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"Disgusting" AI-Generated Pornographic Images of Taylor Swift Circulate on X
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Fake pornographic images of Taylor Swift generated using artificial intelligence are circulating on social media, leaving her loyal legion of Swifties wondering how there’s not more regulation around the nonconsensual creation of X-rated images.

The images in question — known as “deepfakes” — show Swift in various sexualized positions at a Kansas City Chiefs game, a nod to her highly-publicized romance with the team’s tight end, Travis Kelce.

It wasn’t immediately clear who created the images or first shared them to X, though as of Thursday morning “Taylor Swift AI” was trending on the platform, with more than 58,000 posts on the topic.

Swifties came together and tried to bury the images by sharing an influx of positive posts about the 34-year-old songstress.

“How is this not considered sexual assault??” one X user asked. “We are talking about the body/face of a woman being used for something she probably would never allow/feel comfortable how are there no regulations laws preventing this.”

“When i saw the taylor swift AI pictures, i couldn’t believe my eyes. Those AI pictures are disgusting,” another said.

Other outrageous Swift fans called whoever created the “disgusting” and instances like these “ruin the [AI] technology.”

“Whosoever released them deserves punishment,” yet another chimed in.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order to further regulate AI in October that prevents “generative AI from producing child sexual abuse material or producing non-consensual intimate imagery of real individuals,” among other things, including further oversight of the tech’s use in developing biological materials.

The order also demands that the federal government to issue guidance “to watermark or otherwise label output from generative AI.”

Nonconsensual deepfake pornography has also been made illegal in Texas, Minnesota, New York, Hawaii and Georgia, though it hasn’t been successful in stopping the circulation of AI-generated nude images at high schools in New Jersey and Florida, where explicit deepfake images of female students were circulated by male classmates.

Last week, Rep. Joseph Morelle (D-NY) and Tom Kean (R-NJ) reintroduced a bill that would make the nonconsensual sharing of digitally altered pornographic images a federal crime, with imposable penalties like jail time, a fine or both.

The “Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act” was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, but the committee has yet to make a decision on whether or not to pass the bill.

Aside from making the sharing of digitally-altered intimate images a criminal offense, Morelle and Kean’s proposed legislation also would allow victims to sue offenders in civil court.

In an example of how convincing this technology can be, several Swift fans were reportedly scammed out of hundreds of dollars earlier this month after tricksters released advertisements employing AI-generated video of the Grammy winner peddling Le Creuset in an attempt to steal money and data from fans.

The ads — which can be found across all social media platforms — show Swift, 34, standing next to the Le Creuset Dutch oven, which, according to the official website, runs anywhere from $180 to $750 depending on the size and style.

Earlier this year, other deepfake images of Pope Francis in a Balenciaga puffer jacket and Donald Trump resisting arrest also took the internet by storm.

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  • BUTT PIRATE OBAMINATION AND HIS DRAG QUEER HUSBAND ARE TRAITORS ..... GTFO OF MY COUNTRY says:

    ROFLMMFAO…….ROFLMMFAO

    That’s funny as FUCK

    AND

    I don’t give one shit.

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    Arizona Rancher Says He Has Found 17 Dead Bodies, Rape Trees, Migrants Crawling on His Property

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    A fourth-generation Arizona rancher who owns 1,600 acres of land that spans 10.5 miles along the southern border said he has found 17 dead bodies, rape trees, and illegal aliens crawling on his property.

    John Ladd, 68, has been outspoken about Biden’s border crisis over the years.

    He described what it’s like to live on the border under the Biden Regime which openly favors the illegal invaders and punishes American citizens.

    “That’s a rape tree,” Ladd told The Daily Mail, pointing to a tree on his property covered with women’s underwear, which cartel smugglers use as ‘trophies.’

    “Almost all the women who come across get raped by their guides, who then throw their underwear in the trees,” he added.

    Ladd carries a firearm at all times to protect his property and cattle. His family has kept up the ranch for 127 years.

    “I’m in favor of having American citizens and private property owners have more control over their destiny. That’s the bottom line,” Ladd said.

    Ladd told the Daily Mail of the invaders: “They’re military-age males in camouflage, Balaclavas and a cell phone. They don’t want to get caught.”

    WATCH:

    The Daily Mail reported:

    John Ladd’s phone is an archive of life on a ranch beside the Arizona border with Mexico.

    Ladd, 68, has been a rancher all of his life. In the past 30 years he has learned about such savage displays, as well as the patterns of migrants who cross the border and the cartels who control turf on the other side.

    His 16,000 acres lie in the busiest part of the entire border. Border Patrol agents in the Tucson sector recorded 250,000 apprehensions in just the first four months of the fiscal year — almost a 200 percent increase on last year.

    His family has kept cattle here for four generations or 127 years.

    These days he keeps count of the dead bodies he has found on his land — 17 in total (not counting those found on the 60ft strip of federal land at the border). They are migrants who succumbed to the desert heat in summer or the cold in winter or whose hearts gave out or the victims of violence.

    One Arizona rancher who decided to defend his wife and property from illegal invaders was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

    George Alan Kelly, 74, was arrested for killing Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, on his Arizona ranch in Kino Springs just outside of Nogales, Mexico on January 30, 2023.

    According to reports, Gabriel Cuen-Butimea has a history of illegally crossing into the United States and multiple deportations.

    According to the defense lawyers, Mr. Kelly fired warning shots after he saw a group of men dressed in camouflaged clothing point an AK-47 right at him.

    George Alan Kelly was careful to shoot above their heads, the lawyers said.

    The rancher later discovered the deceased illegal alien, who is likely a cartel smuggler, when he went to go check on his horse.

    Kelly was initially charged with first-degree murder, but a judge recently downgraded his charge to second-degree murder during an evidentiary hearing in court.

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    FBI Launches Probe After Alaska Fishermen Discover Possible Debris of Chinese Spy Craft

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    The FBI is investigating possible debris from a Chinese spy craft that flew over Alaska early last year after a fisherman reported the curious finding on Friday.

    An Alaskan fishing vessel recovered the debris days ago and is expected to return to the coast sometime this weekend and turn it over to the FBI for examination, according to ABC News.

    “The FBI is aware of debris found off the coast of Alaska by a commercial fishing vessel. We will work with our partners to assist with the logistics of the debris recovery,” the FBI said in a statement on Friday.

    FBI sources emphasized to the outlet that it has yet to determine whether the craft if of foreign origin, but the recovered material is being taken to the FBI lab in Quantico, as was material recovered from a confirmed Chinese spy balloon last year.

