It's been a big week for OutOut! We're pleased to announce we have a new contributor: Natalie Wood.

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An up-and-coming journalist at New York University, Wood was lead author on the investigation OptOut's original reporting outfit IMPORTANT CONTEXT published Friday with Rolling Stone about how the nation's largest grant-making organization quietly cut off funding to the U.S. arm of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)–all while still allowing donations to be made through its platform to pro-Israel and hate groups.

Major U.S. Charity Blocks Donations to Gaza Relief Agency Amid Starvation
Fidelity Charitable has cut off support to UNRWA, Gaza’s primary relief agency, while still allowing donations to pro-Israel groups and hate.
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In a rare event, the Rolling Stone collaboration was the second article published by IMPORTANT CONTEXT in a week. Two days earlier, we put out another story about anti-vaccine statements made by the vice presidential pick of independent presidential candidate and anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist Robert Kennedy Jr.

Kennedy VP Pick Goes Mask-Off Anti-Vax
Nicole Shanahan suggested the Moderna mRNA COVID vaccine should be recalled.
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There are more stories, including big scoops, on the way from Important Context – and big reporting projects from OptOut. So stay tuned! To support our journalism, please consider donating!

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The Carceral State

A new report has found that prison inmates were hit disproportionately hard by COVID-19, a testament to the failure of officials to prioritize their safety. THE MARSHALL PROJECT had the story.

Officials Failed to Act When COVID Hit Prisons. A New Study Shows the Deadly Cost.
People in prison died at 3.4 times the rate of the free population, with the oldest hit hardest. New data holds lessons for preventing future deaths.
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MARYLAND MATTERS had a related story. After dropping significantly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maryland's prison population has risen steadily.

As pandemic eases, share of Black inmates in Maryland prisons peaks - Maryland Matters
‘The liquor store was open during COVID, but not the reentry programs,’ an advocate notes.
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Combatting Sexual Violence

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is set to roll back changes made to Title IX  by Betsy DeVos which had limited the definition of sexual harassment and directed schools to hold live hearings to enable those accused of assault to cross-examine their accusers. The new rules will protect victims. STATES NEWSROOM had the story.

Biden administration to roll back the Betsy DeVos Title IX rules • Kentucky Lantern
The U.S. Department of Education announced a final rule that will update Title IX regulations governing how schools respond to sexual misconduct.
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A new bill to eliminate the so-called spousal rape loophole in Ohio is gaining steam. OHIO CAPITAL JOURNAL reports.

Bill to rid Ohio of spousal rape exception receives support in state Senate • Ohio Capital Journal
Survivors of sexual assault perpetrated by their spouses had a simple request for the Ohio Legislature with regard to a loophole in state law that keeps their spouses from being held accountable. “Please help us,” Sarah Tucker said.
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Please join our mission to boost independent media, challenge the dominant corporate and legacy outlets, and move things forward towards a stronger democracy, a healthier planet, and a more equitable society.

Please consider donating $20, $100, $1,000, or whatever you can here!

Donald Trump's hush money trial has started out with a bang with the judge already admonishing the former president for allegedly trying to speak to one of the potential jurors. THE NEW REPUBLIC reported.

Trump’s Big Mouth Just Got Him in Trouble in Hush-Money Trial
Judge Juan Merchan admonished the former president for muttering audibly in court.
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Meanwhile, in another case surrounding the former president's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, Trump's lawyers made one last pitch to the Supreme Court for absolute presidential immunity. STATES NEWSROOM had the story.

Trump makes one last presidential immunity argument to the U.S. Supreme Court • New Hampshire Bulletin
Hours after Donald Trump sat in a New York courtroom and became the first former president in U.S. history to be a defendant in a criminal trial Monday, his attorneys filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court renewing his claim of absolute presidential immunity in another criminal case against him.
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