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North Carolina has made it harder for pedophiles to marry children. The state Senate unanimously approved a new bill raising the legal marrying age from 14 to 16.

Senator Vickie Sawyer initially pushed to raise the marrying age from 14 to 18, saying most child marriages involved pedophilia and abuse and ended in divorce.

"If you can't rent an apartment or drive a car ... or get a tattoo before you're 18, why should you be able to get married?" Sawyer said.

But her older male colleagues convinced her that their mothers and grandmothers got married young and lived happy, if difficult, lives, according to WRAL.

The International Center for Research on Women reviewed marriage licenses in the state from 2000 to 2019 and found more than 4,000 minors had applied to be married in that time period.

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In most of the applications an adult male was marrying a child. Such relationships would be considered statutory rape, a felony, in other states.

Sen. Danny Britt amended the proposal to leave the four-year age difference restriction in place, making it illegal for a man older than 20 to marry a child.

16- and 17-year-olds still need parental consent or approval from a court to get married.

Both the legislation and Britt's amendment passed by a vote of 49-0 on Wednesday. The bill now moves on to the House.

Most NC residents who commented on the article were stunned to learn they live in a state that legalizes pedophilia. Many had no idea such an archaic law was still on the books.

One Twitter user wrote "What the actual f***? We're a pedophile state?"

Another user wrote, "Please help bring this state into the 21st century... this should not be JUST happening... grown ass folks out here shouldn't be getting married. Y'all letting kids get married and writing articles about it."

And a third tweeted, "16 is still a child who should not be married. Just because earlier generations did doesn’t make it right or ok now. #endchildmarriageinN."

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Joe Biden is tired of lazy scofflaws making him look bad. The president is cracking down on people who stay home collecting unemployment when there are plenty of jobs available.

Biden responded to a disappointing jobs report during an address on the economy at the White House on Monday.

The April jobs report shows the U.S. economy added just 266,000 jobs last month -- the largest jobs miss since 1998.

Biden bristled at a reporter's suggestion that unemployment benefits was the cause of the disastrous jobs report.

He said Americans would return to the workforce if they were paid a "decent wage" and had "safe work environments."

Then he dropped the hammer down on scofflaws who sit at home collecting checks while jobs are plentiful.

"We're going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment who is offered a suitable job must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits," he said.

"I know there's been a lot of discussion since Friday's report that people are being paid to stay home rather than go to work," he continued. "Well, we don't see much evidence of that."

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Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will not seek re-election this fall. The first-term Democrat made the announcement in a letter posted on Twitter.com late Thursday.

In her letter, Bottoms thanked her supporters and highlighted her accomplishments since winning the election in 2017.

Bottoms said she and her husband "have given thoughtful prayer and consideration" and decided not to seek another term.

Bottoms was the 60th mayor of Atlanta and the 2nd Black woman to serve as mayor of Atlanta.

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The news comes hours after Bottoms defended her decision to terminate Officer Garrett Rolfe, who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy's parking lot last June.

Bottoms said she fired Rolfe to prevent riots in Atlanta in the wake of other high-profile police shootings last summer.

But the city burned anyway and an innocent child was shot dead during the riots.

The Atlanta Civil Service Board reinstated Rolfe with back pay this week. The board cited the city's failure to follow proper protocols in terminating Rolfe without due process.

Rolfe is still on administrative leave until murder charges in Brooks' case are dropped.

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Twitter blocked a divisive hashtag comparing Senator Tim Scott to racist "Uncle Tom" that depicts Black people as sellouts.

The Republican Party chose Scott to deliver the rebuttal to Joe Biden's first ever speech before 200 members of Congress on Wednesday night.

The 46th president spoke for about an hour to a nearly empty room due to Covid concerns -- despite the fact that he is fully vaccinated.

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After Biden's speech, Scott, the Republican senator from South Carolina, said the United States is not a racist country and most Americans are not racists.

Scott spoke of an unfriendlier time in America when he experienced discrimination.

He argued that the same party that claims to fight white supremacy is the most intolerant of others.

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"I get called Uncle Tom and the N-word by progressives ... I know first-hand, our healing is not finished,' he said.

"Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country."

The hashtag "Uncle Tim" began trending on Twitter soon after he spoke.

Bishop Talbert Swan, a black pastor from Massachusetts, tweeted: "Uncle Tim Scott has perfected the art of sycophantic bootlicking. He's a master step n fetch it artist and cunning white supremacy apologist, who demonstrated his buck dancing skills in front of the entire world."

But others pointed out the hypocrisy that exists on social media.

One Twitter user wrote:

"The fact that "Uncle Tim" is trending on Twitter tells you all you need to know about the left."

