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National News

U.S. Job Market Sees Steady Growth in June Amid Ongoing Challenges

In June 2024, the U.S. added 206,000 nonfarm payroll jobs with notable gains in government, healthcare, social assistance, and construction, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1%, indicating both progress and ongoing challenges in the labor market.

Prodded by fed up parents, some in Congress try to curb kids’ use of social media

In response to growing concerns about kids’ safety online, a bipartisan coalition in Congress, led by Senators Ted Cruz and Brian Schatz, has introduced legislation to set a minimum age of 13 for social media access, block “addictive algorithms” for users under 17, and enhance parental controls, while facing pushback over potential First Amendment violations.

Though noncitizens can vote in few local elections, GOP goes big to make it illegal

Amidst ongoing debates over election integrity, Republican lawmakers are intensifying efforts to prevent non-U.S. citizens from voting, proposing state constitutional amendments and new laws for stricter citizenship verification at the polls. Critics argue these measures stoke anti-immigration sentiment and baseless fears of widespread voter fraud, merely to energize the GOP base ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

Spoiler alert: Third party candidates aim to give Georgia voters alternatives to Biden and Trump

Jill Stein from the Green Party and Karina Garcia of the Party of Socialism and Liberation, both third-party candidates, participated in a forum in Atlanta, emphasizing their policy agreements on issues like the Israel-Palestine conflict and social funding. While they both announced their respective parties would be on Georgia’s ballot in November, upcoming changes in the state’s election laws could affect their and other third-party candidates’ ability to appear on the ballot.

An 1873 law banned the mailing of boxing photos. Could it block abortion pills too?

In a recent spotlight, the 1873 Comstock Act, originally intended to ban the mailing of “obscene” materials, has surged into the abortion debate spotlight following comments by Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, hinting its potential to obstruct the mailing of abortion medication. Despite its dormant status, legal and medical experts weigh the act’s enforceability against modern medical practices and terminology, while some Congressional Democrats seek its repeal to prevent its use as a tool to restrict abortion access, showcasing a complex intersection of historical laws and contemporary rights issues.

U.S. Supreme Court justices seem skeptical of limits on access to abortion medication

In a pivotal case before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning the access to medication abortion in the United States, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar defended the safety and efficacy of mifepristone, arguing against the necessity of reinstating pre-2016 restrictions and highlighting existing federal conscience protections for healthcare providers opposed to participating in abortions. The case, which involves changes made by the FDA to mifepristone’s usage guidelines, saw justices expressing skepticism over the arguments presented by anti-abortion groups, with a decision expected to significantly impact abortion access and potentially reverberate through the upcoming political campaigns.

Experts: New EPA air pollution standards a win for public health

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new air pollution standards aimed at reducing tailpipe pollution from cars and light/medium vehicles for models years 2027 through 2032 are expected to trigger a significant shift towards hybrid and electric vehicles, aligning with the Biden administration’s goal for a 60% emission reduction from new vehicles by 2030. These measures are not only anticipated to prevent over 7 billion tons of carbon emissions but also to save the nation $13 billion in healthcare costs due to improved air quality, despite expected legal challenges from the fossil fuel industry.

Restricting farm property ownership by ‘foreign adversary’ a step backwards for Georgia

With legislation that conflates national security with xenophobia, Georgia’s House Bill 1093 (folded March 12 into Senate Bill 132) and Senate Bill 420 would restrict certain individuals’ and businesses’ ability from owning, renting, or otherwise holding real property throughout Georgia. While many immigrant groups would be harmed with these bills’ passage, proponents openly target people and businesses from China.