The Rock of Talk 'Daily Blast' for Saturday, June 12th, 2021
The Conservative Calendar, Top 10 Links, Local/State News Briefing, U.S. News Briefing, Global News Briefing, and Questions of the Day
GOOD MORNING FROM THE ROCK OF TALK!
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HERE’S THE BLAST!
Reading Time: 8 minutes 15 seconds
There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev … Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
— Ronald Reagan
THE CONSERVATIVE CALENDAR
Forecast from the KIVA Weather Station: Sunny and hot. High 98F. Winds SE at 10 to 20 mph.
Today is Saturday, June 12th, the 163rd day of 2021. There are 202 days left in the year. It is World Day Against Child Labour.
This Day in History
In 1665, Thomas Willett was appointed the first mayor of New York City.
In 1775, British general Thomas Gage declared martial law in Massachusetts.
In 1939, the Baseball Hall of Fame opened in Cooperstown, New York.
In 1963, NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers was murdered in front of his home in Jackson, Mississippi by Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith.
In 1964, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison.
In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Loving v. Virginia, that state laws prohibiting interracial marriage are unconstitutional.
In 1987, at the Brandenburg Gate, President Ronald Reagan publicly challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.
In 2018, President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un held the first meeting between leaders of their two countries.
This Day in Music History
In 1965, The Supremes scored their fifth consecutive No. 1 with “Back In My Arms Again.”
In 1972, a barefoot Ronnie Spector, with the help of her mother, left her husband Phil’s mansion, leaving behind her adopted sons. Within days, she filed for a divorce that was granted in 1974.
In 1989, the Elvis Presley Autoland Museum opened at Graceland. The museum contained over 30 cars, including The King’s famous pink Cadillac, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a 1975 Dino Ferrari, a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, and the red MG that he drove in the film Blue Hawaii.
In 2000, Sinead O’Connor told the magazine Curve that she had been in the closet for years, and had “gone out with blokes because I haven’t necessarily been terribly comfortable about being a lesbian.”
In 2008, Amy Winehouse performed an exclusive gig at a Moscow art gallery for Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich and his girlfriend. It was reported that the singer was paid £1 million for the performance.
Sportscaster Marv Albert is 80. Actor Timothy Busfield is 64. Psychologist and author Jordan Peterson is 59. Actress Paula Marshall is 57. Model Adriana Lima is 40.
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TOP 10 LINKS: NEWS, COMMENTARY, RESEARCH, AUDIO, AND VIDEO
MAINSTREAM LOCAL/STATE NEWS BRIEFINGS
(Bolded for your attention / analyses)
Governor settled harassment claim to focus on pandemic
SANTA FE — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is defending her handling of accusations of harassment by a former campaign spokesman that resulted in a financial settlement. Lujan Grisham has long denied the accusations by James Hallinan and said Friday that it was more important that she focus her attention on the pandemic. Hallinan worked as a spokesman for Lujan Grisham’s 2018 campaign for governor and has accused Lujan Grisham of dropping water on his crotch and then grabbing his crotch in the midst of a campaign staff meeting prior to the election. Lujan Grisham says there have been no other financial settlements and nondisclosure agreements of a similar nature.
New Mexico seeks reforms at unemployment agency
SANTA FE — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham vowed Friday to replenish the state’s indebted unemployment insurance trust fund to avoid future tax increases to businesses and said a $300 weekly federal bonus to unemployment benefits will continue through the expiration date in September. The comments came as Lujan Grisham announced new efforts to improve responsiveness to calls for assistance with unemployment claims and initiatives to deter fraud. The governor’s administration is in the process of expanding staffing by 110 positions at the Workforce Solutions Department and will receive outside advice on how to improve the agency’s performance.
New Mexico congresswoman joins Biden’s pre-K investment push
SANTA FE — Democratic Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández is touring a pre-K school in her home district in northern New Mexico as part of a party-wide push for early childhood education. High in poverty and low in child well-being, New Mexico could be a test case for the effectiveness of universal pre-K, a $200 billion line item in President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.8 billion investment in children, families, and higher education. Leger Fernández says child care costs should be capped at 7%, and that child care workers should be paid at least $17 per hour.
MAINSTREAM U.S. NEWS BRIEFINGS
(Bolded for your attention / analyses)
US to seek automated braking requirement for heavy trucks
DETROIT — U.S. auto safety regulators say they will move to require or set standards for automatic emergency braking systems on new heavy trucks. The Department of Transportation announced the change Friday when it released its spring regulatory agenda. The department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also says it will set rigorous testing standards for autonomous vehicles and develop a national database to document automated vehicle crashes. The announcement comes two days after four people were killed when a milk tanker going too fast collided with seven passenger vehicles on a Phoenix freeway.
Six Flags park settling lawsuit over fingerprints for $36M
GURNEE, Ill. — Six Flags Great America has settled a class-action lawsuit by agreeing to pay $36 million over the use of fingerprint scanners at its Illinois theme park. The Chicago Tribune says pass holders and others who visited the Gurnee park between October 2013 and December 2018 could get up to $200 each. Texas-based Six Flags declined to comment. Six Flags was accused of violating an Illinois law that requires companies to get permission before using certain technologies to identify customers. The company denied that it was collecting biometric identifiers and claimed visitors had given consent.
