The Wider World

One win, one loss on mandates

UNITED STATES Supreme Court building (Flickr/Geoff Livingston).

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed the Biden administration one defeat and one victory on the issue of vaccine mandates.

On a 6-3 vote, the high court overturned the administration’s requirement that large businesses require employees to either get vaccination or regular testing.

The vote was along partisan lines, with the justices appointed by Republican presidents voting to overturn, and those appointed by Democratic presidents voting to uphold.

A slim 5-4 majority did support a separate mandate by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requiring that any health care operation that accepts federally-funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid require vaccination of employees. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the three liberal justices in a majority.

Prince Andrew loses titles, patronage

DUKE OF YORK
Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew, mired in a sexual assault lawsuit in America, was stripped of his military associations and royal patronages by Queen Elizabeth on Thursday.

Officially, the “Duke of York” will not have any public duties as he devotes himself to defending against accusations that he raped and sexually assaulted a woman – now 38 – when she was 17. The woman, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, claims she was “trafficked” to Prince Andrew by Jeffrey Epstein, according to USA Today.

Key senator won’t back rule change

KYRSTEN SINEMA (Wikipedia).

A change in the Senate filibuster rule that would allow an exception permitting a vote on a voting rights bill will not be supported by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona).

She made that announcement on Thursday, a decision almost certain to doom the bill. While it has passed the House of Representatives and probably has majority support in the Senate, the filibuster rule allows a minority to prevent a vote, according to The New York Times. Democrats – who hold 50 seats and would get a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris – would need 60 votes to break the filibuster.

Sports: Lockout continues. Really.

You may not notice it, since the 2022 Major League Baseball season is still a couple of months away, but there’s a lockout – the management version of a strike – in place. According to Yahoo Sports, the lockout is in its 43rd day and both sides met on Thursday and made little, if any progress.

Points of contention included arbitration and the draft. The latter topic focused on trying to curb the temptation of teams to engage in “tanking,” which refers to attempting to lose more games in order to achieve a better position in the player draft. Generally, teams with the worst records get higher draft picks.

Weather:  Clouds and more clouds

We won’t be seeing a lot of the sun for the next couple of weeks in the West Orange County area. The forecasts call for partly or mostly cloudy conditions for most of the next two weeks. Friday’s high should be at 75 during the day, with an overnight low of 57.  Saturday should be cooler at 71 (54), followed by a slight rise in temperature to 74 (51) on Sunday.

Business/Finance: Almost a break-even

The stock markets edged down slightly on Thursday, as all three major indexes declined slightly. The S&P 500 dropped five points to 4,647 and the Dow lost 12 points to finish at 35,977. The Nasdaq was the most active, losing 32 points to end up at 15,458.25.

 

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