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Michigan town sued for barring non-Christians from living within its limits

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The Department of Housing and Urban Development is requiring a tiny Methodist-affiliated Michigan town to show documentation of their exemption from the federal Fair Housing Act after a nearby inclusiveness group sued them for barring non-Christians from living within their limits.

Hemant Mehta at Patheos’ The Friendly Atheist reported that the town of Bay View, Michigan once required all its residents to be both white and Christian, and although they dropped race from their charter in the 1950’s, they continue to only allow Christians to live there.

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In 2017, Mehta wrote, the Bay View Chautauqua Inclusiveness Group sued the privately-owned Bay View Association of the United Methodist Church for alleged violations of the constitution’s religious freedom clause, the Fair Housing Act, Michigan’s state constitution and other civil rights laws.

“They argued that Bay View isn’t affiliated in any meaningful way with the UMC,” the report continued. “They operate independently from it and they’re owned by a for-profit company. They also pay taxes, an admission they’re not a church property. And they maintain and use ‘State-delegated police power.'”

Earlier this week, HUD announced the Bay View Association “has not met its burden to prove it is exempt from the federal Fair Housing Act.” In short, Mehta wrote, the federal housing authority doesn’t believe the town that boasted a population of 133 in the 2010 Census is actually a private religious organization.


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Florida sheriff ordered his officers to not wear face masks — and then banned the safety gear

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A Florida sheriff ordered his officers to not wear face masks -- and banned the safety gear from his office -- even as the southern US state has hit record daily coronavirus death tolls.

Sheriff Billy Woods, of central Florida's Marion County, emailed deputies Tuesday to tell them of the new mask prohibition, according to local paper the Ocala Star Banner, citing the message.

"My order will stand as is when you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my Office – masks will not be worn," the email read.

The sheriff allowed for certain exceptions, including for officers who work in prisons, schools, hospitals or with people suspected of being infected with the virus.

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Fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles has prompted mandatory evacuation orders for some 500 homes

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A fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles prompted mandatory evacuation orders for some 500 homes on Wednesday as firefighters battled the flames that had burned 10,000 acres by early evening, authorities said.

The Lake Fire erupted at around 3:30 pm (2230 GMT) near Lake Hughes, about a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles.

Rapidly-spreading flames had scorched some 10,000 acres (4,050 hectares) within a little more than three hours, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

"Multiple agencies are battling a brush fire near the Lake Hughes area in the Angeles National Forest," the department said in a tweet.

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‘Trump should know how to be in public with a woman who publicly humiliated him’: Trevor Noah jokes

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"The Daily Show's" Trevor Noah couldn't help but notice President Donald Trump's confusion during the Q&A of his daily coronavirus press briefing. Trump was asked about Vice President Joe Biden's pick as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate. In his attacks on Harris, Trump seemed to be spending more time defending Biden than he did attacking him.

Trump claimed the reason he was surprised Biden picked Harris is that she was "very very nasty to Joe Biden," he said she was "probably nastier even than Pocahontas," his nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). "She was very disrespectful to Joe Biden."

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