Nashville DA won’t enforce new bathroom sign law | National News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville’s top prosecutor said Monday that he will not enforce a newly enacted law that requires businesses and government facilities open to the public to post a sign if they let transgender people use multiperson bathrooms and other facilities associated with their gender identity.

“I believe every person is welcome and valued in Nashville,” Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk said in a statement. “Enforcement of transphobic or homophobic laws is contrary to those values. My office will not promote hate.”

Funk’s office clarified that this refusal to enforce “transphobic or homophobic laws” specifically included the first-of-its kind measure signed by Republican Gov. Bill Lee earlier this month.

The move, along with the flurry of other anti-transgender laws approved by Lee, has sparked alarm among LGBTQ advocates. Many have decried the latest measure as discriminatory and said the required signs are “offensive and humiliating.” The law will go into effect July 1.

However, questions have remained about how specifically it will be enforced.

Republican Rep. Tim Rudd, who sponsored the legislation, told a legislative committee in March that the bill “does not provide any fines or penalties at this point,” and the amended version passed by that committee became law. Rudd has also said that the law could be enforced by people filing lawsuits or district attorneys asking a judge to force businesses to comply.

Yet Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference President Amy Weirich argued that the language in the new law “doesn’t speak to anything having to do with enforcement.”

“The way it’s written, I don’t see anything that allows or provides me the responsibility or right to go to civil court and ask a judge to enforce it,” said Weirich, Shelby County’s district attorney.

Lee did not have a strong reaction when pressed by reporters Monday on Funk’s refusal to enforce the bathroom sign law.

“I think his decision will be his own,” he said. “I signed the law; it’s his decision how he wants to respond to it.”

Lee’s response was markedly different than when Funk announced in September he would not enforce a new law that required abortion providers to tell their patients it may be possible to reverse the action of abortion medication half-way through the procedure. Funk said at the time he believed the law was unconstitutional.

Without naming Funk, Lee’s office tweeted that, “A district attorney purposefully disregarding current, duly enacted laws by the legislature is a grave matter that threatens our justice system and has serious consequences.”

———

Associated Press writer Jonathan Mattise contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Tennessee bathroom law sponsor now says it has penalties | National News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The sponsor of Tennessee’s new law requiring businesses and government facilities to post signs if they let transgender people use the bathrooms of their choice now says owners and officials who refuse could face up to six months in jail — a penalty that went unmentioned during legislative hearings and debate.

The question of who would do the enforcing remains murky as well.

Republican Rep. Tim Rudd, who sponsored the bathroom sign bill, said a class B misdemeanor could apply to those who won’t post the signs within 30 days of being warned they’re breaking the law. That seems to contradict what Rudd told fellow lawmakers in March. He said then that the bill version that would become law “does not provide any fines or penalties at this point.”

He has since argued that he was telling the truth because while the bill itself was silent about any penalty, it was inserted into a chapter of existing building code law that already penalizes a number of violations. This law broadly defines such violations as a class B misdemeanor for non-compliance with such things as smoke alarm requirements and air conditioning regulations. Such crimes are punishable by the jail time and a $500 maximum fine. The Chattanooga Times Free Press first reported on the criminal penalties.

The Tennessee law, approved with nearly all Republicans in both chambers in favor and almost all Democrats opposed, was signed by Gov. Bill Lee on May 17. It’s one of five new state laws this year that have drawn backlash from LGBTQ advocates, including the Human Rights Campaign, which decried the sign mandate as discriminatory and “offensive and humiliating.” The American Civil Liberties Union is recruiting businesses as possible plaintiffs in a likely lawsuit. The requirement begins July 1.

This week, Rudd said he did intend for the law to carry the criminal penalty and only “answered the question he was asked” during the committee meeting in March. When the AP asked him earlier this month about enforcement and penalties, Rudd did not mention the criminal penalties, saying district attorneys could ask a judge to force compliance and judges could seek “whatever judicial remedies the court deems appropriate” if a business won’t post the signs, or people could file civil lawsuits.

