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Jay-Z learned how to swim when Blue Ivy was born: 'That was the beginning of our relationship' – Yahoo Entertainment

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Jay-Z learned how to swim when Blue Ivy was born: ‘That was the beginning of our relationship’  Yahoo EntertainmentView Full Coverage on Google News

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‘It’s time for action’: President Joe Biden praises $4 billion boost to Minnesota during stop in Rosemount

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Inside a heavy truck shop at the Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, Minnesota, the president spoke with Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party leaders, students and others about the school and its role in educating the next batch of skilled laborers. And he made a pitch for Congress to move his proposed Build Back Better Plan.

“Rebuilding America and investing in America, that’s what this is all about,” Biden told the room of about 100 onlookers Tuesday afternoon. The president also listed several road and bridge projects that could be on the agenda in the coming years and said Minnesota and other states shouldn’t face another infrastructure failure such as the 2007 I-35W collapse.

“We know about our infrastructure problems, we’ve known for a long time. And now we’re doing something about it. It’s time for action,” Biden said.

Biden’s visit marks his first trip to Minnesota since winning the presidency in 2020 and his latest effort to tout the bill in swing states around the country that he won. His stop-by on Tuesday took place in Rosemount, a city in the politically split 2nd Congressional District, where Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig narrowly won reelection in 2020.

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President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the recently approved $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure package Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the recently approved $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure package Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Craig joined Biden for his visit, as did U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, Reps. Dean Phillips and Betty McCollum and Gov. Tim Walz. Craig on Tuesday said the package will create jobs, help ease supply chain issues and lower inflation.

“My hope is that having President Biden here today, young folks and folks seeking a better life and career will see this story and it will help us promote trades across this country as a career choice,” Craig said.

The federal boost is set to fund more than $4 billion in improvements to Minnesota highways, $818 million for public transportation investments and $302 million to help repair and replace bridges, according to the White House. The plan will also fund broadband expansion, port and airport improvements, water quality projects and electric car charging stations in the state.

State transportation officials have said the funds could allow Minnesota to move forward with projects earlier than they’d planned. More than 661 bridges and 4,986 miles of highway in Minnesota are considered to be in poor condition by the White House.

Biden’s visit and the push to promote the massive package spurred split reactions from Minnesota Democrats and Republicans. Minnesota GOP leaders pointed to Biden’s lagging approval ratings and called on the president to address pressing issues affecting Minnesotans.

“The Democrats know Angie Craig is in serious jeopardy of losing her seat in 2022 and are using their deeply flawed infrastructure legislation as an excuse to bring Joe Biden in to save Craig’s floundering political career,” said Republican Tyler Kistner, who ran against Craig in 2020 and is set to again challenge the congresswoman in 2022.

GOP lawmakers said they supported projects that were included in the proposal but felt there were too many non-infrastructure pieces added to it.

“We deserve better and we’re certainly going to push back on many of these failed policies,” said Rep. Pete Stauber, a Republican representing the state’s 8th Congressional District.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the recently approved $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure package Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the recently approved $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure package Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Minnesota Democrats on Tuesday said the passage of the massive plan was proof that Biden was able to break through partisan gridlock in Washington. And they said the measure’s impact would be profound for Minnesota and its workforce.

“The impact of this will truly last generations,” Walz said. “This is where, literally, the rubber hits the road in many ways.”

Minnesota’s congressional delegation split almost on party lines on the infrastructure proposal. All of the state’s Republicans, along with Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, voted against the proposal, while the other Democrats voted in favor. Omar said she wanted the infrastructure package to come up for a vote alongside a larger spending plan.

Biden in 2020 won Minnesota with a 7-percentage point advantage over then-President Donald Trump. But Biden’s approval rating has declined during his first year in office.

The president also announced that he would roll out additional measures to address the omicron variant of COVID-19 later in the week without shutdowns or lockdowns. Instead, he said the federal plan would focus on booster shots, testing and masking in public spaces.

Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter @bydanaferguson, call 651-290-0707 or email [email protected]

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Mueller Report Section On Trump Jr. Ordered To Be Unveiled

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Ten redacted passages in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report — including one which discusses the decision not to bring criminal charges against Donald Trump Jr. and others — were ordered to be revealed following a yearslong legal battle by BuzzFeed News.

In an 18-page opinion issued Tuesday, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit unanimously ruled that there is a “significant public interest” in lifting the veil of secrecy and that “disclosure would also show how the Special Counsel interpreted the relevant law and applied it to already public facts in reaching his declination decisions.”

The Justice Department had said the passages should be kept from public view to protect the privacy rights of the people in question. But after reviewing an unredacted copy of the report, which summarized the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and then-president Donald Trump’s attempts to obstruct the inquiry, the court determined that those rights were “diminished” by other parts of the report.

