Ban on vaccine passports advances following rowdy hearing


An viewers member was hauled off in handcuffs in a rowdy listening to.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Sen. Dan McCay, asks questions of a witness, throughout the Senate Enterprise and Labor Committee dialogue of SR1, which is able to restrict media entry to the Senate flooring and committee rooms, on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

Tuesday’s Senate listening to on banning vaccine passports featured the standard appeals to guard private liberty that has change into a well-known refrain throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However there have been different gadgets from the tradition warfare guidelines, together with a splash of misinformation and a comparability to the Holocaust and Nazi Germany. There was additionally an viewers member hauled off in handcuffs.

Committee chair Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, warned attendees to the Senate Income and Tax Committee about breaking guidelines of decorum.

“One in all our guidelines is simply don’t be a jerk. We don’t enable posters. We don’t enable stickers. We don’t enable outbursts or demonstrations,” McCay mentioned earlier than pausing the committee for a number of minutes so the group may take away the pro-HB60 stickers they had been sporting. One particular person refused to take away his, which resulted in his ejection from the room by Utah state troopers offering safety.

McCay even went as far as to warn Rep. Walt Brooks, R-St. George, the invoice’s sponsor to remain on subject, leading to a testy trade between the 2 lawmakers.

“I do know our guidelines say they’re to not present any stickers or flags,” Brooks mentioned earlier than he was shortly interrupted by McCay.

”Consultant, don’t check the mettle of the chair,” McCay shot again.

”I don’t intend to, however I do imagine I’ve a proper to talk,” Brooks countered.

“Consultant, please hold your feedback germane to your invoice,” McCay mentioned sternly, which defused the state of affairs.

Whereas HB60 was born of the COVID-19 pandemic, it goes a lot additional in response. It blocks most non-public companies and governments from requiring the general public to point out proof of vaccination. The committee softened a provision barring employers from requiring vaccinations, altering the invoice to exempt staff from vaccine necessities who’ve a health care provider’s notice proving a earlier an infection.

Brooks and supporters turned to a smorgasbord of arguments in protection of the invoice, portray it as a civil rights measure, a human rights invoice, safety for private medical info and knowledge, a bulwark in opposition to a creeping “technocracy” or a protect in opposition to forcing somebody to bear a compelled medical process.

“Simply because I personal a enterprise, that doesn’t imply I’ve a proper to your non-public well being info. How can we draw the road?” Brooks requested.

If the invoice passes, non-public companies would not have the power to maintain unvaccinated Utahns off their premises. The Bayou restaurant in Salt Lake Metropolis is likely one of the few companies within the state with such a requirement. Proprietor Mark Alston informed lawmakers HB60 was an egregious overreach by the federal government.

“You’re about to create a protected class of individuals based mostly on 9 months of self-perceived oppression. It is a unhealthy, unhealthy concept,” Alston mentioned.

The end result was by no means unsure because the committee authorized the altered invoice on a 7-2 vote, sending it to the total Senate.

Utah bill to ban vaccine passports given committee OK after tense meeting


Utah Freeway Patrol troopers take a person into custody for violating committee assembly guidelines by failing to cowl up a political shirt, earlier than the beginning of debate on vaccine passport amendments throughout a committee assembly on the state Capitol on Tuesday. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — After a tense assembly that started with some neighborhood members being eliminated by troopers, the Utah Senate moved a invoice ahead that may prohibit companies and authorities from requiring vaccine passports for entry.

HB60 introduced dozens Tuesday to the Senate Taxation and Income Committee assembly simply days earlier than the tip of the session.

The invoice as initially written would have additionally prohibited companies from requiring vaccines. After a heated debate, the committee finally authorised with a 7-2 vote a brand new model of the invoice that also permits employers to require “proof of immunity standing,” which may embody a earlier an infection if they’ve a physician’s word.

The invoice awaits approval by the total Senate — in addition to the Home’s approval of the adjustments — earlier than it might turn into closing.

