5 things to know for December 23: Covid, riot on Capitol Hill, student loans, Russia, supply chain
By Andrew Torgan, CNN
Some areas of the United States might see a rare White Christmas this weekend. And speaking of vacations, 5 Things is taking time off tomorrow for some last minute shopping.
Here’s what you need to know to Get operational and get on with your day.
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With Omicron now the most widely detected variant in the United States, hospitals are bracing for a surge of Covid-19 cases. And for the second year in a row, many doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the pandemic will treat these patients over the Christmas holidays. Nearly 70,000 Americans were hospitalized with Covid-19 yesterday, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, up from around 45,000 in early November. In related news, the FDA yesterday cleared Pfizer’s antiviral pill, Paxlovid, to treat Covid-19. It is the first antiviral pill allowed for infected people to take at home before they get sick enough to be hospitalized.
2. Riot at the Capitol
The special House committee investigating the January 6 insurgency has asked Representative Jim Jordan, one of former President Donald Trump’s main Congressional allies, to voluntarily meet with the panel as it focuses on Republican lawmakers who may have knowledge of the events leading up to Capitol Hill. riot. Jordan had previously warned the committee that targeting GOP lawmakers in any capacity would result in political retaliation if Republicans returned to the House after the 2022 midterm elections. Jordan is Trump’s second ally to secure a vote. request for interview this week. Rep. Scott Perry declined the committee’s request to voluntarily sit down with investigators.
3. Student loans
President Joe Biden said yesterday he was extending the hiatus on student loan payments until May 1. Payments, which were due to resume on February 1 for millions of borrowers, have been on hold since the start of the pandemic. During this time, interest stopped accumulating and collections on overdue debts were suspended. Biden has indicated that the current Covid-19 crisis was the reason for the extension. The reversal comes less than two weeks after White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration was planning to restart payments, resisting pressure from some fellow Democrats who called for an extension of benefits emergency aid in the event of a pandemic.
Russia hopes to hold bilateral talks with NATO and the United States in January on the security guarantees it expects from the two, state media reported yesterday, citing the Russian Foreign Minister. The news comes just a day after NATO said it was ready to engage in “meaningful dialogue” with Russia amid its troop rally near the Ukrainian border. The United States and its allies have warned Russia of the consequences of further hostilities as part of its continued military build-up along the Ukrainian border – a move that US intelligence has assessed as preparation for an invasion on a large scale in the coming months. Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded security guarantees from the United States and NATO, including a binding commitment that NATO will not expand further east and allow Ukraine to join the military alliance.
5. Supply chain
Biden yesterday touted the progress his administration has made in easing supply chain issues that have caused shortages of consumer goods, raised prices for Americans and contributed significantly to historic levels of inflation in the United States. . The president pointed out that bottlenecks were starting to unclog and said retail inventories were up 3% from last year. Separately, a new report on consumer confidence showed Americans feeling more optimistic about the economic recovery, which continued to show surprising strength in the last month of the year.
THIS JUST IN …
Law enforcement officials are at the scene of a “major industrial accident” early this morning at an ExxonMobil plant in Baytown, Texas, about 25 miles from Houston. Early reports indicate that some type of explosion occurred inside the plant, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a tweet. Four people could be injured, he said. Residents reported a strong explosion.
Jennifer King makes NFL history as first black coach
She became the running backs coach for the Washington football team.
NHL players will not compete in the Beijing Winter Olympics
The league is in the midst of a Covid-19 outbreak.
Taco Bell Adds Surprising New Menu Item
Let’s just say it’s not something you would expect to order from a place known for TACOS!
McDonald’s limits French fries sales in Japan due to potato shortage
Customers can only order the smallest size of French fries due to supply chain issues.
US passport fees increase by $ 20
At least you keep the same image for 10 years.
THE NUMBER OF THE DAY
That’s the number of people in Afghanistan facing extreme levels of hunger as winter approaches, more than half of the country’s population. And at least one million children under 5 are at risk of starving to death.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“If you act out of the line, you will wait in the line.”
FAA Administrator Steve dickson, in an announcement regarding a new FAA-TSA partnership that could result in the loss of their TSA PreCheck credentials for unruly travelers
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Joy to the world
A little something to get you in the holiday spirit. (Click here to view.)
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