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“Community TEA” for July 4

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named Republican Rep. Liz Cheney to a new select committee on the violent Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, elevating the most unyielding GOP critic of former President Donald Trump to work alongside seven Democrats on the high-profile investigation.

In response to the appointment, Cheney said in a statement that she is “honored” to serve on the committee and that “Congress is obligated to conduct a full investigation of the most serious attack on our Capitol since 1814.” Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, will lead the panel, which will investigate what went wrong around the Capitol when hundreds of Trump supporters broke into the building. The rioters brutally beat police, hunted for lawmakers and interrupted the congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory over Trump.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy threatened to strip Republicans of committee assignments if they accepted an appointment from Pelosi to the panel. After the announcement, McCarthy demurred, saying at a news conference that “I’m not making any threats” about committee assignments. But he made clear he was not happy with Cheney. “I was shocked that she would accept something from Speaker Pelosi,” McCarthy said. “It would seem to me, since I didn’t hear from her, maybe she’s closer to her than us.”

One step closer to being forced out of the U.S. Capitol is Georgia’s statue of Alexander Hamilton Stephens, who served as vice president of the Confederacy. The House voted 285-120 vote was bipartisan last week to remove statues that honor Confederate leaders, as well as a bust of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney. Taney authored the 1857 Dred Scott decision that said Black people in America did not enjoy the rights of citizenship. Georgia’s delegation split along party lines. The bill’s fate is uncertain in the Senate, where 10 Republicans would need to vote with the 50-member Democratic caucus to avoid a filibuster.

New weekly jobless claims dropped sharply last week, the Labor Department reported this week, hitting a new post-lockdown low. Worker filings for jobless benefits fell to 364,000 as layoffs continue to recede said the Labor Department. Initial jobless claims in the week ended June 26 fell by a seasonally adjusted 51,000 from the prior week’s revised total of 415,000. The drop brought the four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility in the weekly figures, down by 6,000 from the previous week’s average to 392,750, also a new pandemic low.

A new community center for veterans has opened at the The Battery, a sports and entertainment complex anchored by Truist Park and home of the Atlanta Braves. The Warrior Alliance Home Base veterans center will serve as a one-stop, central hub for veteran services. It becomes the newest addition to The Battery.

Pope Francis is in a Rome hospital for surgery for a stenosis, or restriction, of the large intestine, the Vatican said. The Pope had been diagnosed with “symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon,” a reference to a narrowing in the large intestine.

A Florida-based real estate company has purchased the iconic CNN Center in downtown Atlanta, but its current occupants are staying put. CP Group, which is based in Boca Raton, announced late Thursday that it has reached a deal to buy the complex next to Centennial Olympic Park. AT&T, which owns CNN as a result of its 2018 acquisition of Time Warner, will lease the building from its new owners for a “a number of years.” The deal comes as AT&T prepares to spin off WarnerMedia, whose holdings include CNN, and combine it with Discovery and its stable of networks.

One of the early victims of the pandemic, Hertz car rental, is officially emerging from bankruptcy. Hertz’s return coincides with a red-hot market for rental cars. A quick economic and travel rebound in recent months set off a bidding war to revive the company, which is more than 100 years old. The winning group of investors, led by Knighthead Capital Management and Certares Management, provided the company with $5.9 billion in capital.

Tenure to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones was granted by the University of North Carolina’s board of trustees last week ending a dispute that had stretched on for more than a month. After the vote was in, Gene Davis, the board’s vice chairman, said that in granting the tenure, “this board reaffirms that our university puts its highest values first.”

Meghan McCain’s tenure on “The View” is coming to an end as she decides to leave the New York-based show to spend more time at home in the Washington, D.C., area with her husband and their young daughter.

At Wimbledon, the most famous arena in tennis, 17-year-old Coco Gauff is displaying talents that has caught everyone’s attention as she played a woman twice her age Elena Vesnina, a 34-year-old Russian at Centre Court. She began the week having played a total of two grass-court events. Gauff, who grew up in Atlanta, acknowledged her nervousness, but found a way to win as she emerged with a 6-4, 6-3 victory to return to Wimbledon’s third round. Gauff’s serve provided nine aces, including seven in the first set when a lot else was not really working.

The U.S. Olympic tennis team will be led by Coco Gauff and Jennifer Brady as they head to the Tokyo Games without any of the country’s two highest-ranked women or four top men, according to a roster obtained by The Associated Press. The list of players heading to Japan includes 17-year-old Gauff, 2021 Australian Open runner-up Brady, Jessica Pegula and Alison Riske for women’s singles. Notably absent: Serena and Venus Williams, owners of a combined nine Olympic medals.

The NFL has fined the Washington Football Team $10 million and owner Dan Snyder is stepping away from day-to-day operations after an independent investigation found the organization’s workplace “highly unprofessional,” especially for women.

The Atlanta Hawks’ great run has ended after falling to the Milwaukee Bucks on their epic run to the finals. The team is to be saluted for their efforts to bring a championship to Atlanta. 

Have a wonderful 4th of July and a great week….

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