    President Biden’s administration was met with a firestorm last year after U.S. intelligence tracked a Chinese balloon as it entered U.S. airspace over Alaska and then crossed the entire continental U.S. before being shot down just off the coast of South Carolina.

    U.S. intelligence admitted at the time that the balloon was not an isolated incident, and the debris recovered in Alaska this week may be of the same origin.

    The U.S. intercepted another high-altitude balloon over Utah in late February, but officials said they determined it was a hobbyist balloon and it eventually left U.S. airspace.

    “The balloon was intercepted by NORAD fighters over Utah, who determined it was not maneuverable and did not present a threat to national security. NORAD will continue to track and monitor the balloon,” NORAD said. “The FAA also determined the balloon posed no hazard to flight safety. NORAD remains in close coordination with the FAA to ensure flight safety.”

    China initially claimed that last year’s balloons were merely weather balloons that blew off course and sailed into U.S. airspace. U.S. authorities deemed that to be untrue, noting surveillance equipment found on the craft.

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    Trump Wins Missouri, Idaho Caucuses, Sweeps Michigan GOP Convention

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    Former President Donald Trump continued his march toward the GOP nomination on Saturday, winning caucuses in Idaho and Missouri and sweeping the delegate haul at a party convention in Michigan.

    Trump earned every delegate at stake on Saturday, bringing his count to 244 compared to 24 for former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. A candidate needs to secure 1,215 delegates to clinch the Republican nomination.

    The next event on the Republican calendar is Sunday in the District of Columbia. Two days later is Super Tuesday, when 16 states will hold primaries on what will be the largest day of voting of the year outside of the November election. Trump is on track to lock up the nomination days later.

    The steep odds facing Haley were on display in Columbia, Missouri, where Republicans gathered at a church to caucus.

    Seth Christensen stood on stage and called on them to vote for Haley. He wasn’t well received.

    Another caucusgoer shouted out from the audience: “Are you a Republican?”

    An organizer quieted the crowd and Christensen finished his speech. Haley went on to win just 37 of the 263 Republicans in attendance in Boone County.

    Here’s a look at Saturday’s contests:

    MICHIGAN

    Michigan Republicans at their convention in Grand Rapids began allocating 39 of the state’s 55 GOP presidential delegates. Trump won all 39 delegates allocated.

    But a significant portion of the party’s grassroots force was skipping the gathering because of the lingering effects of a monthslong dispute over the party’s leadership.

    Trump handily won Michigan’s primary this past Tuesday with 68% of the vote compared with Haley’s 27%.

    Michigan Republicans were forced to split their delegate allocation into two parts after Democrats, who control the state government, moved Michigan into the early primary states, violating the national Republican Party’s rules.

    MISSOURI

    Voters lined up outside a church in Columbia, home to the University of Missouri, before the doors opened for the caucuses. Once they got inside, they heard appeals from supporters of the candidates.

    “Every 100 days, we’re spending $1 trillion, with money going all over the world. Illegals are running across the border,” Tom Mendenall, an elector for Trump in 2016 and 2020, said to the crowd. He later added: “You know where Donald Trump stands on a lot of these issues.”

    Christensen, a 31-year-old from Columbia who came to the caucus with his wife and three children age 7, 5, and 2, then urged Republicans to go in a new direction.

    “I don’t need to hear about Mr. Trump’s dalliances with people of unsavory character, nor do my children,” Christensen said to the room. “And if we put that man in the office, that’s what we’re going to hear about all the time. And I’m through with it.”

    Supporters quickly moved to one side of the room or the other, depending on whether they favored Trump or Haley. There was little discussion between caucusgoers after they chose a side.

    This year was the first test of the new system, which is almost entirely run by volunteers on the Republican side.

    The caucuses were organized after GOP Gov. Mike Parson signed a 2022 law that, among other things, canceled the planned March 12 presidential primary.

    Lawmakers failed to reinstate the primary despite calls to do so by both state Republican and Democratic party leaders. Democrats will hold a party-run primary on March 23.

    Trump prevailed twice under Missouri’s old presidential primary system.

    IDAHO

    Last year, Idaho lawmakers passed cost-cutting legislation that was intended to move all the state’s primaries to the same date in May. But the bill inadvertently eliminated the presidential primaries entirely.

    The Republican-led Legislature considered holding a special session to reinstate the presidential primaries but failed to agree on a proposal in time, leaving both parties with presidential caucuses as the only option.

    “I think there’s been a lot of confusion because most people don’t realize that our Legislature actually voted in a flawed bill,” said Jessie Bryant, who volunteered at a caucus site near downtown Boise. “So the caucus is really just the best-case scenario to actually get an opportunity to vote for a presidential candidate and nominate them for the GOP.”

    One of those voters was John Graves, a fire protection engineer from Boise. He said the caucus was fast and easy, not much different from Idaho’s usual Republican primary. He anticipated the win would go to Trump.

    “It’s a very conservative state, so I would think that Trump will probably carry it quite easily,” Graves said. “And I like that.”

    The Democratic caucuses aren’t until May 23.

    The last GOP caucuses in Idaho were in 2012, when about 40,000 of the state’s nearly 200,000 registered Republican voters showed up to select their preferred candidate.

    This post was updated.

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    News

    Disturbing Video Shows Teens Sucking, Licking Each Other’s Toes at School-Sanctioned Event

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    An Oklahoma high school is under investigation after a viral video of students sucking and licking one another’s toes at a school-sanctioned fundraiser exploded this week.

    The disturbing footage shows at least four kids from Deer Creek High School lying on their stomachs on what appears to be a gymnasium floor furiously lapping up peanut butter off their peers’ bare feet.

    “He is devouring those!” one student can be heard saying, as others cheer in the background and an MC moderates the bizarre competition.

    The video racked up nearly 50 million views on social media in just 24 hours — and led to a formal investigation by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

    “This is disgusting. We are cleaning up this filth in Oklahoma schools. Our agency is investigating,” state Superintendent Ryan Walters said on X.

    The video was filmed Thursday at the Clash of Classes assembly, which was part of the high school’s week-long fundraiser for a local coffee shop that employs people with special needs, according to the Deer Creek School District.

    Students from 9th through 12th grade volunteered to participate in a plethora of class competitions that their peers paid to attend — including the toe-sucking tournament.

    Administrators initially applauded its students for their involvement in its Wonderful Week of Fundraising, which raised $152,830.38 — but later apologized to its student body and parents.

