Fox News 2024-02-23 04:33:30


Biden bashed for bragging SCOTUS couldn’t stop him from canceling student debt

President Biden asserting that the Supreme Court couldn’t stop him from canceling student debt set off social media users for his “assault on democracy.”

On Wednesday, Biden spoke at the Julian Dixon Library in Culver City, California, where he referenced his efforts to cancel more student loan debt. He noted that while his student debt handout program was initially halted by the Supreme Court, its ruling “didn’t stop” him.

“Early in my term, I announced a major plan to provide millions of working families with debt relief for their college student debt,” Biden said. “Tens of millions of people in debt were literally about to be canceled in debts. But my MAGA Republican friends in the Congress, elected officials and special interests stepped in and sued us. And the Supreme Court blocked it. But that didn’t stop me.”

Biden’s dismissal of the Supreme Court decision that ruled his plan unconstitutional angered and concerned many people on X.

CONSEQUENCES OF BIDEN’S PLAN TO CANCEL STUDENT LOAN DEBT, ACCORDING TO EXPERTS: ‘ENORMOUS CONSEQUENCES’

“Yesterday he was going on about how republicans were going to destroy ‘democracy,’” The Federalist senior writer David Harsanyi remarked on the irony.

RealClearInvestigations editor-at-large Benjamin Weingarten agreed, “We’ve been reliably told this kind of rhetoric is an assault on democracy.”

“One of the ‘nobody is above the law’ people is debunking that again,” Twitchy’s Doug Powers wrote.

Townhall.com columnist Derek Hunter commented, “Biden always sounds like death warmed over.”

“Biden explaining that he’s happy to break the law to give away your money,” Foundation for Economic Excellence editor-at-large Jon Miltimore summarized.

“The decay of checks and balances isn’t a flex,” Georgia Rep. Mike Collins warned.

Former Ted Cruz advisor Omri Ceren noted, “One striking thing about the political left is that, over and over again, across literally decades, they act as if they believe they’ll be in power forever.”

“Hope Democrats enjoy this precedent under the next GOP administration,” Targeted Victory vice president Logan Dobson added.

BIDEN’S $1.2B STUDENT DEBT CANCELLATION IS ABOUT ‘BUYING VOTES’ TO WIN RE-ELECTION, SAYS GOV NOEM

In June, the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that federal law does not allow Biden’s Secretary of Education to cancel more than $430 billion in student loan debt. Biden promised at the time that his administration would continue to push for his student debt relief plan. 

On Wednesday, he announced that Savings on Valuable Education (SAVE) plan that cancels debt for enrolled borrowers who have been in repayment for at least 10 years and hold $12,000 or less in student loan debt. Those with larger debts will receive relief after an additional year of payments for every additional $1,000 they borrowed.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

MSNBC says indictment vindicates ex-officials’ claims about Hunter Biden laptop

MSNBC made a leap on Thursday to declare that the ex-intel officials who peddled the Russian disinformation narrative about Hunter Biden’s laptop were actually “right” following the DOJ’s recent indictment of Alexander Smirnov.

Smirnov, an ex-informant for the FBI, was charged last week by Special Counsel David Weiss of making false statements alleging both President Biden and his son pocketed millions in bribes for the ousting of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings, on which Hunter sat as a board member. 

It has since been revealed by the DOJ that Smirnov had ties to Russian intelligence officials, who allegedly fed the Burisma narrative to him. 

FROM ‘SMEAR CAMPAIGN’ TO ‘RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION,’ LIBERAL MEDIA TEAMED UP TO DISMISS HUNTER BIDEN STORY

In light of the recent developments, MSNBC revisited the infamous open letter signed by 51 ex-intel officials in October 2020 responding to the bombshell reporting from The New York Post about Hunter Biden’s laptop, insisting the published emails had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

“The revelation of a Russia-linked informant here. It comes nearly four years after many in the American intelligence community warned Moscow was behind many of the allegations being levied at the Biden family,” Wllie Geist of “Morning Joe” began. “In a 2020 letter, 51 former US intel officials expressed concern about the source of a much-discussed story on the right: Hunter Biden’s laptop.”  

2022: THE YEAR THE HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP WAS FINALLY VERIFIED BY THE MEDIA

NBC News correspondent Ken Dilanian told Geist that those former intel officials “paid a steep price” for signing that letter. 

