Start your day smarter with a dossier on the most important world news, rounded off with a shot of intriguing and offbeat stories. Like the president, you deserve no less.
Oct 20, 2021
The House Committee investigation of the January 6th Insurrection has found Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress for defying multiple subpoenas. President Biden cut back his government overhaul package again, from $3.5 trillion to $2 trillion, in an attempt to placate conservative democrats. An investigative committee in the Brazilian senate is set to level eleven charges against President Jair Bolsonaro for his handling of his country’s COVID response; among the charges are homicide and genocide. North Korea confirmed that it launched a sub-aquatic missile Tuesday, the first test of its kind in two years.
1 - “We Won’t Be Delayed”
House Committee holds Bannon in contempt
Patience is wearing thin in Washington as the Jan. 6 Investigation wears on. The House Investigative Committee unanimously decided to hold former Trump’s aide, Steve Bannon, in contempt of Congress after his refusal to cooperate with a subpoena for his testimony and documents. Trump has instructed Bannon and others involved in the investigation to refuse any and all questions in the probe. The committee is pursuing Bannon’s testimony for “his efforts to plan political and other activity in advance of January 6th,” according to the committee’s resolution recommending contempt. (Source:NYT, AP)
2 - Cuts and Compromises Continue
Biden scales back $3.5 trillion package to $2 trillion
After extensive talks Tuesday evening, it seems the democratic party is nearing a compromise between its progressive and conservative wings. President Biden described a plan that focuses more on climate change and the middle class over tuition assistance and immigration. Press Secretary Jen Psaki noted that, amongst the nearly 20 democratic lawmakers present for Tuesday’s talks with President Biden, “there was broad agreement that there is urgency in moving forward over the next several days and that the window for finalizing a package is closing”. (Source: WaPo, AP)
3 - Bolsonaro in the Crosshairs
Brazilian Senators accuse Bolsonaro for disastrous COVID response
Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll sits at second-highest in the world, and Brazilian senators from opposition parties are preparing to officially lay the blame with controversial, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. The senate committee is set to release a report that recommends Bolsonaro be indicted for his mismanagement of the country’s COVID-19 response. Bolsonaro consistently downplayed the virus and actively spread misinformation about COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. Bolsonaro has denied all wrongdoing and has accused the committee of attempting political sabotage. (Source: NYT, AP)
4 - North Korea Confirms Missile Test
Pyongyang confirms its first submarine missile test in two years
North Korea officially announced its initial test of a newly designed missile that can be launched from a submarine. The launch came unexpectedly Tuesday, and the state-run Korean Central News Agency announced the test Wednesday. This comes days before Biden’s special envoy to North Korea, Sung Kim, is set to travel to Seoul to discuss opening up diplomacy with Pyongyang once more.(Source: BBC, AP)
5 - Dr. Rachel Levine Makes History, Again
First openly trans four-star officer in U.S. history sworn in
Dr. Rachel Levine has routinely shattered expectations in her career, and yesterday was no exception. At 63, Dr. Levine was sworn in as an admiral of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the first ever openly trans officer in such a position. Even before this appointment, she was already the highest ranking transgender official in the United States. She has served as Pennsylvania’s physician general and as their secretary of health, handling the state’s widespread opioid crisis.(Source:BBC)
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1 - In the Sin-Bin
NHL player suspended for fake vaccination card
The NHL announced San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane has been suspended without pay for 21 games for an “established violation” of the NHL/NHLPA COVID-19 protocol. This follows an investigation over allegations Kane submitted a fake vaccination card to the NHL and the Sharks. Though NHL players have not been mandated to be vaccinated, the NHL highly encourages players to do so and face fewer restrictions than unvaccinated players. (Source: CNN)
2 - The Kids Are Not Alright
Biden releases new guidance on youth mental health
Pediatric groups have called on lawmakers to act swiftly to address the growing mental health crisis among children. Three leading organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, have declared a national emergency in children’s mental health citing statistics from an emergency room report released earlier this year. Alarming statistics, particularly among young girls, highlight the urgency: mental health emergencies among children ages 5-11 rose by 24 percent and emergency room visits from suspected suicide attempts among girls 12-17 has increase by more than 50 percent. Today, Education Secretary Miguel Cardo released a seven-point plan to guide schools on addressing students’ social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs. The new guidance and declaration comes after an analysis in July by the advocacy group, Mental Health America, confirming that most states are unprepared to adequately address mental health. (Source: TheHill, CNN)
3 - A Sliver of Justice
Family announces settlement with City of Aurora
More than two years after Elijah McClain’s death, the family of the slain 23-year old has reached a tentative settlement with the City of Aurora, Colorado in a federal civil rights lawsuit. McClain was confronted by police in August of 2019 following a 911 call reporting “a suspicious person”, and though it was reported Elijah McClain was not armed and had not committed any crime, authorities claimed he “resisted arrest”. Officers tackled Mclain and put him in a now-banned chokehold and after ketamine injection from first responders, Mclain was later declared brain dead in the hospital. The family’s attorney Matthew Cron says, “No amount of money can ever compensate Ms. (Sheneen) McLain for the devastating loss of her son, who she raised as a single mother. Ms. Mclain would give anything for Elijah to experience the full, long life that he so richly deserved”. (Source: NYTimes)
98 women took the constitutional oath on Tuesday and became the first female judges at Egypt's State Council, one of the country's main judicial bodies. Following Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi's plan to empower women in the judiciary sector, the president instructed in March the State Council and the Public Prosecution, the two judicial bodies once exclusive for male judges, to appoint females. (Source: WaPo)
5 - Dating During COVID
Surgeon General announces COVID dating guidelines
U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy shares advice on how to safely navigate dating during the pandemic via the dating app, Hinge. On the app’s resource page, the official gives tips for online dating app users including updating your vaccination status on your profile, trying a video date before meeting in person, and taking dates outdoors as much as possible. Though relationships may be more challenging this season, Murthy says it’s still worth it as long as we go about it safely. "This pandemic has really given many of us an appreciation for how important our relationships are. We need people in our lives to get through tough times, to celebrate good times.” (Source: TheHill)
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