Another user tweeted:

"Not stunned that Uncle Tim is trending because how dare even one black person not follow the Democrats like the Pied Piper. How dare Sen Tim Scott have his own opinions and principles?"

Twitter allowed the hashtag to trend for hours before it was finally blocked.

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Gov. Brian Kemp signed an election bill requiring voters to submit identification to vote by mail. If Georgians choose to use their driver's license, they must provide the correct driver's license number -- or their ballots will be rejected.

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Democrats have launched a campaign to educate residents on the correct DL number to provide when submitting their absentee ballots.

Democrats are outraged over Kemp's new election law, which closes a loophole that allowed out-of-towners to submit ballots without providing an ID.

Lawmakers argue the new law is voter suppression. They say the law puts Black people at a disadvantage because they don't know how to apply for IDs.

Critics say the Democrat's argument against voter ID boils down to insulting the intelligence of black people.

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Twitter

Furious Democrats reacted to the arrest of a Georgia lawmaker who interrupted Gov. Brian Kemp's livestream announcement after he signed a sweeping election bill into law on Thursday.

The election bill requires voter ID to request and submit absentee ballots, limits the number of ballot drop boxes, and allows the Georgia State Elections Board to take over county elections boards if there are problems with ballot counting.

Democrats accused Kemp of voter suppression, while Republicans wonder why he didn't strengthen voter laws during the presidential elections in 2020 and the Senate runoffs in January.

Democrat representatives and activists gathered to protest the signing of the bill at the state capitol on Thursday.

Georgia State Representative Park Cannon (D-Atlanta) was arrested for banging on Gov. Kemp's door during his livestream announcement.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

"Cannon was with several other protesters when she knocked on Kemp’s office door, saying the public should be allowed to witness the announcement of the bill signing. The sweeping legislation requires ID for absentee ballots, limits drop boxes and changes early voting hours."

Cell phone video shows Georgia State Troopers forcibly dragging a handcuffed Cannon through the Capitol building and shoving her into a patrol car, as she yelled, "There's no reason for me to leave... I am a legislator!"

The reaction was furious on Twitter. One Twitter user wrote: "She was arrested more harshly than a white man who murdered 8 Asian women."

While another liberal tweeted: "This is outrageous. The @GOP is suppresing democracy [sic]."

And a third Twitter user wrote: "She was arrested for standing by a door! ????"

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Instagram

There's a very good reason why Joe Biden has not yet held a press conference since his inauguration.

The reason is because his handlers are afraid of what he might say.

Monday, March 8, was Biden's 44th day in office without holding a press conference. His former boss, Barack Obama, held his first press conference 20 days into his first term.

On Monday night, Biden held an event at the White House to announce the nomination of two female generals to be promoted to combatant commanders.

From the start, Biden had difficulty reading the teleprompter. But things really went south when he couldn't remember his defense secretary's name.

"I want to thank the sec- the uh, former general -- I keep calling him General. My uh, the guy who runs that outfit over there..."

For the record, "the guy" is U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. And "that outfit" he runs is the Pentagon.

Meanwhile, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla) suggests the transition from a Biden administration to a Kamala Harris administration has already begun.

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The inspector general's office is investigating Elaine L. Chao for allegedly using her office to financially benefit her family.

Chao, wife of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), is accused of asking her office staff to make arrangements for her father's company, which has ties to China.

In 2019 the NY Times reported that Chao asked her staff to make business arrangements for herself, her father, James Chao, and sister, including a 2017 trip to China that was later canceled.

Her father, who owns a successful shipping business, was dubbed "Chinese Ship King," according to the Times.

Chao was transportation secretary under former President Donald Trump. The investigating was referred to the U.S. Justice Department, but they declined to look into the matter, according to the NY Times.

"A formal investigation into potential misuses of position was warranted," said Mitch Behm, deputy inspector general for the Transportation Department.

Chao resigned the day after the Capitol Hill riots on Jan. 7, but she claimed the investigation into her father's business dealings was not a factor in her decision to quit.

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NY congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez angered her constituents by raising $2 million for Texans, while some New Yorkers are without electricity.

Constituents in Ocasio-Cortez's home district, NY-14, say they have no way of contacting the congresswoman because she doesn't have her own office or staff in her district -- even though she received a taxpayer-funded budget to pay for both.

Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, raised $2 million for Texans impacted by winter storm Uri. She rushed to Houston, Texas on Friday for photo ops.

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Twitter users were angry that she stood in front of Texas representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (left) and Sylvia Garcia (right) at the microphones.

Constituents in her home district in New York say they haven't seen her in years. They are told to contact her through social media.

