DOJ Authorized 'Deadly Use of Force' in Mar-a-Lago Raid, Agents Told to Wear 'Unmarked' Clothes
Connect with us
Citizen Frank



The Biden administration authorized the use of deadly force during the FBI’s raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in August 2022 as part of its investigation into classified records, court documents revealed.

An “Operations Order” produced in discovery as part of Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s alleged improper retention of classified records revealed that the “FBI believed its objective for the Mar-a-Lago raid was to seize ‘classified information, NDI, and US Government records,’” as described in the search warrant.

The order, according to a court filing, contained a “Policy Statement” regarding “Use of Deadly Force,” which stated, for example, “Law Enforcement officers of the Department of Justice may use deadly force when necessary.”

The FBI told Fox News in a statement, “The FBI followed standard protocol in this search as we do for all search warrants, which includes a standard policy statement limiting the use of deadly force. No one ordered additional steps to be taken and there was no departure from the norm in this matter.”

According to the filing, the DOJ and FBI agents “planned to bring ‘Standard Issue Weapons,’ ‘Ammo,’ ‘Handcuffs,’ and ‘medium and large sized bolt cutters,’ but they were instructed to wear ‘unmarked polo or collared shirts’ and to keep ‘law enforcement equipment concealed.”

Trump, who spent another day in a New York City courtroom for his unprecedented criminal trial stemming from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into Trump allegedly falsifying business records, reacted to the revelations Tuesday afternoon.

“WOW! I just came out of the Biden Witch Hunt Trial in Manhattan, the ‘Icebox,’ and was shown Reports that Crooked Joe Biden’s DOJ, in their Illegal and UnConstitutional Raid of Mar-a-Lago, AUTHORIZED THE FBI TO USE DEADLY (LETHAL) FORCE,” Trump posted on his Truth Social. “NOW WE KNOW, FOR SURE, THAT JOE BIDEN IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO DEMOCRACY.”


Trump was charged out of Smith’s investigation into his retention of classified materials. Trump pleaded not guilty to all 37 felony charges from Smith’s probe, including willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and false statements.

Trump was also charged with an additional three counts as part of a superseding indictment out of the investigation: a count of willful retention of national defense information and two obstruction counts.

Trump pleaded not guilty.

The federal judge presiding over the case, Judge Aileen Cannon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, postponed the trial stemming from Smith’s case indefinitely. The trial was set to begin May 20.

Click to comment

Top picks for you


We’re Currently Watching the Collapse of Daily Beast

The Daily Beast is gutting its senior editorial team after implementing voluntary buyouts last month, with nearly 70% of unionized staffers leaving the outlet, TheWrap has learned.

The senior staffers taking buyouts include media reporter Justin Baragona, political investigations reporter Jose Pagliery, senior national reporter Pilar Melendez, senior reporter Emily Shugerman, and more, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation. Twenty-five unionized staffers took the buyouts, equivalent to nearly 70% of the guild, including almost all of the outlet’s senior staffers.

Additionally, non-union editorial staffers are expecting another round of layoffs at the end of the month.

“We’re currently watching the collapse of The Beast,” the individual told TheWrap. “There is no doubt the site won’t be able to recover from this.”

“One of the first lessons of any company: Don’t alienate your core customer and piss them off so much they begin to call for a boycott against your firm,” the individual continued.

The Daily Beast Union announced negotiated voluntary buyouts for staffers at the end of May, following a leadership overhaul. The buyout applications were intended to hit a $1.5 million reduction threshold, with additional cuts expected as a complete rebuild of the outlet is conducted.

“With such a generous severance offer, we anticipated a large number of employees would take the voluntary buyout. We are not at all surprised,” a Daily Beast spokesperson said in a statement to TheWrap. “These numbers allow us to move forward with our plan to secure the financial future of the Beast and rebuild a newsroom that will thrive in the current landscape. It’s always difficult when dedicated employees choose to step away. We thank them and wish them the best in their future endeavors.”

Union members now have a seven-day window to accept the buyout or rescind their application, which could impact the number of staffers leaving the outlet.

The Daily Beast Union has 37 members. In addition to the buyouts, the union has negotiated a tentative two-year collective bargaining agreement with management that will benefit all members regardless of whether they are taking a buyout. In the agreement, the union secured retroactive pay increases from January 1 for all members.

In April, former ABC executive Ben Sherwood and former Hearst executive Joanna Coles were granted a minority stake in the news site, with Sherwood serving as CEO and Coles serving as chief content and creative officer.

Since its creation in 2013, The Daily Beast has lost owner Barry Diller tens of millions of dollars.

“We have been in the driver’s seat of this process since Sherwood and Coles arrived at the Beast,” the union writes in a statement. “We have battled with Company lawyers, demanded information in the face of uncertainty, and have won the fight for our colleagues to design their own futures.”

“Managers come and go, but we, the Daily Beast Union, are here to stay,” the statement continued.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


Illegal Migrant Arrested for Raping 13-Year-Old Girl at Knifepoint in Broad Daylight in NY

An Ecuadorian migrant is in custody in the brutal rape of a 13-year-old girl in a secluded part of a vast Queens park – thanks to a flood of flood of tips from local community members, including Good Samaritans who ultimately subdued the suspect early Tuesday.

“We had tips coming in actually naming the perpetrator, so they knew who he was,” said Joseph Kenny, the NYPD’s chief of detectives, during a news conference.

Christian Geovanny Inga-Landi, 25, is the name that tipsters gave to cops in the five days since the teen girl and a 13-year-old boy were held at knifepoint with a “machete-style” blade in the sickening, broad-daylight attack inside Kissena Park.

Jeers greeted Inga-Landi as he was walked handcuffed from a Queens police precinct Tuesday afternoon on his way to be arraigned on a slew of felonies, including rape and kidnapping.

“Piece of s–t,” one onlooker shouted.

The bust came after the NYPD blasted out images and footage of the young man they were looking for on Monday night, which followed the release of a sketch depicting the suspect and his distinctive boar tattoo – a marking that matched one seen on a suspect cuffed by cops.

Queens residents responded by providing Inga-Landi’s name, his Facebook account and pictures that matched his distinctive tattoo, as well as clothing the suspect wore during the sexual assault, Kenny said.

“One of the tips we actually received was from a landlord who stated the male had come to his building about two weeks previous trying to rent the room,” he said.

Inga-Landi, who is from Ecuador, entered the U.S. in 2021 through Eagle Pass, Texas, where Customs and Border Patrol agents took him into custody for entering the country illegally, Kenny and police sources said.

He was released and made his way to Queens, where cops issued him three summonses and encountered him in a domestic violence case, Kenny said, noting he has no arrest history in New York City itself.

Investigators believe Inga-Landi is the man who approached two teens June 13 and forced them into a secluded area of Kissena Park.

Authorities say the suspect tied their wrists with shoelaces before he molested the girl.

The monster then took away both teen’s phones and told them to stay put for 20 minutes after he fled, cops said.

Following the assault, the traumatized children ran to their nearby school where they alerted staffers, who called 911.

