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WW3: Pompeo Saudi Oil Drone Attacks Accusing Iran

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WW3: Pompeo Accuses Iran of Saudi Oil Drone Attacks

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo charged Tehran with attacking the vast oil fields of Saudi Arabia, sparking concerns of Iran-America war.

According to reports, drone attacks were initiated by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Saturday’s biggest oil processing plant in Saudi Arabia and a significant oil field, causing huge fires at a fragile chokepoint for worldwide energy supplies.

Pompeo encouraged the international community “to condemn the assaults on Iran openly and unambiguously.”

“Tehran is behind almost 100 assaults on Saudi Arabia, while Rouhani and Zarif pretend diplomatic action. Iran has now initiated an unprecedented assault on the world’s energy supply in the midst of all calls for de-escalation. The attacks came from Yemen, there is no proof, “Pompeo stated Saturday.

We call on all countries to condemn the attacks on Iran openly and unambiguously. The United States will work with our partners and allies to guarantee that power markets stay well supplied and that Iran is held responsible for its aggression — Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) Sputniknews.com reports September 14, 2019: Tehran has yet to comment on the charges.

Earlier Saturday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a phone call to US President Donald Trump that, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), “the Kingdom is prepared and capable of confronting and dealing with this terrorist attack.”

According to SPA, Trump, for his part, affirmed that Washington is allied with Riyadh and promotes the kingdom, emphasizing what he called the adverse impact of assaults on the US and global economy.

According to SPA, fires struck the Abqaiq oil refinery, a gated manufacturing facility and living community in the nation’s Eastern Province, as well as an oil-processing facility near the Khurais oil field early Saturday.

The armed opposition group of Yemeni Houthi asserted liability for the attacks.

The group assaulted the Abqaiq and Khurais oil refineries with 10 drones, the largest Houthi operation in Saudi territory to date, according to a spokesman, according to a declaration by the Houthi armed forces broadcast by Almasirah TV channel.

According to the Houthi declaration, the attacks will continue until Saudi Arabia stops carrying out military activities in Yemen.

Earlier, a drone attack on the Shaybah oil field and refinery in Saudi Arabia was carried out by Houthi armed forces, prompting the Saudis to attack objectives in southern Yemen.

Yemen has been engulfed in a war between exiled President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi and the rebel Houthi party since 2015.

Since March 2015, at the request of Hadi, a Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out air strikes against the Houthis.

Read More: Trump Warns Voters If Democrats Win They Will Create A Socialist Nightmare

Rajesh is a freelancer with a background in e-commerce marketing. Having spent her career in startups, He specializes in strategizing and executing marketing campaigns.

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‘Duluth, you ain’t got no Ubers’: Former Backstreet Boy AJ McLean has words after weekend wedding visit

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‘Duluth, you ain’t got no Ubers’: Former Backstreet Boy AJ McLean has words after weekend wedding visit

A former Backstreet Boy was seemingly part of another boy band of groomsmen last weekend in Duluth, the musician outing his location with an impromptu song lamenting the lack of Ubers.

“Damn Duluth,” AJ McLean sang in a quick hit post to to TikTok from maybe near the Fitger’s complex. “You ain’t got no Ubers. Damn, Duluth you ain’t got no cabs. Damn, Duluth. Trying to get to my buddies wedding. Damn, Duluth, where the (eff) you at.”

According to McLean’s tags on TikTok, it was Zaya Leavitt’s wedding — a Los Angeles-based music producer who, according to The Knot, married Nicole Veno, who graduated from Carlton High School, on Saturday at Clyde Iron Works.

Other videos from Duluth include on showing off the evening view of Lake Superior, “absolutely breathtaking,” he said. And another with members of the wedding party and fat cigars.

@ajmcleanofficial

I have never seen something so serene and beautiful in all my life and quiet a little taste of heaven before I go to bed. Big day tomorrow!

