New requirement in NJ school system has 8th graders learning about anal sex and pregnancy options

Romans 1:28 “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”

Important Takeaways:

  • New Jersey requiring schools to teach middle schoolers about ‘anal sex,’ ‘pregnancy options’
  • The New Jersey Department of Education is imposing sex education standards that require school districts to teach middle school students about anal sex and pregnancy options like abortion or face potential “disciplinary action.”
  • The new standards expect students by the end of grade eight to be able to “describe pregnancy testing, the signs of pregnancy, and pregnancy options, including parenting, abortion, and adoption” and be able to define “vaginal, oral, and anal sex.”
  • Melissa Varley, superintendent of the Berkeley Heights Public Schools, told Fox News that while parents can have their children opt out, the sex education requirements still have to be taught in her school district.

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The revelation of inappropriate books has one Florida School Board member disgusted, demanding ‘disciplinary action’

Romans 1:18 “But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.

Important Takeaways:

  • Florida school board member demands ‘disciplinary action’ over pornographic books in schools: ‘I’m disgusted’
  • A Florida school board member said she was “disgusted” by the pornographic books available to kids and described a race against time to remove them before the start of the 2022-2023 school year.
  • I’ve identified 75 books that I’m working to challenge to get off of ourselves,” Ashley Gilhousen of the Clay County School District board told Fox News Digital. She added that she believed “disciplinary action” was appropriate to address those responsible
  • One of the books Gilhousen mentioned was “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison, which describes a boy recalling oral sex from when he was “ten years old.”
  • Another book, “Julian is a Mermaid” is for elementary-aged children and is regarded as an introductory text to gender fluidity.
  • Another book formerly in the district, “Lucky” by Alice Sebold, discussed details of a college girl being raped.
  • Gilhousen was part of a June 30 meeting that went viral. During the meeting, a dad named Bruce Friedman attempted to read passages from pornographic books in the district’s library – but had his microphone abruptly cut off.

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Curfew and increased police presence at high schools in Portsmouth, VA after shootings in area

2 Timothy 3:1-5 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

Important Takeaways:

  • Portsmouth police say they are increasing presence at city high schools on Friday morning after multiple people were hurt in unrelated shootings in the city on Thursday.
  • There’s also currently a curfew every night in Portsmouth for children from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • A witness said they heard about 40 gunshots in that shooting, and one of the two men shot had life-threatening injuries, police said.

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Just two days after heartbreaking events in Texas, California State Senate passed bill that would allow schools not to report threats or attacks

Luke 21:7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to take place?”

Important Takeaways:

  • The California State Senate has passed a bill that would allow schools not to report threats or attacks against employees or officials to law enforcement, despite the ongoing national shock and outrage over the Uvalde, Texas, mass school shooting.
  • The bill repeals a provision of existing law that requires that “whenever any employee of a school district or county superintendent of schools is attacked, assaulted, or physically threatened by any pupil, the employee and any person under whose direction or supervision the employee is employed who has knowledge of the incident are required to promptly report the incident to specified law enforcement authorities.” SB 1273 would make such reports to law enforcement voluntary.
  • Proponents claim the bill will “protect students from unnecessary interactions with law enforcement.”

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Breakdown of services due to Omicron explosion

Luke 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • Omicron explosion spurs nationwide breakdown of services
  • First responders, hospitals, schools and government agencies have employed an all-hands-on-deck approach to keep the public safe, but they are worried how much longer they can keep it up.
  • In Kansas’ Johnson County, paramedics are working 80 hours a week.
  • Pharmacies have been slammed by staffing shortages, either because employees are out sick or have left altogether.
  • In Los Angeles, more than 800 police and fire personnel were sidelined because of the virus
  • In New York City, officials have had to delay or scale back trash and subway services

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Judge overrules Texas governor’s ban on mask mandates in schools

By Kanishka Singh and Sharon Bernstein

(Reuters) – A federal judge overruled Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates in schools, clearing the path for districts to issue their own rules.

