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Top eight today

Top eight stories for today including Florida’s governor signed bills restricting mask and Covid-19 vaccine mandates; An EU court adviser said governments can only retain personal cellphone and computer data in limited circumstances; A new poll reveals more Americans want Republican control of Congress, and more.

National

Hunt for hammer and sickle breaks out at confirmation hearing of banking regulator

Seventy years away from McCarthyism, a hearing on the woman nominated to be America's top banking regulator saw Republican senators looking for red in Saule Omarova’s roots.

Saule Omarova answers questions from the Senate Banking Committee on Nov. 18, 2021, during her confirmation hearing to serve as comptroller of currency. (Image via Courthouse News)

More Americans say they want GOP control of Congress in 2022

A new national Quinnipiac University poll reveals more Americans are itching for the Republican Party to wrest control of both chambers of Congress away from the Democrats in next year’s midterm elections.

The Capitol is seen at dawn on Sept. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Capitol rioter who helped himself to a lawmaker’s bottle of wine pleads guilty to theft

A New Hampshire postal worker who raided a congressperson’s refrigerator and chugged a glass of wine during the Jan. 6 insurrection pleaded guilty Thursday to theft of government property and unlawful parading or picketing. 

The government used these photos of Jason Riddle holding a bottle of wine and a book that he stole in their case against him. (Image via Courthouse News Service)

Regional

Florida governor signs sweeping laws against vaccine, mask mandates

Declaring a new “freedom agenda,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed four bills into law on Thursday restricting mask and Covid-19 vaccine mandates in an effort to combat federal rules handed down by President Joe Biden.

People carry signs and flags as several hundred anti-mandate demonstrators rally outside the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee during a special legislative session on Nov. 16, 2021. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

Iowa asks appeals court to uphold ban on mask mandates in schools

The state of Iowa urged the Eighth Circuit on Thursday to reverse a federal judge’s decision to block enforcement of a state law that forbids local districts from mandating masks in schools.

A school custodian moves a stack of chairs out of a classroom at Brubaker Elementary School in Des Moines, Iowa, in July 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Virginia’s online blackout for court records challenged in federal court

Virginia has put in place a statewide system of access to court records. But it is blacked out to the public and the press.

Statewide reach of Virginia’s OCRA system. (Image via Courthouse News)

International

Except for the exceptional: EU member states have little claim to people’s data

Serious threats to national emergency and precious few other circumstances give national governments a basis to keep data from cellphones and laptops, a legal adviser urged Thursday as the EU’s highest court prepares to delve into the issue. 

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. (Molly Quell/Courthouse News)

Ireland’s debate over ‘almighty God’ oath won’t be heard by rights court

The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday declined to take up a case brought by a group of Irish politicians seeking to remove a requirement for Irish presidents to utter an oath to “almighty God” upon being sworn in.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. (hpgruesen/Pixabay via Courthouse News)

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