Monday morning news: January 30, 2023
Memphis police have disbanded the unit involved in the beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet with President Biden at the White House this week, Ukrainian forces say they have driven back a Russian assault in the eastern Donetsk region, Congressman McCaul also weighed in on a report that the United States could be at war with China by 2025, Secretary of State Tony Blinken arrives in Israel today days after violence flared up again in the region, gas prices in the U.S. continued to inch upward over the past week
For WORLD Radio, I'm Kent Covington.
Memphis police have disbanded “Scorpion” unit » Memphis police have disbanded the unit involved in the beating of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols.
Authorities released footage on Friday of the January 7th incident following a traffic stop.
AUDIO: [Bodycam footage]
Nichols died in the hospital from his injuries. The five officers involved in the incident have been fired and charged with murder.
The so-called “Scorpion unit” was formed to crack down on crime hotspots.
GOP Congressman Jim Jordan reacted on Sunday:
JORDAN: These individuals, these five individuals did not have any respect for life and again I don't think these five guys represent the vast vast majority of law enforcement but I don't know if there's anything you can do to stop the kind of evil we saw in that video.
Memphis and cities across the country braced for unrest over the weekend after video footage of Nichols’ arrest was released. Protests took place throughout the nation and remained mostly peaceful.
Biden, McCarthy to discuss debt limit in talks this week » House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet with President Biden at the White House this week. He said he looks forward to finding a “reasonable and responsible way that we can lift the debt ceiling” …
MCCARTHY: To put us on a path to balance at the same time not put any any of our debt in jeopardy at the same time
Republicans want spending cuts before raising the debt limit. However, McCarthy said cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicare are off the table.
President Biden insists Republicans should approve raising the debt ceiling without conditions. And he told supporters last week …
BIDEN: I will not let anyone use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip.
But Republican Senator Mike Lee says continuing to massively overspend is not an option.
LEE: Within just a few years we're gonna see our annual interest on debt skyrocket from around 400 billion a year to well over a trillion a year and we don't have that kind of money to cover that and everything else too
Republicans and Democrats have until sometime between early June and August to work out a solution to avoid defaulting on the nation’s debts. McCarthy has vowed that will not happen.
Ukraine » Ukrainian forces say they have driven back a Russian assault in the eastern Donetsk region after the Russian mercenary group Wagner said it took control of a village in the area.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is urging the West to fast track delivery of planes, missiles, and tanks.
He said Vladimir Putin wants to turn this into prolonged war of attrition, hoping to wear down Ukrainian forces.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul says Abrams tanks from the U.S. will not arrive quickly, but other equipment, like Germany’s Leopard 2 tanks, can.
MCCAUL: The leopards can be put in tomorrow and today actually the Abram tanks need more logistics supply training so I wouldn't the key was to commit Abrams tanks to unleash the leopards.
Altogether, Western allies are expected to send hundreds of tanks to Ukraine.
China war prospects » Congressman McCaul also weighed in on a report that the United States could be at war with China by 2025.
NBC News reported that four-star Air Force General Mike Minihan made the prediction in a memo to his officers. McCaul said Sunday:
MCCAUL: Well, I hope he’s wrong as well. I think he’s right, though, unfortunately.
The congressman said he believes President Biden’s rushed withdrawal from Afghanistan projected weakness. And in his view, that increased the odds that China will invade Taiwan before Biden leaves office.
General Minihan reportedly expressed in his memo that Chinese leader Xi Jinping might try to strike Taiwan while the U.S. is focused on the 2024 election.
Biden has said the U.S. military would intervene if that happens.
Israel » Secretary of State Tony Blinken arrives in Israel today, just days after violence flared up again in the region. WORLD’s Josh Schumacher has more.
JOSH SCHUMACHER, REPORTER: Netanyahu over the weekend announced a series of punitive steps against the Palestinians. That follows an attack on Friday when a Palestinian gunman opened fire outside of a synagogue in East Jerusalem killing seven people.
More Israeli troops will now patrol the Gaza Strip, and Israel will cancel social security benefits for the families of attackers.
And after many Palestinians openly celebrated the attack, Netanyahu announced plans to beef up Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The Biden administration opposes Israeli settlements in those areas. And the topic is likely to be high on the agenda as Blinken arrives for talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials.
For WORLD, I’m Josh Schumacher.
Gas prices » Gas prices in the U.S. continued to inch upward over the past week. Regular unleaded is selling for an average of $3.51 per gallon. That’s up 11 cents from this time last week. And it’s 40 cents higher than one month ago.
I’m Kent Covington. For more news, features, and analysis, visit us at wng.org.
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