♬ original sound – AJ McLean

McLean joined the group that would become Backstreet Boys (“Everybody,” “Quit Playing Games with My Heart,” “I Want it That Way” and more) in the early 1990s alongside Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell. He has also had a solo career, and the Backstreet Boys have a tour planned for 2022.

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Apply to become a high school official

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Apply to become a high school official

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Celebrate Officials Appreciation Day by applying to become a high school official.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) is looking for new high school officials as there is a shortage in many communities. According to NFHS, some communities are forced to postpone or even cancel games because of a lack of officials.

NFHS benefits of becoming a high school official:

  • You’ll be a role model for the youth in your community
  • It’s a great way to stay in good physical condition
  • Hours are flexible
  • You’ll earn extra income
  • You’ll expand your network of friends and have fun

To begin the application process, go to the NFHS website. There are currently 18 different sports you can apply for.

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Missouri woman convicted of killing husband in 2012

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Missouri woman convicted of killing husband in 2012

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Three years after a Florissant woman was swept away in the Meramec River and drowned in Castlewood State Park, her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Rose Shaw died in Aug. 2018 while trying to save her friend’s daughter, 12-year-old Deniya Johnson. According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Shaw and Johnson were wading in the river with three other people when they encountered a drop-off in the river and all five went under. Shaw was 35.

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Ben Simmons won’t report to 76ers’ training camp, AP source says

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Ben Simmons won’t report to 76ers’ training camp, AP source says

PHILADELPHIA — Ben Simmons will not report to Philadelphia 76ers’ training camp next week and prefers to continue his NBA career with another team, a person with direct knowledge of the player’s plans told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because discussions of Simmons’ plans with the franchise have been private. ESPN first reported that Simmons would not report.

Simmons, the No. 1 pick of the 2016 draft, is a three-time All-Star who had been paired with Joel Embiid as the franchise cornerstones as the Sixers chase their first NBA championship since 1983.

Simmons, though, took the brunt of the blame for the top-seeded Sixers’ second-round exit in last season’s playoffs. Simmons shot 34% from the free-throw line in the playoffs and was reluctant to attempt a shot from anywhere on the floor late in games. That led to him spending critical minutes on the bench.

Simmons just finished the first year of a $177 million max deal.

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Disney Delivers ‘Star Wars: Visions’ Just as Anime Pushes Further Into the Mainstream

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Disney Delivers ‘Star Wars: Visions’ Just as Anime Pushes Further Into the Mainstream
Star Wars: Visions is Lucasfilm’s first foray into anime. Lucasfilm Disney+

It only makes sense now that Disney would start producing anime based on Star Wars. 

The medium has become a pillar in the ongoing streaming wars, with Netflix (Disney’s biggest competitor) busy acquiring licenses, making exclusive deals, and producing their own original anime for years now. Last year, Netflix announced that over 100 million households watched at least one episode of anime (a 50% increase from 2019), with the genre ranking among the service’s top 10 most-watched programs in over 100 countries. Along with Netflix’s strides, HBO Max has brought the Studio Ghibli library to streaming for the first time, and Sony recently finalized its deal to acquire Crunchyroll. Even with so many beloved brands at their disposal, Disney finds itself in a position it’s not familiar with when it comes to anime: playing catch-up. 

Star Wars: Visions, the franchise’s first foray into anime, is a promising start. Disney has recruited seven anime studios, a promising lineup that features talent responsible for some of the most accomplished anime of the past 20 years, and tasked each of them to bring their unique visual style to one of the biggest properties in entertainment history. While Star Wars: Visions may not boast the same level of ambition as, say, the 2003 anthology The AniMatrix—another world-building expansion for a massively popular property—there is a selection of work here that should appease both Star Wars and anime fans (plus those who overlap). 

Visions opens strongly with “The Duel,” an outlier among the nine stories as it is a mix of CG and hand-drawn animation. Outside of the highly saturated color of the blasters and lightsabers, it is the only chapter delivered in black-and-white—an homage to Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo and Seven Samurai. This story of a ronin who duels a female Sith warrior with a weaponized lightsaber umbrella (something I’ve truly never seen before) features some intense action, well designed characters and an incredibly looking world. However, the short does run into the same problem that plagues a lot of CG anime, and that is the overall impressions of the characters can be quite flat. There’s an argument to be made that it would have worked better in the latter part of the series as opposed to the opening episode.