Judge Lee Yeakel of U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas ruled the governor’s order violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark 1990 federal law that includes protections for students with special needs. In his ruling, Yeakel said the executive order put children with disabilities at risk.

“The spread of COVID-19 poses an even greater risk for children with special health needs,” the judge said in the order. “Children with certain underlying conditions who contract COVID-19 are more likely to experience severe acute biological effects and to require admission to a hospital and the hospital’s intensive-care unit.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he “strongly disagreed” with the ruling.

“My agency is considering all legal avenues to challenge this decision,” Paxton said on Twitter.

The issue of mandates to curb the pandemic has become politicized in much of the United States. Supporters of mandates say they are needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and opponents argue they curb individual liberty.

Some school districts in conservative states where governors have forbidden mask mandates are ignoring the bans, but others feel compelled to enforce them. In Texas, numerous districts including those in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, have flouted the ban since it was first announced in May, but others came into compliance amid state pressure including a public list published by Paxton’s office.

In his order, Yeakel said the state could not enforce its ban on mask requirements in school, and also could not levy fines or withhold funds from districts that impose mask-wearing.

The order was challenged by disability rights activists on behalf of several Texas students with special needs.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento; Editing by Tom Hogue and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Treasury warns Arizona it can’t use federal funds to undermine school mask requirements

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Arizona’s governor on Tuesday that his state could not use federal funds to pay for programs aimed at undermining face mask requirements in schools, and said Arizona could lose funding if it did not change course.

In a letter to Governor Douglas Ducey, Adeyemo raised concerns about two new Arizona state programs funded under the coronavirus relief “American Rescue Plan” which he said would “undermine evidence-based efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Adeyemo’s letter comes a month after the U.S. Department of Education opened civil rights investigations to determine whether five states – Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah – that have banned schools from requiring masks are discriminating against students with disabilities.

One of the Arizona programs offers grants to school districts on condition they not require the use of face coverings during instructional hours. The second gives families a voucher of up to $7,000 per student to cover tuition or other educational costs at a new school that does not require face coverings if the student’s current school requires them.

Both programs tapped a $350 billion fund established under the American Rescue Plan to mitigate the fiscal effects of the COVID-19 emergency, which has killed over 700,000 people in the United States, Adeyemo said in his letter.

“A program or service that imposes conditions on participation or acceptance of the service that would undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 or discourage compliance with evidence-based solutions for stopping the spread of COVID-19 is not a permissible use of (such) funds,” he said.

Adeyemo asked Ducey to respond within 30 days on how Arizona planned to come into compliance with the federal requirements, warning that “failure to respond or remediate may result in administrative or other action.” Such action included federal efforts to recoup the funds, a Treasury official said.

Florida, Texas and Arkansas have also banned mandatory masking orders in schools. The Education Department left those states and Arizona out of its inquiry because court orders or other actions have paused their enforcement, it said in a news release.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Mark Porter and Sonya Hepinstall)

‘All we can do is cry’ – La Palma volcano leaves trail of devastation

By Borja Suarez and Marco Trujillo

LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) -Lava flowed from an erupting volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma for a fourth day on Wednesday, forcing more people to evacuate their homes and blanketing towns in ash, while residents struggled to come to terms with the destruction.

“All we can do is cry. We are a small business, we live off all these people who have lost everything,” said Lorena, 30, who works in a jewelers in the small town of Los Llanos de Aridane.

Since erupting on Sunday, lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano has destroyed at least 150 houses and forced thousands of people to flee, mostly in Los Llanos de Aridane and nearby El Paso.

Holding back tears as she swept away a thick layer of ash from the street outside her store, Nancy Ferreiro, the jewelry shop owner, said: “There are no words to explain this feeling.”

Less than 5 km (3 miles) to the south, in Todoque, forked tongues of black lava advanced slowly westward, incinerating everything in their path, including houses, schools and the banana plantations that produce the island’s biggest export.

Emergency services tried to redirect the lava towards a gorge in an effort to minimize damage but had little success.

