Nearly Three Million New Unemployment Claims Drives Two-Month Total to More Than 36 Million

New jobless claims continued their COVID-19 surge last week, driving the total number of those filing for unemployment benefits to more than 36 million over the past two months.

Even as many states across the country began easing restrictions and slowly reopening their economies, 2.98 million Americans filed for new unemployment benefits for the week ending May 9, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Law on Takeovers of Underperforming Schools

The Ohio Supreme Court recently upheld a law that changed how the state intervenes with schools that consistently perform poorly. The court ruled on Wednesday in favor of the constitutionality of a law that shifts the operational control of a poorly-performing school from the elected school board to unelected CEOs hired by state-appointed academic distress commissions.

Youngstown, Ohio, argued that the law stripped school boards of its power, according to AP News. The court said the school boards are currently set up in a way that does not require school board to receive any specific power.

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Judge Orders Paul Manafort Released from Prison to Home Confinement

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to be released from prison to home confinement amid concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Manafort, 71, is serving a seven-year prison sentence on fraud and money-laundering charges. He was convicted in August 2018, sentenced to jail in March 2019 and scheduled to be released on Nov. 4, 2024.

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Data Show Michigan Residents Are Defying Gov. Whitmer’s Stay-at-Home Orders

Michigan residents went out more last week, according to cell phone data reported by The New York Times, even as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to push her stay-at-home executive orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Approximately one million more people began to move around the state between May 1 and MAy 8, to move around the state again, The NYT reported.

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Commentary: China’s Electrifying Rags-to-Riches Ascent – at America’s Expense

A friend of mine who traveled China from the 1970s until recently described what the country was like 30 years ago:

Its cities were sprawling, impoverished places with dirt roads and low-rise structures. With few automobiles in the country back then, the Chinese people got around mostly by rickshaws and bicycles. The country had only a few tall buildings and just two sizable airports, in Beijing, its capital, and Shanghai, its financial center. China had no modern highways, bridges or high-speed rails, and the only trains that traversed the country were pulled by antiquated steam engines.

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Democrats’ $3 Trillion ‘Relief’ Package Declared Dead-on-Arrival, Republicans Say

A new Democratic bill proposed by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), without input from Republicans or the Trump administration is “dead on arrival,” top Republican leaders say.

The White House has said it wants to wait and see how the $3 trillion Congress already allocated will impact the economy and help Americans suffering from the economic shutdown due to the coronavirus.

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Emory Professor Xiao-Jiang Li Admits to Chinese Spy Ring Involvement

A former professor at Emory University pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns by failing to disclose $500,000 in income from Chinese sources.

The professor, Xiao-Jiang Li, worked at two Chinese universities as part of China’s Thousand Talents Program, according to the Department of Justice. Li was ordered to pay $35,089 in restitution and sentenced to one-year probation.

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Ohio’s Franklin County Experiences 11 Overdose Deaths This Past Weekend

Franklin County in Ohio saw another surge in drug-related overdoses last weekend, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Dr. Anahi Ortiz, the Franklin County coroner, told The Dispatch that 11 people had died.

Since the Wuhan virus came to Ohio, Franklin County has been one of state’s hardest-hit areas in terms of overdoses.

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Facebook Is Giving $1,000 to Content Moderators Who Said Online Trolls Turned Them into Conspiracy Theorists

Facebook agreed to pay out a $52 million settlement to thousands of current and former content moderators who said they are suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after viewing upsetting content on the job, The Verge reported Tuesday.

Each moderator will receive a minimum of $1,000 and will be eligible for additional compensation if they are exhibiting other trauma due to the kind of content they regularly view, the report noted. The settlement applies to 11,250 moderators, some of whom told The Verge in 2019 that they became conspiracy theorists while moderating content people post online.

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Buckeye Institute Supports Businesses Being Immune to COVID-19 Lawsuits

The Buckeye Institute submitted written testimony Wednesday to the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee on the policies of Senate Bill 308, which would provide businesses and workers with immunity from COVID-19 related lawsuits.

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Conservatives Say Obhof’s Canceling Session Before Acton Vote is ‘Betrayal’

Conservatives are using words like “betrayal” to describe Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof’s late-night move to kill a vote on a bill to curb Dr. Amy Acton’s unrestrained powers in shutting the state down, and suggests he had an ulterior motive.

The Senate will not act this week on Senate Bill One pulling back the Health Department director’s powers, meaning it will likely fail, Fox 19 Now reported. The Senate is only having committee meetings this week and will hold a session next week.

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