late 2022.

The first case of a highly mutated variant has been detected in a Georgia resident, health officials said Friday. The Georgia Department of Public Health said it has been notified of a Georgia resident who had recently returned from South Africa and was in Georgia for two days before traveling to New Jersey. The individual is fully vaccinated and is isolating in New Jersey. Contact tracing is underway there and in Georgia to identify close contacts who are at risk of infection. Though a case of omicron variant has been detected in a Georgia resident, the delta strain accounts for virtually all cases of COVID-19 in the state.

A panel of U.S. health advisors on Tuesday narrowly backed the benefits of a closely watched COVID-19 pill from Merck, setting the stage for a likely authorization of the first drug that Americans could take at home to treat the virus. A Food and Drug Administration panel voted 13-10 that the drug’s benefits outweigh its risks, including potential birth defects if used during pregnancy. The group’s recommendation came after hours of debate about the drug’s modest benefits and potential safety issues. Experts backing the treatment stressed that it should not be used by anyone who is pregnant and called on the FDA to recommend extra precautions before the drug is prescribed, including pregnancy tests for women of child-bearing age. 

A broad voting rights lawsuit filed after the 2018 Georgia election for governor is finally heading to trial as soon as February. Plaintiffs will argue that state voting laws are discriminatory and unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones said in court Monday that a two-week trial could begin the week of Feb. 7. It’s been over three years since the voting rights organization, Fair Fight Action, sued in the wake of Democrat Stacey Abrams’ loss to Republican Brian Kemp. It will be the first voting rights case to go to trial in Atlanta’s federal court in at least a decade. The trial will focus on “exact match” voter registration policies, allegations of voter roll inaccuracies and inconsistent absentee ballot cancellation practices. “My first goal is to ensure both sides have a fair trial,” Jones said. “We need to bring this case to closure.” The trial will renew debate over allegations of voter suppression in the last governor’s race before a potential rematch between Abrams and Kemp later next year.

A mostly white jury was seated Friday for the trial of Kim Potter, a suburban Minneapolis police officer charged in Daunte Wright’s shooting death. Potter, 49, is charged with first and second-degree manslaughter in the April. 11 shooting of Wright, a 20-year-old Black motorist, following a traffic stop in the suburb of Brooklyn Center. Potter, who is white, has said she meant to use her Taser on Wright after he tried to drive away from officers while they were trying to arrest him, but that she drew her handgun by mistake. Her body camera recorded the shooting. Nine of the first 12 jurors seated — the ones who will deliberate if no alternates are needed — are white, with one juror identifying as Black and two as Asian. It’s evenly split between men and women. The jury roughly matches the demographics of Hennepin County, which is about 74% white.

According to a federal indictment unsealed last week, a human trafficking operation trapped migrant workers in “modern-day slavery” on South Georgia farms. A federal indictment stemming from a human trafficking investigation alleges more than 100 laborers smuggled from Mexico and Central America to work in the onion fields were kept in “brutal” and “inhumane” working conditions. Under the threat of gun violence, some were allegedly forced to dig for onions with their bare hands. At least two people died on the job. Another was allegedly repeatedly raped. When not out in the fields, workers were detained in work camps surrounded by electric fencing, or held in cramped living quarters, including dirty trailers with raw sewage leaks and little to no access to food or safe drinking water. Twenty-four members and associates of the alleged criminal enterprise that perpetuated the exploitation face a slew of felony charges

CNN has terminated host Chris Cuomo following an investigation conducted that turned up “additional information.” Cuomo was “indefinitely” suspended by CNN on Tuesday, a day after documents released by New York Attorney General Letitia James showed he was more extensively involved in helping to defend his brother, then- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, against allegations of sexual misconduct than he had acknowledged — either publicly or to CNN management.

The trial for actor Jussie Smollett for a bogus racist claim began this week. Two brothers stand at the center of the prosecutor’s case against the former “Empire” actor who claimed that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic assault in downtown Chicago on a frigid night in January 2019. The siblings, who worked with him on the TV show, say Smollett paid them $3,500 to pose as his attackers. Smollett is accused of lying to police about the alleged attack and has been charged with felony disorderly conduct. A class 4 felony, the crime carries a sentence of up to three years in prison, but experts have said it is more likely that if Smollett is convicted, he would be placed on probation and perhaps ordered to perform community service.

While some Native American leaders have pushed professional sports teams to do away with the use of tribes as mascots, such as the Washington Football Team dropping its old name, the Redskins, the principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians said the Braves name isn’t the most important issue for him as the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians joined the Atlanta Braves this weekend for event to highlight Cherokee customs and traditions. This occurred amid lingering controversy about Braves name and Tomahawk chop that has made headlines across the country amid the World Series.

Morehouse School of Medicine is planning to give each of its students $6,300 to pay for various education-related expenses. The school hopes to get the money to its 754 students by Dec. 15. Morehouse School of Medicine President and Dean Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice sent an email to students Wednesday outlining how the students can use the funds. Rice wrote, “I am happy to announce that Morehouse School of Medicine will provide a financial gift of $6,300 to assist each of our currently enrolled, degree seeking students with additional academic, financial, and mental health support costs such as childcare, food, transportation, housing, and healthcare needs,” the email said. The money comes from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which passed through Congress and signed into law by then President Donald Trump in March 2020.

Number 3-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide knocked off the Number 1 ranked Georgia Bulldogs again at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the SEC Championship game. With the 41-24 loss — the exact score by which they lost to Alabama in Tuscaloosa last year — the Bulldogs fell to 12-1 on the season. Alabama — also 12-1 thanks to an early season road loss to LSU — claimed its 29th SEC football championship. Georgia is second in the league with 13 SEC titles.

Alexander &  Hornung fully cooked ham and pepperoni products are being recalled because of possible exposure to Listeria monocytogenes. The recall was announced Sunday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Alexander & Hornung, which is also a unit of Perdue Premium Meat Company, said it has voluntarily recalled 234,391 pounds of 17 processed meat products. Consumers who have these products should not consume them. The products should be thrown away or returned to the store where purchased. Consumers can call the Alexander & Hornung hotline: 866-866-3703 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday.-Friday for more information.

Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” is one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time. The holiday hit broke new ground as Carey received the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) Diamond Award for it, marking it the first holiday single to ever receive the coveted award.

Have a wonderful and safe week…


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