👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ The FBI conducted a “planned search” of Biden’s beach house in Delaware, but found no documents with classified markings. Biden’s lawyer said the FBI did take some materials and handwritten notes that appeared to relate to his tenure as vice president. It’s the third known time that federal agents have searched properties associated with Biden for classified material. The FBI previously searched Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, as well as his Washington office of the Penn Biden Center in mid-November after Biden’s attorneys first discovered classified material in a locked closet. (CNN / ABC News / Washington Post / Politico / NPR / Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / Bloomberg / NBC News)
2/ The College Board revised its framework for an Advanced Placement African American studies course following criticism from Gov. Ron DeSantis, who had threatened to ban the class in Florida. The College Board removed the names of several Black authors associated with critical race theory, and topics such as Black Lives Matter, slavery reparations, and queer theory from the formal curriculum. Instead, the topics are suggested for end-of-the-year student research projects that are “not a required part of the course framework that is formally adopted by states.” The College Board said the revisions were based on input from teachers running the pilot classes, as well as experts in the field, which includes 300 professors of African American studies across the U.S., and that “no states or districts have seen the official framework that is released, much less provided feedback on it.” Today is the start of Black History Month. (New York Times / NPR / NBC News)
3/ George Santos will temporarily step down from his two congressional committees amid multiple investigations into his campaign finances and other issues, including lying about his resume and family background. Santos told colleagues he will step down from the House Small Business Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee because “he’s a distraction.” The FBI, meanwhile, is investigating Santos’ role in an alleged GoFundMe scheme involving a disabled U.S. Navy veteran’s dying service dog. 78% of voters in Santos’s congressional district want him to resign, as well as 59% of New York voters. (Washington Post / NBC News / Associated Press)
4/ The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter-point, its eighth-consecutive hike, but the smallest since last March. “Inflation has eased somewhat but remains elevated,” the committee said in a statement, adding that rate hikes will be “ongoing” even at the risk of lost jobs. The Fed’s policy rate now sits between 4.5% and 4.75% – the highest since October 2007. (Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / Bloomberg / CNBC / CNN / New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / Politico)
5/ Biden will end the Covid-19 national and public health emergencies in May, formally restructuring the federal response to treat the coronavirus as an endemic. The public health emergency provided many Americans with free Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, as well as enhanced social safety net benefits. More than 500 on average people in the U.S. are dying from Covid-19 each day – about twice the number of deaths per day during a bad flu season. House Republicans, meanwhile, passed legislation to repeal vaccine mandates and declare the pandemic over. (Associated Press / New York Times / CNN)
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