“House Republicans conducted an investigation. They brought some of them in to testify under oath. The Republicans said this was election interference, this was a bogus attempt to suppress a legitimate story. And as it turns out, they were right,” Dilanian said. “Not in the sense – they said that the laptop was part of a Russian information operation or had all the hallmarks of a Russian information operations. They didn’t say that the contents of the laptop were made up- and obviously we know that they weren’t. Many of them have been now corroborated. What they said was they were suspicious about why that story was emerging in the middle of an election campaign and whether Russian intelligence was flogging it or was somehow amplifying it.” 

“And now, they’ve been proven correct in the sense that we now know that Russian intelligence, at least according to the statements of this informant bolstered somewhat by this indictment, were feeding him information, false information,” Dilanian added. 

While he acknowledged that the ex-intel officials were “trying to help Joe Biden” with the open letter, Dilanian insisted the point they were making “holds up over time.”

MSNBC rejected the legitimacy of Hunter Biden’s laptop right out of the gate, with the same narrative. 

“Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough declared the story “false” and later claimed it was “so obviously” Russian disinformation, asking, “Why are we spreading the lies here?”

Co-host Mika Brzezinski cited multiple reports about intelligence agencies investigating former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani’s dealings with “alleged Russian agents,” as well as whether emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop are “linked to a foreign intel operation.”

“Deadline: White House” host Nicolle Wallace was more confident in dismissing Hunter Biden’s laptop, telling viewers, “We shouldn’t look at it as anything other than a Russian disinformation operation.” MSNBC anchor Katy Tur mocked the Post’s story, saying it “dropped like a bomb,” but to “wither under scrutiny, not really dropping like a bomb.”

MSNBC BURIES NBC NEWS REPORT ON HUNTER BIDEN LAPTOP, OFFERS LESS THAN 4 MINUTES OF COVERAGE

MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle criticized those who were covering the Hunter Biden controversy, referring to it as a “so-called story” with “unverified claims.”

“We are now four days away from the election and the truth is more important than ever,” Ruhle told her viewers at the time. “The truth is that we’re in the middle of a pandemic. The truth is that millions of Americans are out of work. The truth is we have to listen to science. And in these final days, instead of debating crowd size or unverified claims or conspiracy theories, we should be talking about policy, values and ideas.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

But in May 2022, NBC News joined several news organizations in their stunning reversals in verifying the laptop.

“NBC News obtained a copy of Biden’s laptop hard drive from a representative of Rudy Giuliani and examined Biden’s business dealings from 2013 to 2018 based on the information available on the hard drive and the scope of the documents released by the Senate,” NBC News said in a report about Hunter Biden’s lavish spending.

Special attorney hired by Willis to help prosecute Trump donated to her campaign

An expert Georgia prosecutor Fani Willis retained to help prosecute former President Trump donated $4,300 to her campaign for public office, records show. 

John Floyd, a prominent Atlanta attorney and partner at Bondurant Mixson & Elmore, was retained by Willis in 2021 to help her prosecute the former president. Floyd is one of the leading experts in Georgia’s intricate and complex racketeering statutes at play in the sweeping case against the former president. 

One expert told Fox News Digital that while Floyd’s donations present no ethical, legal or conflict-of-interest problems, the previous campaign donations could add to the mounting “optics” problems for Willis. 

According to public records, Floyd donated to Willis’ campaign for district attorney twice — $2,800 on March 20, and $1,500 on June 25, 2020, for a total of $4,300.

BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS AFTER WILD 2-DAY HEARING ON FANI WILLIS AFFAIR: ‘WHAT’S DONE IS DONE’

“John Floyd’s donating to Willis’ campaign and then subsequently serving as her special RICO prosecutor present no ethical, legal or conflict-of-interest problems, regardless of his political leanings or affiliations,” said John Shu, a constitutional law expert who served in both the George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations.  

5 EXPLOSIVE MOMENTS FROM FANI WILLIS’ HEATED TESTIMONY IN TRUMP FULTON COUNTY CASE: ‘IF THIS HAPPENS AGAIN …’

“Floyd is a well-known and well-respected litigator and RICO expert, and others from his law firm also donated to Willis’ campaign. Besides, there’s no way that any of them could have known in the spring and summer of 2020 that a Trump RICO case even would exist,” Shu added.

But, Shu said, “Willis created huge optics and conflict-of-interest problems for herself when she hired Nathan Wade, with whom she admitted to having a romantic relationship, regardless of when the relationship started,” Shu said. 

“Wade apparently has no felony or RICO [Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations] experience, and Willis is paying him $100/hour more than she is paying Floyd,” Shu said. 

“She wasn’t required to disclose Floyd’s donations, and they’re a matter of public record anyway, but now they exacerbate the already-bad Wade situation. She would have been better off being as transparent as possible and disclosing everything from the beginning,” Shu noted.