Twitter user @WonderKing82 dragged AOC for failing to properly represent the voters who put her in office.

"I call for investigation in Alexanderia Ocasio-Cortez allocation of funds because she took government tax payers funds to open up two congressional offices and she never did. Three years later still no office for her constituents in the Bronx and Queens."

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Twitter user Karen Jean wrote: "Pure pandering, You have no empathy for anyone but yourself. Stay in New York, don't those people need your "help" too?"

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Twitter user @churchlady320 wrote:

"She claims to have an office. She hasn't staffed it. Had a social worker, someone not knowing how to fight GOP cuts, but I gather she's gone. AOC like every other Rep HAS A BUDGET for her district office. How has that money been spent? We deserve to know."

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And @DanaHoule tweeted:

"She's conducting herself and running her operation not as if she's NY-14's Representative, but like she's the United States' At Large Representative. Maybe her constituents will be fine w that. But personally I think she owes them more."

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Senator Ted Cruz is returning to Texas after a massive outcry on social media in reaction to photos of Cruz and his family jetting to Cancun this week.

4.4 million Texans are still without power or water after 5 days, thanks to frozen turbines and a bungled response by the state's power company.

"Keep your family safe, and just stay home and hug your kids," Cruz reportedly told Texans a day before he and his family jetted to sunny Cancun for a relaxing vacation.

"If you can stay home, don't go out on the roads, don't risk the ice," he told radio host Joe Paglialuro on Tuesday.

He also tweeted: "Stay safe! Please don't risk the ice."

A day later, a sharp-eyed taxpayer spotted the congressman waiting in a standby line at Houston airport to upgrade to business class where there is more leg room to stretch out on the plane.

Cruz requested a police escort through the airport on Wednesday around 4 p.m. He and his family were pictured at the United Airlines Lounge, and on the plane before departure.

Less than 24 hours later, Cruz hightailed it back to Texas after a furious public backlash.

He tweeted on Wednesday: "I got no defense. A blizzard strikes Texas & our state shuts down. Not good. Stay safe!"

He previously attacked the Biden administration's plan to take California’s energy policy and rolling power outages nationwide:

"California is now unable to perform even basic functions of civilization, like having reliable electricity. Biden/Harris/AOC want to make CA's failed energy policy the standard nationwide. Hope you don't like air conditioning!"
 

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Joe Biden upset different groups of people for different reasons during his first town hall as president in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Tuesday.

While discussing vaccinations, Biden claimed mRNA vaccines didn't exist when he was elected in November 2020.

"We didn't have a Covid vaccine when we came into office."

When asked how his administration will handle the racial disparities in vaccine distribution, Biden explained that Blacks and Hispanics don't know how to use the internet to find the locations to get the vaccines.

When a member of the audience asked if he would eliminate $50,000 in student loan debt, the president responded, "I will not make that happen."

Biden also raised eyebrows when he remarked on the increased rate of biracial couples in television commercials.

"Did you ever five years ago think every second or third ad out of five or six should turn on would be biracial couples? No, no I'm not, I'm not be facetious..."

He added that he was "hopeful" in the new generation: "They're not like us, they're thinking differently," he said.
 

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The NAACP is suing former President Donald Trump for violating the Ku Klux Klan act by allegedly inciting riots in the nation's capitol on Jan. 6.

"If we don't put a check on the spread of domestic terrorism, it will consume this nation and transform it to something that none of us recognize," said NAACP President Derrick Johnson in an interview. "We must, as a nation, prevent the spread of this type of boldness where [insurrectionists] will go to our U.S. Capitol and seek an act of treason."

According to Politico, the NAACP, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson and civil rights law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll filed a lawsuit against Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and two white supremacist groups, following Trump's historic impeachment acquittal on insurrection charges.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday morning in a Washington, DC courtroom, alleges that Trump and Giuliani collaborated with pro-Trump groups the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to incite riots and overthrow the United States government.

The lawsuit claims Trump and his supporters conspired to keep Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The plaintiffs claim Trump's remarks during his "Save America" rally "mobilized and directed insurrectionists to storm the Capitol building."

The lawsuit also alleges, Giuliani called congressional lawmakers individually, asking them to try to "slow down" the Electoral College vote count on Jan. 6.

Trump was acquitted of all charges in a historic second impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate. All 50 Democrats and 7 Republicans voted guilty, but 67 votes are required to convict.

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Former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate in his historic second impeachment trial on Saturday, Feb. 13.

57 Senators -- including 7 Republicans -- voted to impeach the former president on incitement of insurrection charges stemming from the Capitol riots on January 6. 43 Republican senators voted to acquit.

