Stranger Things fans have prayer circles ready for their favourite characters ahead of the season 4 finale
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Stranger Things fans have prayer circles ready for their favourite characters ahead of the season 4 finale

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Stranger Things fans have prayer circles ready for their favourite characters ahead of the season 4 finale
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Stranger Things day is finally here and it’s getting tense in here! Twitter is out with prayer circles hoping to keep their favourite characters alive and simultaneously threatening the creators, the Duffer brothers to watch out if any of those precious characters don’t make it.

The producers left a month-long gap between the first seven episodes of the fourth season and the two-episode finale. Whether this gap was for the fandom to emotionally prepare itself for the twists and turns or for heightened anticipation to spike viewership, we don’t know but we can’t wait to find out!

Season 4 dropped on May 27 and all we’ve done is count down days to July 1 for the finale and with less than an hour to go, Twitter users can’t help but pray for their favourite characters as they count down minutes to the end.

 

 

Same boat, friend.

 

Pakistani fans have got their post-Friday prayer biryani date with the finale scheduled.

 

 

 

Steve is alive — for now.

 

Duffer brothers, please be careful with how you choose to proceed with this season.

To be honest, it’s us…

 

 

Versus Vecna.

 

Who do you think won’t make it beyond season 4?

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Pakistan Navy rescues 9 crew members from sinking Indian ship near Gwadar

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Pakistan Navy rescues 9 crew members from sinking Indian ship near Gwadar
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The Pakistan Navy on Wednesday saved nine crew members from an Indian ship after it drowned in the Arabian Sea near Gwadar, according to the Director General of Public Relations.

The ship named “Jamna Sagar” sank with 10 crew members on board on Tuesday (Aug 9), the navy spokesman said in a statement.

“The navy immediately responded to the distress call and the Pakistan Maritime Information Center requested a nearby merchant ship ‘MT KRUIBEKE’ to provide necessary assistance to the stranded crew of the drowning sailboat,” the spokesman said.

“The merchant ship eventually recovered nine crew members and continued the voyage to its next port of call Dubai and then disembarked the crew.”

Separately, the statement said a Pakistan Navy ship, along with two helicopters, arrived in the area and located the body of a crew member who had gone missing when the ship drowned.

His body was recovered and handed over to Pakistan Maritime Safety Agency (PMSA) authorities for further proceedings, he added.

Earlier this year, the Pakistan Navy intercepted and tracked an Indian submarine.
In a statement, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj. Gen. Babar Iftikhar said that the Indian Navy had deployed its submarine against Pakistan with “ulterior motives“.

“However, once again through continued vigilance and professionalism, the Pakistan Navy has thwarted the Indian submarine’s attempt to enter Pakistani waters,” he said.

The area of ​​Pakistan’s territorial waters is 12 nautical miles, while its seabed territory (EEZ) grew to 290,000 square kilometers in 2015.

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Pakistan Navy rescues nine crew members from sinking ship in India

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A PN ship, along with two helicopters, arrived in the area and located the body of a crew member, according to a statement.

The Pakistan Navy on Wednesday saved nine crew members from an Indian ship after it drowned in the Arabian Sea near Gwadar, according to a statement issued by the Director General of Public Relations (Navy) on Thursday.

The ship ‘Jamna Sagar’ sank with 10 crew members on board on Tuesday (Aug 9), the navy spokesman said in the statement.

“The navy immediately responded to the distress call and the Pakistan Maritime Information Center requested a nearby merchant ship ‘MT KRUIBEKE’ to provide necessary assistance to the stranded crew of the drowning sailing ship,” the spokesman added.

“The merchant ship eventually recovered nine crew members and continued the voyage to its next port of call Dubai and then disembarked the crew.”

The statement added that a Pakistan Navy ship, along with two helicopters, arrived in the area and located the body of a crew member who had gone missing when the ship drowned.

His body was recovered and handed over to Pakistan Maritime Safety Agency (PMSA) authorities for further proceedings, he added.

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Ukrainian-born GOP lawmaker rankles colleagues with her aggressive criticism of Kyiv

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Ukrainian-born GOP lawmaker rankles colleagues
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When a bipartisan group of lawmakers visited the Ukraine border in March, an unexpected guest showed up on the trip: GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz of Indiana.