Both Willis and Wade confirmed they had a relationship but denied allegations of wrongdoing. Both testified in court last week that Wills always paid Wade back for her share of their travel in cash and said no receipts exist for those reimbursements.

Their testimony about the start of their relationship contradicted one witness who said she had “no doubt” that Wills and Wade’s “romantic” involvement started in 2019, before Wade was hired in 2021. 

Floyd told Fox News Digital in an email his campaign contributions “were made long before the election and could not have been related to events that had not occurred and could not have been anticipated at that time.

FULTON COUNTY DA FANI WILLIS ACCUSED OF LYING ABOUT TIMING OF AFFAIR WITH TRUMP PROSECUTOR

 “I contributed to Ms. Willis’ campaign because I knew from personal experience, including a seven-month trial as her co-counsel in 2014-15, that she would make a good district attorney. The voters reached the same conclusion, voting out a four-term incumbent,” Floyd said. 

Floyd added that he had previously served as a special assistant district attorney under DAs affiliated with both political parties and under an attorney general who was elected as a Democrat but subsequently changed his affiliation to Republican. 

He then served under his successor, a Democrat. As a special assistant district attorney, Floyd said he helped prosecute a sheriff who was elected as a Democrat. 

“No one has questioned my objectivity in any of those matters. There is no reason to be concerned about it now,” Floyd said. 

Public records also show that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, who is presiding over the Trump case and will determine if Willis’ should be disqualified from prosecuting Trump and his co-defendants, also donated to her campaign. 

In 2020 — prior to his judicial appointment while he was an assistant U.S. attorney at the Justice Department — McAfee donated $150 to Willis’ campaign.

McAfee held a two-day hearing last week to review evidence for a motion to disqualify Willis from the case. 

A bombshell admission by the defense’s key witness, Terrence Bradley, the former law firm partner and divorce attorney for Wade, came after he avoided answering certain questions, citing attorney-client privilege. Judge McAfee said he would hold an “in-camera” meeting with Bradley to determine if his privilege assertions are accurate.

McAfee said Bradley’s admission reopens questions about what Bradley refused to answer about what he knew about Wade and Fani Willis’ romantic relationship and when he knew. Bradley refused to answer, citing attorney-client privilege.

“Mr. Bradley previously testified that the reason he left the firm was totally and completely covered by privilege. When asked by the state, he went into a factual scenario that, to my mind, I don’t see how it relates to privilege at all. And so now I’m left wondering if Mr. Bradley has been properly interpreting privilege this entire time,” Judge McAfee said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

McAfee is expected to determine whether Bradley should take the witness stand again further evidentiary review.

Neither Willis nor McAfee returned Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 

Biggest snake species in the world discovered while filming with Will Smith in the Amazon

The green anaconda, an aquatic snake often found in South America’s Amazon region, is the largest of its kind — measuring nearly 21 feet in length, according to experts.

Now, the snake behemoth has been identified as two separate species — the northern green anaconda and southern green anaconda — after researchers initially assumed it was only one.

A study published in the journal MDPI Diversity used genetic data from four recognized anaconda species across nine countries.

STINGRAY’S ‘VIRGIN’ PREGNANCY: HOW SOME SPECIES CAN GET PREGNANT WITHOUT MATING

Explorers and researchers found that the northern green anaconda is “genetically distinct” from its southern relative by 5.5%.

By comparison, humans and chimpanzees differ only by 2%.

The researchers took blood and tissue samples from green anacondas in Ecuador, Venezuela and Brazil to make this discovery, which was documented exclusively by National Geographic for its upcoming series “Pole to Pole: With Will Smith.”

KANSAS FISHERMAN’S CRAPPIE RECORD REMOVED AFTER STEEL WEIGHTS ARE FOUND IN FISH’S STOMACH

The snakes were also closely examined to count their scales and record other physical traits that indicated “evolutionary divergence,” NatGeo reported.

“It’s clear that the snakes in the Waorani lands are indeed the biggest of all anacondas.”

Study co-author Bryan Fry — a National Geographic explorer and a biologist at the University of Queensland in Australia — told Fox News Digital in an email that the key species difference is geographic range.

The Amazon is made up of two separate basins — the large southern Amazon basin and the “much smaller” northern Orinoco basin.

“The southern green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) is found across a vast range spanning Brazil, Bolivia, Perú and parts of French Guiana,” he said. 

“By contrast, our newly described northern green anaconda (Eunectes akayima) is restricted to Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad, Venezuela and parts of French Guiana.”

WORLD’S LARGEST, RAREST OCEAN STINGRAYS SPOTTED AND TAGGED IN MOZAMBIQUE 

The new northern green anaconda can also reach larger sizes, researchers found.

