US Senate Passes Bill to Fight Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

WASHINGTON—A hate crimes bill to combat violence against Asian Americans in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic passed the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly on Thursday, a rare bipartisan vote in the evenly divided chamber. The bill passed 94-1, with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) the only no vote. It must pass the House of Representatives, where Democrats hold a clear majority. President Joe Biden has called for passage. “When given the opportunity to work, the Senate can work. Members from both sides of the aisle have worked together … to consider and perfect and enact legislation responding to a pressing issue,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor earlier in the week. Reports of violence against Asian Americans have spiked since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The measure, authored by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), designates a Justice Department employee to expedite a …

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SpaceX Aims for 3rd Crew Launch Hour Before Friday’s Sunrise

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—SpaceX aimed to launch its third crew a little before sunrise Friday, this time using a recycled capsule and rocket. The four astronauts, representing the United States, Japan, and France, were supposed to fly to the International Space Station on Thursday. But liftoff was delayed because of poor weather offshore. SpaceX’s Dragon capsule requires calm waves and winds in case an emergency splashdown is needed during the climb to orbit. Friday’s forecast should be much improved, officials said. Liftoff was set for 5:49 a.m. EDT. “Our friends on the @Space_Station are expecting us to show up and we don’t want to be late,” wrote French astronaut Thomas Pesquet on Twitter. “They even installed my bedroom recently and literally made my bed. Such nice hosts!” For the first time, Elon Musk’s company is launching astronauts with a previously flown capsule and rocket, just as it’s done for station supply …

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Costa Mesa Advances Plans for Retail Cannabis Sales 

Costa Mesa is advancing the execution of a law allowing retail cannabis sales and delivery. Council during its most recent meeting voted 5-2 to move forward with the implementation of its cannabis ordinance, Measure Q, by establishing minimum operating requirements and developing standards to tax and regulate cannabis dispensaries and deliveries. “We can create something that the community is very proud of—high-end, well-capitalized businesses selling legal product in a safe manner in our community,” Mayor John Stephens said during the April 20 meeting. Measure Q was passed by voters during the Nov. 3, 2020, general election. Costa Mesa is now working to implement the law. The ordinance includes a seven percent tax on cannabis retail businesses. The city projects a minimum profit of $3.2 million annually in general fund revenue as a result. Costa Mesa is facing a $29.8 million revenue loss amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, according to its website. “A …

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Manhattan Subway Bomber Sentenced to Life in Prison

NEW YORK—A Bangladeshi man convicted of setting off a pipe bomb during rush hour in New York City’s busiest subway station, Times Square, was sentenced on Thursday to life plus 30 years in prison. Akayed Ullah, 31, of Brooklyn, had claimed he wanted to kill only himself and was not acting on behalf of the ISIS terrorist group when he detonated his homemade bomb on Dec. 11, 2017. No one died and four people were injured in the explosion, which led to the temporary closure of the station and the adjacent Port Authority Bus Terminal during the morning rush. Ullah was burned in what prosecutors called a “lone wolf” attack. U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Sullivan, who imposed the sentence, told Ullah he had committed a “truly barbaric and heinous crime” without regard for the humanity of those in his way. “They were just people on the way to work, or …

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Cuccinelli: Radical Left Sees Border Crisis as Voter Registration Line

The current administration’s actions to diminish border security measures and promise amnesty to illegal immigrants, coupled with Congress’s new election reform legislation, is directly related to future votes for the Democratic Party, according to Ken Cuccinelli, former acting deputy secretary for the Department of Homeland Security. “The radical left looks at that border and they see a voter registration line. And they’re very confident—I think incorrectly—but they’re very confident that these are future votes for their radical left agenda,” Cuccinelli told The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders” program on April 20. A study conducted by Old Dominion University in Virginia suggests that illegal immigrants vote 80 percent Democratic and 20 percent Republican. The election reform legislation, H.R.1, also known as the “For the People Act,” was passed by the House on March 3. The bill would federalize elections, overriding the current constitutional mandate that states choose the “manner, times, and …

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Justice Thomas Calls out Supreme Court’s Hypocrisy in Talking About Abortion

