The town of Stillwater, Minnesota, just outside the Twin Cities, is known for being the oldest town in Minnesota, but now it’s known for something else: West-coast levels of tyrannical mask mania. Abby Lee is a mom in Stillwater. Her son, a six-year-old, was just expelled from school for not abiding by a strict masking mandate. Abby Lee joins us.
It’s sad enough seeing covid vaccines in adults who believed lies they were told, or who had to choose between the shot or losing their jobs. But now the FDA has raced to approve giving the jab to children under age 12, and that means we’re now seeing our first cases of severe side effects in kids who were too young to even make an informed choice.
Dr. Jane Ruby joins us.
These vaccines were rushed out as quickly as possible, and Donald Trump played a central role in getting them rushed out. Now, he’s deflecting responsibility to Biden; he says that Biden has failed to “sell” the public on the vaccine. Thanks to the same rushed process that the president himself promoted, it’s going to be hurting helpless young children.
Dr. Paul Alexander joins us.
It feels like there hasn’t been nearly as much attention on Maxwell’s trial in the press, compared to all the others, and rest assured, that’s likely by design. A lot of people, powerful people, don’t want the public learning too much about what Jeffrey Epstein was really doing. When Epstein “committed suicide,” he’d been charged with fraud and sex trafficking of minors, but there was every reason to suspect far more may have been going on. And according to prosecutors, Maxwell was at the center of all of it, as Epstein’s fixer and chief recruiter. And, again according to prosecutors, she also participated in some of the sexual abuse of minors directly.
Kash Patel joins us.
New documents have been released proving that the CIA covered up at least 10 cases of agents raping kids and veraciously consuming child pornography, and got off scoff-free. Stew Peters show investigative journalist Edward Szall digs into the report and makes the case for disbanding the Central Intelligence Agency.
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A Minneapolis police officer is under investigation after he was caught on video throwing a 64-year-old Black man to the ground inside a grocery store.
Troy Lee Billups rebuked officer Christopher Lange for apparently shoving a young black boy in the store earlier. The young black boy was with a white girl.
Troy Lee Billups was arrested and In officer Christopher Lange arrest report, Lange wrote: “An officer working off-duty security witnessed an altercation take place at the listed address and attempted to stop it. One of the parties started to actively resist the officer after being told to leave and still actively resisted when informed he was under arrest.”
Lange has been investigated for misconduct five times since 2019, records show. None of the investigations resulted in disciplinary action.
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A trans-identified athlete’s continuous record-setting performances are causing concern among those who fear that allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports will damage the integrity of women’s athletics.
Lia Thomas, a trans-identified male who has been competing on the University of Pennsylvania’s women’s swimming and diving team this season, has shattered records even though the athlete competed on the men’s swim team in previous seasons.
As the University of Pennsylvania noted in a statement published over the weekend, Thomas completed the women’s 200-yard freestyle at the Zippy Invitational in Akron, Ohio, in 1 minute and 41 seconds, beating the second-place finisher by nearly seven seconds.
A detailed list of results reveals that Thomas’ performance marked the fastest completion of the 200-yard freestyle in the history of the Zippy Invitational and the fastest finish in any competition at Ocasek Natatorium at the University of Akron, where the event took place.
Thomas broke other records at the event, finishing the preliminary 500-yard freestyle in 4 minutes and 46 seconds.
Thomas finished the 500-yard freestyle finals in 4 minutes and 34 seconds. The University of Pennsylvania described the time as “the best in the country in the event.”
On Sunday, the third and final day of the competition, Thomas completed the 1,650-yard freestyle in 16 minutes, beating the second-place finisher by 38 seconds.
Thomas previously swam for Penn’s men’s team from 2017 to 2020 under the name Will Thomas. In the 2018-2019 season, Thomas placed second in the Ivy League Championships in three freestyle events — the 500-yard freestyle, the 1,000-yard freestyle and 1,650-yard freestyle. In the 2019-2020 season, Thomas won a 500-yard freestyle event against Villanova.
Thomas’ performance at a previous competition invoked a strong reaction from Clay Travis, radio host and founder of the sports website OutKick. Travis noted that the athlete “swam as a man” for three years before joining the women’s team.
In his remarks just days before the Zippy Invitational began, Travis lamented that “this man, who is now competing as a woman, is destroying female athletes after having competed for three years as a male swimmer.”
“If you think it is in the interest of athletic competition for a male athlete to decide to become a woman and then dominate female athletes with the advantages of the height, the strength, the weight of a male athlete, this represents the potential destruction of female athletics,” he argued. “It’s absurd, it’s ridiculous. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen.”
A B.C. Supreme Court Justice has decided that a former University of British Columbia professor should be allowed to proceed with defamation suits against a former student who accused him of sexual assault, and multiple other people who commented on the allegations publicly.
