US Appeals Court rules - it's unconstitutional to block a citizen's access to The President's Tweets

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“In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less.”

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Ann E. Marimow
July 9, 2019

President Trump cannot block his critics from the Twitter feed he regularly uses to communicate with the public, a federal appeals court said Tuesday, in a case with implications for how elected officials nationwide interact with constituents on social media.

The decision from the New York-based appeals court upholds an earlier ruling that Trump violated the First Amendment when he blocked individual users who were critical of the president or his policies.

Public officials who take to social media for official government business, the court said Tuesday, are prohibited from excluding people “from an otherwise open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,” Judge Barrington D. Parker wrote for a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

“In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less.”


Here's the judgement in full.


2019.07.09_ECF-141-1_Opinion by Michael Smith

Thanks to reader Steve M for the tip!

Israel vaccinates 25% population in under a month - available to 100% by March

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Israel has rolled out the fastest Covid-19 vaccination campaign in the world, inoculating nearly 25% of its population in under a month. The small country—with roughly nine million people, about the same as New York City—now aims to inoculate the majority of its population by March.
While Israel’s vaccination campaign is relatively simple compared with the mass mobilizations needed by countries such as the U.S. that have many more people spread over a greater sweep of geography, the effort offers some clear lessons.

The Pfizer Inc. -BioNTech SE vaccine must be administered within five days after it leaves the main storage center and within six hours after a diluent is added before five to six doses are extracted from a vial.To cope with that short shelf life and to reach less-populated and isolated areas, Israel—with Pfizer’s approval—devised a system to split the company’s 1,000-dose packages into smaller batches of a few hundred each. Workers repackage the vials in workstations equipped with massive freezers.

Israel, like most other countries, is giving priority to medical professionals, people over 60 and those with high-risk conditions as vaccine recipients. But to make sure no vials are wasted, authorities are also allowing vaccine centers to dole out surplus doses to anyone who shows up.

Many of the vaccine sites are at large venues such as sports arenas or are being set up in tents inside cities, away from clinics and hospitals, allowing more people immediate access. These dedicated vaccination centers are staffed by doctors and nurses from public health-care providers, making staffing easier. Israel’s four health maintenance organizations are also operating mobile vaccine stations and a drive-through site to increase access.

Israel’s health-care providers are reaching out early and often to those eligible to receive vaccines, via applications, text messages and websites.

Israel, which  is providing the vaccine free of charge to everyone, is also developing a passport system that would allow those who have been vaccinated to show a certificate on their cellphone to avoid quarantining after travel and to access places such as event halls, arenas and restaurants.

ABC paying drug-dealer - busted with ice, MDMA, cocaine, cannabis, LSD and the party drug gamma-Butyrolactone

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An ABC presenter has escaped being sent to jail despite being convicted of selling drugs after a police raid uncovered a stash of illegal substances inside his Sydney CBD hotel room.
Ashley Norman Hall, 50, on Friday sat in silence in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court as he was sentenced for a string of drug offences following his December, 2019 arrest.
The ABC radio journalist and presenter was tight lipped as he left court alongside his lawyer after he was sentenced to a 12-month community corrections order.
According to an agreed statement of facts, police found a cache of ice, MDMA, cocaine, cannabis, LSD and the party drug gamma-Butyrolactone along with drug paraphernalia when they searched his 24th floor room at the Meriton Suites on Pitt Street.
Magistrate Michael Crompton elected not to impose a fulltime custodial sentence, despite Hall pleading guilty to two counts of supplying a prohibited drug and four counts of drug possession.
Despite Hall’s conviction for serious drug offences, the ABC has refused to answer questions or comment on whether he has been stood down.
After receiving a tip-off about someone selling drugs out of the room, police obtained a warrant before hotel management provided a key to room 2404, allowing officers to search it.
Hall signed for the room under his name along with another man and paid just under $1000 for a five-night stay.
When police entered the room on the afternoon of December 12 two years ago, they found Hall in the loungeroom with a plastic bag containing 0.37g of cocaine in his pocket.
He soon complained that he felt unwell and had to be taken to hospital under police guard.
When police sniffer dogs searched the room, they uncovered a cache of drugs consisting of 19.61 grams of cannabis, 47.17 grams of methamphetamine, 1.29 grams of MDMA, six tabs of LSD and 394 mls of gamma-Butyrolactone.
They also found $750 and was convicted of dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Officers also found a number of personal items including clothes and he told officers he had no fixed address at the time.
Another man was found in the lounge room with $150 in his hands however he was allowed to leave.
After Hall was discharged from hospital later that evening, he was taken to Day Street Police Station where he was arrested and charged.
His lawyer Rylie Hahn told the court that he was not selling drugs for profit, rather he was doing it to feed his own addiction.The ABC refused to comment when contacted about Ashley Hall’s conviction.

“It was the catalyst for him to spiral out of control,” Ms Hahn said.
Magistrate Crompton agreed with Ms Hahn’s submission that he was better off serving his prison term in the community and sentenced him to a 12-month community corrections order.
The court heard that Hall was currently working part-time for the ABC.
The ABC lists him as working as a reporter for ABC Local Radio who also presents for the AM, PM and The World Today programs.
Hall was also a former executive producer of flagship ABC radio program AM.
The court heard he could lose his job but the ABC would not confirm if Hall had been stood down as a result of his drug conviction.
“We’re not commenting on this or giving any information,” an ABC spokeswoman said.

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