The following is the WeekenderNJ (WNJ) weekly news roundup, highlighting some vital stories from around the state and nation.
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
Roman Protasevich, a Belarusian journalist, and a former editor is in police detention in Minsk after the extraordinary diversion of his Ryanair flight from Greece, in a state hijacking.
While state hijacking and orders to assassinate people (not just body’s of the media) speaking out, or holding public officials accountable are not uncommon, this case is on another level because Belarus literally hijacked a plane to kidnap a Journalist.
This also brings the question of safety for any Journalists undergoing international travel, whether in a private or official business.
Protasevich’s girlfriend Sofia Sapega, was also arrested after the plane landed in Minsk. She is a Russian citizen and a law student at the European Humanities University in Lithuania.
Media Freedom Coalition Statement on the Arrest of Roman Protasevich issued a Press Release on Saturday.
NEW JERSEY COVID19 UPDATE
293 new positive PCR tests
887,306 total positive PCR tests
75 new positive antigen tests
128,583 total positive antigen tests
17 new confirmed deaths
23,531 total confirmed deaths
2,670 probable deaths
Learn more here.
NJ VACCINE UPDATE
8,627,156 total doses have been administered in New Jersey as of 7:30 AM today.
4,207,359 New Jerseyans are now fully vaccinated
Learn more here.
OTHER COVID-19 PANDEMIC UPDATES
New Jersey’s indoor mask mandate was lifted on Friday. This doesn’t mean that you must stop wearing your mask, and certain businesses still require you to wear one. Use your own judgement, and do whatever is good for you and your loved ones, and let’s remember to respect everyone's choice.
Per Governor Murphy, the number of hospitalizations in New Jersey has fallen below 600.
Rutgers University chancellor, Jonathan Holloway Apologizes to Palestinian / Palestinian - American students –
The Rutgers U. chancellor, Holloway decided to start the week by taking sides with groups of people, ending his week, by finally realizing that perhaps he should denounce ALL hatred and bigotry despite the donations to the University.
"On Hatred and Bigotry
May 29, 2021
Rutgers deplores hatred and bigotry in all forms. We have not, nor would we ever, apologize for standing against anti-Semitism.
Neither hatred nor bigotry has a place at Rutgers, nor should they have a place anywhere in the world. At Rutgers we believe that anti-Semitism, anti-Hinduism, Islamophobia and all forms of racism, intolerance and xenophobia are unacceptable wherever and whenever they occur.
Jonathan Holloway President and University Professor"
NJ LABOR DEPARTMENT
NJ reported 12,976 new unemployment claims for the week ending May 22. Nearly 2 million workers have applied for jobless benefits during the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, and many of our neighbors, friends and family continue to struggle economically.
HUDSON RIVER PROJECT
After four years of stalling by the Trump administration the underwater passageways connecting New York and New Jersey, the most deemed critical infrastructure in this country, have finally been approved.
REMEMBERING GEORGE FLOYD
Communities came together to remember George Floyd's one year death anniversary Thursday, a murder that shocked a nation, yet still to date Congress showed clearly that Black and Brown lives are still not equal. Instead of passing the – George Floyd Justice in Policing Act – to rein in the deadliest police culture in the modern world, they had time for anything under the sun, except addressing the Black and Brown communities in America.
251 American companies pledged $65 billion to bolster their diversity and equity initiatives. One year later these pledges were to the most part a trend and marketing strategy, same as their diverse employment and equality in the workplace.
What does justice look like?
Has anything changed since?
Is it really acceptable for cops to be allowed to murder people, whether guilty or not?
What does it have to give in order for this nation to really deeply look at its racist foundation?
Mayor DeBlasio announced 8.1 million COVID19 vaccine doses have been administered citywide.
SENATOR SANDERS VS. BEZOS
Sen. Bernie Sanders had enough of Billionaire Bezos asking for bailouts. Sen. Sanders jumped into NASA’s lunar fiasco with an amendment set to delete the whole human landing system section from the NASA authorization bill.