Eleven people being sued by author Steven Galloway following widely publicized allegations that he sexually assaulted a student — allegations for which he was never criminally charged and has repeatedly denied — tried to get the suits dismissed. The legal tool they used to argue the suits should be thrown out was a relatively new provincial law designed to protect free expression and prevent the use of lawsuits to silence people from speaking out on matters of public interest.
Their challenge was heard by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elaine Adair over nine days in April.
Adair’s decision, released Thursday, is 242 pages long and contains unique analysis about comments made by each of the 11 defendants. The question fundamental to determining whether the cases would be thrown out was a balance of public interests: does the public interest in protecting the statements made by Galloways’s accusers outweigh the public interest in allowing him recourse to potentially restore his reputation?
Adair concluded that, even though there is public interest in protecting the speech of individuals reporting sexual assault, it does not outweigh Galloway’s right to attempt to restore his reputation through defamation suits.
“In my opinion, the reputational harm to Mr. Galloway from being called a rapist and someone who has perpetrated criminal acts is likely serious and sustained. Litigation appears to be the only available avenue for possible rehabilitation of Mr. Galloway’s reputation,” Adair wrote. “I say ‘possible’ because the ultimate outcome of litigation of Mr. Galloway’s claims is unknown. An impartial court will decide.”
Galloway, the author of the award-winning novel “The Cellist of Sarajevo” and former head of the University of British Columbia’s creative writing program, was accused in 2015 by a former student of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Though never criminally charged, he was later suspended, then terminated by the university. A labour arbitrator later awarded him more than $200,000 in damages after finding his privacy rights had been violated when the university publicized his suspension and termination.
In the aftermath, Galloway filed a defamation suit against his accuser, known in court documents as “AB,” along with two dozen others, including two professors, alleging they had “recklessly repeated” AB’s accusations to others in the university community and on the internet, damaging his personal and professional reputation.
Eleven of the defendants subsequently filed anti-Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation or anti-SLAPP applications, seeking to have the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds of free expression on matters of public interest. They cited legislation passed in B.C. in 2019 known as the Protection of Public Participation Act. (A similar act was passed in Ontario in 2015).
David Wotherspoon, the lawyer for AB, told the Star after Adair’s decision was released that one of their reasons for trying to get the lawsuit against AB thrown out was that there are already many reasons why sexual violence is under-reported in Canada.
“A big part of our goal is to try to have the SLAPP legislation interpreted in a way that reduces the concern around reprisals (for people who report sexual violence),” Wotherspoon said. “At least in terms of this decision, we were unsuccessful. So we’re disappointed.”
Adair wrote that, although it is important to encourage reporting of sexual assault, she did not believe this was an adequate reason to dismiss a civil suit against one person accusing another of a serious crime.
“It is beyond argument that there is a very significant public interest in encouraging reporting of sexual assault,” Adair wrote. “I do not agree that giving greater weight to the public interest in allowing Mr. Galloway’s claims to proceed means that the justice system does not value the reporting of sexual assault claims. Allowing Mr. Galloway’s claims to proceed provides A.B. with at least the opportunity for complete — and public — vindication.”
Wotherspoon said he highlighted this paragraph in the decision, saying he thought it “miscast the issue being faced by victims of sexual assault.”
“For many people who are victims of sexual assault they’re not looking for vindication,” he said. “They’re looking to move on.”
In a statement sent to the Star, Daniel Burnett, the lawyer for Steven Galloway, said the judge rejected “nearly all arguments by the defendants,” finding there were “reasonable grounds” for Galloway to argue that he was libeled, arguments that will ultimately be decided by a trial judge.
Adair’s decision dismissed some of the lawsuits on the grounds that they were not filed within the time period required by the statute of limitations.
“I can say at this point is that the plaintiff disagrees on those,” Burnett wrote.
Adair’s decision came down to balancing two issues of public importance. She found that the harm to Galloway from the many accusations of sexual assault against him, made by AB and repeated by the others, was severe.
“Every statement, and every post on Twitter, capable of bearing the meaning that Mr. Galloway is a rapist and sexually assaulted A.B., is defamatory and contributes (often in the thousands of viewers) to maintaining and repeating the allegations of sexual assault and criminal misconduct against him,” the justice wrote.
“The harm likely to be or to have been suffered by Mr. Galloway lies closer to the high end of the protection-deserving spectrum. This means that the public interest in allowing Mr. Galloway’s claim to proceed is also closer to the high end. On the other hand, I have concluded that the public interest in protecting A.B. No 2 lies somewhere between the middle and the high end.
A.B. No. 2 refers to one of two instances examined by Adair in which Galloway alleged AB libeled him.
“In that light, I conclude that the public interest in Mr. Galloway continuing the proceeding in respect of A.B. No. 2 outweighs the public interest in protecting that expression.”
With files from Douglas Quan