Biden’s two German shepherds are moved to Delaware after a ‘biting incident’ at the White House.

WASHINGTON — President Biden’s two German shepherds have been moved to the family home in Delaware after one of the animals showed ongoing aggressive behavior to White House staff, according to a news report.

A report published by CNN on Monday evening said that the dogs, Champ and Major, had been moved after Major had what one person described as a “biting incident” with a member of the White House’s security staff.

White House officials in the East and West Wings did not respond to requests for comment on Monday evening. A person familiar with the dogs’ whereabouts said that Champ and Major had been moved to the family home in Delaware, but added that it was typical for them to stay there when Jill Biden, the first lady, was traveling. Dr. Biden is currently on the West Coast visiting with military families as part of her Joining Forces initiative.

The dogs joined the Bidens at the White House shortly after the Bidens relocated to Washington. Since then, they have been allowed to roam unleashed on the White House grounds and have been given carte blanche to explore the complex. They are often part of the backdrop in Oval Office photos.

People magazine during a joint interview with her husband published in February. In that interview, Mr. Biden said that Champ was 14 years old, and Major was about a year-and-a-half old.

adopted Major in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association after his daughter sent him a Facebook post about a litter of puppies up for adoption. Major was part of a six-pup litter that had been exposed to toxins and were nursed back to health before the agency listed them for adoption.

Major underwent a “special training” to become acclimated to the Biden household, and was fostered for several months before the Bidens officially adopted him, Kerry Bruni, the association’s director of animal care, said at the time.

“I imagine he has to learn how to travel on planes and stuff that normal house dogs don’t have to worry about,” Ms. Bruni said.

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Missouri Pastor Who Sermonized That Women Must Look Good for Their Husbands Goes on Leave

A pastor in Missouri has taken a leave of absence and is “seeking professional counseling” after a video surfaced of a sermon in which he emphasized that women need to look attractive for their husbands because “God made men to be drawn to beautiful women.”

The video was posted on Facebook on Feb. 28 and runs more than 22 minutes. In it, the pastor, Stewart-Allen Clark of the 1st General Baptist Church, in Malden, Mo., can be seen standing on a brightly lit stage, wearing an oversize, untucked shirt and bluejeans, and holding a book open in his left hand. “Why is it so many times that women after they get married let themselves go?” he asks.

“I’m not saying every woman can be the epic, the epic trophy wife of all time, like Melania Trump,” Mr. Clark says, adding, “Maybe you’re a participation trophy.” He went on to discourage women from wearing sweatpants, flip-flops and pajamas, saying: “That ain’t going to work. Ain’t nothing attractive about that.”

The 1st General Baptist Church in Malden, about 130 miles north of Memphis, posted a brief statement on its website: “As of March 2, 2021, Pastor Stewart-Allen Clark has taken a leave of absence and is seeking professional counseling.” A telephone message left at the church was not immediately returned on Monday night.

a statement posted on Facebook last week that Mr. Clark’s sermon “included comments that are not consistent with the positions and values of General Baptists.”

“General Baptists believe that every woman was created in the image of God, and they should be valued for that reason,” the statement said.

The pastor also resigned from a moderator position at the General Association of General Baptist meeting in 2022, the statement said.

In the video, after an image of Ms. Trump in a blue dress appears on the screen, Mr. Clark tells the audience, “Not everybody looks like that.” Then, as Mr. Clark is seen on the screen, he says, “But you don’t need to look like a butch either.”

“You need to know this,” he adds. “Men have a need for their women to look like women.” Later, Mr. Clark says that husbands’ views of their wives matter above all else. “Do I think you’re hot in that hairstyle? That’s what matters,” he said.

Toward the end of his remarks, Mr. Clark reads a quote from Corinthians that he says men should put on their headboards: “The wife has no longer all the rights over her body, but she shares them with her husband.”

“So,” Mr. Clark adds, “whenever she’s not in the mood, take out your Bible.”

Mr. Clark did not immediately respond to voice mail messages and emails on Monday night, and a Facebook user who posted the video clip did not respond to a message sent through Facebook messenger.

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Outrage as Georgia Republicans advance bill to restrict voting access

Georgia lawmakers have advanced a measure that would significantly curtail voting access after a record number of voters propelled Democratic victories in the 2020 race.

