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Bible Society’s New Philadelphia Museum Tells American History with a Religious Lean

The first iteration of Independence Mall was such a dud that many blocks along the park went untapped for years and then ended up becoming sites for high-security government offices. But after the mall was renovated in the early 2000s with more greenery and a new visitor center, the three-block expanse became a popular destination for specialist museums keen to partner with the ideals. founders of the nation. Now everyone wants a place in the mall to tell their side of American history.

This summer, Faith and Freedom Discovery Center became the mall’s latest star-seeking attraction, joining the Jewish National Museum and the President’s House Memorial to Enslaved Africans. The center was created by the American Bible Society, the organization responsible for storing Bibles in nightstands in hotel rooms around the world. The Bible Society had long been headquartered in New York City, but decided to move its operations to Philadelphia in 2015 when offices overlooking the Fifth and Market mall became available. As part of the deal, the company also obtained the rights to the ground floor of the building.

The Bible Society immediately knew they wanted to expand their mission by opening an exhibition space around the corner. In addition to distributing thousands of Bibles in dozens of languages, the company had amassed an impressive collection of historical Bibles, including the one used by William Penn. What better place to present its history, the group thought, than the city where Penn established a colony based on religious tolerance and where the American Republic was born.

»READ MORE: American Bible Society’s Faith and Freedom Discovery Center opens across from Independence Mall

While the location was great, the space was a challenge. While Fifth and Market should be a welcoming gateway to the Old Town, the dismal 1970s office building has turned its back on the mall. The downstairs retail space, which once housed a bank, was hidden behind a dark archway and the views were blocked by an oversized SEPTA entrance. It didn’t help that the Jewish Museum, just across the street, was built in 2010 with an equally unappealing ground floor. This museum, designed by James Polshek, doesn’t even have a door to the mall and looks as fortified and austere as the US Mint, just up the street.

After a complete renovation of the ground floor, the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center began operating at full capacity on Independence Day. The Bible Society doesn’t want you to think of the center as a museum of Christianity or a museum of religion – or even a museum at all. The goal, according to director Pat Murdock, is to show how religious faith of all kinds has shaped America’s basic operating system and remains the bulwark of all our freedoms.

While this premise may appeal to some ardent believers, most mainstream historians would argue that this claim distorts and oversimplifies American history and is at odds with the founders’ efforts to keep religion out of the discussion. But because the Faith and Liberty Center preaches a message of tolerance – something that’s welcome in these polarized times – I couldn’t wait to see how it linked its exhibits to the mall’s evolving narrative and used them to activate this corner. dead.

With the help of architect David Searles of JacobsWyper Architects and Local projects, the exhibition designer responsible for the National September 11 Memorial, the company greatly enhanced the building’s street presence. The corner is still covered in SEPTA stairs, including one that has been inexplicably styled with AstroTurf. But now a sloping walkway leads from Market Street to a gleaming glass entrance pavilion on Fifth Street. The path is lined with benches which invite passers-by to relax. At the glass pavilion, a swirling white sculpture nicknamed Lighthouse emerges from the roof, helping to mark the place. At night, the sculpture, designed by Local Projects, becomes a real beacon. The corner almost feels alive for the first time.

Almost, but not quite. Like all of the other attractions that have taken root in the mall (with the exception of the open-air President’s House), the Faith and Liberty Center needs darkness to run its high-tech exhibits. As a result, two of the three bays in the building facing the shopping center on Fifth Street were covered with white panels. Searles arranged them in a curved shape to make the panels more interesting. But a white wall remains a white wall.

These boarded up windows say a lot about the entire company. Just as the centre’s facade isn’t as transparent as it should be, neither are its exhibits.

As soon as you arrive at the box office, you are given a digital wand and encouraged to anoint (er, type) your favorite texts and images, just like you would light a candle in a church. It is not just a sign of approval. By touching the wand on the text panels, you can download the information to your computer after leaving the museum. Just as the company places Bibles in hotel rooms, it now has the ability to place these exhibits directly into your personal digital space. Like Facebook and Google, the Bible Society is eager to collect your metadata.

Despite the company’s biblical collection, books are not the main show. In fact, you can barely see them because the lighting has to be low for the interactive displays in the center. As you enter the main hall, you are greeted by a series of video interviews with ordinary people who tell their personal stories around the faith; it is the technological version of witnessing in a church. The exhibit ends in a circular theater where the exhibit’s designers recreated William Penn’s stormy journey across the Atlantic on the Welcome ship, with virtual rats scurrying under your feet.

The Bible Society has gone to great lengths to ensure that exhibits appear non-denominational and include non-Christian religions. Murdock told me he wanted people of all faiths to feel comfortable at the center. So you won’t find the name Jesus anywhere in the center. Quotes from Ben Franklin and James Madison – two skeptics of organized religion who called themselves deists – abound. In a section titled “Changemakers,” there are tributes to Catholic, Jewish and Black social justice activists including Dorothy Day, Cesar Chavez, Sojourner Truth and Rebecca Gratz of Philadelphia. Yet despite all the ecumenism and the struggle for inclusion, the framing and choice of words struck me, a non-Christian, as deeply Christian.

Much of the story told at the center revolves around Penn, a devout Quaker whose great contribution to American life has been his belief that people should be free to worship any faith they choose. By invoking Penn, the Bible Society attempts to equate faith with tolerance. Of course, we know that faith is just as often used to justify intolerance. The Bible Society itself has recently started requiring employees to adhere to a strict set of conservative evangelical mores, making it impossible for members of the LGBTQ community to work in it openly. Nonetheless, the exhibits assert that all the freedoms Americans hold dear today stem from freedom of religion. Without faith in a higher force, they claim, there would be no America.

It’s not exactly the standard story. “The story they tell is essentially a fairy tale,” said Jonathan zimmerman, professor of educational history at Penn.

