Ex-Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson Says He’s Running for President

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday he has decided to run for president and plans on formally announcing his campaign in April. 

“My decision is, I’m going to run for president of the United States,” he told ABC News’ “This Week” during an interview. He said he will formally announce his campaign in his hometown of Bentonville, Arkansas, later this month.

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Maricopa County Added 130,000 People Since Pandemic Began, Nation’s Highest

Since the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arizona’s most-populous county has added tens of thousands more residents than any other county in America.

U.S. Census data released Thursday shows the county population increased by an estimated 130,950 since the April 1, 2020, decennial Census count. It was the only county to have added more than 100,000 people in that time.

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63 Christians Face Deportation Back to China

Influential members of Congress and top human rights advocates in Washington are urging the Biden administration to take immediate action to ensure the safety of a group of Chinese Christian dissidents and two Americans detained by Thai authorities Thursday.

The group of refugees, including 35 children and 28 adults, fled China in 2019 to escape persecution. They initially sought refuge in South Korea and then Thailand while seeking emergency asylum in the United States. But the U.S. State Department and Department of Homeland Security have declined to grant the church members emergency asylum, as it has done for many others, including tens of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing their war-ravaged countries, and the first group of Afghans airlifted into the United States amid the chaotic U.S. evacuation in August 2021.

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Biden Admin’s Sweeping New Rules Would Let Green Groups Lease Federal Land Away from Oil, Ranching

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) proposed new rules Thursday that would allow public land to be leased for conservation efforts, among other major changes to promote land health.

The proposal would expand land-health standards to the entirety of the 245 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), prioritize the designation of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) and establish a leasing framework for private partners to perform climate restoration and mitigation efforts on public land, according to the DOI. The new rule would make proposed leases for conservation efforts a valid “use” of public land, similar to mining, ranching and other energy projects under the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976, according to the BLM.

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Social Media ‘Troll’ Douglass Mackey Convicted of ‘Election Interference’ for Posting Memes

The Justice Department announced Friday that a jury convicted social media “troll” Douglass Mackey over internet memes posted during the 2016 presidential election.

Legal experts raised concerns about the trial of the 33-year-old Mackey, who posted under the alias “Ricky Vaughn 99,” earlier this year on First Amendment grounds. The Department of Justice indicted Mackey in January 2021, claiming he conspired “to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person … in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution.”

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Center for Arizona Policy Urges Gov. Katie Hobbs to Sign Anti-Infanticide Bill

The Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) is urging Governor Katie Hobbs to sign Senate Bill (SB) 1600, sponsored by Senator Janae Shamp (R-Surprise), which aims to protect all children born alive.

“Withholding reasonable care to a living newborn just because doctors don’t expect her to live long is, indeed, heartless and cruel. @GovernorHobbs can prevent this evil by signing SB 1600,” CAP tweeted.

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Holy Week Starts Off with Lots of Palms – but Palm Sunday’s Donkey Is Just as Important to the Story

For the Catholic Church and many other Christian denominations, the Sunday before Easter marks the beginning of the most important week of the year – “Holy Week,” when Christians reflect on central mysteries of their faith: Christ’s Last Supper, crucifixion and resurrection from the dead.

Palm Sunday commemorates the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem shortly before the Jewish holiday of Passover. According to the Christian Gospels, people lined the streets to greet him, waving palm branches and shouting words of praise.

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California’s Reparations Plan Could Cost over $800 Billion

After economists estimated that California’s reparations plan could spend as much as $800 billion, the leader of the state’s “reparations task force” has refused to commit to such a staggering amount.

According to ABC News, the $800 billion figure would be paid to all black residents in the state in return for past historical circumstances such as slavery and segregation, as well as alleged “racism” in policing, incarceration rates, and housing.

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Commentary: New Study Shows American Religious Divides

America is a diverse country. In most cities, you can find people from nearly every ethnic or racial background imaginable. This is becoming the case in rural areas as well. But America is host to a considerable amount of religious diversity as well. And while race relations are often the subject of considerable discussion, understanding interreligious relations is a necessary part of understanding the country as a whole.

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Hundreds of Millions of COVID-19 Aid Never Reached K-12 School Districts: Report

More than $736 million of federal COVID-19 funds did not reach the K-12 schools and students it was meant for, with some states putting the money towards “slush funds” and “pet projects,” according to a March report by the National Opportunity Project.

In 2020, Congress gave $5.5 billion in COVID-19 aid to nonpublic schools with low-income students through its Emergency Assistance to Nonpublic Schools (EANS) program, according to a report by the National Opportunity Project. Of the aid, $736 million did not go to the schools with at least $157 million within 27 states going towards programs to teach video game coding and “I Got Vaxxed” competitions.

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