    “There is a video circulating on social media of one of the activities that involves students only during this assembly that has, unfortunately, gained national attention,” the district Saturday said in a letter shared with The Post.

    Watch:


    “We want to stress to our community that much of the information accompanying this video is inaccurate. However, through this specific game we failed to uphold the dignity of our students and the proud image of our community. We have a responsibility to protect our Antlers and showcase them in a positive light. In regards to this one particular activity, we fell short and for that we greatly apologize.”

    “Thank you for standing with us and helping us to weather this storm and move forward together. “

    Despite several students eagerly participating in the games, the peanut butter toe-licking left others feeling unsettled.

    “It was surprising,” an anonymous student told Fox 25, which originally obtained the footage.

    “I didn’t think they were going to do all that. I was just shocked. I didn’t really have like a feeling. I was kind of disgusted, and then kind of glad I wasn’t over there.”

    One parent described the competition as “excessive,” while another accused the school of not thinking things through.

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called the activity “child abuse” on X, to which Walters replied: “Completely agree. We are stopping this in Oklahoma.”

    Walters’ office could not immediately share the status of the investigation.

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    Trump Endorses Boebert: “Trusted America First Fighter”

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    Former President Trump offered his endorsement to Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), calling the controversial congresswoman a “trusted America First Fighter.”

    Trump said Boebert is a “proven conservative” and a leader who delivers for her constituents in Colorado.

    “She has led the fight to Impeach Joe Biden, Stop Illegal Immigration, Defend the Second Amendment, Protect our Wonderful Ranchers and Farmers, Support our Military and Veterans, Secure our Natural Resources to Pursue Energy Dominance, and Stand Up to the Radical Democrats who want to Destroy our Beautiful Country,” Trump wrote in a post on TruthSocial on Saturday when announcing his endorsement.

    “Congresswoman Lauren Boebert is a trusted America First Fighter, and has my Complete and Total Endorsement for Colorado’s 4th Congressional District!”

    Boebert, who was first elected to Congress in 2020, announced in December she would be switching districts, abandoning her 3rd congressional district and running for reelection this year in the 4th, the district currently represented by Rep. Ken Buck (R) who decided he will retire from his post at the lower chamber.

    She defended her decision to switch districts, saying she and her family needed a “fresh start.”

    Boebert’s new district is solidly Republican and could give her a better chance at reelection if she secures the GOP nomination. But a straw poll from late January that came out following the first debate among GOP candidates in the 4th District shows that Boebert might have a tough time clinching the nomination.

    Boebert came fifth with 12 votes, behind Logan County Commissioner Jerry Sonnenberg with 22 votes, former Colorado House Minority Leader Mike Lynch with 20 votes, Douglas County filmmaker Deborah Flora with 18 votes and state House Minority Whip Richard Holtorf with 17 votes.

    The poll included candidates who attended the debate.

    Boebert expressed gratitude for Trump’s endorsement.

    “It’s my honor to have the endorsement of the greatest President our country has ever known – Donald J. Trump,” Boebert wrote Saturday on X, formerly known as Twitter. “It will be such a privilege to work alongside him in 2024 to deliver results for Colorado & get the entire country back on track!”

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    WATCH: Climate Protester Gets Thrown to Ground After Confronting Manchin

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    A far-Left protester was thrown to the ground after he confronted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) during an event on Friday and called the senator a “sick f***.”

    The incident happened at a Harvard Institute of Politics event Friday morning just minutes after multiple leftists interrupted a talk that Manchin was giving at the Harvard Kennedy School because of his support for natural gas pipelines.

    “Joe Manchin, you sold our futures and you’ve gotten rich doing it,” the protester claimed.

    “You sick f***. How dare you.”

    Manchin immediately got up in the protester’s face, at which point one of his aides got between the two men. The aide then literally threw the protester out of the room.

    The protester was apparently from a group called Climate Defiance, which posted on X: “We just called Joe Manchin a sick f***. We humiliated him in front of a herd of Harvard elites. He squared up. We held firm. Barbaric murderer, hideous fiend, he torches humanity and laughs.”

    Manchin then addressed the other protesters and offered to sit down and talk with them, but they refused and declared they were not going anywhere.

    WATCH:

    A Kennedy School spokesperson confirmed that the Harvard University Police Department was investigating the incident.

    “A Harvard University police officer ordered the protesters to leave the Kennedy School campus, and the protesters complied,” the spokesperson said.

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    Chinese Migrant Turned US Congressional Candidate Issues Stark Border Warning

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    Lily Tang Williams grew up killing rats for food as she nearly starved in Mao Zedong’s communist China.

    And now in the US, she is now running for Congress in New Hampshire as a Republican to prevent America from becoming like the country she worked to escape.

    After growing up and getting her law degree in Shanghai, Williams immigrated to the US in 1988, thus beginning what she describes as a ’20-year wake-up process’ to politics.

    ‘I left China for freedom, but I was really indoctrinated. I did not know China’s real history,’ she told DailyMail.com in an interview. ‘For the first 20 years or so I wasn’t really political. But my husband helped me learn a lot about the US – from foreign language to culture, traditions and history.’

    ‘He said “you know those 50 or 60 million people starving to death were not due to natural disasters.” We were fed by the Communist Party that natural disasters caused a mass famine,’ she said, referring to the tens of millions of people died as a result of food rationing and the communist takeover of food production in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

    Williams is looking to oust Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster and will face off against four other Republicans in a primary in September.

    Williams’ own experience under Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, designed to root out any remnants of capitalism in China, left her in shock when people tried to tell her she was ‘oppressed’ as a minority in the US.

    ‘I didn’t even have food coupons, I was starving. I had to try to catch rats in my grandma’s neighborhood. Pretty soon everybody had to catch rats,’ she said. ‘Now in the US they’re trying to tell us “oh you’re oppressed. The white people are demons.” We can’t indoctrinate our kids with that.’

    Now, Williams says she is on a target list by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and they’ve threatened her on social media.

    ‘I had a trip back to China for the Chinese New Year in 2019 but I canceled it. I didn’t want to get disappeared.’

    Williams said she ‘truly woke up’ to politics in 2008, around the time of the financial crash when the government bailed out big banks, but she gave up on the Republican Party for a while and became a libertarian.

    ‘They used taxpayer money to bail out the banks, to say capitalism failed therefore federal government they have to come here and pick and choose because they let one big bank fight bankruptcy then other banks got bailed out.’

