Friday, Dec. 08, 2023 |
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Biden faces competing pressures as he tries to ease the migrant crisis
The demand that President Joe Biden ease the migrant crisis threatening to overwhelm American cities came privately, from the New York governor to top White House officials. It came publicly, in angry statements from Democratic and Republican officials around the country. It came from scores of immigrant rights groups. On Wednesday, the Biden administration relented. In one of the largest such actions ever taken, the Department of Homeland Security said that almost a half-million immigrants in the United States who had fled Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis would be allowed to immediately apply for work authorization. The migrants will be protected from deportation for at least the next 18 months.
Jimmy Carter’s final chapter: Peanut butter ice cream and his 99th birthday
Maybe it’s the peanut butter ice cream he still enjoys. Or the fact that his first-place Atlanta Braves are cruising toward the playoffs and he wants to see another World Series. Or as many of his loved ones and former advisers suggest, maybe he is just too stubborn to follow anyone else’s timetable. Whatever the reason, seven months after entering hospice care, Jimmy Carter is hanging on and heading toward his 99th birthday in just over a week. While nearly everyone assumed that the end was imminent when he gave up full-scale medical care in the winter, the farmer-turned-president has once again defied expectations.
Senate confirms Army and Marine chiefs, but Tuberville’s blockade drags on
The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly confirmed Gen. Randy George of the Army and Gen. Eric Smith of the Marines as the chiefs of staff of their respective services, circumventing a senator’s blockade against senior military promotions. The action followed the confirmation Wednesday night of Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. to serve as chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The three moved forward after Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the majority leader, steered around a long-standing roadblock by Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., who has halted military promotions in protest of a Pentagon policy on abortion access. Tuberville made it clear that he had no intention of lifting his blockade.
9 deputies indicted in death of man beaten in Memphis jail
Nine sheriff’s deputies in Memphis, Tennessee, have been indicted in the death of a man with mental health problems who died in custody last fall after being stomped, punched and pinned down. The indictments against the Shelby County deputies were announced by Sheriff Floyd Bonner at a news conference where he disputed that his deputies had caused the death of Gershun Freeman, 33. Freeman was being held at the Shelby County Jail last fall and, according to his family’s lawyer, kept in a section reserved for suicidal inmates before being beaten after he yelled throughout the day in his cell.
Following state errors, nearly 500,000 Americans will regain health insurance
Nearly 500,000 people, many of them children, will keep Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage after state officials discovered major errors in their procedures for reviewing eligibility for the programs, federal officials said Thursday. After a pandemic-era policy that guaranteed Medicaid coverage lapsed in April, states began checking to see whether tens of millions of Americans covered by the programs still qualified. Many states conducted the checks with software that automatically verified whether people were still eligible, using government databases to verify income levels. But 30 states had been vetting statuses incorrectly.
Rupert Murdoch to retire from Fox and News Corp. boards
Rupert Murdoch is retiring from the Fox and News Corp. boards, the companies announced Thursday, making his son Lachlan Murdoch the sole executive in charge of the global media empire. The elder Murdoch, 92, will become chair emeritus of the two businesses, the companies said. The announcement signaled at least the formal end to an active career during which Murdoch built the most important and politically influential media empire on the planet. His companies, infused with a brand of right-wing populism, have amassed the power to shape, and at times make or break, presidents and prime ministers.
Are high rates going to last? Fed officials increasingly think so.
The era of ultralow interest rates may be over. At the very least, policymakers don’t expect the type of low borrowing costs that prevailed before the pandemic to return anytime soon. The Federal Reserve decided this week to leave interest rates unchanged at their highest level in two decades and left the door open to raising rates again before the end of the year. Fed officials expect borrowing costs to stay elevated for years to come. Policymakers expect their benchmark short-term interest rate to stay above 5% next year and to end 2025 at nearly 4%, estimates showed. That would be roughly double where they were at the end of 2019.
He drove into a creek and died. His family blames Google Maps.
The family of a North Carolina man who drowned last year after he drove off a collapsed bridge while following Google Maps directions has sued Google for negligence, saying that the company’s failure to update its maps led directly to his death. Philip Paxson, 47, was on his way home from his daughter’s ninth birthday party in Hickory, North Carolina, on Sept. 30, 2022, navigating a rainy night on unfamiliar roads, when he drove off a collapsed roadway into a creek and drowned, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Wake County Superior Court on Tuesday.
Some Fortnite players are owed refunds
The Federal Trade Commission has begun notifying more than 37 million people who can now apply to claim a portion of a $245 million settlement with the owner of Fortnite, Epic Games, the agency announced this week. In December, Epic Games agreed to pay $275 million to settle accusations that it violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and the company also agreed to refund $245 million to customers over accusations that it used manipulative online practices to trick millions players of all ages into making unwanted purchases. You can apply for a Fortnite refund at ftc.gov/enforcement/refunds/fortnite-refunds.
After surrender in Nagorno-Karabakh, leaders discuss Armenians’ fate
One day after Azerbaijan used force to assert its authority over a mountainous breakaway region in the South Caucasus, its officials met with representatives of the pro-Armenian enclave Thursday to discuss the future of the residents there under new rule. Escorted by Russian peacekeepers, a delegation from Nagorno-Karabakh met in Azerbaijan with representatives of the Azerbaijani government. The meeting was described by the Azerbaijani presidential administration as having been held in a “constructive and positive atmosphere,” but did not produce any immediate results. Azerbaijan’s brisk military recapture of Nagorno-Karabakh could further alter power dynamics in the combustible region where the interests of Russia, Turkey and Western states collide.
India suspends visas for Canadians, escalating clash over Sikh’s killing
India has suspended visa applications by Canadian nationals, an escalation in the diplomatic conflict that has followed Canada’s claim that Indian agents were behind an assassination in June on Canadian soil. Arindam Bagchi, the Indian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, described the move as a technical and security issue, saying Thursday the country’s high commission and consulates in Canada were “temporarily unable” to process visas because of safety threats. The suspension came as tensions between India and Canada have soared in the days since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in Parliament that Canada’s intelligence services had information linking the Indian government to the killing of a Sikh separatist on June 18.
India to reserve one-third of parliamentary seats for women
Indian lawmakers passed landmark legislation Thursday that would reserve one-third of all seats for women in the lower house of parliament and in state legislatures, a move aimed at improving gender parity among lawmakers. But the new rules will not apply to next year’s national elections. The legislation was passed by the upper and lower houses of the parliament after two days of deliberation. The bill now requires approval from at least half of the country’s 28 state legislatures before it becomes law. Passage in both houses of parliament virtually guarantees its implementation.
Residents see signs of a crackdown on dissent after Libya floods
Authorities in flood-devastated eastern Libya appeared to be moving to muzzle dissent over the past week, arresting protesters and activists who have demanded accountability for what they say was a botched official response to the catastrophe. Torrential rains that burst two dams unleashed a flood Sept. 11 that swept much of Derna and surrounding areas, killing thousands. At least three people who either publicly criticized the government response or participated in a protest in Derna on Monday have been detained, according to witnesses and a relative. Aid workers and journalists say the authoritarian administration that controls the eastern half of divided Libya restricted access to the coastal city for some.
By wire sources
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