Purpose: To eliminate the multi-billion dollar Bezos Bailout, who wants $10 billion from Congress for space exploration, after getting $86 billion dollar richer since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former Georgia State Representative, Vernon Jones showed Georgians residents and the world why he’s not fit to be in public office this week. Jones took to twitter and has this to say:
Rich Privileged Selfish American by the name of John Adams– decided to drive an ad campaign to open the Canada (the country!!) - US border, so he can go to his cottage. And the answer to his add and rich selfish privilege over a foreing country is NO.
SAN JOSE — A transit system employee in San Jose opened fire Wednesday morning at a light-rail facility, killing nine people before shooting himself, officials said. The gunman appeared to have targeted his victims.
The U.S. Postal Service plans to raise rates on first-class stamps from 55 cents to 58 cents as part of a host of price hikes and service changes designed to reduce debt for the beleaguered agency. This will take effect on August 29, 2021.
Does this mean 3 cents increase for slower postal service with ongoing missing mail?
And why the hell is Louis DeJoy still the Postmaster General?
AUTOMAKER AND NON-EXISTING CONSUMER PROTECTION FOR FAULTY CARS
If you decide to head out for the long holiday, you may want to check the Consumer Reports to determine if your new car may end in your potential accident or death.
Goodyear RV Tire Linked to Multiple Deaths Is Still on Motorhomes, Listings Indicate
Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than a half-million heavy-duty Ram trucks to fix a problem that can cause the wheels to fall off.
Ford Recalls Transit Connect Vans for Rollaway Risk
Drivers could exit the vehicle thinking it’s in Park when it is not.
MORE RECALLS FROM SUBARU - THE NEVER ENDING RECALLS THAT KEEP ON COMING!!!
Subaru Recalls Crosstrek, Forester, and Impreza for Safety Concerns.
You can read more here.
2018-2020 Acura and Honda Models Recalled Due to Potential Fuel Pump Failure
The fuel pump will be replaced on hundreds of thousands of cars, minivans, and SUVs.
NISSAN AND INFINITY
Nissan and Infiniti Recall Full-Sized SUVs for Fuel Pump Problem
A disruption of fuel flow could cause the engine to stall in some Nissan Armada and Infiniti QX80 models.
Nissan Murano Recalled Due to Potential Steering Problems
A production problem creates the risk that key components may separate.
Infiniti SUVs Recalled AGAIN for Faulty Passenger Airbags
It’s the third time these FX35 and FX45 SUVs have been recalled for airbag problems.
Jeep Recalls 2021 Cherokee for Fire Risk
Over 18,000 Jeeps are being recalled to fix a faulty hose that could cause a fire.
HYUNDAI SANTA FE SPORT
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Recalled for Fire Risk, AGAIN!!!
These vehicles were already recalled for the same brake issue late last year.
Audi Sedans, SUVs, Wagons Recalled for Suspension Problem
Tesla Recalls Over 134,000 Vehicles for Faulty Screens
The Model S sedan and Model X SUV are included in the recall.
More Kia Vehicles Recalled for Fire Risk
The Kia Cadenza and Sportage are included in the latest in a series of fire-related recalls.
Toyota RAV4 Under Investigation Due to Battery Fire Concerns
NHTSA says issue could involve 1.8 million vehicles.
Ford is recalling about 2.6 million cars, SUVs, and trucks in the U.S. and its territories to replace driver-side Takata airbags.
To add to insanity, the automaker petitioned in January to exempt several Ford and Mazda models from the recall process!! Perhaps automakers should not use this potential deadly marketing tactic.
ALL CARS (WITH TAKATA AIRBAGS)
Takata Airbag Recall by 19 different automakers thus far is one of the biggest in U.S. history.
The automobiles affected are from years 2002 through 2015. Some of those airbags could deploy explosively, injuring or even killing car occupant(s).
The batshit part about this, is that although there is an insane amount in recalls for expensive new and relative new cars, the Government and Law only on rare occasions is slapping a car maker CEO’s wrist for wrong doings and death of their customers.
The whole point of customers spending their hard earned money on a new car, is so that they can drive from the car dealer with safety in mind, not whether or not the car comes with an ‘apple’ outlet.
Are you woke yet??
