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Amanda Casanova

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

Apple says the app Parler will return to the App Store after the app was pulled from the store in early January following the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

"On March 31, Sen Mike Lee and I sent a letter demanding answers about why Apple removed Parler from the App Store," Rep. Ken Buck wrote on Twitter.

"Today, we received a response: Parler will be reinstated on the App Store," he added. "Huge win for free speech."

Timothy Powderly, senior director for government affairs at Apple, told lawmakers in the response letter that he believes he was right to remove the app initially, CBN News reports.

"Apple's App Review Team found a significant number of posts on the Parler app that clearly violated [its rule against objectionable content], including posts that encouraged violence, denigrated various ethnic groups, races and religions, glorified Nazism, and called for violence against specific people," Powderly said.

He also said the app did an "inadequate" job protecting "users from this harmful and dangerous content."

Representatives with Parler and Apple have had several meetings to work to bring the app into compliance with Apple policies.

"As a result of those conversations, Parler has proposed updates to its app and the app's content moderation practices, and the App Review Team has informed Parler as of April 14, 2021, that its proposed updated app will be approved for reinstatement to the App Store," the letter stated. "Apple anticipates that the updated Parler app will become available immediately upon Parler releasing it."

In a tweet, Parler wrote they owed thanks to Lee and Buck.

"Thanks to @RepKenBuck and @SenMikeLee for their efforts to learn and expose the truth behind three tech companies' decisions to suddenly – all on one weekend in January – unjustly deplatform #Parler, precisely when it was becoming a serious #socialmedia contender," their tweet said.

Photo courtesy: William Hook/Unsplash 

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

Some 20 progressive religious leaders have joined with the Poor People's Campaign in an initiative that is pushing for the repeal of the U.S. Senate filibuster.

"The filibuster is a centerpiece of the arcane, obstructionist rules of the United States Senate. It bars that body from the deliberative role it is supposed to have," Poor People's Campaign Co-Chair Rev. William J. Barber II, the pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Goldsboro, North Carolina, said during a press conference last week.

"The filibuster discourages public debate. It impedes the public's capacity to find out whether or not their elected representatives are blocking legislation that would serve them and lift them up. The filibuster creates an impoverished democracy," he added, according to The Christian Post.

The filibuster is the action taken by Senators to delay or to stop a vote on a proposal. In many cases, a Senator will take the floor and talk continuously to delay a vote.

To force a vote, the Senate must get a cloture of 60 senators.

Currently, the Senate is 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats and two Independents who caucus with Democrats. In the Senate, Vice President Kamala Harris is the tie-breaking vote.

Previously, President Joe Biden has said he does not support repealing the filibuster.

The religious leaders who recently joined the Poor People's Campaign also sent a letter to legislators asking them to not use a filibuster to "prevent passage of federal voting rights protections."

"Many people have supported the filibuster as a procedural rule that promotes bi-partisanship by encouraging Senators to work across the aisle in pursuit of policies that benefit all Americans," the "Pastoral Letter to the Nation" reads.

"While this may be a noble ideal, the sad reality is that the filibuster has been used over and again to subvert democracy by denying the will of the overwhelming majority of Americans who want to protect the promise of unfettered access to [a] ballot for every American. The filibuster must step aside so that democracy can survive."

Opponents of the idea of repealing the filibuster say the procedure keeps the major political parties in check.

"The past three decades, in fact, are filled with moments when the filibuster prevented Republicans from pushing through legislation that would have made America a far darker place," said Edward M. Kennedy, former assistant attorney general to former President Barack Obama.

"The Democrats now in power should weigh the present opportunity against future peril," he wrote in a column for Politico. "Republicans have their own ambitious agenda which they will be delighted to enact over the helpless cries of a filibuster-less Democratic minority as soon as they can."

The group of religious leaders who have joined the Poor People's Campaign's in calling for an end to the filibuster includes Rev. Frederick Douglass Haynes III, senior pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas; Rev. Reginald Buckley, senior pastor of Cade Chapel Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi; and Bishop Yvette Flunder, senior pastor of City of Refuge UCC in Oakland, California.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/WIN Initiative

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale has passed away at the age of 93.

According to the Associated Press, Mondale, who served as Vice President under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981, passed away on Monday. The cause of his death was undisclosed in a statement from the family announcing the late public servant’s passing.

Late Monday night, former President Jimmy Carter, 96, released a statement lauding the man Mondale was.

He wrote, “Today I mourn the passing of my dear friend Walter Mondale, who I consider the best vice president in our country’s history.

“During our administration, Fritz used his political skill and personal integrity to transform the vice presidency into a dynamic, policy-driven force that had never been seen before and still exists today,” Carter said of his former vice president.

“He was an invaluable partner and an able servant of the people of Minnesota, the United States, and the world. Fritz Mondale provided us all with a model for public service and private behavior,” he added, before offering his “deepest condolences” to Mondale’s family.

Carter, 96, is the oldest of the six living U.S. presidents.

Former President Barack Obama also spoke to Mondale’s time as a servant leader, pointing to his championing for “progressive causes.”

“Walter Mondale championed progressive causes and changed the role of VP—so leaders like [Joe Biden] could be the last ones in the room when decisions were made,” he wrote. “In selecting Geraldine Ferraro, he also paved the way for [Vice President Kamala Harris] to make history. Michelle and I send prayers to his family.”

Not only did Mondale serve as the Vice President of the United States in the late 70s and early 80s, but in 1984 Mondale decided to run for President. In a history-making move, Mondale selected Representative Geraldine Ferraro to be his Vice-Presidential candidate. According to Rolling Stone, Ferraro was the first woman to ever appear on a major party ticket in a presidential election.

Mondale was born in Minnesota in 1928. His father was a politically inclined farmer and Methodist minister, and his month was a piano teacher. In 1951, Mondale graduated from the University of Minnesota with a political science degree. Following graduation, Mondale worked for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party before briefly joining the army.

Mondale would go on to obtain a law degree from the University of Minnesota. He practiced law in Minneapolis until he was selected in 1960 by the state’s governor Orville Freeman to becomes the state’s attorney general.

A fervent Democrat, in 1964, Mondale would become a Minnesota state senator. During his time in the U.S. Senate, Mondale would adamantly support two transformative pieces of legislation, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act. After serving as a senator for 12 years, Jimmy Carter asked Mondale to be his Vice-Presidential candidate in the 1976 election.

According to Rolling Stone, as vice president, Mondale attempted to establish peace in the Middle East, aided in the ratification of the Panama Canal treaty, helped resettle Vietnam War refugees, and offered support for affirmative action.

Mondale married Joan Adams Mondale in 1955. The couple had three children, sons Ted and William and daughter Eleanor. According to the Associated Press, William died in 2011 from brain cancer. Then, in 2014, at the age of 83, Joan passed away following an “extended illness.”

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff 

Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to and