Monday, February 10, 2020

Trade deficit narrows

The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years, according to Commerce Department data. The gap in what the U.S. sells and what it buys overseas dipped 1.7% to $616.8 billion in 2019. This as demand for U.S. products dwindled and trade tensions between the U.S. and China weakened the global economy. U.S. exports fell 0.1% to $2.5 trillion, while imports dropped 0.4% to $3.1 trillion. (The Wall Street Journal)


Highway Patrol Are Life Savers

A trooper literally brought a person back to life last week while on patrol in Surprise, Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. On the night of January 27th, around 8:30 p.m. local time, Trooper Alec Cunningham was investigating a minor crash when a woman, who was not involved in the crash, approached him to tell him about the passenger in her car having a medical emergency. When the Trooper got to the car, he realized the passenger was not breathing and didn’t have a pulse. That’s when he took the unconscious person out of the car and started to perform CPR on them. He successfully revived the pulse before medics came to take the passenger to the hospital. “Thanks to Trooper Cunningham’s swift and instinctive actions, a life was undoubtedly saved that night,” Arizona Department of Public Safety wrote on their Facebook page.  (Arizona Department of Public Safety Facebook)


Tennessee lawmaker renews call to make Holy Bible official state book

A Tennessee lawmaker is renewing the call to make the Bible the official state book of Tennessee. Representative Jerry Sexton is sponsoring HB 2778 which was submitted in the Tennessee General Assembly. The bill would make “The Holy Bible” the official state book of Tennessee. The bill comes four years after similar legislation was vetoed by then Governor Bill Haslam. Critics of the 2016 legislation which had been vetoed complained about placing the Bible alongside other state symbols like the official rock, tree, or reptile. There were also legal concerns surrounding the legislation which would likely arise again. In 2015, Attorney General Herbert Slattery III argued the bill would have violated both state and federal constitutions. (WZTV)


Workforce’s youngest employees viewed as job hoppers

A new survey found that U.S. millennials and Gen Zers want to stay at their current jobs for an average of 10 years and six years, respectively. Additionally, they say work is a major part of their lives, with 65% of people in Gen Z and 73% of millennials saying it’s part of their identities, according to a recent poll. The age groups’ actions reflect the findings: Seven in 10 say they constantly check work messages outside the office. (Zapier)


Woman arrested for adding her inmate boyfriend to payroll at Long John Silver’s

Police said a Pennsylvania woman who managed multiple Long John Silver’s locations put her boyfriend on payroll while he was in prison. The 48-year-old woman was arrested after police received a tip from Long John Silver’s. The restaurant chain discovered a man had been added to the payroll despite never working there. Police said she used her position to steal more than $50,000 that ended up going to her boyfriend while he was behind bars. “She was in a position where she could hire and fire employees for Long John Silver’s,” authorities said. “She was in charge of about 10 stores. She met this guy in state prison and decided she was going to put him on as an employee. She was collecting the paycheck and she was forwarding the money to different places for him.” Authorities eventually tracked down her boyfriend, who is out on parole in Philadelphia, and he will face charges. Meanwhile, police in a neighboring county are investigating the woman for similar crimes. (WPXI)


Will Mississippi state flag be redesigned?

More than 150 years after the Civil War, the Confederate stars and bars are still part of Mississippi’s state flag. Now, a new bill could change it. House Bill 39 calls for the creation of a new flag commission made up of legislators, teachers, college professors, high school students, artists and historians. The commission would come up with two new flag designs for legislators to vote on in 2021. No matter what the design is, it can’t contain the Confederate battle flag like the current state flag does. If the bill is passed and the commission is formed, the state Legislature could be voting on a new flag design by the first of the year. State voters and lawmakers have rejected proposed changes before. The current Mississippi flag was adopted in 1894 and repealed in 1906 but kept in use. (WFTV)


Jobs growth jumps in January

Payrolls gained a more-than-expected 225,000 in January, with wage growth ticking up to 3.1% from a year earlier. The Labor Department also reported that the unemployment rate rose to 3.6%, still hovering at a half-century low, as labor participation rose to its highest level in almost seven years. Wage growth has remained around 3% for 18 months, though, raising questions about how much higher participation can go without faster increases in pay. (Bloomberg)


