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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is threatening to lodge sanctions against some lawyers who filed legal challenges to the 2020 election results in her state.

Nessel said the standard for those she will seek to sanction is “intentional misrepresentations” in lawsuits.

“I think we need to go back to a time where you can trust an attorney is making an accurate and truthful representation to the court because if they don’t, then they won’t be able to practice law anymore,” Nessel was quoted in The Detroit News last week.

Nessel’s threat came as some of those who were initially sued and got the litigation thrown out as meritless seek their own sanctions or reimbursements.

For instance, Robert Davis, a Wayne County voter, and his attorney, Andrew Paterson, filed a request last week in U.S. District Court in Detroit for sanctions against the lawyers who represented six Michigan Republicans in asking a judge to require that President Donald Trump be named the state’s winner.

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The filing asks the court to penalize “the egregious conduct of the plaintiffs and their attorneys for making clearly frivolous arguments and using the judicial system to obtain unprecedented relief, to satisfy plaintiffs’ selfish and destructive political agendas.”

Trump tweeted Saturday that he considers the lawyers who filed the lawsuits “true patriots” and urged them to “fight on!”

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‘A lot of people don’t know the severity of what’s going on’

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The widespread power outages in Texas improved overnight even as they caused serious, cascading issues with the state’s supply of heating, water, food and medicine.Power was down for about 500,000 Texas customers as of Thursday morning — way down from the over 3 million outages a day earlier, according to Poweroutage.us. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the state’s power grid, said in a statement Thursday morning it had made “significant progress” restoring power overnight.

But the winter storm and ongoing cold were still affecting the system’s power generation, and rotating outages may be needed over the next couple of days, the company said.ERCOT said those still without power are likely in areas where ice has damaged the distribution system, live in areas where service needs to be restored manually, or are a large industrial facility that voluntarily went offline to help with grid overload.The statement comes as freezing temperatures are forecast again for Thursday, extending an already excruciating period. Since last Thursday, 16 Texans have died due to the extreme weather. Nearly 12 million people are facing water disruptions, with boil-water notices, broken pipes and failing systems, state officials said.”The message though is, number one, the power is fragile because of the impacts throughout, and number two, we now have water issues,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo told CNN. “Hospitals have issues. We have water pressure issues. We’re all on boil-water notices and folks are having trouble accessing food.”

Homes in the Westbury neighborhood of Houston are covered in snow on Monday, February 15.

In Portland, outside of Corpus Christi, Brianna Blake told CNN on Wednesday that she and her husband kept their children warm by burning household items, including artwork and fencing, as they dealt with 36 hours of no heat in their home.”I just started kind of grabbing my canvasses off the wall, and breaking them and throwing them into the fire,” she said.Another round of harsh weather is forecast. A winter weather warning is in effect from Central to East Texas, including Dallas, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Amarillo, according to CNN meteorologist Michael Guy. Snow is expected to fall in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, with ice and freezing rain farther south as far as Laredo and Corpus Christi.Temperatures will rise Friday, yet overnight conditions throughout the weekend will remain below freezing. Icing on bridges and overpasses will remain a threat until late Sunday into Monday.

Spillover effects of no power for days

Several frigid days with no power or heating has led to serious water issues: frozen and burst pipes, disabled water treatment plants and a lack of water pressure.Nearly 7 million Texans were under boil-water notices Wednesday, according to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioner Toby Baker. In Austin, authorities issued a citywide boil-water notice after a drop in water pressure at a treatment plant Wednesday night.How you can help the Texas storm victimsFort Hood city leaders asked residents to conserve 40% of their water during the storm due to water line breaks and subsequent flooding. Del Rio, in southwest Texas along the border with Mexico, put out an urgent message late Wednesday to residents asking them not to flush their toilets or release any wastewater into the sewer system.

Smita Pande, of Crestview, told CNN she and others may have to use melted snow for drinking water when their bottled water runs out.”We didn’t anticipate the water to be shut off, but once it did, we assumed a ‘worst case scenario’ type of thing and just grabbed snow off the balcony and put into kettles and pots to use for drinking water in case we don’t get water back anytime soon,” Pande said. “If the power outage is any indication of how long that’ll be, then we are going to be boiling snow for a while.”The outages have also led to food shortages as Texans scramble for needed supplies and scrounge for a hot meal.”Grocery stores are already unable to get shipments of dairy products. Store shelves are already empty,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said. “We’re looking at a food supply chain problem like we’ve never seen before, even with Covid-19.”Philip Shelley, a resident of Fort Worth, told CNN that he, his wife Amber and 11-month-old daughter, Ava, are struggling to stay warm and fed. Amber is pregnant and due April 4.”(Ava) is down to half a can of formula,” Philip said. “Stores are out if not extremely low on food. Most of our food in the refrigerator is spoiled. Freezer food is close to thawed but we have no way to heat it up.”

