Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wore a face mask as he greeted Vice President Mike Pence with a fist-bump at Miami’s airport Monday. He should back up the photo-op with a sensible and long-overdue statewide mask requirement.With each passing day, COVID-19 continues to careen out of control in Florida. A record 216 deaths were reported Wednesday. That broke the previous record of 191 deaths, reported just Tuesday.“The numbers are not stabilizing,” Broward County Administrator Bertha Henry told the Sun Sentinel’s Lisa Huriash on Tuesday.“I am getting so much pressure to shut everything down. … I’m try...
Tennessee Ed. Dept. refuses far right group’s claim curriculum teaching about Martin Luther King Jr. is ‘anti-American’
The Tennessee Dept. of Education is refusing to investigate a far right group's claims that a second grade curriculum which includes books about Black Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is "anti-American" and "anti-white" – but on a technicality.
The Williamson County, TN chapter of the group Moms for Liberty had filed an 11-page complaint with the state, claiming that the "classroom books and teacher manuals reveal both explicit and implicit Anti-American, Anti-White, and Anti-Mexican teaching,” as The Tennessean reports.
“The relentless nature of how these divisive stories are taught," the group's complaint continues, "the lack of historical context and difference in perspective, and the manipulative pedagogy all work together to amplify and sow feelings of resentment, shame of one’s skin color, and/or fear.”
The complaint is signed by the local group's chairperson, Robin Steenman, who Reuters has called "an Air Force veteran and white mother of three." It claimed the Williamson County Schools district is violating the law:
Steenman also appears to suggest slavery and Jim Crow were "positive achievements, like unity and the overall improvement of our country."
Her comments to some may sound straight out of a Fox News or right wing media reports. They claim the curriculum amounts to a "heavily biased agenda," one that "makes children hate their country, each other, and/or themselves."
Rather than be concerned that these events actually happened, Steenman appears to be suggesting teaching they happened is anti-Americanism:
ThinkProgress and Popular Information founder Judd Legum:
Moms for Liberty says learning about MLK Jr's March on Washington is emotionally traumatizing for Tennessee students Learning about past injustices, they say, violates Tennessee law pic.twitter.com/ElOx4ysfJ8
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) November 29, 2021
The Tennessean reports "the department declined to investigate the allegations because the lessons occurred during the 2020-21 school year."
The department is only authorized to investigate allegations that have occurred during the 2021‐ 2022 school year and subsequent school years, according to the letter sent to Steenman by Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn on Nov. 23.
Which means the complaint could be filed again.
How we laughed in 2021! Yes, the year was plagued by Covid, fires and floods... but it did throw up some weird and wonderful news to lift the spirits.
Here is our selection:
A final leak
There was only so long US Secret Service agents guarding Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner could hold on...
Donald Trump's seemingly favourite child and her millionaire partner refused to let agents use any of the "6.5 bathrooms" in their Washington mansion, it was revealed days before her father left the White House in January.
Instead they had to use the toilet at Barack and Michelle Obama's nearby home.
A woman in Quebec stopped by police walking a man on a leash during a coronavirus curfew insisted "she was walking her dog", which was permitted under the rules.
Childbirth is no excuse
South Korean officials issued a reminder to pregnant women to have enough pressed shirts, socks and underpants and frozen meals ready for their husbands when they are away in hospital giving birth.
What an amazing tool
A Danish children's television show about the misadventures of a man with "the world's longest willy" went viral.
John Dillermand (John Penisman in English) uses his extraordinarily long member to get himself out of tricky situations. But it also lands him in deep trouble like many a male before him.
What the f...
The idea that swearing is bad turns out to be a load of old cobblers.
US research found people who use profanities tend to be more intelligent, creative, honest and less likely to "engage in serious unethical behaviours".
An Indian man declared dead after a motorcycle crash began to move on an autopsy table as doctors got ready to open him up.
Just. Stop. Talking.
Yoshiro Mori resigned as Tokyo Olympics chief in February after the former premier declared that the trouble with women is... they talk too much.
Mori later apologized, saying: "I don't speak to women much."
We can see you...
