By AJ Willingham, CNN
Some regions of the United States may see a rare white Christmas this weekend. And speaking of holidays, 5 Things is taking a day off tomorrow for last-minute shopping.
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With Omicron now the most widely discovered variant in the United States, hospitals are preparing for an increase in Covid-19 cases. And for the second year in a row, many of the doctors and nurses on the front lines of the pandemic will treat these patients over the Christmas holiday. According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 70,000 Americans have been hospitalized with Covid-19 as of yesterday, up from about 45,000 at the beginning of November. In related news, the FDA today via Pfizer authorized antiviral drug, Paxlovid, to treat Covid-19. It is the first antiviral pill allowed for infected people to take at home before they become so sick that they need to be hospitalized.
2. Riot in the Capitol
The House Select Committee investigating the January 6 uprising has asked Representative Jim Jordan, one of President Donald Trump’s top congressional allies, voluntarily meet with the panel when it is completed about Republican legislators who may have knowledge of the events that led to the Capitol riots. Jordan previously warned the committee that targeting GOP lawmakers in any capacity would have political retribution if Republicans retake the House after the 2022 midterm elections. Jordan is the second Trump ally to receive an interview request this week. Representative Scott Perry refused the committee’s request to voluntarily sit down with investigators.
3. Student Loans
President Joe Biden said yesterday that he Extend student loan payment pause until May 1. Payments, which are set to restart on February 1 for millions of borrowers, have been on hold since the start of the pandemic. During this time, interest stopped accruing and defaulted collections were withheld. Biden pointed to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis as the reason for the extension. The reversal comes less than two weeks after White House press secretary Jen Psaki pointed out that the administration has plan to restart payments, resisting pressure from some Democrats, who have called for an extension of pandemic relief subsidies.
Russia hopes to hold Bilateral negotiations with NATO and the United States in January Yesterday, a state media outlet reported on the security guarantees the country is seeking from both, citing the Russian foreign minister. The news comes just a day after NATO said it was ready to engage in “meaningful dialogue” with Russia in the context of NATO. concentration of troops near the border of Ukraine. The United States and its allies have warned Russia about the consequences of further hostilities in the context of the country’s continued military buildup along the Ukrainian border – a move that US intelligence assessed as preparation for a full-scale invasion in the coming months. Russian President Vladimir Putin has demanded security guarantees from the United States and NATO, including a binding commitment that NATO will not expand further east and will not allow Ukraine to join the military alliance.
5. Supply Chain
Biden yesterday touted the progress his administration has made alleviate supply chain problems that have caused shortages of consumer products, increases prices for Americans and contributes significantly to historic inflation levels in the United States. The President pointed to evidence that The bottleneck is starting to unclog and said retail inventories rose 3% year over year. Separately, a new report on consumer confidence shows that Americans are feel more optimistic about the economic recovery, has continued to show surprising strength in the last month of the year.
THIS IS ONLY IN…
Law enforcement officials are on the scene a “major industrial accident” early this morning at an ExxonMobil plant in Baytown, Texas, about 25 miles from Houston. Initial reports suggested that several explosions occurred inside the plant, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a tweet. Four people could be injured, he said. Nearby residents reported a loud bang.
Jennifer King makes NFL history as first black female coach in this position
She stepped in as the running back trainer of the Washington Soccer Team.
NHL players will not participate in Beijing Winter Olympics
The tournament is in in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Taco Bell is adding a surprising new item to the menu
Let’s just say it not what you expect to order at a place famous for TACOS!
McDonald’s limits sales of French fries in Japan due to lack of potatoes
Customers can only order smallest french fries size due to supply chain problems.
US passport fee will increase by $20
At least you can keep the image in 10 years.
23 million won
That’s how much people in Afghanistan are facing extreme levels of hunger when winter begins – more than half of the country’s population. And at least a million children under the age of 5 are at risk of dying from starvation.
“If you act out of line, you’ll have to wait in line.”
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, in an announcement of a new partnership between the FAA and TSA that could lead to Unruly travelers lose their TSA Pre-Check certificate
Instead of our usual weekly news quiz, we have a special quiz to get you in the holiday mood! Here’s a question to get you started: What color underwear do people in some parts of Europe and China wear to bring them good luck on New Year’s Eve?
Take CNN Holiday Quiz to see if you are correct!
Joy for the whole world
A little something to get you into the holiday spirit. (Click here to view.)
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https://kesq.com/news/2021/12/23/5-things-to-know-for-dec-23-covid-capitol-riot-student-loans-russia-supply-chain-7/ 5 things to know for December 23: Covid, Capitol riots, student loans, Russia, supply chain