Last week, cable news giant CNN hosted a town hall with former President Donald J. Trump. The twice-impeached, criminally-indicted Trump had not been on the network since 2016 and criticized it throughout his presidency. In the interim period, he’d taken such notable actions as inciting an insurrection at the Capitol, refusing to accept the results of an election he lost, and had Thanksgiving dinner with Holocaust-denying fascist Nick Fuentes. The day before the event, a jury found him civilly liable for sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll.

But bygones were apparently bygones on Monday as CNN, under new right-wing management, welcomed Trump back for a softball interview. According to reporting by THE NEW REPUBLIC, the audience at the event was even asked not to ‘boo,’ the former president.  

CNN Trump Town Hall Audience Was Told “Please Do Not Boo”
If CNN really wanted to know what Republican voters think of Trump, why did it set rules like this?
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By many accounts, the interview was a bust with Trump repeatedly lying with little pushback from moderator Kaitlan Collins. As MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan pointed out, Trump somehow made it through the entire thing without facing a single question about the dinner with Fuentes. CNN faced criticism for even hosting Trump in the first place given his role in the January 6 Capitol insurrection.

For more on the Trump town hall, check out this review by RELIGION DISPATCHES.

CNN’s Disastrous ‘Town Hall’ with Trump Put the Country at Risk
“CNN’s New Hampshire town hall with DONALD TRUMP last night may have done more to boost his chances of winning the GOP presidential nomination than anything that’s happened since the 2020 election.” That was Politico Playbook’s substantive conclusion the following morning. Its more direct take: “To
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THE NATION also covered the “predictable shit show,” noting that Trump steamrolled through the event.

CNN Showcases Trump. He Brutalizes One of Its Stars—and the Truth.
Despite her best efforts, moderator Kaitlan Collins could not “fact-check a lie machine,” in one CNN star’s words. It was a predictable shit show.
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For an alternative point of view, supporting the concept of holding the event, KANSAS REFLECTOR published a piece defending the town hall.

Good journalism means talking to public figures. That includes Trump and Kansas AG Kris Kobach. - Kansas Reflector
Liberals who object to a broadcast with Donald Trump or profile of Elizabeth Holmes are like conservatives who want to ban books in school libraries. They believe, with the best of intentions, that people need to be protected from harmful ideas.
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Anti-Union Activity

In other news, anti-union efforts at Starbucks stepped up in recent weeks as workers at various stores have sought to eject their unions. Last week, a group of Starbucks workers in Manhattan moved to oust their union. To do it, they’re partnering with the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation, an anti-labor nonprofit that received funding from billionaire industrialist Charles Koch’s foundation in 2021.The group previously worked to secure the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, which held that public sector unions could not collect union fees from nonmembers.

For more on the story, check out this article in THE CITY.  

Manhattan Starbucks Workers Seek to Oust Union, With Help From Group That Argued ‘Janus’ Decision
The Reserve Roastery employees’ petition to decertify, which is pending a vote, comes days after workers in Rochester and Buffalo also moved to eject Starbucks Workers United.
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Also, Starbucks is shutting down all three of its stores in Ithica, which became the first town in America where all Starbucks workers were unionized. NEW REPUBLIC had the story.  

Starbucks Is Closing All Stores in a Main Union Stronghold
The corporation’s union-busting efforts are escalating.
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MORE PERFECT UNION released a video this week purporting to shine a light on Starbucks’ “illegal” union-busting tactics. You can watch the video.

How Starbucks Just Broke the Law (Again)
Starbucks founder Howard Schultz had a meltdown when questioned by the Senate about union-busting. Then he sought revenge.
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Meanwhile, Starbucks workers have responded to the anti-union push with calls to negotiate, as LABOR NOTES reported.

Workers to Starbucks: Time to Negotiate
At Starbucks regional headquarters in Manhattan on May 1, staff were setting up an office pizza party when they heard a chant coming from the hallway of their fifteenth floor glass-enclosed office. “Who are we? We are partners! Who are we? We are workers!” chanted a dozen Starbucks workers as they f…
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End of the Public Health Emergency

This week, the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration expired. With the expiration came the end of Title 42, which allowed U.S. Border Patrol to quickly expel migrants. Now, migrants are massing at the border amid uncertainty. THE MARSHALL PROJECT gave a good run down of the situation.

Title 42 is Over. What Comes Next for Asylum-Seekers?
The Biden administration’s new plan has led to confusion along the southern border.
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THE INTERCEPT also wrote about the Biden administration’s lifting of Title 42 and the chaos that is ensuing, including armed vigilantes harassing aid workers and rounding up children.

Desperate Families and Gun-Toting Vigilantes Converge in Arizona After Title 42 Ends
As President Joe Biden swaps one asylum crackdown for another, the border’s lethality endures.
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Meanwhile, STATES NEWSROOM wrote about the lessons that the COVID-19 pandemic ought to teach us as the virus continues to circulate, mutate, and kill more than 1,000 Americans every week.

As the COVID public health emergency ends, prepping for a new pandemic is next - Colorado Newsline
After more than three years and 1.1 million deaths, the United States on Thursday will end the public health emergency for COVID-19.
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