Spartz, the first Ukrainian-born member of the US Congress and an outspoken advocate for her home country, had expressed interest in joining the congressional delegation but wasn’t invited to attend the trip, which consisted primarily of House Foreign Affairs Committee members, a panel where Spartz is not a member.
So, she used her own funds to fly to the border of Ukraine in Poland and linked up with lawmakers once there to join in on some of their meetings, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.
Her surprise appearance, the circumstances of which have not been previously reported, was initially viewed as a welcome addition — albeit an unusual one — as lawmakers sought to rally Western support for Ukraine amid Russia’s bloody assault on the country that began a week earlier.
But members who were part of the official trip told that Spartz was “argumentative,” “accusatory,” and “unhelpful” during key meetings with NATO members, generals and government officials, sparking concern that her presence was doing more harm than good.
“She crashed our CoDel. She was like a bull in a china shop,” said one GOP lawmaker, who like other members for this story was granted anonymity to speak more freely about a colleague and due to the sensitive nature of the subject. “I don’t know if it was pent-up frustration or she didn’t feel like she was getting enough proper information, but she was just accusatory and rude.”
Spartz, in an email, pushed back on the anonymous criticism of her decision to elbow her way into the congressional delegation and refuted the description of her behavior on the trip.
“This accusation is a cowardly misrepresentation of facts by some jealous members or staff since we had a very productive bipartisan CODEL in March,” Spartz said. “I did not come to Congress to get paid for my travel vacations or dinners, but rather get things done.
That bipartisan frustration over Spartz’s behavior was only the beginning. In the nearly six months since the war began, Spartz has publicly criticized the Ukraine government, peddled corruption allegations against the Ukrainian government and some of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s top aides, and spurred complaints from her colleagues that she is mirroring pro-Russia talking points.
“President Zelensky has to stop playing politics and theater, and start governing to better support his military and local governments,” Spartz said in a press release last month, in one example of her outspoken criticisms of Kyiv.
Spartz, a 43-year-old businesswoman, has repeatedly insisted, publicly and privately, that she wants Ukraine to win, and that she is only attacking Kyiv because she wants to help remove any potential obstacles to a Ukrainian victory over Russia. She says she has visited Ukraine six times since the invasion began and has also slammed Russia consistently, including as recently as Tuesday when she tweeted that Russia should be declared a terrorist state.
Still, Spartz’s bellicose rhetoric aimed at Zelensky and his advisers has frustrated lawmakers in both parties, White House officials and members of the Ukrainian parliament alike.
They worry she is undermining their efforts to stay united behind Ukraine at a pivotal moment and openly question where she is getting some of her information, according to interviews with over a dozen lawmakers, aides and administration sources.
Meanwhile, multiple briefings from the Biden administration and private pleas from senior Republicans have done little to rein in Spartz’s vocal criticism, sources said.
Once seen as a crucial messaging asset, Spartz has now become something of a liability for defense hawks who were already worried about fatigue in the United States over the ongoing war abroad. And her continued criticism of Ukraine also comes amid growing skepticism from the MAGA wing of the GOP about keeping weapons and aid flowing to the country.
“Because she’s the only Ukrainian-born member of Congress, she has outsize megaphone, outsize influence,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin, a Michigan Democrat and former CIA analyst. “I think there’s an open question of why she’s so openly saying something that’s so clearly aligned with Russian talking points.”
Rep. Victoria Spartz arrives to the U.S. Capitol for a House vote in March 2022.

Spartz contends she has long been concerned about corruption in Ukraine. But lawmakers fear her public criticism could undermine confidence in Zelensky, damage relations between the U.S. and Ukraine, and give on-the-fence lawmakers a reason to oppose the next aid package.
Some lawmakers — even those unhappy with her rhetoric — came to Spartz’s defense, arguing she is well-intentioned and just desperate to help her motherland as it’s being ripped apart by war. Spartz was a vocal champion of key legislation to speed up the administration’s ability to send weaponry and other critical resources to Ukraine, attending the bill signing ceremony with President Joe Biden. And lawmakers in both parties have shared in her calls for more rigorous oversight of the weapons heading into Ukraine.
“She was overcome with emotion. And I think what you’re seeing now is a manifestation of that,” said a second GOP lawmaker. “What I’m trying to tell her is, I’m well aware of the corruption problem. … But talking about corruption now, when they are under siege, is like wall-papering your bathroom when the house is burning down around you. It’s counterproductive.”
Spartz said in an email  that she is just seeking accountability and always gets her information “from the ground and real professionals, not from academics and political hacks who’ve never set foot in Ukraine.” And Spartz said it was the “foreign policy establishment” — not her — who was playing into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hands.
“I also care deeply about people’s lives — the lives of ordinary Ukrainians and the brave Ukrainian military. I cannot let them down even if that means saying unpopular truths that offend the politicians or diverge from the popular narrative of the day,” Spartz said. “I will never give up or give in, and I will do everything I can to see a united Ukraine and a defeated Vladimir Putin.”
Rep. Victoria Spartz surveys damage to buildings in Bucha, Ukraine, on April 14, 2022. (Daniel Berehulak/The New York Times)