The measure scraped through 29-20 in the GOP-controlled Georgia senate, which was the absolute minimum number of votes Republicans needed. Four Republicans, including some in competitive races, sat out the vote, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The bill, SB 241, would end the right to vote by mail without having to provide an excuse, a policy that Georgia Republicans implemented in the state in 2005. More than 1.3 million people voted by mail in the 2020 general election in the state. Under the bill only people age 65 and older, or who have one of a handful of state-approved excuses, would be allowed to vote by mail. Just 16 other states currently require a voter to give an excuse to vote by mail.

The legislation also would require voters to provide identification information, such as a driver’s license number, both when they apply to vote by mail and when they return the ballot.

Republicans have frequently held up the specter of voter fraud to justify such restrictions, though there were several vote recounts in Georgia in the 2020 race, as well as audits, and officials found no such wrongdoing.

Mike Dugan, the Republican state senator who sponsored the bill, said the lack of widespread fraud should not be an impediment to changing election rules.

“You don’t wait until you have wholesale issues until you try to meet the need,” he said. “You do it beforehand.”

He also said on the senate floor Monday that the bill was needed to reduce the burden on local election officials and to ensure that voters were not disenfranchised.

State senator Elena Parent, a Democrat, said the justification for the bill was a “weaponization of Trump’s lies” about the election.

“It is a willingness and embrace of damage to American democracy,” she said. “The numbers to stop this bill may not be here in this chamber today. But I assure you there are many thousands of Georgians right now whose political spirit is awakened by disgust at modern-day voter suppression.”

A stream of Democrats criticized the measure as a thinly veiled effort to suppress Black and other minority voters in Georgia. Those groups contributed to record turnout in the state in 2020 and helped propel Joe Biden, as well as Democrats senatorial candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, to stunning victories in the state.

“I know racism when I see it,” said Gail Davenport, a Democrat who recalledwatching the Ku Klux Klan marching on Saturdays in Jonesboro, just south of Atlanta. “This is not about the process. This is about suppressing the vote of a certain group of people, especially me, and people who look like me, and I take it personally.”

The bill will now go to the Georgia House of Representatives, which last week approved its own set of voting restrictions, including new limits on early voting and dropboxes. It remains unclear which proposals will ultimately be sent to the governor’s desk once each chamber fully considers the opposite chamber’s bill.

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Lawmakers have until 31 March to send the bills to Governor Brian Kemp’s desk, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“In the last two election cycles, we saw a dramatic increase in the number of voters of color who voted by mail, the number of young people who used early voting, the number of African Americans who voted on Saturday and Sunday,” Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, told Mother Jones.

“We saw unprecedented levels of turnout across the board. And so every single metric of voter access that has been a good in Georgia is now under attack.”

Top Republicans in the state, including Lt Gov Geoff Duncan, have said they oppose efforts to get rid of no-excuse absentee voting and Duncan refused to preside over the senate on Monday as it considered the measure to do just that.

At several points during the debate, which stretched around three hours on Monday afternoon, Democrats connected the policies under consideration to those in the Jim Crow south. They noted that some members of the legislature had lived through those policies. Harold Jones II, another Democratic state senator, urged his colleagues to pay attention to Black lawmakers who spoke out against the bill.

“It’s because that most basic right was denied to us. It’s not 1800, it’s not 1850s, it’s right here in this room. Many of the senators that sit here lived through that process,” he said. “Let me tell you, it is not theater. It is not a performance. It is real because we live with it every single day.”

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Biden pledges to tackle ‘scourge’ of sexual assault in US military

Joe Biden on Monday pledged to tackle what he called the “scourge” of sexual assault in the US military while also ordering a review of rules from Donald Trump’s administration dealing with such crimes on college campuses.

Biden, the US president, and his vice-president, Kamala Harris, both spoke from the White House on Monday to mark International Women’s Day.

Biden announced the nomination of two female officers, Gen Jacqueline Van Ovost and Lt Gen Laura Richardson, to become four-star commanders.

The president spoke about what the US can do to make sure that all women are fully supported and respected in their careers within the US military, from fair promotions, to making sure women’s careers do not suffer when they have children, to ensuring that the military supplies “body armor that fits women properly”.

He added: “This is going to be an all-hands-on-deck effort to end the scourge of sexual assault in the military.”

And in a first step toward reversing a contentious Trump administration policy, Biden ordered his administration to review federal rules guiding colleges in their handling of campus sexual assaults.

Biden directed the education department to examine rules that the Trump administration issued around title IX, the federal law that forbids sex discrimination in education.

Biden directed the agency to “consider suspending, revising or rescinding” any policies that fail to protect students.

Biden also signed a second executive order formally establishing the White House gender policy council.

