Supreme Court Rules Boston Violated Constitution by Not Allowing Christian Flag Outside City Hall

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that the city of Boston violated the U.S. Constitution when it refused to allow a local organization to fly a Christian flag in front of City Hall.

The nine justices said the city has established a public forum outside of City Hall, and invited all organizations to use the flagpole in front of the building to commemorate events. Not allowing the Christian flag to be flown denied the group the same rights as those afforded to all others and was a violation of free speech, said the court.

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Massachusetts Parents Sue School District Alleging Officials Violated Parental Rights by Secretly Encouraging Gender Transition

Parents in Ludlow, Massachusetts, filed a federal lawsuit that alleges school officials secretly promoted their children’s gender transition and violated their parental rights by choosing not to inform them about issues related to their children’s health and well-being.

The parents, Stephen Foote and Marissa Silvestri, and Jonathan Feliciano and Sandra Salmeron, claim in their lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Springfield Division, the Ludlow School Committee and district officials “have exceeded the bounds of legitimate pedagogical concerns and usurped the role” of parents “to direct the education and upbringing of their children, make medical and mental health decisions for their children, and to promote and preserve family privacy and integrity.”

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Elite Massachusetts Boarding School Separates Kids as Young as Five into Race-Based Identity Groups, Parents’ Rights Group Says

An elite K-12 day and boarding school in Massachusetts separated students into race-based “affinity groups,” according to a report from Parents Defending Education.

In October, Milton Academy (MA) in Milton, Massachusetts, asked parents to pick affinity groups for their children to separate them based on race, according to a report from Parents Defending Education (PDE). The groups are now being implemented among MA students as young as five, a parent told PDE.

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Over Half of U.S. States Will Increase Their Minimum Wage in 2022

Over half of the states in the U.S. will institute a minimum wage increase in 2022, according to a report.

A total of 26 states will raise the minimum wage in 2022, with 22 of the states starting the pay hikes on Jan. 1, accordingto payroll experts at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.

“These minimum wage increases indicate moves toward ensuring a living wage for people across the country,” Deirdre Kennedy, senior payroll analyst at Wolters Kluwer, said in the report. “In addition to previously approved incremental increases, the change in presidential administration earlier this year and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have also contributed to these changes.”

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Top Harvard Professor Found Guilty of Lying About Payments from China

A prominent Harvard professor was found guilty Tuesday of lying about his ties to China, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Charles Lieber, a scientist in Harvard University’s chemistry and engineering departments, was found guilty on six counts of lying related to his work at the Wuhan University of Technology, the WSJ reported.

Lieber was first arrested by federal authorities in January 2020 and charged with making false statements regarding his participation in the Thousand Talents Plan, a Chinese recruitment program that aims to foster foreign academic talent. The Department of Justice (DOJ) alleged that Lieber was paid by the Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) “$50,000 USD per month, living expenses of up to 1,000,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately $158,000 USD at the time) and awarded him more than $1.5 million to establish a research lab at WUT.”

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Emerson Promotes Professor Who Doubts That Black and White Women Can Be ‘True Friends’

Emerson College is appointing Kim McLarin, an associate professor of creative writing, to serve as the institution’s interim Dean of Graduate and Professional Studies. McLarin has written a number of essays and opinion pieces in which she denigrates White people, particularly White women.

In an article she wrote for the Washington Post, McLarin expressed doubt as to whether Black women and White women could be “true friends”. A New York Times piece she authored details her experience briefly dating a White man in which she ultimately decides to end the relationship because of the man’s race. She also wrote an essay for The Morning News in which she, among other things, argues that Morgan Freeman films are part of an effort by “White America” to “remain at the center of black consciousness.”

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Massive Multi-State Democratic Climate Change Initiative Crumbles

Several Democratic states withdrew from an ambitious plan to curb transportation emissions less than a year after signing onto the agreement.

Massachusetts and Connecticut abandoned the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) last week, citing high gas prices and irreconcilable differences, E&E News reported. Rhode Island and Washington, D.C., also joined the agreement which promised to cut transportation emissions 25% and raise $3 billion for clean energy projects.

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State Attorney Generals Launch Investigation into Instagram’s Effects on Kids

Young person on Instagram

A bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general launched a probe into Instagram on Thursday to examine whether the company violated state-level consumer protection laws.

The states are investigating whether Meta (formerly known as Facebook), which owns Instagram, promoted the image-sharing platform “to children and young adults” despite being aware of its negative effects, according to statements from the attorneys general. The probe cites internal Facebook communications and research leaked by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen and published by The Wall Street Journal showing Meta was aware that use of Instagram could contribute to body image and mental health issues among teens.

“When social media platforms treat our children as mere commodities to manipulate for longer screen time engagement and data extraction, it becomes imperative for state attorneys general to engage our investigative authority under our consumer protection laws,” Republican Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said in a statement.

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Commentary: Dear Policymakers, Homeschooling Is Here to Stay

Homeschooling is here to stay and the time has come for policymakers to acknowledge that fact. After years of increasing at a rate of about 3 percent a year, the number of parents choosing to homeschool their children has spiked, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the portion of children being homeschooled doubled from 5.4 percent during the 2019-20 school year to 11 percent in 2020-21. Among Black families, homeschooling jumped nearly five-fold during that time, from 3.3 percent to 16.1 percent.

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Manchin Objects to Dems’ Billionaire Tax, Saying They ‘Create a Lot of Jobs’

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin came out against his party’s plan to tax billionaires in order to finance their social-spending package just hours after it was first released.

“I don’t like it. I don’t like the connotation that we’re targeting different people,” Manchin told reporters Tuesday morning, describing billionaires as people who “contributed to society and create a lot of jobs and a lot of money and give a lot to philanthropic pursuits.”

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School District Racially Segregates Students, Threatens Them for ‘Biased’ Statements: Lawsuit

A Massachusetts school district is racially segregating students and threatening to punish them for subjectively “offensive” statements they make, violating their civil and constitutional rights at both the state and federal level, according to a new lawsuit seeking permanent injunctions.

Parents Defending Education is challenging the “affinity groups” and associated spaces created by Wellesley Public Schools’ diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) plan for 2020-2025.

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Parent-Led Organization Sues School for Segregating ‘Affinity Groups’ by Race and Punishing ‘Unconscious Bias’

A national, parent-led organization filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging policies at Wellesley Public Schools, which includes segregated “affinity groups” and a “bias reporting” program.

Parents Defending Education (PDE) filed the complaint against Wellesley Public Schools (WPS) in a Massachusetts federal court “alleging that the district has systemically and repeatedly violated students’ First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Massachusetts Students’ Freedom of Expression Law through the use of segregated ‘affinity groups’ and an onerous speech code featuring a ‘bias reporting’ program,” according to the press release.

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‘Devastating’: Biden Ignores Lawmakers’ Pleas, Orders Massive Expansion of Utah Monuments

President Joe Biden will order the Department of the Interior Friday to vastly expand two Utah monuments which the Trump administration reduced in size.

The president will restore protections for both the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments located in Utah, the White House announced. Biden’s order will re-expand the monuments from their reduced size of slightly more than 1 million acres to 3.2 million acres.

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Exclusive: ‘Wrong Way’ Milley Beat 1982 DUI Charge, Paid $100 Fine

The Star News Network can confirm as of Monday that Gen. Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was arrested in Cumberland County, North Carolina in 1982 for driving under the influence, or DUI, after a traffic stop. 

A clerk at the Cumberland County, North Carolina records section confirmed to The Star last week that a man named Mark A. Milley was charged with driving under the influence on November 19, 1892. 

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