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A Victory for Parental Rights

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Spreckels Union School District in the Salinas-Monterey area of Northern California has agreed to pay a $100,000 settlement to a mother who says that child-grooming public school “educators” encouraged her daughter to switch genders behind her back.

On behalf of her daughter Alicia, who was encouraged to adopt a new name and gender pronouns after “teachers” persuaded the seventh-grader that she is a transgender person, Jessica Konen sued the Spreckels Union School District last year.

“Today’s settlement is a clear message to schools: parents will not stand idly by as schools trample on their right to raise their children,” said the Center for American Liberty.

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Hamas wants written guarantee from U.S. for permanent ceasefire in hostage deal

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Hamas is demanding written guarantees from the United States for a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip as conditions to agree to a US-backed Israeli truce and hostage deal proposal, according to two Egyptian security sources.

The mediation efforts led by Qatar and Egypt revealed on Tuesday that Hamas had responded to the phased ceasefire plan, which aims to end the eight-month conflict between Israel and Hamas, though specific details were not disclosed.

This plan, publicized by US President Joe Biden in late May, outlines a gradual process. It includes the phased release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza, the withdrawal of Israeli forces, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the reconstruction of Gaza, along with the return of the remains of deceased hostages in a third phase.

While the United States has indicated that Israel has accepted the proposal, Israel has not made any public statements confirming this.

Sources familiar with the negotiations revealed that Hamas is concerned about the lack of explicit guarantees regarding the transition between the phases of the plan. The initial phase involves a six-week truce and the release of some hostages, while the second phase includes a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli forces.

The Egyptian sources stated that Hamas would only agree to the plan if these guarantees are provided, and Egypt is currently in discussions with the US to address this demand.

“Hamas wants reassurances of an automatic transition from one phase to another as per the agreement laid out by President Biden,” a third source with knowledge of the talks said.

Neither Hamas nor Egyptian authorities have responded to requests for comment.

When announcing the plan, President Biden mentioned that if negotiations for the second phase took longer than six weeks, the ceasefire would continue until those negotiations concluded.

Hamas described its response to the proposal as “positive,” suggesting it opened a “wide pathway” towards reaching an agreement.

However, an Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, claimed that Hamas had “changed all of the main and most meaningful parameters,” essentially rejecting Biden’s proposal for the hostage release.

A non-Israeli official briefed on the matter, who also requested anonymity, mentioned that Hamas had proposed a new timeline for a permanent ceasefire with Israel and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, including Rafah.

The evolving dynamics of these negotiations underscore the complexity of achieving a lasting resolution to the conflict, with both sides seeking assurances and conditions that align with their respective interests and security concerns.

SOURCE: TIMES OF ISRAEL

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FBI Memo Exposes Political Bias in Security Clearance Reviews Targeting Trump Supporters, Vaccine Hesitancy, and 2nd Amendment Advocates

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Newly obtained FBI memos reveal that agency officials conducting a top-secret security clearance review for a longtime employee asked witnesses whether that employee was known to support former President Donald Trump, if he had expressed concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine, or had attended a Second Amendment rally. These revelations have prompted a complaint to the Justice Department’s internal watchdog alleging political bias inside the bureau.

According to documents obtained by Just the News, the employee’s security clearance was revoked months after interviews confirmed his support for Trump, gun rights, and his concerns about the COVID vaccine. The memos show that in spring 2022, agents for the FBI’s Security Division asked at least three witnesses whether the employee, whose name and job title were redacted from the memos, had been known to “vocalize support for President Trump” or “vocalize objections to Covid-19 vaccination.” One witness confirmed that the employee had declined to get the coronavirus inoculation.

The latter questions about the vaccine were asked shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down vaccine mandates in corporate workplaces and a separate federal court had issued an injunction on federal employee vaccine mandates.

Agents also inquired whether the FBI worker had attended the Richmond Lobby Day event in January 2021, a rally for Second Amendment supporters in Virginia. The agents’ notes referred to the colleague they were vetting as a “gun nut” but noted no promotion of violence.

