ATLANTA (AP) — A reporter and photojournalist were kicked out of a public town hall event and threatened with arrest for trying to ask a question of U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Greene is a freshman Republican lawmaker from Georgia who has come under heavy criticism for supporting social media posts that advocated violence against Democratic officials. The journalists from WRCB-TV were removed from the public town hall event in Dalton, Georgia, on Wednesday. A spokesman for Greene defended the action, saying the town hall was for constituents and not a press conference. WRCB-TV news director Callie Starnes tells The Associated Press that the journalists were invited to attend the event and given credentials for it.
JJ Redick declines Team USA invitation for World Cup “(Team Australia is a) huge, huge threat,” Popovich told reporters Tuesday, via the Associated Press. “They are one of the teams that can win the whole thing, without a doubt. I’m not saying that because I’m here. It’s just a fact.”They’ve been close for several years, and they are hungry. They are talented. They have the toughness and physicality to go with it. I think they are one of the top contenders without a doubt.” Related News Team USA is combatting dwindling numbers as at least two dozen stars have opted out of participating in the World Cup due to injury, citing a need to focus on the upcoming NBA season or declining an invitation.P.J. Tucker is one of the latest players to drop out. He joined teammates James Harden and Eric Gordon in withdrawing from the team.Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Julius Randle, Marvin Bagley III, Trae Young, Bradley Beal, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Tobias Harris, Paul Millsap, JJ Redick, Kevin Love, Andre Drummond and Montrezl Harrell have all either pulled out or declined an invite.Kemba Walker, one of the most seasoned players on Team USA and one of just two players on the roster who has made an All-Star team, says the team isn’t focused on who isn’t there.”We don’t care. We want to be here and are putting in the time to be here and we definitely take that as motivation,” Walker said Wednesday. “We have a bunch of guys who don’t mind being the underdogs. We are hungry, and we are going to go out there to try and win a gold medal.” Meanwhile, Australia will try to improve on the world stage.The team reached the semifinals of the 2016 Summer Olympics and won the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup championship. But Australia has yet to achieve the same success at the World Cup. In the past three tournaments, it has placed no higher than 10th.Team Australia is in Group H alongside Canada, Lithuania and Senegal. It will begin World Cup play Sept. 1 against the Canadians. Team USA is getting ready to face one of its biggest threats, according to coach Gregg Popovich.After defeating Spain in the team’s first exhibition game before the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the United States is preparing to face Australia for two exhibition contests in Melbourne. Team USA’s Gregg Popovich: Colin Kaepernick did ‘a very patriotic thing’ FIBA World Cup 2019: De’Aaron Fox leaves Team USA to focus on making NBA playoffs Team USA will start play in Group E against the Czech Republic on Sept. 1.Japan and Turkey are also in the group. FIBA World Cup 2019: Team USA down yet another player as P.J. Tucker withdraws with injury
DES MOINES — Iowa’s top tax man says the computer systems that handle tax collections in 38 other states have been modernized in the past decade.Iowa Department of Revenue director Kraig Paulsen is asking lawmakers to spend tens of millions over the next five years to replace his agency’s ancient computer networks.“We operate about 24 systems and each one of them is independent,” Paulsen says. “They are basically as old as when they were implemented, so some of them may be 10 years old. Some of them may be 20 years old. Literally there are those that are 30 years or older.”It will cost the state about $18 million this year alone to keep those systems running. Plus, Paulsen warns it’s getting harder to find people to fix things because they have to know COBOL, a computer programming language created in 1959.“We’ve tried to weave this web together and make it function,” Paulsen says, “but we believe it’s time to move forward.”The digital upgrade Paulsen envisions would let Iowa taxpayers log on and see their returns on the department’s website – and check both payments and refunds.“It will absolutely be much more user-friendly,” Paulsen says. “I am confident in the security of the systems and the protection of Iowans’ information…That’s obviously something we stay very vigilant on.”Paulsen says the companies he’s investigated build systems that send reminders to taxpayers, too. The nearly $90 million project Paulsen proposes includes upgrading computer systems for the Iowa Lottery and the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Commission at the same time. The project would take three to five years to complete.