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Judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal workers

A Trump-appointed federal judge issued a nationwide injunction Friday blocking the requirement for federal employees to get inoculated against COVID-19, matching the federal contractor mandate already blocked by a nationwide injunction.... Read more»

Capital COVID: Arizona state, federal lawmakers face different pandemic rules

Even though U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday, the Tucson Democrat was still able to cast votes in Congress by proxy Thursday while he was quarantined at home - an option many state lawmakers with they had.... Read more»

FactChecking Biden’s Jan. 19 press conference

In a nearly two-hour press conference on Jan. 19, President Joe Biden stretched the facts and left out important context on vaccinations, funding for lead pipe removal, child poverty and more.... Read more»

Lawmakers consider immigration court overhaul to crack backlog of 1.6 million cases

Members of the House Judiciary Committee met Thursday to hear testimony about making immigration courts independent of the Department of Justice as the system faces a historic backlog of nearly 1.6 million cases. ... Read more»

L.A., Long Beach ports see progress moving backlogged containers, but bigger issues persist

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which last year became the focal point of the massive supply-chain meltdown that left store shelves empty and cranked up inflation, have been making progress in recent months addressing some of the most acute bottlenecks on the docks.... Read more»

Ducey defends use of Arizona school funding in face of feds’ threat to reclaim it

Gov. Doug Ducey said Thursday that the state’s use of money to support schools that reject mask mandates is “well within” federal guidelines for the funds, despite a Treasury Department threat to take the money back - but Arizona educators said the governor needs to back down.... Read more»

Arizona Senate committee approves measure targeting transgender girls in school sports

Republican senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a proposal to bar transgender student athletes from playing on women’s sports teams for Arizona high schools and colleges.... Read more»

Ducey: I’m still not running for Senate

Again, national media are floating Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey as a possible U.S. Senate candidate, and again, he’s shooting the rumors down, rebutting a recent Politico article that claimed he might join the Republican primary field for this year’s Senate race. ... Read more»

Biden says 'big chunks' of his spending bill could still succeed, including climate plan

President Joe Biden said Wednesday the climate and child care provisions in his domestic spending agenda could still become law this year, even as the larger plan has stalled in the Senate over other items that Biden conceded may not pass — such as an expanded child tax credit.... Read more»

Is online learning creating a virtual school-to-prison pipeline?

Because of the pandemic and virtual learning, behavior in the classroom that would simply be referred back to the parent for home correction is now open to scrutiny by teachers in an academic setting, and these policies have led to negative unintended consequences for students.... Read more»

Comic:

Claytoonz: Manchin sucks at Wordle

The voting rights bill currently being considered by the Senate would standardize election laws across the country and restore provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But thanks to two Democratic senators, it doesn’t look like it’s going to pass. What does that mean for voting rights?... Read more»

Over-burdened Pima Animal Care Center needs fosters for pets, waives adoption fees

The Pima Animal Care Center, overcrowded and under-staffed due to COVID-19 cases, is asking members of the public to either adopt or commit to fostering a pet for two weeks to help empty the shelter.... Read more»

Analysis

Kyrsten Sinema is gambling that her filibuster vote will help her win again in 2024

There’s been near unanimity among political analysts and talking heads that Kyrsten Sinema’s obstruction on the filibuster all but destroys her chances of getting re-elected as a Democrat, but any analysis that writes Sinema’s political obituary underestimates how shrewd she is.... Read more»

Analysis

The pandemic’s unequal toll on people of color underlines U.S. health inequities

Research shows the pandemic’s unequal toll on communities of color has been driven by long-standing health inequities - and effectively addressing social determinants of health involves an equity-focused approach.... Read more»

Arizona mayors say immigration reform needed, but politics likely to prevent it

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero and Mesa Mayor John Giles took part in an immigration forum Wednesday and agreed that immigration reform is badly needed to address the current border situation, but they are not confident it can get done in the current fractured political climate. ... Read more»

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