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PM rundown: Deflation in December, Disney and ESPN sued

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ESPN sued over its vaccine mandate, Chicago’s mayor’s office under fire; Nebraska senator appointed; and inflation is still going down. These stories and more highlight the midday rundown for Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023.

U.S. saw deflation in December

In December, the U.S. economy saw deflation for the sixth month in a row. Consumer prices came down for the first time since 2020.

President Biden said the trend is “giving families some breathing room” after price increases climbed to 40-year highs last year.

“The big reason is falling gas prices. My administration took action to get oil onto the market and bring down prices. Now gas is down more than $1.70 from its peak,” Biden said.

The president did acknowledge inflation remains high, but is taking credit for progress in restoring the economy. Straight Arrow News Business Correspondent Simone Del Rosario has an analysis of Thursday’s economic report.

Pete Ricketts appointed to Senate

“It was clear the person for the job is Senate designate Pete Ricketts,” said Gov. Jim Pillen, R-Neb. 

Former Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has been appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by Sen. Ben Sasse.

Current Gov. Jim Pillen announced Thursday his pick for the replacement. There were more than 100 applicants and nine candidates were interviewed, but Ricketts was ultimately chosen to represent the state in Washington.

ESPN, Disney sued over vaccine mandate

After the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, some employers decided to make it mandatory for their employees to get vaccinated. Those who didn’t comply were fired. That’s what happened to an ESPN reporter and producer.

Now they’re suing the network. Sideline reporter Allison Williams along with producer Beth Faber are suing ESPN and its parent company Disney after their vaccine exemption requests were denied and they were fired.

“Forcing [the] plaintiffs to choose between continuation of their employment and a violation of their religious beliefs in order to retain their livelihoods imposes a substantial burden on plaintiffs’ ability to conduct themselves in accordance with their sincerely held religious beliefs,” the complaint filed in court read.

ESPN is facing a separate lawsuit on their COVID-19 stance. This one coming from anchor Sage Steele, who alleges retaliation after criticizing ESPN’s mandates.

That lawsuit is ongoing.

Sheriffs refuse to enforce gun ban

Straight Arrow News first told you Wednesday about Illinois’s ban on semi-automatic weapons that was signed into law this week. Despite the sale and possession of semi-automatic weapons being illegal, sheriffs in the state are saying they’re not enforcing the new law.

More than a dozen sheriffs issued proclamations in defiance. They said they’re conflicted because if they enforce the law, they feel it would be infringing on people’s rights under the Second Amendment. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, D-Ill., responded by saying sheriffs who don’t comply could lose their job.

“The reality is the state police are responsible for enforcement as are all law enforcement across this state and the fact is they will do their job or they won’t be in their job,” said Pritzker.

Extra credit for campaign work

Teachers in the Chicago public schools system received an interesting email from the mayor’s office this week. The email encouraged students to volunteer for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s reelection campaign, in hopes the school would provide extra credit opportunities in return.

The email was immediately met with backlash and shut down.

“Like it or not, it’s going to be perceived by the teachers that you’re pressuring them to recruit students for the Lightfoot campaign. And I think that’s totally inappropriate. It’s not right to put the pressure on the teachers and it’s not right to exploit the students in that regard,” said Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Vallas. 

The emails were sent to numerous teachers. It said students should contribute 12 hours per week to Mayor Lightfoot’s campaign, and students could earn “class credit” for their volunteer time.

After a wave of criticism from other candidates in the race, Lightfoot’s campaign backed off. It issued a statement that it would end all contact with public school teachers.

The teachers union president called the emails “unethical.”

Pigeon smuggles meth into jail

Drug smugglers inside a Canadian jail are having pigeons do their dirty work. Going old school, they are using a bird to deliver. They’re not using the a bird to deliver messages, the bird is delivering meth to inmates.

A backpack full of drugs was strapped onto a bird to drop narcotics into the jail. The pigeon was captured from inside the correctional facility. While guards have often spotted drones used to smuggle drugs into prisons, seeing a pigeon with a backpack was a first.

