Calif. lawmakers approve prostitution, drug injection sites bill

Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa, left, calls on lawmakers to approve a measure carried by Assemblyman Matt Haney, D-San Francisco, right, to allow Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco, to set up places where opioid users could legally inject drugs in supervised settings, during the Assembly session in Sacramento, Calif., on Thursday, June 30, 2022. The Assembly approved the measure and sent it to back to the Senate for final consideration. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

UPDATED 11:22 AM PT – Wednesday, July 6, 2022

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed off on a bill which could benefit human trafficking and prostitution in the state. Last week, the Democrat approved SB 357, which reverses loitering laws that law enforcement used to combat both.

Some critics of the bill, which was authored by Democrat state Sen. Scott Weiner, contend it will hurt areas that already have poverty and a lot of crime. Additionally, sex trafficking victims argued the bill is hurting victims instead of providing help to survivors, while also increasing demand.

“This is specifically talking about street walking and loitering for prostitution is public,” explained Jonathan Keller, President of the California Family Council. “This is going to effect poor communities, it’s going to effect black and brown communities more, but it’s going to actually harm them and make those places much less safe and much more hostile for families, for woman and girls.”

It also received push back from California Senate Republican Scott Wilk who said the government should be doing everything it can to combat the crisis and not enable perpetrators. However, Newsom has claimed the legislation does not legalize prostitution and stressed it must be implemented “cautiously.”

The measure will also allow those who were previously convicted or are serving sentences to ask a court to dismiss and seal the record of the conviction. California is not only taking legislative action on prostitution, but also drug use. Last week, the California Assembly passed a bill to authorize drug injection sites in several cities.

The assembly approved bill SB 57 last week, which allows cities, including Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco, to set up sites where opioid users could legally inject drugs in supervised settings. State Sen. Weiner, who authored the legislation, claimed safe consumption sites are a proven strategy to save lives and get people into treatment.

The push to create injection sites comes amid a national opioid crisis and spike in overdose deaths. However, the legislation received push-back from Republicans who argue enabling illegal and destructive drug use will never work. The bill still needs to be passed by the state Senate before heading to Governor Newsom’s desk.

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Palestinian-American journalist ‘likely’ unintentionally killed by Israel forces, says State Dept.

Yellow tape marks bullet holes on a tree and a portrait and flowers create a makeshift memorial on o May 19, 2022, at the site where Palestinian-American Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed in the West Bank city of Jenin. The Palestinian Authority on Saturday, July 2, 2022, said it has given the bullet that killed Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh to American forensic experts, taking a step toward resolving a standoff with Israel over the investigation into her death. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

UPDATED 12:35 PM PT – Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The US State Department is not picking a side in the investigation into the death of Palestinian-American Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. In a statement released on Monday, spokesperson Ned Price claimed after looking at the findings from Israeli and Palestinian Authority reports, the bullet that killed AbuAkleh likely came from a troop with the Israel Defense Forces. However, he stressed the killing was likely unintentional.

In May, Abu Akleh was killed while covering an Israeli raid in the West bank, but Palestinian witnesses claim the raid was unwarranted and the death did not need to happen. However, ballistic experts say the bullet was badly shattered and could not be traced to an individual shooter.

Additionally, Israeli officials said the raid was a part of a complex battle between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants. They urged the public not to jump to any conclusions while the conclusion is still uncertain.

“It is important to emphasize that during this operational event, like in many others, hundreds of bullets were fired at IDF (Israeli Defense Force) troops, which responded with firepower of their own, only in the direction of the sources of the shooting,” stated Benny Gantz, Israeli Defense Minister. “The first to bear responsibility in such events, are the terrorists who operate from within population centers.”

Meanwhile, officials within the Palestinian Authority decried the State Department’s stance while arguing it weakens the Biden administration’s credibility as a beacon of freedom of press. Critics further claimed only Israeli troops fired shots during that raid and will seek an investigation by international organizations.

“We will continue to call for justice and we will continue to call on the US to carry out a transparent investigation by an independent body,” said Lina Abu Akleh, niece of Shireen Abu Akleh. “In addition, we continue to call on the UN and the ICC to carry out an investigation and hold Israel accountable. And put an end to this grotesque impunity that Israel continues to enjoy. We call for justice for Shireen.”

In the meantime, Israeli officials maintain they are committed to finding the truth about who killed Abu Akleh. The State Department is urging investigators from Israel and the Palestinian Authority to come together and cooperate on further investigations. It promised to monitor those bilateral actions.

The Biden administration has come under scrutiny for weakening the staunch pro-Israel position of the Trump administration by sending more economic aid to Palestine, resources critics say could fall into the hands of terrorists in the region.

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Miss. abortion law to go into effect Thursday

Attorney Rob McDuff, left, an attorney representing the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, argues on behalf of the state’s only abortion clinic, for a lawsuit filed by them to remain open by blocking a law that would ban most abortions in the state, before Special Chancellor Debbra K. Halford, right, in Hinds County Chancery Court, Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Jackson, Miss. On June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending constitutional protections for abortion. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, Pool)

UPDATED 12:08 PM PT – Wednesday, July 6, 2022

A trigger law on abortion has cleared its final hurdle in Mississippi. The Jackson Women’s Health Organization in lost yet another legal challenge to the state’s coming restrictions on abortion. On Tuesday, a judge struck down the abortion clinic’s attempt to temporarily block the law that would ban most abortions.

