June 21, 2021
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Gaps in Vaccine Coverage Leave Room for Spread, Mutation
Variation between states, and even local areas, create an opportunity for future coronavirus surges to develop and open the door to mutations that may become new variants.
En Banc Ninth Circuit to Hear First Case in Avalanche of Golden State Gun Reform Challenges
The Ninth Circuit is poised Tuesday to decide whether California’s ban on the weapon most frequently used in mass shootings is constitutional or if it violates the Second Amendment.
Biologists Leave No Stone Unturned to Save the Gunnison Sage Grouse
While the Gunnison sage grouse once lived among the four corners of New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado, it now only occupies 10% of its historical range, with the largest population in the Gunnison Basin.
Imaginary Revenge
In imagining themselves “victims” of a conspiracy that never happened, Trump and the carnivorous sheep who follow him are pursuing imaginary revenge for imaginary wrongs, and because their revenge is imaginary, these weak people may pursue it forever.
NYC Primary Election Finds a Congested Race for a Difficult Job
Recent polling suggests former NYPD captain Eric Adams, a moderate Democrat, is holding onto the lead in the city’s Democratic primary, getting ranked as the first choice by nearly one-in-four likely voters.
With Fish on the Brink of Extinction, Tribes Say Government Must Act
The government promised water to farmers and ranchers that has to remain in rivers and lakes, or risk the imminent extinction of multiple species. Meanwhile, tribes step in to make sure the government enforces water rules.
Across the Nation
Wisconsin Justices Block Blood Tests for Unconscious Drivers
The court found drawing blood from a passed-out driver without a warrant is unconstitutional, but allowed blood evidence for the driver in the underlying case because the officer who took her blood thought he was following the law.
Two Central Coast Water Organizations Fight Over New Restrictions
Iowa City’s ‘Ban the Box’ Ordinance Struck Down by Top State Court
The Iowa Supreme Court found Waterloo’s ordinance barring employers from rejecting applicants with criminal histories conflicts with state law.
Read the Top 8
Health & Science
Researchers See Potential of Music to Treat Epilepsy
Neurologists say their discovery of a “Mozart effect” could lead to customized music treatments for people plagued by epileptic seizures.
This week on Sidebar
In episode 2 of our new podcast, we break down this spring’s dramatic — and right-leaning — Texas legislative session, the federal trial into the failure of a cryogenic tank containing human embryos and eggs, and an upcoming fight over California’s ban on high-capacity gun magazines.
Most Popular
Citgo to Pay $19.7 Million Fine for Louisiana Oil Spill
EU Internet Providers Can ID Customers Accused of Illegal Downloads
Judge Likely to OK Decommission Plan for San Onofre Nuclear Plant
Trash Bags
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a police officer improperly looked through trash bags without a warrant in a drug investigation. The court ruled that although warrantless trash grabs are useful for law enforcement, “the utility of warrantless activity is not the issue under our constitution.” 
Walt Disney Stores
A federal court in Pennsylvania denied Walt Disney Company’s motion to dismiss a discrimination suit brought on behalf of a young autistic boy who was denied entry into a Walt Disney store because he cannot wear a face mask for more than a few seconds due to his condition. 
FedEx Shooting
An appeals court in Georgia ruled in favor of FedEx in a negligence suit arising from a mass shooting at a packaging facility in Kennesaw in 2014, finding that the shooting was not foreseeable despite prior instances of workplace violence, including a 2011 incident at a facility in Illinois. 
Painting from Poland
A federal appeals court in Washington upheld the dismissal of Alexander Khochinsky’s suit against Poland over its attempt to extradite him over his possession of a painting, which Poland says was stolen by Nazi forces. Khochinsky had offered the painting to Poland in exchange for restitution for the loss of his family’s land during the Nazi invasion. 
Police Shooting
A police officer shot at a dog while investigating a domestic violence incident. Bullet fragments then hit a young girl in the face and the neck. But the police officer is immune from prosecution for reckless aggravated battery, an appeals court in Kansas ruled, because he used the force as a self-defense measure against a “barking, lunging dog he believed to be a pit bull.” 
From the Walt Girdner Studio
From Walt Girdner's color collection.
Hauling in the day's catch, San Sebastian, Spain. From Walt Girdner's Europe collection.
Street peddler at night. From Walt Girdner's Europe collection.
Swing time. From Walt Girdner's America collection.
Hot Cases
Protest Standoff
Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple charged with unlawful use of a weapon for waving guns at civil rights protesters in front of their mansion, pleaded guilty Thursday to lesser charges of assault and harassment.
Online Critics
A class of residents of Chicago’s 45th Ward sued their alderman in federal court for removing critical comments on his Facebook page and blocking some users, claiming his actions amount to content-based regulation of speech.
Fallen Officer, Ghost Gun
The family of a Sacramento Police officer killed while responding to a domestic disturbance sued nearly 20 purveyors of so-called “ghost guns,” saying they skirt federal and state gun laws by selling kits that allow people to turn rifles into ghost guns and self-assembled assault-style weapons.
Juneteenth Holiday
The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution establishing a national holiday for Juneteenth, the June 19 celebration of the emancipation of more than 250,000 slaves at the close of the Civil War. 
Human Resources
Former San Francisco Department of Human Resources manager Rebecca Sherman has been charged with two counts of felony forgery for allegedly falsifying documents that purported to settle a lawsuit with an employee who had filed a complaint. 
More News
Motive Sought for Fatal String of Arizona Freeway Shootings
US-Canada Border Restrictions Extended Until July 21
AstraZeneca, EU Both Claim a Win in Vaccine Delivery Tussle
UN Assembly Condemns Myanmar Coup, Calls for Arms Embargo
Declaration of Juneteenth Holiday Sparks Scramble in States
US General: ‘Wildfire of Terrorism’ on March in Africa
Science & Technology
Boeing’s Newest Version of the 737 Max Makes First Flight
AI-Powered Mayflower, Beset With Glitch, Returns to England
Lordstown Motors Reverses, Says It Has No Firm Truck Orders
Environment & Health
Las Vegas Pushes Land Swap to Balance Growth, Conservation
EPA Chief Reinstates Science Advisory Board He Dismantled
Senate GOP Hails New Interior Deputy as ‘Voice of Reason’
The 13,000-foot peak of Mauna Kea looms between cloud layers over the resort town of Kailua-Kona on Hawaii’s Big Island. The highest point in the state and second-highest island peak on the planet behind Puncak Jaya on New Guinea in Indonesia, the dormant volcano is approximately 1 million years old. The top last blew 4,000 to 6,000 years ago. (Courthouse News photo / Chris Marshall)
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