Archive for Sarah Al-Arshani

The US Justice Department is asking for a temporary restraining order to block the restrictive new abortion law in Texas

Pro-choice abortion rally
Pro-choice activists protest during outside the US Supreme Court on March 4, 2020, as the Court heard oral arguments on a challenge to a Louisiana abortion law.
  • A restrictive abortion law went into effect on September 1 in Texas.
  • Last week, the US Justice Department sued over the law, which bans abortions after six weeks.
  • On Tuesday, the DOJ asked a federal judge to temporarily stop that law from being enforced.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Department of Justice filed an emergency motion asking a federal judge for a temporary restraining order that would stop Texas from implementing a new restrictive abortion law, on Tuesday.

"This relief is necessary to protect the constitutional rights of women in Texas and the sovereign interest of the United States in ensuring that its States respect the terms of the national compact," the DOJ said in its filing.

The DOJ said the law which bans abortions after six weeks has "gravely and irreparably impaired women's ability to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion across the State."

On Thursday, the US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the department had filed a lawsuit over the Texas law.

Garland called SB 8, or the Texas Heartbeat law, a "scheme."

The law went into effect on September 1, and barred people from having abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is around the six-week mark when a person may not yet know they're pregnant.

A Planned Parenthood news release said 85-90% of Texans who obtain abortions are at least six weeks into pregnancy.

The law also allows private citizens to bring civil cases against anyone who "aids or abets" an abortion.

"This kind of scheme to nullify the Constitution of the United State is one that all Americans - whatever their politics or party - should fear," Garland said.

On September 1, the Supreme Court refused to block the law in a 5-4 ruling. In that ruling, the court said it wasn't ruling on the merits of the law or the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal in the US but on whether or not it was able to intervene at that point.

In his dissenting opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts called the Texas law "not only unusual but unprecedented," for allowing private citizens to take the law into their own hands.

"The desired consequence appears to be to insulate the state from responsibility for implementing and enforcing the regulatory regime," Roberts wrote.

In its lawsuit filed on Thursday, the DOJ said the law was "clearly unconstitutional under longstanding Supreme Court precedent."

"There can be no dispute that S.B. 8 is contrary to the decades of precedent prohibiting states from banning abortions before fetal viability," the Justice Department said in its filing Tuesday.

Read the original article on Business Insider

More than 243,000 kids in the US got COVID-19 last week, the second-highest weekly total among kids since the pandemic started

Students walk to their classrooms at a public middle school in Los Angeles, California, September 10, 2021.
Students walk to their classrooms at a public middle school in Los Angeles, California, September 10, 2021.

More than 243,000 kids in the US were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past week, the second-highest week for child cases since the start of the pandemic, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reported.

In the week ending September 9, a total of 243,373 child COVID-19 cases were reported, per the AAP. During the last week of July, roughly 72,000 weekly cases were reported among children.

"After declining in early summer, child cases have increased exponentially, with nearly 500,000 cases in the past 2 weeks," the organization reported.

During the week ending September 9, kids accounted for 28.9% of the weekly caseload, while only making up 22.2% of the US population, the AAP reported.

As of September 9, almost 5.3 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, the AAP said.

The statistics come as schools across the country are opening for in-person instruction. In an emailed statement, Burbio, a data service monitoring school closures, reported that as of September 12, there have been nearly 1,700 in-person school closures across 386 districts in 38 states.

Public health experts have said more mask mandates and more people getting vaccinated would help curb the spread of the virus. However, there is still no COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in kids under the age of 12.

Some parents have asked their pediatricians to vaccinate their kids under 12 despite the lack of approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Centers for Disease Control and the AAP have warned against vaccinating children under the age of 12.

On Sunday, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA Commissioner, told CBS Pfizer's vaccine could be approved for emergency use in kids ages 5 to 11 by the end of next month.

"The FDA says it will be a matter of weeks, not months, to make a determination if they're going to authorize vaccines for kids between 5 to 11. I interpret that to be perhaps four weeks, maybe six weeks," Gottlieb said.

The AAP said it's not common for kids to develop severe illness from COVID-19, but that there is "an urgent need to collect more data" on the long-term impacts.

Read the original article on Business Insider

AOC used her first Met Gala appearance to send a message: ‘Tax the Rich’

A picture of Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wearing a dress with the phrase "Tax the Rich" at the 2021 Met Gala
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (L) attends The 2021 Met Gala Celebrating In America: A Lexicon of Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York City.
  • Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made her first Met Gala appearance on Monday.
  • She used the opportunity to send a political message.
  • The back of her white, strapless gown had "Tax the Rich" written in red.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

In her first Met Gala appearance on Monday, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent a clear message for the cameras and the celebrities in her midst: "Tax the Rich."