After the instantly forgettable “Tatooine Rhapsody,” we come to one of the true highlights of the series. “The Twins” is mainly a battle between siblings on top of joined star destroyers. What makes this short so appealing, and justifies the worth of this experiment, is that director Hiroyuki Imaishi (Promare) and the staff at Trigger spend all 12 minutes of this story executing Star Wars: Trigger style. For every second of this shorts runtime, the now famous Trigger aesthetic is in full display: extreme colors, characters and locations both oozing with style, and featuring highly intense and absurdly energetic action sequences. For those of us who have followed Trigger for the past decade, it is more of the same in the best possible way. To those possibly experiencing Trigger for the first time, my advice is that it’s best if you try not to blink.  

By the end of “The Twins,” and in many of the shorts, the story doesn’t conclude with a clear resolution, but rather feels more like a set-up for a much wider story. In that way, Visions felt more like a pilot program for future series rather than an anthology of stand-alone episodes. If that is truly what’s going on, Disney and Lucasfilm should go all in on what the story with the most potential, Production I.G’s “The Ninth Jedi.”

Coming after “The Village Bride,” a decently produced but slight story, this wondrous short directed by Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) takes place decades after the events of The Rise of Skywalker. It stars Kara, the daughter of a legendary lightsaber-smith—in a time where the iconic weapons of the Jedi and Sith have almost become lost to history—who races to deliver nine lightsabers to a group of warriors hoping to resurrect the Jedi Order after witnessing her father being captured by nefarious forces. 

Returning to hand-drawn animation for the first time in almost half a decade, Kamiyama is clearly the creator who best understood the assignment. “The Ninth Jedi” possesses the kind of charm that first drew in so many to the original trilogy. It presents us with a roster of interesting and singular-looking characters who I want to learn more about, especially Kara, who resembles both Leia in her fearlessness and Luke in his ambitions to find a greater purpose. The action is refreshing but still maintains the feel of the original films, and it contains one of the best reveals in ages, animation or otherwise. If you only see or recommend one of the nine shorts showcased here, let it be this one. 

The latter four that bookend Visions never come close to the high of “The Ninth Jedi,” but that doesn’t mean they were at all lacking in quality. The Elder, the second Trigger short and perhaps the last work directed by legend Masahiko Otsuka (Gurren Lagann), will be nowhere near the top of most lists when it comes to ranking each individual short. But the legendary Otsuka must be commended for developing a short so-anti Trigger in terms of style, pace, and dialogue. Akakiri, directed by Science Saru co-founder President and CEO Eunyoung Choi, has arguably the best ending of the bunch, and—concerning labor practices aside—I’m glad to see the studio pull off a rarity in anime and have a foreigner sit in their directors chair, animation director Abel Góngora, who’s sweet and intense T0-B1 resembles both Astro Boy and Masaaki Yuasa’s cult classic Kaiba. It would have been a treat to see what Yuasa himself would have done if given the chance to tell his own Star Wars story, but perhaps we will when he decides to return to anime. 

As anime is pushing itself further and further into the mainstream, it’s fair to wonder if this experiment will pay off for Disney. It’s unknown if the section of the audience who are mainly Star Wars fans will go along with watching nine anime stories, all focused on new characters. For the sake of variety, I certainly hope they do, because it would be refreshing to see Disney (not exactly known for taking big risks) continue to expand its storytelling purview. Seeking out some of anime’s most talented creators to bring their unique approach to their collection of expensive IP is a way to keep the brand fresh and exciting. Another season of Star Wars: Visions, or perhaps one for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, would be a worthwhile gamble. Anime will continue to grow as it increasingly moves beyond the niche periphery it once occupied. Don’t expect Disney to just ignore that.

