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House passes 45-day government funding bill, putting Congress on a path to avoid a shutdown

House passes funding billWith just hours to spare, House Republicans and Democrats on Saturday struck a surprise deal to fund the government and avert a shutdown that would have inflicted economic pain on millions of American families.

The House voted on an overwhelming bipartisan basis, 335-91, for a short-term funding bill, known as a continuing resolution or CR. The bill will now head to the Senate, where lawmakers there say they will not object to a speedy vote.


Black history 'Underground Railroad' forms across US after DeSantis, others ban books

Black history still taughtBlack historians read passages from banned books last week in a local park in Florida.

In Washington, D.C., Black congressional lawmakers that same week hosted panels on preserving Black history at a conference.

And in Pennsylvania, a 91-year-old pastor reached out to an expert in South Carolina to help his church set up Black history lessons.

They are part of a growing movement across the country of educators, lawmakers, civil rights activists and church leaders who say there is a renewed urgency to teach Black history in the wake of a crackdown on Black scholars and inclusive lesson plans. The effort has seen historians share ways others can teach Black history, churches hold history classes during Bible Study, film festivals showcase Black history work, and Black leaders in Congress ask museums and local institutions to help in the campaign to preserve that history.


House Republican opposition to Ukraine aid grows, threatening funds as war rages

House GOP oposition Ukraine funding growsA growing Republican divide over continuing U.S. aid to Ukraine threatens the prospects of Congress’ passing additional money to help the country defend its sovereignty against a Russian incursion.

Despite the broad bipartisan majorities in the House and the Senate to continue funding, it has become a central sticking point in the fight over a looming government shutdown. And hopes are dimming in the GOP-controlled House, where Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., faces growing pressure from hard-liners who want to cut off Ukraine aid as they threaten to overthrow him if he fails to meet their demands.

An amendment to the defense funding bill by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., to prohibit all military assistance to Ukraine won 93 Republican votes Wednesday, as 126 Republicans and all 213 Democrats voted against it. That’s up from 70 Republicans who voted for a similar measure by Gaetz in July.

TVNL Comment: How evil can they get?  How low can they go?


Scientists will unleash an army of crabs to help save Florida’s dying reef

Crabs released to save Florida reefs

With giant pincers and rough, spider-like legs, Caribbean king crabs don’t look like your typical heroes. Yet these crustaceans may be key to solving one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems: the decline of coral reefs.

In recent decades, warming seas, diseases, and other threats have wiped out half of the world’s corals and 90 percent of those in Florida. And this past summer, the problem accelerated. A devastating heat wave struck the Caribbean, pushing the reef in the Florida Keys — the largest in the continental US — closer to the brink of collapse.

The decline of coral reefs is an enormous problem for wildlife and human communities. Reefs not only provide habitat for as much as a quarter of all marine life, including commercial fish, but they also help safeguard coastal communities during severe storms. Simply put, we need coral reefs.


North Carolina radio station plans to reject broadcasts of 'inappropriate' Met operas

NC bans operas at the Met

A listener-supported radio station in North Carolina, WCPE, is planning to withhold the broadcast of six contemporary operas this season from New York's Metropolitan Opera, because of the station management's objections to the operas' content. It is a classical music controversy that echoes larger, nationwide culture war debates.

WCPE's protest comes at a time when the Metropolitan Opera is eager to showcase its commitment to recently written operas and works from outside the traditional canon of music written by white men. Three of the operas that WCPE plans to reject in the 2023-24 season were written by Black or Mexican composers. This past April, WCPE also refused to broadcast another Met-produced opera written by a Black composer that included LGBTQ themes.


First co-defendant in Trump Georgia election case pleads guilty

Scott Hall pleads guilty

Scott Hall, one of 18 co-defendants of former President Donald Trump in the Georgia election interference case, pleaded guilty Friday to the charges against him.

Hall, a bail bondsman, is the first defendant in the case to plead guilty in the case.

Scott pleaded guilty to five counts in the deal, which were considered misdemeanors due to his status as a first-time offender.


Court allows Paxton accusers’ lawsuit to proceed

Ken Paxton

The Texas Supreme Court has sided with four former staff members of Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), making way for their whistleblower lawsuit to commence.

The Republican court rejected Paxton’s request to dismiss the lawsuit on Friday after the case was put on pause for a possible settlement. The whistleblowers, Blake Brickman, Mark Penley, David Maxwell and Ryan Vassar, asked the court to reinstate the case, just days after Paxton was acquitted on 16 articles of impeachment.

With Paxton’s dismissal request denied, the case will return to Travis County trial court, the Texas Tribune reported.

In a press conference on Monday, Brickman, the former Texas deputy attorney general for policy and strategy, said he and the other whistleblowers are “not going away.”

“For us, this case has always been about more than money. It’s about truth. It’s about justice,” Brickman said.


A 23-year-old was arrested for gun possession. It led the FBI to a global Satanic cult

764 Satanic CultAn arrest on gun possession charges in Queens, New York, in November 2021 has led the Federal Bureau of Investigation to a pedophilic, Satanist extortion cult that has victimized dozens if not hundreds of minors, according to law enforcement documents, court records and sources with knowledge of the investigation.

Law enforcement discovered the organization, known as 764 and a range of aliases, while investigating alarming social media posts made by Angel Almeida, a 23-year-old resident of Astoria, Queens.

On 12 September 2023, the FBI issued a public warning about 764, noting the group is “deliberately targeting minor victims on publicly available messaging platforms to extort them into recording or livestreaming acts of self-harm and producing child sexual abuse material”. The advisory is the first formal mention of 764 by any American law enforcement agency.


New York declares state of emergency amid heavy rainfall and flash flooding

NYC rain storm

Parts of New York City were swamped with dangerous flash flooding on Friday as intense rainfall continued across the city after torrenting all night, and a state of emergency was declared amid warnings from officials that the deluge could turn deadly.

About 8.5 million people were under flash flood warnings in the New York City area, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). The city’s concrete and pavement exacerbates flooding, as overwhelmed sewers fail to adequately drain rain water during heavy and sustained downpours.

Parts of New Jersey were under similar weather advisories.

The New York governor, Kathy Hochul, declared a state of emergency on Friday because of the “extreme rainfall”. The declaration covers New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley, Hochul posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.



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