“The Ecuadorian eastern rain forest has long been rumored to hold the largest of all anacondas, but until our expedition with Will Smith for National Geographic’s ‘Pole to Pole’ series, this had never been investigated,” Fry said.

“Not only because the area is so incredibly remote, but also because it’s the autonomous lands of the Waorani indigenous people.”

While scoping out the area, Fry noted that the size of the snakes “didn’t disappoint.”

The largest anaconda they encountered measured 6.3 meters, or 20.6 feet long, and weighed about 793 pounds. 

TEXAS ZOO WELCOMES THIRD GORILLA IN 115 YEARS AFTER DOCTORS PERFORM EMERGENCY DELIVERY

“But the Waorani regularly see snakes much larger than that,” Fry said. “They’ve seen snakes they reckon were over 8 meters and 800 kilograms. So, it’s clear that the snakes in the Waorani lands are indeed the biggest of all anacondas.”

Fry called the expedition into the heart of the Amazon a “true cross-cultural endeavor.”

The explorer was invited by Waorani Chief Penti Baihua to enter the Baihuaeri Waorani Territory in the Ecuadorian Amazon for this research.

The invitation was reportedly “one of only a handful granted since the tribe’s first contact in 1958,” according to Fry.

“It was a real honor.”

NEW YORK MAN WHO SMUGGLED PYTHONS INTO THE US BY HIDING THEM IN HIS PANTS SENTENCED TO PROBATION, FINED $5K

Fry and the Waorani collaborators were recognized as co-authors in the journal publication of the study, which Fry considers a “career-defining moment.”

“[It’s] a testament to the surprises that the natural world still holds,” he said.

“The success of this expedition and the inclusion of Waorani as equal partners really underscores the essence of what it means to be an explorer,” he added.

The Amazon offered a “kaleidoscope of challenges and wonders,” Fry said, including the surroundings of “dense canopy above … and the rivers below, serpentine paths cutting through the darkness of the jungle floor.” 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

“Our expedition was marked by the relentless heat, the omnipresent swarm of insects, and the symphony of the wild that crescendoed into the night,” Fry said. 

“I like nothing better than being overheated and underwashed while wading through swamps in search of giant snakes.”

The discovery also “serves as a stark reminder of the threats faced by the Amazon, including deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change and oil spills, which place this new species and the entire ecosystem in jeopardy,” Fry went on.

Although this discovery was a breakthrough, Fry said the team’s work in the Amazon is “far from complete,” as it continues to study the impact of frequent oil spills in the region.

“Our expedition was marked by the relentless heat, the omnipresent swarm of insects, and the symphony of the wild that crescendoed into the night.”

“Our future expeditions will focus on the collection and analysis of soil, water and biological samples, employing cutting-edge techniques to trace the pathways of these contaminants,” he said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

More on this discovery can be found at natgeo.com.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

‘Top Gun’ actor suing over unauthorized appearance in movie sequel

Barry Tubb appeared in the 1986 blockbuster “Top Gun,” but he didn’t act in the 2022 sequel, “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Now, Tubb is suing Paramount Pictures, the production company behind both films, for using a behind-the-scenes image of him from the first film in the later release. According to court documents obtained by Fox News Digital, Tubb is seeking unspecified damages for the unauthorized use of his likeness.

In the case, filed Wednesday, Tubb’s lawyers said that when the actor played the role of Lt. j.g. Henry “Wolfman” Ruth in “Top Gun,” he signed a contract agreeing for his likeness to be used only in the original film.

‘TOP GUN: MAVERICK’ STAR TOM CRUISE ADMITS HE ‘CRIED’ OVER ‘EMOTIONAL’ REUNION WITH CO-STAR VAL KILMER

At the time, “movie sequels were virtually nonexistent,” so the possibility of expanding the contract to include the use of his image in any future projects wasn’t discussed. Despite that fact, the documents state Paramount used the image “without seeking his permission and without compensation.”

The image in question is a photo of the fictional Top Gun Class of 1986, along with U.S. Navy pilots who acted as consultants during filming. It was altered to be used in the movie.

‘TOP GUN: MAVERICK’ PRODUCER JERRY BRUCKHEIMER SAYS ‘NOBODY WORKS HARDER’ THAN TOM CRUISE

In the scene in “Top Gun: Maverick,” the camera zooms in on the photo to show Tubb with Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards, the other principal members of the cast. According to Tubb’s case, his likeness used in that scene “is essential in a way that is not incidental.”

