Thousands of Navy Sailors Face Being Discharged Over Vaccine Refusal

Newsweek reported:

Thousands of sailors face being discharged from the U.S. Navy as the deadline for getting COVID-19 vaccines approaches.

The Navy’s deadline for active-duty sailors to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is Nov. 28. Sailors had until Nov. 14 to get their second dose of the vaccine to ensure they are fully vaccinated by the deadline.

3,500 active-duty sailors have yet to begin the process of getting vaccinated, and about 17,500 won’t be fully vaccinated by the deadline.

Biden’s Vaccine Mandate in Hands of Republican Appointee-Dominated 6th Circuit Court

Newsweek reported:

The federal U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit based in Cincinnati, Ohio won a lottery Tuesday to hear the consolidated lawsuit that challenges President Joe Biden‘s vaccine mandate for workplaces with over 100 employees.

The circuit was randomly selected by a court clerk, who drew the name from a container holding each of the 12 regional appeals courts, according to The New York Times.

The majority of the judges in the 6th appeals circuit were appointed by Republican presidents, and the circuit as a whole leans heavily towards the GOP. The filing represents numerous states challenging the legality of the mandate and consolidates at least 34 individual lawsuits into one case.

OSHA Suspends Enforcement of COVID Vaccine Mandate for Businesses

The Hill reported:

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is suspending enforcement of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for large private businesses after a federal appeals court upheld a stay on it last week.

OSHA said in a statement on its website that while it is confident in its power to protect workers amid the pandemic, it is suspending activities related to the mandate, citing the pending litigation.

“The court ordered that OSHA ‘take no steps to implement or enforce’ the [Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)] ‘until further court order.’ “

Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Is on Hold, but Companies Are Moving Ahead Anyway

CNN Business reported:

For most employers, it’s full-speed ahead on COVID vaccine mandates, regardless of whether the courts uphold or strike down President Joe Biden‘s requirements.

A Federal Court of Appeals put on hold the Biden administration’s plans to mandate vaccines or weekly tests for staff of businesses with 100 or more employees. But a flash survey of 300 businesses conducted Tuesday by Gartner showed that 60% of companies are going ahead with plans as if Biden’s Jan. 4 deadline remained in place.

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2nd Group of States Challenges Health Worker Vaccine Mandate

Associated Press reported:

A second set of states has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

The latest suit, dated Monday, was filed in Louisiana on behalf of 12 states and comes less than a week after another lawsuit challenging the rule was filed in Missouri by a coalition of 10 states.

Both lawsuits say the vaccine mandate threatens to drive away healthcare workers who refuse to get vaccinated at a time when such workers are badly needed. They also contend the rule issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services violates federal law and unconstitutionally encroaches on powers reserved to the states.

Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated: Europe’s COVID Culture War

The New York Times reported:

Sven Müller is proudly unvaccinated. He thinks COVID vaccines are neither effective nor safe but a way to make money for pharmaceutical companies and corrupt politicians who are taking away his freedom.

Under state rules to stem coronavirus infections, he is no longer allowed to go to restaurants, to the bowling alley, to the cinema or to the hairdresser. From next week, he will be barred from entering most shops, too. But that has only strengthened his resolve.

Hundreds Protest COVID Vaccine Mandates at Florida’s Capitol

WFSU reported:

Hundreds of people gathered outside Florida’s Capitol on Tuesday to protest vaccine and mask mandates.

The rally took place on the second day of a special legislative session to pass a package of bills that target a federal rule to require workers at businesses with 100 employees or more to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit weekly negative coronavirus tests.

Bills under consideration this week include a measure that would make it easier for private-sector workers to opt-out of their employer’s vaccination requirement.

Disney Cruise to Require Children 5 and up to Have COVID Vaccination

WESH 2 News reported:

Disney Cruise Line will require children ages five and up to be vaccinated before sailing after Jan. 13.

The mandate is an expansion of one that already exists for the cruise line, where it requires all vaccine-eligible guests to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Those who are not eligible because of age will need to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken between three days and 24 hours of their sail date. Children who are between the ages five and 11 may complete testing instead of being vaccinated before sailings that depart on Jan 13.

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Facebook’s ‘Metaverse’ Must Be Stopped

JACOBIN reported:

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse is no utopian vision — it’s another opportunity for Big Tech to colonize our lives in the name of profit.

Mark Zuckerberg wants us to believe he’s figured out how we’ll socialize in the future. On Oct. 28, he outlined his vision for the metaverse, a virtual environment where we can hang out, shop, and work.

Yet its realization depends on Facebook and various other companies jumping into the metaverse space to develop the technologies it will depend on, and requires the public to buy into a vision where we spend more time sitting at home with virtual reality headsets on instead of going out into the physical world.

Austrian Police Conduct Random Checks to Enforce COVID Lockdowns for the Unvaccinated

CNBC reported:

Austria has imposed fresh lockdown measures on around 2 million unvaccinated people, with individuals facing fines if they fail to comply with the rules.

Those who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 have been back under lockdown since Monday, with federal police stopping people in public places to check their vaccination status.

Unvaccinated people who breach the lockdown rules face fines of up to 500 euros ($567), and anyone who refuses to comply with vaccination status checks could be fined 1,450 euros.

Artists, Activists Sign Petition Against Amazon Palm Scanners

SPIN reported:

A recent open letter by the nonprofit Fight For The Future is urging music venues to halt the implementation of Amazon palm scanners and similar types of ID. Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello and Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna are two of many against the use of these new ticket and entry alternatives, which are vulnerable to hacking in the cloud, its data could be targeted by law enforcement, and make marginalized groups more vulnerable, the letter argues.

“Palm scans and other forms of biometric data collection, like facial recognition, are tools of state violence,” Siena Mann, campaign manager for the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, said in a press release. “Once the databases are created, police and DHS will find ways to access them.”

Just like palm scanning, facial recognition cannot be changed or replaced if stolen, making both technologies dangerous.

Exclusive: LAPD Partnered With Tech Firm That Enables Secretive Online Spying

The Guardian reported:

The Los Angeles police department (LAPD) pursued a contract with a controversial technology company that could enable police to use fake social media accounts to surveil civilians and claimed its algorithms can identify people who may commit crimes in the future.

A cache of internal LAPD documents obtained through public records requests by the Brennan Center for Justice, a non-profit organization, and shared with the Guardian, reveal that LAPD in 2019 trialed social media surveillance software from the analytics company Voyager Labs.

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