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States Rally Around Proposed U.S. Laws to Rein in Big Tech

Reuters reported:

A bipartisan group of U.S. state attorneys general sent a letter to lawmakers on Monday urging them to pass a series of bills that tighten antitrust laws aimed at Big Tech companies like Facebook and Alphabet’s Google.

The letter, which was addressed to leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives, expressed explicit support for six bills that passed the House Judiciary Committee in June. Four of the bills directly address Big Tech’s platform powers while two others empower enforcers.

More Boycotts Coming for Facebook

Axios reported:

Leaders of the Stop Hate For Profit social media boycott group are discussing whether to organize another campaign against Facebook in light of an explosive investigative series from the Wall Street Journal, Common Sense CEO Jim Steyer tells Axios.

The intrigue: Sources tell Axios that another group, separate from the Stop Hate For Profit organization, is expected to launch its own ad boycott campaign this week.

Why it matters: Facebook is experiencing lots of pressure to address some of its platform’s ills in response to the Journal’s five-part series.

Tucker Carlson Says Vaccine Mandate Is ‘Takeover of the U.S. Military’

Newsweek reported:

Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson reiterated his criticism of vaccine mandates, saying that the policy forcing U.S. military members to get the jab was an attempt to weed out those who didn’t share the political views of President Joe Biden.

In a monologue on Monday, the host of Tucker Carlson Tonight criticized the order by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that all active-duty military members be fully vaccinated as being: “Specifically designed to separate the obedient from the free.”

1 Week Till New York Health Care Worker Vaccination Deadline

News 10 reported:

The deadline for all healthcare workers across New York State to get the COVID-19 vaccine is now only one week away. If employees choose not to get vaccinated by Monday, September 27, they’ll lose their jobs.

Out of the 786 health care workers at Guthrie Medical Center in Cortland, 95% of employees reportedly have at least one dose of the COVID vaccine.

Federal Judge to Hear Challenge to Northern Kentucky Hospital Group’s Vaccine Mandate

Cincinnati Enquirer reported:

A federal judge in Covington will hear arguments Wednesday about whether to temporarily stop St. Elizabeth Healthcare from requiring its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The hospital group’s more than 10,000 employees are required to be vaccinated by Oct. 1 or obtain a medical or religious exemption.

A lawsuit filed early this month on behalf of dozens of the hospital group’s employees asks U.S. District Judge David Bunning to declare the vaccine requirement invalid.

COVID Vaccine to Be Required at All 15 Massachusetts Community Colleges

CBS News Boston reported:

All students, faculty and staff at Massachusetts’ 15 community colleges will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January, the presidents announced Monday.

A total of 135,000 students attend Massachusetts community colleges each year.

Battle Over Texas Vaccine Mandates Taking Shape as Third Special Session Begins

KXAN reported:

The third special session of the 87th Texas Legislature got underway Monday, and so did the battle over COVID-19 vaccination mandates within the state.

KXAN counted 10 bills already filed as of Monday afternoon — six in the House of Representatives, four in the Senate. Nine were filed by Republicans and one was filed by a Democrat.

The GOP proposals include banning proof of vaccination in public or private schools, imposing penalties on companies and hospitals that terminate or deny employment to the unvaccinated, and keeping insurance companies from denying or limiting benefits to those who have not received their COVID shots.

Melbourne Police Fire Pepper Balls, Pellets to Break Up COVID Protest

Reuters reported:

Police in Melbourne fired pepper balls and rubber pellets on Tuesday to disperse about 2,000 protesters who defied stay-at- home orders to damage property, block a busy freeway and injure three officers, leading to more than 60 arrests.

It was the second day of demonstrations in the locked-down Australian city after authorities shut construction sites for two weeks, saying workers’ frequent movement was spreading the coronavirus.

During eight hours of downtown protests, demonstrators threw rocks, bottles and flares at police, as television and social media showed video of marchers chanting and attacking police cars, surrounded by mounted police and officers in riot gear.

‘Isolated’ but Defiant, Brazil’s Bolsonaro Defends Handling of COVID and Climate at U.N.

CNN reported:

With COVID-19 and the environment at the top of the agenda at this year’s United Nations’ General Assembly, observers braced for the first world leader to speak in the UN headquarters’ storied hall: Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, notorious for both his off-the-cuff comments and controversial handling of the pandemic and the environment.

Bolsonaro declared last week that he would not get vaccinated, because he already had COVID-19.

“Why do you take a vaccine? To have antibodies, right? My antibodies rate is really high. I can show you the document,” he said in a live social media broadcast. He added that he will only make a decision about getting vaccinated “after everyone in Brazil gets the vaccine” — a dissonant voice as the General Assembly pushes this year to increase vaccination throughout the globe, and cajoling wealthier nations to share more doses with poorer ones.

German Officials Fear Anti-Mask Radicalization After Killing

U.S. News and World Report reported:

Senior politicians in Germany expressed shock over the weekend killing of a young gas station clerk who asked a customer to wear a face mask, and they warned Tuesday against the radicalization of people who oppose the country’s pandemic restrictions.

A 49-year-old German man was arrested in the fatal shooting of the clerk Saturday in the western town of Idar-Oberstein. The suspect is being held on suspicion of murder.