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Controversy As US State, Louisiana Asks Schools To Display Ten Commandments

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Louisiana has become the first U.S. state to mandate that every public school classroom, from elementary to university level, must display a poster of the Ten Commandments.

The measure, backed by Republicans and signed into law by Governor Jeff Landry on Wednesday, described the commandments as “the foundational documents of our state and national government.”

The law is expected to face challenges from civil rights groups, The American Civil Liberties Union, who argue that it contravenes the separation between church and state enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, specifically the Establishment Clause.

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It reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

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Ten Commandments new law

The state law requires that a poster include the sacred text in “large, easily readable font” on a poster that is 11 inches by 14 inches (28cm by 35.5cm) and that the commandments are “the central focus” of the display.

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It will also be shown alongside a four-paragraph “context statement” which will describe how the commandments “were a prominent part of American public education for almost three centuries”.

The posters must be on display in all classrooms receiving state funding by 2025 – but no state funding is being offered to pay for the posters themselves.

Similar laws have recently been proposed by other Republican-led states, including Texas, Oklahoma and Utah.

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Landry says

On his X account late Wednesday, the governor, #LAGovJeffLandry posted on X, “Today, we fulfilled our promise to bring drastic reform to our education system and bring common sense back to our classrooms.

“A strong education system leads to a strong economy and a strong state.

“Our historic Dream Big Package puts the focus back on our kids, and allows Louisiana to follow in the footsteps of our neighbors in the South.

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“I am thankful to the legislature for their commitment to making the education system in Louisiana one that students, parents, and teachers can all be proud of.”

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There have been numerous legal battles over the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings, including schools, courthouses and police stations.

An X user, MicheleMaybe, #michele4_t, posted, “What about a Muslim child in that classroom? Or a Buddhist? Or Atheist?

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“This is completely illegal and an affront to our US Constitution. Thankfully you’re getting the snot sued out of you, as you should. We are NOT a Theocracy.”

Another X user, Marjorie, #MTGsbigtoe, wrote, “You should keep your lifestyle choice of being a Christian to yourself. The Bible has no place in the classroom.”

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Also, carte blanche kitty with account #mrswhiskeykitty, said, “Vouchers will demolish our public schools. This is just a taxpayer bailout for failing religious schools with minimal oversight.”

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In 1980, the US Supreme Court struck down a similar Kentucky law requiring that the document be displayed in elementary and high schools.

In a 5-4 vote, the high court ruled that the requirement that the Ten Commandments be posted “had no secular legislative purpose” and was “plainly religious in nature”.

The court noted that in addition to criminal matters like killing and stealing, the Ten Commandments also made references to worshipping God including observing the Sabbath day.

The PUNCH reports that the Ten Commandments are a set of ethical guidelines and principles foundational to the Jewish, Christian, and maybe even Islamic traditions.

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Three Nigerians sentenced To 235 Years In US Prison

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A court in Mississippi, United States of America has sentenced three Nigerians to 235 years in prison.

The jury found all the three personguilty of mail fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud and theft of government property.

Oladimeji Seun Ayelotan, 30, was sentenced to 95 years in prison, while Rasaq Aderoju Raheem, 31, got 115 years jail term.

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Also, Femi Alexander Mewase, 45, received 25 years in jail.

They were convicted for running online scams.

They were said to have duped people of tens of millions of dollars.

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Deadly Blaze Kills Even In France

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An apartment building blaze early Thursday killed seven people in the southern French city of Nice and police were investigating the fire as a possible arson, authorities said.

The dead include three children – 5, 7 and 10 years old – and a 17-year-old teenager who tried to escape by jumping from a window, they said.

The apartment was occupied by a family believed to have Comoran origins, the regional prefect Hugues Moutouh said, referring to the southern African island nature.

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Ten people were inside when the fire broke out.

Rescuers were alerted at around 2:30 am (0030 GMT) to the blaze on the seventh floor of the building in the low-income neighbourhood of Les Moulins, known for being a drug-dealing hub, in the west of the city.