Members of both parties push to tone down posture

Even as lawmakers express understanding and sympathy for Spartz’s situation, the top three Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Intelligence Committee and the House Armed Services Committee have all urged Spartz to tone down her posture, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.
“We’ve all talked to her,” said a third GOP lawmaker. “It’s pissing people off. Because it hurts the cause.”
Spartz herself has expressed interest in joining the House Foreign Affairs Committee next year, sources said. But given her recent behavior, some GOP members have warned Republican leaders against that, with one lawmaker saying they would be “very upset” if she received that assignment.
When asked about the pushback she’s gotten from top Republican colleagues surrounding her rhetoric and whether it’s playing into Russian disinformation campaigns, Spartz responded: “not true.”
“Republican leadership has been supportive and appreciate my demands for accountability and a real strategy for the war effort in Ukraine,” she said.
Spartz also admonished her colleagues for making anonymous claims about her interest in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “A lot of members of Congress behave immaturely and are deeply unserious dealing with very serious issues,” she said.
The Biden administration has also gotten involved. Spartz recently received a nearly two-hour briefing from officials from the National Security Council and State Department after requesting one from the White House about Ukraine, sources familiar with the meeting told, where the officials walked through her claims of improper behavior inside the Ukrainian government and either refuted the allegations or said there was not enough evidence to support them.
Spartz also requested a meeting with Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley to discuss her concerns, the sources said. The meeting was first reported by Politico. When they met, she again raised concerns about corruption in Ukraine and alleged that US-provided weapons were not going to the right places.
Milley did not dismiss her concerns outright, the sources said — US officials believe corruption continues to be a problem in Ukraine. In a recent call with Ukrainian counterparts, Milley, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed “the importance of Ukraine continuing to implement its reform agenda” with regard to corruption, “despite the challenges caused by the war,” according to a readout provided by the White House.
Rep. Victoria Spartz speaks with an aide at the US Capitol, in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

Broadly, however, Milley explained to Spartz that her concerns were overwrought, the sources explained.
Spartz told that her meeting with Milley “was not my first meeting with him,” and that “I give him credit for his willingness to listen.”
“I believe he understands the challenges of our effort in Ukraine, but the politicians and foreign policy establishment are making strategic decisions, not military leaders,” she said. “This should trouble all Americans as these are the know-nothing know-it-alls who oversaw the debacle in Afghanistan, and other foreign policy blunders, and have faced zero accountability.”
Several days after meeting with Milley, Spartz continued her public attacks on one of Zelensky’s top aides, accusing him of “creating a per se dictatorship under the disguise of the ongoing war.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told he has not privately spoken to Spartz about her criticism of the Ukraine government. But he did credit the Indiana lawmaker for being passionate about the issue and helping to draw attention to the war — especially in the early days of the conflict, when Spartz delivered an emotional public plea to the Biden administration for a concrete Ukraine strategy during a GOP press conference that garnered widespread media coverage.
“The thing you’ve got to understand: she’s got family there, she’s very passionate about it,” McCarthy said. “It’s very personal.”

