The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 1:00 am


Influential GOP donor Sheldon Adelson dies

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – Sheldon Adelson, who rose from a modest start as the son of an immigrant taxi driver to become a billionaire Republican powerbroker with a casino empire and influence on international politics, has died. He was 87.

Adelson died Monday night from complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Las Vegas Sands announced Tuesday. The company announced last week that Adelson had stepped away from his role as CEO and chairman to resume treatments for the cancer, which he announced in 2019.

In business, Adelson transformed a landmark Las Vegas casino that was once a hangout of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack into a towering Italian-inspired complex, trailblazed a trend of turning business conventions into a lucrative industry and left his mark on some of Asia's most cosmopolitan cities.

In politics, Adelson was a record-breaking campaign donor who had the ear of domestic and international leaders, including President Donald Trump. His advocacy redefined U.S. relations with Israel during the Trump administration and bolstered ties that U.S. politicians and American Jewish teenagers had to the country.

Female inmate's execution on hold

The U.S. government's plans to carry out its first execution of a female inmate in nearly seven decades were on hold Tuesday amid legal rulings that halted it because of COVID-19.

The execution along with two others were to be the last before President-elect Joe Biden, an opponent of the federal death penalty is sworn in. It is now unclear how many additional executions may take place since they were reinstated in July.

Lisa Montgomery faced execution Tuesday for killing 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight months pregnant.

Polish PM decries online censorship

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Tuesday that social media corporations should not censor views they don't share and called for new regulations that would govern the use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the European Union.

“Algorithms or the owners of corporate giants should not decide which views are right and which are not,” he said. “There is no and can be no consent to censorship.”

Morawiecki made the comments on Facebook just days after Twitter and Facebook suspended the accounts of President Donald Trump citing a “risk of further incitement of violence” after the storming of the Capitol.

Abortion pill only available at clinic

The Supreme Court ordered Tuesday that women must visit a doctor's office, hospital or clinic in person to obtain an abortion pill during the COVID-19 pandemic, though similar rules for other drugs have been suspended during the public health emergency.

Eight days before President Donald Trump leaves office, the justices granted a Trump administration appeal to be able to enforce a longstanding rule on getting the abortion pill, mifepristone. The pill need not be taken in the presence of medical professionals.

The court split 6-3, with the liberal justices in dissent. The new administration could put the in-person requirement on hold after Joe Biden takes office Jan. 20.

NC municipalities enact LGBT rules

The first North Carolina municipalities are acting to expand LGBT rights again a month since the expiration of a moratorium on nondiscrimination ordinances agreed to years ago as a compromise to do away with the state's “bathroom bill.”

The governing board of Hillsborough, a town of 7,000 about 40 miles northwest of Raleigh, voted unanimously this week to approve new protections for people on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and other differences.

Those rules make it unlawful – punishable by a misdemeanor and $500 fines – for businesses of other entities within the town limits to discriminate on these and other characteristics in employment and in offering goods and services to the public, including lodging and dining..

Downed plane's recorder found

Indonesian navy divers searching the ocean floor Tuesday recovered the flight data recorder from a Sriwijaya Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea with 62 people on board.

The device is expected to help investigators determine what caused the Boeing 737-500 to nosedive into the ocean in heavy rain shortly after taking off from Jakarta on Saturday.

The 26-year-old jet had been out of service almost nine months because of cutbacks caused by the pandemic, officials said.

Sign up for our daily headlines newsletter

Top headlines are sent daily