The progressive Democratic wore a white, strapless dress that had the message emblazoned in red on the back.

According to Vogue, the dress was created by Brother Vellies.

Ocasio-Cortez recently criticized Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin for urging Democrats to slow down the passage of a $3.5 trillion social spending bill, which she supports.

This year's Met Gala comes after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of last year's event. The theme this year is "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Joe Manchin says AOC is not entitled to her ‘own facts’ after she said he’s beholden to big energy companies

Sen. Joe Manchin
In this Aug. 5, 2021 photo, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., prepares to chair a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Manchin is trying to garner bipartisan support for a restoration of the Voting Rights Act
  • Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said AOC was wrong to say he has weekly meetings with energy companies.
  • "I keep my door open for everybody. That's totally false," Manchin told CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday.
  • Manchin has urged Democrats to slow down on passing a $3.5 trillion social spending bill.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said he "absolutely" does not have weekly meetings with Exxon and slammed Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after she said he was beholden to big energy companies.

Last week, Ocasio-Cortez criticized Manchin for urging Democrats to slow down the passage of a $3.5 trillion social spending bill.

"Manchin has weekly huddles w/ Exxon & is one of many senators who gives lobbyists their pen to write so-called "bipartisan" fossil fuel bills," Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet. "It's killing people. Our people. At least 12 last night. Sick of this "bipartisan" corruption that masquerades as clear-eyed moderation."

On Sunday, Manchin told CNN's Dana Bash it's "absolutely not true" that he has weekly meetings with big energy companies.

"I keep my door open for everybody. That's totally false," Manchin told Bash. "Those types of superlatives, it's just awful. Continue to divide and divide and divide."

He added: "I don't know that young lady that well. I really don't. I have met her one time, I think, between sets here. But that's it. So we have not had any conversations. She's just speculating and saying things because she wants to."

Bash said other Democrats have also said Manchin is opposing the bill because he's "bought and paid for by corporate donors."

Last week, in an interview with MSNBC, Democratic Rep. Katie Porter also questioned if Manchin was more "concerned about his corporate donors" than invest in American families.

Manchin said he opposed the bill because "it makes no sense at all."

"You're entitled to your own facts - I mean, your own opinions. You're just not entitled to create your own facts to support it. And that's exactly what they're doing," he told Bash.

Read the original article on Business Insider

One in 9 nursing home residents are being diagnosed with schizophrenia so understaffed facilities can better handle patients

Residents talk with a caregiver in the dining room at Emerald Court in Anaheim, CA on Monday, March 8, 2021.
Residents talk with a caregiver in the dining room at Emerald Court in Anaheim, CA on Monday, March 8, 2021.
  • One in nine nursing home residents across the country have received a schizophrenia diagnosis.
  • At least 21% of residents are on antipsychotic drugs, The New York Times reported.
  • The Times found that the diagnosis is given so residents can get those drugs to help facilities handle them.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

At least 21% of nursing home residents across the country have been prescribed antipsychotic drugs, with one in nine residents being diagnosed with schizophrenia, The New York Times reported.

Many of the diagnoses appear to be efforts to give residents sedative drugs such as Haldol, so understaffed facilities can better handle them, even when there is no evidence a patient has schizophrenia, the Times analysis found.

The diagnosis is given to treat residents for symptoms like restlessness and agitation.

Since 2012, there's been a 70% rise in the number of nursing home residents being diagnosed with the disorder.

In the US, schizophrenia is prevalent in 0.25% and 0.64% of the population.

The disorder, which presents psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorder, is usually diagnosed when someone is in their late teen to early thirties, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

"People don't just wake up with schizophrenia when they are elderly," Dr. Michael Wasserman, a geriatrician and former nursing home executive who has become a critic of the industry told the Times. "It's used to skirt the rules."

The Medicare website, which tracks the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes, found that about 15% of residents are on these drugs, but the Times analysis found that those statistics don't account for residents with a schizophrenia diagnosis. That means the true number of people on antipsychotic drugs is much higher.

Facilities do not have to report residents using antipsychotic drugs to the government if those residents are being given the drug to treat schizophrenia, the Times reported.

A May report from the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General found that about a third of nursing home residents who got a schizophrenia diagnosis in 2018 had no Medicare record of being treated for it.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services did not respond to Insider's request for comment at the time of publication but spokesperson Catherine Howden told the Times the agency was "concerned about this practice as a way to circumvent the protections these regulations afford."

Read the original article on Business Insider

The FBI released a 16-page declassified 9/11 document

9/11
The Twin Towers up in smoke on September 11, 2001.
  • Last month, President Biden said the Justice Department would review declassifying 9/11 investigation documents.
  • One of those documents was released Saturday on the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
  • The investigation was on the Saudi Arabian government's involvement in the attacks.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released a partially redacted 16-page declassified 9/11 document on Saturday night.