Concerns about Spartz abroad

There is also concern about Spartz’s behavior abroad. Slotkin said Spartz came up in multiple meetings and dinners when she was recently in Kyiv and that last week she received a text message from a member of the Ukrainian parliament saying they don’t know if Spartz is being “played” but “she has ruined her reputation in Ukraine.”
“All the senior leaders were talking about it. They’re upset about it,” Slotkin said. “They don’t understand why she’s doing this.”
Ukrainian officials have become increasingly alarmed by Spartz’s rhetoric over the last several months, Ukrainian sources told CNN, particularly her persistent attacks on Zelensky’s powerful chief of staff Andriy Yermak. In tweets last month, she accused Yermak of “undemocratic governance” and said he had a “negative reputation” globally. And on July 8, Spartz sent a letter to Biden requesting a briefing specifically about Yermak “and his alleged dealings in connection with Russia.”
Spartz’s accusations are similar to those reported by Radio Free Europe before the war, which alleged Yermak had business ties to Russia. That allegation has been used by Zelensky’s critics to suggest Yermak might be too willing to bend to Kremlin demands, particularly following a controversial prisoner swap deal in 2021. There is no evidence that he is under the Kremlin’s sway, however, and he has denied the allegations.
Rep. Victoria Spartz speaks about the war in Ukraine during a Republican news conference ahead of the State of the Union, March. 1, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Ukrainian officials have questioned Spartz’s motivations. In text messages to a Zelensky aide on June 24, Spartz offered to “connect” the aide “with the right people” who she said could help Ukraine’s army win.
“Do you want me to send someone good to discuss training when you are back or maybe he could meet with Reznyk or someone else this coming week?” Spartz asked, referring to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. “Some of them can also bring some very advanced equipment for you to use … he will do it as a favor for you and for me so we will have to keep these meetings ‘off the record,'” Spartz wrote.
Asked about these texts, Spartz told they were taken out of context and that she has “simply been trying to help make connections for anyone willing to help Ukraine win the war especially to some veterans who can give free and unbiased advice as a favor to me since they are my friends.” She added that “the insinuation I have some financial interest is flatly untrue; I’m spending tens of thousands of my own money to help in Ukraine. Mr. Yermak’s financial interests are what merits investigation.”
Ukrainian officials have offered to set up a meeting between Yermak and Spartz to clear the air, but Spartz has declined to take it, sources said. Spartz acknowledged that she was offered a meeting with Yermak after she sent the letter to Biden, but then the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry criticized her attacks on Yermak as “cynical” and “baseless.”
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A closer look at the House Republicans who broke ranks for the marriage bill

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A closer look at the House Republicans who broke ranks for the marriage bill
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History was made last month when 47 House Republicans joined all Democrats in passing legislation that would federally protect same-sex marriages and roll back a 25-year-old law that defines marriage in the United States as between one man and one woman.

While an overwhelming majority of the House GOP conference opposed the Respect for Marriage Act — which would also protect interracial marriages — the bipartisan support was considered significant when Congress remains bitterly polarized over many issues. Many in the supportive group of Republicans are retiring or represent districts in Democrats’ sights in the midterms.

How incumbent Republicans voted on the bill

The vote caused Senate Democrats to spring into action, working to find 10 Republicans who could overcome the 60-vote threshold needed for passage in the chamber after leaders initially expressed doubt such legislation could garner support from across the aisle.

It remains in question, however, whether Senate Republicans would follow the green-lit argument of their House colleagues — that supporting the legislation is rooted in principles found in the Constitution. So far, five Republican senators — Susan Collins (Maine), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Ron Johnson (Wis.) and Rob Portman (Ohio), whose son is gay — have said they would support the legislation. Five more are needed to overcome the filibuster-proof 60-vote threshold.

It’s likely those trying to find the necessary support will have time to do so. The Senate adjourned Sunday, making it more likely such legislation could be considered as early as September.

But the unexpected bipartisan support in the House shows how quickly same-sex marriage has become widely accepted in the past decade, including on Capitol Hill, even as the Republican Party remains highly critical of other aspects of the LGBTQ community. And though the Supreme Court officially declared same-sex marriage settled law in the 2015 case Obergefell v. Hodges, Democrats felt the onus to ensure such rights are federally codified to prevent any challenges to such protections in the future.

The bill’s passage also slightly marred House Democrats attempts to paint all Republicans, including vulnerable lawmakers in swing districts, as extremists who would support rolling back such protections. That fear was raised after Justice Clarence Thomas openly questioned whether the court “should reconsider” rulings that guaranteed access to birth control and same-sex couples’ right to marriage in his concurrence to the Supreme Court ruling that overturned federal abortion protections in Roe v. Wade.

Of the 47 House Republicans who voted in favor of the same-sex marriage legislation, 24 are on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s list of seats to target in the midterms. But only a handful represent true swing districts according to the Cook Political Report with Amy Walter’s ratings, given that polling continues to show Republicans are more likely to regain the House majority. They only need to net five seats from Democrats to do so.

8 who support the bill are leaving

14 who oppose are leaving

3 who did not vote are leaving

Some Republican “yes” votes can be explained based on the large LGBTQ communities within their district. For example, all three Republicans in the Miami-area supported the measure, including Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar who represents a Democratic-leaning district.

Largely all Republicans who voted in favor of the legislation said they believe marriage is settled law based on the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

 

“I know that this is the right vote because it is the constitutional vote and we need to protect equal rights for every single American,” Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) said in an interview.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) was more blunt moments after the bill passed in the House, tweeting, “I’m a big fan of marriage, having done it a few times. And if gay couples want to be as happily or miserably married as straight couples, more power to them.”