    ‘I was very upset with that. I was upset with the Patriot Act – government infringing on citizens’ privacy without due process in the name of national security, that’s what I heard in China before.’

    She said she became worried about the expansion of the federal government in education with Common Core and No Child Left Behind and pulled her kids out of public school for charter school.

    ‘Parents, lots of them, are still not waking up to what is going on in schools,’ Williams said.

    ‘I call this the Western ‘Cultural Revolution’ – it’s happening in the West to try to destroy the traditional values social norms, habits and different beliefs,’ she went on, ‘in the name of social justice and anti-racism.’

    She said she didn’t want schools to go down the path of Chinese education.

    ‘Parents’ rights don’t exist in China even today, because they truly believe kids belong to the government. They can do whatever to your kids you have no say. Except you have to feed them, you have to house them, you become baby machines. You give government your babies but you cannot make decisions.’

    She also railed against the massive influx of migration the U.S. is seeing, with a recent wave of Chinese migrants coming in through the southern border – and warned of what she worried would become a degradation of American culture.

    ‘Cities use taxpayers money roll the red carpet out when they can’t even house our own homeless population. Our own veterans have no way of making a decent living and no home and you give free hotels, food, travel to people from other countries.’

    Williams said her brother and sister-in-law waited 13 years in China to come to the U.S. legally and are still waiting to become American citizens.

    ‘Biden says he doesn’t have the power – are you kidding me? He had the power to undo all of Trump’s policies on day one in the White House!’

    Williams claimed she and her Chinese friends call President Biden and Democrats ‘CCP secretaries in the U.S.’

    ‘It’s scary stuff, are we going to become collectivist, like a communist country? Individual rights don’t exist, individual privacy doesn’t exist.’

    ‘Most of those people they want to flee China because in the last three years it has become very harsh and inhumane,’ she said. ‘In 2012, under Xi Jinping, you notice a shift in China. He is the new Mao, doing Cultural Revolution 2.0.’

    She went on: ‘But I’m also very worried is so well organized, correlated, with some sleeper cells … I just feel like we have a really dark force on us. This is a global push for illegal mass migration.’

    Williams warned Americans not to underestimate China’s use of ‘soft power’ to infiltrate the U.S. and achieve global dominance.

    ‘I always try to remind people there’s no true private company in China. No, every company that comes to the United States, they’re state enterprises,’ she said.

    ‘So when West is a drunk on climate change ideology and the mandates, who benefits? China benefits. We are giving them more money to build their military, soft power, silk road initiative all over Europe, all over world.’

    ‘China controls our debt. If you cannot pay your interest on your loans to China, they’re gonna take over our ports, they’re gonna take over our cities,’ she went on. ‘They are stationed in Cuba now. They supply our [electric vehicles], compete with American companies because the West, places like California, are trying to ban gas by 2035.’

    Williams said she thinks many Americans don’t grasp’ China wants to be the number one dominant power in the globe by 2049. Economically, diplomatically, militarily, also technologically.’

    ‘They use the Silk Road Onitiative to form alliances with other countries. So they are behind Cuba, North Korea, Russia, Hamas, all those non friendly countries? Yeah, socialist countries in the world. And we are letting them come into our country. More power. More money, more supplies and sell more product,’ she went on.

    ‘And we are not switching our Chinese policy fast enough.’

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    US National Debt Rising $1 Trillion Every 100 Days

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    The debt load of the U.S. is growing at a quicker clip in recent months, increasing about $1 trillion nearly every 100 days.

    The nation’s debt permanently crossed over to $34 trillion on Jan. 4, after briefly crossing the mark on Dec. 29, according to data from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It reached $33 trillion on Sept. 15, 2023, and $32 trillion on June 15, 2023, hitting this accelerated pace. Before that, the $1 trillion move higher from $31 trillion took about eight months.

    U.S. debt, which is the amount of money the federal government borrows to cover operating expenses, now stands at nearly $34.4 billion, as of Wednesday. Bank of America investment strategist Michael Hartnett believes the 100-day pattern will remain intact with the move from $34 trillion to $35 trillion.

    “Little wonder ‘debt debasement’ trades closing in on all-time highs, i.e. gold $2077/oz, bitcoin $67734,” he wrote in a note Thursday.

    Spot gold is currently hovering around $2,084 an ounce, while bitcoin was recently around $61,443.

    The cryptocurrency in February closed out its best month since 2020, briefly trading above $64,000 on Wednesday before pulling back. Inflows into crypto funds are on course for a “blowout year,” with an annualized inflow of $44.7 billion so far this year, Hartnett noted.

    Moody’s Investors Service lowered its ratings outlook on the U.S. government to negative from stable in November due to the rising risks of the country’s fiscal strength.

    “In the context of higher interest rates, without effective fiscal policy measures to reduce government spending or increase revenues,” the agency said.

    “Moody’s expects that the US’ fiscal deficits will remain very large, significantly weakening debt affordability.”

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    US Says Israel Agrees to Cease-Fire. Hamas Now Must Decide.

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    Israel has essentially endorsed a framework of a proposed Gaza cease-fire and hostage release deal, and it is now up to Hamas to agree to it, a senior U.S. administration official said Saturday, a day before talks to reach an agreement were to resume in Egypt.

    International mediators have been working for weeks to broker a deal to pause the fighting before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins around March 10. A deal would likely allow aid to reach hundreds of thousands of desperate Palestinians in northern Gaza who aid officials worry are under threat of famine.

    The Israelis “have more or less accepted” the proposal, which includes the six-week cease-fire as well as the release by Hamas of hostages considered vulnerable, which includes the sick, the wounded, the elderly and women, said the official.

    “Right now, the ball is in the court of Hamas and we are continuing to push this as hard as we possibly can,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the White House to brief reporters.

    Officials from Israel and from Hamas did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    A senior Egyptian official said mediators Egypt and Qatar are expected to receive a response from Hamas during the Cairo talks scheduled to start Sunday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not publicly authorized to discuss the talks.

    There is increasing criticism over the hundreds of thousands struggling to survive in northern Gaza, which has borne the brunt of the conflict that began when the Hamas militant group attacked southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and seizing around 250 hostages.

    U.S. military planes began the first airdrops of thousands of meals into Gaza, and the militaries of Jordan and Egypt said they also conducted airdrops. Aid groups say airdrops should be only a last resort and instead urge the opening of other crossings into Gaza and the removal of obstacles at the few that are open.

