TikTok ban ‘unconstitutional’

The Orange County Tribune
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A STATEWIDE ban on the use of the TikTok app in Montana has been declared unconstitutional (Shutterstock).

A ban on the controversial TikTok social media app was blocked on Tuesday by a federal judge who said the Montana law –which would have taken effect on Jan. 1 – “violated the Constitution in more ways than one.” He suggested that the prohibition was aimed more at China (where TikTok originated) than any issues in the state.

The preliminary injunction was issued by U.S. District Judge Donald Malloy who said that Tiktok’s arguments against the ban had a “likelihood to succeed on its merits.”

If allowed to go into effect, the law would have outlawed all use of the app throughout the state for any purpose. Federal law bans the installation of the TikTok app on any government electronic communication device.

Truce extended in Gaza again … or has it

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HAMAS vs. Israel (Shutterstock).

Late edit: Reports now indicate that the fighting in Gaza has resumed, despite earlier news that the cease-fire would be extended another day.

The truce that paused the war between Israel and Hamas – planned to expire on Thursday – has been extended for a seventh day in order to allow for the release of more hostages and a possible longer extension of the pause.

Hamas reportedly released eight hostages. More hostages were scheduled to be released later in the day. So far, over 100 Palestinians have been freed and “dozens” of Israeli hostages have been returned.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the extended truce has allowed the release of more hostages and the funneling of more humanitarian aid into Gaza.

White House Christmas Tree is up again

Rising back onto the White House lawn, the National Christmas Tree official tree-lighting ceremony was held Thursday despite its toppling earlier in the week. Heavy winds had knocked down the 40-foot tall Norway Spruce on Tuesday afternoon, but it was raised later in the day. It had already been decorated. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were part of the ceremony, which dates back to 1913.

Sports: Thank you, Cowboys

DAK PRESCOTT

With a seesaw 41-35 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night, the Dallas Cowboys did the Los Angeles Rams a big favor.

With the loss the Seahawks record fell to 6-6.

If the Rams (now 5-6) defeat the Cleveland Browns (7-4) on Sunday, they’ll tie Seattle for a wild card spot, but have the tiebreaker on the Seahawks, having defeated them twice.

Weather: A warming trend on the way

The first day of winter won’t be terrible wintry in our West Orange County area. Friday will have a daytime high of 69 with an overnight low of 47 under partly cloudy skies. Saturday will see sunny skies with a high of 70 (41). A partly cloudy forecast comes on Sunday with a high of 71 (49). Monday will be almost summery with a high of 77 (53) on the thermometer, but partly cloudy conditions will linger.

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