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Marines Grant First Religious Exemptions in Military for COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
The Marine Corps granted two religious exemptions to the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, making it the first and only military branch to grant religious exceptions since the requirement went into effect in August.
In its weekly COVID-19 update, the Marine Corps said it had received 3,350 requests for religious exemptions and had processed 3,212 of them. But for the first time, the Marine Corps said it had granted two of the requests. The service offered no additional information about why these specific requests had been granted.
Each of the services has received several thousand requests for religious exemptions to the military’s vaccine mandate. But until this week, none of those requests have been granted, though the services still have many requests to process.
Facebook Sued for Billions Over Harvesting People’s Data
Facebook is facing a class action lawsuit which could see its parent company Meta paying $3.1 billion to its UK users for harvesting their data.
The lawsuit was filed against Meta on Thursday with the U.K.’s Competition Appeal Tribunal in London, TechCrunch reported.
The lawsuit claims Facebook, which was recently renamed Meta, should pay its 44 million British users’ compensation for taking all their personal and private data between 2015 and 2019. Facebook has yet to respond to the lawsuit.
Despite SCOTUS Ruling, Citigroup Stands by Friday Vaccination Deadline
Despite Thursday’s momentous Supreme Court ruling blocking the enforcement of a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees, Wall Street giant Citigroup nevertheless intends to move forward with its plans to terminate employees who fail to meet Friday’s vaccination deadline, FOX Business has confirmed.
Citi, one of the largest financial services firms in the world, originally made its vaccination requirement announcement in October, before reiterating the stance in a memo to company employees this month.
Those unvaccinated by Friday’s deadline will be placed on unpaid leave and fired at the end of the month, unless they are granted other accommodations, according to earlier reports.
National Digital Vaccine Card Aims to Ease Proof of Vaccination Requirements
The digital pass known as the SMART Health Card is voluntary and minimal by design to protect personal information. It has a person’s name, date of birth and the dates and brands of vaccination doses, all contained within a type of scannable bar code known as a QR code.
And after a relatively quiet start, it has built momentum in recent months as more states and companies have signed on, making it something of a de facto national digital vaccine card.
Zuckerberg and Google CEO Approved Deal to Carve Up Ad Market, States Allege in Court
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google chief executive Sundar Pichai personally approved a secret deal that gave the social network a leg up in the search giant’s online advertising auctions, attorneys for Texas and other states alleged in newly unsealed court filings.
The 2018 deal gave Facebook possibly unlawful advantages when the social network used Google’s advertising exchange, according to allegations by Texas, 14 other states and Puerto Rico in the latest version of their federal antitrust suit against Google.
Supreme Court Blocking Biden OSHA Vaccine Mandate a ‘Win’ for Freedom: Florida AG
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody reacted to the Supreme Court blocking President Biden‘s federal worker vaccine mandate on “Mornings with Maria” Friday, calling the decision “a win” for not only freedom but employees and employers alike.
Ashley Moody: The court said this was like taking a blunt instrument and trying to enact health care policy on a wide-scale basis, using the excuse that you’re trying to protect a workplace …
This was a win, not just for freedom …
This was a win for the millions of employees that were desperately trying to hold on to their health care autonomy, and for the employers that were going to be faced, really, with another tax, billions in compliance cost. So we are praising the Supreme Court’s decision as to that mandate. It was spot on.
Amazon Worker Received Daily Texts About Losing Paid Time Off While Sick With COVID-19
Illinois Amazon warehouse worker Drew Duzinskas told NBC he tested positive for COVID-19 over the holidays. He said he notified Amazon, but that for days afterwards he received automated texts from the company telling him his balance of paid time off was going down because he was missing shifts.
“They have a self-service kind of HR system,” Duzinskas told NBC, adding, “That seems to be their goal — to kind of take the human out of human resources.”
Biden Administration Institutionalizes Religious Discrimination
A tiny administrative agency in the District of Columbia announced a new policy Tuesday that will likely serve as a model for a whole-of-government push to assemble lists of Americans who object on religious grounds to a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Pretrial Services Agency for the District of Columbia — a federal independent entity that assists officers in the District of Columbia courts in formulating release recommendations and providing supervision and services to defendants awaiting trial — announced a new records system that will store the names and “personal religious information” of all employees who make “religious accommodation requests for religious exception from the federally mandated vaccination requirement.”
Moderna and Novavax Extend Losses After Supreme Court Strikes Down Biden’s Vaccine Mandate for Private Employers
Novavax and Moderna shares were under pressure Friday after the Supreme Court struck down a vaccine mandate for private companies.
Shares of Novavax and Moderna each dropped Friday, with stock in the COVID-19 vaccine makers stretching losses into a second session after the Biden administration’s vaccine-or-testing mandate for certain private companies was blocked by the Supreme Court.
Australia Cancels Djokovic Visa a Second time, Tennis Star Faces Possible Deportation
Novak Djokovic faces possible deportation from Australia after the country’s immigration minister canceled the unvaccinated tennis star’s visa for a second time on Friday, citing public health.
The decision is the latest twist in a saga that has drawn global headlines and become a flashpoint in the debate over Covid-19 vaccination mandates. It could end the Serb’s bid for a record 21st major title at the Australian Open tournament, which starts Monday.
Djokovic’s lawyers moved swiftly to apply for an injunction that would prevent him from being forced to leave the country. The Australian government ordered that he return to immigration detention at 8 a.m. local time on Saturday (4 p.m. ET Friday), though with permission to meet his lawyers at their offices.