The brazen, broad daylight attack set off a massive manhunt for the perv and led to a heavy police presence in the park for days while nearby residents waited on edge.

“Everybody is tense since the news because we all have small children that are playing here, and it happened in the day,” father Alankar Ngar told The Post over the weekend.

The park is typically full of children and students from nearby schools, like the two victims.

The flood of tips included a 911 call Tuesday about 1 a.m. from community members saying they found the suspect – Inga-Landi – at 108th Street and Waldon Street, Kenny said.

“Here we found the community was holding our perp,” Kenny said. “He fought with them but the community still managed to hold on to him until we got there.”

Inga-Landi was treated for minor injuries at Elmhurst Hospital before he was taken back to a Queens precinct, where special victims unit investigators were processing him, Kenny said.

“The perpetrator has made statements after waiving Miranda Rights, where he indicated he has a drug problem, that he found the knife he used to threaten the two teens, that this was the first time he’d ever done anything like this,” Kenny said. “He IDs himself in video that was shown to him.”

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


Secret Service Agent Robbed at Gunpoint After Biden Fundraiser

A U.S. Secret Service agent was robbed at gunpoint on Saturday in California after President Joe Biden held a fundraising event in Los Angeles.

On Saturday evening, a Secret Service employee had his bag stolen at gunpoint near a Southern California residential community, according to the Tustin Police Department.

The agent fired his service weapon during the robbery, though it’s unknown whether the suspect was injured because they have not been located yet.

The agent was returning from a work assignment when the robbery occurred, Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement.

He did not sustain any injuries, Guglielmi said, and his name has not been released.

The police department said there is no public threat, but it is seeking help in identifying the robbers. Officers located some of the agent’s belongings in the area.

Biden was in Los Angeles for a star-studded fundraiser that broke Democratic fundraising records Saturday night, raising at least $28 million.

The event included a moderated conversation by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel with Biden and former President Barack Obama.

The event also featured actors George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jason Bateman, Jack Black, Kathryn Hahn and Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝


Gaetz Faces House Ethics Committee Probe Over Sex, Drug Allegations

Rep. Matt Gaetz claimed Monday the House Ethics Committee has opened “new” investigations into him, which he called “frivolous.”

Earlier this year, the Ethics panel subpoenaed the Justice Department for information tied to an existing investigation into the Florida Republican by the committee.

That probe began in 2021 and was examining allegations including sexual misconduct and illicit drug use.

Gaetz has maintained his innocence through multiple ethics inquiries and alleges the panel is using investigations against him as retribution for spearheading the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy last fall.

“This is Soviet,” Gaetz posted on social media Monday.

The Justice Department closed its long-running sex trafficking investigation into Gaetz and declined to charge him back in early 2023. Gaetz was admonished in 2020 for a threatening 2019 tweet directed at Michael Cohen, then-President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, but the situation “did not violate witness tampering and obstruction of Congress laws,” according to the panel’s report at the time.

Go deeper ( < 1 min. read ) ➝


Ilhan Omar Pays Herself $40,000 Bonus with Taxpayer Cash

Some 300 members of Congress took part in a new congressional reimbursement program that doesn’t require receipts for food and housing costs last year. Dozens topped off their $174,000-a-year salary with an extra $30,000 or more.

The change in House rules was designed to aid members who have long had to maintain housing in both their home districts and the high-priced D.C. housing market out of their own pocket.

But critics are warning that the program – and lack of a receipt requirement – could lead to abuse. combed through a new Washington Post database of reimbursements and found that Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich., was the top spender for reimbursements, claiming $44,079 in costs – $32,189 for lodging and $11,890 for meals and incidentals.

Behind him was Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who claimed $42,279 in expenses, Rep, Jim Baird, R-Ind., at $41,459 and Squad Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., at $40,092.

The average amount members charged was $18,000.

Members have since 2009 opted not to give themselves a pay boost due to the political implications.

But the bipartisan House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress in 2022 suggested the expense program as a work-around – but its lack of receipt requirement could lead to abuse.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy took advantage of the program, expensing $23,011 on top of his $223,500 speaker’s salary, but Speaker Mike Johnson did not.

Bergman, a retired general and Delta pilot, had assets valued at between $647,000 and $1.4 million, according to his most recent 2023 disclosure form.

Gaetz, whose wealthy father Don Gaetz started a successful hospice care company, filed an extension for his 2023 disclosures so they have not been made public.

In 2022 he had assets between $341,000 and $1.2 million and liabilities – credit card bills and a car payment – between $20,000 and $30,000.

Omar’s assets were between $37,000 and $208,000 and her liabilities – credit card bills and student loans – were between $45,000 and $150,000.

Omar has four children, the youngest being 12 years old. In 2020 she paid her new husband Tim Mynett’s political consulting firm $3 million.

A report last week found Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., expensed $37,277 – the sixth highest amount in the house – and overcharged taxpayers by $12,000 for a home she owns and rents out.

The quiet rules change at the start of this Congress allowed members to file expenses for food and lodging for the days that they are in Washington, D.C., on official business.

Some 300 members took advantage of the new rules last year and were reimbursed for nearly $6 million.

The members’ representational allowance (MRA) allows members to expense hotels and rent within the per diem set by the General Services Administration (GSA) for each day they are in Washington on official business.

It does not, however, allow them to file expenses for mortgage payments or interest on homes they own so that members are not building capital from taxpayer funds.

Only utilities, property taxes and home insurance can be expensed under the program for homeowners. Members and their staff were made expressly aware of this, according to a source who helped usher in the new system.

‘We had a lot of questions in the beginning, members saying, ‘can we get our lawn care reimbursed, dry cleaning reimbursed, house cleaner reimbursed,’ and we’ve really stuck to, again, insurance, taxes and utilities,’ a source who helped implement the new change told

Members who sleep in their offices may also not be reimbursed for housing.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


New York Appeals Court Rejects Trump’s Bid to Lift Gag Order

The New York Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected former President Trump’s bid to have the gag order against him lifted, citing that “no substantial constitutional question is directly involved.”

Judge Juan Merchan imposed a gag order that restricts the former president and presumptive 2024 GOP presidential nominee from speaking about witnesses and the case now that Trump’s trial has concluded.

Trump’s lawyers cited the November presidential election and the first debate against President Biden later this month, as well as the First Amendment rights of the former president and his supporters as reasons for the order to be lifted.

When Merchan refused to lift the gag order, Trump appealed that decision – which the appeals court rejected on Tuesday.

Steven Cheung, Trump campaign spokesman, said in a statement, “President Trump and his legal team will continue to fight against the unconstitutional Gag Order imposed by Justice Merchan.”

“The Gag Order wrongfully silences the leading candidate for President of the United States, President Trump, at the height of his campaign. The Gag Order applies only to President Trump and not to any of his political opponents, critics, or even Crooked Joe Biden,” said Cheung.

“The Election Interfering Gag Order violates the First Amendment rights of President Trump and all American voters, who have a fundamental right to hear his message,” he added.