Retiring members are often considered the first ones to buck the party on a divisive issue, given they no longer live in fear of retribution from voters. But only four Republican lawmakers did so on marriage equality, while another 17 who are leaving voted against it. Most of the 17 come from extremely conservative districts. Others are running for Senate in conservative states where such a vote could hurt them politically.

Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), who voted in support of marriage equality and is retiring, observed that politics often leads “people try to fashion arguments that suit their vote instead of looking at the bill itself,” preventing them from taking a stand on issues that are settled law.

There were still some surprising votes from Republicans who would be expected to vote based on how conservative their district is. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), for example, has long had one of the most conservative voting records in the House, before she began frequently rebuking former president Donald Trump. But her vote in support for marriage equality was personal, explaining last year that she was “wrong” to have been against same-sex marriage and had since reversed course in support of her sister who is a lesbian.

 

GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), both of whom represent safe Republican districts, also broke ranks with Republican leadership, voting in favor of the legislation.

Still, roughly 80 percent of the GOP conference voted against the legislation. Even so, it was difficult to find Republicans who were opposed to the principle of marriage equality itself, largely pinning their dissent on objecting to Democrats quickly ushering the bill onto the floor without committee consideration or Republican input. Others found it unnecessary to vote on legislation the Supreme Court already ruled as federally protected.

Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) understood most of his colleagues voted against the legislation out of frustration at Democrats “absolute bull—- process” of putting the bill on the floor without much time for consideration.

“But, you know, for pretty much every Republican that I’ve spoken to — whether they vote in favor for it or not — same thing as me, I could give a rat’s caboose who somebody marries, relates with, falls in love with, anything else as a piece of it, their gender or anything else,” he said. “I wasn’t going to get mixed up in the politics of it.”

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Right wing U.S. sheriffs vow to probe 2020 voter fraud claims

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Right wing US sheriffs vow to probe 2020 voter fraud claims
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July 20 (Reuters) – A coalition of rightwing “constitutional sheriffs,” who claim legal power in their jurisdictions that exceeds U.S. federal and state authorities, has a new calling: investigating conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was rigged against former President Donald Trump.

The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association has teamed with True the Vote, a Texas nonprofit and purveyor of debunked voter-fraud claims, to recruit like-minded sheriffs nationwide to investigate 2020 stolen-election allegations and to more aggressively police future voting.

The partnership, detailed last week at the association’s annual gathering in Las Vegas, aims to intensify a movement already underway. At least four ideologically aligned county sheriffs in Michigan, Wisconsin, Kansas and Arizona have launched election-fraud probes since the 2020 vote. None has established evidence of systemic fraud.

“This is our top priority. It’s our duty,” Richard Mack, founder of the constitutional sheriffs organization, told Reuters in an interview at the Las Vegas meeting. Mack also touted the True the Vote partnership later in the week at FreedomFest, a national gathering of libertarian-leaning thinkers and political figures, where he urged that sheriffs “join us in this holy cause.”

Election officials are raising concerns that partisan investigations by sheriffs into baseless voter-fraud claims could undermine public confidence in elections. In an interview, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, called such probes part of a “nationally coordinated effort to dismantle democracy through lies and misinformation, and through people misusing or abusing their authority.”

False fraud claims have also sparked a wave of threats against election administrators, including more than 900 hostile messages documented by Reuters, along with at least 17 attempts to illegally access voting equipment in search of evidence to prove election-rigging.

Officials with True the Vote said at the constitutional sheriffs’ meeting that they plan to raise money to provide grants and equipment to help sheriffs investigate 2020 voter-fraud claims and expand surveillance of ballot drop boxes in future elections. Trump supporters have alleged, without evidence, that drop boxes enabled the mass collection of fraudulent votes in the presidential election.

While election fraud is exceedingly rare, some states with Republican-controlled legislatures have passed new laws in response to the false rigged-election claims. Nine states have banned drop boxes or restricted their distribution since the 2020 vote, according to a recent report by the Voting Rights Lab, which monitors state election policies. Other states have enacted more stringent voter-registration requirements. In Florida and Georgia, lawmakers expanded the powers of law enforcement to police election-law violations.

The constitutional sheriffs’ new focus on probing elections illustrates how Trump’s voter-fraud falsehoods have found a receptive audience in some corners of law enforcement.