In the March committee meeting, Rudd also said there would be “no state department overseeing this right now because there is no fine” and said it would be possible “someone could press charges, then it would be up to a sheriff and a DA to investigate.”

“So all the questions I got — ‘does your bill provide any penalties?’ — well, no, it’s already in code. I wasn’t asked that question,” Rudd told The Associated Press.

Democratic Rep. Bill Beck, who asked Rudd about what penalties would exist, said he misled his fellow lawmakers.

“It was a misleading statement to the entire, full State Committee, some 20 representatives,” Beck, who opposed the bill, told the AP. “Very discouraging to pass

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Tennessee to mandate bathroom signs about transgender use | National News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee will become the first state in the United States to require businesses and government facilities open to the public to post a sign if they let transgender people use multiperson bathrooms, locker rooms or changing rooms associated with their gender identity.

Republican Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill Monday that represents a first-of-its-kind law, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group that decried the bill as discriminatory and said the required signs are “offensive and humiliating.” The law will go into effect July 1.

Lee, who is up for reelection next year, had previously been mum on whether he would sign the bill. Instead, he told reporters earlier this month that he always had “concerns about business mandates” but was still reviewing the bill.

Lee’s approval came just a few days after he signed legislation that puts public schools and their districts at risk of losing civil lawsuits if they let transgender students or employees use multiperson bathrooms or locker rooms that do not reflect their sex at birth. It was the first bill restricting bathroom use by transgender people signed in any state in about five years, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Lee also signed a different proposal this year that bars transgender athletes from playing girls public high school or middle school sports.

Republican statehouses have been awash in culture war legislation across the country this year, particularly focusing on the LGBT community. Tennessee has been the front lines on that fight, with civil rights advocates pointing out that only Texas has filed more anti-LGBT bills in the country.

Yet, to date, there has been no big, tangible repercussion where bills have passed targeting transgender people, unlike the swift backlash from the business community to North Carolina’s 2016 “bathroom bill.” In Tennessee, the bills are becoming law despite letters of opposition from prominent business interests.

According to the bill signed Monday, the required sign outside the public bathroom or other facility would say: “This facility maintains a policy of allowing the use of restrooms by either biological sex, regardless of the designation on the restroom.”

However, questions remain about how the law will be enforced and what, if any, consequences will stem from ignoring it. The law doesn’t spell out fines, penalties or any other mechanism to ensure the signs are put up when required.

Republican Rep. Tim Rudd, the bill’s sponsor, said no state department will oversee compliance with the law. Instead, Rudd said, local district attorneys could seek a court order to require a facility to post the sign. If an entity refused to comply, “it would open the door for whatever judicial remedies the court deems appropriate,” Rudd said.

Additionally, it’s possible that noncompliance could lead to civil liability, Rudd said.

“Whether you’re a man or woman, don’t you want to know who might be waiting on the other side of a bathroom door when you go in?” Rudd said in a statement. “Everyone has a

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Exclusive: White House Moves Forward on Two More Arms Sales to Taiwan – Sources | World News

By Mike Stone, Patricia Zengerle and David Brunnstrom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House is moving forward with more sales of sophisticated military equipment to Taiwan, telling Congress on Tuesday that it will seek to sell MQ-9 drones and a coastal defensive missile system, five sources familiar with the situation said.

The possible sales, which are likely to anger China in the run-up to the Nov. 3 U.S. election, follows three notifications first reported by Reuters on Monday.

China considers Taiwan a wayward province that it has vowed to reunite with the mainland, by force if necessary.

Reuters broke the news in September that as many as seven major weapons systems were making their way through the U.S. export process as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China.

The pre-notification to Congress for the MQ-9 drone case is the first after President Donald Trump’s administration moved ahead with its plan to sell more drones to more countries by reinterpreting an international arms control agreement called the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committees have the right to review, and block, weapons sales under an informal review process before the State Department sends its formal notification to the legislative branch.