Last month, President Joe Biden said the Justice Department would review classified FBI documents on the 9/11 investigation and the alleged role of Saudi Arabia's government in the attacks.

The document released on Saturday was declassified on the 20th anniversary of the attack and is from 2016.

The released document had multiple witness testimonies and showed several connections between two of the hijackers and Saudi associates, but did not find any evidence that the Saudi government was involved in the attacks.

It said the FBI suspected Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi student in Los Angeles, of being a Saudi intelligence agent that was involved in giving two hijackers - Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar - help with travel, lodging, and money.

Fifteen of the 19 men who hijacked four airplanes on 9/11 were Saudi Arabian.

The Saudi government has repeatedly denied playing any role in the attacks. In a statement on Wednesday, the Saudi Embassy said it welcomed the declassification of the documents.

"As the administrations of the past four US presidents have attested, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has unwaveringly condemned and denounced the deplorable crimes that took place against the United States, its close ally and partner," the statement said.

9/11 Families United said the report made revelations "implicating numerous Saudi government officials, in a coordinated effort to mobilize an essential support network for the first arriving 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar."

"Twenty years ago today they murdered our loved ones and inflicted immeasurable pain and suffering on our lives," said Terry Strada of 9/11 Families United, whose husband, Tom, was killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. "Now the Saudis' secrets are exposed and it is well past time for the Kingdom to own up to its officials' roles in murdering thousands on American soil."

Read the original article on Business Insider

Howard Stern says people who refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine are ‘idiots’ and calls for mandatory vaccinations

howard stern
  • Howard Stern said unvaccinated Americans should be denied hospital access.
  • Stern called for vaccinations to be mandatory.
  • A recent CDC report found that those unvaccinated were 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Radio host Howard Stern said people who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are "idiots" and called for vaccinations to be mandatory.

"When are we gonna stop putting up with the idiots in this country and just say it's mandatory to get vaccinated? F--- 'em. F--- their freedom. I want my freedom to live," Stern said on his SiriusXM program on Tuesday. "I want to get out of the house already. I want to go next door and play chess. I want to go take some pictures. This is bull----."

There is no universal vaccine mandate, but on Thursday President Joe Biden did mandate vaccines for federal employees and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandated large employers require vaccinations or weekly testing.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released on Friday said that unvaccinated Americans were 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who got their shots.

Stern was especially frustrated that unvaccinated Americans were filling up hospitals across the country.

"The other thing I hate is that all these people with COVID who won't get vaccinated are in the hospitals clogging it up," he said. "So like, if you have a heart attack or any kind of problem, you can't even get into the ER. And I'm really of mind to say, 'Look, if you didn't get vaccinated [and] you got COVID, you don't get into a hospital.'"

"Go f--- yourself," Stern added. "You had the cure and you wouldn't take it."

Dr. Nicole Linder, chief hospitalist at OSF St. Francis Hospital Medical Group in Escanaba, Michigan, is urging people to get vaccinated and shared a story of a patient she named "Kathy" who had "adamantly" refused the vaccine and had contracted the virus. Linder said "death is imminent" for Kathy.

The lack of ICU beds has meant some people suffering from emergencies can't get care. An Alabama man died after he suffered a cardiac arrest and was not able to find an ICU bed in 43 hospitals across three states.

The rise in cases among the unvaccinated has also prompted a doctor in South Miami, Florida, to largely stop treating unvaccinated patients.

Dr. Linda Marraccini said she'd stop seeing unvaccinated patients starting September 15 to lower the risk of exposure to her immunocompromised patients.

"It's not fair for people who are unvaccinated to harm other people," Marraccini told Newsweek.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Newsom slams challenger Larry Elder for telling supporters to report election fraud ahead of Tuesday’s recall election

Gavin Newsom
In this Feb. 16, 2021, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference on the campus of the California State University of Los Angeles in Los Angeles
  • Last week, Trump claimed the California recall election would be rigged.
  • Challenger Larry Elder called on his supporters to report incidents of fraud, Politico reported.
  • Gov. Newsom slammed the effort as trying to sow doubt on the election.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom slammed recall challenger Larry Elder for sowing mistrust about California's recall election when Elder called on his supporters to report election fraud ahead of September 14, Politico reported.

On his campaign site, Elder added a "report election incident" link that leads to StopCAFraud.com, an anonymously registered website apparently created on August 27th that allows people to submit tips about ballot fraud.

"It's just an extension of the Big Lie and 'Stop the Steal,'" Newsom told reporters while voting with First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom at the California State Archives in Sacramento on Friday. "We're four days out, the election hasn't even happened, and now they're all claiming election fraud. I think it's important to highlight that."

The Sacramento Bee reported that Elder also threatened a lawsuit to challenge the election results. The election is set for Tuesday.

