Bolsonaro Supporters Wreak Havoc on Brasília

Happy Thursday! When we were nine years old, our Christmas lists featured things like PlayStations and American Girl dolls. This year, Molly Sampson asked for “insulated chest waders” so she could hunt for shark teeth in Maryland’s Calvert Cliffs State Park.

Within a few days, she had found one—and it was five inches long, 15 million years old, and from the mouth of a 50-foot megalodon. Best Christmas present ever!

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Tigrayan rebels have reportedly begun handing over tanks, artillery units, and armored vehicles to the Ethiopian national army, a sign the peace deal brokered in South Africa last November to end the country’s civil war is holding. The disarmament was a major component of that agreement, and a senior Tigrayan official said he hoped the move would “go a long way in expediting the full implementation” of the accord.
  • Russia’s Defense Ministry announced Wednesday Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu was shaking up the country’s military leadership yet again, appointing General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the Russian General Staff, as the overall commander of the “special military operation in Ukraine.” The previous commander, Gen. Sergey Surovikin, was only installed in that role in October; he will now serve as one of Gerasimov’s three deputies.
  • Days after CBS News reported on the discovery of classified material at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington last November, NBC News reported aides to President Joe Biden discovered “at least one additional batch” of classified documents in a separate location. Citing a “person familiar with the matter,” the NBC report reveals aides have been searching since November for any additional classified material that might be in other locations Biden used after leaving the vice presidency. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to answer multiple reporter questions yesterday about the circumstances surrounding the documents’ discovery.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration ordered airlines to pause domestic departures for nearly two hours Wednesday morning due to the agency’s Notice to Air Missions system—which provides real-time safety information regarding flight operations—being knocked out. The agency later said it found “no evidence” of a cyber attack, attributing the outage to a damaged database file.
  • The House voted 220-210-1 on Wednesday to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, legislation that would mandate health care providers try to save the life of an infant in the rare scenario the baby is born alive during or after an attempted abortion. One Democrat, Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, voted for the bill—which is highly unlikely to be taken up in the Senate—and another, Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, voted present. The House also voted 222-209 to pass a resolution condemning the recent attacks on pro-life facilities, organizations, and churches. Three Democrats—Reps. Gonzalez, Chrissy Houlahan, and Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez—supported the resolution. Three Democratic representatives introduced a counter-resolution condemning violence and threats primarily against abortion clinics and providers.
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra announced Wednesday the Biden administration was extending the COVID-19 public health emergency another 90 days, marking the twelfth time the declaration has been renewed since January 2020. “There’s still a lot of COVID out there,” White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said, referencing an increase in cases that has come with the Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant.
  • A growing number of New York Republicans—including Nassau County GOP leaders and U.S. Reps. Anthony D’Esposito, Nick LaLota, Nick Langworthy, and Brandon Williams—have called on Rep. George Santos to resign from Congress amid allegations the freshman representative fabricated large portions of his resume. “He’s disgraced the House of Representatives and we do not consider him one of our congresspeople,” Nassau County Republican Party Chairman Joseph Cairo said Wednesday. Santos remained adamant yesterday that he “will NOT resign,” and Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters he won’t urge him to step down or withhold his committee assignments. “The voters elected him to serve,” McCarthy said. “If there is a concern and he has to go through the Ethics [Committee], we’ll let him move through that.”
  • One day after Democratic Rep. Katie Porter of California announced she was running for the 89-year-old Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Senate seat in 2024, Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee reportedly told colleagues she will also mount a bid for the seat—but that she isn’t announcing yet out of respect for Feinstein. Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Ro Khanna are also reportedly weighing bids.

The Blow Up in Brazil

Supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro didn’t succeed in returning him to power last weekend, but their storming of Brazil’s federal seats of government may have curtailed his Orlando vacation.

Though Bolsonaro hasn’t impeded the transition to a new government, he never formally conceded his October presidential election loss to leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva—known as Lula—even as courts rejected his party’s evidence-free fraud claims. And when Lula was set to be sworn in on January 1, Bolsonaro skipped town, decamping to Florida where he has been spotted swanning through the aisles of a Publix grocery store, signing fans’ shirts, and chowing down on KFC.

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