KARAH RUCKER: ESPN IS BEING SUED OVER ITS VACCINE MANDATE FOR EMPLOYEES. AND CHICAGO’S MAYOR’S OFFICE ASKED SCHOOLS TO GIVE STUDENTS EXTRA CREDIT IF THEY VOLUNTEER FOR HER CAMPAIGN. BUT FIRST PRESIDENT BIDEN TODAY TOUTED A NEW ECONOMIC REPORT SHOWING INFLATION EASED AGAIN IN DECEMBER.

THIS IS YOUR MIDDAY RUNDOWN FROM STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS. UNBIASED. STRAIGHT FACTS.

US SAW DEFLATION IN DECEMBER

IN DECEMBER, THE U.S. ECONOMY SAW DEFLATION FOR THE SIXTH MONTH IN A ROW.

CONSUMER PRICES CAME DOWN FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2020.

BIDEN SAYS THE TREND IS “GIVING FAMILIES SOME BREATHING ROOM” AFTER PRICE-INCREASES CLIMBED TO 40-YEAR-HIGHS LAST YEAR.

PRESIDENT BIDEN: “The big reason is falling gas prices. My administration took action to get oil onto the market and bring down prices. Now gas is down more than $1.70 from its peak.”

BIDEN DID ACKNOWLEDGE INFLATION REMAINS HIGH BUT IS TAKING CREDIT FOR PROGRESS IN RESTORING THE ECONOMY. OUR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT SIMONE DEL ROSARIO HAS AN ANALYSIS OF TODAY’S ECONOMIC REPORT OVER ON OUR WEBSITE.

PETE RICKETTS APPOINTED TO SENATE

JIM PILLEN | (R) NEBRASKA GOVERNOR: “It was clear the person for the job is Senate designate Pete Ricketts, thank you, applause.”

FORMER NEBRASKA GOVERNOR PETE RICKETTS HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO FILL THE SENATE SEAT VACATED BY SENATOR BEN SASSE.

CURRENT GOVERNOR JIM PILLEN ANNOUNCING TODAY HIS PICK FOR THE REPLACEMENT. THERE WERE MORE THAN 100 APPLICANTS AND NINE CANDIDATES WERE INTERVIEWED…WITH PETE RICKETTS ULTIMATELY CHOSEN TO REPRESENT THE STATE IN WASHINGTON.

ESPN, DISNEY SUED OVER VACCINE MANDATE

AFTER THE ROLL-OUT OF THE COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATE…SOME EMPLOYERS DECIDED TO MAKE IT MANDATORY FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES TO GET VACCINATED.

THOSE WHO DIDN’T…GOT THE BOOT.

THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED TO AN ESPN REPORTER AND PRODUCER.

AND NOW THEIR SUING THE NETWORK. SIDELINE REPORTER ALLISON WILLIAMS ALONG WITH PRODUCER BETH FABER ARE SUING ESPN AND ITS PARENT COMPANY DISNEY AFTER THEIR VACCINE EXEMPTION-REQUESTS WERE DENIED AND THEY WERE FIRED.

THE COMPLAINT FILED IN COURT READ IN PART: “FORCING [THE] PLAINTIFFS TO CHOOSE BETWEEN CONTINUATION OF THEIR EMPLOYMENT AND A VIOLATION OF THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS IN ORDER TO RETAIN THEIR LIVELIHOODS IMPOSES A SUBSTANTIAL BURDEN ON PLAINTIFFS’ ABILITY TO CONDUCT THEMSELVES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THEIR SINCERELY HELD RELIGIOUS BELIEFS.”

ESPN IS FACING A SEPARATE LAWSUIT ON THEIR COVID STANCE. THIS ONE COMING FROM SAGE STEELE. AN ANCHOR ALLEGING RETALIATION AFTER CRITICIZING ESPN’S MANDATES.

THAT LAWSUIT IS ONGOING.

