The Washington State Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA) filed a lawsuit on behalf of two black Muslim immigrant men who claim they were kicked off an Alaska Airlines flight in 2020 after another passenger complained that one of the men was texting in Arabic.
According to the complaint, which was filed in federal court on August 2, the two men were seated in the first class section of an Alaska Airlines flight to San Francisco for a business trip. They were going to take medical transport vehicles and bring them back to Washington.
One of the men was texting in Arabic with a friend. Another passenger saw, spoke to a flight attendant, and loudly exited the plane. This led to an “unwarranted and unnecessary theater safety display” in which the entire aircraft was landed. The two men were not allowed to re-board the flight, the complaint reads.
The two men were transferred to onward flights with the carrier the same day, but were not permitted to travel together, according to the complaint.
In a statement to Axios, Alaska Airlines said it “strictly prohibits unlawful discrimination” and that its primary responsibility is the safety of its flights. The company did not comment further, citing ongoing litigation.
Nothing better than being at home
Kansas voters won a resounding victory for choice advocates by voting against an election measure that would have stripped Kansans of their constitutional abortion rights by allowing the conservative legislature to pass abortion laws.
The measure appeared on the primary ballot, an election that typically attracts fewer but more diehard voters than a general election. According to the Associated Press, Republican voters have outnumbered Democratic voters in the August primary by a factor of 2 to 1 over the past decade. This time, however, thousands of unaffiliated voters cast their ballots.
The Kansas contest is the first since the Supreme Court overturned the landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade, removing a federal constitutional right to abortion and deferring the issue to each state. Dozens of states decided to enact or pass legislation restricting or effectively prohibiting abortion immediately after the ruling.
Kansas, however, had the right to abortion affirmed in its state constitution by the state Supreme Court in 2019, preventing lawmakers from passing bans.
This so-called life on Earth
In a decision that gave Congressional tea leaf readers a boost, Senators Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer announced agreement on a bill that boosts clean energy investment while opening up new oil leases and gas on federal lands.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 represents a significant step up from the Build Back Better Bill proposed by President Joe Biden in its overall size. However, it offers 10-year tax credits to promote wind and solar power generation and raises revenue by taxing corporate stock buybacks and increasing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) funding. The goal is to bring in more money without raising taxes on middle- and low-income Americans. Some tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy remain, however.
According to a preliminary analysis by Princeton University’s Project REPEAT, the package could reduce US emissions by 42% below 2005 levels by 2030.
If approved, the IRA will also allow the government to negotiate lower prescription drug prices and lower health care costs through the Affordable Care Act.
Governor Jay Inslee, who has focused his failed presidential bid on climate change, praised the bill, saying people could feel a “surge of hope”.
“These investments are necessary to combat climate change. While the details are still emerging, we know – this is a big step forward and a big win for the people of our country,” Inslee said in a July 27 statement.
However, the bickering over the IRA is not over.
In prepared remarks released Aug. 2, Senator Bernie Sanders raised concerns about the bill, saying it did not go far enough to help the American people, especially in relation to the bill. Build Back Better. He also lambasted tax breaks and subsidies for the fossil fuel industry.
“In my view, we need to do everything we can to fight the greed of the fossil fuel industry, not give billions of dollars in welfare to an industry that has destroyed our planet,” Sanders said.
The Department of Health’s (DOH) Center for Health Statistics has released new data on marriage and divorce rates in Washington state, and let’s just say that neither marriage chapels nor divorce attorneys do any good deals.
According to the DOH, 2020 saw the fewest divorces and marriages in the state compared to any year in the past two decades, despite a growing population. In 2000, there were 7.1 marriages per 1,000 population and 4.9 divorces. In 2020, those numbers have dropped to 4.8 and 2.8 per 1,000, respectively.
King County is more averse to nuptials than Washington state overall with 4.5 marriages per 1,000 people, but those who do marry also seem more likely to stay married. According to the data, the county has 2.1 divorces per 1,000 residents.
Washington’s numbers appear to reflect a national trend. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national marriage rate per 1,000 people fell to 5.1 in 2020 from 8.2 in 2000.
The pandemic may have something to do with it, but marriage rates have been falling for some time.
Why does the government care about someone else’s ‘happy day’? Long-term planning of social programs, apparently.
“[Marriage and divorce data] help federal agencies understand marriage and divorce trends and predict the future needs of programs that provide spousal benefits,” according to the DOH. “They also measure the effects of policies and programs that focus on family well-being, including tax policies and financial assistance programs.”
Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird received a host of honors in her final regular season game in Seattle on August 7. The legendary player has announced her intention to retire at the start of her 21st season.
Bird’s list of accomplishments during his 18-year professional basketball career is too long to list here. She has four WNBA titles to her credit and five Olympic gold medals. She is the only WNBA player to have played 500 career games.
Bird is beloved in Seattle — she’s spent her entire career in the Emerald City. But people love him for more than his talent on the pitch. In July 2020, as communities across the country protested police brutality and demanded change, Bird and Women’s National Basketball Players Association President Nneka Ogwumike released an op-ed dedicating the 2020 season to social justice.
“In this moment of national awareness, our league is a microcosm of such a large part of the world worth fighting for: a community that reflects incredible diversity, real inclusion, a long tradition of proud activism and a deep commitment to fighting injustice,” Ogwumike and Bird wrote.
In an email announcement, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell declared Aug. 7 “Sue Bird Day,” saying Bird “set another example of what it means to be an athlete and a leader” before wishing good luck to Bird and the Storm for the playoffs. .