Austria Braces for Protests After Announcing Full Lockdown and Vaccine Mandate

Bloomberg reported:

Thousands plan to descend on Vienna on Saturday to protest Austria’s latest COVID-19 measures, including a nationwide lockdown and vaccine mandate.

“Numerous rallies are slated for Vienna, most of which are presumably directed against the COVID measures,” Vienna’s police said in a statement on Friday.

The protests were planned after the government this week introduced measures aimed at the non-vaccinated — steps that have now been extended to all residents.

Not Just Austria — Here Are the Countries Making COVID Vaccination Compulsory for Everyone

Forbes reported:

Austria is set to become the first country in Europe to make COVID-19 vaccination compulsory — only a handful of nations around the world have issued a sweeping mandate for all adults in a bid to control coronavirus infections:

What to watch for: Mandatory vaccination for children. Costa Rica became the first country in the world to require COVID-19 vaccination for children in early November, when officials said the shot will join a suite of others already needed by law.

Governments around the world are turning up the heat on those still refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Biden Administration Suspends Enforcement of Business Vaccine Mandate to Comply With Court Order

CNBC reported:

The Biden administration has suspended enforcement of its vaccination and testing requirements for private businesses after a federal appeals court halted the rules pending review.

The White House previously told businesses to proceed with the implementation of the requirements.

Whatever the outcome in federal appeals court, the case will likely be decided by the Supreme Court, according to Carl Tobias, a professor of law at the University of Richmond. “Whoever loses in the Sixth Circuit is going to the Supreme Court,” Tobias told CNBC on Thursday.

9 States Investigating Meta Over What Mark Zuckerberg Is Doing to Your Kids

GIZMODO reported:

A bipartisan coalition of at least nine state attorney generals are investigating Meta over the potentially harmful effects Facebook and Instagram have on young users.

The group of legislators, first noted by the Wall Street Journal, are looking into the techniques and technologies used by Meta to increase the frequency and duration of time young users spend on Facebook and Instagram.

More concerning for Meta, the AGs also want to know if the company’s targeting of youth users amounts to a violation of consumer protection laws.

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Nevada Student Suing Over University Vaccination Mandates

Associated Press reported:

A 19-year-old student who says he is immune from COVID-19 because he already had it is suing the University of Nevada, Reno, the governor and others over the state’s requirement that everyone, with few exceptions, show proof of vaccination in order to register for classes in the upcoming spring semester.

Jonah Gold claims there is no solid evidence that people who recover from COVID-19 ever lose their immunity.

His lawsuit says any benefit of vaccination is outweighed by the threat of harmful side effects and that “COVID-19 vaccination mandates are an unconstitutional intrusion on normal immunity and bodily integrity.”

Nearly 300 Hanford, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Workers Sue to Stop COVID Vaccine Mandate and Save Their Jobs

Tri-City Herald reported:

About 285 Hanford nuclear reservation workers have filed a lawsuit in federal court, asking that a COVID-19 vaccine mandate be immediately overturned.

Because of requirements that about 11,000 Hanford workers be vaccinated or have an exemption approved, the lawsuit claims the Hanford site will not have enough workers, including Hanford guards, to do the minimum work needed to keep the site safe and secure.

The lawsuit also includes about 10 additional plaintiffs who are employed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a Department of Energy research lab based in Richland. PNNL has about 5,300 employees.

Ohio Students Can’t Be Barred From School Activities Over COVID Vaccine Status in New Bill

Newsweek reported:

Ohio’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives Thursday passed a bill that would bar private companies and public entities like schools from requiring proof of COVID vaccination to enter a building as a customer or participate in school activities.

The bill provides exemptions for workplace vaccine mandates for employees who can prove they have COVID antibodies, that they would have an adverse reaction to the vaccine, or file a legitimate religious objection.

Rhode Island State Workers Could Get $3,000 Vaccine Bonuses Under Tentative Union Agreement

WPRI 12 reported:

The McKee administration and Rhode Island’s biggest union of state workers have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract that includes a provision to give two $1,500 bonuses to workers who’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19.

J. Michael Downey, president of AFSCME Council 94, said Thursday a vote on the tentative four-year agreement will take place Dec. 2. He said 60 members of the union will be fanning out to seek feedback.

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Calls for Mass Immunization of U.S. Students in 1981 Resurfaces Amid Mandatory COVID Vaccine Debate

Newsweek reported:

As the debate over COVID-19 vaccinations rages across the globe, parallels with extraordinary immunization events in America’s history have been drawn.

Austria has emerged as the first country in Europe to enforce COVID-19 vaccinations on its population from Feb. 1, 2022. It was announced on Friday by Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, who also declared the nation will be going into another full lockdown on Nov. 22.

For students, inoculation is now a requirement at Los Angeles Unified School District — the nation’s second-largest — for those aged 12 and over. While at least 1,100 colleges and universities required proof of COVID-19 vaccination, AP reported.

Justice Department to Defend Tech Protections Biden Denounced

Politico reported:

The Justice Department plans to defend a controversial legal protection for tech companies, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, despite the fact that President Joe Biden said as a candidate last year the provision should be eliminated.

Justice Department lawyers notified a federal judge in San Francisco on Thursday that they plan to weigh in to defend the law in one of three lawsuits former President Donald Trump filed in July, accusing major internet companies of effectively acting as government agents to censor the speech of conservatives online.

Facebook Demands LAPD End Social Media Surveillance and Use of Fake Accounts

The Guardian reported:

Facebook is demanding that the Los Angeles police department (LAPD) cease all use of “dummy” accounts on its platforms and stop collecting data on users for surveillance.

Documents obtained by the Brennan Center and reviewed by the Guardian show that in addition to enabling law enforcement clients to collect and analyze user data from companies like Facebook, Voyager software also enables its law enforcement clients to use fake accounts to access otherwise inaccessible and private user information.

Facebook says both these uses are violations of its policies. The LAPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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