The former president was found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree last week. The six-week-long trial stemmed from charges brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Merchan imposed a gag order on Trump before the trial began, barring Trump from making or directing others to make public statements about witnesses with regard to their potential participation or about counsel in the case — other than Bragg — or about court staff, DA staff or family members of staff.

Trump’s team repeatedly appealed the order and were denied.

“We respectfully submit this pre-motion letter requesting that Your Honor terminate the gag order restricting President Trump’s extrajudicial statements,” Todd Blanche, legal counsel for Trump, argued. “For the reasons set forth below, because the trial has concluded, the stated bases for the gag order no longer exist.”

Blanche said Trump’s legal team disagreed with the “proffered justifications for the gag order” to begin with, but said now that the trial is complete, the order should be lifted.

“Now that the trial is concluded, the concerns articulated by the government and the Court do not justify continued restrictions on the First Amendment rights of President Trump—who remains the leading candidate in the 2024 presidential election—and the American people,” Blanche wrote.

Blanche added that the “constitutional mandate for unrestrained campaign advocacy by President Trump is even stronger in light of” comments made by President Biden and his campaign, as well as “continued public attacks” by the government’s witnesses like Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels.

Blanche also cited the first presidential debate on June 27 as a reason the order should be lifted.

A footnote in the letter states, “The defense does not concede that there was ever a valid basis for the gag order and reserves the right to challenge the irreparable First Amendment harms caused by the order.”

Trump was fined $10,000 for violating the gag order during the trial. Merchan also threatened Trump with jail time for further alleged violations.

“The last thing I want to consider is jail,” Merchan said. “You are [the] former president and possibly the next president.”

“The magnitude of that decision is not lost on me,” Merchan said. “Your continued willful violation of the court’s order…constitutes a direct attack…and will not be allowed to continue…It is not allowed to continue.”

Trump and his defense attorneys have maintained that the former president and presumptive Republican presidential nominee should not be bound by the gag order, saying it violates his First Amendment rights as well as the First Amendment rights of his supporters.

Trump’s sentencing date is set for July 11 — just four days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where he is expected to be formally nominated as the 2024 Republican presidential nominee.

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


North Korean Soldiers Cross Border, South Korea Fires Warning Shots

Something big is happening on the heavily militarized Korean border, following several days of soaring tensions which has included North Korea flying hundreds of trash and feces-filled balloons into the south.

There are several reports of dozens of North Korean soldiers having briefly crossed the border, and soon retreating, after warning shots were fired by South Korean border troops, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

Per Reuters, citing Yonhap at about 11:00am local time: “South Korea’s military fired warning shots after North Korean soldiers crossed the Military Demarcation Line near the border, the Yonhap news agency reported on Tuesday citing the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

A Yonhap wire has further said “Korea military suffers ‘multiple casualties’ in landmine explosion near border.”

While details of exactly what is happening are still emerging, this comes one week after a live fire incident occurred along the border. Last Tuesday, South Korean border forces fired warning shots after troops on the other side ‘accidentally’ crossed the border in the south.

Here is what happened exactly one week ago:

“There were no unusual movements other than the North Korean army immediately moving north after our warning shots,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman, Col. Lee Sung-jun, told a briefing.

He generally downplayed the incident which happened Sunday, and suggested there was no indication the enemy troops were seeking to invade territory.

“The South Korean military is closely monitoring the movements of the North Korean military and taking necessary measures.”

If casualties among DPRK troops are confirmed, this could be the start of a major live fire incident between the two historic enemies, also as Kim Jong-Un has been warning he could restart nuclear tests.

US state-funded Stripes reported yesterday:

North Korean troops have been observed creating anti-tank barriers, reinforcing roads and carrying out other military projects within the Demilitarized Zone, according to the South’s military on Monday. South Korean intelligence agencies spotted the improvements near the border in recent days, army Col. Lee Seong-jun, a spokesman for the country’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a news conference Monday.

Lee declined to elaborate on the North’s activities at the border and said the South’s military was still analyzing its operations. North Korean troops were also observed building walls and roads between the Military Demarcation Line — the actual border between the two Koreas — and the Demilitarized Zone, an unidentified military source said in a Yonhap News report Saturday. The 2½-mile-wide DMZ spans 150 miles across the Korean Peninsula from coast to coast.

Nuclear saber-rattling has been coming out of Pyongyang since last summer, when the US Navy parked a nuclear submarine in South Korea for the first time in years.

Pyongyang has also reportedly deployed extra troops the border amid the escalating tit-for-tat.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


Justin Timberlake Arrested for DUI in Hamptons

Justin Timberlake has been released without bail after being arrested for driving while intoxicated in the Hamptons.

Police arrested the singer on Monday night in Sag Harbor, New York, and he later appeared in court on Tuesday morning.

Justin, 43, was seen leaving the police station in the Hamptons with his lawyer after being held overnight for morning arraignment.

He kept his head down while wearing a hat and sunglasses, along with a casual outfit consisting of jeans, a graphic tee, and a black overshirt.

The Suffolk County DA confirmed to The U.S. Sun that Justin was arraigned in Sag Harbor Village Justice Court this morning at 9:30 am.

Justin was ultimately released without bail on his own recognizance and was charged with one count of DWI.

He was also cited for running a stop sign and failing to keep in his own lane while operating a 2025, gray BMW UT with Florida registrations.

The singer was pulled over while traveling southbound on Madison Street, a public highway in the village of Sag Harbor.

Cops smelled alcohol on Justin’s breath and noted that he had glassy eyes, slow speech, was unsteady on his feet, and performed poorly on all standardized build-to-variety tests.

Justin was also quoted as telling officers that he had only one martini and “followed his friends home.”

Justin will next appear in court on July 26, the same day he has a tour stop in Kraków, Poland.

Justin’s Arrest

On Monday night, Justin met up with friends for dinner at the American Hotel in Sag Harbor.

At around 12:30 am, the NSYNC frontman got into his car and drove back to where he was staying, but was pulled over shortly after taking off.

“Justin was out to dinner with friends and there were cop cars stationed outside the restaurant, like there are most nights,” an insider told DailyMail.

“They look for people who are leaving after midnight who might have been drinking.

“Justin left at 12:30 am and was pulled over as soon as he left. Nobody was hurt and there was no drama at the scene,” they added.

Sources told TMZ that cops started following Justin after he blew the stop sign and then pulled him over after noticing his car swerving on the road.

They also said a few of the singer’s friends arrived on the scene and tried to convince the cops to let him go but were unsuccessful, as he was then handcuffed and arrested.

Current Events

The pop star, who is currently on his The Forget Tomorrow World Tour, last performed in Miami on June 15.

The arrest comes as Justin is set to perform two concerts in Chicago this week and two in New York next week.

It also comes just days after Justin’s wife of 12 years, Jessica Biel, wished him a Happy Father’s Day on social media.

The 7th Heaven actress shared a photo of him kissing the side of her head, along with others next to his sons Silas, 9, and Phineas, 3.

“You’re so many things to so many people. But to us you are THE ROCK,” Jessica gushed in the caption.

“The rock we climb on, we lean against. The rock that shades us from the sun,” she added.