Because the assembly began, committee Chairman Sen. Dan McCay, R-Riverton, warned the gang it will must adjust to the Legislature’s guidelines for decorum, which he stated prohibit attendees from outbursts, sporting political stickers or carrying flags or indicators throughout conferences.

“There are, identical to there may be all over the place you go, there are guidelines you reside by in society. A few of them are simply do not be a jerk, proper? And that rule sadly appears to get violated extra continuously than not on Capitol Hill,” McCay stated.

He stated individuals within the room have been violating guidelines, main him to halt the committee for 5 minutes to present attendees an opportunity to “observe these guidelines.”

Sen. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, offers his coat to a man as Utah Highway Patrol troopers ask the man to leave for violating committee meeting rules by failing to cover up a political shirt, before the start of discussion on HB60S02 vaccine passport amendments during a Senate Revenue and Taxation Standing Committee meeting in the Senate building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. The man declined Kennedy’s offer. The man was also previously displaying political stickers, but did put the stickers away when asked.
Sen. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, presents his coat to a person as Utah Freeway Patrol troopers ask the person to go away for violating committee assembly guidelines by failing to cowl up a political shirt, earlier than the beginning of debate on HB60S02 vaccine passport amendments throughout a Senate Income and Taxation Standing Committee assembly within the Senate constructing in Salt Lake Metropolis on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. The person declined Kennedy’s supply. The person was additionally beforehand displaying political stickers, however did put the stickers away when requested. (Photograph: Kristin Murphy, Deseret Information)

Throughout that break, individuals started shouting within the room. Troopers escorted just a few individuals away, together with a person who had eliminated political stickers however refused to cowl a T-shirt that learn “We the individuals.”

When invoice sponsor Rep. Walt Brooks, R-St. George, started his presentation, he began off by trying to touch upon the rule prohibiting stickers or indicators, and that he is “deeply disillusioned.”

“Consultant, don’t check the mettle of the chair,” McCay retorted. “Please hold your feedback germane to the invoice.”

Brooks stated the invoice is about prohibiting discrimination towards somebody due to their vaccine or medical standing.

“I feel it is vital to notice that once we’re doing laws, particularly one thing round this, that this isn’t a COVID invoice, however COVID has undoubtedly introduced it to the floor due to what many are seeing as an overstep,” Brooks stated.

He described authorities leaders as “overstepping” bounds by urging individuals in the course of the pandemic to not rejoice Christmas with greater than 10 individuals of their house.

“What this invoice actually does is return to the way in which we did enterprise earlier than COVID,” he stated.

McCay contended that forcing somebody to permit somebody onto their property is “actually uncomfortable” for him, calling it “harmful territory.”

However Brooks in contrast the invoice to the Civil Rights Motion, saying, “We all know persons are created equal.”

He stated the unvaccinated must be a protected class.

Rep. Walt Brooks, R-St. George, holds up what he says is a list of 4,000 CEOs and owner-operators who support HB60S02 vaccine passport amendments during a Senate Revenue and Taxation Standing Committee meeting in the Senate building in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, March 1, 2022.
Rep. Walt Brooks, R-St. George, holds up what he says is an inventory of 4,000 CEOs and owner-operators who assist HB60S02 vaccine passport amendments throughout a Senate Income and Taxation Standing Committee assembly within the Senate constructing in Salt Lake Metropolis on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. (Photograph: Kristin Murphy, Deseret Information)

However McCay stated an unvaccinated particular person nonetheless has a selection about which companies they go to.

That is not the case for some in smaller cities, Brooks argued, explaining {that a} city like Blanding solely has two grocery shops.

Throughout a prolonged public remark session, some individuals principally from the enterprise neighborhood spoke towards the invoice, however the majority of commenters supported the invoice.

Elizabeth Converse, with Utah Tech Leads, referred to as the invoice “anti-business” and stated as at present written it will have an effect on different vaccines as properly, inflicting points.