The entire board of a California primary school resigned after they were caught dissing parents as pot-smoking slackers on a Zoom call.
In the mood for love
French male pride swelled at news that the world's most romantic panda -- who is naturally French -- had managed to couple eight times in one day with his new lover.
Pandas are not known for their stamina during love-making, but keepers at Beauval zoo said sparks flew when Yuan Zi got up close and personal with his young Chinese mate Huan Huan.
Saw it coming
A French man who asked his neighbor if could loan his saw "to get rid of a body" was arrested in March for the murder of his lodger.
Taiwan pleaded with people to stop changing their name after scores changed theirs to "Salmon Prince" and "Salmon Fried Rice" to take advantage of an April sushi chain giveaway for people whose name contained the Chinese characters for the fish.
- The First Prankster -
US First Lady Jill Biden, a notorious prankster who once stuffed herself into an overhead locker on Air Force Two when her husband was vice president, disguised herself as a flight attendant on Air Force One to hand out ice cream to reporters on April Fools' Day.
Let's be ladies about this
The reigning "Mrs World" was arrested after pulling the crown off the head of her successor as "Mrs Sri Lanka" and smashing her dressing room mirror after the ceremony in Colombo turned ugly.
Flash in the cam
A Canadian lawmaker who appeared stark naked on a House of Commons Zoom conference call was caught on camera six weeks later peeing into a coffee cup during a virtual committee meeting.
"Obviously I'm embarrassed," Liberal MP William Amos said.
A "dangerous-looking animal" in a tree that struck terror into a quiet street in Krakow, Poland, turned out to be a croissant blowing in the wind.
Life's a Bitche
The French town of Bitche had its Facebook page taken down after the US tech giant thought its name was an insult.
A Taiwanese bank clerk married four times in a month so he could max out the country's statutory eight days of paid holidays for newlyweds.
What the duck!
Science was rocked in September by news that ducks can talk -- and they are quacking good impersonators.
Biologists said they can parrot human speech and even imitate the sound of a door closing.
Hard to swallow
Kosovo surgeon Skender Telaku removed a mobile phone from the stomach of a prisoner without cutting him open after he swallowed it to hide it from prison guards.
Luckily the phone did not ring during the delicate procedure.
A Danish artist given $84,000 to make artworks out of banknotes pocketed the cash and sent the gallery two blank canvasses entitled, "Take the Money and Run".
Minaj misses the ball
Rap star Nicki Minaj was not allowed into New York's Met Ball after revealing she had not been vaccinated because a friend of her cousin in Trinidad said his testicles swelled up after he got the jab.
Lock me up, please
A man under house arrest in Italy on drug offenses pleaded with police to lock him up because he couldn't bear being stuck at home with his wife.
Police made the 30-year-old Albanian's day by jailing him.
Dog and bone
Scientists in Scotland have invented the DogPhone, which will allow bored Beagles or yappy Yorkies to call their owners for a chat anytime they feel the need. Never fear, the owners can always put them on paws.
© 2021 AFP
A US man who allegedly shot and killed his four young children and their grandmother was being questioned by police on Monday.
The four children, who were all under the age of 12, were declared dead at the scene in the small town of Lancaster, near Los Angeles.
The children's grandmother, who was in her 50s, also died in the shooting on Sunday evening.
All five victims had gunshot wounds to their upper bodies, law enforcement officers said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's office said Germarcus David, 29, had been arrested on suspicion of the multiple murders, and was being held on $2 million bail.
The Los Angeles Times reported that David is a security guard whose firearm licence had been cancelled.
The paper quoted a man named Waki Jones, who said he had been taking the two eldest of the children -- Amaya, 12, and Demarcus, aged nine -- to elementary school and daycare for several years.
"Amaya was a sweet girl...She was always protecting her brother, making sure he was safe at school," Jones told the paper.
"It’s just unbelievable. I can’t believe they’re gone."
Gun violence is a huge problem in the United States, fueled by lax gun laws and an abundance of firearms, campaigners say.
Liberal attempts to restrict ownership are frustrated by a powerful minority in the pro-gun lobby, who point to the 2nd amendment to the US constitution which provides for the right to bear arms.