Senate confirmed KristenClarkeJD 51-48 as first Black woman to lead DOJ Civil Rights Division
Some GOP senators delayed final votes on the China bill to raise concerns over the process. GOP Senators dragged this vote into the night, delaying the ‘Jan 6 bill,’ and hoping that come Tuesday (long holiday weekend), no one will remember that this took place.
Senator Schumer however got consent to kick the China bill to after the Memorial Day recess. Perhaps he should have kept everyone at the Capitol over the weekend to remind some folks about the insurrection.
GOP senators block bill to create Capitol riot commission
The biggest criminal investigation in US history with more than 440 ‘alleged’ participants arrested and another 100 people expected to be charged.
Several of those arrested were police officers, and dozens were military veterans.
54-35, Senate Republicans block effort to open debate on bill to create an outside commission to probe Jan. 6 attack.
9 Republicans + 2 Democrats didn’t even bother to show up.
On Friday, the GOP let the nation know that they only planned to ‘fuck around,’ not for the nation to find out ‘to what extend.’
Why are Republicans resisting a Jan. 6 bipartisan commission to investigate the U.S. Capitol insurrection? And, what is a nation to do when public servants go rogue?
President Biden proposed $6 trillion budget
The proposed $6 trillion budget for the fiscal year starting Oct.1, 2021 is the largest budget proposal in decades.
Companies that currently pay nothing in taxes would have to pay taxes!!
High earners would see a tax increase.
The budget projects a drop in the unemployment rate over the next few years.
The budged drops the Hyde Amendment, which is a decades-old ban on federal funding for abortion. The chance of this bill to survive would involve having public servants serve the people with a 21 century mindset.
The budget would increase military spending by about 2.7%
What our communities need:
Public servants who are in love with our communities, not so much corruption and narcissism.
Freeing people to invest in the local economy by providing jobs for all, and investing in startups.
Young people without corrupt family ties serving communities as public servants.
Re-evaluate corruptions and crimes that are hurting communities.
Vice President Kamala Harris under fire for 'disrespectful' tweet –
VP Harris took to twitter Saturday saying ‘Enjoy the long weekend,’ as the nation gets ready to remember the fallen. However, the previous administration will always be there in history to remind us what was said in the past.
WHERE THE HELL DID COVID-19 ORIGINATED FROM?
Chinese Government's refusal to participate in an investigation of the COVID-19 origin probe by the World Health Organization (WHO) prompted President Biden to announce an intensified 90-day review into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
OLYMPIC GAMES –– IN THE NAME OF CORRUPTION WE’RE WILLING TO SACRIFICE YOU ALL
Hospitals in Japan's second largest city of Osaka are buckling under a huge wave of new coronavirus infections, running out of beds and ventilators as exhausted doctors warn of a "system collapse," and advise against holding the Olympics this summer.
VIETNAM –– NEW COVID-19 VARIANT
Vietnam has discovered a new Covid-19 variant which spreads quickly by air. The new variant is a combination of the Indian and British strains, state media reported Saturday
More than 6,700 cases including 47 deaths have been reported in Vietnam since April.
Sasha Johnson, a British Black Lives Matter activist is in critical condition after being shot in the head in London, according to her political party.
"It is with great sadness that we inform you that our own Sasha Johnson has been brutally attacked and sustained a gunshot wound to her head," the Taking the Initiative Party (TTIP) said in a Sunday statement. "She is currently in intensive care and in a critical condition."
Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy Public Schedule
May 30, at 2:00 p.m.
First Lady Tammy Murphy to Visit "Grateful for the Shot" COVID-19 Vaccination Site in Newark
Where: Allen AME Church, 56 19th Ave., Newark, NJ
Monday, May 31, at 10:00 a.m.
What: Governor Murphy to March in Freehold Memorial Day Parade
Starts At: W Main St & Brinckerhoff Ave., Freehold, NJ
What: First Lady Tammy Murphy to March in Fair Lawn Memorial Day Parade
Starts At: Radburn Train Station, Pollitt Dr., Fair Lawn, NJ
When: 2:00 p.m.
What: Governor Murphy and First Lady Tammy Murphy to March in Bergenfield Memorial Day Parade
Starts At: S Washington Ave & E Englewood Ave., Bergenfield, NJ
It takes courage to live outside the traditional expectation of society. Have courage!!