The Dispatch’s Best of 2022
Happy Friday! Did you know bees like to roll around on little wooden balls for fun? You do now!
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
- Ukrainian defense officials said Thursday Russia fired at least 69 missiles yesterday, with Ukrainian forces shooting down 54 cruise missiles and 11 Iranian-made drones. The projectiles that did reach their targets caused mass power outages in Kyiv and Lviv, near the Polish border. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insisted the Kremlin won’t negotiate peace, despite Russia’s recent setbacks on the battlefield.
- U.S. Indo-Pacific Command reported Thursday a Chinese fighter pilot performed an “unsafe maneuver” while intercepting a U.S. Air Force aircraft conducting “routine operations” in international airspace over the South China Sea. Per USINDOPACOM, the Chinese pilot flew within 20 feet of the American plane, forcing it to take “evasive maneuvers” to avoid a collision.
- While vacationing with his family in the U.S. Virgin Islands, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed the recently passed $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill into law, averting a government shutdown that was set to go into effect over the weekend.
- Richard Sauber—special counsel to the president—told GOP Reps. James Comer and Jim Jordan on Thursday that the White House won’t comply with oversight records requests they’ve already sent because they don’t yet have constitutional authority to make them. Comer and Jordan are expected to head the House Oversight and Reform and Judiciary committees, respectively, but will have to restart their records requests once they’re formally in those posts next month. House Republicans plan to investigate the origins of COVID-19, the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, the president’s knowledge of Hunter Biden’s business dealings, and a host of other topics.
- Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in for his sixth term as Israel’s prime minister on Thursday. The coalition agreement of his government also assigns ultranationalist lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir—convicted in 2007 of supporting a terrorist group—a national security post overseeing Israel’s border police, who often handle riot control and counterterrorism efforts. Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich—a supporter of Israeli West Bank settlements—will become finance minister and have administrative authority in the West Bank. The coalition also plans to give the lawmakers more oversight of the courts and undermine Iran’s nuclear program.
- The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial jobless claims—a proxy statistic for layoffs—rose by 9,000 week-over-week to a seasonally adjusted 225,000 last week, remaining near historically low pre-pandemic levels.
- The average number of weekly confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States decreased about 12 percent over the past two weeks according to CDC data, while the average number of weekly deaths attributed to the virus—a lagging indicator—decreased 3 percent. About 33,800 Americans are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, up from about 31,800 two weeks ago.
The Dispatch’s Best of 2022
There’s not a whole lot going on in the news today as we head into the new year, so we at The Dispatch figured we’d take a few minutes to share some of our favorite stuff from 2022: Movies, TV shows, books, music. Let us know in the comments if you agree—or disagree—with our picks!
Andrew Egger, Associate Editor
- Everything, Everywhere, All At Once
- Top Gun: Maverick
- Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
What do you say about the movie that has everything? Well, you can start with a caveat: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once is an infinite multiverse movie, which means talking about it requires tuning out the yammering of the plot-hole-junkie killjoys. Sit back and enjoy the ride, though, and it’s the ride of the year: an enormous, bombastic spectacle of a film, one where calling it “the best kung-fu/sci-fi crossover since The Matrix” somehow fails to capture the magic. Some random trivia might help: It’s got stop-motion animation! Pinky-based hand-to-hand combat! The universe’s most sinister everything bagel! An extended reference to Disney/Pixar’s 2007 classic Ratatouille! It could be too much sound and fury, if the core weren’t so simple: a drama of a poor immigrant family stretched to the breaking point, then restored. Oh, did I mention there’s people with foot-long hot-dog fingers who play piano with their toes? That’s in there too. Pretty good movie.