“The policy of this administration is that every individual, every student is entitled to a fair education – free of sexual violence – and that all involved have access to a fair process,” Jennifer Klein, co-chair and executive director of the gender policy council, told reporters at a White House briefing.

Donald Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, made sweeping changes to the way colleges respond to sexual harassment and assault, with provisions that bolster the rights of the accused and narrow the scope of cases schools are required to address.

Civil rights groups say DeVos’s policy has had a chilling effect on the reporting of sexual assaults, and also pushback from colleges that say the rules are overly prescriptive and burdensome to follow.

“This is an important step,” said Shiwali Patel, senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center. “The title IX rules changes that took place under the Trump administration are incredibly harmful, and they’re still in effect.”

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Supreme Court Backs Georgia College Student’s Free Speech Suit

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a student in Georgia could pursue a lawsuit challenging speech restrictions at his college even though he sought only nominal damages.

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority in the 8-to-1 decision, said a request for even a token sum, typically a dollar, satisfied the Constitution’s requirement that federal courts decide only actual cases or controversies in cases. The fact that the college had withdrawn the speech code challenged in the suit, he wrote, did not make the case moot.

“Despite being small,” Justice Thomas wrote, “nominal damages are certainly concrete.”

In a spirited dissent, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the majority’s approach will have the effect of “turning judges into advice columnists.”

“If nominal damages can preserve a live controversy,” he wrote, “then federal courts will be required to give advisory opinions whenever a plaintiff tacks on a request for a dollar.”

A trial judge agreed, and the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, affirmed her ruling.

The question for the justices was whether there is anything left to decide when the government changes a policy after being sued and the plaintiff asks for only nominal damages to acknowledge the constitutional violation.

When the case was argued in January, several members of the court referred to what Justice Elena Kagan called “the most famous nominal damages case I know of in recent times, which is the Taylor Swift sexual assault case.”

Ms. Swift, the pop superstar, sued a Denver radio host she said had groped her. She sought $1 in nominal damages.

“I’m not really interested in your money,” Justice Kagan said, describing Ms. Swift’s thinking. “I just want a dollar, and that dollar is going to represent something both to me and to the world of women who have experienced what I’ve experienced.”

Justice Thomas, writing for the majority on Monday, instead relied on English common law to explain the role nominal damages play in the judicial system.

“By permitting plaintiffs to pursue nominal damages whenever they suffered a personal legal injury,” he wrote, “the common law avoided the oddity of privileging small-dollar economic rights over important, but not easily quantifiable, nonpecuniary rights.”

It would be odd, he wrote, if the student could sue for “a wasted bus fare to travel to the free speech zone” but not for nominal damages.

In dissent, Chief Justice Roberts wrote that the majority’s approach represented “a radical expansion of the judicial power.”

“Until now,” he wrote, “we have said that federal courts can review the legality of policies and actions only as a necessary incident to resolving real disputes. Going forward, the judiciary will be required to perform this function whenever a plaintiff asks for a dollar. For those who want to know if their rights have been violated, the least dangerous branch will become the least expensive source of legal advice.”

Chief Justice Roberts proposed a partial solution to the problem he had identified.

“The best that can be said for the court’s sweeping exception to the case-or-controversy requirement,” he wrote, “is that it may itself admit of a sweeping exception: Where a plaintiff asks only for a dollar, the defendant should be able to end the case by giving him a dollar, without the court needing to pass on the merits of the plaintiff’s claims.”

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C.D.C. Outlines Covid-19 Advice for Vaccinated Americans

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C.D.C. Outlines Covid-19 Advice for Vaccinated Americans

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Monday that people who have been fully vaccinated can hold small gatherings indoors without masks or social distancing.

We’ve been through a lot this past year, and with more and more people getting vaccinated each day, we are starting to turn a corner. And as more Americans are vaccinated, a growing body of evidence now tells us that there are some activities that fully vaccinated people can resume at low risk to themselves. This is why today, C.D.C. is releasing its initial guidance for the public that for the first time lays out some of the activities considered safe for those who are fully vaccinated. When I say fully vaccinated, I mean people who are two weeks after their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It’s important to note that we are focusing on activities of fully vaccinated people can resume in private settings, such as their homes, under two scenarios. The first scenario is fully vaccinated people visiting with other fully vaccinated people. C.D.C. recommends that fully vaccinated people can visit with other fully vaccinated people in small gatherings indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing. Fully vaccinated people can visit with unvaccinated people from one other household, indoors, without wearing masks or physical distancing, as long as the unvaccinated people and any unvaccinated members of their household are not at high risk for severe Covid-19 disease.

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