Outside the Outbreak: ACLU elects first Black president, Walmart to build more robot-filled warehouses

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ACLU, for first time, elects Black person as its president

This April 14, 2015 photo provided by Philip Greenberg shows Deborah Archer in New York. Archer, a professor at New York University School of Law with expertise in civil rights and racial justice, has become the first Black person in the 101-year history of the American Civil Liberties Union to be elected its president. (Philip Greenberg via AP)

Deborah Archer, a professor at New York University School of Law with expertise in civil rights and racial justice, has become the first Black person in the 101-year history of the American Civil Liberties Union to be elected its president.

The ACLU announced Monday that Archer was elected over the weekend in a virtual meeting of the organization’s 69-member board of directors. She succeeds Susan Herman, a professor at Brooklyn Law School who had served as president since 2008.

As the ACLU’s eighth president since 1920, Archer will act as chair of its board of the directors, overseeing organizational matters and the setting of civil liberties policies. The fight against racial injustice is expected to be a top priority.

For some Muslims, hope, uncertainty after travel ban lifted

Mohammed Al Zabidi holds his canceled U.S. visa at his home in Sanaa, Yemen, on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. The Trump administration’s travel ban that affected several Muslim-majority nations robbed him of his American dream and his chance to escape his war-torn homeland. With a new president at the helm, the ban is over, but Al Zabidi’s plight isn’t. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Mohammed Al Zabidi celebrated in 2017 when he learned he had been selected in the U.S. green card lottery, which picks people at random from a large pool of applicants. It was a chance to escape his war-torn homeland of Yemen and pursue his dreams in the United States.

But after he had been initially approved, his luck ran out: “CANCELLED WITHOUT PREJUDICE,” read the bold, black, all-caps stamp on the unused visa in his passport with a Trump administration travel ban on several Muslim-majority nations, including his, in place.

President Joe Biden’s repeal of the ban on Inauguration Day brought a sigh of relief from citizens in the countries covered by the measure. But amid the celebrations are tales of dreams broken, families separated, savings used up and milestones missed, from births to graduations. And for some, there are worries about whether their opportunities may be gone forever.

Pennsylvania teacher fights suspension over DC protest

Jason Moorehead’s selfie photo is seen in this Facebook post from the Jan. 6, 2021 protest in Washington. Moorehead, who has been suspended from his teaching post at the Allentown School District in Pennsylvania, says the district falsely asserted that he was at the U.S. Capitol during the riot. (Jason Moorehead via AP)

One day after the deadly insurrection in Washington, a Pennsylvania school district announced it was suspending a teacher who, the district asserted, “was involved in the electoral college protest that took place at the United States Capitol Building.”

Three weeks later, Jason Moorehead is fighting to restore his reputation and resume teaching after he says the Allentown School District falsely accused him of being at the Capitol during the siege. The district says Moorehead’s social media posts about the events of Jan. 6, and not just his presence in Washington that day, are a focus of its probe.

The middle school social studies teacher had attended Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally — at which Trump exhorted supporters to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell” against the election results, which he baselessly claimed were fraudulent — but Moorehead said he was never any closer than a mile and a quarter to the Capitol that day and did nothing wrong.

Walmart to build more robot-filled warehouses at stores

Walmart announced Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2021, that it plans to build warehouses at its stores where self-driving robots will fetch groceries and have them ready for shoppers to pick up in an hour or less. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Walmart is enlisting the help of robots to keep up with a surge in online orders.

The company said Wednesday that it plans to build warehouses at its stores where self-driving robots will fetch groceries and have them ready for shoppers to pick up in an hour or less.

Walmart declined to say how many of the warehouses it will build, but construction has started at stores in Lewisville, Texas; Plano, Texas; American Fork, Utah; and Bentonville, Arkansas, where Walmart’s corporate offices are based. A test site was opened more than a year ago at a store in Salem, New Hampshire.

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