Struggling with Addiction

Last year, Justin opened up about his struggles with excessive drinking during the premiere of Oprah’s Master Class, as reported by SingersRoom.

The SexyBack singer admitted that at one point, he abused alcohol as a way to deal with the pressures that came along with his fame.

Justin said that his excessive drinking took a toll on him and he realized it was time to seek help.

The Friends With Benefits star said it was important to surround himself with positive influences and credited his wife for helping him through the difficult time.

While he has struggled with alcohol addiction, Justin teamed up with Casa Sauza to release his own brand of tequila, Sauza 901, in 2014.

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


CF Introduces New Comment Section – Guide on How to Use It

Today, we’re excited to roll out a brand new comment section. Here’s what you can do now:

Edit and delete your comments

You need to create a free account (readers who comment as Guest won’t be able to edit or delete their comments).

Step 1: Click login

Step 2: Click Sign Up

Step 3: Enter you info

Step 4: Enter the verification code

Share Pictures

How to upload images:

Step 1: Click on the image icon

Step 2: Click ‘Upload Image’ or Add image url

Add GIFs

Step 1: Click on the GIF icon

Step 2: Type text in the search field

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


Kansas Sues Pfizer Over ‘Misrepresentations’ and ‘Adverse Events’ of COVID Vaccine

The state of Kansas has filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Inc. for alleged consumer protection violations related to the company’s manufacturing of the COVID-19 vaccine, saying the company marketed the shot as “safe” even though it “knew” the vaccine was connected to “serious adverse events.”

“Pfizer misled the public that it had a ‘safe and effective’ COVID-19 vaccine,” the 69-page lawsuit filed Monday in the District Court of Thomas County alleges.

“Pfizer said its COVID-19 vaccine was safe even though it knew its COVID-19 vaccine was connected to serious adverse events, including myocarditis and pericarditis, failed pregnancies, and deaths. Pfizer concealed this critical safety information from the public,” the suit alleges.

“Pfizer said its COVID-19 vaccine was effective even though it knew its COVID-19 vaccine waned over time and did not protect against COVID-19 variants. Pfizer concealed this critical effectiveness information from the public,” it says.

The lawsuit alleges that the company’s “actions and statements relating to its COVID-19 vaccine” violated the Kansas Consumer Protection Act, “regardless of whether any individual consumer ultimately received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.”

“Pfizer must be held accountable for falsely representing the benefits of its COVID-19 vaccine while concealing and suppressing the truth about its vaccine’s safety risks, waning effectiveness, and inability to prevent transmission,” the lawsuit says.

The suit, filed by Republican Attorney General Kris Kobach, alleges that through the company’s “misrepresentations” of the vaccine, it earned “record company revenue” of approximately $75 billion in just two years.

The lawsuit alleges that “millions of Kansans heard Pfizer’s misrepresentations about its COVID-19 vaccine.”

“For example, Pfizer administered 3,355,518 Pfizer vaccine doses in Kansas as of February 7, 2024. This accounted for more than 60% of all vaccine doses in Kansas,” the lawsuit alleges, citing the state’s Department of Health Data.

The lawsuit alleges that Pfizer used various methods to “conceal critical data” related to the “safety and effectiveness” of the vaccine, including using confidentiality agreements, an extended timeline, and destroying the control group participating in its vaccine trial.

“Because Pfizer unblinded the original control group and allowed them to receive Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, Pfizer, government regulators, and independent scientists cannot fully compare the safety and efficacy of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine against unvaccinated individuals,” the lawsuit alleges.

“Pfizer’s extensive and aggressive efforts to keep its COVID-19 vaccine information hidden conflict with its public transparency pledges and raise serious questions about what Pfizer is hiding and why it is hiding it,” it says.

The lawsuit also alleges that Pfizer failed to disclose the limitations of its COVID-19 vaccine trials.

“When Pfizer announced that the FDA had authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, Pfizer did not disclose that its trial included only healthy individuals and excluded unhealthy individuals,” the suit claims.

“Pfizer made representations about its COVID-19 vaccine’s safety knowingly or with reason to know that it did not possess a reasonable basis to represent that it was safe for individuals who had been diagnosed with COVID-19, who were immunocompromised, or who were pregnant or breastfeeding,” it alleges.

The suit also claims that Pfizer had knowledge of “safety issues” with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Kobach alleges that Pfizer maintained its own adverse events database, separate from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) system, that “contain[ed] cases of [adverse events (AEs)] reported spontaneously to Pfizer, cases reported by the health authorities, cases published in the medical literature, cases from Pfizer-sponsored marketing programs, non-interventional studies, and cases of serious AEs reported from clinical studies regardless of causality assessment.”

“Upon information and belief, Pfizer’s adverse events database contained more adverse event data than VAERS because it included both information in VAERS and information not in VAERS,” the lawsuit alleges.

“Pfizer did not publicly release adverse events data from its database,” Kobach claims.

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Pfizer said: “We are proud to have developed the COVID-19 vaccine in record time in the midst of a global pandemic and saved countless lives. The representations made by Pfizer about its COVID-19 vaccine have been accurate and science-based. The Company believes that the state’s case has no merit and will respond to the suit in due course.”

“Pfizer is deeply committed to the well-being of the patients it serves and has no higher priority than ensuring the safety and effectiveness of its treatments and vaccines. Since its initial authorization by FDA in December 2020, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been administered to more than 1.5 billion people, demonstrated a favorable safety profile in all age groups, and helped protect against severe COVID-19 outcomes, including hospitalization and death,” the company said.

“Patient safety is our number one priority, which is why we follow diligent safety and monitoring protocols,” it added.

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


Celtics Win 18th Championship with Game 5 Victory Over Mavericks

Jayson Tatum put his hands behind his head, with TD Garden fans standing on their feet cheering around him, and took it all in.

Walking to the bench, he wrapped both arms around Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla.

The journey was complete.

The Boston Celtics again stand alone among NBA champions.

Tatum had 31 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, and the Celtics topped the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 on Monday night to win the franchise’s 18th championship, breaking a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most in league history.

Boston earned its latest title on the 16th anniversary of hoisting its last Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2008. It marks the 13th championship won this century by one of the city’s Big 4 professional sports franchises.

“It means the world,” Tatum said on stage after the team received the trophy from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “It’s been a long time. And damn I’m grateful.”

Jaylen Brown added 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and was voted the NBA Finals MVP.

“I share this with my brothers and my partner in crime Jayson Tatum,” Brown said after the 107th career playoff game he and Tatum have played together — the most for any duo before winning a title.

Jrue Holiday finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Center Kristaps Porzingis also provided an emotional lift, returning from a two-game absence because of a dislocated tendon in his left ankle to chip in five points in 17 minutes.

They helped the Celtics cap a postseason that saw them go 16-3 and finish with an 80-21 overall record. That .792 winning percentage ranks second in team history behind only the Celtics’ 1985-86 championship team that finished 82-18 (.820).

Mazzulla, in his second season, at age 35 also became the youngest coach since Bill Russell in 1969 to lead a team to a championship.

“You have very few chances in life to be great,” Mazzulla said.