"We have a voter integrity board all set up - most of these are lawyers," Elder said Wednesday, according to CNN. "So, when people hear things, they contact us. We're going to file lawsuits in a timely fashion."

Newsom told The Bee that "there is a thread within the Republican Party that, if they don't get what they want, they are willing to assault the core tenets of an election in ways that have far-reaching consequences. It's very, very damaging and baseless, absolutely baseless."

Politico previously reported that former President Donald Trump has said the election is "probably rigged," without any evidence.

"The ballots... are mail-in ballots... I guess you even have a case where you can make your own ballot. When that happens, nobody's gonna win except these Democrats. The one thing they are good at is rigging elections, so I predict it's a rigged election," Trump said in an interview with Newsmax.

Trump and his allies waged dozens of lawsuits challenging the results of the 2020 Presidential election, all of which failed.

California Assemblymember Chad Mayes told Politico he's already been getting "texts saying 'don't let them steal it.'"

"It's this constant messaging that somehow if Republicans lose elections, it's because of voter fraud. It is wrong, it is dangerous, and it needs to stop," Mayes told Politico.

On Friday, Newsom said he would accept the election outcome.

Read the original article on Business Insider

There are more states with full mask mandates now than there were in July

Face masks required sign
  • Seven states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico, now have full mask mandates, NBC News reported.
  • That's six more states requiring both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to wear masks since July.
  • An additional six states require masks for unvaccinated people.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

There are six more states that have full mask mandates, for the vaccinated and unvaccinated, than there were at the end of July, NBC News reported.

Seven states: Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Louisiana, and Washington, as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have full mask mandates.

Additionally, another six states - California, Connecticut, Colorado, Indiana, New York, and Vermont - require masks for those unvaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended masks be worn in areas with high COVID-19 transmission, regardless of vaccination status.

Cases and hospitalizations have been on the rise as the more transmissible Delta variant spreads. The New York Times reported that the US is averaging over 160,000 new cases a day. By comparison, Around Memorial Day, the US had a daily average of fewer than 25,000 cases.

However, while some states reenact mask mandates, some are fighting against localities that try to impose their own.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis' issued an executive order banning school mask mandates. The state has withheld salaries for the board members of Alachua and Broward counties who defied the order and imposed mask mandates.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has previously said that states that bar schools from having mask mandates could face civil rights investigations.

Additionally, with estimates that another 100,000 Americans could die from COVID-19 by December 1, public health experts have said wearing masks could cut that number in half.

"We can save 50,000 lives simply by wearing masks. That's how important behaviors are," Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, told the Associated Press.

Experts have also stressed the need for more people to get vaccinated to help curb the spread of the virus and prevent another more transmissible or harmful variant.

So far, 53% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to data from the CDC.

If the tens of millions of Americans who haven't gotten their shot yet are vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the US could have a handle on the pandemic by spring 2022.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A GOP Senator said the Supreme Court will eventually ‘swat’ away Texas’ restrictive abortion law

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., takes an escalator from the Senate subway on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 30, 2021.
Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., takes an escalator from the Senate subway on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 30, 2021.

GOP Senator Bill Cassidy said he expects the US Supreme Court will "swat" away Texas' restrictive abortion law.

"I think the Supreme Court will swat it away once it comes to them in an appropriate manner," Cassidy said during an interview with ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

The Texas Heartbeat law, or SB 8, went into effect on Wednesday and bans abortions after six weeks, before most women know they're pregnant.

The Supreme Court refused to block the law in a 5-4 ruling. The ruling was not on the merits of the law or the landmark 1973 Roe V. Wade decision that made abortion legal in the US. Instead, the court said it couldn't step into the dispute, with a majority of the justices saying they were not ready for a full hearing.

"This order is not based on any conclusion about the constitutionality of Texas' law, and in no way limits other procedurally proper challenges to the Texas law, including in Texas state courts," they wrote.

Cassidy told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that the ruling "had nothing to do with the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade," but was about those bringing the case not having "standing" or not enough stake in the case to file the challenge.

"If it is as terrible as people say it is, it will be destroyed by the Supreme Court," Cassidy said.

Some supporters of legal abortion have called the decision a "soft" overturn of Roe v. Wade.

President Joe Biden was critical of the law and said it "will significantly impair women's access to the health care they need."

"It just seems, I know this sounds ridiculous, almost un-American," Biden said on Friday.

Cassidy said Democrats were using the ruling to distract from other issues, like the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

"People are using it to gin up their base to distract from disastrous policies in Afghanistan, maybe for fundraising appeals," Cassidy said. "I wish we would focus on issues as opposed to theater. It was about if they had standing, nothing to do with constitutionality. I think we should move on to other issues."

Read the original article on Business Insider