The court did give the clinic a chance to argue its case after it lost a landmark case in the Supreme Court that resulted in the ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade. The clinic lamented Mississippi’s move to ban abortions before six-months would harm women in the state.

“Fordice specifically noted that at the time the Mississippi Constitution was adopted, abortion was legal until quickening some four to five months in pregnancy,” said Rob McDuff, attorney for the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “So the status quo that we see and that we ask you to maintain is the status quo that has existed in the state of Mississippi, except for a very small period of time. And that status quo is required to prevent the irreparable harm that would come from the enforcement of an unconstitutional law.”

Officials in the Magnolia State stressed the law was passed in 2007 and it was supported by members of both parties. Under the law, abortions would be illegal except in case of rape or incest, along with cases when giving birth would endanger the mother.

Providers who perform the procedure outside those specified circumstances could face up to 10-years in prison if they are caught. However, Jackson Women’s Health Organization decried the law while claiming the state is wielding its power to force residents to have babies against their will.

“But more importantly, the patients of the clinic, the women of Mississippi who do seek an abortion, who do make the decision that under the law only they can make, not the state, about whether they should carry a pregnancy to term and give birth, they will be forced to do those things against their will, many of them,” McDuff continued.

In the meantime, the law is expected to go into effect Thursday. Other southern states are trying to set their abortion restrictions in place with Florida’s 15-week-ban being blocked Tuesday and quickly reinstated. Additionally, Louisiana’s attorney general is trying to dissolve a block on the state’s abortion ban, which is currently being challenged in state courts. These states and others have vowed to establish strong laws that protect the sanctity of life.

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Dr. McCullough: Vaccine is more dangerous than COVID

UPDATED 11:58 AM PT – Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Dr. Peter McCullough warns coronavirus vaccines do not work as advertised. One America’s Tom McGrath has more.

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State Rep. Steve Carra Seeking Re-election in Mich.

UPDATED 12:19 PM PT – Wednesday, July 6, 2022

A state representative in Michigan is seeking his district’s support to continue representing them. One America’s Cynthia Kaui has more.

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Fourth of July weekend marred by violence across the nation

UPDATED 11:31 AM PT – Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Multiple shootings rocked the nation over the Fourth of July weekend, leaving nearly a dozen dead and more injured. One America’s Alex Yphantides has more.

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One-on-One with Former Phoenix Chief of Police, Daniel Garcia

UPDATED 6:46 AM PT – Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Former Phoenix Chief of Police, Daniel Garcia joined OAN to talk about the recent mass shooting during a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

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Texas counties declare border crisis an ‘invasion’

UPDATED 6:57 AM PT – Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Several Texas counties declared the border crisis an “invasion.” One Americas Stella Escobedo caught up with Arizona Sheriff Mark Lamb to talk about the ongoing issue.

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NATO accession protocols begin for Finland, Sweden

Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, left, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde, right, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attend a media conference after the signature of the NATO Accession Protocols for Finland and Sweden in the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Tuesday, July 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

UPDATED 8:28 AM PT – Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Finland and Sweden took one more step to joining the ranks of NATO. According to reports Tuesday, all 30 members of the organization signed off on each nation’s accession protocols despite prior resistance from Turkey.

This came after the three countries signed a trilateral agreement confirming Turkey’s support for Finland and Sweden becoming members of the organization. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke about the decision to begin the accession protocols during a press conference.

“I commend all allies for moving so quickly in accepting Finland and Sweden applications for membership,” he stated. “And I want to thank Turkey, Finland and Sweden for their constructive approach. The trilateral agreement they signed at the Madrid summit made today possible.”

In the meantime, each country’s membership bids are expected to be ratified within the coming weeks.

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White House Press Secy. refuses to answer questions about leaked voicemail from Hunter Biden’s laptop

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

UPDATED 8:04 AM PT – Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The White House appears to be dodging questions about a leaked voicemail from Hunter Biden’s laptop. During a press briefing on Tuesday, Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to answer a reporter’s question about the audio, while simply claiming it has yet to be verified.

Prior to this, the White House refused to address the controversy surrounding Hunter’s overseas business dealings, which has led many to accuse him of benefiting from his father’s political influence.

The voicemail in question came from Joe Biden in 2018 who discussed a New York Times article about his son’s foreign business affairs and suggested “he is in the clear.” This is in spite of the elder Biden claiming he was unaware of Hunter’s foreign affairs while running for president in 2020.

While Biden has yet to comment on his alleged involvement with his son’s affairs, additional audio from the laptop contains clips of Hunter admitting that his dad will do anything for him. Joe Biden actions seemed to confirm this as he confessed to allegedly getting a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Hunter’s business dealings fired.

In the meantime, Republican Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said they will double down on their investigation into Hunter’s business affairs after this year’s midterm elections.

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