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Minnesota bill would create a government bias registry

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A Minnesota bill introduced in January would allow people “to report perceived bias-related incidents such as alleged slurs and verbal attacks that would fall outside the hate crimes compiled annually by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension”, according to the St. Cloud Times.

Now, an additional change to the bill is being considered that would further suppress the First Amendment. House File 181, would also “log alleged bias incidents even when they aren’t considered a crime” reports Fox News.

Republican state Rep. Walter Hudson warned House File 181 could pose a threat to religious freedom.

“It seems very clear, based upon their focus on motivation, that they’re more concerned about what’s going on in people’s heads, which is protected speech, and that’s thoughtcrime,” he told Fox News Digital in March.

Minnesota state Rep. Harry Niska, R., asked during a debate on a new bill “If a Minnesotan writes an article claiming or arguing that COVID-19 is a Chinese bio-weapon that leaked from a lab in Wuhan, and someone reports that article to the Department of Human Rights, is that something that the Department of Human Rights should put in their bias registry under your bill?”

Fellow state Representative, Democrat Samantha Vang argued that while not all incidents are considered violent or criminal, this sort of rhetoric is “bias motivated” therefore “it can be considered a bias incident.”

Niska said Vang’s answer was “very troubling.”

Niska then posed the theoretical question to Vang asking if someone wearing an “I love J.K. Rowling” shirt would be added to the database.

“If a Minnesotan is wearing a t-shirt that says ‘I love J.K. Rowling’ and someone sees that and reports them to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights as an example of gender identity or gender expression bias, is that something that the Minnesota Department of Human Rights should put in this bias database?” he asked.

Vang suggested this question would be better answered by lawyers and added, “I’m not going to say yes or no to that question.”

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Analysis: Biden unlikely to sanction Iran’s oil exports, gas prices ‘critical during an election year’

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Analysts say President Joe Biden is unlikely to “prompt dramatic sanctions action on Iran’s oil exports” due to “worries about boosting oil prices and angering top buyer China” according to Reuters.

Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, House Republican Representative Steve Scalise, said the administration had made it easier for Iran to sell its oil, generating revenues that were being used to “go fund terrorist activity.”

The Biden administration has maintained for months that among its primary goals is to keep the Gaza conflict between terror group Hamas and Israel from turning into a wider regional war. However, House Republican leaders accused President Joe Biden of failing to enforce existing measures and said they would take up this week a series of bills to sharpen sanctions on Iran.

Kimberly Donovan, a sanctions and anti-money laundering expert at the Atlantic Council, said that oil-related sanctions have not been strictly enforced in the past couple of years.

“I would not expect the administration to tighten enforcement in response to Iran’s missile and drone attacks against Israel over the weekend, mainly for concerns (that) could lead to increases in oil prices,” she said.

“The price of oil and ultimately the prices of gas at the pump become critical during an election year.”
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