The argument is that Paramount used Tubb’s image for commercial gain — the documents note that “Top Gun: Maverick” was massively successful at the box office — without asking him or offering him compensation. His legal team also argues that his right to privacy was violated.

LIKE WHAT YOU’RE READING? CLICK HERE FOR MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

The court documents claim that a third party doesn’t own the copyright to the photo used in the film, but that Tubb does own his own image. Still, Paramount used it “for purely selfserving commercial purposes and their own business interests.” The documents also call the company “an unapologetic, chronic, and habitual infringer.”

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER

It’s also suggested that Paramount “upon information and belief” reached out to other actors for permission for “similar appearances” in the movie.

Tubb wants the amount of the damages to be determined in court, but his lawyers state that the amount shouldn’t be anything less than $75,000.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Paramount Pictures didn’t immediately return Fox News Digital’s request for comment. Tubb’s lawyers shared that the actor isn’t interested in making a public statement, but, “He believes the lawsuit and the exhibits speak for him. He’s disappointed that it had to come to this, but trusts that the legal process will produce a just result.”

US successfully lands on the moon for the first time in more than 50 years

The U.S. witnessed Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus lunar lander touch down near Malapert A in the South Pole region of the moon on Thursday evening.

This marked the first American spacecraft has landed on the moon since the last crewed Apollo mission over 50 years ago. The last time an American spacecraft touched down on the moon was in 1972, during the Apollo 17 mission.

The lunar lander touched down at 6:24 p.m. ET Thursday, and its mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative and Artemis campaign.

Although the lander was believed to be on the moon, the signal being transmitted by the equipment was lost.

CELLPHONE OUTAGE HITS AT&T CUSTOMERS NATIONWIDE; VERIZON AND T-MOBILE USERS ALSO AFFECTED

In order to get that signal, the crew needed to use a dish in the U.K., because the lander’s transmission had been lost at landing.

Nearly 15 minutes later, a faint signal was detected.

“We’re not dead yet,” Mission Director Tim Crain said, before telling the team the equipment was on the surface of the moon and transmitting.

SPACEX ROCKET BLASTS OFF CARRYING INTUITIVE MACHINES’ MOON LANDER

A SpaceX rocket carried the Houston-based company’s Nova-C lander, also referred to as Odysseus, from Florida shortly after 1 a.m. on Feb. 15 on a Falcon 9 rocket departing from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. The launch unfolded after a lunar lander from Astrobotic Technology encountered propulsion difficulties during a mission in January and failed to reach the moon. 

The uncrewed spacecraft has been circling the moon about 57 miles above the surface since reaching orbit on Wednesday and remained “in excellent health” while roughly 239,000 miles from Earth, transmitting flight data and lunar images to Intuitive Machines’ mission control center in Houston, the company told Reuters. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS 

NASA said in a statement that the instruments onboard the lander “will conduct scientific research and demonstrate technologies to help us better understand the Moon’s environment and improve landing precision and safety in the challenging conditions of the lunar south polar region, paving the way for future Artemis astronaut missions.” 

FOX Business’ Greg Norman and Reuters contributed to this report.

Teacher fired for exposing 10-year-olds to gender ideology sues school district

A Georgia teacher who lost her tenure and was fired after she read a book containing a gender ideology message to 10-year-old kids sued her former employer with the help of her local teacher’s union. 

Katherine “Katie” Rinderle was a teacher at Due West Elementary School in the Cobb County School District for over a decade until she was fired for introducing gender ideology to students, despite having earned tenure. 

The district has a policy in place that restricts teachers from discussing topics that are “controversial,” “divisive” and “sensitive.” The lawsuit, filed Friday, said the policies and termination were causing a stifling environment for teachers to create inclusive classrooms. 

Rinderle’s lawsuit, supported by the Georgia Association of Educators, did not dispute she had read the book “My Shadow is Purple” to students. 

‘WOKE KINDERGARTEN’ TEACHER CALLS FOR DESTRUCTION OF AMERICA: ‘WE’VE BEEN TRYING TO END Y’ALL’

The book “teaches children about non-binary identities,” a review from Social Justice Books said. 

“It is important that the child being non-binary is not painted in a negative light or criticized by their parents. It shows how parents can support and boost their child’s confidence. The author has positive messages for people that are different,” the review continued. 

However, not all parents felt the same way.

TEXAS SUPERINTENDENT DOUBLES DOWN ON SUSPENDING BLACK STUDENT FOR DREADLOCKS HAIRSTYLE, VIOLATING DRESS CODE

For example, during Rinderle’s hearing in August, a mom said she was “disgusted” by the book reading, especially since she wasn’t able to be the first to bring up the topic with her child. 

