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A Judge Asked a Mother if She Got the Coronavirus Vaccine. She Said No, and He Revoked Custody of Her Son.
When Rebecca Firlit joined a virtual court hearing with her ex-husband earlier this month, the Chicago mother expected the proceedings to focus on child support.
But the judge had other plans.
“One of the first things he asked me … was whether or not I was vaccinated,” Firlit, 39, told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“It poses a risk,” she added.
Cook County Judge James Shapiro then made what the parents’ attorneys called an unprecedented decision — he said the mother could not see her 11-year-old son until she got the coronavirus vaccine.
Fauci Backs COVID Vaccine Mandates for School Kids
Fauci voiced backing for vaccines for K-12 students as well as local and employer vaccination mandates during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, Aug. 29.
“I believe that mandating vaccines for children to appear in school is a good idea. And remember, Jake, this is not something new. We have mandates in many places in schools, particularly public schools, that if, in fact, you want a child to come in, we have done this for decades and decades, requiring polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis,” Fauci said in the interview … “So this would not be something new, requiring vaccinations for children to come to school.”
N.B. COVOD-19 Roundup: Vaccine Passports Unlikely to Boost Vaccination Rates, Says Scientist
The provincial government will decide within three weeks whether to introduce vaccine passports, which could restrict what unvaccinated people can do in everyday life, Premier Blaine Higgs told CBC last Friday. The program would require proof of vaccination to gain access to certain social and recreational activities.
Simon Bacon, a behavioural medicine professor at Concordia University in Montreal, who studies how people respond to public health policy, says it’s unlikely that would persuade people who are still unvaccinated to get their shots.
EU to Recommend Reinstating COVID-Related Travel Restrictions on U.S., Reports Say
The European Union is expected to recommend on Monday that member states reinstate COVID-related travel restrictions and halt nonessential travel from the United States and five other countries, a diplomatic source told CNN on Monday.
The EU would reestablish coronavirus travel restrictions such as quarantine and testing requirements for unvaccinated travelers from those countries, according to the source.
Other countries to be removed from the safe travel list would be Kosovo, Israel, Montenegro, Lebanon and North Macedonia, the diplomat said.
MSU Employee Sues University Over Vaccine Mandate
A Michigan State University employee is challenging the school’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy, calling it unconstitutional in a federal lawsuit filed last week.
Jeanna Norris, a 37-year-old MSU administrative associate and fiscal officer, is suing President Samuel Stanley and the Board of Trustees, arguing that she has natural immunity after recovering from COVID-19 late last year. Her immunologist, Hooman Noorchashm, has advised her that it is medically unnecessary to undergo a vaccination, the lawsuit said.
“If Plaintiff follows her doctor’s advice and elects not to take the vaccine, she faces adverse disciplinary consequences,” according to the suit that was filed in Michigan’s western division of U.S. District Court. “In short, the Directive is unmistakably coercive and cannot reasonably be considered anything other than an unlawful mandate.”
Fall Antitrust Forecast: Biden Raises Hammer on Big Tech
The antitrust scrutiny of tech giants that began during the Trump era will only intensify this fall as Big Tech critics Lina Khan, Tim Wu and Jonathan Kanter take the lead on competition policy and enforcement in the Biden administration.
The big picture: That’s four companies each being challenged from four directions: No wonder the antitrust arena can feel like three-dimensional chess.
Concert Venues Are Banking on Proof of Vaccines or Negative Tests to Woo Back Fans
Fans of the band Wilco could have reasonably interpreted frontman Jeff Tweedy singing “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” at an Aug. 13 concert at St. Louis Music Park as the universe explaining the past year or so.
For example, 30-year-old fan Lazarus Pittman had planned to see Wilco and co-headliner Sleater-Kinney in August 2020 at the open-air venue in this suburb west of St. Louis. Then the show was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pittman got sick with the coronavirus. He quit his job as a traffic engineer in Connecticut to relocate to St. Louis for his girlfriend — only to have her break up with him before he moved.
But he still trekked from New England to Missouri in a converted minivan for the rescheduled outdoor show. “COVID’s been rough, and I’m glad things are opening up again,” he said.
Yet hours before Pittman planned to cross off the concert from his bucket list, he learned the latest wrinkle: He needed proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test from the previous 48 hours to enter the concert.
Australian Truckers Protest Mandatory Vaccines And Lockdowns, Block Major Highway
Australian truck drivers have blocked a major highway in the north-eastern state of Queensland in a protest against vaccine mandates and tough border restrictions, causing traffic to back up for several kilometres.
The action marks a series of ongoing protests from Australians frustrated with state government COVID-19 lockdowns and mandated restrictions based on emergency public health orders.
China’s New Digital Double Standard Would Hobble Big Tech While Helping Itself to Data
If data represents the “new oil,” as they say — powering the engines of commerce and media in China — one wonders what happens when the government throws sand in the gears, as it appears may happen.
November looms as a red-letter month in the country, when a new data and consumer privacy law will take effect, mandating guardrails and standards that might make it tougher than ever for Big Tech firms (especially U.S. companies) to compete there.
The Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), as it is officially known, was unveiled earlier in the month. It has some key differences from other regulations that govern data collection and transmission, such as the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In this case, China is reportedly still going to have a significant reach into consumers’ private information.