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Why the electric grid neared collapse

Customers wait in line to enter Frontier Fiesta on February 17, 2021 in Houston, Texas. – A winter storm has caused rolling black-outs through out the Houston and the surrounding areas for the past 48 hours. Millions of Americans were struggling without electricity Wednesday as bitter cold from a deadly winter storm system held its grip across huge swathes of the United States, even pushing as far south as Mexico. (Photo by Thomas Shea / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS SHEA/AFP via Getty Images)

The widespread outages stem from a weather disaster coupled with an unprepared infrastructure.A winter weather system brought unusually frigid temperatures to much of the central US over the past few days. The deep freeze caused demand for power and heating to skyrocket even as it knocked out Texas’s natural gas, coal, wind and nuclear facilities, which were not ready to function in such cold weather.The storm has caused serious outages across the country, including in Louisiana, Mississippi and Kentucky. But the outages were most severe in Texas because the state runs on its own electric grid, ERCOT — a way to avoid federal regulation — and cannot easily borrow power from other states.

The lack of winter preparedness has long been an issue for ERCOT’s power system. Ten years ago, a bitter cold snap caused over 3.2 million ERCOT customers to lose power during Super Bowl week. A 350-page federal report on the outages found that the power generators’ winterization procedures were “either inadequate or were not adequately followed.”US Rep. Marc Veasey, a Democrat who represents parts of Fort Worth and Dallas, said he learned from an industry executive that the power grid was just minutes from failing on Monday before state agency officials initiated emergency rolling outages.”I want people to know that we were minutes away from the entire grid crashing,” he told CNN’s Ed Lavandera.As with any systemic failure, the blame is spreading far and wide. Gov. Abbott said Wednesday afternoon that an investigation of ERCOT, Texas’ power supply operator, is slated to begin next week.Abbott, former governor Rick Perry and the Lone Star state’s Republican leaders are in turn facing heated questions over their misleading claims about renewable energy and why they didn’t act to protect the electric grid given the clear warnings.”We have learned really in a tragic way that ERCOT and the state had not prepared to have enough backup power to have resilient power supply to face the historic weather that we all really knew was coming,” Judge Hidalgo said.

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Seven shot in Philadelphia near SEPTA station, according to police

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Seven individuals have been shot on Wednesday in Philadelphia near a SEPTA train station, according to police.

“It’s very brazen,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said, according to ABC News. “We were able to get someone in custody as quickly as we did because we had officers out working on another assignment. It’s not for our lack of presence out here, but I think it’s very telling that folks willing to engage in these shootings are becoming more and more emboldened whether we’re here or not.”

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“There could be multiple shooters, but we still don’t know,” Outlaw said. “There were multiple casings found, 18 casings, and we’re still trying to determine if they all came from the same firearm.”

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CNN’s Stelter,’ ‘Saturday Night Live’ this weekend didn’t mention Cuomo’s nursing home COVID story

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CNN’s media critic Brian Stelter on his one-hour Sunday show “Reliable Sources” failed to include reporting on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration purportedly withholding data on COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes to avoid federal scrutiny, amid the growing scandal.

News that a top Cuomo aide told state Democratic lawmakers that the administration had withheld the data on the deaths was reported Friday by the New York Post.

However, a search of “Reliable Sources” transcripts for this past Sunday by FoxNews.com found no mention of the words “nursing homes” or “Andrew Cuomo.”

In addition, MSNBC’s Sunday shows and NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” also appeared to ignore the story, with MSNBC instead devoting airtime to the Senate impeachment trial for former President Trump that ended Saturday in an acquittal, Fox also reported.

The Cuomo aide, Melissa DeRosa, secretary to the governor, told the lawmakers during a video conference call that the administration misrepresented the number of deaths to Justice Department investigators over fears it could “be used against us,” according to the Post story.

The department began in August requesting data on nursing home coronavirus deaths from four states including New York.

In recent days, a recall petition effort on Change.org has gained steam, and New York GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin has urged the Justice Department to begin an obstruction of justice probe.

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Cuomo was praised for his efforts in the early stages of the pandemic, winning an Emmy for televised coronavirus briefings and sparking chatter about his potential to become a top-tier presidential candidate.

However, his early directive for nursing homes to accept patients who had or were suspected of having COVID-19, resulted in a high number of infections and deaths among elderly patients in nursing homes, among the country’s most vulnerable population. (Cuomo later changed that directive.)

In recent weeks, a court order and state attorney general report have forced the state to acknowledge the nursing home resident death toll is nearly 15,000, when it previously reported 8,500. And that number excluded residents who died after being taken to hospitals. The new total is about one-seventh of the people living in nursing homes in New York as of 2019, Fox also reports.

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