The Rock of Talk 'Daily Blast' for Sunday, December 6th, 2020

The Top 10 Links of the Day, Morning Local News Briefing and Sunday Conversations

“Who can chase a lion out of his den? Who can trust a coward with the throne? The old people in politics have seen the seat of power as their own inheritance, and the timid youths are busy chasing after crumbs.”
― Bamigboye Olurotimi - Nigerian Writer, Poet, Technologist, and a Mentor

For the rest of the links, click “NEWS” on the ABQ.FM - Rock of Talk App. Download for Apple or Android.

TOP 10 LINKS OF THE DAY

  1. Business break-ins skyrocket almost 300% in Las Cruces during pandemic

  2. Santa Fe priest apologizes for reference to ‘China virus’

  3. Trump campaign files lawsuit seeking new presidential election in Georgia

  4. Sen. Rick Scott: Trump’s Florida election victory has important lesson for Republicans nationwide

  5. Will Cities Survive 2020?

  6. USA Today Is Now Using College Kids To Censor Media They Dislike

  7. Tesla publishes its first-ever diversity report revealing leadership is 83% male and 59% White

  8. Romance Of The Conquistadors

  9. Inside John Lennon’s last days in NYC before his 1980 death

  10. Nevada County Man Tackles, Punches Bear To Save His Rescue Dog ‘Buddy’

NEW MEXICO LOCAL NEWS BRIEFING

New Mexico reports 1,928 more COVID-19 cases, 32 deaths

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico on Saturday reported 1,925 additional known COVID-19 cases and 32 more deaths. Those figures increase the statewide totals since the pandemic’s start to 106,856 known cases and 1,738 deaths. According to the state's coronavirus dashboard, the number of current COVID-19-related hospitalizations dropped to 925 from 934. New Mexico is dealing with a surge in COVID-19 cases and related deaths and hospitalizations. Health officials have been warning that cases could go up in weeks following family gatherings over the Thanksgiving holiday. The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.

Albuquerque closer to agreement for outside probes on police

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The city of Albuquerque and the Department of Justice are inching closer to an agreement to bring in outside investigators to probe police misconduct. The special counsel for the Department of Justice’s civil rights division, Paul Killebrew, said Friday that his office is in the process of negotiating with the city to file the measures in January. The efforts come after a scathing report was released by an independent police monitor of the city police department which said law enforcement was failing to police itself.

Navajo Nation extends stay-home order to halt virus' spread

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has extended a stay-at-home order through Dec. 28 to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The extension takes effect Monday and includes weekend lockdowns. The Navajo Nation has had some of the most restrictive measures aimed at COVID-19 anywhere in the country, and most of those have been in place since March. They include a mask mandate. Residents are required to stay home unless they must report to work, or need to get food, medication or essential supplies. Businesses have limited hours. Nez has urged residents not to leave the reservation or to gather with families.

Police provide details of deadly encounter with Black man

SANTA FE, N.M. — Activists are trying to bring attention to the case of a young Black man who was shot by New Mexico state police while on a road trip from Indiana to Arizona. Rodney Applewhite was on his way to Phoenix to visit family for Thanksgiving when he was shot following a police pursuit and altercation in which authorities say he grabbed an officer's gun and tried to unholster it while being taken into custody. Activists rallied Friday in New Mexico, Arizona and Indiana. They renewed calls for police reforms. Authorities also provided more details about what led to the deadly encounter, describing a string of erratic behavior. 

Man suspected in New Mexico homicide fatally shot in Arizona

TONOPAH, Ariz. — The FBI says a man accused of killing a New Mexico woman was fatally shot after he fired at law enforcement officials in Arizona. The agency says members of its Violent Crimes Task Force were trying to arrest 60-year-old Leonard Francis Kieren when he shot at them, and they returned fire. He was pronounced dead Friday afternoon in a remote area west of Phoenix. The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office in New Mexico says Kieren was accused in the shooting death of 57-year-old Kathleen Lorraine Vigil last month. She was found dead at her home near San Ildefonso Pueblo.

High court to decide whether Nazi art case stays in US court

WASHINGTON — Jed Leiber was an adult before he learned that his family was once part-owner of a collection of centuries-old religious artworks now said to be worth at least $250 million. His mother told him in the 1990s that his grandfather was one of a group of German art dealers who purchased a collection called the Guelph Treasure in 1929. She said the group was later forced to sell the works to the Nazis. That conversation set Leiber on a decadeslong mission to reclaim some 40 pieces of the Guelph Treasure on display in a Berlin museum. It’s a pursuit that's now landed him at the Supreme Court, in a case to be argued Monday. 

New Mexico agencies seek more funding amid virus pressures

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two of the state agencies that have been key in New Mexico’s response to the coronavirus pandemic have laid out their budget requests to a panel of state lawmakers. The Health and Human Services departments have been dealing with a surge in cases, deaths and hospitalizations as pressure mounts to do more testing and tracking to get spread under control. The Health Department is seeking a special appropriation of nearly $9 million for vaccination efforts. The Human Services Department is calling for more money to be funneled to its behavioral health program to address growing mental health needs amid the pandemic.

New Mexico research group adds ExxonMobil as sponsor

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A research group focused on the potential for reusing wastewater produced during oil and gas operations is getting some support from ExxonMobil. New Mexico State University announced this week that the company has been added as a sponsor. University Chancellor Dan Arvizu said research sponsors are critical to advancing new and innovative technologies necessary for New Mexico to ensure that produced water can be safely used for applications outside of the oil and gas industry. As a member of the consortium, ExxonMobil engineers and scientists will participate in the consortium’s research and engineering working groups and projects.

SUNDAY CONVERSATIONS

Joe Biden has unveiled his first major proposal, and here it is: All Americans should wear masks for the first 100 days of his presidency in order to get COVID-19 under control and keep it under control. So that would get us to the end of April before we can take the masks off?!?

IF he’s president, he can mandate masks only in certain places, like government buildings and on planes and trains that cross state lines. He can request that states impose the mandate. You know that Michelle Lujan Grisham will.

  • Do you think this is a sensible precaution or government overreach?

  • If the president recommends you wear a mask, will you do it?

  • If your state mandates that you wear a mask, will you do it?

The U.S. Supreme Court has again sided with church over state. It ordered a case between the state of California and a ministry back to an appeals court. That means the lower court must reconsider the case in light of another recent decision by the Supreme Court that blocked a state from enforcing COVID-19 restrictions on churches. The Harvest Rock International Ministry brought the case, saying that California's ban on indoor gatherings violates their parishioners' right to religious liberty.

  • Do you feel church-goers have a right to go to church regardless of health emergency restrictions?

  • Do you feel comfortable going to a house of worship or any other crowded place right now?

  • What precautions do you take when going to a house of worship or any other crowded place?

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