(Reporting by Mike Stone, Patricia Zengerle and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Additional reporting by Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Brookshire brings community kitchen to Acadiana to help feed those affected by Hurricane Delta | News

Brookshire Grocery Co., the company that owns Super 1 Foods, is deploying a community kitchen and a team of employee-partners to serve free hot meals to people who have been affected by Hurricane Delta in Acadiana, according to a statement from the company.

Starting Sunday, a team will serve sausage biscuits for breakfast and hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch and dinner in the Super 1 Foods parking lots listed below, while supplies last at each location.

Sunday

11:30 a.m. — 215 W. Willow St. in Lafayette

5 p.m. — 924 Rees St. in Breaux Bridge

Monday

8 a.m. — 939 S. Lewis St. in New Iberia

11:30 a.m. — 939 S. Lewis St. in New Iberia

5 p.m. — 2210 Veterans Memorial Drive in Abbeville

Tuesday 

11:30 a.m. — 1800 W. Laurel St. in Eunice

5 p.m. — 2418 S. Union St. in Opelousas

Wednesday

8 a.m. — 2418 S. Union St. in Opelousas

Despite widespread damage and outages, a sigh of relief that Delta wasn’t worse in Acadiana

Hundreds of thousands still without power in Louisiana, more than 20k in East Baton Rouge

Lafayette, Vermilion school districts opt to cancel school early next week after Hurricane Delta damage

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CapFed Best News: Jong’s Thai Kitchen opens with customers’ needs in mind – News – The Topeka Capital-Journal

Banjong Jongthep has always dreamed of owning her own restaurant. After working at Tuptim Thai and co-owning A-Hann Thai, she has branched out and decided to run her own kitchen.

JongThep, along with co-owners Nimm and Derek Ragsdale, has opened Jong’s Thai Kitchen at 800 S.W. 12th St. Many will recognize the Thai restaurant’s new home as the former location of Cafe Holliday and, for a short time after that, La Casita Cafe.

While small inside, the restaurant offers customers a warm and inviting feel. Large windows at the front of the restaurant are framed by trees and offer a nice view of the park located across the street.

The restaurant, which opened Sept. 21, specializes in Thai dishes that are handcrafted by Jongthep herself.

Jong’s Thai Kitchen is open 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 8 p.m. Saturday. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

The dishes are packed with flavor and Jongthep will cater to her customers’ needs. If someone comes in and wants an item that isn’t on the menu and she has time, she will cook it.

“A lot of people say, ’Banjong, I don’t know what to eat or what I want.’ I say, ’OK,’ ” Jongthep said. “I want you to come here and get what you want and make you happy.”

Her ultimate goal is to make sure her customers leave happy and serve them unique and fresh food.

The menu items are meals that the three owners like to eat and Jongthep has adapted them.

Melissa’s Chicken is stir-fried chicken breast marinated in a house seasoning with a touch of white rum, bell pepper, mushrooms, onion and basil in a brown sauce.

Ross’ Curry is made with a Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, bell pepper, Thai egg plant, bamboo shoot, peppercorn, krachai and Sriracha.

Linda’s Sweet Chili Noodle, which has been named after Derek Ragsdale’s mother, is pan-fried noodles with egg, mushrooms, onion and bell pepper with a Thai sweet chili sauce and Sriracha.

Derek Ragsdale said that since opening, business has been good.

“The community is really supportive and we’ve got people that kind of follow Jong’s cooking,” Derek Ragsdale said. “Family and friends definitely come in a lot.”

While Jongthep is excited to see her dream become reality, it makes her happier to see others enjoying her food.

Nimm Ragsdale said it also makes them happy when customers return after their first visit.

“I’m happy if you like my food. When the customers clean up their food, that’s when I’m happy,” she said.

