Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed a bill revoking the special tax and self-governing status enjoyed by the Disney corporation, the latest development in the controversy over the Sunshine State’s new education law.
According to The New York Times, DeSantis – considered a strong contender for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination – the bill is a result of a cultural battle between conservative forces in the state and Disney’s support for gay rights.
The “Parental Rights in Education Law,” which is called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents, places restrictions on teaching about sexual orientation and “gender identity” in lower elementary school grades at Florida public schools.
Disney leaders in Florida have expressed their opposition to the bill. For the last 55 years the entertainment giant has had a unique situation in which it was essentially a self-governing entity for its theme park and associated enterprises in the Orlando area.
The new law is certain to be challenged in court, and the Los Angeles Times reports that existing Florida law says that special districts – such as the Disney entity – can only be dissolved by consent of the property owners.
Russian elite forces deployed?
What were described as a dozen Russian “crack” military units have reportedly been shifted from the port city of Mariupol to the eastern areas of Ukraine.
According to the Associated Press, the redeployment of troops is an effort to strengthen the push into an area of Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists have waged guerilla war for years.
In related news:
- Contradicting earlier claims that all its sailors were rescued when the missile cruiser Moskva was sunk by Ukrainian missiles, the Russian military now concedes one death and 27 others “missing.
- Rebuilding Ukraine will cost $600 billion after Russia’s invasion. According to United Press International, the Ukrainian prime minister made that appeal for financial assistance Thursday to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Also in the news ….
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) repeatedly said, “I don’t remember” on Friday when asked about her involvement with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to USA Today. She was at a court hearing to consider barring her from running for re-election on the grounds that she was an “insurrectionist” under the terms of the 14th Amendment.
Sports: Dodgers, Angels to defend their leads
The Dodgers (9-3 and atop the NL West) will be in San Diego to take on a strong Padres team (9-5) at 6:40 p.m. The Angels (8-5 and leading the AL West) may have an easier task as they host the Baltimore Orioles (4-9) at the Big A at 6:38 p.m.
Weather: Waiting for the warm?
The clouds that hovered over West Orange County for most of the week should be banished for the coming weekend. The forecast is for sunny skies Saturday and Sunday, with daytime highs of 77 and 86. Some clouds should return on Monday, but the thermometer should rise that day to 87, before beginning a decline into the 70s the rest of the week.
Business: Wall Street’s jumpy day
Reactions to news about possible interest rate hikes and weak earnings in some sectors sent Wall Street into a decline on Friday.
According to Reuters.com, three of the four “benchmark” stock indexes were in negative territory at the close of trading today. The Dow Jones Average has declined for four consecutive Fridays, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are on a three-week Friday skid.
Categories: The Wider World