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Community Tea

Community “TEA” July 26


Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected two Republicans tapped by House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy to sit on a committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. Said Pelosi, “With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these members, I must reject the recommendations of Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, picked by McCarthy to be the top Republican on the panel, or Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan to the Select Committee.” McCarthy denounced the action as “an egregious abuse of power” while saying the GOP won’t participate in the investigation if Democrats won’t accept the members he appointed. Banks and Jordan voted to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential victory hours after the insurrection. Both are close allies of former President Donald Trump, whose supporters laid siege to the Capitol that day. Speaker Pelosi announced today that she has appointed Illinois GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger to the House select committee to the committee. “Today, I am announcing the appointment of Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger, an Air Force veteran and Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard, to serve on the Select Committee,” Pelosi said in a statement. “He brings great patriotism to the Committee’s mission: to find the facts and protect our Democracy.” Kinzinger joins Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as the Republicans on the committee.

The first punishment handed down on a felony charge in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot went to a Tampa, Florida man, Paul Allard Hodgkins, who breached the U.S. Senate chamber carrying a Trump campaign flag. After he apologized to the court, Hodgkins was sentenced to eight months behind bars. District Judge Randolph Moss said Hodgkins played a role, if not as significant as others, in one of the worst episodes in American history when thousands of rioters loyal to then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol and disrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s election win in a stunning display of public violence. “That was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a protest,” Moss said. “It was … an assault on democracy.” He added: “It left a stain that will remain … on the country for years to come.”

A Henry County judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought void the election of Georgia’s Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the U.S. Senate, which gave Democrats control of the U.S. Senate. Superior Court Judge Brian Amero rejected the effort at a recent hearing. This is latest in a series of unsuccessful lawsuits that challenged Democratic victories in Georgia, including President Joe Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump.

Canada will begin letting fully vaccinated U.S. citizens into their country on Aug. 9. Officials said the 14-day quarantine requirement will be waived for eligible travelers who are currently residing in the United States and have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada.

Acting Haitian prime minister Claude Joseph says he plans to transfer power to Dr. Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon and longtime political stalwart whose designation earlier this month as the next in line for the post was “the final wish of President Jovenel Moïse.” He’ll be the seventh Haitian prime minister in four years.

A U.S. Senate committee has approved legislation that would require young women to register for Selective Service, alongside men. In the rare event of a war or other national emergency, women would be drafted for the first time in the nation’s history. The change would have to pass the Senate and House and be signed into law by President Biden.

The State Department temporarily suspended the passport online booking system used for urgent appointments this week because of bots, according to its consular affairs website. “We temporarily disabled the online booking system for Urgent Travel Service to ensure our very limited appointments go to applicants who need them for urgent travel,” the update said. “We are making this change to address the problem of third parties booking appointments online using automated programs, or bots, and then selling these appointments to customers with urgent travel needs. We are not affiliated with any third-party appointment booking services, and we do not charge a fee to make an appointment,” the update noted. “Third parties booked all available appointments within minutes of the appointments being posted online which prevented many of you from making urgent appointments, and made it difficult to determine whether your appointment was legitimate or fraudulent.” The State Department said it would honor appointments made online prior to 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, but now individuals must call to book or change an appointment.

The search for victims in Surfside Florida has comes to an end a month after the deadly collapse. Authorities have identified 97 victims and 1 person remains missing.

 US Covid-19 Task Force is reporting that Georgia’s transmission levels are substantial:

·      Georgia has a 505% increase in Covid-19 cases since July 5.

·      Daily vaccination rates are down 39% over the same time.

·      60% of Georgia remains unvaccinated, which means Georgia can expect higher hospitalizations.

Historically Black college Clark Atlanta University and other members of the Atlanta University Center announced that they are requiring students to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine to return to campus this fall. The four private schools, and others across Georgia, are pushing for students to get vaccinated as the semester nears. Emory, Georgia’s largest private university, is mandating COVID-19 student vaccinations. Almost 600 colleges and universities nationally are requiring vaccines for at least some students or employees, according to information compiled by the Chronicle of Higher Education. At the same time, a handful of states have passed laws to prevent colleges from mandating vaccinations. In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp banned vaccine mandates in state government, meaning that no local school board or public university can require vaccinations for students or staffers. About half of new cases of Covid-19 in Georgia are among 18- to 39-year-olds.

In a 10-page memo to the league’s 32 teams, the NFL announced new policies requiring vaccinations during the COVID-19. Teams will forfeit and be slapped with a loss if a game is cancelled because of a COVID-19 outbreak among their unvaccinated players — and neither team’s players will be paid.

After years of controversy, the Cleveland Indians have renamed themselves the Cleveland Guardians. Known as the Indians since 1915, the team announced the change after national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist. The name change is effective at the end of the 2021 season

Team USA’s men’s basketball team tipped off the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo with a disappointing 83-76 loss to France in the preliminary group stage round. The loss marks the United States’ first Olympic defeat since 2004 when it fell to both Puerto Rico and Lithuania in group play. It also snapped a 25-game Olympic winning streak for the U.S.

China leads the medal count with 11 and USA is in second place with 10 – 4 gold, 2 silver and four bronze.

The Georgia film and TV business is generating a record-setting $4 billion in direct spending, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development. After being down for a third of the year in 2020, production began to come back last summer and into the fall with Tyler Perry Studios being the first to shoot scripted programming in mid-July by quarantining its entire show cast and crew for two weeks at a time on campus. With safety protocols in place, other studios were largely back in gear by September. By January of this year, 50 active productions were going on at the same time, the most ever.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a FAMU alum, has been named the inaugural fellow of the HBCU Executive Leadership Initiative. Bottoms, whose mayoral term ends in January, will be the first honorary fellow of a new effort to train people for careers as leaders of historically Black colleges and universities. The mayor’s role will include speaking to the first cohort of fellows. The institute is funded in large part by the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation, which contributed $1 million toward the effort.

A Roswell day care center accused of racial bias against children was cleared of accusations of mistreatment of the children, but a state investigation found violations of health and safety practices. The investigations follow complaints earlier this year from parents who alleged that staff at Pine Grove Academy were treating Black children differently. State officials investigated, reviewed several days of videotape, and reported findings that show violations of health and safety practices but no mistreatment based on race.

On a sad note, R&B singer Keyshia Cole’s mother, Frankie Lons, died last week from a drug overdose while celebrating her 61st birthday. According to reports, she was partying at her Oakland home, where she apparently relapsed after a decades-long battle with addiction.

Have a safe and productive week…

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