Karen Zaya, who described herself as a nurse, stated she is taken into account excessive threat as a consequence of her medical historical past however she helps the invoice.

“Nobody has the proper to ask me what my medical historical past is. That is precisely what a passport is,” she stated, including that it makes her “weak to discrimination.”

Mark Alston, one of many house owners of the Bayou — among the many solely companies in Utah to require clients’ proof of vaccine for entry — contended that meals service employees trigger a whole lot of foodborne sickness outbreaks within the nation. He expressed concern with what the invoice might do to the restaurant trade.

“I am a residing girl who reserves my rights beneath God,” stated Heather Vanin, explaining that vaccine passports enable companies to be “withheld” from individuals primarily based on well being standing.

She stated as a mom she’s seen “a whole lot of issues healed” with out vaccines.

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IOC calls for ban on Russian athletes amid Ukraine invasion | Olympics News


The Worldwide Olympic Committee has urged sport federations and organisers to exclude Russian and Belarusian athletes and officers from worldwide occasions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The IOC additionally withdrew the Olympic Order, its highest award, from all high-ranking Russian officers, together with President Vladimir Putin.

In a press release on Monday, the IOC mentioned its govt board “recommends that Worldwide Sports activities Federations and sports activities occasion organisers not invite or enable the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officers in worldwide competitions”.

If not doable for “organisational or authorized causes”, the IOC known as on sports activities officers to do “every part of their energy” to stop athletes from the 2 nations from participating below the title of Russia or Belarus.

The Russian Olympic Committee categorically disagreed with the IOC, saying the choice “contradicts each the regulatory paperwork of the IOC and the (Olympic) Constitution”.

“As a primary step, we contemplate it essential to ship requests to worldwide federations for an official response on the standing of Russian athletes and their rights to take part in worldwide competitions as a result of reality that it’s the … federations which have the authority to confess athletes to worldwide competitions within the respective sport,” the ROC mentioned in a press release.

“For its half, the Russian Olympic Committee intends to persistently uphold the rights and pursuits of Russian athletes and supply all vital help to our nationwide federations to problem discriminatory selections of the related worldwide federations.”

The assertion from the IOC comes shortly earlier than the Winter Paralympics, which begins in Beijing on Friday. The Worldwide Paralympic Committee (IPC) will meet on Wednesday to debate Russia earlier than the Video games.

IOC’s assertion ‘falls quick’

Athletes from Ukraine and different nations have urged the IOC and IPC to droop Russia and Belarus and ban their athletes from occasions instantly.

The International Athlete motion, which goals to empower athletes, mentioned the IOC’s assertion “falls quick”.

“The #IOC refuses to completely droop the Russian & Belarus NOC,” it mentioned on Twitter. “The #IPC wants to instantly droop the Russian and Belarus Paralympic Committees @Olympics @Paralympics athletes have seen these PR stunts prior to now.”

The IOC additionally strongly urged federations to make sure that no athlete or sport official from Russia or Belarus can be allowed to participate below the title of Russia or Belarus.

“Russian or Belarusian nationals, be it as people or groups, must be accepted solely as impartial athletes or impartial groups. No nationwide symbols, colors, flags or anthems must be displayed,” the assertion added.

Nevertheless, the board mentioned that in very excessive circumstances, the board would go away it to the related organisations to successfully handle the dilemma.

“On this context, the IOC EB thought-about specifically the upcoming Paralympic Winter Video games Beijing 2022 and reiterated its full help for the Worldwide Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Video games,” the assertion added.

Olympic Order withdrawn from Putin

The IOC reiterated its suggestion to not organise any sport occasion in Russia or Belarus.

The IOC additionally mentioned it had taken the advert hoc determination to withdraw the Olympic Order, the best honour granted by the IOC, from all individuals who at present have an necessary perform within the authorities of the Russian Federation, together with President Vladimir Putin.

