The Daily Populous

Wednesday June 28th, 2023 day edition

image for Sen. Tommy Tuberville voted against a bill that just gave his state $1.4 billion for rural broadband. He's celebrating it anyway.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville celebrated the news, calling the funding "crucial" for rural broadband.

But he voted against the 2021 infrastructure bill that established the program he's now touting.

On Tuesday, Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama celebrated the fact that his state will receive $1.4 billion in federal funding to expand access to the internet statewide.

"Broadband is vital for the success of our rural communities and for our entire economy," he wrote.

The wrinkle: nearly two years ago, Tuberville voted against the bill that's providing that money.

On Monday, the White House announced state allocations for more than $42 billion in funding, allowing states to administer grants to develop high-speed internet.

But Tuberville spokesman Steven Stafford argued that the senator simply wants his state to get their "fair share" of federal funding, now that the bill has become law. »

Oregon Finally Legalizes Pumping Your Own Gas After 72 Years

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House Bill 2426 as proposed would require gas stations to staff half of the available pumps, but allows the other half to be self-service.

The provision in the bill to staff half of pumps reflects this statistic, effectively reopening gas stations that are understaffed.

From then, there have been staunch holdouts of full-service gas stations, the most famous of which is New Jersey. »

Taiwan says it spots two Russian warships off its east coast

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TAIPEI, June 28 (Reuters) - Taiwan spotted two Russian warships off its eastern coast on Tuesday and sent its own aircraft and ships to keep watch, the island's defence ministry said.

Taiwan's military sent aircraft and ships to keep watch and activated shore-based missile systems, it added, without providing further details.

Taiwan has joined the United States and its allies in enacting wide-ranging sanctions against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. »

US targets Wagner Group over gold in Africa, days after mutiny

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Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin is seen in Bakhmut in May 2023 footage of Concord, a company linked to the Russian mercenary group (Handout).

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions aimed at disrupting gold mining activities that fund the Wagner Group in Africa, vowing to hold the mercenaries accountable for abuses days after they staged a mutiny in Russia.

"And so we would continue to urge governments in Africa and elsewhere to cease any cooperation with Wagner," he said. »

Wagner's Russia rebellion creates Africa uncertainty

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Wagner's structure must change because Putin can't allow a private force capable of mounting a rebellion to remain in its current form.

The move to absorb Wagner fighters into the Russian army is the first stage of that transformation.

Wagner clearly no longer has the Kremlin's backing and African leaders who lean on them must wait for power struggles in Russia to play out. »