Top US regulators pledge to seek reforms for money markets
WASHINGTON — Top regulators are pledging to push reforms in a key corner of U.S. financial markets that the Federal Reserve and Treasury had to rush to support after it was roiled during the coronavirus outbreak in the spring of 2020. Members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council discussed the reforms aimed at the so-called short-term funding markets, which include money market mutual funds holding trillions of dollars. The oversight council is an interagency group headed by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who said the 2020 crisis prompted “extreme policy interventions” by the Federal Reserve and Treasury to restore order in the market.
Richard Branson marks opening of Virgin hotel in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS — Billionaire businessman Richard Branson marked the opening of the new Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, promoting weekend events that kicked off with a show headlined by Christina Aguilera. Branson, the English entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin brand, sprayed champagne at Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and other notables at the renovated former Hard Rock resort. The property officially opened March 25. Branson thanked the governor, a Democrat, for letting the remodeling continue during a coronavirus shutdown that he ordered in March 2020. Branson implored people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 so they can travel to Las Vegas.
Border collie Verb wins agility title at unique Westminster
TARRYTOWN, N.Y. — A border collie named Verb has zoomed — and not the virtual way — to a second-time win in the Westminster Kennel Club dog show’s agility contest. Verb and handler Perry DeWitt of Wyncote, Pennsylvania, also won the title in 2019. In another repeat win, an Australian cattle dog mix called Plop took a special award for the top mixed-breed dog, with handler Lisa Topol of New York City. Over 300 dogs ran, jumped and weaved in the competition. And for the first time Friday, they could relax afterward by rolling in the grass. The nation’s most prestigious dog show is being held outdoors for the first time in over 140 years.
MAINSTREAM GLOBAL NEWS BRIEFINGS
(Bolded for your attention / analyses)
Head of Mexico’s governing party cites middle class failings
MEXICO CITY — A top leader of Mexico’s governing party says the group suffered setbacks in the capital in last weekend's elections because it lost touch with the middle class. Mexico City was once a stronghold for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. But in Sunday's mid-term elections his Morena party lost in nine of the city's 16 boroughs. López Obrador blames the results on what he calls a “dirty war” by traditional media against his administration. He claims Mexico City residents listen more to the media. But Morena party secretary general Citlalli Hernández said Friday the party has failed to make contact with the city's huge middle class.
Hong Kong democracy activist Agnes Chow released from jail
HONG KONG — Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow has been released from jail after serving more than six months for taking part in unauthorized assemblies during massive 2019 anti-government protests that triggered a crackdown on dissent. The 24-year-old Chow was greeted by a crowd of journalists as she left the Tai Lam Center for Women. Only a small group of supporters were on the scene, an apparent reflection of the government’s threats to jail those it deems in violation of a sweeping national security law that Beijing imposed on the territory a year ago. The legislation has resulted in the arrests of leading democracy activists including Joshua Wong and Jimmy Lai, who are serving prison terms. Others have sought asylum abroad.
Afghan Hazaras being killed at school, play, even at birth
KABUL — Afghanistan's ethnic Hazaras have been flourishing since the collapse of the Taliban 20 years ago. They have advanced in various fields, including education and sports, and moved up the ladder of success. They now fear those gains will be lost to chaos and war after the final withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan this summer. Qatradullah Broman said Hazaras are frightened for their future. Those who can are fleeing “and those who can’t are staying here to die.” He spoke inside the Nabi Rasool Akram Mosque where funeral prayers were being said for the latest victims of relentless attacks against his community.
Euro 2020 opening marks return of mega-scale sports events
ROME — The biggest sporting event since coronavirus lockdowns brought the world to a halt has kicked off at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The opening match of soccer European Championship was played in the capital of Italy. That was the first country outside Asia to get struck by the pandemic and the first in the world to implement a nationwide lockdown. Italy delighted the mask-wearing home fans by beating Turkey 3-0.
Brazil, UAE, Albania, Ghana and Gabon win UN council seats
The United Nations has elected five countries to join the powerful U.N. Security Council with no suspense because all were unopposed -- Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Albania, Ghana and Gabon. It will be Albania’s first time serving on the council and Brazil’s 11th time, which will tie Japan as the country elected to the council for the most two-year terms. Winning a council seat is considered a pinnacle of achievement for many countries because it gives them a strong voice on issues of international peace and security. The five countries elected Friday will join the Security Council on Jan. 1.
‘ROCK OF TALK’ QUESTIONS OF THE DAY FOR OUR COMMUNITY (PLEASE ANSWER IN COMMENTS)
Should biometric identifiers be used to ensure election integrity?
Do you trust the federal government to competently regulate autonomous vehicles?
How long before Richard Branson’s Las Vegas hotel is out of business?
Did you attend an “unauthorized assembly” during the lockdown?
Whom do you believe: James Hallinan or Michelle Lujan Grisham?
Is the U.N. Security Council “powerful”?
Did you work as a child?
How responsible was the Reagan administration for ending the Cold War?
Amy Winehouse — talented and/or train wreck?
Is universal preschool a wise “public investment”?