Restaurants Sue New York City, de Blasio for Indoor Dining Vaccination Mandate
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city of New York are facing their first lawsuit from restaurants for the executive order requiring proof of vaccination to dine indoors.
The Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue, Max’s Esca, DeLuca’s Italian Restaurant and Pasticceria Rocco are seeking an injunction against de Blasio’s executive order. Two fitness venues, Evolve-33 and Staten Island Judo Jujitsu, were also listed as plaintiffs in the complaint. All of the plaintiffs, excluding Pasticceria Rocco, are based in Staten Island. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in New York Supreme Court.
Nick Paolucci, press secretary for New York City’s law department, said that the city is reviewing the complaint.
TSA Extends Mask Mandate for All Airline Passengers and Employees
Federal officials are extending into January a requirement that people on airline flights and public transportation wear face masks, a rule intended to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The Transportation Security Administration’s current order was scheduled to expire Sept. 13. An agency spokesman said Tuesday that the mandate will be extended until Jan. 18.
The TSA briefed airline industry representatives on its plan Tuesday and planned to discuss it with airline unions on Wednesday. The mask rule also applies to employees on planes and public transportation.
Tennessee Gov Allows Opt-Out of Student Mask Requirements
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order Monday letting parents opt their children out of coronavirus-related mask mandates in K-12 schools, after a few school districts issued mask requirements for students and others.
With the move, Lee also said he will not call the broad special legislative session requested by Republican House lawmakers to limit the authority of local officials to make rules aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19, which has seen a resurgence in Tennessee via the delta variant.
Amazon is Emailing Sellers to Warn Them About Congress’ Big Tech Antitrust Bills
Amazon is reaching out to third-party merchants to warn them that proposed antitrust reforms in Congress could limit their ability to hawk their wares on its marketplace.
Members of Amazon’s public policy team recently contacted a small number of third-party sellers with successful businesses on its marketplace about setting up meetings to discuss the legislation, according to an email viewed by CNBC.
“We’re reaching out to a small group of our sellers to make them aware of a package of legislative proposals, currently in Congress, that is aimed at regulating Amazon and other large technology companies,” the email states. “It is early in the process and the bills are subject to change, but we are concerned that they could potentially have significant negative effects on small and medium-sized businesses like yours that sell in our store.”
Businesses Are Refusing to Enforce France’s Vaccine Passport
As we highlighted last week, on the first day the new program was in place, police were visibly patrolling bars and cafes demanding customers show proof they’ve had the jab.
However, this seems to have largely been a bluff as just days later, businesses and venues have become very lax at checking people’s papers despite the threat of large fines.
“I decided to do a simple experiment to find out: always present an expired test even though I had a valid negative one, and see what happens,” writes Hearn.
“Over a four day stay I was required to show a valid pass exactly zero times; that includes at the airports in both directions. Compliance is absolutely min viable and often lower.”
Big Tech Acts Like Big Brother
The notice came in white text on a dark screen: “This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.” The company last week blocked a 45-minute video of my news conference announcing a lawsuit challenging Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “vaccine passport” as an invasion of New Yorkers’ privacy and an unreasonable mandate on small businesses.
I believe the vaccine is safe, effective and the best means of combating the Covid pandemic. But Mr. de Blasio’s mandate is a clear government overreach. Still YouTube removed the video, citing an alleged violation, never explained, of its “medical misinformation policy.” The video was censored for two days. After I appealed YouTube’s decision twice, the video reappeared and I was notified that after “taking another look,” YouTube had changed its mind.
Behind the platforms, the people deciding what is “misinformation” and a violation of “community guidelines” are doing so in a subjective manner. Social-media giants suspended the U.S. president while continuing to provide a megaphone to tyrants like Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Venezuela’s Nicolas Máduro and Cuba’s Miguel Díaz-Canel.
How Artist Ben Grosser Is Cutting Mark Zuckerberg Down to Size
When the history of the first decades of this century comes to be written, there will be few more telling artworks than Ben Grosser’s film Order of Magnitude. In the 47 minute video, Grosser, a digital artist and professor of new media at the University of Illinois, has spliced together every public instance in which Mark Zuckerberg has talked of “more” and “bigger”.
The resulting montage of interviews and presentations is a fast forward of the rapid growth of Facebook as, in the chief executive’s mouth, thousands become millions then billions. It makes a mesmerizing monologue, the story of our times.
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