We have a Speaker, 3 weeks and 4 candidates later – National & International News – WED 25Oct2023

We have a Speaker, 3 weeks and 4 candidates later.

GA election case: Third attorney defection may create more peril for Trump.

Hurricane Otis hits Acapulco as Category 5, “nightmare scenario”.



We have a Speaker, 3 weeks and 4 candidates later

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) was elected Speaker of the House in a party-line vote this afternoon. Johnson became speaker-elect after Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) held the position for mere hours yesterday. Emmer dropped out of the race without even calling a floor vote after former Pres. Trump came out against him. Emmer was one of the few candidates running for Speaker who voted to certify the 2020 election. Johnson did not.

Johnson won his seat in 2016, making him one of the least-experienced lawmakers that was in the running for Speaker. His first act as Speaker was to bring up a resolution declaring support for Israel. He will also have to respond to Pres. Biden’s request for a $106 billion aid package for Israel, Ukraine and border security.

He’s also promised to move ahead with spending bills to avert a potential government shutdown on November 17. Johnson was among the Republican members who voted against the 45-day continuing resolution to fund the government back in September, which came days before former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ouster.

He struck a somewhat more conciliatory tone for future budget talks by calling for a bipartisan commission to examine ways to tackle the $33 trillion national debt. His budgeting task has unfortunately been made more difficult since the 3-week Speaker shuffle has pushed up US borrowing costs.

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GA election case: Third attorney defection may create more peril for Trump

Last week, prominent former Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro entered guilty pleas in the Georgia election case against former Pres. Trump and 18 other defendants. The plea deals, struck days before their joint trial was set to begin, will allow both Powell and Chesebro to avoid jail time for their respective roles in the conspiracy to overturn Georgia’s 2020 Presidential election result. Both will also have to testify against other defendants in the sprawling who are expected to come up for trial next year.

Yesterday, a third former Trump lawyer, campaign attorney Jenna Ellis, followed Powell and Chesebro’s lead. Ellis pleaded guilty to one felony count of aiding and abetting false statements. This charge stemmed from Ellis’ lobbying of Georgia state lawmakers in December 2020. Ellis worked closely in these efforts with fellow Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who is also a defendant in the case. 

In a statement which Ellis read out in court, Ellis declared, “If I knew then what I knew now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these post-election challenges. I look back on this experience with deep remorse”. 

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Hurricane Otis hits Alcapulco as Category 5, “nightmare scenario”

In just 12 hours, Otis grew in power from a 50-mile-an-hour tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane before making landfall on the Mexican resort city of Acapulco on the Pacific coast around midnight last night. Otis is now the strongest hurricane ever to make landfall on Mexico’s Pacific coast. 

Communications in the area have largely been knocked out so it may be some days before the full extent of the damage is known. However, there have already been reports of flooding as well as severe damage to some buildings. The storm has weakened as it moved inland after encountering Mexico’s mountainous terrain. 

What’s also concerning is that forecasters and computer models failed to predict Otis’ rapid intensification. The storm’s quick power-up left residents with very little time to prepare or evacuate ahead of landfall.

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