    The European Union’s diplomatic service said many of the hundreds of Palestinians killed or wounded in the chaos surrounding an aid convoy on Thursday were hit by Israeli army fire and urged an international investigation. It said responsibility for the crisis lay with “restrictions imposed by the Israeli army and obstructions by violent extremist(s) to the supply of humanitarian aid.”

    Gaza’s Health Ministry raised the death toll from Thursday’s violence to 118 after two more bodies were recovered Saturday. It said the wounded remained at 760.

    Israel’s chief military spokesperson, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said Israel organized Thursday’s convoy, “and claims that we attacked the convoy intentionally and that we harmed people intentionally are baseless.”

    Residents in northern Gaza say they are searching rubble and garbage for anything to feed their children, who barely eat one meal a day. Many families have begun mixing animal and bird food with grain to bake bread.

    At least 10 children have starved to death, according to hospital records in Gaza, the World Health Organization said.

    Gaza’s Health Ministry said the Palestinian death toll from the war has climbed to 30,320. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in its figures, but says women and children make up around two-thirds of those killed.

    In the southernmost city of Rafah, where more than half of Gaza’s people now seek refuge, an Israeli airstrike struck tents outside the Emirati hospital, killing 11 people and wounding about 50, including health workers, the Health Ministry said. Israel’s military said it was targeting Islamic Jihad militants.

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    Houthi Missiles Sink British-Registered Cargo Ship in Red Sea

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    A British-registered freighter has sunk in the Red Sea after the crew were forced to abandon ship following an attack by Yemeni Houti rebels.

    The Cargo ship Rubymar, which was abandoned in the southern Red Sea after being targeted by Yemen’s Houthis on February 18, has sunk, a statement by the internationally recognised Yemeni government said on Saturday.

    The attack occurred in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, 35 nautical miles south of Al Mukha, Yemen, on Sunday night, the UK’s Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said, against a vessel that was later identified as the Rubymar.

    The crew of the British-registered cargo ship, which comes in at 171.6m long and 27m wide, was forced to ‘abandon the vessel’ following the attack, though the UKMTO said yesterday that all crew are safe and ‘authorities are investigating.’

    The first vessel is the first to be fully destroyed as part of their campaign over Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

    The Rubymar had been drifting northward after being attacked.

    Yemen’s internationally recognised government, as well as a regional military official, confirmed the ship sank. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as the information had not been cleared for publication.

    Yemen’s exiled government, which has been backed by a Saudi-led coalition since 2015, said the Rubymar sank late Friday as stormy weather took hold over the Red Sea. The vessel had been abandoned for 12 days after the attack, though plans had been floated to try and tow the ship to a safe port.

    The Iran-backed Houthis, who had claimed the ship sank almost instantly after the attack, did not immediately acknowledge the ship’s sinking.

    Already, many ships have turned away from the route. The sinking could see further detours and higher insurance rates put on vessels plying the waterway – potentially driving up global inflation and affecting aid shipments to the region.

    Earlier US forces struck and destroyed a Huthi surface-to-air missile in Yemen on Friday after deciding it posed an ‘imminent threat’ to American aircraft, the US Central Command in the Middle East announced.

    The Iran-backed Huthis, who control much of war-torn Yemen, have been attacking shipping in the Red Sea since November in a campaign they say is in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza amid the Israel-Hamas war.

    The United States is spearheading a naval coalition to protect vessels in the vital waterway, and has also conducted air strikes in Huthi territory, both on its own and alongside Britain.

    On Friday afternoon, US ‘forces conducted a self-defense strike against one Iranian-backed Houthi surface-to-air missile that was prepared to launch,’ CENTCOM said in a statement, adding it had ‘determined (the missile) presented an imminent threat to U.S. aircraft in the region.’

    It went on to say that the Huthis on Friday night launched an anti-ship missile into the Red Sea, but ‘There was no impact or damage to any vessels.’

    Last weekend, US and British forces carried out strikes against 18 Huthi targets across eight locations in Yemen, including weapons storage facilities, attack drones, air defense systems, radars and a helicopter, according to a joint statement.

    One person was killed and eight wounded in the attacks, the Huthis’ official news agency said on Sunday.

    Since November, the rebels have repeatedly targeted ships in the Red Sea and surrounding waters over the Israel-Hamas war. Those vessels have included at least one with cargo bound for Iran, the Houthis’ main benefactor, and an aid ship later bound for Houthi-controlled territory.

    Despite over a month of U.S.-led airstrikes, Houthi rebels remain capable of launching significant attacks. That includes the attack on the Rubymar and the downing of an American drone worth tens of millions of dollars. The Houthis insist their attacks will continue until Israel stops its combat operations in the Gaza Strip, which have enraged the wider Arab world and seen the Houthis gain international recognition.

    However, In recent days, there has been a slowdown in attacks. The reason for that remains clear

    The British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations centre, which watches over Mideast waterways, separately acknowledged the Rubymar’s sinking.

    Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak, the prime minister of Yemen’s internationally recognized government, called the ship’s sinking ‘an unprecedented environmental disaster.’

    ‘It’s a new disaster for our country and our people,’ he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. ‘Every day, we pay for the Houthi militia’s adventures, which were not stopped at plunging Yemen into the coup disaster and war.’

    The Houthis have held Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, since 2014, expelling the government. Its fought a Saudi-led coalition since 2015 in a stalemated war.

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    NYT Poll: Trump Beating Biden by 5 Points

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    Former President Trump leads President Biden by five points in a hypothetical rematch, according to a new poll from The New York Times and Siena College.

    Among registered voters, 48 percent said they would vote for the former president if the 2024 presidential election “were held today” and the candidates were him and Biden. Forty-three percent said they would vote for Biden in response to the same question.

    The poll also found 65 percent of registered voters said the country is on the “[w]rong track,” versus 24 percent saying it is on the “[r]ight track.”

    Biden was found to be leading the former president by four points in a Virginia poll released Friday, but the poll also saw low favorability ratings for both candidates. The Old Dominion is a notable swing state, electing a Republican governor in 2021, but voting for Democrats in the last four presidential elections.

    The Times and Siena College poll also asked registered voters who they voted for in the last presidential election, with 44 percent saying they voted for Biden and 34 saying they voted for Trump. Eighteen percent said they didn’t vote in the 2020 election.

    Both presidents won their respective recent primaries in Michigan, but Biden faced some trouble, with over 100,000 Michiganders casting a protest vote against the president for an “uncommitted” ballot option.

    The “uncommitted” campaign in the Wolverine State meant voters showed support for the Democratic party, but not the candidates listed on the ballot, and served as a protest against Biden’s actions with regard to the Israel-Hamas war.