“The factual and personally identifying information alleged to be contained in the redacted passages,” the opinion said, “is available elsewhere in the Report.” It continued, “The redacted passages contain no new facts; they contain no new information or descriptions of conduct that have not been made public elsewhere in this very Report. The privacy interests, then, are not robust, as no additional reputational or stigmatizing harm can result from the disclosure of the information contained therein.”

As a result, “the strong public interest tips the scale in favor of disclosure, as releasing this information would show only government decisionmaking, not new private information.” The opinion was written by Judge Karen Henderson, a George H.W. Bush appointee.

The appeals court opinion said the Department of Justice must lift redactions covering a total of 10 passages — on pages 9, 179, 180, and 183 — that discuss the decision not to charge people with campaign finance violations and a computer-related crime.

The court rejected BuzzFeed News’ request as it applied to individuals who are not considered public figures because revealing Mueller’s deliberations about them would result in “reputational harm.”

“Of the individuals whose privacy interests may be jeopardized by disclosure of the requested information, only one is a public official. The remaining individuals are private citizens who served on a presidential campaign,” the opinion said.

The Department of Justice can still appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

The government argued that these new disclosures were not necessary because most of the report has already been made public, and because Congress also released its own report about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. But the appeals court described the government’s argument as “irrelevant” because Mueller’s legal analysis of whether to bring charges has not been released and likely would “contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government.”

One of the redacted passages the government must disclose corresponds to a public portion of the report related to Donald Trump Jr. and his communication with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign. Last year, BuzzFeed News forced the government to unredact other previously secret portions of the Mueller report relating to WikiLeaks. Those passages showed Mueller’s office investigated WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, for the hacking of Democratic National Committee servers as well as for possible campaign finance violations, but ultimately chose not to bring criminal charges.

In 2019, BuzzFeed News filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Justice for a complete, unredacted copy of Mueller’s report. Although the report had already been publicly released, BuzzFeed News sought it through a public records request because doing so would force the government to explain the justification for each redaction. That would also provide an opportunity to challenge the redactions. Since then, a federal court judge twice ruled in favor of the news organization and ordered the government to release dozens of secret passages in the report. BuzzFeed News filed an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit last year after a lower court rejected its attempts to win the release of additional sections of the report.

Matt Topic, BuzzFeed News’ FOIA attorney, said Tuesday’s appeals court’s decision “reaffirms the public’s right to understand how the government makes important decisions.”

“Unfortunately government agencies routinely violate FOIA, and it’s encouraging whenever courts apply the law and hold the government to its transparency obligations,” Topic said.

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Covid: Chandigarh tricity’s monthly tally sees 40% rise in November

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The monthly Covid-19 case tally in the tricity showed an uptick in November, for the first time after the second wave peaked in May this year.

The tricity recorded 304 cases in November, nearly 40% rise from the figures in October. It has added to the concern of health authorities, which are bracing for the new Omicron variant of the virus.

In October, the tricity had recorded 219 Covid-19 cases, with Chandigarh being the worst hit with 102 cases, followed by 82 in Mohali and 35 in Panchkula. In November, the number went up to 304, with Mohali reporting 127 cases, followed by 114 in Chandigarh and 63 in Panchkula.

In fact, Panchkula’s November tally is the highest in the past five months. Meanwhile, Chandigarh recorded no fatality in November, a first since the pandemic broke out last March.

During the month, the single-day tally peaked at 26 on November 26. The case fatality rate remained in control, with no death reported in Chandigarh and Panchkula, and just four patients succumbing in Mohali. Even October had witnessed just five deaths. With 46,245 cases and 790 deaths, May had proved to be the deadliest for the tricity.

Infra, facilities being ramped up

Dr GD Puri, head of the PGIMER’s Covid management panel, said: “Earlier, patients with kidney, liver or heart problems were getting infected with Covid-19. But now, patients with primary lung symptoms are getting hospitalised. This is a worrisome situation.”

Dr Puri said even those people who have been vaccinated are contracting the virus and a few severe cases have also surfaced. “We have enough standby beds and ventilators, and facilities will be scaled up as per the situation,” he said.

Mohali civil surgeon Dr Adarshpal Kaur said: “So far, no case of Omicron variant has been reported, and there is nothing to be worried about. We have ramped up our infrastructure and testing to control the rise in the number of cases.”

Panchkula deputy commissioner Mahavir Kaushik on Tuesday held a meeting with the health department and gave directions to strengthen the infrastructure and facilities in view of the new variant. He emphasised on a five-pronged strategy: test, trace, track, vaccinate and follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.

Even the Chandigarh health department issued an advisory on Tuesday, urging unvaccinated residents to come forward and get jabbed and asking all to follow Covid-19 appropriate behaviour.

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