It mentioned it made the choice based mostly on “the distinctive circumstances of the state of affairs and contemplating the extraordinarily grave violation of the Olympic Truce and different violations of the Olympic Constitution by the Russian authorities prior to now”.

Russia’s participation within the World Cup playoffs subsequent month can also be unsure after FIFA plans to permit them to play on impartial territory have been dismissed as “unacceptable” by rivals.

The IOC final week urged all worldwide sport federations to cancel forthcoming occasions in Russia. The organisation went on to reward the “many requires peace by athletes, sports activities officers and members of the worldwide Olympic Group”.

“The IOC admires and helps specifically the requires peace by Russian athletes,” it added.

Ukraine’s well being ministry mentioned on Sunday that 352 civilians, together with 14 youngsters, had been killed since Russia’s invasion of the nation final week. The figures couldn’t be independently verified. Belarus has been a key staging space for the invasion.

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “particular operation”.

FIFA Will Ban on Russia, Ejecting It From World Cup Qualifying


FIFA, world soccer’s international governing physique, has determined to impose an indefinite ban on Russia and its groups, ejecting the nation from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup solely weeks earlier than it was to play for considered one of Europe’s closing locations within the match.

FIFA’s choice, which shall be introduced on Monday night, got here a day after the group was closely criticized for not going far sufficient in punishing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. On Sunday, FIFA had proposed a sequence of sanctions towards Russia — together with a brief ban on its title, flag and nationwide anthem, and a prohibition on its internet hosting worldwide matches — amid calls for from a number of nationwide federations for stronger motion.

The preliminary stress to bar Russia got here from Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, which confronted the prospect of video games towards Russia within the World Cup playoff. Different nations and officers, together with the federations in France, England and the United States, rapidly mentioned they’d not play towards Russia below any circumstances.

Officers from European soccer’s governing physique, UEFA, will be a part of FIFA in issuing and honoring the ban.

FIFA and UEFA determined to bar Russia solely hours after the Worldwide Olympic Committee known as for worldwide sports activities federations to ban Russian athletes and groups from all international sporting occasions the place attainable. The Olympic officers mentioned Russia had breached a dedication — often known as the Olympic Truce, and signed earlier than the beginning of the Beijing Winter Video games and scheduled to run by way of the Paralympics that begin this week — by invading Ukraine.

The instant consequence of the ban on Russia is that it should forfeit its place in a four-team group for considered one of Europe’s closing locations for the World Cup. Poland, which was scheduled to play Russia in March, had mentioned it will refuse to play the sport, a stance it repeated after FIFA introduced its preliminary slate of penalties on Sunday night time. Sweden and the Czech Republic, the groups that might have met Russia in a closing sport if the Russians beat Poland, issued the identical warning.

Cezary Kulesza, the president of Poland’s soccer federation, known as FIFA’s preliminary choice to not eject Russia “completely unacceptable.” In a put up on Twitter, he added: “We aren’t all for taking part on this sport of appearances. Our stance stays intact: Polish Nationwide Workforce will NOT PLAY with Russia, it doesn’t matter what the title of the group is.”

The indefinite ban on Russia additionally extends to its membership groups, that means that Spartak Moscow, its final remaining participant in a continental competitors, will now not be capable to compete in its Europa League knockout out sport towards Germany’s RB Leipzig. That match was already unsure earlier than Monday’s choice, with officers not sure how the Russian group may journey after the European Union issued a blanket ban on Russian flights into the 27-member bloc.

It stays unclear if the choice to exclude Russia will face a problem within the courts. Russia, in addition to a few of its athletes, have lately efficiently fought exclusion from different occasions, together with the Olympic Video games, by getting punishments watered down by way of appeals to the Courtroom of Arbitration for Sport. q



Twitter Ban Nigeria


“The protests started and gained appreciable momentum because of social media,” 23-year-old journalist Eniafe Momodu advised BuzzFeed Information. “It was most likely the primary time numerous the older era of Nigerians, together with most of our authorities officers, actually understood the ability and impression of social media.”