    The Times and Siena College poll was conducted between Feb. 25 and 28 and featured 980 registered voters from across the nation, with 823 who completed the full survey.

    The margin of error for registered voters is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points and plus or minus 4 percentage points for registered voters who completed the full survey.

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    Elon Musk: X Misgendering Rules Should Not Apply Outside of Brazil

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    Update:

    X’s newly implemented misgendering policy is a result of a Brazilian court ruling, which prohibits misgendering or making fun of someone based on their gender identity. Elon Musk has clarified to say that the rule should not apply outside of Brazil.

    Original post:

    Elon Musk’s platform X/Twitter has reinstated woke rules against “misgendering” and “deadnaming” transgender people after dropping the rules to great fanfare last year.

    Ars Technica reports that X/Twitter recently updated its abuse and harassment policy page to include a new section explaining its rules against intentionally using the wrong pronouns for a person or referring to them by a name they no longer use — called “deadnaming” by woke LGBT radicals. The new “Use of Prior Names and Pronouns” section states that X/Twitter will “reduce the visibility of posts” that incorrectly gender a person or use their old name rather than their new one adopted during transition.

    This move comes after X/Twitter dropped its longstanding prohibition on deadnaming and misgendering of transgender users back in April 2023. At the time, GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis criticized the change as “the latest example of just how unsafe the company is for users and advertisers alike” under the ownership of Elon Musk, who has a history of liking and sharing anti-trans content.

    Under the updated policy, X/Twitter will take action when it hears directly from the target of the misgendering or deadnaming, “given the complexity of determining whether such a violation has occurred.” GLAAD senior director Jenni Olson told Ars this unfairly places the burden on targets to report their own abuse. However, she acknowledged that explicit policies against deadnaming and misgendering are preferable to vague ones that leave violators unsure if they’re breaking rules.

    Chay Raichik of Libs of TikTok questioned the change and asked X/Twitter owner Elon Musk to comment on the situation, to which Musk said the policy only applies to “repeated, targeted harassment of a particular person.”

    Musk responded to Raichik posting a screenshot of the platform’s “Use of Prior Names and Pronouns” policy by writing, “This is just about repeated, targeted harassment of a particular person.”

    When posts are flagged for misgendering or deadnaming, X/Twitter will reduce their visibility by removing them from search results, home timelines, trends, and notifications. They will also be downranked in reply sections and only viewable on authors’ profiles. Furthermore, they won’t display ads — a move likely aimed at preventing another advertiser pullout like the one X suffered last year over hate speech controversies.

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    Gold Buying Surges as Election, Cell Outages Fuel End-of-Times Fears

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    Millionaires and elites are hoarding gold as part of their doomsday preparations as they look to barter with it, an expert has revealed.

    Multiple factors, from cell service outages to the election, have caused an “absolute surge” in gold sales, Jonathan Rose told The U.S. Sun.

    Rose, the CEO of Genesis Gold Group in Beverly Hills, California, said he deals with people buying the precious metal for doomsday-prepping purposes every day.

    Rose highlighted how doomsday prepping has become popular among millionaires such as Mark Zuckerberg and Sam Altman, along with pro athletes and other elites.

    The gold group’s CEO said he has inside knowledge of these people spending their fortunes on gold for prepping purposes.

    He’s spoken to people from all over the country who opened up to him about the truth behind their purchase.

    “You’re reading all these stories and these millionaires are buying gold and building bunkers and you’re like ‘What the heck is going’ and it’s a trend that everyone is doing,” Rose said.

    Rose explained the reason for the surge in gold purchases is due to concern over the devaluation of the dollar and an overall economic collapse.

    “I think these people are realizing that, hey we don’t have a crystal ball per se, but we have a good road map and they are looking at the problems the economy is having right now,” Rose said.

    “Whether they’re looking at dollar devaluation or these things called brick nations, which are countries banding together to create their own currency backed by gold.

    “And the dollar losing its value, there’s just the general economic concern of combating inflation and that’s why many people will move to a safe haven.”

    GOING FOR GOLD

    Hoarding gold and doomsday prep has been on the elite’s mind for years.

    Tech boss Altman told The New Yorker in 2016, “I prep for survival. … I have guns, gold, potassium iodide, antibiotics, batteries, water, gas masks from the Israeli Defense Force, and a big patch of land in Big Sur I can fly to.”

    While Altman blamed his prepping on friends who “get drunk [and] talk about the ways the world will end,” Rose pointed to more modern issues.

    Among them are the 2024 presidential election and a recent AT&T power outage which has apparently fueled doomsday concerns.

    “One intelligence officer told me today that the AT&T power outage was not an outage, it was a cyber attack,” Rose said.

    “That’s a concern that people have. And obviously, coming up to an election, a very tumultuous year, we don’t know what’s going to happen.

    “But many people are speculating there is going to be an attack on the power grids and no power causes chaos, chaos causes panics, panic causes sell-offs in the market.

    “People are taking these past stories and looking at what’s happening today – are they coincidences or are they more than just coincidence?

    “And people with billions of dollars are taking it to the next level and they’re prepping so if something goes bad, we’re prepared.”

    ‘ABSOLUTE SURGE’

    Rose explained how gold can be used for bartering in a doomsday situation if money becomes completely worthless.

    He said there has been “an absolute surge” in people buying gold coins for this purpose.

    Gold coins would be a way to give someone a little piece of fortune for something in return.

    Rose described gold bars that can be broken like “candy bars” in order to be handed out.

    “On terms of prepping, preppers do want gold, and preppers want small denomination gold coins and small denomination silver coins – something tradable and something bartable,” Rose said.

    “So we’ve seen a spike in small denomination coins which are considered more bartable/tradable and there has been a massive uptick in that, like absolute surge in that type of metal.”

    In a doomsday situation, the major necessities will be at the forefront of people’s minds.

    But when it comes to needing specific items or tasks, gold could be seen as a valuable trade.

    “It is going to be food, gas, water – self-preserving life items that people need, and for wealth it’s going to be gold,” Rose said.

    “People say silver will buy you the bread and gold will buy you the bakery, that’s kind of how people look at gold as a spendable currency.

    “If there was a doomsday situation to me, in a doomsday situation there is no government, so at that point if you’re trading and bartering with someone, silver, and gold is going to be more valuable than a piece of paper with an IOU attached to it.

    “If you know what hits the fan, they can go to someone and they’ll say, ‘What do you have of value for me?’ I’ve got gold.

