Plan to keep government open collapses; Sen. Dianne Feinstein dies; Deion Sanders' impact at Colorado
On the version of Hot off the Wire posted Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. CT:
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's last-ditch plan to keep the government temporarily open has collapsed. Friday's vote a day before the deadline makes a government shutdown almost certain. The vote was 198-232, with 21 hard-right Republicans voting to sink the package. The White House and Democrats called the Republican package with its steep spending cuts of up to 30% too extreme. The bill included severe border security provisions demanded by the hard-right flank. The bill would've kept government operations open through Oct. 31. The Senate is working on its own bipartisan plan that is widely supported by both parties to continue funding at current levels. The Senate plan is headed for votes this weekend.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A grand jury in Las Vegas has indicted one of the last living witnesses to the 1996 killing of Tupac Shakur in the rapper’s death. Duane “Keffe D” Davis was charged Friday with murder. Davis is the uncle of the suspected shooter and has long been linked to the case. He has admitted publicly that he was in the car with his nephew when Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting near the Las Vegas Strip. The nephew was fatally shot two years later in California. Las Vegas police searched Davis' home in mid-July.
DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union expanded its strikes against Detroit automakers, ordering 7,000 more workers to walk off the job in Illinois and Michigan. The move announced Friday is supposed to put more pressure on the companies to improve their offers. It marked the second time the union has widened the walkout, which started two weeks ago at three assembly plants. The most recent additions are a Ford plant in Chicago and a General Motors assembly factory near Lansing. Union President Shawn Fain told workers in a video appearance that the strikes were escalated because Ford and GM refused “to make meaningful progress” in contract talks.
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore announced Friday it filed for Chapter 11 reorganization days before a new state law goes into effect removing the statute of limitations on child sex abuse claims and allowing victims to sue their abusers decades after the fact. In a statement posted on the archdiocese website, Archbishop William E. Lori says the step will “allow the archdiocese to equitably compensate victim-survivors of child sexual abuse” while the local church continues its mission and ministries. On Sunday, Maryland will end the state’s statute of limitations for when civil lawsuits for child sexual abuse can be filed against institutions. Victims are already poised to file lawsuits when the law takes effect.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Tributes are pouring in for Dianne Feinstein, the trailblazing California senator, who has died at 90. President Joe Biden called her “a true trailblazer." Former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton said the same. Opening the Senate on Friday, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that “earlier this morning, we lost a giant in the Senate.” She was an advocate for liberal priorities but was also known as a pragmatic lawmaker who reached out to Republicans. She had been in failing health for months, but refused growing requests to retire.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Navy will begin randomly testing its special operations forces for steriods and other performance-enhancing drugs beginning in November. It's a groundbreaking step that military leaders have long resisted. Rear Adm. Keith Davids, the commander of Naval Special Warfare Command, announced the new program Friday in a message to his force. He says it is necessary to protect their health, safety and military readiness. A driving factor in the announcement was the death of a Navy SEAL candidate early last year. It has been in the works for months.
BEIRUT (AP) — The Armenian diaspora has been stunned by the swift fall of the Armenian-majority enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani troops and the exodus of much of its population. Traumatized by a widely acknowledged genocide a century ago, Armenians now fear the erasure of what they consider a key and beloved part of their historic homeland. Protests have been held in Lebanon, Europe and the United States, home to large Armenian populations, the descendants of genocide survivors. Outside the modern country of Armenia itself, the mountainous land was one of the only surviving parts of a heartland that centuries ago stretched across what is now eastern Turkey, into the Caucasus region and western Iran.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered one of the top commanders of the Wagner military contractor to take charge of “volunteer units” fighting in Ukraine. The order signals the Kremlin’s effort to keep using the mercenaries after the death of their chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin. Putin told Andrei Troshev that his task is to form volunteer units that could perform combat tasks, primarily in the war zone. The meeting appeared to reflect the Kremlin’s plan to redeploy some of Wagner mercenaries to the front line in Ukraine following their brief mutiny in June and Prigozhin’s suspicious death in a plane crash Aug. 23.
