There’s a surprising surplus of domestic news this week, between executive actions and Congressional progress, but the biggest story is the news out of Ukraine. I’ll do my best to do it justice below, but please be aware that the stories out of Bucha and accompanying photographs are nauseating–I need to give this particular roundup a content warning for literal war crimes.
Standard standing reminders still apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m mostly summarizing the news within my area of expertise. NNR summaries often contain some detailed analysis that’s outside my expertise–I’m a lawyer, not a union!–but all offroad adventures are marked with an asterisk. And, of course, for the things that are within my lane, I’m offering context that shouldn’t be considered legal advice. Okay, I think that’s about it for the disclaimers. Onward to the news!
Cleanup in Aisle 45:
It’s a quieter week on the Election Rejection front, with only a few odds and ends–though they are indeed pretty odd. Here’s what I have for you:
- Insurrection Updates. The Justice Department is expanding the scope of its January 6 investigation, likely at least in part due to the Ginni Thomas news from last week. There were also a few stories, unsurprisingly, fleshing out details regarding the 7-hour gap in Trump’s official call logs from that date. And speaking of Trump, he was in the news for publicly asking Putin to release information about Hunter Biden, which is just gross and probably illegal on a whole lot of levels.
As I mentioned above, there’s a lot to report on the Biden Rebuilding front, and I’m honestly pretty excited about most of it. Here’s what has happened:
- Recent Biden Resilience. This week, the Biden administration finally moved to end a “public health” immigration policy from the Trump era that caused mass expulsion of asylum seekers–in part due to COVID changes, but likely also because of the growing number of displaced Ukranians at the Mexican border. They also expanded some legal protections for gender diverse people, notably regarding travel documentation practices and education-based civil rights. Finally, the administration signed the Emmett Till Bill into law this week as well, formally making lynching a federal hate crime.
Your New Normal:
- Recent Congressional Progress. All things considered, this was a surprisingly productive week for Congress, even with the bizarre GOP cocaine orgy story taking up like two days of news cycle. In the House, a bill that caps insulin costs at either $35 or 25% of insurance pricing, whichever is lower, passed by 232-192 vote. Meanwhile, and speaking of passing, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination has passed out of committee at the time that I type this–there was 53-47 vote in the main Senate after the committee itself voted 11-11. (As foretold by social media, the three GOP members who voted for her were Collins, Murkowski, and Romney, who likely were reading the constituent room in doing so.) The Senate also finally has a COVID funding deal after weeks of negotiation, though this version omits global aid.
- State of the COVID-19. The biggest COVID developments of the week got picked up in last Tuesday’s NNR, but BA.2 did indeed become the dominant strain in the U.S. over the past week. There were also a few stories about ongoing efforts to study long COVID, which hopefully will result in a more robust understanding at some point. There will also likely be more developments when the package in Congress passes, which hopefully will happen soon.
- Land War Atrocities. Russian forces began withdrawing from Kviv and surrounding areas this weekend, which allowed Ukrainians to return to the area and begin documenting the many atrocities that occurred. Facts are still coming out as I type this, but it’s clear that at minimum, hundreds of civilians were killed. The U.S. has begun calling for a war crime investigation and Ukrainian officials are calling the Russian acts genocide. The EU is currently considering an embargo on Russian oil, and the U.S. will likely act as well.
- Recent Union Resilience. Workers in a Staten Island Amazon warehouse made both news and history this week for being the first Amazon warehouse to unionize. Despite news that Amazon will be blocking organizing language on their new chat app, this union victory has many implications for future organizing within the company.
So that’s what I have for this week, and I’m sorry, there are no news refunds. For making it through, you deserve the two doggo genders as well as a more consistently improved government. I’ll be back next week with more restructured and improved news, and I hope you will be back as well–but in the meantime, feel free to ping the National News Roundup ask box, which is there for your constructive comments. Send me questions! Send me feedback! Send me more ice cream because we’ll probably need it!