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President Joe Biden touted the deal he made with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on the debt ceiling as a win for the American people. Biden addressed the nation in a prime-time speech Friday after Congress averted an economically disastrous default with just days to spare by passing legislation to raise the nation’s $31.4 trillion debt ceiling. Biden signed the bill into law Saturday. This ended the possibility of a calamitous government default after the Senate approved the bill with a 63-36 vote. 

President Joe Biden plans to select former North Carolina health secretary Mandy Cohen to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to sources with direct knowledge of the pending announcement. Biden’s formal announcement is expected later this month, after White House officials finalize Cohen’s paperwork, the people said. Cohen would replace Rochelle Walensky, who is stepping down on June 30 as head of the sprawling agency that for decades was touted as a model for global public health but has come under fire for its slow response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The first 2024 Republican presidential debate will be held in Milwaukee on Aug. 23, the Republican National Committee announced Friday, with a second debate the following night should it be needed. The RNC also detailed the criteria that will be used for candidates to qualify for the debate stage, including a pledge to support the eventual Republican presidential nominee. That requirement could keep some candidates off the stage, including former President Donald Trump, who hasn’t committed to supporting the nominee if he doesn’t emerge from the primary. The list of candidates vying to face President Joe Biden next year includes Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. Other candidates expected to get into the contest soon include former Vice President Mike Pence, ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

The Carter family announced that Rosalynn Carter, the longtime wife of former President Jimmy Carter, has dementia. The Former first lady had spent decades tirelessly advocating to address mental health issues and to remove the stigma around related illnesses. Paige Alexander, chief executive of the Atlanta-based Carter Center said, “The family made the decision to announce this now, and it aligned with her lifetime of selfless work. They wanted to do this now to tell her story and to lead the conversation about dementia and what caregiving means.”

The multimillion-dollar expansion efforts at Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights got a boost this week from Washington thanks to U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff who announced a $1.4 million appropriations grant for the center that would help build a gallery focusing on atrocities during the Reconstruction Era, and to expand and relocate the popular Martin Luther King Jr. exhibit space. “I’m helping upgrade exhibits at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights because this Georgia institution tells the story and keeps the flame lit of civil rights heroes like Dr. King and Congressman John Lewis,” Ossoff said in a statement. “I hope more Georgia children will now have the opportunity to learn this vital history and be inspired by the examples of champions for civil and voting rights who made such sacrifices in the pursuit of equal justice for all.” Last October, the center announced one of its original supporters, philanthropist, and business mogul Arthur M. Blank, committed $15 million toward the center’s $48 million capital campaign that will add two wings to the downtown museum. 

The Atlanta school board announced that it won’t offer Superintendent Lisa Herring a contract extension. Herring’s current contract with Atlanta Public Schools ends in June 2024. Herring has led APS since July 2020. “So long as she is the Superintendent, Dr. Herring and the Board will continue the critical work that has begun, particularly the laser focus on student achievement,” school board chairwoman Eshé Collins said in a statement. “We are confident that as the Superintendent transitions and the Board embarks on the search for the next transformative leader for APS, the work will continue uninterrupted, and APS will remain a great place for children.” Herring expressed disappointment over the board’s decision in a written statement. “In December of 2022, I received my last performance evaluation and satisfactory feedback with emphasis on the focus of additional engagement and stronger communications efforts,” the statement said. “I have worked diligently to honor the work and expectations of our board and community.” In the fall of 2019, the board decided not to extend then-Superintendent Meria Carstarphen’s contract. It conducted a national search and tapped Herring to replace her. 

Fort Bragg has officially dropped its tie to the Confederate namesake and has been renamed Fort Liberty. The change was part of a broad Department of Defense initiative, motivated by the 2020 George Floyd protests, to rename installations that had been named after Confederate soldiers. A naming commission created by Congress visited the bases and met with members of the surrounding communities for input. “We were given a mission, we accomplished that mission and we made ourselves better,” Lt. Gen. Christopher Donahue, the commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Liberty, told reporters after the ceremony

Amazon is reportedly in talks with wireless carrier Verizon Communications to offer free mobile service to U.S. Prime members, Bloomberg reported. The deal could include a $10 monthly plan, and possibly free unlimited plans, according to sources. Amazon Prime currently costs $14.99 per month, or $139 for the year, and a phone plan that is included would greatly reduce the wireless bills for countless Americans, who on average pay about $166 per month, according to some estimates. 

Limited units of family-sized Tillamook Waffle Cone Swirl ice cream cartons are being recalled from across the country over undeclared wheat and soy allergen concerns. Recalled by Tillamook County Creamery Association, the affected ice cream products may cause severe to life-threatening allergic reactions in people who have an allergy or sensitivity towards soy and wheat.

DEKA Trading Corp., the importer of record in Miami, FL, is recalling 13,771 pounds of imported ready-to-eat pork rind products. The products were imported from Guatemala, a country ineligible to export meat products to the United States, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The following products are subject to recall, regardless of the product date:     

  • 5.3 oz. (150g) foil pouch packages containing “TorTrix Con Chicharrón.”

The products subject to recall do not bear an establishment number nor a USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to wholesale and retail locations in Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia. The problem was discovered during routine FSIS surveillance activities. Guatemala is not eligible to import meat products into the United States.

Ford is telling owners of more than 140,000 SUVs in the U.S. to park them outside because they can catch fire even when the engines are turned off. The company is recalling certain Lincoln MKC SUVs from the 2015 to 2019 model years. Ford says a short-circuit can develop in the 12-volt battery monitor sensor. It can overheat and cause an engine compartment fire. Owners are urged to park away from structures until the recall repair is made. 

Have a great week…


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