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Photo: Arne Dedert/AFP/Getty Images

The Attorney General of Virginia Mark Herring announced Wednesday that his office was launching an "ongoing investigation" into possible sexual abuse and coverups by the Catholic dioceses in the state, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Herring is not alone. Since the Pennsylvania grand jury's bombshell August report of egregious child sex abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, several other allegations of sexual abuse and ignorance on behalf of the Church have come to light. As a result, several other state investigations have followed.

The states investigating
  • Maryland: Attorney General Brian Frosh informed Archbishop William Lori that his office is conducting "an investigation and thorough review" of records relating to child sex abuse from the Church. (Baltimore Sun)
  • Vermont: Attorney General T.J. Donovan has appointed a task force to investigate abuses from a Catholic orphanage detailed by a major BuzzFeed News investigation. (CNN)
  • Michigan: An "independent, thorough, transparent, and prompt" statewide investigation was launched by the Attorney General's Office. (Detroit Free Press)
  • New Jersey: A task force was created by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to investigate allegations of abuse in the dioceses of New Jersey. (NJ.com)
  • New York: Every Catholic diocese in the state was subpoenaed by the attorney general's office as part of a civil investigation by the AG's Charities Bureau. (Washington Post)
  • Nebraska: Three Catholic dioceses were directed by the Attorney General's Office to hand over 40 years' worth of abuse allegation records. (Omaha World-Herald)
  • D.C.: Attorney General Karl Racine said his office was investigating sex abuse in the District. (Washington Post)
  • Kentucky: Deputy Attorney General J. Michael Brown's office told The Record that they would soon be "preparing draft legislation that allows for a multi-district/statewide grand jury in Kentucky" to investigate sex abuse.
  • Missouri: Attorney General Josh Hawley opened an investigation led by a veteran sex crimes prosecutor. (The Hill)
  • New Mexico: Attorney General Hector Balderas asked the state's three Catholic dioceses to turn over records related to abuse allegations by priests. (CBS)
Open to investigations
  • Illinois: Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in a statement that she was meeting with dioceses that were mentioned in the Pennsylvania report, and will conduct an investigation if there is not full cooperation from other bishops around the state.
  • Louisiana: Attorney General Jeff Landry said in an op-ed that while he has not received "one single complaint against any clergyman," his office would "work with the state, local and other officials to help find it, root it out, and...bring predators to justice" if allegations surfaced.

The bottom line: This isn't a U.S. problem, it's an institutional problem proven by the wave of investigations spurred around the globe, from Germany to Chile, all the way to the Vatican.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Scoop: Trump-backed Perdue says he wouldn’t have certified Georgia 2020 results

Perdue at a December 2020 campaign event in Columbus, Ga. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Georgia gubernatorial candidate David Perdue wouldn’t have signed the certification of the state’s 2020 election results if he had been governor at the time, the former Senate Republican told Axios.

  • “Not with the information that was available at the time and not with the information that has come out now. They had plenty of time to investigate this. And I wouldn’t have signed it until those things had been investigated and that’s all we were asking for," he said.

Why it matters: There has been no evidence widespread fraud took place in Georgia's elections last year and the November results were counted three times, once by hand.

Beijing Olympics: These countries have announced diplomatic boycotts

Photo: Zhang Qiang/VCG via Getty Images

Several countries, including Canada and Australia, have announced they will join the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to protest human rights abuses committed by China's government.

Driving the news: Leaders have faced pressure from human rights groups and others to boycott the Games, pointing to the ongoing genocide of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in China's Xinjiang region and other abuses.

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.

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