Luka Doncic finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds for Dallas, which failed to extend the series after avoiding a sweep with a 38-point win in Game 4. The Mavericks had been 3-0 in Game 5s this postseason, with Doncic scoring at least 31 points in each of them. He said the chest, right knee and left ankle injuries he played through during the finals weren’t an excuse for Dallas struggling throughout the series.

“It doesn’t matter if I was hurt, how much was I hurt. I was out there,” he said. “I tried to play, but I didn’t do enough.”

Kyrie Irving finished with just 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting and has lost 13 of the last 14 meetings against the Celtics team he left in the summer of 2019 to join the Brooklyn Nets.

Irving thinks better things are ahead for the Mavs.

“I see an opportunity for us to really build our future in a positive manner, where this is almost like a regular thing for us and we’re competing for championships,” he said.

NBA teams are now 0-157 in postseason series after falling into a 3-0 deficit.

Mavs coach Jason Kidd believes Doncic and his team will grow from this NBA Finals experience.

“I think the first step is just to be in it. I think that’s a big thing,” he said. “Yes, we lost 4-1, but I thought the group fought against the Celtics and just, unfortunately, we just couldn’t make shots when we had to, or we turned the ball over and they took full advantage of that.”

Boston never trailed and led by as many as 26, feeding off the energy of the Garden crowd.

Dallas was within 16-15 early before the Celtics closed the first quarter on a 12-3 run that included eight combined points by Tatum and Brown.

The Celtics did it again in the second quarter when the Mavericks trimmed what had been a 15-point deficit to nine. Boston ended the period with a 19-7 spurt that was capped by a a half-court buzzer beater by Payton Pritchard – his second such shot of the series – to give Boston a 67-46 halftime lead.

Over the last two minutes of the first and second quarters, the Celtics outscored the Mavericks 22-4.

The Celtics never looked back.

Russell’s widow, Jeannine Russell, and his daughter Karen Russell were in TD Garden to salute the newest generation of Celtics champions.

They watched current Celtics stars Tatum and Brown earn their first rings. It was the trade that sent 2008 champions Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn in 2013 that netted Boston the draft picks it eventually used to select Brown and Tatum third overall in back-to-back drafts in 2016 and 2017.

The All-Stars came into their own this season, leading a Celtics team that was built around taking and making a high number of 3-pointers, and a defense that rated as the league’s best during the regular season.

The duo made it to at least the Eastern Conference finals as teammates four previous times.

They finally reached the finish line in their fifth deep playoff run together.

After both struggling at times offensively in the series, Tatum and Brown hit a groove in Game 5, combining for 31 points and 11 assists in the first half.

It helped bring out all the attributes that made Boston the NBA’s most formidable team this postseason – spreading teams out, sharing the ball, and causing havoc on defense. And even chipping a tooth, like Derrick White did after he was landed on by Dereck Lively II.

“I’ll lose all my teeth for a championship,” White said.

And it put a championship bow on a dizzying stretch for the Celtics, that saw them lose in the finals to the Golden State Warriors in 2022 and then fail to return last season after a Game 7 home loss to the Miami Heat in the conference finals.

Tatum vowed that night to erase the sting of those disappointments.

Standing in a sea of confetti Monday night he was reminded by his 6-year-old son, Deuce, of what he’d accomplished.

“He told me that I was the best in the world,” Tatum said. “I said, ‘You’re damn right I am.’”

Go deeper ( 4 min. read ) ➝


NJ Dem Kingmaker Indicted on Racketeering Charges

George Norcross, who for decades had been a Democratic political kingmaker in New Jersey, was charged with racketeering in an indictment unsealed Monday.

Norcross’s brother, Phillip Norcross, and four other defendants also were charged in the 13-count, 111-page indictment filed by New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin.

Platkin accused George Norcross of leading a “criminal enterprise” in South Jersey that used political influence to tailor economic redevelopment along the waterfront of Camden, New Jersey to suit the defendants’ financial interests, extorting and pressuring others to obtain property rights and tax incentive credits linked to the development efforts.

“The entities that benefitted, including Cooper Health and [the insurance firm Conner Strong & Buckelew CSB] then occupied the properties they obtained interests in and sold the tax credits they obtained for millions of dollars,” the indictment said.

George Norcross, a 68-year-old insurance executive and former member of the Democratic National Committee, was chair of the board of trustes of Cooper University Health Care and chair of Conner Strong & Buckelew.

Now a resident of Florida, George Norcross was in attendance at a press conference Platkin gave on the charges Monday in Trenton.

“The indictment unsealed today alleges that George Norcross has been running a criminal enterprise in this state for at least the last twelve years,” said Platkin.

“On full display in this indictment is how a group of unelected, private businessmen used their power and influence to get government to aid their criminal enterprise and further its interests,” the attorney general said. “The alleged conduct of the Norcross Enterprise has caused great harm to individuals, businesses, non-profits, the people of the State of New Jersey, and especially the City of Camden and its residents.”

“That stops today,” Platkin added.

The indictment says that Norcross’ criminal conduct included threatening a developer who had held the waterfront property rights necessary for the Norcross enterprise to build the tallest building on the Camden waterfront.

“When the developer would not relinquish his rights on terms preferred by George E. Norcross III, he threatened the developer that he would, in substance and in part, “f**k you up like you’ve never been f**ked up before and told the developer he would make sure the developer never did business in Camden again,” the indictment said.

“In a recorded phone call, [Norcross] later admitted to threatening the developer: ‘I said, `this is unacceptable. If you do this, it will have enormous consequences.’ [The developer] said, `Are you threatening me?′ I said, `Absolutely,′ ” according to the indictment.

Another brother, Donald Norcross, is currently a member of the House of Representatives for a district in southern New Jersey. David Norcross is not charged in the case involving his two brothers.

Phillip Norcross is managing shareholder and CEO of the Parker McCay law firm, and also is chairman of the board of the Cooper Foundation.

The other defendants in the case are William Tambussi, Dana Redd, Sidney Brown and John O’Donnell.

Tambussi is George Norcross’ long-time personal attorney, and counsel to the Camden County Democratic Committee.

Redd is a former mayor of Camden, a former state senator and is the current CEO of Camden Community Partnership.

Brown is the CEO of the trucking and logistics company NFI, and is a member of the board of Cooper Health.

O’Donnell is part of the executive leadership of The Michaels Organization, a residential development company.

The six defendants face a potential sentence of between 10-to-20 years years in prison if they are convicted of the top chaerge of first-degree racketeering.

The other charges facing the defendants include various counts of financial facilitation, misconduct by a corporate official, and official misconduct and conspiring to commit theft by extortion, criminal coercion, financial facilitation, misconduct by a corporate official, and official misconduct.

Donald Norcross became a member of the New Jersey state Assembly in January 2010, and held that post for just a week before he was appointed to replace Redd as as a state senator after she took office as mayor of Camden.

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


House Republicans Launch Probe Against Office of Special Counsel for Alleged IRS Whistleblower Retaliation

House Republicans said Monday they are investigating the Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel on allegations of retaliation against IRS whistleblowers for their disclosures regarding first son Hunter Biden.