Leaders of the movement touted the recent documentary “2000 Mules” as they gathered in Las Vegas. The movie, based on cell-phone tracking data and surveillance video obtained by True the Vote, alleges that Democratic operatives stuffed drop boxes with fraudulent ballots in key counties to deliver the presidency to Democrat Joe Biden.

“2000 Mules has presented overwhelming evidence,” said Mack, urging sheriffs to investigate its fraud claims. “It cannot not be dismissed.”

Many Democratic and Republican officials, along with independent fact-checkers, have in fact dismissed the movie as misleading and its evidence as flimsy.

POWER PLAY

The constitutional sheriffs’ association promotes an extreme view of sheriffs’ legal authority, asserting on its website that their power in their jurisdictions exceeds that of any other official and “even supersedes the powers of the President.”

It’s rare for sheriffs to investigate voting irregularities, especially without a request from election officials. They generally handle criminal law enforcement in jurisdictions that lack a police force and manage local jails, among other duties.

True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht said at the Las Vegas meeting that sheriffs are the best hope for pursuing rigged-election claims because other agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), have dismissed its allegations.

“It’s like the lights went on,” she said. “It’s the sheriffs: that’s who can do these investigations; that’s who we can trust; that’s who we can turn over information to.”

The FBI did not respond to a request for comment.

Mack, who founded the constitutional sheriffs association in 2011, is a former county sheriff in Arizona. He served until 2016 as a board member of the Oath Keepers, an anti-government militia that includes several members charged with helping to organize the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack. Mack told Reuters that he left the Oath Keepers when the organization became too militant, but extremism researchers have documented ongoing ties between his association and the militia group.

True the Vote’s coalition also includes another right-leaning sheriffs’ group, Protect America Now, led by Sheriff Mark Lamb of Pinal County, Arizona. That group describes its mission as “standing for our constitution” by guarding against government overreach, protecting gun-owner rights and stopping illegal immigration.

True the Vote officials described the coalition as a multi-faceted effort to encourage sheriffs to pursue election-fraud claims. In addition to grants meant to help sheriffs conduct surveillance of drop boxes, the group said it aims to provide sheriffs with “artificial intelligence” software to assist in analyzing the video they collect. True the Vote also plans to set up hotlines to alert sheriffs to suspicious activity at polling stations and ballot drop boxes.

It’s unclear how many of the nation’s sheriffs will join the effort. The constitutional sheriffs association does not disclose membership numbers; Protect America Now says it includes about 70 sheriffs from more than 30 states.

Political Research Associates, a left-leaning think tank that studies political extremism, has identified 136 sheriffs who align with the so-called patriot movement, which includes constitutional sheriffs and others embracing anti-government or far-right conspiracy theories.

The National Sheriffs Association, the nation’s leading professional organization for sheriffs, did not respond to requests for comment on the effort to pursue election-fraud allegations.

Calvin Hayden, sheriff of Johnson County, Kansas, told the Las Vegas gathering that he plans to employ technology to expand his investigation.

“We’re going to start doing our geodata,” Hayden said. “I have no question that we’re going to get to the bottom of this.”

Hayden launched the probe last year despite repeated assurances from county and state election officials that the vote had been conducted fairly. Asked what evidence justified the probe, a spokesperson for Hayden’s office, Shelby Colburn, said the investigation was based on more than 200 tips from voters and that the sheriff would soon provide more details.

Hayden’s efforts were praised by Mack, who told meeting attendees that election fraud had become the constitutional sheriff’s association’s “biggest concern.” He said his members are uniquely positioned to pursue the matter because sheriffs “don’t have to ask permission from anybody to start an investigation.”

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The CW Cancels New Series After One Season

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The CW’s latest series has now officially met its end. On Thursday, it was announced that the network has cancelled Tom Swift, its adaptation of the long-running book series of the same name, less than a month after the series’ May 31st premiere. Only five episodes of the show, which originated as a spinoff of the network’s Nancy Drew series, have aired thus far. According to reports, The CW executives reportedly liked Tom Swift from a creative standpoint, but were unhappy with the show’s ratings, as it averaged only 535K viewers in Live+7, as well as on streaming. CBS Studios is hoping to extend the options of its series cast, and potentially shop the series to other networks or platforms.

Tom Swift marks the latest in a surprising string of shows cancelled by The CW this season, including DC entries Naomi, Batwoman, and Legends of Tomorrow, as well as In the Dark, the Vampire Diaries spinoff Legacies, and the network’s reboots of Charmed, Dynasty, 4400, and Roswell, New Mexico. This news comes amid recent reports indicating that majority share in The CW could be sold to Nexstar Media Group, raising questions about how the network’s programming could pivot towards a potential older demographic.

