The vast majority of the pandemic’s 4.1 million covid infections in children have been mild. However, doctors are concerned about a growing number of long-haul covid cases and a rare but dangerous inflammatory disease, particularly among Black and Latino children. KHN correspondent Sarah Varney, in collaboration with PBS NewsHour, reports on the phenomena. This story aired on July 23, 2021.
A court has partially revived a defamation lawsuit filed by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) against reporter Ryan Lizza, who claimed in an Esquire piece that the congressman's family had abandoned California for Iowa. Nunes claims to be a dairy farmer but was accused by critics of being a "fake farmer" because the family dairy was gone. Nunes then bought a farm.
Several legal experts said the ruling was unusual.
University of Iowa law professor Cristina Tilley told USA Today that decision represents "a fairly new and unusual position that tweeting out an article that has already been published can make a speaker vulnerable to libel liability if the subject of the article has denied the original allegations in court."
Texas Christian University professor Chip Stewart similarly told Politico that the decision was "potentially troublesome."
"It's an odd kind of bootstrapping argument," Stewart said. "Nunes claims the underlying article is false. He sues over it. Lizza tweets the exact same story after the lawsuit is filed. And what was originally not actual malice now all of a sudden is, at least plausibly enough for a lawsuit to advance to further costly litigation. All over a tweet that changed nothing about the original story."
Reason's Elizabeth Nolan Brown called the decision "a disturbing ruling for fans of free speech." First Amendment lawyer Ari Cohn, meanwhile, called it "a highly illogical and unfounded opinion that plays directly into the hands of people like Devin Nunes and his ethically-challenged lawyer that use the expense and arduous process of litigating even frivolous lawsuits."
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit agreed with a lower court that there was no "malice" involved in the report and thus it doesn't meet the requirement for defamation.
"The Supreme Court's interpretation of the First Amendment requires a public official to prove that defamatory statements or implications are made with 'actual malice,' meaning 'with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not,'" said the court. "In this context, 'reckless conduct is not measured by whether a reasonably prudent man would have published.' Instead, 'the defendant must have made the false publication with a high degree of awareness of . . . probable falsity, or must have entertained serious doubts as to the truth of his publication.'…We agree with the district court that the complaint is insufficient to state a claim of actual malice as to the original publication."
But the court said there was a question over whether Lizza's later retweet of the article could meet the "malice" requirement.
After Nunes sued Lizza and his name was trending on Twitter, Lizza tweeted the article again saying, "I noticed that Devin Nunes is in the news. If you're interested in a strange tale about Nunes, small-town Iowa, the complexities of immigration policy, a few car chases, and lots of cows, I've got a story for you."
The court separated the article from the tweet because "there is a distinction in defamation law between an original publication and a republication."
"The complaint here adequately alleges that Lizza intended to reach and actually reached a new audience by publishing a tweet about Nunes and a link to the article," ruled the appeals court. "Although we agree that there are insufficient allegations of express defamation, we conclude that the complaint does state a claim for defamation by implication as to a republication of the article. We thus affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings."
So, they are likely going back to court over the tweet of the Lizza story where Nunes will have to prove the retweeting of the story meets the "malice" requirement.
"Under the appeals court's logic, a politician may declare something defamatory and sue in court and—whether there is merit to the original claim or not—the journalist or publication who so much as draws attention to the contested article could become guilty," Brown noted.
GOP AG running to unseat Mark Kelly is suing Biden over vaccines, using lawsuit to advance campaign, admits it’s ‘a long shot’
The far right wing Republican Attorney General of Arizona is suing the Biden administration over the President's policy requiring businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure they are vaccinated or produce weekly negative tests. He admits his lawsuit is "a long shot."
But that's not stopping Attorney General Mark Brnovich, an anti-LGBTQ extremist and former federal prosecutor trained to only bring cases he knows have a chance of succeeding.
Brnovich is running to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Kelly in the 2022 election.
“Is it a long shot? Yeah, I recognize that," Brnovich told Bloomberg News. “But I also think these are very important principles to be fighting for."
Bloomberg notes that "other Republican attorneys general signaled that they'd wait until" OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, published the actual rules "before going to court."
Brnovich is using the lawsuit, and his appearance on far right extremist Mark Levin's radio show this week, to advance his campaign, as this YouTube video, "paid for by Brnovich for Senate" shows.
Brnovich, whose campaign website lists "SECURING OUR BORDERS & COMMUNITIES" as his top issue, "said his suit claims that Biden's executive order violates the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause because the vaccine is optional for undocumented immigrants at the U.S. border while being mandatory for American workers."
Brnovich has a long history of using the legal system to advance his agenda.
In 2015 as the attorney general he signed an amicus brief arguing against same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court Obergefell case, which ultimately found a constitutional right to marriage for same-sex couples.
That brief argued that the right of a state's citizens to "exercise their sovereign authority to determine the meaning of marriage" was more important than the right of couples to marry.
Brnovich used his power as attorney general to order Arizona's Department of Child Safety to ban same-sex couples from adopting – a move so extreme the state's Republican governor overruled him.
Having lost on imposing his extremist agenda against marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples, Brnovich moved to support the "right" of businesses to discriminate against Arizona's LGBTQ residents.
He also sued the Obama administration over its policies supporting the rights of transgender students, calling them a "gun to the head" of the nation's school systems.
British journalist Piers Morgan has signed a deal with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and Fox News Media to host a new global television show, the companies announced on Thursday.
Morgan, 56, quit as presenter on Britain's main commercial channel ITV in March in a row about Prince Harry and his wife Meghan's claims in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The outspoken former newspaper editor had his CNN show scrapped after three years in 2014 following plummeting ratings.
In addition to his new show, which will air weeknights in Britain, the United States and Australia, he will write two weekly columns for the New York Post and The Sun.
He will also front a series of true crime documentaries and have the follow-up to his anti-cancel culture polemic "Wake Up" taken on by Murdoch's HarperCollins publishing arm.
Morgan, whose time as veteran Larry King's replacement on CNN saw him call for tighter gun controls, enraging gun owners, said he was "thrilled" to return to News Corp.
In the 1990s, he was editor at the News of the World, which Murdoch shut in 2011 after revelations journalists hacked the phone of a murdered schoolgirl.
Morgan said Murdoch was "a constant and fearless champion of free speech" and he wanted his show to be "a fearless forum for lively debate and agenda-setting interviews".
"I'm going home and we're going to have some fun," he said.
Morgan has been dogged by controversy throughout his career, including claims -- denied by him -- that he was privy to a share-tipping scandal at The Mirror.
He edited the tabloid from 1995 to 2004, when he was sacked for publishing fake photographs purporting to show British troops abusing Iraqi prisoners.
Harry has brought legal action against both News Group Newspapers, part of News Corp, and Mirror Group Newspapers over alleged historical phone hacking.
Since leaving GMB, Morgan, who was recently cleared by Britain's broadcasting regulator for his comments about Meghan, was rumoured to have been joining GB News.
The new channel is modelled on Fox News' right-wing, opinion-led output.Morgan was recently cleared of breaking British broadcasting rules for questioning claims made by Prince Harry and his wife Meghan to Oprah Winfrey earlier this year Kena Betancur, Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS Afp/AFP/File
Australia-born Murdoch, 90, said Morgan was "the broadcaster every channel wants but is too afraid to hire" who says "what people are thinking and feeling".
The show is scheduled to air in early 2022.
© 2021 AFP
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