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In spite of the substantial resources deployed, “unfortunately seven people died during this fire”, firefighters said.

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Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on social media that the quick arrival of firefighters “probably prevented more deaths”.

Nice prosecutor Damien Martinelli said investigators were looking into a “criminal” cause for the fire.

“In light of the initial evidence, I have opened an investigation into acts of arson leading to death,” he told reporters at the scene.

The authorities said the blaze probably broke out on the building’s second floor and spread to higher floors.

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Rescuers said that three people were taken to hospital, one of them with life-threatening injuries.

They said firefighters were confronted by a “raging apartment fire” on the seventh floor of the building. They carried out three aerial ladder rescues and evacuated dozens.

In total, 25 fire engines and 72 firefighters tackled the fire.

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Twenty people were evacuated to a temporary shelter, with Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi saying a crisis unit to help anyone affected by the fire.

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Biden Speaks Of Quitting Presidential Race If…

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US President Joe Biden said he could drop his reelection bid if doctors found he had a medical condition, as a top Democrat on Wednesday urged the 81-year-old to step aside.

Biden’s comments were the first time he has even slightly opened the door to abandoning the White House race, and came as Representative Adam Schiff, a key ally from California, urged Biden to “pass the torch.”

“If I had some medical condition that emerged, if somebody, if the doctors came and said ‘you’ve got this problem, that problem,’” Biden told the Black media outlet BET in an interview taped Tuesday, when asked what could make him rethink.

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Biden however defended his decision to stay on for a rematch with Republican Donald Trump in November, and explained why he had not handed over to a younger generation after one term.

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“I said I was going to be a transitional candidate, and I thought I’d be able to move on from this, pass it on to someone else,” he said. “But I didn’t anticipate things getting so, so, so divided.”

Biden has been fighting for political survival since a disastrous debate against Trump nearly three weeks ago, in which his tired and confused appearance sparked concerns about his age.

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Schiff became the first Democrat to call for him to step aside since the assassination attempt against Trump on Saturday, which had briefly silenced the growing chorus against Biden.

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A second Trump presidency will undermine the very foundation of our democracy, and I have serious concerns about whether the President can defeat Donald Trump in November,” Schiff said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times.

Schiff, who is expected to win a Senate seat this November, is a key White House ally in the legislature and shot to nationwide prominence as lead prosecutor during then-president Trump’s first impeachment trial.

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Biden was set to make a fresh attempt to prop up his candidacy in a speech to crucial Latino voters in the battleground state of Nevada later Wednesday.

– ‘Pretty damn good’ –

Around 20 House Democrats and one senator have now called on Biden to leave the White House race but Biden has refused, insisting he is best placed to beat Trump.

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Biden, Trump agree to election debates in June, September
Most polls show Biden trailing in a tight race, with Trump pulling ahead in key swing states but no dramatic movement since the debate debacle or shooting.

Biden said his mental acuity was “pretty damn good” in an NBC interview on Monday, one of a series of unscripted outings aimed at showing he has what it takes.

With pressure on Biden mounting, Democrats said on Wednesday they plan a virtual nomination for the president in the first week of August, ahead of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on August 19.

Some Democrats have slammed the scheme, accusing the party of trying to ram through Biden’s candidacy and avoid a full discussion of alternative choices.

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Party chiefs say they need to carry out the virtual roll-call by August 7, which is the deadline set by the Republican-led state of Ohio for the submission of nominations.

Biden otherwise risks not being on the ballot in Ohio, the home state of Trump’s new running mate J.D. Vance.

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While Ohio’s governor has signed a law giving Biden more time, the DNC said it feared further legal challenges.

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“None of this will be rushed,” the heads of the DNC’s rules committee said in a letter to lawmakers obtained by AFP. “No matter what may be reported, our goal is not to fast-track.”

But several lawmakers are planning to sign a letter against the virtual nomination plan and others have criticized it, according to US media.

Biden insists that Democratic voters support him, but a poll by the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research said Wednesday that nearly two-thirds want him to step aside.

 

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