Even earlier than #EndSARS, although, the Nigerian authorities, underneath the administration of Buhari, has been persistent in its makes an attempt to determine social media restrictions. In 2019, the anti-social media invoice, which sought to criminalize using social media in “peddling false or malicious info,” was proposed. The invoice was opposed by members of the general public, who launched petitions whereas calling it a bid to additional police the inhabitants, and was finally killed.

Earlier than that, in 2015, one other now-withdrawn piece of laws named the Frivolous Petitions (Prohibitions) Invoice was launched lower than a 12 months after Buhari got here into energy. The proposed legislation threatened as much as seven years in jail or a $25,000 advantageous for anybody discovered responsible of publishing “false info that might threaten the safety of the nation.”

The Twitter ban and threats to prosecute are unlawful in response to Nigeria’s structure, the Common Declaration on Human Rights, and the African Constitution on Human and Peoples’ Rights, human rights lawyer Ridwan Oke advised BuzzFeed Information.

“All of them discuss the identical factor, which is the appropriate to freedom of expression. They’re inalienable rights,” mentioned Oke.

A number of human rights organizations have spoken out in opposition to this ban, with the Socio-Financial Rights and Accountability Mission taking the federal authorities to the Financial Neighborhood of West African States courtroom, with 176 involved Nigerians becoming a member of in to file the lawsuit.

The transfer to dam Twitter has obtained assist from former US president Donald Trump, who recommended that he ought to have completed the identical factor whereas he was in workplace and accused social media platforms of “not permitting free and open speech.”

It could be onerous to quantify how a lot this ban is affecting the tens of millions of people that take into account Twitter to be a significant useful resource. Nigerians we spoke to have shared that they’re feeling upset, anxious, or afraid, and most say they’re nonetheless in disbelief.

“When the ban was introduced, I felt scared, like one thing dangerous was going to occur and we’d not be capable of attain out for assist,” Olapeju Jolaoso, a 28-year-old enterprise proprietor, advised BuzzFeed Information. “My first clients have been off Twitter. Now I’m simply scared to tweet from my enterprise account; I’m scared that they may harass me. It is scarier as a result of you possibly can’t predict their subsequent line of actions,” she continued.

Including to her frustration is the truth that Jolaoso, who had a community of distributors on Twitter, has needed to transfer her on-line enterprise operations to different apps like Telegram and Fb.

However Twitter’s benefits additionally relaxation on the security and group it offers for ladies and queer people — each closely marginalized teams within the nation. Somi, a Nigerian nonbinary, trans lady, considers this ban to be an enormous detriment.

“Twitter is a spot I turned to search out buddies and group,” mentioned the 19-year-old, who’s at the moment crowdfunding for his or her medical transition. “To search for recommendation and encouragement with out judgment from the skin world. It was right here I [used my voice] and I received all the assistance I wanted.”

For 21-year-old queer liberation activist and author Ani Kayode Somtochukwu, the potential impression on LGBTQ Nigerians who see social media apps like Twitter to flee is large.

“For us, social media is not only about comfort in organizing — it’s also about security. We can’t legally collect with out being focused by the legislation,” he mentioned.

In Nigeria shows of affection with members of the identical intercourse is an offense that carries a 10-year jail time period.

Somtochukwu additionally mentioned that if the ban continues, LGBTQ Nigerians will endure.

“It should imply the lack of group, the lack of entry to typically life-saving info, lack of entry to assist in instances of want,” he mentioned.

For Nigerian girls, Twitter has been useful within the combat in opposition to inequality and the rising violence perpetrated in opposition to them. Campaigns just like the Yaba Market March, which sought to combat the tradition of groping and sexual harassment, have discovered their lives on Twitter.

“This has turn out to be an area for shared alternatives, a spot to name in opposition to the violation of our rights, to offer emotional assist, and many others.,” defined PR marketing consultant and activist Ebele Molua. “We wrestle to search out an outlet to maintain ourselves in a society that doesn’t care in regards to the human rights and the progressiveness of marginalized teams.”

