NEW YORK NEWS
Governor Kathy Hochul announced that New York will become the second state to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035. The plan, which mirrors California’s new regulation, was announced in White Plains, and directs the State Department of Environmental Conservation to put the regulation into effect. Hochul pulled up to the press conference in a Chevy Bolt, saying that “In New York, every week is climate week. And we’re committed to protecting our environment and combating climate change every single day… electric vehicles are the key to achieving this.” Critics of the plan were quick to point out that mere days after California announced their regulation, the state asked electric vehicle owners to not charge their cars because it caused too much strain on the power grid. Others pointed out Hochul’s hypocrisy on the subject, citing statistics that she used state-funded helicopters or planes 140 times in her first 7 months in office. “The governor posted on social media an hour ago a picture of her and some electric vehicle, as if she’s not flying a plane or a helicopter to go to that press conference and driving her big black suburban to get her from the airport to where she then gets into the electric vehicle,” gubernatorial challenger Lee Zeldin said on John Catsimatidis’ radio show Friday night.
The New York State Jewish Gun Club filed a lawsuit against the state’s new gun law, which was passed in the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning New York’s “may issue” gun regulations. The new law, which created gun prohibitions in “sensitive sites,” includes all places of worship as a “gun-free zone.” The lawsuit claims that since concealed carry is acceptable in public, but not religious institutions, it specifically targets religious people with arrest and prosecution if they exercise their Second Amendment right while exercising their First Amendment Rights of freedom of religion, putting those two rights in conflict. Additionally, the law’s phrase, “religious observance,” is undefined, which could mean that any religious observance, even outside a synagogue, would be subject to prosecution if a gun was legally carried. Plaintiff’s attorney Ameer Benno said in a statement, “New York’s law prohibiting the carrying of guns in sensitive locations, particularly houses of worship, would not withstand the Supreme Court’s new text, history and tradition test. It seems to be the regulation of weapons in houses of worship were the exception, rather than the rule,” he said. “The State is never going to be able to establish there is a historical tradition of what they’ve done here. This is an unprecedented act of government overreach that not only violates the Second Amendment, but goes right to the heart of the First Amendment.”
Aaron Judge hit his 61st home run of the season, tying former Yankee and American League home run leader Roger Maris. Roger Maris Jr., whose father hit 61 home runs 61 years ago in 1961, has been very vocal that Judge is the true successor of his father’s achievements, claiming that “Baseball should consider making two separate home run records. PED home runs and home runs.” Maris Jr. claims there is precedent for separate records. “Baseball’s commissioner established separate home run records in 1961,” he said. “Babe Ruth was credited as the home run king with 60. Roger Maris was credited for his 61 separately under 162 games.” Judge is far more reserved about his place in history. “It’s an incredible honor,” Judge said at the postgame news conference. “Getting a chance to be associated with one of the Yankee greats, you know, one of baseball’s greats and being enshrined with him forever — words can’t describe it.”
HIan tore through the west coast of Florida in what could be the costliest storm in the state’s history. A research firm estimates the damage at around $65 billion on top of the devastating human casualties. At least 47 people are confirmed dead, with many more missing as cleanup begins. The increase in damage from past hurricanes such as Andrew, which hit Florida in 1992, is based on the increase in infrastructure in Florida over the past three decades. Lack of flood insurance among many of the households could leave tens of thousands in dire financial straits, and the insurance premiums in the region are expected to rise by many times. Governor Ron DeSantis directed a fuel tax holiday and organized 42,000 linemen to restore power to the remaining 840,000 households still reporting outages. 1.8 million other households have had power restored. First Lady Casey DeSantis is working with the Florida Disaster Fund and has raised over $21 million in the first 48 hours.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing backlash over her comments about states like Florida and Texas relocating illegal migrants to deep-blue areas like Martha’s Vineyard when she claimed that migrants were needed in those states to “pick the crops.” “Right now, the best thing that we can do for our economy is comprehensive immigration reform,” Pelosi said. “We have a shortage of workers in our country, and you see even in Florida, some of the farmers and the growers saying: ‘Why are you shipping these immigrants up north? We need them to pick the crops down here.’” Pelosi’s comments raised numerous criticisms on the perceived role of illegal migrants in the country, as well as the tacit approval of employing illegal workers, which is a federal crime.
The Supreme Court is set to begin its new term with a new Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson. The court, which begins its term on the first Monday of October, has many in the conservative legal movement wondering if last year’s ruling will become a trend. The first major case that will be heard by the Supreme Court at the end of October involves the legality of race-based college admissions, or affirmative action. Two cases against Harvard, a private university, and the University of North Carolina, a public university, have been combined, but will need to be separated so Justice Brown Jackson can recuse herself from the Harvard case. Another case that will come up this term involves a graphic designer who is being forced by the state of Colorado to provide services against her religious belief. This is a similar case to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case back in 2018, when a Christian baker was forced to make a wedding cake for a gay wedding. That case was decided on very narrow grounds, but conservative legal scholars are hoping that the court grants more sweeping religious freedom rulings in this case.
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a signing ceremony to formally annex four areas of Ukraine after a vote that Ukrainian and Western authorities consider to be a sham. A lack of independent monitoring of the election and videos of Russian military escorting election officials along with extreme numbers in favor of annexation all combined to lead the United Nations Security Council to formally declare the act to be illegal. Yet, since Russia is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, the vote was vetoed. China, which is considered an ally of Russia during this war, abstained from the vote.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, seemingly in response to the annexation of four areas of his country by Russia, formally submitted an expedited application to join NATO. The intergovernmental military alliance has been wary of becoming drawn into this conflict, even though member nations have put their military and financial backing behind Ukraine. NATO has been leading the effort of negotiating a cease fire between Russia and Ukraine, yet Zelenskyy feels that the effort cannot be accomplished as long as Putin remains in power. “Ukraine was and remains a leader in negotiation efforts. It was our state that always offered Russia to reach an agreement on coexistence on equal, honest, decent and fair terms,” Zelenskyy said in a video message. “It is obvious that this is impossible with this Russian president. He does not know what dignity and honesty are. Therefore, we are ready for a dialogue with Russia, but already with another president of Russia.”
The United Nations is preparing a vote to formally declare the Russian annexation of four regions of Ukraine illegal, days after Russia vetoed the Security Council resolution. U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield explained the purpose of the vote in a statement. “The resolution is straightforward,” she said. “It condemns these illegal referenda. It calls on all states to not recognize any altered state of Ukraine. And it requires that Russia withdraw its troops from Ukraine immediately.”
Giorgia Meloni declared victory in the Italian election, positioning herself to become the first female Prime Minister of the Mediterranean nation. The parliamentary system gives her Brothers of Italy party control of the government after center-right parties received 44% of the vote to the center left coalition’s 26%. Meloni, who ran on a platform of “G-d, Family, Country,” is considered “radical” by the American Left. President Joe Biden referred to Italy when lamenting that “democracy is at stake,” despite there being no calls that the election was somehow illegitimate. In her victory speech, Meloni said, “If we are called to govern this nation, we will do it for everyone, we will do it for all Italians and we will do it with the aim of uniting the people,” according to the Associated Press. “Italy chose us. We will not betray it as we never have.”