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Former Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed has officially entered Atlanta's mayoral race for a historic third term.

Reed, who left the mayor's office under suspicion of corruption in 2017, is running again after serving as mayor for eight years.

He is pictured with Atlanta's current Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in a photo dated October 4, 2017.

AJC.com reports Reed filed paperwork Tuesday night forming a committee that will allow him to begin accepting campaign donations for the 2021 mayor's race.

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Reed, who turns 52 on Thursday, will celebrate his birthday with a party that will double as a $1,000-per-guest fundraiser.

Speculation swirled that Reed would run for a third term after embattled Atlanta Mayor Bottoms announced she couldn't take the pressure anymore and would not run for reelection.

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Bottoms' announcement was historic -- the first time since Mayor Maynard Jackson that an incumbent mayor chose to not seek reelection.

Reed becomes the first mayor since Jackson to run for a third term.

Reed's second term was marred by a federal corruption investigation into several members of his administration, including bribery convictions against his chief procurement officer and a deputy chief of staff. Reed’s chief financial officer is currently under indictment for fraud and weapons charges.

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Joe Biden sparked controversy when he suggested people who wear masks are anti-vaxxers who should be treated "with kindness and respect."

On Thursday, the CDC announced individuals who are fully vaccinated can remove their masks indoors and outdoors.

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Biden and his vice president, Kamala Harris, both removed their masks during a press conference at the White House on Thursday.

In a tweet dubbed "Biden's Rule" by social media users, the president wrote:

"The rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do.

The choice is yours."

Biden also said, if you see someone wearing a mask, "please treat them with kindness and respect. We've had too much conflict, too much bitterness, too much anger, too much politicization of this issue about wearing masks. Let's put it to rest."

Critics say Biden's rule puts pressure on Americans to get the experimental mRNA vaccine because his tweet suggests people who still wear masks are not vaccinated.

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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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The Biden administration plans to ban menthol cigarettes because Black people smoke menthol cigarettes at three times the rate of white people.

The American Civil Liberties Union and civil rights groups warn that a ban on menthol cigarettes will hurt communities of color due to over policing and incarceration of lawbreakers.

"A menthol cigarette ban would disproportionately impact communities of color, result in criminalization of the market, and exacerbate mass incarceration," the ACLU wrote in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.

A recent study showed that 85% of Black people smoke menthol cigarettes. The same study showed only 29% of white people smoke menthol.

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According to the CDC, Black people die of tobacco-related illnesses, including cancer and heart disease, at higher rates than whites.

The Washington Post reported that the Biden administration is also considering a ban on flavored small cigars, that are popular with young Black people.

The Biden administration can ban flavored cigarettes and cigars without the approval of Congress.

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Studies have shown that menthol cigarettes are more addicting, and the tobacco industry has intentionally targeted the Black community with advertising for decades.

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Illegal immigrants who lost work during the Covid-19 lockdown in New York state will receive one-time payments of $15,600.

The payments will come from a $2.1 billion fund as part of the $212 billion budget deal approved by the Democrat-controlled New York state legislature.

Nearly 100,000 undocumented immigrants in New York are eligible for the $15,600 "first tier" payments.

Additionally, 200,000 undocumented immigrants will qualify for the second tier of the program that pays $3,200 per worker.

Americans who were out of work during the lockdown received unemployment benefits and stimulus checks, including a $1,400 stimulus payment recently approved by Congress.

Undocumented workers will collect up to $15,600 if they can prove they were disqualified for unemployment benefits due to their immigration status.

Black Americans who are still waiting for slavery reparations are baffled and confused by NY's $15,600 payments to immigrants.

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Rep. Park Cannon, the Georgia lawmaker who was dragged out of the Capitol building for knocking on Gov. Brian Kemp's door, will not be charged.

Cannon was arrested on March 25 and dragged to the Fulton County (Atlanta) Jail after she knocked on Kemp's door while he signed the voter ID bill into law.

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.

Cannon's arrest sparked outrage on social media when video of her arrest went viral.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she will not pursue charges and the case is closed.

Willis said the police officers may have found her behavior annoying," but it did not justify putting together a grand jury.

Cannon faced charges of felony obstruction and disrupting the General Assembly session. If found guilty, she faced up to high years in jail.

"My experience was painful, both physically and emotionally, but today I stand before you to say as horrible as that experience was... I believe the governor signing into law the most comprehensive voter suppression bill in the country is a far more serious crime," Cannon said at a rally last week.

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Matt Gaetz reportedly asked the White House for a blanket presidential pardon ahead of a federal investigation into sex trafficking allegations.

Gaetz is a Republican U.S. representative for Florida's 1st congressional district. The 38-year-old politician is being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department for his relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

He reportedly paid for the girl to travel across state lines. The age of consent varies in many states.

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Gaetz reportedly asked former President Donald Trump to pardon him in advance of possible charges for misconduct and trafficking.

He proposed to his fiancee in December at Trump's Florida resort. He reportedly bragged that the former president insisted on hosting the wedding.

Gaetz's request was ultimately rejected, according to multiple reports.

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Gaetz alleged he was extorted by a New York Times reporter before the newspaper published the article about his relationship.

He denied asking Trump for a preemptive presidential pardon, according to POLITICO.

"The recent false allegations against me are not something I've ever discussed with Trump, pardons or otherwise," he told POLITICO.

Trump issued dozens of pardons in his final days as president. Pardons went to his former advisor Steve Bannon and rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black.

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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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The mayor of Oakland, California announced all low-income residents will receive $500 a month from the city with no rules attached.

The privately funded program promises monthly "guaranteed income" to low-income residents to help ease the stresses of poverty.

"We have designed this demonstration project to add to the body of evidence, and to begin this relentless campaign to adopt a guaranteed income federally," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

An independent study conducted after the previous mayor gave low-income Oakland residents $500 each found that "compared to a control group, residents who received regular payments experienced less income volatility, secured more full-time employment, were better parents and partners, and even saw improvements in their health and overall well-being."

The program is open to qualified low-income residents who have at least one child under the age 18 and earn at or below 50% of the area median income — about $59,000 per year for a family of three.

Only Black people, Indigenous and people of color are eligible to apply.

So far, the "Oakland Resilient Families" program has raised $6.75 million from private donors, CBS News reported.

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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! ????"