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Clergy in 33 states are exempt from laws requiring professionals such as teachers, physicians and psychotherapists to report information about alleged child abuse to police or child welfare officials. That loophole has resulted in an unknown number of predators being allowed to continue abusing children for years despite having confessed the behavior to religious officials. An Associated Press review finds that over the past two decades, more than 130 bills have been proposed in state legislatures to create or amend child sex abuse reporting laws. After intense opposition from religious groups, the clergy privilege remained unchanged. Often, legislative efforts to close the loophole run up against lawmakers who are also church members.

  • Updated

Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is misrepresenting her opponent's legislative record on education in a video being widely shared on social media. In the video, set to dramatic music and featuring patriotic visuals, Lake falsely suggests that Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs wanted to ban the Pledge of Allegiance in schools and to teach kindergartners about sex, misrepresenting Hobbs' voting record and the content of various Arizona education bills. Hobbs did not vote to block documents such as the Pledge of Allegiance from schools, and her support for a bill for K-12 sex education specified that the sex education be age-appropriate.