The whistleblowers made protected disclosures last year alleging prosecutorial misconduct in the department’s investigation into Biden.

The GOP formalized the probe in a letter Monday to the special counsel’s office that was signed by House Speaker Mike Johnson, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith.

They allege the office, an self-described “independent” federal investigative agency responsible for protecting whistleblowers, failed to publicly correct the record when Special Counsel David Weiss seemed to suggest in a court filing the whistleblowers – Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler – were under investigation for their disclosures to Congress.

Though the investigation did not exist, the OSC did issue a public correction to stem the media speculation that damaged Shapley and Ziegler’s reputation.

Instead, the OSC is investigating the claims of retaliation against the whistleblowers, though its decision to keep the investigation sealed led to unnecessary and negative speculation, the Republicans say.

You can read the full letter.

“IRS whistleblowers Gary Shapley and Joseph Ziegler have been wholly consistent in their testimony about misconduct and politicization in the Department of Justice’s criminal investigation of Hunter Biden,” the Republican leaders said in a press release.

“They did exactly what an honorable government employee should do: when they witnessed wrongdoing, they reported it responsibly and made legally protected disclosures. Because of their bravery and integrity, we are finally beginning to see steps toward accountability,”

The lawmaker’s also asked the agency to provide answers about its failure to correct the record and ensure there has been no improper influence on OSC investigation into the retaliation claims by the whistleblowers.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


Biden’s Title IX Rule Blocked in 6 More States

A federal judge on June 17 issued an order temporarily blocking the Biden administration’s new Title IX transgender rule in an additional six states. The rule has sparked controversy for changing the definition of “sex” to include “gender identity” and giving female-identifying male students access to girls’ locker rooms and bathrooms.

“There are two sexes: male and female,” begins the memorandum and opinion written by U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves, filed on June 17 at the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Kentucky, Covington Division.

The judge’s order grants a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the new rule in six states: Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The rule has also been blocked in at least five other states.

Judge Reeves found that the Department of Education (DOE) exceeded its statutory authority in setting the new rules and acted in a way that was “arbitrary and capricious.”

In a move that sparked controversy and a flurry of lawsuits, the DOE on April 19 announced a final rule expanding the decades-old Title IX law that prohibits sex discrimination in schools to now include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

The changes, which are slated to go into effect on Aug. 1, give males who identify as females the right to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms and to join female-only organizations while construing “harassment” as including the use of pronouns that conform to one’s sex rather than one’s chosen gender identity. The new rules also mean that schools that refuse to comply risk losing essential federal funding and face the prospect of lawsuits.

Judge Reeves said the department failed to meaningfully address concerns regarding risks posed by the new rule to student and faculty safety and that the expanded Title IX has “serious” implications for free speech.

“The rule includes a new definition of sexual harassment which may require educators to use pronouns consistent with a student’s purported gender identity rather than their biological sex,” the judge wrote. “Based on the ‘pervasive’ nature of pronoun usage in everyday life, educators likely would be required to use students’ preferred pronouns regardless of whether doing so conflicts with the educator’s religious or moral beliefs.

“A rule that compels speech and engages in such viewpoint discrimination is impermissible.”

“We are reviewing the ruling,” the spokesperson said. “Title IX guarantees that no person experience sex discrimination in a federally funded educational environment. The Department crafted the final Title IX regulations following a rigorous process to realize the Title IX statutory guarantee. The Department stands by the final Title IX regulations released in April 2024, and we will continue to fight for every student.”

By contrast, Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman praised the ruling.

“The judge’s order makes clear that the U.S. Department of Education’s attempt to redefine ‘sex’ to include ‘gender identity’ is unlawful and beyond the agency’s regulatory authority,” Mr. Coleman said in a statement.

The case in Kentucky is among at least seven backed by more than 20 GOP-led states opposing the Title IX rule.

A Texas judge recently ruled to block enforcement of the new rule in the Lone Star State, while a judge in Louisiana halted its enforcement in Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, and Idaho.

President Joe Biden issued an executive order on March 8, 2021, that formally tasked the DOE with amending Title IX in a way that includes protections for an educational environment free of “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The department finalized the Title IX changes in April, expanding the definition of sex discrimination and sex-based harassment.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


Netanyahu Disbands Israeli War Cabinet

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the six-member war cabinet, an Israeli official said on Monday, in a widely expected move following the departure from government of centrist former general Benny Gantz.

Netanyahu is now expected to hold consultations about the Gaza war with a small group of ministers, including Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer who had been in the war cabinet.

The move was announced as U.S. special envoy Amos Hochstein visited Jerusalem, seeking to calm the situation on the disputed border with Lebanon, where Israel said tensions with the Iran-backed Hezbollah militia were bringing the region close to a wider conflict.

The Israeli military said on Monday it had killed a senior operative in one of Hezbollah’s rocket and missile sections in the area of Selaa in southern Lebanon.

The military also said its operations were continuing in the southern parts of the Gaza Strip, where its forces have been battling Hamas fighters in the Tel Sultan area of western Rafah, as well as in central areas of the enclave.

Hochstein’s visit follows weeks of increasing exchanges of fire across the line between Israel and Lebanon, where Israeli forces have for months been engaged in a simmering conflict with Hezbollah that has continued alongside the war in Gaza.

Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes on both sides of the so-called Blue Line that divides the two countries, leaving eerily deserted areas of abandoned villages and farms hit by near-daily bombardment.

“The current state of affairs is not a sustainable reality,” government spokesperson David Mencer told a briefing.

Netanyahu had faced demands from the nationalist-religious partners in his coalition, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, to be included in the war cabinet. Such a move would have intensified strains with international partners including the United States.

The forum was formed after Gantz joined Netanyahu in a national unity government at the start of the Gaza war in October. It also included Gantz’s political partner Gadi Eisenkot and Aryeh Deri, head of the religious party Shas, as observers.

Gantz and Eisenkot both left the government last week, over what they said was Netanyahu’s failure to form a strategy for the Gaza war.


An agreement to halt the fighting in Gaza still appears distant, more than eight months since the Oct. 7 attack on Israel led by Hamas fighters that triggered Israel’s military offensive in the Palestinian enclave.

The Oct. 7 attack killed some 1,200 people and about 250 were taken hostage, according to Israeli tallies. Israel’s offensive has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, according to Palestinian health ministry figures, and destroyed much of Gaza.

Although opinion polls suggest most Israelis support the government’s aim of destroying Hamas, there have been widespread protests attacking the government for not doing more to bring home around 120 hostages still being held in Gaza and against Netanyahu’s handling of the war.

Protesters calling for new elections clashed with police in Jerusalem on Monday. By sundown, a crowd of thousands had gathered outside the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, before marching to Netanyahu’s private home.

Some protesters tried to break through barriers set up by the police, who pushed them back. At one point a bonfire was lit in the street, and police used a water cannon to disperse the demonstration.

The northern border was relatively quiet on Monday, the second day of the Muslim Eid celebration, compared with previous days, when rocket fire set off widespread brush fires in heatwave conditions.