Truth Social, Donald Trump’s social media app, launches year after Twitter ban : NPR


Over a yr in the past, former President Donald Trump acquired booted from social media websites owned by Meta and Twitter. He vowed to create his personal, and Fact Social launched on Monday.



RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Simply over a yr in the past, former President Donald Trump acquired booted from social media websites, together with YouTube, Fb and Twitter. He then vowed to create his personal platform. He calls it Fact Social. And it launched yesterday. I talked earlier with NPR tech reporter Bobby Allyn about it.

BOBBY ALLYN, BYLINE: So there was tons of curiosity. The app was launched Monday morning and rapidly shot to the highest of Apple’s most downloaded listing. However many individuals, myself included, who tried to test it out have been caught in a form of tech doom loop. You realize, there have been these electronic mail confirmations that have been promised and by no means arrived. You’d put in a code and get an error message. This was broadly reported throughout Twitter and different social media. Those that have been capable of make accounts have been positioned on a wait listing, with some a whole lot of hundreds of individuals in entrance of them.

MARTIN: Bless you for doing that for the sake of journalism, Bobby.

ALLYN: (Laughter).

MARTIN: So simply remind us the bigger context right here. Twitter, after all, banned Trump. However say extra about his agenda with this app.

ALLYN: Yeah. Precisely. So you already know, since he was banned from Twitter, Fb and YouTube after statements he made urging supporters to storm the Capitol, you already know, he has needed to begin his personal Twitter-esque service. And he is enlisted former Congressman Devin Nunes to steer the hassle. Nunes just lately went on Fox Information to speak up Fact Social. He says all of the bugs shall be labored out by the tip of March and that it is all about, you already know, giving folks their voice again and making a social media platform that is not managed by a giant Silicon Valley firm. And let me remind you, this can be a actually crowded area, Rachel. There’s, like, half a dozen different conservative-leading, you already know, social media apps attempting to tug folks away from the Twitters and Facebooks of the world.

MARTIN: Proper. So he has competitors. Even Donald Trump has competitors in that area. So does this app, then – with Trump’s identify connected to it, does it have any form of shot of breaking by?

ALLYN: Definitely has a really highly effective publicity machine. I imply, Trump allies, like representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz, are speaking it up, so is Fox Information star Sean Hannity. It has raised a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}. So given these huge names and its sizable fundraising, you already know, it does have potential. However specialists I talked to are fairly uncertain that it’s going to ever come anyplace near changing Twitter. This is Hunter School professor Jessie Daniels, who research on-line extremism.

JESSIE DANIELS: I believe a part of what he has discovered so helpful, particularly about Twitter, is that it each is relied upon by journalists as a supply, and it is utilized by an actual cross part of individuals politically. And so Twitter turns into a form of target-rich setting.

ALLYN: In different phrases, Fact Social may not be that, proper? Twitter has some 300 million customers and many totally different views, a lot of viral squabbles. And if a platform is usually like-minded folks, you already know, principally an echo chamber, you may not have these fights that make Twitter create so many headlines.

MARTIN: Though, it will possibly serve to animate his base, could not it?

ALLYN: That is true. No, that could be very true. you already know? However, you already know, there’s additionally solely so many individuals concerned with a non-mainstream different to Twitter.

MARTIN: Yeah.

ALLYN: So it is form of, you already know, are these folks actually – who’re at different websites going to go to Trump’s new website? And I’ll be aware right here, Rachel, that I checked out the app’s phrases of service. And there’s one factor that’s prohibited on Fact Social, and that’s, quote, to “disparage, tarnish or in any other case hurt” the backers of the location. And I think about meaning Donald Trump.

MARTIN: NPR’s Bobby Allyn. We admire your reporting on this, Bobby. Thanks.

ALLYN: Thanks, Rachel.

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