READ MORE: A year after the American Bible Society issued an ultimatum, nearly 20% of its staff have quit

One might as well argue that America was born in response to the rationalist and humanistic ideas of the Enlightenment. Or that American tolerance is a product of our mercantile culture, as practiced by the Dutch in New Amsterdam. This is the thesis of the excellent history of New York by Russell Shorto, The island at the center of the world. In this proto-capitalist era, only the Benjamins counted. The French political philosopher Montesquieu also observed the strong link between trade and the desire for freedom.

Either way, America’s record on tolerating non-white, non-Protestant groups is quite poor. The Faith and Liberty Center could never have moved to Boston, Zimmerman noted, because the founding Puritans “were very intolerant” of all other religions.

To its credit, the center recognizes the many sins America has committed in the name of faith and the Bible, from the slaughter of Native Americans and slavery, to anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic bigotry. But the contrition of the center is woefully insufficient. From the examples presented, you might be forgiven for thinking that we gave up our intolerant habits at the end of the 19th century. Like everything else in the exhibit, the facts are generously handpicked to support the centre’s narrative. There is no mention of 20th century efforts to suppress Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Communists and members of the LGBTQ community, or current efforts in cities across the country. use zoning to prevent American Muslims from building mosques.

It may not be a museum of Christianity, but it is a museum of Judeo-Christianity. On the centre’s website, its exhibition manager, Alan Crippen, argues that “the Good Book has been an influential and positive spiritual source and cultural force for what is good in America.” Sadly, this leaves out a large number of Americans whose religions do not use the Bible as the basis of their teachings, let alone those who identify as atheists. Marci Hamilton, a constitutional law scholar who began her career as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, told the Inquirer earlier this year that “the Bible did not play the part. disproportionate that they are trying to give him ”.

By being located opposite the Jewish Museum, the Faith and Freedom Center tries to put the two attractions on the same level. There is a big difference, however. The Jewish Museum simply suggests that American democracy created the conditions that allowed immigrant Jews to flourish. The Faith and Freedom Center asserts that religious faith, mostly Christian in type, is what made our democracy possible in the first place.

For all of its flaws, America has come to be more tolerant than most nations and with a greater commitment to freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion. But if you want to understand why, you’d better walk to the other end of the mall and visit the National Constitution Center.


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Letters to the Editor: July 20: “How many people … would vote for a party that does not recognize climate change as real?” Verification of curators as well as other letters to the editor

Keep your opinions sharp and informed. Receive the Opinion newsletter. register today.

Legal process

Re This is a crime scene. When will Canada take responsibility for delivering justice? (July 16): How we deal with all of these crimes is far from clear.

It is true, as one letter writer tells us (Things To Come – July 15), that the federal Crown has constitutional responsibility and has fiduciary obligations to Indigenous peoples. It is also true that the Crown is also responsible for others in Canada and has duties to them. The need to balance different functions like these, when they come into conflict, is one of the reasons we have a justice system.

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I find that indigenous peoples have, on the whole, been well served by the judiciary, and the author of the letter is wrong to suggest that the government should stop using the courts to resolve these issues fairly.

Pierre Amour Toronto

You and what army?

Re Former High General Vance Charged with Obstructing Justice (July 16): There is an old adage that every country has a choice of two armies – their own or someone else’s. A strong army is vital, but it is quite obvious to me that the army in this country is broken.

Maybe someone else’s army is better.

Douglas Cornwall Ottawa

Conservative confusion

Re The conservative temperament is repulsive (July 14): It is especially politics that prevents me from voting conservative. It is a mystery to me why we do not have a socially liberal and fiscally conservative party in Canada.

Maybe the pollsters know this better, but I would like a party to be selective about what the government does, make sure it does these things well and make it clear why it does not go above and beyond. I have seen the Conservatives spend too much energy getting the government to interfere in the lives of citizens on social issues.

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When they were in government I think they spent way too much money on subsidy programs like home renovations in the name of job creation. What about infrastructure, the encouragement and regulation of competitive markets, effective and efficient plans to tackle climate change, a good balance between public and private health care options and public services? effective?

So maybe over 41 percent of the population would consider voting Conservative.

Gord flaten Regina


Given our recent historic heat wave, I wonder how many people in Lytton, or anywhere in British Columbia, would vote for a party that won’t recognize climate change as real?

Arlene Churchill Surrey, BC

Careful examination

Re Liberals Bank on Urban Votes with Affordable Child Care Plan (July 16): Child care is not just an urban issue. Evidence shows that quality child care is important to rural / remote / suburban families, but its delivery is hampered by the approach to the child care market in Canada.

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Is the Liberal child care program expensive? Not when compared to spending by peers at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or astronomical child care costs paid by Canadian parents.

Intrusive? Not with the evidence-based program elements of Ottawa and the provinces willingly collaborating in the development of their own programs.

Inflexible? A federal role should not mean a “one size fits all” outcome. Responsive public policy is the best way to meet a diversity of child care needs – shaped by diverse cultures, abilities, needs and schedules – using a pan-Canadian approach similar to Medicare. .

We now have a much better understanding of the importance of quality child care for children, families, women and the economy, and the best ways to ensure that this becomes a reality.

Martha Friendly Childcare Resource and Research Unit Toronto

Lack of food

Re Indoor Dining Is Back – But Restaurant Staff Are Not (July 15): Maybe if restaurants offered safer working environments, more staff would be willing to come back. I have been disappointed by the negative reactions of many restaurateurs to any pandemic restrictions.

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My advice: make vaccination compulsory for staff and customers, then workers would be more willing to come back and the still vulnerable elderly would feel at ease in catering establishments.

Glen morehouse Washago, Ont.


As sympathetic as I am to contributor Stephen Beckta’s cry for a feedback from his staff, I can’t help but think back to those first months, about 20 years ago, after quitting my job as a professional cook in some of the best restaurants in Toronto. .

Two weeks later, I noticed that the arch of my foot was returning to normal, I was well rested with no 12-hour workdays, and most notably, I had a social life again.