A survey for the Jewish People Policy Institute, a Jerusalem-based think tank, found 36% of respondents favouring an immediate strike against Hezbollah, up from 26% a month earlier.

Israeli aircraft and artillery have pounded southern Lebanon and last week killed a senior Hezbollah commander in a strike against a command and control centre that drew a further intensification of attacks.

In addition to attacks by missiles and anti-tank rockets, there has been a marked increase in drone attacks that have underlined the strength of the arsenal Hezbollah has built up since the last major conflict between the two sides in 2006.

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


US Surgeon General Calls for Warning Labels on Social-Media Platforms

The U.S. Surgeon General has called for warning labels on social-media platforms, saying urgent action was needed to address a mental-health emergency involving young people.

Warning labels, similar to those on alcohol and tobacco products, should accompany platforms to “regularly remind parents that social media has not been proved safe,” Dr. Vivek Murthy said in an op-ed for the New York Times Monday.

Murthy cited research showing that social media was an important contributor to a growing mental-health crisis among young people.

“Adolescents who spend more than three hours a day on social media face double the risk of anxiety and depression symptoms, and the average daily use in this age group, as of the summer of 2023, was 4.8 hours,” Murthy said.

Murthy has long warned of the risks of social media to young people, urging policymakers and technology companies to increase safeguarding efforts and strengthen standards for younger users.

​​“We are in the middle of a national youth mental health crisis,” he said in a report published last year.

“I am concerned that social media is an important driver of that crisis—one that we must urgently address.”

The report pointed to several studies examining a range of adverse effects of social media on adolescents. Those include online harassment, increased exposure to content related to self-harm and racism, and negative impacts on sleep, body image and physical activity.

The Wall Street Journal’s Facebook Files series in 2021 showed internal research at the company found Instagram was harmful for a percentage of young users, primarily teenage girls with body-image concerns. The research reviewed by the Journal showed the platform made body-image issues worse for a third of teenage girls. Facebook, which became Meta in 2021, scrapped plans to create an Instagram platform tailored to children after lawmakers and others raised concerns over the popular app’s impact on young people’s mental health.

A Meta spokesman said at the time that the investigation was premised on a misunderstanding of issues that also affect other social-media platforms.

Instagram has added more protections for teens in recent years, such as automatically making new accounts for those under 16 years old private.

Government officials, lawmakers and technology companies have for years grappled with how best to manage the issue. Lawmakers in the U.S. and Europe are weighing plans to tighten online age restrictions. Last year, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican, signed a law requiring social-media companies to verify users are 18 years or older, and require those under age 18 to receive the consent of a parent or guardian to open an account.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


Major Venues Now Punishing People for Using Cash vs. Plastic

Fans heading to Yankee Stadium hoping to pay in cash at the iconic ballpark for their favorite concessions have been thrown a curveball: go cashless or pay extra.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, Noa Khamallah, a 41-year-old New Yorker, found out the hard way. Looking to enjoy some popcorn and soda at a game, Khamallah was shocked to discover that his cash was as good as obsolete. Instead, he was directed to a “reverse ATM,” where he inserted $200 only to receive a debit card with $196.50 – after he was hit with a $3.50 service fee for the ‘convenience’ of going cash-free.

“It’s just not right,” Khamallah told the outlet, echoing the sentiments of other New Yorkers shocked that what used to save you money – cash payments, now costs more. In some cases, transaction fees have soared more than $6 just for the privilege of spending your own funds.

Indeed, cashless venues and restaurants are popping up across the country, forcing cash lovers to either adapt or pay up as the war on cash continues.

Reverse ATMs like those at Yankee Stadium are now common at cashless venues and restaurants across the country as a way to cater to those who prefer paying in cash. People who want to pay their parking tickets, tolls, taxes or phone bills in cash, meanwhile, often learn that government agencies and businesses have outsourced that option to companies that usually charge a fee.

All that can amount to a penalty on the people who prefer paying cash. Though it is more common to buy things with cards and mobile devices, cash remains the third-most popular way to pay, accounting for 16% of all payments in 2023, according to the Federal Reserve. That’s down 2 percentage points from the year before, continuing a steady decline that accelerated during the pandemic. -WSJ

And it’s not just about convenience or the speed of transactions. Critics argue that the move sidelines those who rely on cash – often the young, the elderly, or the poor.

“To let my 13-year-old go buy a slushy at the amusement park, I’m already out $6,” said Prudence Weaver, 41, who said she would rather be able to use cash on trips to the zoo and other venues vs. paying fees for debit cards. “I understand that there is a place for electronic payment, but I don’t think it should be the only option.”

Despite the digital dominance, cash is still king for a significant chunk of Americans. According to the Federal Reserve, a full 16% of all payments in 2023 were made in cash, down 2% from 2022.

“It’s unbelievable that we actually have to tell retailers, ‘This is U.S. currency and it’s something that should be accepted,’” said Jonathan Alexander, executive director of the Consumer Choice in Payment Coalition, a group of businesses and nonprofits lobbying for the continued acceptance of cash.

The backlash has spurred some action. States like Colorado and Rhode Island have pushed back, banning cashless retail establishments. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are batting around bills that would make it mandatory for businesses to accept cash for purchases under $500.

But the future of these efforts remains uncertain. In the meantime, companies like RedyRef are cashing in, literally, doubling their shipments of reverse ATMs to keep up with demand from businesses ditching traditional cash transactions.

“It has been a pretty wild shift,” said Will Pymm, senior vice president. “Probably one of the biggest we’ve seen for a specific product, in such a short amount of time.”

Even as venues pocket fees from these new systems, the debate rages on whether this shift truly serves the public or merely lines the pockets of corporate giants. At stadiums, amusement parks, and beyond, the cost of going cashless continues to climb – and it’s everyday consumers who are footing the bill.

So next time you head out to a ball game, remember: bring your plastic, or be prepared to pay up.

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


JD Vance Dominates VP Poll at Turning Point Convention

Sen. J.D. Vance cemented his status as frontrunner to become Donald Trump’s running mate on Sunday, coming top in a poll of attendees at Turning Point Action’s People’s Convention in Detroit.

Trump’s pick is the subject of feverish speculation and the grassroots had its say with a poll run over the three day gathering of activists.

When 1,986 people at the Detroit event were asked who they favored out of Vance, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Sens. Marco Rubio and Tim Scott, some 43 percent said they favored senator from Ohio.

Scott was a distant second on 15.4 percent, Rubio took third with 7.7 percent, and Burgum, who in particular has been talked up by Trump in recent weeks, took seven percent.

The poll was conducted by Big Data Poll for Turning Point Action, the grassroots movement founded by Charlie Kirk.

Kirk said Vance was the clear winner.

‘He has consistently been one of President Trump’s most capable and articulate defenders and surrogates and he speaks right to the Midwest Americans who attended our Detroit conference,’ he told

‘These are precisely the blue wall voters we need to win in November to reclaim the White House. His message and appeal clearly resonates with this critical voting bloc.’