Oklahoma House Approves Bill To Revoke Licenses Of Doctors Who Perform Abortions

A bill that would revoke licenses of doctors who perform abortions has passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives and will now head to the Senate. The House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed the legislation, which would direct the Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision and the State Board of Osteopathic Examiners to revoke the licenses of physicians who perform abortions. House Bill 1182, authored by State Representative Jim Olsen, would revoke the license for one year. An amendment filed prior to the vote clarified the life of the mother exception, according to officials. If signed by the governor, the bill would likely face a court challenge, where abortion rights groups have successfully overturned several Oklahoma abortion restrictions. The bill was the first scheduled for a hearing in the House this session and prompted hours of debate. Republican Governor Kevin Stitt has indicated he would sign any anti-abortion bill sent to him by the Legislature. (KOCO)


Student withdraws from school after he’s asked to cut hair he’s growing for ill sister

A 16-year-old teen in Poth, Texas is torn between rules, regulations and growing out his hair to donate to his sister. This is the tough choice he had to make after school officials asked him to cut his hair. His 11-year-old sister is just like any other 5th grader. She loves school and sports, but hit a big hurdle in October 2019 when she was diagnosed with Wegener’s disease, an auto immune disease affecting her kidneys. “I get like nauseated and I’ll throw up and like get a real bad headache,” she said. “I have to get chemo, dialysis.” The treatments she is getting are now threatening her long, curly, red hair. Some spots of her hair has started falling out. That’s when her brother decided to start growing out his hair in case she needs a wig. The idea came after a small compliment by her saying she liked her brother’s hair. Being as close as they are, he felt the need to help. Their father said it was no surprise and he’s proud to see his son thinking about his sister and standing up for what he believes in. After started growing out his hair for locks of love knowing he needed between eight to 14 inches before donating it, the brother hit a snag when the principal at Poth High School told him he’d have to cut it. Like all the other students in the district, he was given a student handbook with hair policies at the beginning of the school year that stated the hair policy for boys says it can’t be anything longer than the shoulder length, it’s got to be above the ears. The 11-year-old sister was left wondering why her brother was getting in trouble for doing something for her, even after the district was aware of her diagnosis. The brother spoke with his parents and decided to be home-schooled to avoid adding more stress on them. The mother of the two did meet with Poth ISD officials about the policy and said they wouldn’t budge. PISD officials say the family didn’t further challenge the policy. The brother is still growing out his hair for his sister, but he said he won’t stop there. He plans on helping others who are also suffering hair loss. (WOAI/KABB)


New bill would ban using your phone while driving in Oklahoma

Texting and driving has become an increasing problem as phones have gotten more advanced. With more distractions, AAA says accidents caused by distracted drivers continue to rise. In Oklahoma, the law only prohibits driving “while using a hand-held electronic communication device to manually compose, send or read an electronic text message”. 8,600 crashes in 2017 were attributed to distracted driving, according to AAA. 35 people died in those wrecks. AAA also says nine people are killed every day by distracted driving across the country, and another 1,000 are injured. District 17 Senator Ron Sharp wants to bring that number down by changing the law. “We have to do something right now to protect property and protect our lives,” The Senator said. “The only way a police officer can actually give you a citation for texting and driving is if the person admits they were texting and driving.” The bill never made it past the public safety committee. The Senator says legislators believe any change would be an intrusion upon drivers’ individual rights. Still, the Senator is pushing for a change of his own. Senate Bill 1088 would outlaw using your phone at all while driving. “It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on any street or highway within this state while using a hand-held electronic communication device while the motor vehicle is in motion,” the bill reads. Hands-free devices are exempt under the bill. The Senator says if you’re caught looking at your phone while driving, you can get pulled over, and face a $100 fine. If passed, the law would come into effect November 1st. (KJRH)


Monday Comes With:

  • All The News That’s Fit To Print Day
  • Clean Out Your Computer Day (2nd Monday)
  • Meal Monday (2nd Monday)
  • National Home Warranty Day
  • Plimsoll Day
  • Tu B’Shvat
  • World Pulses Day


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