I can’t help but think of all the cooks who are suffering without work, but it seems the pandemic has given them a reason to reconsider their career choice. As long as bad hours and most importantly terrible money play out in the restaurant job in the back of the house, I think we can expect a talent shortage to continue for some time.

David Roy Toronto

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Medical memory

Re Remembering Our Front-line Heroes (Editorial, July 16): I can understand and sympathize with nurses in this country.

Imagine working long hours with all the stress of COVID-19 and having to deal with thousands of people who are hesitant to vaccinate or those who think it’s a hoax. They put their lives on the line for people who don’t care.

After 15 months they had had enough, especially when the provincial governments praised them but refused to raise wages. Indeed, praise is not enough and we now have a nursing shortage in Canada.

What a tragedy, and so easily resolved.

Robert Tremblay Gatineau, Que.


Alberta Health Services recently returned to the bargaining table with the United Nurses of Alberta and demanded much denigration and a 3 percent pay cut!

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All frontline healthcare workers should receive bonuses, not pay cuts. It is a shameful treatment.

Dorothy Watson Toronto

Re New Toronto Park Honors Frontline Heroes of the 1840s (July 16): Perhaps pandemic memorials should be as common as those of our politicians.

Over the past 400 years, dozens of pandemics have ravaged North America. Smallpox, measles and influenza ravaged the northern half of the continent in the early 1600s, and several times thereafter. Typhus, tuberculosis and polio followed.

Each of these pandemics had more serious consequences than COVID-19. Entire generations have been marked and orphaned, especially among indigenous communities. We forget this story because of our modern successes in public health, especially through vaccination and the provision of clean water.

Maybe now is a good time to remember a little more of our medical history, teach it and commemorate it.

John riley Mono, Ont.


Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address, and daytime phone number. Try to limit the letters to less than 150 words. Letters can be edited for length and clarity. To send a letter by e-mail, click here: [email protected]


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‘Unknown Blackfoot Warrior’ receives burial ceremony where River Old Man meets River Belly

CALGARY – A skull that has been determined to be a prehistoric native was buried on June 26, more than 40 years after it was found in the waters of the Old Man River west of the Monarch Bridge on Highway 3A in the southern Alberta.

This happened in 1979 when someone found a skull and turned it over to the Fort Macleod RCMP detachment.

In October 1979, with the help of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta, it was determined that the skull was from a man over the age of 60 and of prehistoric – and therefore Aboriginal – origin.

Fort Macleod RCMP handed the skull over to the researcher for safekeeping, and that seemed like the end of the story until 2017, when someone handed it over to the local detachment.

In March 2021, members of the detachment consulted with the Blackfoot Elders Council to determine a way to re-bury the skull in an appropriate and respectful manner.

The ceremony consisted of wrapping the box containing the remains of the skull in a traditional blanket, followed by a ceremony of purification and internment.

Songs and prayers were sung for this Blackfoot ancestor as he was buried in a small tomb near the confluence of the Old Man and Belly rivers.

The grave is marked with a white bleached stone which reads “Unknown Blackfoot Warrior”.

Kainai Spiritual Elder Joe Eagle Tail Feathers was consulted with other Spiritual Elders and Sundancers, and a traditional burial ceremony was held on June 26, 2021 on the Blood Nation.

The funeral was presided over by Elder Martin Eagle Child and several other Elders and Blackfoot Sundancers.

A military style salute was delivered by ex-Sgt D. Vernon Houle (Canadian Armed Forces) and Mr. Alvin Many Chief, retired (Canadian Armed Forces / US Army Infantry).

Blood Tribe Police Chief Kyle Melting Tallow, Sgt. Bryan Mucha and Const. Benjamin Stubbe from the Fort Macleod RCMP Detachment was also present.


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Raleigh County Large-Scale Solar Project Has New Owner | Energy and environment

One of West Virginia’s first large-scale solar projects is moving forward under new ownership.

Enel Green Power, a global renewable energy developer headquartered in Rome, has taken over the project to build and operate a 90-megawatt solar farm in County Raleigh approved by county officials and officials. state utility regulators last year.

Enel Green Power purchased a 100% stake in the project as part of a portfolio of 3.2 gigawatt solar projects from Dakota Renewable Energy.

Operations are scheduled to begin in 2023 on a solar farm consisting of 250,000 solar panels on 530 acres in the Grandview area.

“What made it very appealing about this particular site was the major overhead power grid lines,” Raleigh County Administrator Jay Quesenberry said. “It’s very easy for them to put this electricity directly into a substation and put it directly on the grid.

Enel Green Power said the project will be the first of several developing solar projects in the state. Projects under development in West Virginia, including the Raleigh County project, will include paired battery storage to add resilience to the electricity grid as the country develops more renewable energy.

“In West Virginia, I think we have a huge opportunity,” said Nick Coil, senior director of regional development at Enel Green Power, whose North American branch operates 58 power plants of over 6.6 gigawatts powered by gas. renewable wind, geothermal and solar energy.

Coil said the lack of large-scale solar power generation facilities in West Virginia makes the state ripe for development that could generate tax revenue for counties and school districts, even though the mountainous terrain of the state may ultimately limit the state’s appeal to an industry that values ​​flatter land for laying down blocks of solar panels.

“Hopefully Raleigh will be one of the first of many projects in the state,” Coil said. “We are delighted with this opportunity to enter a new market. “

Coil declined to say how much Enel Green Power paid to purchase the solar project.

Raleigh Solar I, LLC, a subsidiary of Dakota Renewable Energy, estimated the project would cost $ 90 million before the West Virginia Civil Service Commission approved a site certificate for the project in October.

The Civil Service Commission order granting this certificate applies to all subsequent owners of the project, approving a decommissioning agreement with a minimum initial guarantee of $ 50,000 and requiring that construction begin within five years and be completed. complete within 10 years.

The Raleigh County Commission in September approved a payment in lieu of taxes deal with Raleigh Solar to inflate the county coffers by more than $ 2 million, with the bulk going to the Raleigh County Board of Education .