You can read the memos here:

FBI officials declined to comment on why a worker’s support for Trump, the Second Amendment, or his hesitancy to get the COVID-19 vaccine had relevance to his security clearance. They also did not answer whether similar questions about support for Joe Biden or other medical issues, such as support for abortion, were asked.

In a letter to the DOJ inspector general, the FBI employee’s lawyer, Tristan Leavitt, revealed his client made protected whistleblower disclosures to both Congress and the DOJ about the politicization of the security clearance process. Leavitt alleged his client was subjected to this process simply because he self-reported taking a vacation day to go to Washington D.C. for the Jan. 6, 2021 rally.

Leavitt, who runs the nonprofit Empower Oversight center specializing in whistleblower cases, said his client did not engage in any criminal acts nor did he enter the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He called the security review process evidence of political bias against conservatives inside the bureau.

“Instead of limiting its investigation to legitimate issues, SecD (Security Division) acted as if support for President Trump, objecting to COVID-19 vaccinations, or lawfully attending a protest was the equivalent of being a member of Al Qaeda or the Chinese Communist Party,” Leavitt wrote to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, asking for an investigation.

“The FBI’s intentions are made clear by the questions it chose to put in black and white on a government document,” added Leavitt, whose group has represented IRS whistleblowers in the Hunter Biden case and several FBI agents and analysts who claim their security clearances were suspended or revoked because of their political views.

One of those FBI employees, intelligence analyst Marcus Allen, was vindicated last week when the bureau restored his clearance and paid him more than two years of back pay, according to CNN.

Leavitt told Horowitz he believed the documents detailing the security clearance review for his client were “shocking” evidence of an “abuse of authority and a violation of our client’s rights under the First Amendment.”

Horowitz’s office, which has documented years of FBI abuses ranging from mishandling informants to abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, did not immediately return a call or email seeking comment on whether it has opened a probe.

You can read that letter here:

If the inspector general opens an inquiry, it could help the public and Congress determine whether the FBI’s questions about Trump were more widespread than the employee who went to Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, or whether other questions about political preferences and medical treatments are asked during traditional security clearance reviews.

Two sources told Just the News that there is evidence information was gathered during FBI security clearance reviews on other employees’ political views, suggesting the practice was not isolated.

The memos provided unprecedented detail into how the security clearance review for Leavitt’s client was conducted. Prepared questions were typed into a form for the agents to ask, while witnesses’ answers were recorded by agents in handwriting below.

The handwritten observations offer significant insights into what the agents believed were relevant to the recommendation of whether the FBI employee should keep his clearance.

The employee “had right-wing views, nothing extreme,” an agent wrote from one interview that asked about his Trump support. In another notation, agents wrote the employee was “def Trump supporter, strong republican values.”

In a third interview, the agent noted the worker’s support for Trump, writing: “Very significantly supported, would listen to talk shows. Trump did not lose. Dems stole it. Militant point of view. Never implied would do anything aggressive/physical.”

On vaccine hesitancy, agents confirmed from one witness that the employee had not been vaccinated but was following bureau rules for unvaccinated employees.

“Very against masks and vaccines. Not vaccinated,” the agent wrote from one interview. “Not vaccinated and tried not to wear mask.”

The agent noted the employee was “connected to anti-vaccinated FBI groups” but had engaged in “no anti-FBI rhetoric.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the former head of the government’s COVID response, recently told Congress he did not believe he saw any studies showing masks were effective in stopping the spread of the virus before mask mandates were imposed, and that the science since remains murky.

“I believe that there are a lot of conflicting studies too, that there are those that say, yes, there is an impact, and there are those that say there’s not. I still think that’s up in the air,” he told Congress.

Fauci also told the New York Times last year he believed in the final analysis that vaccine mandates were ineffective or counterproductive for Americans.

“I think, almost paradoxically, you had people who were on the fence about getting vaccinated thinking, why are they forcing me to do this?” Fauci said. “And that sometimes-beautiful independent streak in our country becomes counterproductive.”