“Faced with the column of advancing lava … nothing can be done,” regional leader Angel Victor Torres told a news conference, adding that the flow had slowed to a crawl.

Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of the Pevolca eruption taskforce, said the lava’s speed had reduced so much that it might not reach the sea.

Experts had originally predicted it would hit the Atlantic Ocean late on Monday, potentially causing explosions and sending out clouds of toxic gases. Marine authorities are keeping a two nautical mile area in the sea closed as a precaution.

Morcuende said for now there was no indication that gases released by the eruption were damaging to human health.

People from the El Paso neighborhood of Jerey were ordered to evacuate on Wednesday as the lava crept close to their homes.

About 6,000 of La Palma’s population of 80,000 have been evacuated since Sunday. Some were allowed back briefly to recover belongings.

Property portal Idealista estimated the volcano had caused around 87 million euros ($102 million) in property destruction so far.

Late on Tuesday, the Canary Islands’ volcanology institute said the scale of seismic activity within the volcano was intensifying.

Drone footage captured towers of magma bursting high into the air, spraying debris onto the flanks of the Cumbre Vieja volcano.

No fatalities or injuries have been reported

(Reporting by Borja Suarez, Marco Trujillo, Nacho Doce, Emma Pinedo, Clara-Laeila Laudette and Inti Landauro; Writing by Nathan Allen and Inti Landauro; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Over 71% of Lebanon’s population risks losing access to safe water – UNICEF

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The United Nations warned on Friday that more than four million people in Lebanon, including one million refugees risked losing access to safe water as shortages of funding, fuel and supplies affect water pumping.

“UNICEF estimates that most water pumping will gradually cease across the country in the next four to six weeks,” a statement by the U.N. body said.

Lebanon is battling an economic meltdown that has propelled more than half of its population into poverty and seen its currency lose over 90% of its value in less than two years.

The financial crisis has translated into severe shortages of basic goods such as fuel and medicine as dollars run dry.

UNICEF said that should the public water supply system collapse, water costs could jump by 200% a month as water would be secured from private water suppliers.

The U.N. agency said it needed $40 million a year to secure the minimum levels of fuel, chlorine, spare parts and maintenance required to keep critical systems operational.

“Unless urgent action is taken, hospitals, schools and essential public facilities will be unable to function,” UNICEF Representative in Lebanon, Yukie Mokuo, was quoted as saying in the statement.

(Reporting By Maha El Dahan; editing by Grant McCool)

Iowa joins U.S. states forbidding COVID-19 mask mandates in schools

(Reuters) – Iowa joined a handful of other U.S. states on Thursday in passing a law that forbids cities, counties and local school districts from requiring people to wear face masks that protect against the spread of the coronavirus.

Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, signed the measure into law just hours after it was approved by the state legislature. Texas and Florida, which also have Republican governors, have passed similar measures.

“The state of Iowa is putting parents back in control of their child’s education and taking greater steps to protect the rights of all Iowans to make their own healthcare decisions,” Reynolds said in a statement.

A week ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said people vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear a mask in most settings because the chance of them catching or transmitting the airborne coronavirus is so low. But it still advised face coverings be worn in schools, medical settings and public transit.

The decision by Texas, Florida and Iowa to ignore some of the guidance comes after a year in which many conservative political leaders have cast mask mandates as an erosion of individual liberty rather than a public health issue.

Some Democrat-led states, such as New York and Connecticut, have adopted the CDC advice and said vaccinated people are no longer bound by mask mandates, though unvaccinated people must still wear them if they cannot distance themselves from others. Those states also have not stopped individual businesses from requiring visitors to wear masks.

In his Tuesday executive order, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said schools must scrap any mask requirements by June 4. However, public hospitals and state jails may still impose mask requirements, the order said.

On Wednesday, the Utah legislature passed a bill forbidding public schools and state universities from requiring masks, which now heads to the governor to be signed into law.

(Reporting by Peter Szekely and Jonathan Allen in New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot)