7 Things: Biden flip-flops on Wuhan lab theory, Blanchard ramps up accusations in U.S. Senate race, inflation worries Tuberville and more …
7. Might be time for a gator hunt in North Alabama
- There has been a new and unusual statement of caution used by the city of Huntsville. Due to the “uptick in sightings” of alligators in the city, leaders are urging caution in the Hays Farm and Tennessee River area where sightings have occurred.
- Councilwoman Jennie Robinson, who represents the district that includes Hays Farm, said, “We are sharing our homes with each other and should recognize that they were there first.” She added that people should “respect the alligators in their habitat as a protected species and use caution.”
6. Alabama will look to remove racist language from the constitution
- Legislation that will create a commission to review and revise the Alabama Constitution has been signed by Governor Kay Ivey. The purpose of the 10-member commission is to remove racist or outdated language.
- The commission and the Legislative Services Agency will work to revise the constitution, and they may hold public hearings to take suggestions from citizens on the process. Next year, the legislature will receive the updated constitution, and it has to be approved by a three-fifths majority.
5. Coal miners arrested at protest
- Coal miners on strike in Tuscaloosa County for the last two months held a protest this week, but the protest ended with 11 members being arrested. Those arrests were confirmed by the United Mine Workers; they were charged with trespassing at a Warrior Met Coal Inc. mine.
- The protesters have since been released on bond. The strike initially started with a walkout on April 1 after contract negotiations over more pay and health benefits had failed.
4. Curbside voting banned in Alabama
- Curbside voting is now illegal in Alabama as Governor Kay Ivey signed the bill passed through the legislature that outlaws the process. There was a renewed push to pan the method of voting after there were concerns of voter integrity with curbside voting in the 2020 general election.
- One of the main issues with curbside voting, as expressed by Alabama Secretary of state John Merrill, is the break in chain of custody with the ballot, since a poll worker would have to bring the ballot to the voter sitting in their car and then back inside to be counted.
3. Tuberville warns of runaway inflation
- U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has warned that inflation is becoming a major problem in the United States. Tuberville cited a $1 gas increase he witnessed in Auburn and said, “The average person cannot afford that,” adding, “This is basically a tax on the poor.”
- Tuberville’s notions are backed by the data. Inflation has accelerated to its fastest pace in 12 years in April. Year-over-year consumers have seen a 49.6% increase for gasoline prices, lumber prices have risen 124% and copper has jumped nearly 36%.
2. Stephen Miller says Mo Brooks didn’t buy his endorsement
- Former U.S. Ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard has implied that former aide to President Donald Trump Stephen Miller’s endorsement of U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) for the U.S. Senate was part of a financial relationship through being hired by Brooks’ campaign.
- Miller responded to these suggestions by stating that “Mo is my personal friend” and he “leapt at the chance to endorse Mo because he is the fearless leader Alabama needs.” He also denied that he’s ever “been hired or paid by Mo Brooks or his campaign at any time.” Miller emphasized that Brooks “is the fighter we need in the U.S. Senate.”
1. Biden confirms the lab leak theory for coronavirus is a possibility
- President Joe Biden has now asked the intelligence community to look back into the theory that the coronavirus could’ve originated in a lab in China, saying they need to “redouble” efforts to gather data so there will be a more “definitive conclusion” on where the virus came from.
- Biden added, “The failure to get our inspectors on the ground in those early months will always hamper any investigation into the origin of COVID-19.” He added that in early 2020 he advocated for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “to get access to China to learn about the virus so we could fight it more effectively.” But as president, Biden canceled the Trump administration’s investigation into this matter earlier this year.