Tom Swift follows the serialized adventures of its titular character (Tian Richards), an exceptionally brilliant inventor with unlimited resources and unimaginable wealth who is thrust into a world of sci-fi conspiracy and unexplained phenomena after the shocking disappearance of his father. Tom takes to the road on a quest to unravel the truth, leaving behind the comforts of his usual moneyed lifestyle while fighting to stay one step ahead of an Illuminati-scale group that’s hellbent on stopping him. The series stars Ashleigh Murray (Riverdale, Katy Keene) as Tom’s best friend Zenzi, Marquise Vilsón (The Kitchen, Blindspot) as Tom’s bodyguard Isaac, and April Parker Jones (Supergirl, Bel-Air) as Tom’s mom Lorraine.

The Tom Swift series is written and executive produced by Nancy Drew showrunner Melina Hsu Taylor and co-creator Noga Landau, who co-created the series with Empire‘s Cameron Johnson. The project also hails from Nancy Drew producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.

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The Boys Season 4 Starts Filming Soon Reveals Karl Urban

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We’ve barely recovered from Herogasm and Season 3 of The Boys still has two more episodes to air, but star Karl Urban has already revealed that The Boys Season 4 is set to start shooting soon. In an exclusive interview with Collider’s Steven Weintraub for Netflix’s animated film The Sea Beast, Urban shared when The Boys will be getting back together:

During the first two seasons of The Boys, we’ve followed Urban’s Billy Butcher as he formed a team to hunt down Homelander, the most powerful superhero on Earth. The team acts in the underground, trying to survive against unlikely odds and using only their wits to get the best of superpowered people with all sorts of special abilities. In Season 3, however, The Boys went official and became a government unit responsible for keeping superheroes on their toes. The change of status quo has led to a thrilling season so far, with many surprises in store for fans, including The Boys getting their own superpowers. Oh, and we also had a huge superhero orgy known as Herogasm.

 

Of course, we are all excited to learn what comes next for the team, however, Urban still hasn’t even touched the scripts for The Boys Season 4. As he explains:

It’s too bad we won’t know what happens in Season 4 for a while, but with production starting so soon, I think it’s a safe bet that we can expect The Boys Season 4 to be streaming on Prime Video next year. For now, we still get to know how Season 3 ends. So far, the balance between The Boys and the Seven is hanging by a thread, as Homelander becomes ever more erratic and Butcher does everything in his power to get his revenge on the superhero while still working inside the boundaries of the Law.

Besides Urban, Season 3 of The Boys also sees the return of Jack Quaid, Tomer Capon, Karen Fukuhara, Antony Starr, Dominique McElligott, Jessie Usher, Chace Crawford, Nathan Mitchell, Aya Cash, Erin Moriarty, and Laz Alonso. The new season also introduced a bunch of new characters, including Soldier Boy (Jensen Ackles), Crimson Countess (Laurie Holden, Supersonic (Miles Gaston Villanueva), Blue Hawk (Nick Weschler), and Gunpowder (Sean Patrick Flannery).

The first six episodes of Season 3 of The Boys are available right now at Amazon’s Prime Video. New episodes get released every Friday. In the meantime, check out the trailer for The Boys Season 3:

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When Are the New ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Episodes Released in Your Time Zone?

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When Are the New Stranger Things Season 4 Episodes Released in Your Time Zone
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Season 4 part 2 is almost here.

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New Jersey’s Apostille Service: Brief Guide

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New Jersey’s Apostille Service: Brief Guide
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The state of New Jersey along with its capital Trenton and most populous city, Newark, is located in the Northwest region of the country and requests monthly more than 250 apostilles of documents.

Isn’t That Number Low?

Not at all! An apostille isn’t a service required often.

An apostille is a type of authentication you receive for a document, which makes it legal in another country.

Thus, when you do get an apostille in New Jersey Apostille Service, you’re submitting (non-American) documents. You then await authentication for legal use.

However, not all countries accept apostille documents. Only countries that have participated in the 1961 Hague Convention operate by that system.

The US State Department provides a list of nations that take apostilles. You can check that list for reference.

Who Provides the Service?

The Secretary of State’s office does. They provide the authentication to citizens and foreign nations, letting them use the documents overseas.

That authentication applies to many documents, which include:

  • Corporate documents (articles of incorporation, company bylaws, power of attorney, etc.)
  • Diplomas, home studies, or letters that relate to degrees
  • Transcripts
  • Job certification and references
  • Marital status documents
  • Adoption papers
  • Distributorship agreements

For more details on documents, and authentications are available, you can check the US State Department website.