The project will create three to five permanent jobs which Coil says are “mostly local” and 150-200 jobs throughout the construction process which could take anywhere from eight months to a year.

Coil estimated that the 90-megawatt solar farm’s capacity is generally sufficient to power around 16,000 homes. The County of Raleigh’s projected power generation is about average among Enel Green Power’s lineup of solar projects, Coil said.

West Virginia lawmakers opened up the state’s solar market during the 2020 legislative session by passing bills creating a solar services program and favorably adjusting the business and trade tax for solar power.

In statements released by Enel Green Power, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va., praised the state’s solar business and development while clearly indicating their continued support for the fossil fuels in addition to renewable energies. .

“I am incredibly excited for all the good that Enel Green Power’s acquisition of the Raleigh Solar Project will do for our great state and our people,” Justice said. “As I have said many times, West Virginia is an ‘all-in’ energy state. We abound in a diverse range of natural resources unlike anywhere else on Earth. Not only will this project continue to diversify our state’s energy production and enable us to power people’s homes in a sustainable manner, the ripple effects on our economy and our workforce will be phenomenal.

“The announcement of a major solar project in West Virginia is great news for our state as it highlights, once again, the abundant natural resources there,” said Manchin, Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. and natural resources. “From coal and natural gas to wind, solar and hydropower, the Mountain State has been – and will continue to be – the backbone of the U.S. economy, and investments like this These allow us to continue to use all of the above for power generation and job creation while deploying innovative energy technologies and maintaining our country’s position as a global energy leader.

The Solar Energy Industries Association ranks West Virginia 49th in the country for installed solar power capacity.

Another large-scale solar project is planned in Berkeley County, which County Council announced in January that a renewable energy development company plans to install a $ 100 million solar power generation facility. dollars in a former explosives plant at DuPont Potomac River Works.

Bedington Energy Facility, LLC, a Delaware subsidiary of Colorado-based Torch Clean Energy, plans to invest $ 100 million to build a 100-megawatt solar installation on 750 acres of land on a site that has been designated as a wasteland. industrial “unsuitable for most commercial enterprises.” and industrial uses, ”according to a payment in lieu of tax agreement between Berkeley County Council and Bedington Energy Facility.

Coil predicts tremendous growth in the solar industry over the next five years, in line with current market forces, and claims that Enel Green Power will share the wealth by sponsoring STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and d other initiatives that rural communities identify as priorities.

“We’re not just going to come in and be a silent observer in the community,” Coil said. “We want to be an active participant and help the community. “


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History organization

Merrick Garland blocks federal prosecutors from searching for journalists’ files

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Merrick Garland severely limited the ability of federal prosecutors to obtain tapes of journalists’ contacts when they investigated leaks of sensitive government information on Monday, curbing a long-standing practice that had sparked offenders. criticism in recent weeks, especially from President Biden.

In a note to federal prosecutors, Mr Garland said the agency’s past policies had failed to properly weigh the national interest in protecting journalists from forced disclosure of their sources, saying they needed to such protection “to inform the American people of how their government is working.”

Mr Garland had vowed he would prevent prosecutors from seizing information from reporters after recent revelations that former President Donald Trump’s Justice Department secretly searched for and obtained 2017 phone records from Washington Post reporters , CNN and The New York Times while trying to identify their sources. This sparked outrage from lawmakers, press freedom organizations and Mr Biden, who said he would no longer allow such tactics.

Mr Garland, who as a federal judge has taken a strong stand in favor of journalists ‘rights and First Amendment protections, told lawmakers in June that the new policy would be the “most protective of journalists’ ability to do their job in history “. He has met with information officials to discuss their concerns at least twice in recent weeks.

The new policy includes exceptions for cases involving an agent of a foreign power or a member of a foreign terrorist organization, or where measures must be taken to “prevent an imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm,” said the memo.

The three-page memo also said the ministry would support legislation codifying protections for journalists into law, going beyond the efforts of previous administrations, and giving Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco the responsibility of consulting others to develop new regulations on the matter.

Such legislation has not been a priority for lawmakers in recent years and would face an uncertain fate in Congress. Without becoming law, any rules passed by the Justice Department under Mr Garland could be overturned by a future administration.

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Media advocates applauded the decision. “The Attorney General has taken a necessary and critical step to protect press freedom at a critical time,” said Bruce Brown, executive director of the Journalists’ Committee on Press Freedom. “This historic new policy will ensure that journalists can do their job of informing the public without fear of federal intrusion into their dealings with confidential sources,” said Mr. Brown.

Some former national security prosecutors said that while existing guidelines already made it difficult to subpoena journalists’ files and provided for the tool as a last resort, they expected the new memo to further limit such investigations.

“I think this will make leaks of classified information more difficult to investigate, but it was a compromise the department is prepared to make in order to provide greater privacy protection for journalists and their sources,” he said. said Kellen Dwyer, a former district attorney who was deputy. Assistant Attorney General in the National Security Division of the Department of Justice and now works at the law firm Alston & Bird.

For years, prosecutors have used subpoenas and court orders to obtain journalists’ files in leak investigations, often after exhausting other options to identify suspects. Under the Obama administration, for example, the Justice Department used the tool for investigations involving reporting from the Associated Press and Fox News. Several former government employees and senior officials have been sued by the Obama Justice Department.

In one notable case in 2010, former Attorney General Eric Holder personally approved the seizure of the phone records and personal emails of Fox News Channel reporter James Rosen, who reported on a secret government report on Korea. North. An FBI search warrant request identified Mr. Rosen as a possible criminal “co-conspirator”.

In response to a backlash from media advocates and others, Holder added in 2013 new hurdles that prosecutors had to overcome before they could get subpoenas and search warrants targeting journalists. The measures included requiring prosecutors to give notice to a media organization before a subpoena could be issued to seize cases, unless the attorney general certifies that doing so would interfere with the investigation.

