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SNP hopes unravel as even independence supporters do not believe Sturgeon's economic plans

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Pelosi announces select committee to investigate Jan. 6 Capitol riot

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House will establish a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“This morning, with great solemnity and sadness, I am announcing the House will be establishing a select committee on the January 6th insurrection,” Pelosi said at a news conference.

Last month, Senate Republicans blocked House-passed legislation to establish a bipartisan commission to probe the attack. That legislation failed a key procedural hurdle after 54 senators voted in favor of it, short of the needed 60 votes.

That bill passed the House last month by a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans voting in favor of it. It was the product of negotiations between House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., the ranking member of the committee.

While Democrats have long pushed for an investigation akin to the 9/11 commission, many Republicans have argued it would become an overly political process that could damage them in next year’s elections without information that goes beyond what inquiries by federal law enforcement will uncover.

On Thursday, Pelosi, D-Calif., said there is no timeline for the committee to release findings and she is not yet announcing its composition or leadership.

“January 6th was one of the darkest days in our nation’s history,” Pelosi said. “It is imperative that we establish the truth of that day and ensure an attack of that kind cannot happen, and that we root out the causes of it all. The select committee will investigate and report on the facts and the causes of the attack” and report recommendations.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., signaled this month that he would seek to “force the Senate to vote” again on the commission.

Pelosi said Thursday she sees the establishment of this committee “as complementary, not instead of” the bipartisan commission passed in the House, adding she is hopeful that that still comes to pass.

“The select committee is about our democracy, and about ensuring that the Capitol dome remains a symbol of freedom, about preserving America’s role as an emblem of resilience, determination and hope,” Pelosi said. “That is our purpose. That is what the select committee will be about, and that is about seeking and finding the truth.”

“It is clear that the Republicans are afraid of the truth,” she added.

Olivia Olander contributed.

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Take that, Nicola! Sturgeon independence dream crushed by Sunak – proves Scotland needs UK

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NICOLA STURGEON’S Scottish independence dream has been crushed by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who has perfectly highlighted how badly the country has relied on the UK during the Covid pandemic.

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White farmer wins temporary halt to program for Black counterparts

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WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Florida halted the Biden administration’s new debt relief program for minority farmers on Wednesday.

Judge Marcia Morales Howard, an appointee of President George W. Bush, temporarily blocked the Agriculture Department from implementing a $4 billion program aimed at helping distressed minority farmers on the basis that it likely violates white farmers’ rights to equal protection under the 14th amendment to the Constitution.

Howard ordered the Agriculture Department not to issue payments under the program for “socially disadvantaged” farmers until she can rule on the merits of the case. She wrote that the program, which is embedded in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan law, is “significantly likely” to violate the constitutional rights of the plaintiff, a white farmer named Scott Wynn.

Her order creates a nationwide injunction against the debt-relief program.

Earlier this month, in a similar case, a Wisconsin judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of the program, which covers up to 120 percent of the debts of farmers who are members of groups that have historically been discriminated against based on their race or ethnicity. Several white farmers have filed suit in cases across the country, at least one of which is backed by America First Legal, a group founded by former Trump White House aides.

“The government must not be allowed to use its awesome authorities to punish, harm, exclude, prefer, reward or damage its citizens based upon their race or ethnicity,” Stephen Miller, a former White House aide and the head of America First Legal, said in a statement in conjunction with one of the other cases.

Civil rights advocates have expressed concern that other Agriculture Department programs aimed at redressing past discrimination — as well as federal programs outside the scope of farming — could be at risk if federal courts find that the ARP’s program for socially disadvantaged farmers is unconstitutional.

In her order, Howard noted that there are situations in which affirmative action is justified, but wrote that Congress’s debt-relief program fails to meet the criteria for meeting constitutional muster.

“It appears that in adopting Section 1005’s strict race-based debt relief remedy Congress moved with great speed to address the history of discrimination, but did not move with great care,” she wrote. “Indeed, the remedy chosen and provided in Section 1005 appears to fall well short of the delicate balance accomplished when a legislative enactment employs race in a narrowly tailored manner to address a specific compelling governmental interest.”

Howard implored the plaintiffs’ lawyers and the Justice Department to move swiftly so that a more permanent ruling can be made quickly. She instructed them to submit to her a schedule no later than June 29 so that she can move toward a decision on the merits of the case.

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