Apostilling Documents in NJ – Requirements

You’ll need to fulfill the requirements below to legalize documents in New Jersey. Also, below is a list of each document that may be apostilled.

First – Original Documents

Normally, you’ll need to bring the original document for an apostille certification. But, you may also bring a duplicate provided by the state.

Also, the document should have:

  • An appropriate signature
  • Be recently issued

If those requirements are available, the apostille process should be complete within 4-10 business days.

Also, New Jersey may apostille private and public documents under the following conditions:

  • For New Jersey Vital Records, certified copies must be provided by the Office of Vital Statistics and the registry
  • For Vital Records (such as marriage, birth, and death certification), the original should be certified through the Public Official

(Important Note): Any marriage, death, or birth certificate starting in 1901 should be provided by New Jersey’s Department of Health, specifically the Bureau of Vital Statistics.

Second – Scanned Photocopies of Original Documents

You’ll need to ensure the following conditions are met:

  • An appropriate signature isn’t provided
  • Proof that the original document is damaged
  • The issuance date of the original document was 10+ years ago
  • A country that’ll receive documents accepts apostilles of scanned photocopies from original documents. Most countries do accept such documents
  • The apostille can be done in as little as 24 hours

Need to Get A Document Apostilled?

Chances are, you haven’t apostilled a document before. If you have, it’s not something you’ll do more than once every few years.

 

In that case, be sure to contact a professional service for help. NJ Notary Group is one to try, and will help you finish the process in record time!

 

With NJ Notary Group, you’ll get an efficient service that’ll save you time, money, and unnecessary headaches!

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The Benefits of a Mini Zen Garden and How to Create One, According to Jennifer Miree Cope

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The Benefits of a Mini Zen Garden
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Are you looking for a green focus to bring some peace to your life? A mini zen garden may be the solution you seek. Jennifer Miree Cope explains how to make a mini zen garden and how it can help you achieve zen and relieve stress.

 

What Is a Mini Zen Garden?

Zen gardens come from ancient Japanese gardening culture. Sometimes called rock gardens, their key features are raked sand, carefully placed rocks, and precisely sculpted greenery.

 

Most Zen gardens emphasize naturalness and simplicity and are intended to provide a sanctified place for people to meditate and find peace. Mini Zen gardens can vary in size, but many of them are small enough to fit on a tabletop.

 

Benefits of a Mini Zen Garden

A major feature of mini Zen gardens is sand that you can rake in a pattern. Many people find tranquility in sand raking, even if only for a few minutes a day. Spending time sand raking or even practicing mindfulness at the mini zen garden has many benefits, including promoting relaxation and relieving stress.

 

Increase Mindfulness. In today’s world of constant connectedness, being mindful is becoming more difficult. Taking a moment or two every day at your mini Zen garden to meditate or simply focus on something other than the stresses of everyday life gives your mind the rest it needs.

 

Relaxation. Some people only seek relaxation every now and then through a massage, bath, or another routine. A mini Zen garden can bring daily relaxation into your life. Raking sand or spending time by the garden is a great way to relax in the middle of the day or before bedtime.

 

Stress Relief. Mini Zen gardens are designed to promote relaxation and peace, two things critical to minimizing stress. If you find yourself wanting to decrease your stress levels, a mini Zen garden is a great way to bring daily stress relief into your life.

 

How to Create Your Own Mini Zen Garden

Zen gardens may seem complicated and skillfully designed. But as Jennifer Miree Cope explains, creating your own is easier than you may think.

 

The first step is collecting the materials required, including sand, pebbles or rocks, a rake box, and plants. You can source these items from your local home and garden store or even collect rocks from the beach or outdoors.

 

The next step is creating the sand base. Your rake box should be mostly covered in sand, creating plenty of room for daily raking. You can also add an essential oil of your choosing to the sand, which can help promote relaxation.

 

Place the pebbles and plants. There is no right or wrong way to organize your mini Zen garden. Just make sure not to place your plants or rocks in a way that makes it difficult to rake the sand. You can also experiment with decorative pieces to make your Zen garden stand out.

 

More About Jennifer Miree Cope

Jennifer Miree Cope is a landscape designer well known for her passion and thoughtful organization. In addition to her landscaping career, she is also an avid volunteer and contributes to several charitable organizations. She enjoys relaxing with her husband and two sons, walking her dog, and hiking in the North Carolina mountains.

 

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