At the start of the Trump administration in 2017, then Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged a crackdown on classified information leakers and said the Justice Department would review policies on subpoena news organizations. At the time, Mr. Trump had repeatedly complained about leaks related to contacts between Russia and figures from his 2016 election campaign and the investigation by then-Special Advocate Robert Mueller, on these links. In June 2021, a Treasury Department official was sentenced to six months in prison for leaking sensitive financial information about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and others.

Mr Trump’s second attorney general, William Barr, continued the practice, tasking a New Jersey federal prosecutor to work on the half-dozen leak cases he inherited.

Unsealed court documents last week show the Justice Department searched the files of three Washington Post reporters on December 22, the day before Mr Barr resigned, in a bid to identify sources in three articles . Prosecutors identified them by their publication dates: a May 2017 article detailing conversations between Mr. Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States at the time; a June 2017 report on the Obama administration’s struggles against Russian electoral interference; and a July 2017 story about conversations between Mr. Kislyak and Mr. Sessions, which had the discussions when he was a United States Senator.

Prosecutors said in their court order request that they believe a member of Congress may have provided the newspaper with details of Mr. Kislyak’s conversations.

Trump’s Justice Department also seized communications records from some Democratic lawmakers in 2018, a revelation that sparked outrage from Democrats. Lawmakers themselves were not the target of the investigation, the Wall Street Journal previously reported, and their records were obtained because they had been in contact with one or more assistants that prosecutors suspected of having. disclosed classified information to the media.

Senior Justice Ministry officials have long questioned how forcefully prosecutors should press for the files of journalists looking for the sources of the leaks. For example, even as Mr. Sessions stepped up investigations into the leaks, behind the scenes some ministry officials rejected a more aggressive stance, the Journal reported.

In 2017, for example, law enforcement discussed with Mr. Sessions whether to relax the requirement that investigators exhaust other options to obtain information as part of prior leakage investigations. to subpoena journalists’ files, the people said. Mr Sessions asked his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, to review the policy, which officials ultimately refused to change.

Telephone recordings

More WSJ coverage of Trump Justice Department policy, selected by editors.

Write to Sadie Gurman at [email protected] and Aruna Viswanatha at [email protected]

Copyright © 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


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Patricia moves its head office to Europe

Patricia Technologies Limited is proud to announce that we have moved our operations to the Republic of Estonia, with our headquarters now domiciled in the Northern European country.

This global move is intended to strengthen our relationships with marketers and agencies in the global crypto markets, while also positioning us as the leading cryptocurrency trading company in Nigeria, Africa and Europe.

With this recent development comes the launch of our new upgraded Patricia version 2 app, which features many new updates and upgrades including crypto exchange; a betting feature that allows users to use crypto to place bets; the app also introduces new cryptocurrencies (coins) to be added to the already existing Bitcoin. There is also an automated buy limit for crypto traders, and the top-up service has also been upgraded to include international transactions.

Looking at how we have managed to dominate the Bitcoin market over our 3 years of existence, our CEO and Founder, Hanu Fejiro Agbodje joked that “What was originally disastrous news turned out to be cornerstone we needed for this global expansion “referring to crypto Trade Ban by the Nigerian government.

He also noted that “the decision to expand and move our headquarters to Europe is part of our plans to improve our business strategy”. “We want to play in the big league, there is no passion to play in the small, we want to be in the most sophisticated markets in the world, it is an opportunity for us to lead the Fifth Revolution”.

As one of the industry’s fastest growing financial solutions providers, our goal is to empower brands and individuals to take control of their digital finances through an advanced cross-border payment solution provided by Patricia Business. .

We currently have an established presence in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and China.

For more information or to contact us, please send an email to: [email protected]

About Patricia

Patricia is an Africa-centric, integrated e-commerce and alternative payment company that facilitates the use of digital currencies like Bitcoin and other digital assets for day-to-day transactions.

We pride ourselves on the knowledge, skills and expertise of our employees who work together as a team to complete projects. Valuing the importance of relationships, we have a collaborative approach that is flexible and can respond quickly to the needs of our users.

Our offerings include buying, selling, the ability to store, spend (Patricia Bitcoin debit card) and exchange cryptocurrencies, as well as Patricia Refill services (daily activities such as buying time and money). antenna, subscription services with crypto).


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This week in history: July 19 to 25

25 years ago: bombing of LTTE train kills dozens of workers in Sri Lanka

On July 24, 1996, a bomb attack by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Dehiwala station outside Colombo killed 64 commuters. 400 other people were injured. LTTE agents placed suitcase bombs containing more than 200 pounds of explosives in four cars during the height of the rush hour. The act deliberately targeted workers going to the suburbs of Sri Lanka’s capital. The train, which was due to leave Colombo Fort station after 5 p.m., was supposed to take city workers home after the day shift. The train was known as the “office train” and was extraordinarily crowded. More than 2,000 people were on board the day of the attack.

Sri Lankan soldiers and spectators stand near the exploded train in Dehiwala. (AP Photo / Eranga Jayawardena)

The Revolutionary Communist League (RCL), the Sri Lankan section of the International Committee and forerunner of the Socialist Equality Party, issued a statement condemning the brutal attack by the LTTE on the working class, while explaining that the incident was the direct result of the racist war. against the Tamil people, stepped up by the Sri Lankan government.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s “People’s Alliance” consisted of her own Sri Lanka Freedom Party, one of Sri Lanka’s two main bourgeois parties, along with the Lanka Sama Samaja Party, which broke with Trotskyism. in 1963-1964, and the Stalinist Communist Party. Sri Lanka Party, as well as several small bourgeois-populist parties. While using populist language, the Peoples Alliance pursued a chauvinistic policy towards the Tamil minority, which fueled support for the LTTE, and carried out vicious attacks on poor workers and farmers.

The link between the war and attacks on working class conditions was illustrated on the same day as the bombing when Kumaratunga addressed a meeting of small tea growers. She declared her government’s determination to remove economic subsidies and threatened to fire workers who are fighting for wage increases. “Lethargic civil servants and teachers who continue their old wars without being aware of the needs of the moment and of changes in society will face heavy penalties, including dismissal,” she said.

