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Dec 02, 2021
After last Friday’s big loss, markets fell again yesterday on omicron fears. CIA files reveal that staffers were involved in child sex abuse — and never prosecuted. The conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court indicated they were likely to uphold a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks, undermining Roe v. Wade. Stacey Abrams announced she’ll make another bid for Governor in 2022. And a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule went into effect, allowing debt collectors to leverage social media to get you to pay up. All this and more in today’s Presidential Daily Brief.
1 - Rattled Markets
Major indexes fell sharply as omicron detected in the US
Stocks plummeted again yesterday following the discovery of the first omicron case in the U.S. … in California … causing the Dow to plunge 460 points. Travel stocks took the biggest hit, followed by retailers. But even with the dip, major averages are up solidly for the year: the Dow is up 11.1%; the S&P 500 nearly 20.2%; and the Nasdaq composite is up about 18.4%. Fears over the omicron strain intensified after the Federal Reserve weighed a swifter-than-planned exit from its easy monetary policy. (Source: CNBC)
2 - No Accountability
CIA files say staffers committed sexual crimes involving children
Declassified CIA inspector general reports show that at least 10 former employees may have been involved in child sex abuse. The files, obtained by BuzzFeed through the Freedom of Information Act, reveal horrific acts, including sexual contact with young children and the viewing of child pornography. Only one of the individuals was charged with a crime and few of the others faced consequences beyond the loss of their jobs or security clearances. The incidents are far from isolated. At a conference in 2016, a top Pentagon security official said the amount of child porn found on CIA computers was “just unbelievable.” (Source: BuzzFeed)
3 - Roe v. Wade in Jeopardy
The Supreme Court’s conservative majority makes intentions clear
The U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments yesterday in the case of a Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. While the outcome will not be known until June, all six conservative justices expressed an interest in upholding the law, which would undermine Roe v. Wade and likely trigger similar laws in other states. The Court’s three liberal justices excoriated the majority, with Justice Stephen Breyer warning his colleagues they “better be damn sure” before overturning abortion rights. Abortion activists say an affirmative decision would disproportionately affect people of color and those with lower incomes. (Source: AP)
4 - Planned Attack
Details emerge in tragic high school shooting in Oxford, Michigan
than Crumbley, 15, has been charged with one count of terrorism, four counts of first-degree murder, seven counts of assault with intent to murder and 12 counts of possession of a firearm after his shooting spree left four students dead and seven injured. More charges may be leveled as the investigation continues. Oakland County prosecutor Karen McDonald said her office has “a mountain of digital evidence” showing that Crumbley planned his attack “well before the incident.” The prosecution’s clearest evidence is a video of the suspect talking about killing students that he recorded the night before the shooting. (Source: BBC)
5 - Briefly
Here are some things you should know about today:
GOP threatens government shutdown. A dozen GOP senators are threatening to shut down the government on Friday in an effort to block the vaccine mandate. (Source: WSJ) Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark may be held in contempt. The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection voted last night to hold Clark in contempt for refusing to cooperate. (Source: FoxNews) Kyle Rittenhouse allowed back on Facebook and Instagram. Meta spokesman Andy Stone confirmed, “While we will still remove content that celebrates the death of the individuals killed in Kenosha, we will no longer remove content containing praise or support of Rittenhouse.” (Source: NPR)
Watch Jameela Jamil
As She Discusses the Good That's Come from the Pandemic
1 - Back in the Game
Stacey Abrams announces Democratic run for governor of Georgia
Thegubernatorial runner-up will throw her hat in the ring again in 2022, after engineering big Democratic wins in Georgia in 2020. Abrams lost her 2018 bid to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp by 1.4 percentage points though she never conceded, citing inappropriate limits placed on Black voter rights. Over the last few years, Abrams has become a nationally known figure and was among the candidates considered for the Biden ticket. Abrams said she will focus her campaign on economic equality and expanded access to health care. (Sources: Atlanta Constitution Journal, TheHill)
2 - Gird Your Tweets
Your DMs are about to get even messier
In their first policy change since 1977, the federal government will allow debt collectors not only to robocall you, but to slide into your direct messages — or DMs — on Twitter with requests to pay up. They can hit you up on Instagram, Twitter and other social media. The new rules prohibit collectors from posting publicly on timelines (phew), require them to identify themselves as debt collectors and provide an opt-out option. (Source: Protocol)
3 - Whoa Nelly
Red states give unemployment payouts to anti-vaxxers who quit their jobs
Republican governors across the country are making moves to coddle vaccine refusers, even as they cut benefits for everyone else. New laws enacted in Iowa, Florida, Kansas and Tennessee grant eligibility for unemployment benefits to workers who quit their jobs rather than being required to receive COVID vaccinations. The same laws disqualify workers who are fired for broadly defined “misconduct” (Iowa), and workers who leave their jobs because they’re afraid of getting COVID and can’t prove to the administration that their fear constituted “good cause” to quit (Florida). (Source: Slate)
4 - Taking a Stand
Women’s tennis suspends tournaments in China over missing star athlete
Women's Tennis Association chairman and CEO Steve Simon announced Wednesday that the organization would immediately suspend all tournaments in China, including in Hong Kong. The announcement came in response to the sudden disappearance of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai after she accused a top Communist Party leader of sexual assault. The Chinese government quickly removed all mention of Peng’s accusation from social media and censored coverage of the tennis star from news media outside China. Peng has not been seen in public, except in the company of government officials, for more than two weeks. (Sources: CNN, NYT)
5 - The King Takes a Pause
Possible breakthrough COVID infection sidelines fully vaccinated star
NBA superstar LeBron James is taking an unexpected timeout from playing while the league figures out if he has COVID. James has said he is vaccinated but was hesitant about doing so and declined requests to promote vaccination. He may be one of a handful of players in the league to suffer a breakthrough COVID infection. Vaccination hesitation is playing out publicly with several major U.S. sports greats, including NFL star Aaron Rodgers and former James teammate Kyrie Irving, now a point guard for the Brooklyn Nets. (Sources: WSJ, The Shadow League)
Grace and Gratitude
As we enter the holiday season, we’d love to hear what you’re grateful for or what makes you smile. We’ll be sharing your thoughts in our Grace and Gratitude Corner.
What do you think? Want to share your thoughts on what makes you grateful this season in a 15-20-second video? Please share your video or email with us at OzyCommunity@Ozy.com.
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