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas called out the hypocrisy of Supreme Court justices using the word “children” in addressing juvenile murderers but “young woman” when referring to minors in abortion cases. The justice concurred in a Thursday Supreme Court ruling on Jones v. Mississippi, in which the Court upheld a judge’s ability to give life without parole to juvenile offenders who have been found guilty of homicide, even without a “factual finding of permanent incorrigibility.” In a footnote, Thomas said that “the Court’s language in this line of precedents is notable.”Quite the footnote dropped today from Justice Thomas. “When addressing juvenile murderers, this Court has stated that ‘children are different’ and that courts must consider ‘a child’s lesser culpability,’” Thomas wrote. “And yet, when assessing the Court-created right of an individual of the same age to seek an abortion, Members of this Court take pains to emphasize a ‘young woman’s’ …

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Speaker Pelosi Will Allow Republican Subpoena Power on Proposed Jan. 6 Commission

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she has agreed to allow Republicans in a potential 9/11 style commission to have equal subpoena power and an equal number of members on the panel that would investigate the Jan. 6 breach on the U.S. Capitol, but the scope of what the panel would investigate is still being challenged. When Pelosi first proposed the commission, the Democrats’ plan was to have a majority of members on the panel have sole subpoena power, to which Republicans objected and talks stalled. Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said to gain the public’s confidence in the findings of the commission, it needs the same authority and representation as to the two party’s members on the panel. “This time however Speaker Pelosi started by proposing a commission that would be partisan by design—seven appointments for Democrats, just four for Republicans. The 9/11 Commission also built consensus by …

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Pressure Mounts on Biden to Lift Vaccine Patents to Help Poor Nations

WASHINGTON—A group of progressive lawmakers are urging President Joe Biden to temporarily waive intellectual property and patent rights on COVID-19 vaccines to provide “equitable access” to vaccination around the world. Opponents, however, call such proposals “unnecessary” and “misguided.” Several U.S. Senate and House members led by Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) together with more than a dozen health and labor organizations are expected to deliver 2 million petitions to Biden on April 23 in a latest effort to pressure the White House to lift patent barriers so that vaccines can be manufactured across different countries. South Africa and India were the first countries that proposed the idea in October 2020. Both countries petitioned the World Trade Organization (WTO) to temporarily waive rules of the organization’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement. The TRIPs agreement sets out the minimum standards of intellectual property (IP) protection to be provided by each member country. The agreement …

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Poll Shows Majority of Americans Are Concerned About Anti-Police Rhetoric

A Rasmussen Reports survey released Wednesday found that the majority of Americans are worried that anti-police rhetoric, which is often pushed by progressive Democrats, will result in a shortage of law enforcement officers and endanger public safety. The April 13-14 survey, distributed to 1,000 likely U.S. voters, asked respondents, “How concerned  are you that the growing criticism of America’s police will lead to a shortage of police officers and reduce public safety in the community where you live?” Sixty-three percent said they are either “very” or “somewhat” concerned about anti-police rhetoric. Eighty-four percent of Republicans, 52 percent of Democrats, and 59 percent of independents expressed different levels of concern over the rhetoric. Additionally, 52 percent of black voters said they are concerned, and 61 percent of non-white voters are equally troubled. The questionnaire comes as the nation debates police reform, after the killing of a black man, George Floyd, was filmed. Police officer, …

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Defense Attorney and Policing Expert Weigh In After Jury Convicts Chauvin

After the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on three counts in the death of George Floyd, a criminal defense attorney and a policing expert weighed in on what the decision means and what to look for moving forward. Jurors spent only about eight hours deliberating before convicting Chauvin. For Chris Van Wagner, a veteran defense attorney and former prosecutor in Wisconsin, that shows the evidence against Chauvin was strong. “I think the verdict represents a very clear statement from the 12 members of the jury that the evidence was overwhelming. I think the fact that they returned guilty verdicts on all three counts in what was generally considered a short amount of time for a case of this magnitude and of this length reflects that they had no real big disputes. They never asked the jury question. When they came in there did not appear to be any hesitation on …

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