    “Everyone’s eyes light up when you show them gold.

    “So that’s part of the actionable plan in a doomsday scenario ‘get me out of here’ situation – here’s some gold and what can you do for me.”

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    Norfolk Southern Train Derails in Eastern Pennsylvania Near River

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    Authorities say a train derailment in eastern Pennsylvania has left some railroad cars along a riverbank Saturday morning and at least one partially in the river itself.

    Dispatchers in Northampton County said the derailment was reported at 7:14 a.m. in Lower Saucon Township. Authorities said it was unclear how many cars were involved but no injuries or hazardous materials were reported.

    The Nancy Run Fire Company posted pictures showing a number of railroad cars scattered along the riverbank and at least one partially in the water.

    Norfolk Southern said in a statement there was no threat to the public, no injuries to crew members and “no hazardous material concerns from the railcars.”

    Norfolk Southern said a small diesel fuel leak — which the company said was “common when locomotives are involved” — had been contained with booms and would be “vacuumed out.” Plastic pellets spilled from one car, predominantly onto the ground, and that would also be cleaned up, the company said.

    The company declined further comment, citing an investigation to be launched by the National Transportation Safety Board, on such details as how many cars were on the train and how many derailed, where the train came from and where it was headed and what kind of cargo was being transported.

    Gary Weiland, who lives across the river in Bethlehem Township, told The (Allentown) Morning Call he initially heard what sounded like a crash, then a period of quiet followed by the sound of another crash.

    “As the second one was happening, I went upstairs and looked out the window and saw a splash. I said to my wife, ‘I think a train derailed.’” Weiland said.

    There was no immediate word on the derailment’s cause.

    Norfolk Southern praised “the quick, professional response by local emergency agencies.”

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    Irish Pool Champion Bows Out of Tournament Featuring Transgender Opponent

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    Irish pool champion Kim O’Brien has pulled out of the European Pool Championships after officials allowed a man to compete in the women’s category.

    The European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) has opened up its female categories to men who say they are transgender women, and this year, the organization approved the participation of Harriet Haynes, who says he “transitioned” to a female in 2014 at the age of 23, according to the Irish Post.

    O’Brien has been playing pro pool for around a quarter century and became a member of Team England in 1992. She then joined the Irish team in 1997 and currently holds the top ranking.

    She also has a long record of championships behind her. She has been the Suffolk champion multiple times, is a five-time Irish champion, and won the European Champion title in 2001 and 2010. She is only the second woman to have won that title twice.

    But pro-women’s sports activist Riley Gaines put Harriet Haynes in the spotlight last month and decried the EPBF for allowing Haynes to compete as a woman. Gaines said she would pay O’Brien not to play against a man for the women’s championship.

    Several other activists, including Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon, also stepped up and pledged to math Gaines’s donation to O’Brien if the pool champ refuses to compete against Haynes.

    Now, when the championship kicked off on Feb. 29, O’Brien abruptly announced that she was not going to play against Haynes.

    Gaines was jubilant at the decision.

    “The point is it’s the WOMEN’S category…. not a costume party,” she wrote on a Feb. 29 X post. “It’s about transparency. If it was advertised as coed, then that’s a different story. But that’s not what this was.”

    “Why have a women’s category if anyone can compete in it? Women’s opportunities are only for women,” she cogently argued.

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    Blaze News’ Steve Baker Released from Courthouse After Arrest Over His Jan. 6 Reporting

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    Blaze News investigative journalist Steve Baker has been released from a federal courthouse in Dallas after his arrest earlier Friday over his Jan. 6 reporting.

    Baker also spoke to BlazeTV’s Steve Deace after his release:

    WHAT ARE THE DETAILS

    Baker — who for years has been searching for the truth about Jan. 6, 2021, and believes the U.S. government has been targeting him for it — on Friday was charged with four misdemeanors related to his Jan. 6 coverage at the U.S. Capitol after turning himself in to the FBI in Dallas.

    But first he was handcuffed and perp-walked:

    THE CHARGES 

    • Knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority
    • Disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds
    • Disorderly conduct in a capitol building
    • Parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building

    BlazeTV contributor Jill Savage noted Friday that she exited the courtroom with Baker, who “was able to wear his dress clothes but had shackles on his wrists and ankles. He is expected to be released today. His next hearing is set in DC for March 14th.”

    Baker learned of the charges for the first time Friday and earlier this week told Blaze News that the powers that be wouldn’t tell his attorney about the charges because they believed Baker would post them on social media.

    Baker’s Dallas attorney, James Lee Bright, added to Blaze News that withholding the nature of the charges against his client was a “really unusual” move.

    Bright told Blaze News that he’s “disturbed” about what’s happening with his client, especially given that Baker has been “in full compliance” all this time. Bright also said the federal government “three-plus years later going after people who were legitimate functioning journalists that day” appears designed to have an “absolute chilling effect.”

    Baker added that when he asked his other attorney, William Shipley, why the federal government is treating him like this, Shipley replied, “You know why. You’ve been poking them in the eye for three years.”

    WHAT THEY ARE SAING

    Baker’s arrest and charges have been getting a ton of attention — and notable individuals have been weighing in:

    UPDATE: Here’s a clip of Baker commenting on his ordeal after he was released Friday:

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    University of Florida Fires All DEI Employees — And Reallocates the Millions of Dollars It Saved

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    The University of Florida is firing all employees in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) positions and administrative appointments, according to a memo sent on Friday.

    “To comply with the Florida Board of Governors’ regulation 9.016 on prohibited expenditures, the University of Florida has closed the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, eliminated DEI positions and administrative appointments, and halted DEI-focused contracts with outside vendors,” the memo states.

    “Under the direction of UF Human Resources, university employees whose positions were eliminated will receive UF’s standard twelve weeks of pay. These colleagues are allowed and encouraged to apply, between now and Friday, April 19, for expedited consideration for different positions currently posted with the university. UF HR will work to fast-track the interview process and provide an answer on all applications within the twelve-week window.”

    The Independent Florida Alligator, a campus newspaper, said 13 full-time diversity, equity and inclusion positions were dismissed and 15 administrative appointments were eliminated.

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has made halting DEI a cornerstone of his efforts to overhaul education in the state, wrote on X, “Florida is where DEI goes to die.”

    “DEI is toxic and has no place in our public universities. I’m glad that Florida was the first state to eliminate DEI and I hope more states follow suit,” DeSantis added.

