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Woman arrested near White House, claimed to have letter for Biden

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Woman arrested near White House, claimed to have letter for Biden

A woman who claimed to be delivering a letter to President Biden was arrested near the White House with a loaded gun in her car, reports said Sunday.

Sylvia Hall, 66, was charged with carrying a pistol without a license, possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of unregistered ammunition in Saturday’s incident, according to local outlet WRC-TV.

She and an unidentified man are said to have approached Secret Service agents at around 5:40 p.m. outside of a security checkpoint close to the White House complex.

Hall reportedly told a law enforcement official that she was there to meet with the president and had a letter for him, according to Fox News.

Her male companion was arrested for allegedly carrying a BB gun.

Secret Service officers then searched Hall’s car, which was parked nearby, and found a loaded gun, the agency said.

The agency said it did not believe either of the individuals posed an immediate threat to Biden or any other Secret Service protectees.

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Bill Maher sounds off ahead of Trumps CPAC speech

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Bill Maher sounds off ahead of Trumps CPAC speech

“Real Time” host Bill Maher sounded the alarm ahead of former President Trump’s highly anticipated speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where he is expected to tease another presidential run in 2024. 

Toward the end of this panel discussion on Friday night, Maher brought up a subject he “didn’t want to talk about,” which was the 45th president, whose scheduled CPAC address on Sunday in Orlando, Fla., will mark his first major public appearance since leaving office. 

“After he lost, people kept coming up to me and [saying], ‘Are you gonna?’ and I say, ‘He’s gone. Stop obsessing. I don’t want to talk about him!’” Maher began. “But knowing what’s going to happen this weekend at CPAC, I must bring this up. … The shark is not gone. We need a bigger boat. The shark went out to sea for a while, it’s going to come back, and eat more people on the shore.”

Maher continued, “He is going to say Sunday that he’s the presumptive nominee in 2024, no one is going to oppose him, there are nine panels at the CPAC convention all about how the election was stolen, none about why it was lost. That’s where they are. If you think that 2024 is not going to be a nailbiter or that he isn’t going to be the nominee, I think you’re being naive.”

Maher’s guest, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., agreed, declaring Trump the “absolute frontrunner right now,” who “very well might be” the GOP nominee in 2024, citing Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s drastic turnaround declaring that Trump would “absolutely” have his vote despite his fierce condemnation of the former president following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Fellow panelist Ezra Klein of The New York Times insisted that the “problem” isn’t Trump but instead is the Republican Party that “enables him,” adding that they “don’t have the courage” to tell the former president that he is “bad for the party at this point.”

“The two wings of the party that I can see are Trump and then the people who want to take his voters, who want to be his successor,” Maher responded. “There’s Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and Nikki Haley. They want to be the next nominee but they’re not about to get rid of his voters. They just want to be Trump’s successor.” 

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Santa Clara cannot enforce indoor church service ban

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Santa Clara cannot enforce indoor church service ban

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is telling California’s Santa Clara County that it can’t enforce a ban on indoor religious worship services put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The high court issued an order Friday evening in a case brought by a handful of churches. 

The justices, in early February, told the state of California that it can’t bar indoor church services because of the pandemic. The justices said at the time that the state could cap indoor services at 25% of a building’s capacity and continue to bar singing and chanting.

But Santa Clara had argued that its temporary ban on indoor gatherings of any kind including worship services should be allowed to stand. The county, which includes San Jose, said that it was treating houses of worship no differently from other indoor spaces where it prohibits gatherings and caps attendance. The county said people could go into houses of worship to pray or go to confession, among other things, but couldn’t gather with groups of others. The county said the same was true of retail establishments, where shoppers can go but not gather for an event such as a book reading. 

The justices’ unsigned order Friday said that their action was “clearly dictated” by their order from earlier this month. The court’s three liberal justices dissented.

Santa Clara had told the court in a letter Thursday that coronavirus cases in the county have recently continued to decline and that it was already close to lifting its ban on indoor gatherings. If the data continued the positive trend, the letter said, the county expected to allow all indoor gatherings, subject to restrictions, as soon as next Wednesday.

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Memphis officials take over COVID-19 vaccination program

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Memphis officials take over COVID-19 vaccination program

The city of Memphis, Tennessee took over COVID-19 vaccination efforts in one county after reports of widespread mismanagement — including precious vials being stolen, wasted or diverted for unauthorized use.

Investigators with the Tennessee Department of Health were in Shelby County looking into mismanagement of the vaccine when they learned a volunteer allegedly stole multiple doses at the Pipkin Building on Feb. 3, said Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey, WMC-TV reported.

The Shelby County Health Department said it removed the volunteer after receiving reports of “suspicious behavior.”

Law enforcement found there was insufficient evidence to prove the alleged theft, health officials said.

The state notified the FBI about the potential theft.

Additionally, Piercey said another volunteer vaccinated two children who had appointments at the Appling Road site on Feb. 3.

It’s unknown if they received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. The vaccines have not been approved for use in children.

The Commercial Appeal also reported that health officials found 2,400 doses had expired throughout the month of February.

Alisa Haushalter, head of the Shelby County Health Department, resigned from her post Friday following the apparent mismanagement.

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