Whether it’s the latest news on the US elections or a report on a controversial social media video, there is a lot happening today that is making headlines.
US Senate could give final approval to one-week extension of federal government funding before midnight Friday deadline
Congressional leaders are working to iron out differences in annual spending bills before the federal government shuts down for a week on Friday. The House and Senate will need to agree on a spending package that will keep the government open until December 16.
In July, Congress passed an emergency spending bill to avert a government shutdown. The measure authorized $1.5 billion in aid to Ukraine. The bill, which passed mostly party line votes of 230 to 201, is expected to be signed by President Biden. It is estimated that the aid would help the country survive a brutal winter and rebuild vital infrastructure. It also included $300 million in support for allies in the region.
The bill includes investments in transit, housing and airports. It will also include a $20 billion discretionary increase over the year ahead, along with $157 billion in budgetary resources. The investments are intended to avoid disruptions to vital federal agencies.
Other investments included in the bill are intended to improve communities’ economic stability. It will also help with climate research, expand gun-violence prevention efforts and create jobs in distressed communities. It will also provide a lower-income energy assistance program.
The House is also considering a measure to allow Vice President Biden to authorize the transfer of up to $3.7 billion in equipment. It is believed that this would help the federal government better spend disaster relief funds.
Another proposal would strip the House of the Senate’s energy infrastructure plan. It was part of a separate climate plan that was dropped by Senate Democrats last month. Some Republicans say the plan does not address their priorities, while Democrats say it is necessary.
Some Democrats are urging Congress to cut spending and pass a more broad-based funding bill. They are under pressure to do so to avoid a government shutdown. Some Republican lawmakers say the Democratic measures are wasteful. They have accused the Democrats of using the spending to pay for health care and other domestic spending. They say that a larger government funding package can be approved before the holidays.
Regardless of the final agreement, lawmakers will need to return to Capitol Hill in November to work out the details of a full-year funding deal.
Meta’s oversight board upholds company’s decision to restore a video of sexual assault allegedly on a tribal women on Instagram
Earlier this week, Meta’s VP of Customer Services stepped into the fray to defend the company’s decision to restore a viral video of a woman being sexually assaulted in the wild. The video was viewed by more than 10 million users, according to the company. A fair amount of dissent was afoot, however. One of the more prickly questions was the best way to tame a company that prides itself on innovation and customer service.
The company’s internal teams were able to swiftly resolve the issue, albeit with no guarantees. While the company opted not to publicly post the results of its review process, they did offer to re-post the content at no cost. It isn’t exactly the first time they’ve done this.
While the video is now a thing of the past, a handful of users have taken to Twitter to air their grievances. The company’s CEO has since issued a public apology. Despite its best efforts, the sexiest company is still a force to be reckoned with. The company’s ad department has been under fire for a slew of negative press, including the dilution of its “funny” culture, which is endemic to the company’s culture of openness.
The company also made a number of high-profile hires, including a new chief operating officer and a slew of chief execs in the eponymous title, which were unceremoniously fired after a flurry of bungled reshufflings.
Georgia’s top elections official urges lawmakers to end general election runoffs
Almost two years after a Senate runoff election in Georgia, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger called on lawmakers to end general election runoffs. He said the election process put significant strain on voters, candidates, and election officials. He also criticized the short timeline of the runoff, which added pressure on poll workers. He suggested three ways to end the process: eliminate the runoff, reduce the threshold to win, or allow ranked-choice voting.
Raffensperger’s statement came after the state’s second Senate runoff in less than two years. In November, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker by 97,000 votes. The win was the first for a Democrat in Georgia since 2000.
Warnock, who was reelected, won with 51% of the vote, a margin that was close enough to win him the full six-year term. However, he drew a lot of support from voters outside the state. According to The New York Times, several super PACs have spent $2.3 million in the runoff. The National Rifle Association has also spent big.
The new law shortened the runoff period from nine weeks to four weeks. It also dramatically shortened the early in-person voting window. That meant counties had fewer weeks to prepare for the elections.
Raffensperger’s office said that runoffs were disliked by campaigns, candidates, and voters. They also said that the deadlines and audits made the process difficult to manage. The office will present proposed changes to the legislature when the state reconvenes in January.
Raffensperger’s statement comes on the heels of a close watch of the recent Senate runoff election. The results showed a record turnout. There were 1.89 million ballots cast, representing 27% of registered voters. This was the second-highest participation rate in decades. In addition, the race was on the minds of some Democrats who advocated for runoffs.
Democrats won both of the 2020 contests. The Senate leadership Fund and the Herschel Walker campaign partnered with Kemp. The two campaigns had been working together before the 2020 runoff. This helped them win the election.
Democrats are likely to retain their Senate majority. However, the Democrats may be facing challenges in reinvigorating voter enthusiasm for early voting.
Eritrean troops “murdered” uncle in Tigray region of Ethiopia
Several war crimes were committed by Eritrean and Ethiopian troops in the Tigray region of Ethiopia during the war. One of the war crimes was deliberate targeting of civilians. Survivors described extrajudicial executions. The Eritrean army wore distinctive Eritrean army gear and drove vehicles with Eritrean license plates. Hundreds of civilians were killed in cold blood. This is an act of war crime and violates international humanitarian law.
In July 1906, the British and Italy signed a treaty. Britain agreed to withdraw from Massawa. The Italians were ready to invade Tigray. They had 200,000 men in the Horn of Africa. The Italians were also preparing to take over the southern part of Massawa. The Italians claimed that they were protectors of the Somali coast.
The Ethiopian government accused Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of trying to supply arms to the rebels. The TPLF had captured 30 military personnel in Wajirat. The Ethopian military had a base on Mai Koho mountain. The soldiers were attacked by residents who brandished rifles and improvised weapons. During the battle, Major Toselli was killed. He had 3,000 natives. The survivors said that the looting was widespread.
The Eritrean and Ethiopian military forces conducted multiple war crimes in Axum. Axum was the capital of the province and the main port in the northern Tigray region. It was also the capital of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The Italians had garrisoned Axum. The Ethiopian and Eritrean troops engaged in indiscriminate attacks that slain hundreds of civilians. The Eritrean army also attacked the annual Ethiopian Orthodox Christian festival in Axum. Thousands of Ethiopians were killed in the attacks.
In the 19th century, the TPLF helped the Ethiopian military win the war in Tigray. The Ethiopian government also accused Tedros of attempting to obtain arms for the rebels. The Eritrean information minister declined to comment on the accusations. He declined to give the exact location of the attack. The Eritrean and Ethiopian soldiers wore the Eritrean army uniform and drove vehicles with the Eritrean license plate.
The Italians proclaimed the Eritrea Red Sea colony in January 1890. The Italians fought in Tigray for three years.