67 votes are required for a conviction in the Senate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was shaken and outraged during a press conference following the vote to acquit. She lashed out at the GOP and called Republicans "cowards" for voting to acquit Trump.

"What we saw today was a cowardly group of Republicans," Speaker Pelosi said.

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Pelosi becomes the first House Speaker in U.S. history to launch two failed impeachment trials.

Many Americans voiced their frustration that the Democrats wasted taxpayer dollars and time on another impeachment trial when they should be working to help unemployed Americans.

On Saturday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell -- who voted to acquit -- said Trump "spent weeks" provoking riots in the Capitol, and "didn't do his job" to stop the riots. He said Trump's actions "were a disgraceful dereliction of duty."

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"There is no question, none that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day. No question about it,” said McConnell, pictured with Pelosi on December 8, 2016.

McConnell hinted that Trump could still be tried for unknown offenses in the criminal justice system.

But Trump's legal team countered that the same senators sitting in judgment of Trump spent months encouraging rioters last year.

Some senators who voted to convict Trump for a second time donated cash to a fund to bond rioters out of jail to continue their mayhem and destruction. Dozens of people lost their lives during the riots that caused billions of dollars in property damage last summer.

Earlier in the day, before closing arguments were set to begin, the Democrats changed the rules and decided to call witnesses to testify.

But Senate Democrats folded quickly when Trump's legal team presented a list of 300 defense witnesses. Pelosi's name was first on the list followed by D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser.

Trump's lawyer, Michael Van Der Veen, planned to ask Pelosi and Bowser if they had advanced knowledge of a "planned attack" in Washington, DC on Jan. 6.

Van Der Veen said it's "very clear that... House Democrats hate Donald Trump."

The win was bittersweet for Van Der Veen, who told the press, "We demolished their case, and they were like a dying animal that we had trapped in the corner."

Van Der Veen said the senators failed to prove the merits of their case.

But he choked back tears as he revealed the win came at a cost. He said his entire family received death threats, his home was attacked, and his business and law firm were under siege.

Trump released a statement following his second acquittal on Saturday. He thanked his "team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth" and he thanked "all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution..."

He added:

"It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree."

He concluded his statement by saying the movement to Make America Great Again is just beginning and that he "has so much to share with you" in the coming months.

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On January 20, 2017, Joe Biden attended the Presidential Inauguration ceremony where Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. Former President Barack and Michelle Obama were also in attendance, and they gracefully welcomed Trump and his wife, Melania, to the White House afterwards.

Even Hillary Clinton, who lost a hard fought battle for president in 2016, attended Trump's inauguration because it was the right thing to do.

However, Trump will not be in attendance when Biden is sworn in as the nation's 46th president on Wednesday.

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The Trumps departed the White House for the final time early Wednesday morning. After a small ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, they flew home to his Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, to spend the final hours of his presidency.

There will be no photos of the former and current presidents chatting in the Oval Office while their wives tour the private residence.

There will be no traditional handoff of the nuclear football between the outgoing and incoming presidents.

Trump becomes the first president in more than 150 years to refuse to attend his successor's inauguration or welcome him to the White House.

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The stock market reacted negatively to the news that Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan contains $1,400 stimulus checks.

The market was unhappy that the plan doesn't include the $2,000 that the president-elect promised if the Democrats swept Georgia in the Senate runoffs.

Biden announced his 2-step plan of "rescue and recovery" on Thursday, Jan. 14. The $1.9 trillion stimulus plan will include $400 billion for vaccine distribution and Covid-19 testing, $130 billion to reopen schools, as well as billions in economic aid to small businesses run by Black and brown people.

The plan also includes a hike in the minimum wage to $15 per hour, extending unemployment benefits and the federal ban on evictions, both of which are set to expire in March.

"We have to act and we have to act now," Biden said.

His proposed bill is more than double the $900 trillion recently passed by Congress that included $600 stimulus checks for Americans, while billions were sent overseas to foreign countries.

About those stimulus checks: Americans were expecting Biden to keep his promise of additional $2,000 checks if the Democrats swept the Georgia Senate runoffs in early January.

Instead, the plan includes $1,400 stimulus checks, on top of the $600 checks already sent out -- for a total of $2,000.

  • $400 per week in supplementary unemployment benefits through September.
  • $350 billion to bailout mismanaged states, cities and territorial jurisdictions.
  • $160 billion to create a national program to mobilize vaccinations to 100 million people vaxxed in the first 100 days of the Biden administration.
  • $30 billion to help landlords pay their bills while their tenants live rent-free.
  • $25 billion for childcare providers.
  • Expanded food assistance, expanded child tax credits, and expanded medical and family leave of absence for illness.
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