Additionally, the district found Rinderle to be “adversarial,” “disingenuous” and “deceptive,” according to Employee Relations and Evaluations director Christopher Dowd.

The lawsuit argued that the former elementary school teacher did not teach students gender ideology per se, she merely read the kids a book on it and did not discuss it after the fact. The complaint further placed the origins of the book reading on the children, saying the students requested the book to be read in class. 

Dowd, during his testimony at the August hearing, alleged that “a lesson was taught about gender identity and gender fluidity. We are also concerned that Ms. Rinderle introduced her own personal feelings on the matter.”

He also said he found her defense that the students allegedly selected the book to display a lack of accountability.

“There was not a point where she accepted that as a teacher she would be responsible for anything that entered the classroom,” Dowd said. “I never heard her ask about the students… The concerns were always self-directed.” 

Rinderle was, at first, put on administrative leave as it was probed whether her conduct violated the district’s policy. The Cobb County School Board voted in August to terminate Rinderle and the Georgia School Board of Education upheld the termination Thursday. 

WELCOME TO HARVARD, WHERE YOU CAN SPEND $317,800 TO LEARN ABOUT ‘QUEERING THE WORLD,’ THREESOME DATING APPS

The suit argued that the district’s “vague censorship policies enable arbitrary, discriminatory, and retaliatory enforcement against educators… who support LGBTQ students.”

“Rinderle has been terminated simply for reading an award-winning children’s book, written from the perspective of a student who does not conform to gender stereotypes, to her fifth-grade students,” it continued. 

Therefore, the actions by the district, the suit argued, were causing concern among teachers who would like to introduce LGBTQ content to students.

“Defendants’ Censorship Policies, practices, and actions, as described herein, prohibit teachers from… presenting information about gender identities and/or expressions that do not conform to sex stereotypes,” the suit said.

A teacher currently employed by the district was also named as a plaintiff and sought changes to the district’s interpretation or enforcement of its policies.

“Defendants’ Censorship Policies and their enforcement of the policies to prohibit, upon pain of termination, teachers from discussing topics, presenting material, or otherwise providing age-appropriate information to students about people whose gender expression, gender identities and/or sexual orientation violate sex stereotypes is prohibited sex discrimination,” the suit said. 

The district was contacted for comment and did not immediately respond in time for publication.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP   

“Rinderle remains unemployed and is still reeling from the ‘shock at being so highly praised in my career to have it go away suddenly,'” the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is representing Renderle, said. 

“Cobb County’s district leadership has weaponized its vague censorship policies to terminate Katie Rinderle and caused fear and confusion among Cobb County educators who want safe and inclusive classrooms for their students,” Michael Tafelski, SPLC senior supervising attorney, said. 

Chicago school board votes to remove police officers from schools amid violence

The Chicago Board of Education voted on Thursday to end its contract with Chicago police and remove uniformed officers from the city’s schools.

The vote came at the end of a nearly eight-hour school board meeting in which teachers, students and elected city officials spoke.

The battle on whether to keep the uniformed police officers in the 39 city schools where they continue to patrol, out of 634 schools, has been going on since police were assigned to protect the schools in 1991.

Some students told school board members that police in the schools scare them.

CHICAGO SCHOOL PRINCIPAL SAYS POLICE ARE IN SCHOOLS ‘THAT WANT THEM’ AFTER THE MAYOR SUPPORTED THEIR REMOVAL

Supporters of removing police from schools said the officers targeted minorities and did not make schools safer.

Instead, the same supporters suggested the money spent on police patrols could be better spent.

Opponents of removing police from schools claim the officers made the schools safer, telling board members it should be up to the individual schools to decide whether to have uniformed police on the premises.

CHICAGO MAYOR SLAMMED AFTER CITY APPROVES RESOLUTION CALLING FOR CEASE-FIRE IN GAZA AS CRIME RUNS RAMPANT

FOX 32 in Chicago reported that when the board cast their votes, it was in favor of a new “Whole School Safety Policy,” which eliminates the use of school resource officers.

The official plan will be presented to board members for final approval over the summer, and if approved, it goes into effect next school year.

“We want to be clear that many schools will still employ physical safety personnel like security guards at points of entry, and crossing guards and Safe Passage workers to ensure students can get to and from school safely,” the board said in the letter obtained by the station. “Some schools will also continue to use physical security tools such as security cameras or metal detectors. Furthermore, each school will still maintain a relationship with their local Chicago Police Department ‘School Sergeant,’ a position assigned to each police district to provide safety support to schools.”