By the time the FBI was asking about the worker’s vaccine views in April 2022, the U.S Supreme Court had already struck down vaccine mandates in the corporate workplace three months earlier, and the U.S. District Court for Southern Texas had issued an injunction against a federal employee vaccine mandate.

The Biden administration appealed the latter case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and granting review, the Supreme Court ruled that the judgment was to be vacated, and the case remanded with instructions to direct the District Court to vacate as moot its order granting a preliminary injunction.

On the employee’s Second Amendment views, FBI agents used terse language to describe the witnesses’ answers. “Gun nut, went to all 2nd Amendment gatherings,” the agent wrote in a summary of one interview. “…No promotion of violence.”

Leavitt wrote to the IG that he believed the FBI’s conduct in his client’s security clearance review violated the Constitution and Supreme Court cases involving employment law and the First Amendment.

“The Supreme Court held that terminating public employees for political patronage purposes—belonging to the wrong political party—‘to the extent it compels or restrains belief and association is inimical to the process which undergirds our system of government and is at war with the deeper traditions of democracy embodied in the First Amendment,’” he wrote.

Leavitt added: “Revoking a security clearance for being near those who did or merely sharing some similar political views as others who acted unlawfully is pure guilt by association.”

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Putin alleges the Biden Admin’s Weaponization of the Justice System against Trump is Polically Motivated

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In a pointed critique of the Biden administration, Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned what he describes as the political weaponization of the U.S. justice system. Putin’s comments come amidst a backdrop of escalating political tensions in the United States, particularly surrounding the recent legal actions against former President Donald Trump.

Speaking at a press conference in Moscow, Putin articulated his concerns regarding the integrity of American democracy, suggesting that the Biden administration’s actions undermine the foundational principles of fairness and justice.

“What we are witnessing in the United States is deeply troubling. The Biden regime’s use of the justice system as a tool for political gain is a dangerous precedent. It destroys the very fabric of democracy, where the rule of law is supposed to be impartial and unbiased,” Putin stated.

Putin’s remarks reflect a broader narrative that has been circulating among critics of the Biden administration, who argue that the legal proceedings against Trump are politically motivated. This sentiment has found resonance among a significant portion of the American electorate, as evidenced by Trump’s rising support following his conviction.

“It is clear that despite the conviction, or perhaps because of it, former President Trump’s support has only increased. This reaction from the American public indicates a deep-seated disillusionment with how justice is being administered under the current administration,” Putin added.

Trump’s legal troubles have indeed sparked a wave of support from his base, who view the charges against him as part of a larger conspiracy to prevent his potential return to the White House. According to recent polls, Trump’s popularity among Republican voters has surged, with many rallying behind him in defiance of what they perceive as an unjust prosecution.

Putin’s commentary extends beyond mere observation, implying that the internal strife within the United States could have broader implications for global stability. He warned that the erosion of democratic norms in one of the world’s leading democracies could set a dangerous example for other nations.

“When the principles of democracy are compromised in a country like the United States, it sends a message to the world that these values are negotiable. This can lead to a domino effect, where other nations feel emboldened to undermine democratic institutions and processes,” Putin cautioned.

The Russian president’s comments are likely to add fuel to the already intense debate over the state of American democracy and the rule of law. Supporters of the Biden administration argue that the legal actions against Trump are based on legitimate evidence of wrongdoing and are necessary to uphold the law. In contrast, Trump’s defenders see these actions as politically charged maneuvers aimed at neutralizing a prominent political adversary.

As the United States navigates this tumultuous period, the international community watches closely, mindful of the potential repercussions on global democratic norms and the balance of power. Putin’s critique underscores the geopolitical stakes involved and highlights the interconnected nature of political developments in major global powers.

In conclusion, Putin’s denunciation of the Biden administration’s alleged political weaponization of the justice system adds a significant international dimension to the domestic political drama unfolding in the United States. His remarks not only criticize the current U.S. administration but also underscore the broader implications for democracy worldwide, emphasizing the need for impartiality and integrity in the administration of justice.

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