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Newsom ordered to pay $1.35M to LA church over coronavirus shutdown

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California Governor Gavin Newsom is $1.35 million in the hole after a judge ordered the state pay Harvest Rock Church of Pasadena back for attorney costs and fees in a lawsuit the church brought against the state last summer.

The settlement also prevents Newsom’s administration from implementing any further restrictions against houses of worship in the state, as reported by Fox News and Pasadena Now.

Mat Staver is the founder of the group that defended the church, the Liberty Counsel, and said in terms of religious freedom, Newsom is “the worst governor in America.”

“The church stayed open [during the lockdown], and the pastor and parishioners were threatened with daily criminal charges that were up to a year in prison,” he said, as reported by Fox News.

The settlement is forcing the state to pay for the church’s fees pertaining to the lawsuit.

“After nearly a yearlong battle defending our religious freedoms, our lawsuit has reached a permanent settlement in our favor,” the founder of the church Rev. Ché Ahn said. “I am thrilled to see the complete reversal of the last discriminatory restrictions against churches in California.”

Read the full story here.

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50-Foot Christmas Tree Outside Fox News Set on Fire by 49yr Old Homeless Man

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Fox News Xmas Tree

Just before 12:15 am Wednesday morning, an arsonist set fire to the 50-foot tree in front of Fox News’ Midtown headquarters on 6th avenue. The suspect, a 49-year-old with three prior arrests, was quickly caught and taken into custody.

The man has two previous arrests for drug possession and one for public intoxication. The motive is unclear, and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said detectives are looking into whether mental illness was a factor.

Christmas Tree

The suspect accused of setting the News Corp. Christmas tree on fire is taken into custody by the NYPD.

“The suspect is identified as 49-year-old Craig Tamanaha, who is homeless, with a last known address in Brooklyn” reports ABC 7 New York. Police said the suspect climbed up “the metal superstructure” underneath the artificial tree and lit papers he had brought with him on fire, then shoved the papers into the tree structure.

He then climbed down and watched from the street level as it burned, and he was spotted by building security who pointed the man out to police officers posted in nearby Rockefeller Center,” reports ABC.

A lighter was found in his possession, and he has been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance, endangering others, criminal trespass, criminal tampering and disorderly conduct.

Fox says it will rebuild the tree, which took more than 21 hours to assemble and consisted of 10,000 glass ornaments and 100,000 lights.

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