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Midtown-Hell’s Kitchen, NY Coronavirus Updates & News For October 10



Upper East Side, NY |
17h

Covid Patient Meets His Plasma Donor | Art Week Underway | VP Debate Lights Up Building | Hospital Marks 1,000th Birth

UES Race Turns Turbulent | Upper East Side Week In Review
(Nick Garber/Patch / Liz Fine / NewYork-Presbyterian / Campaigns of Patrick Bobilin, Rebecca Seawright, Lou Puliafito)

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Miss any headlines on the Upper East Side this week? Patch’s week in review has you covered for the neighborhood’s top news…. Read more



New York City, NY |
17h

Closures Hit COVID-19 Hotspots | Schools Shuttered | Students Choose Remote Learning | Murders Hit High

NEW YORK CITY — Here’s a roundup of the top citywide headlines from New York City this week…. Read more



New York City, NY |
18h

As the U.S. still reels from the pandemic’s economic fallout, the state’s billionaires all vastly increased their wealth, Forbes found.

NEW YORK – Everyday New Yorkers might be struggling from record unemployment or fearing for the future of their jobs as the coronavirus continues to ravage the country, but the city’s billionaires are doing just fine…. Read more



New York City, NY |
19h

Social distancing actions largely stopped and warnings to noncompliant businesses dropped in September, 311 data shows.

NEW YORK CITY — Flare ups of coronavirus cases in Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods followed weeks of declining enforcement actions by city agencies, 311 data shows.But complaints over social distancing and reopening businesses breaking safety measures fell as well, indicating New Yorkers as a whole grew more lax and less vigilant when it came to the virus.The dips in enforcement and watchfulness started in August and continued… Read more



New York City, NY |
20h

First responders and essential workers have been putting their lives on the line during the coronavirus pandemic.

From CBS New York:

October 8 2020

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — First responders and essential workers have been putting their lives on the line during the coronavirus pandemic.

But now, some of them are getting recognition.

Read more at CBS New York Read more



New York City, NY |
17h

The positivity rate in “red zones” in Brooklyn, Queens and elsewhere in the state stands at 6.6 percent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

NEW YORK CITY — Increased focus on coronavirus clusters in Brooklyn and Queens hasn’t yet yielded a decline in cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said…. Read more



Park Slope, NY |
19h

The Diocese and several Jewish organizations contend the state violated their First Amendment rights with coronavirus hotspot restrictions.

NEW YORK, NY — The Brooklyn Diocese and several Jewish organizations have taken their fight against renewed coronavirus restrictions in New York city hotspots to the courts. … Read more



New York City, NY |
23h

For your coronavirus stress baking, head to a pumpkin patch near NYC and make a perfect from-scratch pumpkin pie.

NEW YORK CITY – The past several months have kindled new interest in baking as Americans spend more time hunkering down at home to avoid the coronavirus. Buying a pumpkin for a

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At Home: Dorm decor pairs space savers, personal style – News – The Topeka Capital-Journal

Washburn University freshman and art education major Ella Prengel may have moved away from home and into the dorms this fall, but she took pieces of home with her and incorporated them into her dorm décor.

“When I was deciding how I was going to decorate my dorm room, I definitely thought about how my room was at home, so I have a lot of my art stuff, pictures of my friends and stuff that reminds me of home,” she said.

Prengel lives in a suite, which consists of two sleeping spaces that house two students each, with an adjoining shared bathroom, a configuration that many universities are adopting as they remodel dormitories built in the 1950s and 1960s to meet the needs of modern students.

After being quarantined for the first two weeks of the school year, Prengel said she and her suitemates were eager to get settled into their new space and decorate.

“Decorating was about reflecting my personality — bright colors, butterflies on the ceiling,” she said. “I want my side of my room to be something I can go back to and feel comfortable in.”

Prengel isn’t alone in her desire to create a space that feels like home away from home. Dorm design, furniture and accessories are big business for retailers each August, and new trends emerge every year for the hottest items in dorm living. 2020 is no exception.

Textures in pillows, rugs and bedding are very popular this year. Shag and fur pillows adorn extra-long twin beds, and velvet has made a comeback in the college scene in the form of comforters and curtains.

On the color front, ombre gradients and retro mini-appliances like microwaves and refrigerators in bright colors saw a surge in sales, along with the industrial look popping up in student desks, chairs and lamps made with industrial pipe and pipe fittings.

