NEW YORK NEWS
During a town hall event in New York City, Democratic Mayor Eric Adams engaged in a heated conversation with an older white woman regarding rent increases. The woman accused Adams of supporting these increases while referencing a 0% rent increase in Nassau. In response, Adams scolded the woman for being disrespectful and compared her behavior to treating him like a plantation owner.
He emphasized the need for respect and adult conversation, asserting his position as the mayor. Adams quickly moved on to the next question after his response. When asked, Adams defended his comparison of an 84-year-old tenant activist to a plantation owner, justifying it by stating that she had “disrespected” him. Adams argued that the activist’s behavior, including tone of voice and finger-pointing, triggered his reaction during a town hall event in Hamilton Heights. He further claimed that her outburst was part of a larger trend of disrespect towards government workers nationally. The activist, Jeanie Dubnau, who emigrated from Belgium after her family escaped the Nazis, does not expect an apology from the mayor.
Incumbent Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz won the Democratic Primary, all but securing a second term as the borough’s top prosecutor, according to unofficial results from the NYC Board of Elections. Katz received 71% of the votes, or 37,762 votes, defeating retired judge and NYPD deputy commissioner George Grasso, who garnered 14% (7,571 votes), and left-wing defense lawyer Devian Daniels, who also received 14% (7,542 votes). Katz ran as a mainstream candidate, emphasizing her record of cracking down on gangs, gun crimes, domestic violence, and human trafficking while establishing a conviction integrity unit. She had the endorsement of Mayor Eric Adams, the Queens Democratic Party, and several labor unions. Katz’s camp expressed concerns about Daniels siphoning votes from the African-American community, but she received support from key black leaders, including Borough President Donovan Richards and Rep. Gregory Meeks. In a statement, Grasso said he “remains in this race” and will reach out to Republican voters for the General Election.
Marine veteran Daniel Penny pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter and negligent homicide after being accused of killing Jordan Neely on a New York City subway train. Penny allegedly placed Neely in a chokehold to subdue him after witnesses reported him making threatening comments towards passengers. Penny was released on $100,000 bail and his defense team asserts that he acted within the law. Neely, a homeless man with a history of mental issues and multiple arrests, had an active warrant for his arrest at the time of his death. Penny’s indictment on June 14 was hailed by Neely’s family lawyers, while Penny’s defense maintains his innocence, expressing confidence in the evidence supporting his actions. Penny’s next court appearance is scheduled for October 25.
A New York appellate court has dismissed a portion of the civil lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James against former President Donald Trump and other members of the Trump Organization. The claims against Ivanka Trump were dismissed on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired since she was no longer part of the organization by 2016. The lawsuit, seeking $250 million, alleges that the Trumps and Trump Organization executives manipulated property values to secure loans and tax breaks. The lawsuit will proceed against the remaining defendants. The Trumps have denied any wrongdoing, while the attorney general’s office maintains that there is substantial evidence of fraudulent valuation practices.
Gary Shapley, an IRS whistleblower involved in the investigation into Hunter Biden, claimed that his inquiry was prevented from following leads that could have implicated President Joe Biden. Shapley alleged that the investigation was conducted irregularly and that measures to further the probe into President Biden were blocked. He also claimed that the investigation should have resulted in more charges against Hunter Biden. House Republicans criticized Hunter Biden’s recent plea deal and pledged to continue investigating him and potential government interference. It remains unclear if these allegations will impact Hunter Biden’s plea deal, which is yet to be approved by a federal judge.
Former School Resource Officer Scot Peterson was found not guilty of all charges related to his response during the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Peterson, dubbed “The Broward Coward,” faced criticism for not confronting the shooter for nearly 45 minutes. He was charged with neglect of a child, culpable negligence, and perjury. Despite facing potential lengthy prison sentences, Peterson’s defense argued that he was not aware of the specific situation inside the building and that his actions were not proven to have caused harm. Prosecutors, however, highlighted instances where others quickly knew the shooter’s location and witnesses who testified against Peterson’s failure to follow proper protocols.
A man, identified as 37-year-old Taylor Taranto, was arrested by federal law enforcement officials for allegedly making threats against former President Barack Obama and for having an active warrant related to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. The Secret Service spotted the suspect near Obama’s home, and when pursued, he ran towards the residence but was apprehended before reaching it. The suspect, who reportedly had a history of making disturbing threats on social media, was found with weapons and materials to make an explosive. He had been living out of his van and recently posted conspiracy theories about Obama’s home. Taranto was charged as a fugitive from justice.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the United States has become the latest government agency affected by a cyberattack linked to Russian cybercriminals, potentially compromising the data of over 100,000 individuals, according to an HHS official. The breach occurred through the exploitation of vulnerabilities in the MOVEit Transfer software used by third-party vendors. The software has been targeted by suspected Russian hackers in recent weeks, impacting various companies, schools, and government agencies. While HHS systems were not compromised, the attackers gained unauthorized access to data. The hacking group responsible, known as CLOP, has been stealing data rather than using ransomware, utilizing the stolen information for extortion purposes. The impact of the campaign on federal agencies has been limited, but numerous Americans and organizations have had their personal data accessed.
Supreme Court Decisions
The Supreme Court has ruled against the affirmative action policies of Harvard University and the University of North Carolina, which will have significant implications for university admissions processes nationwide. The court determined that these race-based admissions programs violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The majority opinion emphasized the need to eliminate racial discrimination entirely while allowing consideration of how race affected an applicant’s life. Dissenting justices argued that the ruling perpetuated racial inequality in education. The decision raises questions about how universities will now approach admissions without relying on affirmative action and may lead to future legal challenges. A majority of Americans oppose race-based college admissions, according to a Reuters poll.
