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7 Things: Floridians are invading Alabama, gas prices are going up and more …

7. TikTok is a ‘national security risk’

  • An issue that has been discussed previously but lost attention is that the app TikTok poses a national security risk and privacy concerns. Republican U.S. Senate nominee Katie Britt has brought up the concerns once again, saying that the platform “is a Trojan horse that steals data to give to the Chinese Communist Party.”
  • Britt later said, “While I share the same concerns related to TikTok about the quiet damage that social media apps, in general, are doing to our children. TikTok is uniquely dangerous in that it’s also a serious national security risk … Whether it’s American citizens’ biometric data or data such as birth dates, phone numbers, behavioral targeting results, or device identification information, it is reckless and dangerous to risk the Chinese Communist Party having access. We must not lose sight of the fact that the CCP is our greatest adversary, and everything they do comes through a lens of trying to gain leverage at our expense.”

6. Colorado really wants to hang onto U.S. Space Command

  • It’s expected that a final decision on where the U.S. Space Command headquarters will be located will come this fall from the Department of the Air Force. Currently, Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama is the top contender for the headquarters, but Colorado lawmakers continue to make desperate plays to keep the command at the Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs
  • U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) have sent a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall, asking for him “to consider critical cost and national security factors as you review Space Command’s pathway to Full Operational Capability (FOC) … prior to the issuance of a final decision.”

5. Inmate in dire health has refused medical care

  • Alabama prison inmate Kastellio Vaughan is currently incarcerated on a 20-year sentence but has recently received media attention due to his sister posting pictures of Vaughan showing that his physical state has deteriorated after surgery related to a previous gunshot wound. He has received medical attention in the past but is now refusing to see doctors, Vaughan has signed a waiver allowing the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) to disclose additional details about his medical history and they are doing just that.
  • ADOC has said that after surgery and again after a hospital visit for post-surgery issues, Vaughan decided he wanted to leave the hospital “against medical advice,” and ADOC added that on September 7 he “refused all medication.”

4. AHSAA will now honor scheduling requests

  • The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) appears to want to continue being a thing because they are now going to honor faith-based scheduling requests. Their denial of Oakwood Adventist Academy boys basketball team’s request earlier this year caused the team to forfeit a playoff tournament game. The AHSAA denied Oakwood’s reasonable request to reschedule the game for religious purposes since they observe the Sabbath. This sparked outrage across the state.
  • The AHSAA has now voted to approve scheduling requests for religious reasons. Gov. Kay Ivey has said, “Today’s vote by the Alabama High School Athletic Association is absolutely a win for religious liberty, and no doubt, is a testament to the Oakwood boys and their convictions. I hope that Alabamians – young and old – can look to these boys as an example. They stood strong in their faith and showed that good can come from a difficult situation.”

3. U.S. denies hitting Nordstream pipeline and offers asylum to Russians

  • The much discussed Nordstream pipelines were attacked by someone and the blame is being spread far and wide. Some are blaming President Vladimir Putin, and some are blaming the U.S. Neither pipeline was active, as Russia was using the pipeline to harm European nations opposed to its invasion of Ukraine.
  • As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine and Putin has now made moves to mobilize former military members, the United States government has indicated that it would provide asylum to Russians who wish to come to the country. This is a pretty interesting signal being given to a country that is an obvious adversary and nowhere near our borders. How they will get here was not discussed. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “We believe that, regardless of nationality, they may apply for asylum in the United States and have their claim adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. We welcome any folks who are seeking asylum, and they should do that.”

2. Gas prices have increased again in key states

  • High fuel prices have already plagued the country for months, but now in the states of California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, they’ve seen another drastic spike in prices over the last several days.
  • AAA data shows that in California, there was a $0.42 increase in gas prices per gallon. Forbes is reporting that, “Nevada, Oregon and Washington also saw jumps back over the $5 threshold, to $5.12, $5.12 and $5.02, respectively…”

1. Florida evacuees are making their way to Alabama

  • Florida is preparing for and experiencing the force of Hurricane Ian as it will work its way up the peninsula. Residents from Florida are making their way to Alabama homes, hotels and even the Talladega Superspeedway.
  • The storm is expected to become a category 5 storm and cross the state of Florida from the southern Tampa Bay region, across Orlando and out into the Atlantic Ocean or up the east coast. The damage is expected to be severe and Alabamians are already heading to Florida to offer help in the form of power restoration and other relief efforts.

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