Disney Delivers ‘Star Wars: Visions’ Just as Anime Pushes Further Into the Mainstream

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Singaporean scientists develop novel way to turn durian waste into superior antibacterial bandages

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durian gets turned into bandages

In a bid to address food waste in Singapore, local scientists have developed an essential medical use for discarded durian husks. 

More sustainable durian: Nanyang Technological University (NTU) scientists developed a process that turns husks from the popular Southeast Asian fruit into antibacterial gel bandages, Reuters reported.

  • The fruit’s husks are sliced and dehydrated at a low temperature in a process called lyophilization
  • Cellulose powder extracted from the freeze-dried husks is then mixed with glycerol. When the mixture turns into a soft hydrogel, it is then cut into bandage strips.
  • The organic antimicrobial hydrogel bandages can keep affected areas cooler and moister, healing wounds faster than conventional bandages.
  • Because conventional bandages source their antimicrobial properties from costly metals, the hydrogel bandages are also cheaper to make.

Environmental threat: Durian husks, which get incinerated in Singapore, heavily contribute to environmental waste due to the sheer amount of durian the city-state consumes per year. 

  • “In Singapore, we consume about 12 million durians a year, so besides the flesh, we can’t do much about the husk and the seeds and this cause (sic) environmental pollution,” NTU’s Food Science and Technology Program Director William Chen explained. 
  • According to Chen, the process can also be applied to other food wastes. By turning leftovers such as soya beans and spent grains into organic hydrogel, food waste in Singapore can be significantly reduced.
  • Chen, who aims to improve future food production systems, has been looking into ways to upcycle food by-products.
  • In 2019, he led NTU scientists in developing a process that turns the gum found in durian seeds into a natural food stabilizer with probiotics. 

Featured Image via NTUsg (left), (right)

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Ambrose: Also ‘left behind’ in Afghanistan – a million starving children

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Ambrose: Also ‘left behind’ in Afghanistan – a million starving children

Is President Joe Biden killing a million children in Afghanistan? No, certainly not directly, but he and varied other officials set the stage in the overly quick, careless, incompetent U.S. withdrawal that put the Taliban in charge of the place.

The Taliban’s political leaders and terrorist troops then put poverty in charge of the people while also scrapping public services, according to Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations. The consequences? There is precious little food, terrible malnutrition and the possible starvation deaths of millions, including those million children.

A drought in farm country played a role in this development, as did the previous corrupt government, we are told. But the Taliban is the key player that shows disregard for humanity every direction it looks, as in beating up people in Kabul for not wearing Taliban-approved clothing. They flogged a woman in the street for talking to a man. Women were becoming free at last under the previous regime but will now be denied any education or possibly even health care and be confined to their homes.

Protesters of such tyranny have confronted gunfire as a counter-argument, and people are terribly scared, as was dramatically demonstrated by those lethally clinging to the outside of airplanes to escape. It’s dangerous out there, few have cash and businesses are closing. The biggest job is finding one. Prices are unpayable, homelessness is rampant, cross-border trade has gone poof and farms are dust we learn in a New York Times story on the situation.

One means of assisting the Afghan people would be to expel the Taliban, which is not going to happen, obviously, although the U.S. did keep these dogmatists from running things for 20 years while avoiding more 9/11-style attacks. There were definitely dividends in the long war that was producing fewer and fewer American deaths. But look at it altogether and the deaths come to 2,500 U.S. servicemen, 3,846 U.S. contractors, 66,000 Afghan troops and cops, and 47,245 civilians. The war cost us about $300 million a day.

What’s most frightening and important now is the possible starvation of those million children and millions more adults and finding a way to prevent the worst without abetting evil.

The United Nations is trying to collect billions for humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. has promised $64 million. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) has said Taliban leaders in the past stole aid meant for charitable uses and he did not want to hand them money for foul deeds while having less for our own people in need. The Times reported on donors being wary of “brutality” and “human rights abuses.” The aim, however, is for the United Nations to be handling the humanitarian assistance, not the Taliban.

