Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: January 6, 2023

McCarthy seeks a deal after losing a record 11th vote for speaker, Biden announces an immigration policy shift, and more


McCarthy loses record 11th vote for speaker

The House adjourned Thursday for a third day without a speaker, after Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) fell short of the votes he needs to become House speaker in an 11th ballot, breaking a 100-year-old record with the 10th vote. McCarthy's latest losses came despite concessions he offered to a group of 20 hardline conservatives blocking his bid for the job. Republicans negotiated through the night, and hinted they were near a deal as McCarthy proposed more concessions, but some far-right lawmakers said there was nothing he could do to win their support. The House is scheduled to reconvene at noon Friday. The House can't conduct any other business without a speaker.


Biden announces immigration strategy shift

President Biden on Thursday announced a major shift in his immigration strategy, expanding the use of the Trump administration's pandemic-era policy known as Title 42, which lets border agents expel asylum seekers at the border. The Biden administration plans to turn away migrants from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Haiti, but introduce new ways for up to 30,000 a month to enter the United States legally, the Los Angeles Times reported. "Do not just show up at the border. Stay where you are and apply legally from there," Biden said. Biden has faced pressure to tighten border security in response to a migrant surge. Democrats and human rights groups criticized his crackdown, saying it would add to border chaos.


Putin calls for Orthodox Christmas ceasefire

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called for a 36-hour ceasefire in Ukraine for Orthodox Christmas. The Kremlin said Putin ordered Russian troops in Ukraine to hold their fire starting at noon Friday after Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and a Putin ally, issued a call for a Christmas truce. Putin said the ceasefire was necessary so the Orthodox faithful in war zones could safely attend services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Ukraine rejected Putin's move as a trick and said there could be no peace until Russian forces withdraw. Separately, the United States and Germany said they would send Ukraine armored fighting vehicles, possibly a step toward the tanks Kyiv wants.


Mexican authorities arrest El Chapo's son for 2nd time

Mexican military forces on Thursday captured alleged drug trafficker Ovidio Guzmán, a son of former Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán. The pre-dawn operation to arrest the younger Guzmán, who is wanted by the United States, triggered attacks by suspected cartel gunmen who took hostages and stormed a northern Mexico airport. Ovidio Guzmán, known as "the Mouse," was not as well-known as his brothers until an attempt to catch him three years ago touched off violence, eventually prompting President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to order his release. Thursday's operation came days before President Biden travels to Mexico for bilateral talks and the North American Leaders' Summit with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


Late Capitol officer's estate sues Trump over Jan. 6 attack

The estate of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who died a day after clashing with rioters during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack, sued former President Donald Trump on Thursday, accusing him of stoking the violence with "incendiary" lies that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Lawyers for Sicknick's estate said Trump "intentionally riled up the crowd and directed and encouraged a mob to attack" the Capitol and Trump opponents, The Wall Street Journal reported. The lawsuit said the attack was "a direct and foreseeable consequence" of Trump's false claims, and his "express calls for violence" at a rally before the attack. A Trump spokesperson said the former president had urged protesters to "peacefully and patriotically make their voices heard."


Study finds two-thirds of world's glaciers could be lost by 2100

Up to two-thirds of the world's glaciers could disappear by the end of the century, as they are melting faster than scientists had thought, a report published Thursday in the journal Science said. The study also found that if global leaders take quick action and future warming is slowed down to only a few more tenths of a degree, slightly less than half of the glaciers will go extinct, The Associated Press reports. The researchers used computer simulations to predict what would happen to the world's 215,000 land-based glaciers under different temperature increases. Under the best-case scenario, melting ice would add 3.5 inches to the world's sea level, and under the worst, it would add 6.5 inches.


S.C. Supreme Court rules state constitution protects abortion rights

The South Carolina Supreme Court struck down the state's six-week abortion ban on Thursday, ruling 3-2 that the law violated the state constitution's privacy protections. "The decision to terminate a pregnancy rests upon the utmost personal and private considerations imaginable," the court said. Hours later, the Idaho Supreme Court upheld three state laws, including a near-total abortion ban and a Texas-style civil enforcement measure, Politico reported. Justice Robyn Brody wrote in the majority opinion that abortion was "treated as a crime" when the state's constitution was written, so the document doesn't "implicitly protect abortion as a fundamental right." The U.S. Supreme Court in June 2022 overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that had guaranteed abortion rights nationwide.


Judge denies bail to suspect in Idaho murders

Bryan Kohberger, the suspect in the November killings of four University of Idaho students, made his first appearance in court on Thursday. A judge ordered him held without bail. Kohberger was arrested Dec. 30 at his family's Pennsylvania home after male DNA on a knife sheath found at the scene linked him to the slayings, according to court documents. The documents, unsealed on Thursday, also said that a surviving roommate saw a black-clad person in the house on the night of the murders of Madison Mogen, 21; Kaylee Goncalves, 21; Xana Kernodle, 20; and Ethan Chapin, 20. It remained unclear whether Kohberger, who was a doctoral student in criminal justice and criminology at nearby Washington State University, had any association with the victims.


FTC proposes banning noncompete clauses

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday unveiled a proposal to ban noncompete clauses. If the change is adopted, companies will no longer be able to impose contracts barring workers from leaving and taking jobs with rival companies, or starting their own competing businesses. The FTC said noncompete clauses are exploitative, and counter to the spirit of a 109-year-old law against unfair competition, according to The Wall Street Journal. "Noncompetes are basically locking up workers, which means they are not able to match with the best jobs," FTC Chair Lina Khan said. The move would be expected to face legal challenges from businesses that argue these clauses help them protect confidential company information, among other legitimate benefits.


Bills' Damar Hamlin shows 'remarkable' improvement after on-field collapse

Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is awake and showing "substantial" signs of recovery from a collision on the field in a Monday game that caused him to go into cardiac arrest, University of Cincinnati Medical Center doctors told ESPN Thursday. Hamlin, 24, is still in critical condition but appears to be neurologically intact, doctors said. The Bills called Hamlin's improvement "remarkable." Hamlin's agent, Ronald Butler, said Hamlin has been able to "grip the hands of family members at his hospital bedside." He hasn't been able to speak but can communicate by writing, and asked who won the game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The NFL on Thursday canceled the game, which had been suspended since Hamlin's injury.


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