Succulents, both real and faux, are making appearances in textile designs and artwork but also provide an easy-care option for students who want to bring a little nature indoors.

By far, the biggest dorm design trend of 2020 has been the boho chic movement, which incorporates natural elements, colors, patterns and textures. Macramé is back in a big way, and not just to hold plants. The distinctive texture is being used in comforters and pillows. Wicker, fur, feathers and live edge furniture like desks and end tables are showing up on campuses across the country.

Because of the space limitations and other challenges that dorm design brings, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with the choices available, but the truth is, functionality and versatility should be at the center of design decisions.

Start with an inspiration piece. A bedspread or comforter, artwork, rug or color palette provides a starting point for design inspiration. Use your inspiration piece to build your room, pulling in colors or designs to coordinate.

One large, oversized rug has a bigger impact than smaller throw rugs, tying the design concept together and providing

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Coronavirus live news: WHO daily cases set new record at more than 350,000 | World news





Trump again calls for in-person debate, citing doctor’s letter

Updated





What we know so far: Trump expected to return to public engagements on Saturday

Updated





Donald Trump added more turbulence on Thursday to the US presidential race by refusing to participate in the next presidential debate with Joe Biden after it was changed to a virtual event to guard against the spread of Covid-19, prompting both campaigns to propose postponing it a week.

On Thursday morning, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) said that the next presidential debate, due on 15 October, would be a virtual affair, with the candidates appearing remotely.

“In order to protect the health and safety of all, the second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which the candidates would participate from separate remote locations,” it said.

But Trump, who was hospitalized for three days after disclosing last Friday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, blasted the format change announced by the nonpartisan commission in charge of the debates and expressed concern that his microphone could be cut off at the event:

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Why Won’t White House Say When Trump Last Tested Negative? | Political News

By JILL COLVIN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — It is a basic, crucial question and one the White House refuses to answer: When was President Donald Trump’s last negative test for the coronavirus before he tested positive last week?

“Yeah, I’m not going to give you a detailed readout with timestamps every time the president’s tested,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters last weekend.

“I can’t reveal that at this time,” echoed Alyssa Farah, the White House director of strategic communications. “Doctors would like to keep it private.”

“I don’t want to go backwards,” said Dr. Sean Conley, the president’s physician.

The answer could help fill in vital details about the course of the president’s illness as well as when he may have been contagious and whom else he may have exposed. And the White House refusal to answer makes it hard not to wonder what they’re hiding, given other details they’ve shared.

“At this point it’s just so strange that they’re unwilling to give us the information,” said Michael Joseph Mina, a physician and professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s school of public health. “It makes people start thinking things like, ‘Was the president the super-spreader?’… If there was no nefarious activity going on, then they should have no problem answering this question.”

The information is also key to tracking who else may have been exposed to the virus so their contacts can be traced to prevent new clusters of infection.

“Then you can get an idea, potentially, of when he was infected, how long his incubation period was, and also then evaluate who may have been exposed to him over that time frame,” said Benjamin Pinsky, medical director of the clinical virology laboratory at Stanford Health Care. While there is considerable variability between cases, he said, Trump was most likely infectious several days before he tested positive — a period during which he traveled and had close contact with dozens of people.

Senior White House staff and those who are in direct contact with the president are tested for the virus daily. The White House originally gave the impression that Trump, too, was tested every day, with McEnany claiming in July that Trump was “the most tested man in America” and tested “multiple times a day.” But Trump contradicted her, saying, “I do probably on average a test every two days, three days.”

The current White House line is that Trump is tested “regularly.”

Here’s what is known: On Wednesday, Sept. 30, during a trip to Minnesota for a fundraiser and rally, one of the president’s closest aides, Hope Hicks, began feeling ill. She isolated herself aboard Air Force Once during the trip home, but the White House appears to have taken no further action.

The next morning, Hicks was again tested for the virus. This time, the results came back positive, just as the president was about to leave for a fundraiser at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. A frantic effort was made to

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