The board also reportedly said in the letter the funding used for uniformed officers in schools will be reallocated for “alternative safety positions, resources, and interventions,” like restorative justice coordinators, youth intervention specialists, wrap-around supports and mentoring programs, and more.

LIBERAL CHICAGO MAYOR CLAIMS REPARATIONS WILL REDUCE CRIME

Earlier in January, the Chicago Board of Education was reportedly seeking to strip Local School Councils, organizations made up of parents, teachers, and students, of their power to choose whether to have SROs at their schools. After taking the decision away from local councils, the board will remove all officers from school grounds, according to local outlet WBEZ. 

Alderman Nicholas Sposato had reportedly already been told that CPS would not opt out of renewing its contract with the Chicago Police Department.

The Illinois Policy Institute, a think tank that tracks policy decisions in the state, said, “Local School Councils already have the power to remove officers, but district leaders are taking away that local control.”

The Chicago Teachers Union, (CTU) advocated for police officers to be removed from schools in 2020, amid the George Floyd protests. 

“These students along with the parents, teachers and staff that support them have looked at the data, experienced the brutality and are calling for police-free schools,” the CTU said in a statement in June 2020.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Some schools opted to remove officers from their premises in 2020. William Taft Howard High School was among the few that voted to keep them.

William Howard Taft High School is one of 151 high schools in CPS and serves over 4,000 students. CPS presides over 646 schools and 300,000 students.

For News Digital’s Joshua Q. Nelson contributed to this report.

Zelenskyy appeals to Trump, Congress to see ‘tragedy’ of Russia invasion

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in an exclusive FOX News interview, appealed to President Biden and Republican front-runner Donald Trump to visit Ukraine and see for themselves at the front lines of “this tragedy.”

“I’m happy to see all the candidates and all the people who are decision-makers or can support not to be against just to understand what the war in Ukraine means,” Zelenskyy told FOX News chief political anchor and executive editor of “Special Report” Bret Baier. 

“Who opened this war, who began it, and what’s going on, what’s around,” Zelenskyy said. “What brilliant Ukraine we had. We have [a] beautiful country, but in the war it’s another picture and other lives,” adding that the candidates should “Come see people, just to see them on the streets.” 

Baier met with Zelenskyy near the front lines in Kharkiv, just a few kilometers from heavy fighting. Distant artillery shots and explosions peppered the background of the interview and throughout the morning as the team set up for the interview. 

ZELENSKYY PRAISES ‘HEROIC’ SOLDIERS IN PREVIEW OF BRET BAIER’S EXCLUSIVE FOX NEWS INTERVIEW: ‘NO PLAN B’

Zelenskyy underscored the value of hosting the interview in such a precarious location, saying, “It’s very important for me, like I said before we started … the United States [needs] to see different war in the capital and here closer to [the] front line.” 

Baier confronted Zelenskyy with Trump’s famous quote in which he claimed that he would end the war in 24 hours, which the Ukrainian president still “can’t understand how” Trump would achieve such a feat. 

“He can’t solve this problem, this tragedy with me,” Zelenskyy said. He said he would host the former President on the frontlines where he “will explain everything, and he will explain what his thoughts, maybe he has some ideas. I don’t know.” 

He continued, “he will see what’s going on, and after that, I think he will change his mind, and we all understood that there is no two sides of this war: There is only one enemy, and this is the position of Putin,” Zelenskyy insisted. 

ICONIC FORMER POLISH PRESIDENT MESSAGE TO LAWMAKERS ON UKRAINE: ‘IF WE DON’T ACT NOW, WE WILL LOSE’

Zelenskyy agreed that the Russian people could create change within their country and remove Putin, but that task remains a long and difficult road, particularly as “Putin is afraid only of strong, and he’s not accepting any weakness,” which means that Ukraine must be “strong on the battlefield, prevent [Russia] from occupying anything.” 

“His positions will be weaker if with more and more casualties, the people in Russia will see those doubts that will be against this war,” Zelenskyy explained. “This wave is something that we need.”

When asked about the losses his forces have suffered, Zelenskyy remained vague, citing “tens of thousands” but spinning the losses as fewer than Russia has suffered, claiming – and yet to be verified – that Russia loses five soldiers for every one Ukrainian soldier killed. 

BOYFRIEND OF BALLERINA DETAINED IN RUSSIA SAYS IT ‘MAKES ME HOPEFUL THAT AMERICA’S FIGHTING FOR HER’

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense has estimated that Russia has lost more than 400,000 troops. Those losses have amounted to small gains since the start of the war, with Russia only succeeding in taking the city of Avdiivka near Donetsk. 

