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California Ordered to Pay $2 Million in Church Legal Fees Over Coronavirus Shutdowns Case

A court has ordered the state of California to pay two million dollars to the churches shut down by COVID lockdowns.

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A court has ordered the state of California to pay two million dollars in legal fees to the churches engaged in lawsuits to stop the officials from shutting down their worship services.

Several groups of churches sued California for the lockdowns shuttering their houses of worship saying that the lockdowns were a violation of their constitutionally guaranteed religious liberties.

Some of these cases have been successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. With that in mind, the courts in California have no ruled that the state must pay up.

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The settlement includes a permanent injunction in line with Supreme Court rulings that found restrictions on houses of worship cannot exceed those on retail businesses, attorney Paul Jonna said.

“If they’re gonna restrict Costco to 50%, then they can do the same thing to churches,” Jonna said. “But what they were doing before, as you may remember, is they were keeping those places open and they were shutting down churches — at least in California — completely.”

The settlement has little practical impact after a Supreme Court ruling led the state in April to lift limits on indoor worship. As the state’s case rate of COVID-19 has plummeted since a deadly winter surge and vaccination rates rise, Gov. Gavin Newsom is poised to lift all restrictions on June 15.

Newsom’s office issued a statement saying he put the health of Californians first when he imposed closure orders. It said the settlements provide clarity on how public health standards can be applied to churches.

The governor’s actions were generally upheld until the churches began winning lawsuits. California Gov. Newsom began trying to pull back on his orders to mollify the churches, but he continued to insist on massive restrictions.

None of his attempts made the churches feel any better.

But the churches were right. These fake coronavirus restrictions were nothing but unconstitutional acts.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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MUST SEE: Brave Alaskan Helps Baby Moose Navigate Highway Barrier

Normally, stories about moose on the highway don’t end this well.

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Alaska is a state like no other.  It’s still a veritably untamed place, where the weather and the wildlife are both out to get you. It takes a special kind of person to hack it in America’s last frontier.  A simple run to the grocery store can be hazardous in some conditions, and just taking the garbage out at night may find you face-to-face with hundreds of pounds of brown bear. But ask any Alaskan what they hope to avoid the most, and many will tell you it’s the moose that you have to worry about. These creatures are simply enormous, and they have just enough of an attitude to be more than a nuisance when confronted.  Combine that with the fact that plenty of Alaskans are killed each year after automotive collisions with these gargantuan animals, and you have a real recipe for trouble. This week, however, a different sort of moose story made headlines, and with some adorable photos to show for it. Last week, pictures of a man in Alaska lifting a moose calf over a highway guardrail were posted on Facebook. According to Andrea N Salty Bock, who posted the pictures on Facebook, the calf and its mother were near Clam Gulch, on the Kenai Peninsula. The mother was apparently trying to get her baby to go over the guardrail, but it was too tall for the calf. “Traffic stopped to give her the room she needed,” the Facebook post said. “But the calf could not clear the guardrail.” The photos were captivating. Authorities, while thankful that the moose was able to continue on its way, warned that the situation was still a dangerous one, despite the size and age of this animal.

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Biden, Putin Appear Ready to Make Deal on Cyber Criminals

Well, it’s a start.

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Vladimir Putin

Of all of the ways in which this latest iteration of the Cold War has manifested itself in recent years, the insidious actors of the digital dimension may very well be the most prominent here in the 21st century. Notably, the den of online thieves and troublemakers who emanate from Russia, and often choose to target individuals and businesses in America.  In the past several weeks alone, hackers with ties to Russia have crippled a gasoline pipeline on the east coast of the United States and the world’s largest meatpackers. Now, as US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin look for ways to improve the ailing relationship between their two nations, a novel idea has risen in popularity. President Joe Biden signaled an openness to swapping cybercriminals with Russia ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday. “Yes, I’m open to, if there’s crimes committed against Russia that, in fact, people committing those crimes are being harbored in the United States, I’m committed to holding them accountable. I was told as I was flying here that he said that. I think that’s potentially a good sign of progress,” Biden said at a post-G-7 summit press conference in the United Kingdom on Sunday. Putin had raised the possibility during an interview over the weekend. “If we agree on the extradition of criminals, then Russia will naturally do that but only if the other side, in this case, the United States, agrees to the same and will also extradite corresponding criminals to the Russian Federation,” Putin said according to Russian news agency TASS. Of course, given that Russia has a history of neglecting the human rights of her prisoners, there is sure to be some pushback regarding the idea of sending “innocent until proven guilty” perpetrators…

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