There are other aid issues, as in giving the Taliban help if it releases American hostages, something known as ransom, but there are ways both can happen without it being ransom. Shouldn’t we demand to get weapons back we essentially allowed the Taliban to take? They were pretty much made harmless, a military spokesman has said.

Partly because the United States shares responsibility for the starvation crisis, but also because we should be a humane, caring nation that reaches beyond itself in this world, we should continue to work to save these lives, millions of lives, as a meaningful national goal.


Jay Ambrose is a syndicated columnist.

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Trudeau’s election bet fails, but Tory rival might lose job

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Trudeau’s party wins Canada vote but fails to get majority

TORONTO — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau secured victory in parliamentary elections but failed to get the majority he wanted, an outcome that threatened his Conservative rival with loss of his job after moving his party to the center and alienating its base.

Trudeau bet Canadians didn’t want a Conservative government during a pandemic and voiced the concerns of Canadians who are increasingly upset with those who refuse to get vaccinated.

That argument helped propel Trudeau to victory in the election Monday, and while the gamble to win a majority of seats in Parliament didn’t pay off, Trudeau leads a strong minority government that won’t be toppled by the opposition anytime soon.

The results nearly mirrored those of two years ago. The Liberal Party secured or was leading in158 seats — one more than it won in 2019, and 12 short of the 170 needed for a majority in the House of Commons.

The Conservatives were leading or elected in 119 seats, two less than in 2019. The leftist New Democrats were leading or elected in 25, while the Bloc Québécois were poised to win 34 and the Greens were down to two.

Hours after the results came in, Trudeau greeted commuters and posed for photos Tuesday morning at a subway stop in his district in Montreal — a post-election tradition for the prime minister.

“I hear you when you say you just want to get back to the things you love and not worry about this pandemic or an election,” Trudeau said in his post-victory speech hours earlier.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole was scheduled to give a news conference later Tuesday, where he was expected to face questions about whether he will be able to keep his job.

“The results are disappointing for the Conservatives and O’Toole’s move towards the center is a source of contention within the party,” said Daniel Béland, a political science professor at McGill University in Montreal.

Conservative campaign co-chair Walied Soliman said before the votes were counted Monday that holding Trudeau to a minority government would be a win. But Jenni Byrne, campaign manager and deputy chief of staff to former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, told The Associated Press she was “stunned” by Soliman’s comments and later said O’Toole gave a tone-deaf concession speech in which he acted as if he’d won.

O’Toole said he was more determined than ever to continue, but his party might dump him as it did his predecessor who failed to beat Trudeau in 2019. Whether he remains Conservative leader has big implications for the conservative movement in Canada. If he’s removed the party could swing back right.

A politician who narrowly lost the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2017 and who now leads a far-right party that opposes vaccines and lockdowns bled support from O’Toole’s Conservatives and helped the Liberals retain power. Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada didn’t win any seats in Parliament but support for his party led to some Conservative party losses.

Nelson Wiseman, a political science professor at the University of Toronto, said the far-right People’s Party of Canada cost the Conservative Party about 10 seats in the election.

O’Toole advertised himself a year ago as a “true-blue Conservative.” He became Conservative Party leader with a pledge to “take back Canada,” but immediately started working to push the party toward the political center.

O’Toole’s strategy, which included disavowing positions held dear by his party’s base on issues such as climate change, guns and balanced budgets, was designed to appeal to a broader cross section of voters in a country that tends to be far more liberal than its southern neighbor.

Whether moderate Canadians believed O’Toole is the progressive conservative he claims to be and whether he alienated traditional Conservatives became central questions of the campaign.

O’Toole failed to win more seats in and around vote-rich liberal Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

Trudeau argued that the Conservatives’ approach on the pandemic, which has been more skeptical of lockdowns and vaccine mandates, would be dangerous. And he played up his own party’s successes. Canada has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, and Trudeau’s government spent hundreds of billions of dollars to prop up the economy amid lockdowns.

Trudeau supports making vaccines mandatory for Canadians to travel by air or rail, something the Conservatives oppose.

