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1. Will Palm Beach County schools legally challenge DeSantis?
After mandating masks for students, the Palm Beach County School Board on Wednesday will discuss whether to file a legal challenge against Gov. Ron DeSantis' executive order and emergency rules regarding face masks in schools.
Standing firm on face masks, School Board Chairman Frank Barbieri said that while the school board has not heard from the Florida Department of Education yet, he expects it's coming soon.
Just last Friday, the Florida Department of Education sent warning letters to school districts in Broward and Alachua counties, giving them 48 hours to comply with the executive order or have the salaries of certain school board members cut. Both districts refused to concede and said they're not changing their mandates.
2. Speaking of legal challenges to DeSantis' mask mandate ban, parents' lawsuit wraps day two:
Among the final testimony for attorneys bringing the suit was mother and plaintiff Lesley Abravanel. The Boca Raton parent told the court she feared for the safety of her two 10-year-old twins, who are too young to get vaccinated.
Joining Abravanel on the stand were several Florida physicians. All of them testified they had seen COVID-19 cases among kids rising in their private practice as the more infectious delta variant continues to spread.
Attorneys for the governor countered with their expert, Stanford Medicine Professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya. He's a controversial figure who has advocated herd immunity and dismissed masking.
Defense attorneys will offer further testimony Wednesday. The trial resumes at 9:30 a.m. with closing arguments expected later that day.
3. DeSantis' legal challenges don't end at the classroom, Disney and more cruise lines to require vaccines:
Disney Cruise Lines became the latest this week to make the COVID-19 vaccine a requirement to board a ship, even though DeSantis threatened to fine cruise lines $5,000 per instance for demanding proof of vaccination.
The policy changes are for ships heading to the Bahamas and coincide with the Bahamian government's requirement to have all cruise ship passengers and crews vaccinated against COVID-19. The declaration runs through Nov. 1.
Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line now require full vaccinations for guests 12 and older prior to sailing on any of its cruises, including its Florida ports.
Norwegian Cruise Line already insisted on vaccination requirements for its cruises, and took Florida to court. A federal judge blocked the Florida rule, but the state is appealing the decision.
4. On a lighter note, alliances being formed in Hunger Games of college football:
The Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten Conference and the Pacific 12 Conference have announced they are forming an alliance.
News of the alliance comes a month after the University of Oklahoma and University of Texas joined the Southeastern Conference. They are set to join the conference in 2025.
According to the news release, the conference officials said one of the main points of the alliance between the conferences, would be to focus on a scheduling alliance among football and men’s and women’s basketball "to create new inter-conference games, enhance opportunities for student-athletes, and optimize the college athletics experience for both student-athletes and fans across the country."
5. Big decisions in DC from the Supreme Court and House:
- The Supreme Court is refusing to block a court ruling ordering the Biden administration to reinstate a Trump-era policy that forces people to wait in Mexico while seeking asylum in the U.S.
- House Democrats have passed legislation that would strengthen a landmark civil rights-era voting law weakened by the Supreme Court over the past decade
- House passes Biden's $3.5 trillion blueprint after deal is struck with moderates
Hazy sunshine Wednesday as three disturbances churn in the tropics:
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On This Day In History
On August 25, 1944, Paris was liberated after more than four years of Nazi occupation.
German resistance was light, and General Dietrich von Choltitz, commander of the German garrison, defied an order by Adolf Hitler to blow up Paris’ landmarks and burn the city to the ground before its liberation. Choltitz signed a formal surrender that afternoon, and on August 26, Free French General Charles de Gaulle led a joyous liberation march down the Champs d’Elysees.
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