OAN Roy Francis 9:14 AM PT – Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee has proposed establishing a $100 million grant program for pro-life crisis center in his state.
Bill Lee (R-Tenn.) unveiled his plan, stating that his state has a “moral obligation” to support families. Under this plan, Tennessee would transform into “one of the top spending states” on organizations that support pregnant women who are in need of help and resources to keep their babies, rather than making the choice of abortion.
“Pro-life is much more than defending the lives of the unborn,” Lee said. “This is not a matter of politics. This is about human dignity.”
Another part of the plan is to expand “paid parental leave for state employees and widening the Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women and parents.”
“If approved,” the governor explained. “Tennessee will be the first Medicaid program in the nation to implement this kind of support. That’s pro-life. That’s pro-family,”
The governor’s administration also will demand that the federal government pay the cost of diapers for Medicaid recipients for a period of up to two years.
The governor, who is on the advisory board for a crisis pregnancy center, said that his other priorities include teacher pay raise, upgrading the state’s transportation system, and cleaning up toxic waste at industrial sites.
“We can have a healthy debate about the policy specifics, but we can also agree that America is rooted in a commitment to human dignity,” Lee said later on. “There was a significant shift in this country last year when it comes to protecting the lives of the unborn. We now all have an opportunity and a moral obligation to support strong Tennessee families.”
This plan was unveiled during Lee’s annual State of the State address which was held in front of the Republican-led legislature.
The governor touts his state as “a guiding light for opportunity, security & freedom” and laid out his agenda going forward, which was met with protests from the Democrats in the state of Tennessee.
A 28-year-old Syrian student at Columbia University lost his two young nieces and their mom in the devastating earthquake that has claimed at least 11,000 lives in his country and neighboring Turkey.
Hussein Akoush, a student at the Ivy League school in Manhattan since 2021, told The Daily Beast that he was sent into a “panic” when a friend texted him about “massive destruction” in his hometown of Al-Atarib in northwestern Aleppo.
“I saw the magnitude of the earthquake was 7.8. At this point, I realized it was huge,” he told the outlet.
“I had to check in on my family in Syria. So I sent messages to all my sisters and my brother, but none of them received my messages,” said Akoush, who moved to Turkey in 2016 and then to the Big Apple in 2021 to study neuroscience.
He finally heard from his uncle, who said, “‘Don’t worry, we’re fine, your mother and your sister are well,” Akoush told The Daily Beast.
“‘Your brother’s building collapsed but we managed to take him out of the ruins. But we know nothing about his wife and two daughters,’” he said his uncle told him.
Eventually, he learned that his nieces — 6-year-old Sedra and 5-year-old Maria — and their mom Fatima perished in the disaster.
“With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of my two nieces and their mother in last night’s earthquake,” Akoush said on Twitter.
“So, my brother lost his wife and his two daughters,” he told The Daily Beast, adding that his brother has undergone surgery for a broken arm.
“It was a terrible night… I was not able to sleep,” he said.
In a GoFundMe page from 2020, Akoush wrote that “before the Syrian revolution began, I was a hardworking student. I used to be top of my class but I was obliged to drop out of the School of Dentistry at Aleppo University in 2012 for fear of arrest by the Syrian Government due its violent response to the peaceful protests on campus.
“During the war, I dedicated myself to peaceful activism against the brutal dictatorship of Bashar Al Assad, as I watched friends and family members and innocent civilians being ruthlessly killed,” he continued.
Akoush said he learned English, decided to move to Turkey and became a freelance journalist after facing “a litany of death threats and constant bombardment.”
“Fortunately, I was awarded a partial scholarship from Columbia to cover half of the tuition but it is still not enough and that is why I am hoping you will make a donation to help pay for my first year of tuition,” he wrote.
Akoush received $51,426 in donations, surpassing his goal of $50,000.
Lea Michele is poking fun at rumors claiming she can’t read, joking that Barbra Streisand’s memoir release has given her a looming deadline.
“265 days to learn to read,” the “Glee” alum captioned a TikTok shared Wednesday, which showed the actress covering her mouth in a shocked expression.
Michele, 36, leaned out of the video’s frame to show the cover of Streisand’s upcoming memoir, “My Name Is Barbra.”
The 80-year-old singer’s book will be published in November, with her publisher calling it “frank, funny, opinionated, and charming.”
In a press release, Viking wrote, “Barbra Streisand is a living legend, a woman who in a career spanning six decades has excelled in every area of entertainment, and this engrossing and delightful book will be eagerly welcomed by her millions of fans.”
The statement continued, “Dozens of books have been written about Streisand, and now in My Name Is Barbra, she tells her story in her own words.”
Michele’s social media upload, which her followers praised as “iconic” and “funny,” did not mark the first time she has addressed speculation about her reading and writing skills.