SHERIFF’S REFUSE TO ENFORCE GUN BAN

WE FIRST TOLD YOU YESTERDAY ABOUT ILLINOIS’S BAN ON SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPONS THAT WAS SIGNED INTO LAW THIS WEEK. DESPITE THE SALE AND POSSESSION OF SEMI-AUTOMATIC WEAPONS BEING ILLEGAL…SHERIFF’S IN THE STATE ARE SAYING THEY’RE NOT ENFORCING THE NEW LAW.

MORE THAN A DOZEN SHERIFFS ISSUED PROCLAMATIONS IN DEFIANCE.

SAYING THEY’RE CONFLICTED…CLAIMING IF THEY WERE TO ENFORCE THE LAW…THEY FEEL THEY’D BE BREAKING ANOTHER…BY INFRINGING ON PEOPLE’S RIGHTS UNDER THE SECOND AMENDMENT.

THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE ALREADY RESPONDING…SAYING SHERIFFS WHO DON’T COMPLY COULD LOSE THEIR JOB.

J.B. PRITZKER | (D) ILLINOIS GOVERNOR: “The reality is the state police are responsible for enforcement as are all law enforcement across this state and the fact is they will do their job or they won’t be in there job.”

EXTRA CREDIT FOR CAMPAIGN WORK

TEACHERS IN THE CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS SYSTEM RECEIVED AN INTERESTING EMAIL FROM THE MAYOR’S OFFICE THIS WEEK. ENCOURAGING STUDENTS TO VOLUNTEER FOR THE MAYOR’S RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN…IN HOPES THE SCHOOL WOULD PROVIDE EXTRA-CREDIT OPPORTUNITIES IN RETURN.

IT WAS IMMEDIATELY MET WITH BACKLASH AND SHUT DOWN.

PAUL VALLAS | CHICAGO MAYORAL CANDIDATE: “Like it or not it’s going to be perceived by the teachers that you’re pressuring them to recruit students for the lightfoot campaign and I think that’s totally inappropriate. It’s not right to put the pressure on the teachers and it’s not right to exploit the teachers in that regard.”

THE EMAILS WERE SENT TO NUMEROUS TEACHERS…SAYING STUDENTS SHOULD CONTRIBUTE 12 HOURS PER WEEK TO MAYOR LORI LIGHTFOOT’S CAMPAIGN…AND STUDENTS COULD EARN “CLASS CREDIT” FOR THEIR VOLUNTEER TIME.

AFTER A WAVE A CRITICISM FROM OTHER CANDIDATES IN THE RACE…LIGHTFOOT’S CAMPAIGN BACKED OFF. ISSUING A STATEMENT THAT IT WOULD END ALL CONTACT WITH PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS.

THE TEACHERS UNION PRESIDENT CALLED THE EMAILS “UNETHICAL”.

PIGEON SMUGGLES METH INTO JAIL

DRUG SMUGGLERS INSIDE A CANADIAN JAIL ARE HAVING PIGEONS DO THEIR DIRTY WORK.

GOING OLD SCHOOL…THEY’RE USING BIRDS TO DELIVER — NOT MESSAGES — BUT METH TO INMATES.

A BACKPACK FULL OF DRUGS WAS STRAPPED ONTO A BIRD…

TO DROP NARCOTICS INTO THE JAIL. THE PIGEON WAS CAPTURED FROM INSIDE THE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY.

WHILE GUARDS HAVE OFTEN SPOTTED DRONES USED TO SMUGGLE DRUGS INTO PRISONS…SEEING A PIGEON WITH A BACKPACK…WAS A FIRST.

NOW I TRIED TO SEARCH ONLINE FOR THIS PIGEON’S MUGSHOT…

SINCE TECHNICALLY IT SMUGGLED DRUGS. BUT IT SEEMS HE WAS EITHER LET OFF FOR THE CRIME. OR THE PIGEON COULD’VE BEEN AN INFORMANT…HELPING ALL ALONG TO BUST THE DRUG DEAL.

THESE ARE YOUR TOP HEADLINES ON THIS THURSDAY.

THANKS FOR WATCHING THE MIDDAY RUNDOWN WITH STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS. YOUR PLACE FOR JOURNALISM WITHOUT AGENDA.