And Trudeau pointed out that Alberta, run by a Conservative provincial government, is in crisis. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the province might run out of beds and staff for intensive care units within days. Kenney apologized for the dire situation and is now reluctantly introducing a vaccine passport and imposing a mandatory work-from-home order two months after lifting nearly all restrictions.

O’Toole, meanwhile, didn’t require his party’s candidates to be vaccinated and would not say how many were not. O’Toole described vaccination as a personal health decision.

“The debate on vaccination and Trudeau taking on the anti-vaccination crowd helped the Liberals to salvage a campaign that didn’t start well for the party,” Béland said.

Wiseman said the Conservatives were hurt by the situation in Alberta.

“The explosion of the pandemic in Alberta in the past 10 days undermined O’Toole’s compliments of the Alberta Conservatives on how they had handled the pandemic and reinforced Trudeau’s argument for mandatory vaccinations,” he said.

The 49-year-old Trudeau channeled the star power of his father, the Liberal icon and late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, when he first won election in 2015 and has led his party to the top finish in two elections since.

Still, failing to win a majority again may well spell his demise in the future, analysts said.

“This may have been Trudeau’s last election. No one but he and his family knows. He may love politics and want to stay in as long as he can. Or, he may decide that the next election will be even more difficult to win and he does not want to go out as a loser,” Wiseman said.

“The reality is that elections, like the one we just had, are usually referendums on the government and its leader. If Trudeau is still the Liberal leader in the next election, whoever leads the Conservative will likely prevail.”

Robert Bothwell, a professor of Canadian history and international relations at the University of Toronto, said O’Toole might retain his leadership of the Conservative Party if he argues they’ll never win if they don’t move to the center.

“Trudeau’s prospects are better than O’Toole’s,” Bothwell said. “O’Toole may well be in trouble.”

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Saratoga Peace Week returns this year

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Saratoga Peace Week returns this year

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Saratoga Peace Week is returning this year to observe the United Nations International Day of Peace on September 21. Saratoga Springs is hosting local events September 21 through 27 aimed at promoting peace.

The events include:

  • September 21, 7 p.m. Book Discussion: The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. In person at Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church or by registering for Zoom
  • September 22, 10:30 a.m. Peace Week Story Time at Saratoga Children’s Museum. “I am Peace” by Susan Verde. All regular admission tickets are $2 off this day.
  • September 22, 6 p.m. Outside Interfaith Service: Celebration of the Fall Equinox led by Rev. Kathy Johnson, an Interfaith-Interspiritual minister. At Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church.
  • September 24, 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Contemplative Labyrinth Walk with Harp led by Rachel Magnell, Spiritual Director in Saratoga Springs. Limited space.
  • September 25, 7 p.m. Early Victims of Climate Change: The Pacific Islands with Frances Namoumouis. In person at Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church or by registering for Zoom.
  • September 26, 2 p.m. Documentary, “Purple” and Film Discussion. United Methodist Church.
  • September 27, 7 p.m. Sponsoring Asylum Seekers in the Saratoga Region. In person at Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church or Zoom.

More information on these events can be found on the Saratoga Peace Week website.

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Fort Zumwalt School District under mask mandate for 30 days

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Fort Zumwalt School District under mask mandate for 30 days

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo.– The Fort Zumwalt School Board voted last night to put a universal mask mandate in place for all students and staff for the next 30 days. The decision came after the school board listened to nearly 2 hours of comments.

The school board voted 4-3 for the mask mandate. They will then review the decision after 30 days.

The school year started with a mask optional policy.

According to the district’s COVID dashboard, here are the cases from the last 14 days:

  • School connected cases: 24 students/1 staff
  • Unknown or not school connected cases: 84 students/6 staff
  • Standard quarantine school connected: 124 students/2 staff
  • Standard quarantine unknown or not school connected: 86 students/5 staff
  • Modified quarantine: 6 students/0 staff

At the beginning of the school year, the district had 350 students in quarantine at one point.

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