The RCL urged workers not to get drawn into the racist anti-Tamil campaign that was unleashed following the bombing by the ruling class. The party called on workers to establish their own independent defense committees to organize the safety of workers and their families. He urged them to oppose the government’s racist war and the government’s growing militarization.

The bombing, a previous bombing of Central Bank employees, and the continued harassment of Sinhala peasants in the Tamil-populated northern and eastern provinces demonstrated the LTTE’s opposition to the unity of the Sinhalese and Tamil masses. The LTTE sought to prevent the development of a movement of workers and the oppressed against the Sri Lankan regime.

50 years ago: failed Communist Party coup in Sudan

On July 19, 1971, the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) attempted a coup against the government of the Democratic Republic of Sudan and ousted the country’s leader, Jaafar Nimeiry, from power. The blow was short lived, less than a week. On July 23, Nimeiry would be released and returned to power.

Years of immense political crisis in Sudan preceded the coup. Following a coup d’état in 1969 by the Free Officers Movement, Nimeiry led the North African country as chairman of the National Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), the ruling junta where all the political power has been consolidated.

Initially, the SCP had given some support to the RCC government after the 1969 coup. However, fearing the development of a revolutionary movement among Sudanese workers, the RCC began an anti-Communist crackdown in March 1971. Nimeiry had announced the creation of a state-controlled political party called the Socialist Union of Sudan, which would essentially dissolve all parties, including the SCP, into a tightly-run organization. The RCC also forcibly seized control of the unions, where the SCP gained most of their support.

Many SCP leaders went underground, with most of the party’s operations going underground in the spring and early summer of 1971. Under these conditions, the SCP began to prepare for the coup. Status as of July 19. Under the leadership of the Stalinist bureaucracy in Moscow, the SCP turned not to the working class, but to its supporters within the nucleus of Sudanese military officers. The most prominent of this layer was Major Hashem al-Atta who would lead the coup and briefly serve as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces after surrounding the presidential palace with tanks and arresting Nimeiry.

Coup leader Hashem al-Atta

The SCP was the largest communist party in the Arab world, but its coup met with hostility, not only from the RCC in Sudan, but from all surrounding nations. Egyptian Anwar Sadat and Libyan Muammar Gaddafi opposed the SCP coup and supported Nimeiry and his return to power. These bourgeois nationalists, who balanced themselves between the Soviet Union and the imperialist powers, feared that the establishment of a Stalinist-led government in the region would destabilize their own fragile regimes.

Outside of members of the SCP itself, which had been substantially shattered by Nimeiry’s repressions, the coup had little popular support. Atta was unable to bring the army under his control, with the vast majority of generals and other officers continuing to support the RCC.

After a few days, forces loyal to Nimeiry released him from prison and arrested Atta and the other coup plotters, who were court martialed and shot. In the process, Nimeiry intensified his persecution of the SCP, arresting and executing its leaders and banning all unions and other communist-led organizations.

75 years ago: Zionist Irgun group bombs King David hotel in British Palestine

On July 22, 1946, the Zionist organization Irgun bombed the King David Hotel in British-controlled Palestine, killing 91 people and injuring 46 others. The terrorist attack was part of a series, based on the prospect of forcing Britain, or other great powers, to approve the creation of a Jewish state in the region. Among those who died were 41 Arabs, 28 British citizens, 17 Jews and members of several other national groups.

British forces in Palestine

The attack received wide international coverage, not only because of the large number of casualties, but also because the King David Hotel was the seat of the British mandatory authorities who oversaw the occupation of Palestine. It was conceived as a retaliation for a security crackdown carried out by the British authorities against militant Zionist organizations.

Well-organized Irgun agents planted bombs in the hotel’s basement, as well as in a cafe next door and on a nearby street. Some spectators who gathered to see the aftermath of the explosion at the latter location were touched by the detonations that followed. While members of the Irgun claimed that a warning was sent to the hotel nearly half an hour before the attacks, details were disputed and no evacuation was carried out.

The attack had apparently been discussed beforehand within the wider Zionist community. However, its aftermath and the international response resulted in the breakdown of the alliance between the Irgun and several other groups, including the Haganah, the military wing of the Labor Zionists, which took a nominally leftist stance.

Unlike some of the other Zionist organizations, the Irgun only began hostilities against the British after it was clear that the Allied Powers would be victorious over Nazi Germany. His perspective was not based on any form of anti-colonialism, but included scathing denunciations of the “Arabs,” including calls to expel them from the region or to subdue them.

At the time of the bombing, the Irgun was led by Menachem Begin, who would later become Israel’s sixth prime minister, from June 1977 to October 1983.

100 years ago: Major military defeat of the Spanish in occupied Morocco

On July 22, 1921, the Berber rebels (known as the Rifis after the Rif mountain range), led by Abd el-Krim, inflicted a major defeat on the Spanish imperialist troops at Annuel in the northeast of the Morocco, triggering the Rif war. The Spaniards, who controlled areas along the coast including the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, sought to push inland and east, ignoring Abd el-Krim’s warnings.

Abd-el Krim on the cover of TIME magazine

A Spanish general, Manuel Fernández Silvestre, had occupied the village of Annual in January with several thousand Spanish soldiers. Silvestre’s lines of communication were poor, and his army ran out of ammunition in the summer. Five thousand Spanish soldiers clashed with 3,000 irregular fighters from the Rif on July 21.

The Spaniards began a retreat, which turned into a rout. Spain sent reinforcements but these were also defeated by the Rifis. In total, Spain lost more than 20,000 soldiers as well as large quantities of arms and ammunition. Abd el-Krim reportedly remarked: “In one night, Spain provided us with all the equipment we needed to wage a great war. Silvestre was reportedly killed, although his remains have never been definitively identified. Abd el-Krim established a Republic of the Rif.