In a significant win for freedom of speech, the Supreme Court made a groundbreaking ruling by striking down a Colorado law that aimed to penalize a Christian graphic designer who refused to create a website for a same-sex wedding, citing conflicts with her religious convictions. The 6-3 decision in the case of 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis emphasized the First Amendment, declaring that Lorie Smith could not be compelled by state civil rights law to design websites that contradicted her sincerely held religious beliefs. Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority, asserted that no public accommodations law is exempt from the Constitution’s requirements. Smith expressed her willingness to work with individuals regardless of sexual orientation but objected to being forced to create wedding websites for same-sex couples due to her deeply held convictions. While Colorado argued that Smith sought to discriminate against same-sex couples, the Supreme Court maintained that the First Amendment prohibited the state from compelling a website designer to create expressive designs conveying messages contrary to their beliefs. Smith had refrained from expanding her business into designing wedding websites out of concern for potential clashes with Colorado’s public accommodations law, which the state contended governed the conduct, not the speech, of business owners in Colorado.
The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a major blow to the Biden administration, ruling that the HEROES Act, enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, did not grant the White House the power to unilaterally forgive federally subsidized student loans. In a 6-3 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts stated that the Act only allowed the Secretary to waive or modify existing provisions, not rewrite the statute entirely. The decision was divided along ideological lines, with conservative justices joining the majority. The ruling also found that the GOP states involved in the lawsuit had the right to challenge the loan cancellation plan. The dissenting opinion argued that the administration had the authority to cancel student debt and questioned the standing of the states to bring the lawsuit. The Biden administration’s plan aimed to eliminate $400 billion in student loans for qualifying individuals, but the Supreme Court ruled that such a program required specific congressional approval.
The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of a Christian postal worker, Gerald Groff, who lost his job for refusing to work on Sundays. The Court’s decision in Groff v. DeJoy strengthens religious liberty in the workplace and overrules a previous ruling by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The Court clarified that employers must meet a higher standard to deny a religious accommodation and that a “more than de minimis cost” is not enough to establish an “undue hardship” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This ruling is expected to provide greater protection for religious employees seeking accommodations in the workplace and may encourage more inclusive workplace policies. The decision was supported by various religious groups, and it is hoped that it will give religious minorities a fair shot in court.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced that the army’s major operation in the West Bank city of Jenin is progressing as planned and has dealt a heavy blow to terrorist organizations in the area. Over 1,000 Israel Defense Forces troops were involved in the campaign, which is the largest in Judea and Samaria in two decades. The operation began with airstrikes targeting terrorist infrastructure, including a joint war room. Palestinian health officials reported eight deaths and numerous injuries, while one Israeli soldier sustained minor injuries. The IDF conducted additional drone strikes and discovered weapons and explosive devices during the operation.
Thousands of protesters gathered at Ben Gurion Airport’s terminal 3 in Israel, waving Israeli flags and banners in opposition to new judicial reform legislation. The protest led to traffic jams and disruptions at the airport, with demonstrators refusing police requests to leave. Inside the terminal, protesters sang the national anthem and engaged in tense exchanges with law enforcement. Outside, protesters filled the parking area, leading to clashes with police attempting to clear the roads. The objective of the protest was to demonstrate the ability to paralyze the state and halt government actions, similar to previous mass protests and airport strikes.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Jerusalem with Republican Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, who signed a proclamation of support for the Jewish state on the occasion of 75 years of independence. Netanyahu thanked Reynolds for her “unreserved support” of Israel. They discussed economic cooperation, particularly with respect to agricultural technology.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog is set to address a joint meeting of Congress on July 19th, marking the 75th anniversary of Israel’s statehood and reaffirming the special relationship between Israel and the United States. The announcement was made by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who emphasized the importance of collaboration between the two nations. Herzog’s address comes at a time of strained relations between Israel’s government and President Joe Biden. The last Israeli president to address a joint meeting of Congress was Herzog’s father, President Chaim Herzog, over 35 years ago. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has addressed Congress three times, with his most recent speech in 2015 causing controversy.
Massive riots have erupted across France following the police shooting of a 17-year-old Algerian Muslim, leading to the deployment of 40,000 police officers in major cities, including Paris. The incident occurred during a traffic stop in Nanterre, where the teenager refused to provide a license and attempted to flee, resulting in the officer shooting him in the arm and chest. Riots have spread from Paris to other cities, with buses burned, store windows smashed, and buildings set on fire. French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne condemned the acts, while French President Emmanuel Macron, who criticized the killing, has previously taken measures against certain mosques and Muslim associations. The events reflect a recurring pattern in which police actions trigger anger among marginalized communities, leading to protests and the targeting of state symbols.
The Palestinian Authority (P.A.) is considering the option of declaring financial bankruptcy, which would result in the closure of P.A. government offices and potential instability in Judea and Samaria, as it is the largest employer in those areas. Many Palestinian security personnel have already resigned due to receiving only 80% of their salaries and accumulating debt. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed that the P.A. must not be allowed to fail and that Israel is prepared to provide financial assistance. Tensions are already high in Judea and Samaria, with the P.A. seemingly losing control of certain regions and a recent increase in violence.
General Sergei Surovikin, the deputy commander of the Russian forces fighting in Ukraine, is reported to have been detained following a revolt by mercenaries in Russia, according to U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence assessments. The details surrounding the detention are unclear, including whether Surovikin is facing charges and his current location. The situation highlights the secretive nature of Kremlin politics and the prevailing uncertainty after the revolt..
By QJL Staff