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. (AP) — Army Gen. Mark Milley delivered a full-throated defense of democracy and not-so-subtle swipes at former President Donald Trump during a packed ceremony as he closed out his four, often tumultuous years as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Milley never mentioned the former president by name. but he practically shouted that the U.S. military swears to protect the Constitution “against ALL enemies, foreign AND domestic.” As chairman, Milley pushed back against a host of Trump’s plans. President Joe Biden also spoke at Friday's ceremony and he continued the democracy theme. He praised Milley’s staunch defense of the Constitution, which he said “has always been Mark’s North Star.”
LOS ANGELES (AP) — iHeartRadio has unveiled its star-studded 2023 Jingle Ball lineup, including performances by Olivia Rodrigo, Usher, Nicki Minaj, SZA, Niall Horan, and Jelly Roll. The 11-city tour will hit Tampa and the Miami area, the Dallas area, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia and Atlanta. Other acts include OneRepublic, AJR, Sabrina Carpenter, Miguel, Big Time Rush, NCT DREAM, Flo Rida. The concert will be carried live across the country on iHeartRadio and the iHeartRadio app. Under a new agreement with ABC, a television special will air Dec. 21. Tickets go on sale for the general public Oct. 6.
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona and Utah will keep iconic national parks in those states open if a federal government shutdown cuts off funding nationwide. People can keep visiting Arizona’s orange-striped Grand Canyon and the sheer red cliffs of Utah’s Zion Valley. Most importantly for state budgets, visitors can keep spending their money near the parks. A cutoff could come Sunday. The economic impact of the national parks is so important that Arizona’s Democratic governor and Utah’s Republican governor have decided to invest state funds in keeping Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands national parks open. For Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, it’s a simple question of economics.
NEW YORK (AP) — TikTok has become a key marketing channel for vendors promoting steroids and other bodybuilding drugs to millions of the app’s users, according to a report released Thursday that the social media company disputes. In the study, the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate says popular videos encouraging use of the products for aesthetic or athletic gain are being posted by influencers who often downplay the risks associated with them. TikTok spokesperson Ben Rathe criticized the report, saying the group’s methodology doesn’t distinguish between harmful videos and positive content that talks about recovery from steroids or their side effects.
Deion Sanders' immediate impact after taking over a Colorado football program that won just one game last year is providing hope for other Black coaches looking to land Power Five jobs. There are only 14 Black head coaches roaming the sidelines at the 133 Football Bowl Subdivision programs while roughly half the players are Black. Notre Dame’s Marcus Freeman and Penn State’s James Franklin are the only ones at what would be considered traditional powerhouses. It's too early to say whether the national attention that Sanders has generated leads to more opportunities for Black coaches but it has sparked conversations.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is asking America’s colleges to step up their efforts to make campuses more racially diverse. A new Education Department report urges schools to boost scholarships and minority recruiting and place “meaningful emphasis” on the adversity students face because of their race or finances. The report promotes strategies to boost diversity in the wake of a Supreme Court decision from June barring colleges from considering the race of applicants in the admission process. It fulfills a request from President Joe Biden to help colleges advance diversity without running afoul of the court’s decision.
BOSTON (AP) — The U.S. military, employers and economic development specialists have been raising alarms about the implications of American students' low math scores for the country's competitiveness and national security. The Defense Department calls for a major initiative to support education in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. The number of jobs in math occupations is projected to grow dramatically, but only one in five college-bound American high school students is prepared for college-level courses in STEM, according to the National Science and Technology Council.
More research is showing that we carry genes from other kinds of ancient humans, and their DNA affects our lives today. DNA research has found that our Homo sapiens ancestors mated with Neanderthals and Denisovans long ago. We were the only ones to survive, which may have to do with how our ancestors were able to adapt to many parts of the world. But we still carry these other groups in our genes. And a growing body of science is uncovering how their DNA affects us today. Neanderthal genes have been linked with our immune systems and COVID-19 response, while Denisovan genes may help adapt to high altitudes.
—The Associated Press
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Host Terry Lipshetz is a senior producer for Lee Enterprises. Besides producing the daily Hot off the Wire news podcast, Terry conducts periodic interviews for this Behind the Headlines program, co-hosts the Streamed & Screened movies and television program and is the producer of Across the Sky, a podcast dedicated to weather and climate.
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