The Rif War has its origins in more than 20 years of aggression in North Africa by the imperialist powers, which was a source of persistent inter-imperialist conflict. During the Algeciras conference of 1906, France and Spain had claimed Morocco and distributed the areas of influence. Despite attempts to modernize its army, the Sultanate of Morocco, which had ruled a unified state since the 17th century, collapsed under European incursions and retained control of only six cities.

Germany also had claims on Morocco, which almost led to a war between the great powers after the Agadir crisis of 1911, when a German gunboat entered a French-held port on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. and raised the possibility of war. The incident sparked mass anti-war protests in Europe led by social democratic parties. The crisis was part of a series of inter-imperialist skirmishes that led to World War I.

In 1912, Spain established, with French and British agreement, an official protectorate in Morocco.

After World War I, Spain and France both renewed their colonial ambitions in Morocco, sparking the rebellion of Abd el-Krim.

The Rif War of 1921, which the French joined, lasted another five years. In a retaliatory war for the defeat of Annual, the Spanish indiscriminately used chemical weapons against civilians. Some Berber organizations claim today that the residues of these weapons still poison the inhabitants of the region. The war ultimately ended with the defeat and capture of Abd el-Krim, who died in exile in Cairo in 1963.


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Why Canada Matters to Texas

For over 150 years, Canada has been more than just a neighbor: we are your best customer, your closest security partner and your largest energy supplier. Texas is an important part of all of these mutual benefits.

Texans may think of other countries first when considering international trade and cooperation. We understand that, but we think we should go against the grain and brag a bit about Canada’s contribution to the Texas economy.

Canada is often seen as friendly, polite, and snowy. We own them all, but we also have a fascinating economic and business story to tell in Texas – we are Texas’ second largest export market after Mexico. Texas exported $ 27.8 billion in goods and services to Canada in 2020, and nearly 700 Canadian-owned companies operate right here in Texas. These companies represent nearly 57,000 jobs statewide.

Beyond our common North American geography, we share values ​​and interests, as well as economic ties on many levels. Here are the adjectives I would use to describe our bilateral relationship and the importance of Canada:

Prosperous. Canada and the United States share the world’s largest trading relationship. Our trade is balanced, fair and supports growth and innovation in our two countries. Every day, nearly US $ 2 billion in goods and services cross the Canada-US border. This thriving economic partnership supports well-paying jobs in both countries. More than 5,500 Canadian companies in the United States support nearly 900,000 jobs. We buy more goods from the United States than China, Japan and the United Kingdom combined.

Integrated. Canada and the United States don’t just sell each other, we make things together. Since the start of the pandemic, our countries have worked hard to maintain the two-way flow of goods, especially medical supplies and essential inputs across our borders, while protecting our communities from COVID-19. On average, over 25% of a finished product that we sell to you is US content. Just like most imports from Canada are used in production that puts Americans to work. These long-standing bi-national supply chains have not only kept us secure, they have also kept us competitive globally.

Reliable. Canada’s energy – more than any other country – contributes directly to the economic prosperity, security and environmental goals of the United States. We are your largest and most secure supplier of all forms of energy, transported by 71 oil and gas pipelines and 35 transmission lines across our shared border. We are also investing in new technologies and infrastructure to become a global leader in clean energy and innovation. Canada is developing its energy resources; in a way that creates prosperity and engages communities, while reducing emissions and preserving the environment.

Closed. Canada fought alongside the United States to defend our shared values ​​during World Wars I and II, the Cold War, Korea, the Balkans, the Middle East and Afghanistan. In fact, officers from the Canadian Army, Navy and Air Force are integrated throughout the United States Army and within the Binational North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) at all levels – protecting and defending our common continent in search and rescue operations, banning illegal narcotics, intercepting unallied military aircraft, and humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions.

Canadian tourists contribute millions to the Texas economy every year. Canadian snowbirds, who feel welcome when their neighbors in Texas call them “Winter Texans,” contribute significantly through real estate investments, business sales and tax revenues.

On July 1, as we mark the first anniversary of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), Texas businesses continued to access Canada’s duty-free supply chains. Formerly known as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the updated agreement preserves key elements of NAFTA, modernizes arrangements to meet 21st century trade challenges, cuts red tape at the border and provides increased predictability and stability for workers and businesses in Texas. .

Being more than 1,000 miles from the tip of the Texas Panhandle may make America’s neighbor to the north forgetful, but our common values ​​and interests, and our deep ties, coupled with powerful economic ties on many levels are certainly reasons for which Canada should be kept in mind as we move forward together towards economic recovery.


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OPEC and allied nations agree to end dispute that has skyrocketed energy prices: NPR

In this file photo from January 8, 2020, UAE Minister of Energy Suhail al-Mazrouei attends the UAE Energy Forum 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Al-Mazrouei said on Sunday that OPEC and allied countries had reached a “full deal” after a previous dispute that rocked oil prices.

Kamran Jebreili / AP


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Kamran Jebreili / AP


In this file photo from January 8, 2020, UAE Minister of Energy Suhail al-Mazrouei attends the UAE Energy Forum 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Al-Mazrouei said on Sunday that OPEC and allied countries had reached a “full deal” after a previous dispute that rocked oil prices.

Kamran Jebreili / AP

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – OPEC and allies agreed on Sunday to possibly increase production limits on five countries, ending an earlier dispute sparked by the United Arab Emirates that has rocked world prices for energy.

The disagreement, sparked by a demand from the UAE to increase its own production, temporarily disrupted a previous cartel meeting. In a statement on Sunday, the cartel said Iraq, Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would see their limits increased.

“What binds us is far beyond what you imagine,” Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said. “We differ here and there but we relate.”

Prince Abdulaziz declined to say how they came to this consensus, saying it would see the cartel “lose our advantage of being mysterious and intelligent”. But he clearly bristled at previous reports on the dispute between Saudi Arabia, long the heavyweight of the Vienna-based cartel, and the United Arab Emirates.

Prince Abdulaziz then referred to the start of a press conference in al-Mazrouei as a sign of respect.

