Alleged Virginia Walmart Shooter Who Killed 6 Was Employee of Store

Six people were killed and four more were injured in a mass shooting at a Walmart Supercenter in Chesapeake, Virginia, on Tuesday evening. The shooting reportedly took place as workers were beginning their evening shifts. According to law enforcement, the gunman was a 31-year-old employee who was armed with a pistol. He reportedly died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The shooting is the deadliest mass shooting at a retail center in the U.S. since a white supremacist shot and killed 10 Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, in May. According to a report from WAVY, an…

Gov. Youngkin’s Anti-Trans Policies Trigger Massive Student Walkouts in Virginia

Thousands of students across Virginia protested this week, walking out of their classrooms and schools to demonstrate their opposition to policy changes being proposed by the administration of Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) toward transgender youth in the state. Youngkin’s state Department of Education issued new model policies last Friday to “provide clear, accurate, and useful guidance to Virginia school boards that align with statutory provisions.” The new document takes a “parental rights” approach when it comes to transgender youth in schools, encouraging districts to enact rules that discriminate against and potentially endanger LGBTQ children. The new policies say that transgender…

China: Long-delayed UN report must spur accountability for crimes against humanity in Xinjiang

Responding to the long-awaited release of the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report on serious human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard said:  “This 46-page document lays bare the scale and severity of the human rights violations taking place in Xinjiang – which Amnesty […] The post China: Long-delayed UN report must spur accountability for crimes against humanity in Xinjiang appeared first on Amnesty International.

Meadows, Who Pushed Right-Wing Myths of Voter Fraud, Registered in 3 States

Mark Meadows, who served as chief of staff under former President Donald Trump — and who has repeatedly spread lies about nonexistent widespread voter fraud — was registered to vote in three different states up until last week. According to reporting from The Washington Post, Meadows was registered to vote in Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina until last week, when North Carolina officials decided to remove him from the voter rolls. Meadows was on all three states’ voter rolls at the same time for a period of at least three weeks. The decision to remove Meadows’s registration status from…

Richmond Educators Win Precedent-Setting Fight for Collective Bargaining Rights

This story was first published at Labor Notes. Teachers and other public school employees in Richmond, Virginia, won a major victory in December when the city’s school board, in an 8 to 1 vote, approved a resolution granting them collective bargaining rights. The victory sets a precedent for other districts and public sector employees throughout the state. Richmond is the first school district in Virginia to reinstate collective bargaining rights, after the legislature in 2020 lifted the state’s 43-year prohibition on collective bargaining for local government workers. Members of the school board had made repeated attempts to delay the vote.…

GOP Lawmakers Block Virginia Amendments on Marriage Equality, Voting Rights

Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates have rejected constitutional amendments to restore the voting rights of people who have been convicted of felonies and to remove anti-LGBTQ language from the state constitution — meaning that Virginians will not be able to vote on the measures during the state’s midterm elections this fall. In Virginia, any changes to the constitution must be approved by two concurrent sessions of the state legislature. After that, a statewide referendum is held, and if a majority of voters approve of the measure, it will be enshrined in the state constitution. Although the Virginia legislature…

Youngkin’s Cabinet Has More Fossil Fuel Ties Beyond Trump’s EPA Chief

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s nomination last week of Andrew Wheeler to be his secretary of natural resources drew backlash from Democratic state lawmakers and climate activists, who expressed concern about the onetime lobbyist’s ties to the coal industry and his environmental record under former President Donald Trump. As secretary of natural resources, Wheeler would occupy the state’s top environmental post. OpenSecrets reported on Wheeler’s industry connections in 2018 before he took charge of the Environmental Protection Agency, where he oversaw the rollback of environmental rules. The nomination is expected to kick off a contentious confirmation fight, with Democratic state lawmakers…

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