Russia has experienced a roller coaster year, starting with the embarrassing rebellion of mercenary warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin – who later died when his plane spontaneously exploded – before spending months stymying Ukraine’s much-touted counteroffensive. Putin grew so confident that he ended the U.N.-brokered grain deal.

Ukraine turned around those failures and finished out the year with significant wins over Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which allowed Kyiv to create a new grain corridor and forced Putin to replace his naval command. 

“You remember and you remind today that those days of the war, nobody in the world really believed that we will do it,” Zelenskyy told Baier. “Today, sometimes we have – and also in Congress … we have good relations because we met a lot of time, [and] they say, “When? When we will finish the war? When we will win? Why so slowly?”

IRAN DELIVERS HUNDREDS OF BALLISTIC MISSILES TO RUSSIA AS UKRAINIAN DEFENSE FALTERS

The effort to continue the support from the U.S. Congress and other Western allies remains, and also to convince several holdouts in Congress including Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio.; Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.; and Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.; all who have spoken against continued support for Ukraine

Vance has argued that he sees little sense in “unlimited, unaccounted-for aid to Ukraine without any goals in mind,” while Tuberville found it difficult to continue “paying Ukrainian farmers” after “we just punted the farm bill for American farmers [to] next year.” 

Asked about his message to Congress, Zelenskyy said he was thankful for everything the president and Congress have done. “My message is, if they want to be very pragmatic, the price, we are asking now to support, this price is less than it will be in the future … They will pay much more, much more. We just want to live, to survive. We don’t have alternative.”

He continued, “Congressman, just people with their families, with their children. And I think they understand that we are just trying to save our houses with children and just say that if you think that we are fighting for the common values, so let that help us and let’s support, let’s be in unity.”

Zelenskyy responded to criticisms over corruption and reports that he canceled the country’s elections, saying that he never canceled them, noting that during wartime there was a law in place that didn’t allow them to run them. He also said, given his present popularity and were there an election today he would be reelected by the people.

On American fears of corruption in Ukraine, Zelenskyy said that, “everything is clean,” noting that they followed the reforms demanded by the European Union but he also said it was hard to put in new “difficult anti-corruption reforms,” during wartime while stating E.U. leaders had signed off on Ukraine’s transparency.

Zelenskyy continues to insist that without aid from the West, Ukraine will not be able to maintain its defense but also to improve the strength of the country’s economy and stability, which could in turn allow the country to ramp up production of its own weapons again. Particularly, Kyiv needs “strong weapons, long-distance weapons, long-distance missiles and artillery.” 

“It’s not about the types, with the production,” Zelenskyy clarified. “Increasing it each day, yes, and air defense just to defend people to give possibility, economy to increase it means give possibility of security situation.”

PRESSURE GROWS ON JOHNSON TO MAKE MOVE ON UKRAINE AID AS RUSSIAN INVASION NEARS 2-YEAR MARK

“If people, Ukrainians, will come back the economy will increase,” he continued. “A lot of jobs, a lot of taxes, so, I mean, this is to be more strong and of course, to push them as much as possible, to push them. And in this position, in the strong position, we found one very important diplomatic route. It’s a document. When it will be ready, it doesn’t matter where it will stay.”

“At this time, what I wanted to say, it doesn’t matter,” he insisted. “It will be strong. In all the cases I set and if we will have the document with the most big countries, important countries, decisionmakers in the world on our side, of course, we can find a political negotiation.”

The question of a diplomatic resolution has hit a new stumbling block after a recent interview in which Putin claimed Zelenskyy had signed a decree forbidding negotiations with Russia, insisting that Moscow has “never refused” to negotiate.

After saying he did not need to hear more than two hours of “bull—-” about Ukraine, Zelenskyy blasted Putin’s claims and dismissed him as an untrustworthy person: He recalled that French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz both received assurances from Putin that Russia would not occupy Ukraine. 

He also belittled Putin’s insistence that Russia had no interest in going to Poland, Latvia or “anywhere else,” adding that people around Putin have said he’s “not willing to stop until they reach their goals.”  

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

At one stage of the interview, Baier asked Zelenskyy about attempts made against the Ukrainian president’s life. Zelennskyy said that after the fifth attempt it was “not interesting for me now.”

Asked when he thought the war would end after nearly two years of intensive fighting, Zelenskyy said that “The world is not really ready for Putin to be able to lose his power. The world is afraid of changes in Russian Federation. The United States and the European countries and the global South can choose. 

Zelenskyy had this warning, “Putin has broken all the red lines. He’s an inadequate person, that he was a threat to the whole world, that he will destroy NATO. And he will try to do that. So when the world will understand that, okay, that’s it. So in this moment, the war will end.”