Fairfax defamation lawsuit dismissed, soy milk lives another day, Virginians by birth, and more headlines

Virginia Mercury

Our daily roundup of headlines from Virginia and elsewhere.

• A federal judge dismissed the defamation lawsuit Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax filed against CBS over the network’s coverage of sexual assault allegations against him. Fairfax says he plans to appeal.—The Washington Post

• “Local Virginia governments would have the power to remove Confederate monuments in their public spaces under legislation approved Tuesday by state lawmakers.”—Associated Press

• The House of Delegates advanced legislation to ban assault weapons and magazines that hold more than 12 rounds. The bill defines the weapons as “a semiautomatic rifle or pistol with a pistol grip, a second hand grip, a silencer or a folding stock, among other characteristics.”—Richmond Times Dispatch

• “The Virginia legislature passed bills Tuesday that would make it harder to pursue frivolous lawsuits designed to chill free speech, a response to a string of splashy defamation cases filed in state courts by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), actor Johnny Depp and others.”—The Washington Post

• The House and Senate voted to give Hampton Roads Transit about $13.5 million per year to fund high-frequency bus lines.—The Virginian-Pilot

• The Senate voted down a bill aiming to ban the labeling of non-dairy products like soy milk as milk. A similar bill had passed the House. Both defined milk as coming only from a “healthy, hooved animal.”—The Virginian-Pilot

• PolitiFact rated U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman’s observation that more than half of state lawmakers weren’t born in Virginia as true, but took issue with the Republican congressman’s “implication that those born outside Virginia are out of step with the state.”—VPM

• Lyft and Uber drivers met with police in Chesterfield after a driver was gunned down by a passenger and another driver was carjacked. None of the drivers said they had heard from the ridesharing companies about the incidents.—Richmond Times-Dispatch

• “Dominion Energy announced Tuesday that it will aim to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, an acceleration of the goals the company had previously pledged to meet.”—Associated Press

• A high school student in Loudoun County died last week after contracting the flu.—The Washington Post

• A Manassas woman who tested positive for coronavirus while quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan says she’s “feeling just great.”—WTOP

• Police arrested a 74-year-old Albemarle man after he admitted to stealing a plaque marking the spot where enslaved people were auctioned in Charlottesville. The man said he was motivated by his belief that the spot was deserving of a more prominent memorial.—The Daily Progress

• Harrisonburg police arrested a 45-year-old man accused of writing “In Satan We Trust” on 19 police cars.—Daily News Record

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