“The UAE is attached to this group and will always work with it and within this group to do their best to achieve market balance and help everyone,” al-Mazrouei said. He hailed the deal as a “full deal” between all parties.

Outside of OPEC, however, tensions persist among neighboring nations. The UAE has largely withdrawn from the Saudi-led war in Yemen, while diplomatically recognizing Israel. Saudi Arabia has also reopened in Qatar after a multi-year boycott, although relations between Abu Dhabi and Doha remain frigid. Saudi Arabia has also aggressively sought an international trade headquarters, which could affect the UAE’s business hub, Dubai.

Abu Dhabi’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the country’s de facto ruler, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have, however, been close over the years. The two leaders will likely meet in Saudi Arabia on Monday.

Under the new production limits, the UAE could produce up to 3.5 million barrels of crude oil per day as of May 2022. This is lower than the 3.8 million barrels per day they would have sought. Saudi Arabia’s limit of 11 million barrels per day would increase to 11.5 million, as would Russia’s. Iraq and Kuwait saw smaller increases.

In its statement, OPEC acknowledged that oil prices continued to improve.

“Economic recovery has continued in most parts of the world thanks to the acceleration of vaccination programs,” the cartel said.

Oil prices collapsed amid the coronavirus pandemic as demand for jet fuel and gasoline fell amid lockdowns across the world, briefly seeing oil futures trading in the negatives. Demand has since rebounded as vaccines, while still unevenly distributed across the world, reach guns in major global economies.

Benchmark Brent crude was trading around $ 73 a barrel on Friday.

Once tough enough to stop the United States with its 1970s oil embargo, OPEC needed non-members like Russia to force a production cut in 2016 after prices collapsed below $ 30. $ per barrel in a context of increasing American production. This agreement in 2016 gave birth to OPEC +, which joined the cartel by cutting production to help boost prices.

OPEC + agreed in 2020 to withdraw a record 10 million barrels of crude per day from the market to raise prices. It has slowly added some 4.2 million barrels over time.

Starting in August, the cartel said it would separately increase production by 400,000 barrels per day each month. This will allow it to phase out its current production of 5.8 million barrels of oil by the end of 2022, as provided for in the original agreement.

OPEC member countries include Algeria, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iraq, Kuwait, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. OPEC + members include Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan and South Sudan.

Prince Abdulaziz, praising Sunday’s deal, offered a cheerful assessment of the future despite the recent turmoil.

“OPEC + is here to stay,” proclaimed the prince.


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Non profit living

Beloved Alabama Officer Surprised By Wheelchair Accessible Van

OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – The eastern Alabama community continues to rally around Mike “Robo” Roberson, a former Auburn and DARE police officer who served nearly three decades before catastrophic strokes didn’t force him to retire.

Soon, a $ 40,000 home improvement project with the Chattahoochee Fuller Center funded by your donations will provide a wheelchair-friendly bed and bathroom for Robo and his wife. Another blessing hit their Opelika driveway on Thursday.

“We’ve taken care of your house and needed some wheels for you, so here’s your new pickup truck,” Josh Datnoff, president of the Auburn Firefighters Association, shared the fantastic news to Robo and his family. Tears of joy and hugs followed the surprise announcement. The Gunners Motorcycle Club, Auburn Firefighters Association, Franklin Tire, CP Wrecker, Tiger Body and Paint have collaborated to donate a wheelchair accessible van.

“Very exciting because now he’s mobile he can go out and do the things he wants to do and live with ease,” said Jacquelyn Roberson.

Robo’s wife, Jacquelyn, is his dedicated caregiver. The couple can no longer sleep in the bedroom of their Opelika house because Robo cannot go upstairs. Instead, Robo sleeps in his wheelchair, Jacquelyn by his side on another chair in their living room on the first floor. Robo says it would be great to rest comfortably in a bed and take a shower, which he hasn’t been able to do for several months. It was difficult for them to travel as it was difficult to get Robo out of his wheelchair and get him into a vehicle. He needed a van with a ramp.

When Josh Datnoff of the Firefighters Association heard about Robo’s situation, he began raising money for the Fuller Center remodeling project of adding a bed and tub on the ground floor for the couple. . Datnoff then began looking for a way to help Robo and his wife travel more easily to see friends, family, and doctors as he continued his recovery.

“The van was my uncle’s van and he passed away. So we gave it to a close family friend, and she had it for about three years. She got better and didn’t need the ramp anymore, so they donated her to the Auburn Firefighters Association so we could get her ready for Robo, ”Datnoff said.

The Gunner’s Motorcycle Group helped secure repairs and maintenance to the pickup truck, in addition to raising money for the home improvement project. So on Thursday when the van was handed over to Robo and his family, it was hard to say who was happier – Robo or the friends who gave him the keys.

“When you see a grown man cry, it brings tears to your eyes. Especially since it’s a surprise. I’ve been wiping my eyes since I’ve been here, ”said Cody Post, owner of CP Wrecker Service.

On the back of the van, Gunners Motorcycle Club President Ruben Garza asked Robo if it would be okay to put three tribute stickers to late Auburn Police Officer Will Buechern on the back. Robo readily agreed. Buechner was a Gunner brother and loved his biker family. The Gunners are known for their generous hearts and ongoing community service. Garza says Buechner would have loved to see Robo, his former Auburn police brother, receive a van to help him.

“We should do this for anyone who needs help. But, so often, you can’t do it on your own, and we’re just happy to help in any situation. This is what we do as a club. That’s what gunners do, ”Garza said.

Meanwhile, Robo’s house renovation project will begin soon. The Chattahoochee Fuller Center Project will keep us updated on a volunteer schedule and opportunities. We hope everyone will join a community effort to help one of Auburn’s favorite officers who gave his life to serve the citizens and students within our schools. Volunteers receive a free t-shirt with Robo on the back.

The Fuller Center Project is a nonprofit group that builds and renovates homes for families in need. The group primarily serves in Chambers County, but in 2019 the group contacted families in Lee County devastated by the March 3 tornadoes and built 18 homes in 7 months for the survivors.

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