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Last Updated Jul 20, 2021 at 7:24 am EDT

MINNESOTA LAWMAKER-ETHICS

Minnesota Dem who rose after Castile death is under pressure

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Black Minnesota state lawmaker who rose to prominence after his friend Philando Castile was shot to death by police is coming under pressure to resign. State Rep. John Thompson turned to activism after Castile’s fatal shooting during a 2016 traffic stop and then to politics, winning a seat in the state House. Thompson became a fierce advocate for policing changes. But things started unraveling in early July, when Thompson claimed to have been racially profiled during a traffic stop. That soon led to questions about his driver’s license and his state residency. Now, revelations of old domestic abuse allegations against Thompson have caused top Democrats to join the calls for his resignation.

AP-US-CAPITOL-BREACH-INVESTIGATION

McCarthy proposes 5 Republicans to sit on Jan. 6 panel

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has picked five Republicans to sit on the new select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. McCarthy selected Indiana congressman Jim Banks to be the top Republican on the panel. McCarthy also tapped for the panel Ohio’s Jim Jordan, Illinois’ Rodney Davis, North Dakota’s Kelly Armstrong and Texas’ Troy Nehls. McCarthy’s picks were confirmed by a Republican familiar with the decision and an aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement. Pelosi must still approve the names.

STARRY STONEWORT

Invasive weed starry stonewort confirmed in Leech Lake

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An invasive weed that can choke out native plants and fish habitat has been found in one of Minnesota’s largest and most popular walleye lakes. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Monday confirmed the discovery of starry stonewort in Leech Lake, located in northwestern Minnesota. The DNR says the bright green microalgae plant has now been verified in 18 of the state’s 11.842 lakes, including nearby Cass Lake and Lake Winnibigoshish. Leech Lake is largely within the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation boundaries. Starry stonewort was first discovered in Minnesota in 2015 in Lake Koronis, which is located near Paynesville in Stearns County. The state has spent tens of millions of dollars trying to combat the weed.

AP-US-POLYMET-MINE

Minnesota court sends PolyMet air permit case back to agency

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in northern Minnesota has encountered a setback; the state Court of Appeals has ordered regulators to revisit a critical air emissions permit given to the project. The court ruled Monday that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency hadn’t sufficiently justified granting the permit after opponents raised allegations that PolyMet was planning a much larger mine. Environmental groups and a Native American tribe pointed to a report that PolyMet filed with Canadian regulators that suggested PolyMet was considering expanding the mine to four times the size that the air permit would allow. The appeals court sent the case back to the MPCA for further review.

GRAND PORTAGE HOMICIDE

Body of man found on Lake Superior shores labeled a homicide

GRAND PORTAGE, Minn. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the killing of a man whose remains were found on the shore of Lake Superior in Grand Portage. The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office says 34-year-old Richard Anthony Balsimo died of homicidal violence. No other details about his death were released. Authorities say Balsimo was last seen in St. Paul on June 20. WDIO-TV reports that dive teams located his remains in Lake Superior last week. A Duluth man has been arrested for aiding an offender and interference with a dead body for his role in the incident.

SENATOR-ALS

Senate president pro tem says he has Lou Gehrig’s disease

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Longtime state Sen. David Tomassoni has informed his constituents that he has Lou Gehring’s disease, also known as ALS. The motor neuron disease is a progressive, degenerative disease that destroys the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement. The 68-year-old senator from Chisholm says he was diagnosed a while ago, and felt the effects of the disease through this year’s legislative session. Tomassoni was first elected to the state House in 1992. He was elected to the Senate in 2000. The longtime Democrat is now serving as an independent.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-CANADA-US

Canada to let vaccinated US citizens enter country on Aug. 9

TORONTO (AP) — Canada will begin letting fully vaccinated U.S. citizens into Canada on Aug. 9, and those from the rest of the world on Sept. 7. Canadian officials say the 14-day quarantine requirement will be waived as of Aug. 9 for eligible travelers who are currently residing in the United States and have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said Monday a date for the U.S. to allow fully vaccinated Canadians to cross the land border isn’t yet known. Any Canadian can fly to the U.S. 

SOMALIA-TEMPORARY STATUS

US extends temporary status for Somalis, citing civil strife

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has extended temporary legal status to hundreds of Somalis to allow them to remain in the United States for an additional 18 months during civil strife in the African nation. The move on Monday marked the 25th extension of Temporary Protected Status for Somalis under the 1990 law designed to provide a haven from natural disaster or civil disorder. Somalia was first designated for TPS in 1991. About 450 Somalis will be able to extend their stay and be authorized to work until March 2023.

The Associated Press