    The Florida Board of Governors passed the regulation in January limiting public funding for DEI, defining them as “any program, campus activity, or policy that classifies individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation and promotes differential or preferential treatment of individuals on the basis of such classification.”

    DEI campus proponents argue they help correct systemic inequities and address increasingly diverse student populations, while its foes like DeSantis have said they are a form of leftist discrimination.

    Conservative activist Christopher Rufo also celebrated the decision, writing on X, “The conservative counter-revolution has begun.”

    “Higher education must return to its essential foundations of academic integrity and the pursuit of knowledge instead of being corrupted by destructive ideologies,” Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz, Jr. said last month. “These actions today ensure that we will not spend taxpayers’ money supporting DEI and radical indoctrination that promotes division in our society.”

    The University of Florida memo added that the Office of the Chief Financial Officer would reallocate the approximately $5 million in funds previously reported to Tallahassee for DEI expenses into a faculty recruitment fund.

    The memo added a defiant statement at the end.

    “Finally, the University of Florida is – and will always be – unwavering in our commitment to universal human dignity. As we educate students by thoughtfully engaging a wide range of ideas and views, we will continue to foster a community of trust and respect for every member of the Gator Nation. The University of Florida is an elite institution because of our incredible faculty who are committed to teaching, discovering, and serving,” the memo states.

    The president of the University of Florida is former Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, who took over the post last year. It’s one of the largest universities in the United States with more than 61,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled.

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    Bloomberg Poll: Trump Leading Biden in 7 Swing States

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    Former President Trump is pulling more support than President Biden in at least seven swing states that are likely going to determine the election, a survey released this week found.

    The Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll found Biden trailing Trump in several critical states — Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada and Wisconsin — when voters were asked who they would support in a hypothetical general election. Large shares of the respondents voiced concerns with Biden’s age, while a significant percentage said Trump was dangerous.

    Across all seven states, 48 percent of voters said they would back Trump, and 43 percent would back Biden. Trump’s lead appeared to be the strongest in North Carolina, where he is 9 points ahead of Biden — bringing in 50 percent support compared to Biden’s 41 percent.

    The Tar Heel State, which Trump won in the 2020 election, was the only state the former president garnered at least 50 percent of support in the new survey. Neither candidate clinched a majority show of support in any of the other swing states.

    Trump maintained a 6-point lead over Biden in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania in the recent poll — four states Biden carried in 2020.

    The gap is closer in Wisconsin and Michigan — which Biden also won in the last presidential election. In the Badger State, Biden trails the Republican presidential front-runner by 4 percentage points and trails him by 2 percentage points in the Great Lakes State — where Trump has 46 percent of support and Biden has 44 percent.

    Bloomberg News noted that overall, about 8 in 10 voters across all states said Biden was too old and nearly 6 in 10 voters labeled Trump as dangerous. Voters were also more likely to describe the former president as mentally fit than the incumbent, the poll found.

    The Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll was conducted online Feb. 12-20 and surveyed 4,955 registered voters in the seven swing states. The margin of error for all seven states as a whole was 1 percentage point.

    When broken down by state, the margin of error is 3 percentage points in Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania; 4 percentage points in Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin; and 5 percentage points in Nevada.

    The poll results come on the heels of the 2024 Michigan presidential primary — where both party front-runners won their respective contests.

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    Judge Indicates He Will Rule on Fani Willis Disqualification Within 2 Weeks

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    Judge Scott McAfee indicated Friday that he would issue a ruling on the motion to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis within two weeks.

    During Friday’s closing arguments, defense attorney John Merchant told McAfee there were “enough facts” in front of him to disqualify Willis, arguing the standard only required finding the appearance of conflict. McAfee said after arguments concluded that he could not make the legal and factual determinations necessary to issue a ruling today, but indicated he hoped to have an answer in the next two weeks.

    “There are several legal issues to sort through, several factual determinations that I have to make, and those aren’t ones that I can make at this moment,” he said. “So I will be taking time to make sure I give this case the full consideration it is due. I hope to have an answer for everyone within the next two weeks.”

    Adam Abbate, representing the district attorney’s office, argued that the defendants must prove an actual conflict to disqualify Willis, not just the appearance of one. He maintained that there is “no evidence” Willis benefited financially.

    “Aren’t we past the speculation and conjecture aspect of this, the core of the financial allegations — that there is a relationship, and that money has changed hands?” McAfee asked Abbate. “There’s maybe still an open question of where the ledger stands, but I think it was conceded that that balance could run in the district attorney’s favor. Is that contested?”

    “Yes,” Abbate said, stating that purchases were either made back and forth to “equal” the money that was spent or purchases were reimbursed in cash.

    McAfee did not give concrete indication on where he stood, though he did appear to push back when the state cast doubt on the motives of a key witness, Willis’ long-time friend Robin Yeartie, characterizing her as a “disgruntled former employee.”

    “She was fighting not to come in here and testify at all. Then she comes in here and testifies. Why would she testify the way she did if she didn’t want to testify so strongly?” McAfee questioned. “I don’t know if I’m quite following that theory.”

    Yeartie testified that Willis’ and Wade’s relationship began in 2019, contradicting their claim that it started in 2022 after Wade was hired.

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    Judge Cannon Considers Timing of Trump Classified Docs Case, Does Not Issue Ruling

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    A Florida judge weighed the timing of former President Trump’s classified documents case during a hearing on Friday, but did not set a new trial start date from the bench.

    Trump’s legal team has repeatedly tried to delay proceedings concerning his four criminal indictments until after the election.

    Prosecutors and Trump’s team have sparred over the timing of the classified documents case, and on Thursday both parties filed briefs making their case for their preferred start date.

    Special counsel Jack Smith requested July 8.

    Trump’s team argued that the trial should be postponed until after the 2024 election, but proposed Aug. 12 as an alternative.

    Trump attended the hearing over the timing of the case.

    Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, had indicated before the Friday hearing that she may allow “reasonable adjustments” to the current timing of the classified documents case, which is scheduled to begin May 20.

    The 2020 election cases in Georgia and D.C. are currently on ice.

    Trump co-defendants arguing Fulton County DA Fani Willis should be disqualified over an alleged financial and ethical conflict of interest, which a judge is expected to rule on soon, carries great potential impact on the case’s future. Willis has denied the allegations.

    The Supreme Court separately agreed this week to take up Trump’s immunity claims in the federal 2020 election case, with arguments slated for late April.

    The high court’s decision to take up the case, whose trial was scheduled to begin in early March, will further delay proceedings.

    Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝
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