Insiders say Trump has narrowed his choice down to Vance, Scott, Rubio or Burgum, although he is notorious for changing his mind or throwing in curve balls to keep people guessing.

Vance has become one of Trump’s most visible cheerleaders since being elected to the Senate and can count on his friendship with the former president’s eldest son, Don Jr. to help his case.

He rose to prominence with his 2016 memoir ‘Hillbilly Elegy.’ Its story of living with poverty and observations of addiction in Appalachia became a ‘Rosetta Stone’ for understanding life in forgotten parts of America and the corresponding popularity of Trump.

However, he was an outspoken critic of Trump before becoming one of his closest allies, endorsing the former president early in the 2024 nominating race.

Vance closed Turning Point Action’s gathering in Detroit on Sunday afternoon. He was asked by an audience member what a vice president should do to drive forward Trump’s agenda.

Show loyalty, he answered, without being drawn on his own chances.

‘There are a lot of smart good people that Trump is looking at, but it also applies to our senators. It applies to our congressmen and women too,’ he said.

‘We need to have people who are supporting Trump not trying to stab him in the back. It’s very very simple.’

Last time around, Trump picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as a figure who could help win over evangelical Christians who were wary of voting for a thrice-married, trash talking businessman from New York.

This time, however, Trump has let it be known that he believes voters will only look at the top of the ticket, freeing him up to pick a loyalist who will defend him in a crisis.

Turning Point has emerged as a major force in the MAGA movement and has become increasingly influential in GOP politics under Trump.

Attendees were also asked about the Republican Party’s congressional leadership and for their attitudes on policy issues.

Overall they said they disapproved of the performance of Rep Mike Johnson as House speaker. Some 35.4 percent said they ‘strongly disapproved’ and 23.2 percent said they ‘somewhat disapproved.’

In contrast, only 7.9 percent said they ‘strongly approved’ and 23.6 said they ‘somewhat approved.’

Attendees’ Trumpist instincts were clearly on display when they were asked about Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader who has repeatedly clashed with the former president.

Almost 80 percent said they ‘strongly disapproved’ of his performance.

And a whopping 93.7 percent said they were opposed to sending more aid to Ukraine.

But it is the VP results that will dominate headlines. For his part, Kirk has made no secret that he believes Vance would be the best pick for VP.

‘He is young,’ he told before the results were released. ‘He has an amazing family and is the only veteran that is being considered of the finalists.

‘But most importantly, he’s a incredibly popular, successful politician from the region of the world where Donald Trump needs to win, which is the Rust Belt.’

There could still be surprises ahead.

On Saturday afternoon, Trump was introduced by Florida Rep. Byron Donalds at a Black church in a marginalized corner of Detroit.

‘He is on the list by the way and I don’t know if he’s gonna make it but he’s, … he’s on a list of a few people right?’ Trump told the crowd before turning to Donalds.

‘Would you like to be VP?’

Go deeper ( 3 min. read ) ➝


WATCH: Biden Appears to Freeze Up, Has to Be Led Off Stage by Obama at Mega-Bucks LA Fundraiser

President Biden appeared to freeze up on stage and had to be led off by Barack Obama at the conclusion of a star-studded campaign fundraiser in Los Angeles Saturday night.

The awkward moment took place after Biden and his predecessor sat for a 45-minute interview with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel at the Peacock Theater.

As the men stood for applause, Biden’s gaze seemed to become fixed on the crowd for a full 10 seconds until former President Barack Obama took his wrist and led him offstage.

The incident follows a spate of caught-on-camera moments where Biden appeared dazed or confused about where he was, including when he appeared to wander off at the G7 summit in Apulia, Italy, during parachute exhibition.

In that instance, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni stepped in to gently take Biden’s hand and lead him back in time for a group photo with other world leaders.

The Biden campaign raised more than $30 million at the event, which was attended by Hollywood luminaries like George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Barbra Streisand.

The event was also swarmed by hundreds of anti-Israel protesters, who attempted to block entry to the ritzy gala — tickets for which ranged from $250 to $500,000.

Dozens of police clad in riot gear formed a line outside the theater to prevent the protesters’ advance, who shouted jeers at the President including “Biden, Biden you’re a liar, we demand a ceasefire.”

The group also waved Palestinian flags and chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will live forever,” a slight variation on a slogan the Antidefamation League says calls for the eradication of Israel.

No arrests were made, according to the LAPD.

The $30 million haul — reportedly the most a Democratic candidate has ever raised in a single night — comes at a time when the Biden campaign is trying desperately to blunt the fundraising momentum of former President Donald Trump.

Trump raised more than $50 million during an April fundraiser in Florida, and took in tens of millions more after he was found guilty last month in his historic “hush money” trial.

Biden and Obama, as well as First Lady Jill Biden, stirred up the crowd with a collection of common talking points.

The trip hit Trump on everything from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, to moving the Supreme Court to the right, to threatening retaliation against his political adversaries.

Troubling polling for the Biden administration in recent weeks shows the incumbent lagging Trump in key states such as Arizona, Nevada and Florida.

A particularly ominous survey from Marist College earlier this week even shows Trump has carved out a small lead even in Biden’s boyhood state of Pennsylvania, with a majority of registered voters saying they were better off under the former president.

In an email, the White House hit back at critics who were troubled by the Biden footage, claiming they were, “once again by pretending the President taking in an applauding crowd for a few seconds is somehow wrong.”

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝


Texas Juneteenth Shooting Update: What We Know About Suspect So Far

Police are searching for a suspect who opened fire during a Juneteenth celebration in Texas over the weekend, killing two people and injuring over a dozen more.

The shooting began shortly before 11 p.m. on Saturday in Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, about 20 miles north of Austin.

Two people were pronounced dead at the scene and 14 more were transported to area hospitals with gunshot wounds, police said.

On Saturday night, the Round Rock Police Department released a description of a suspect they were searching for in connection with the shooting.

The suspect is described as a Black male with a thin build, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with short dreadlocks.

He was wearing a white hoodie at the time of the incident, police said.

“Turn yourself in,” Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks said in a message to the suspect during a press conference on Sunday night, according to CBS Austin.

“Turn yourself in. You’re man enough to carry a gun, pull the trigger. Be man enough to step up and turn yourself in.”

The shooting began after an altercation between two groups during a concert at the Juneteenth celebration in the park, Banks said during a news conference at the scene early on Sunday.

The shooting victims were not involved in the argument, Banks said.

Police officers and fire department personnel at the event immediately responded and began providing medical aid to the injured, Banks said. They were then taken to hospitals, he said.

“It is unfortunate that we were here celebrating a wonderful event and we have a tragedy that happens,” he said. “My thoughts and my prayers go out to the victims. My condolences go out to the families of the deceased.”

Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people in the United States learned they were free. Black Americans have celebrated the day with joy for generations, with parades, festivals and cookouts. In 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill passed by Congress that made Juneteenth, or June 19, a federal holiday.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the suspect or who may have witnessed the incident is urged to contact Detective Maio at 512-341-3135 or email [email protected].

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects involved in the shooting.

Go deeper ( 2 min. read ) ➝

Trending Today