I’M KARAH RUCKER. HAVE A GREAT DAY.

 

ESPN sued over its vaccine mandate, Chicago’s mayor’s office under fire; Nebraska senator appointed; and inflation is still going down. These stories and more highlight the midday rundown for Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023.

U.S. saw deflation in December

In December, the U.S. economy saw deflation for the sixth month in a row. Consumer prices came down for the first time since 2020.

President Biden said the trend is “giving families some breathing room” after price increases climbed to 40-year highs last year.

“The big reason is falling gas prices. My administration took action to get oil onto the market and bring down prices. Now gas is down more than $1.70 from its peak,” Biden said.

The president did acknowledge inflation remains high, but is taking credit for progress in restoring the economy. Straight Arrow News Business Correspondent Simone Del Rosario has an analysis of Thursday’s economic report.

Pete Ricketts appointed to Senate

“It was clear the person for the job is Senate designate Pete Ricketts,” said Gov. Jim Pillen, R-Neb. 

Former Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has been appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by Sen. Ben Sasse.

Current Gov. Jim Pillen announced Thursday his pick for the replacement. There were more than 100 applicants and nine candidates were interviewed, but Ricketts was ultimately chosen to represent the state in Washington.

ESPN, Disney sued over vaccine mandate

After the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, some employers decided to make it mandatory for their employees to get vaccinated. Those who didn’t comply were fired. That’s what happened to an ESPN reporter and producer.

Now they’re suing the network. Sideline reporter Allison Williams along with producer Beth Faber are suing ESPN and its parent company Disney after their vaccine exemption requests were denied and they were fired.

“Forcing [the] plaintiffs to choose between continuation of their employment and a violation of their religious beliefs in order to retain their livelihoods imposes a substantial burden on plaintiffs’ ability to conduct themselves in accordance with their sincerely held religious beliefs,” the complaint filed in court read.

ESPN is facing a separate lawsuit on their COVID-19 stance. This one coming from anchor Sage Steele, who alleges retaliation after criticizing ESPN’s mandates.

That lawsuit is ongoing.

Sheriffs refuse to enforce gun ban

Straight Arrow News first told you Wednesday about Illinois’s ban on semi-automatic weapons that was signed into law this week. Despite the sale and possession of semi-automatic weapons being illegal, sheriffs in the state are saying they’re not enforcing the new law.

More than a dozen sheriffs issued proclamations in defiance. They said they’re conflicted because if they enforce the law, they feel it would be infringing on people’s rights under the Second Amendment. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, D-Ill., responded by saying sheriffs who don’t comply could lose their job.

“The reality is the state police are responsible for enforcement as are all law enforcement across this state and the fact is they will do their job or they won’t be in their job,” said Pritzker.

Extra credit for campaign work

Teachers in the Chicago public schools system received an interesting email from the mayor’s office this week. The email encouraged students to volunteer for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s reelection campaign, in hopes the school would provide extra credit opportunities in return.

The email was immediately met with backlash and shut down.

“Like it or not, it’s going to be perceived by the teachers that you’re pressuring them to recruit students for the Lightfoot campaign. And I think that’s totally inappropriate. It’s not right to put the pressure on the teachers and it’s not right to exploit the students in that regard,” said Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Vallas. 

The emails were sent to numerous teachers. It said students should contribute 12 hours per week to Mayor Lightfoot’s campaign, and students could earn “class credit” for their volunteer time.

After a wave of criticism from other candidates in the race, Lightfoot’s campaign backed off. It issued a statement that it would end all contact with public school teachers.

The teachers union president called the emails “unethical.”

Pigeon smuggles meth into jail

Drug smugglers inside a Canadian jail are having pigeons do their dirty work. Going old school, they are using a bird to deliver. They’re not using the a bird to deliver messages, the bird is delivering meth to inmates.

A backpack full of drugs was strapped onto a bird to drop narcotics into the jail. The pigeon was captured from inside the correctional facility. While guards have often spotted drones used to smuggle drugs into prisons, seeing a pigeon with a backpack was a first.

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