1. Republicans pitch stopgap bill to avoid government shutdownA group of Republicans led by Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) proposed a stopgap bill on Saturday that would temporarily avoid the looming government shutdown scheduled to occur next week. The continuing resolution unveiled by Johnson is a two-step or “laddered” bill that would require several additional bills to be passed through 2024, as opposed to typical funding extensions that occur in one move. Johnson’s plan does not include budget cuts or aid for Israel, and a number of House Republicans lambasted the bill soon after it was proposed. Many of them were calling for the removal of aid to Ukraine and additional border funding, issues that would be non-starters for the Democratic-controlled Senate. USA Today, NBC News
2. Israel allowing babies to be evacuated from darkened Gaza hospitalIsraeli officials said Sunday that they were ready to assist in the evacuation of babies from Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital, which has gone dark amid the continued war between Israel and Hamas. At least two babies have already died and dozens more are at risk as cutoffs of electricity, internet and supplies have forced Gaza’s largest hospital to shut down. Israel also continued with an overall mission to evacuate hospitals in northern Gaza, where most of the fighting has been concentrated. “The hospitals need to be evacuated so we can deal with Hamas,” said Israeli military spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. “We intend on dealing with Hamas who have turned hospitals into fortified positions.” Reuters, NPR
3. Biden commemorates Veterans Day at Arlington National CemeteryPresident Joe Biden commemorated Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday, with a speech focusing on the willingness of American troops to defeat evil. “Whenever and wherever the forces of darkness have sought to extinguish the light of liberty, American veterans have been holding the lantern as high as they can for all of us,” Biden said during a speech at the cemetery. Joined by first lady Dr. Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff, Biden also placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. During his speech, the president alluded to the foreign wars in Ukraine and Gaza, but did not mention them explicitly. The Hill, Politico
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4. Americans’ attitude toward the economy sours for fourth straight month Americans are continuing to have an increasingly pessimistic attitude about the economy, according to data released Friday. The University of Michigan’s measure of consumer sentiment fell 5% in November, the fourth straight month that economic sentiments dropped after having risen this past summer. The drop was likely due to increasing interest rates and high prices at the pump and grocery stores, despite inflation continuing to soften. Long-term expectations of inflation were also increasing, according to the data, as the most Americans since 2011 now believe that high prices are here to stay. The university reported that consumers are expecting prices to rise 3.2% annually over the next five to 10 years. CNN, Bloomberg
5. World leaders meet in Kenya to negotiate plastic pollution treatyGovernment delegates will gather in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday to try and negotiate the terms of a first-ever global treaty to combat plastic pollution. Helmed by the United Nations, the weeklong meeting will see world governments debate portions of a draft treaty that includes various anti-pollution policies. Officials expressed hope that a treaty could be signed into law by the end of 2024. A number of Western countries have expressed interest in an agreement similar to the Paris Climate Accords, which would allow nations to set their own goals about eliminating plastic pollution. Many developing countries have pushed back on this approach, though, instead urging stronger uniform standards that all nations will have to abide by. The Guardian, Reuters
6. More than 800 Sudanese reportedly killed during attack in DarfurMore than 800 people were killed by paramilitary fighters that carved a path of mayhem through a town in Sudan’s Darfur region, the United Nations said. According to the UN, the fighters launched an attack assisted by Arab militia groups that lasted over multiple days. The attack on the town of Ardamata was the latest mass-casualty event in the months-long war in Sudan, which has pitted the country’s military against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The war began this past April and has caused hundreds of deaths throughout the country. The RSF has pushed into the war-torn Darfur region in recent weeks, despite the fact that both sides actually began negotiating again last month. The Associated Press
7. US military plane crashes over the Mediterranean SeaA U.S. military aircraft crashed in the eastern Mediterranean Sea during a training operation, the Pentagon said Saturday. The crash had occurred the day prior when the unidentified plane “suffered a mishap and went down,” U.S. European Command — which runs American military operations in the region — said in a statement. The crash was “purely related to training and there are no indications of hostile activity,” the statement added. No information on potential casualties or the number of victims has been released, with the Pentagon saying it was withholding this information out of respect for family members. The type of plane involved was also not specified. CBS News, The Associated Press
8. Pope Francis dismisses conservative US bishop Pope Francis on Saturday took the extremely rare step of firing an American bishop who had been critical of him. Joseph Strickland was removed from his duties as the head of the Diocese in Tyler, Texas. The Vatican did not give an exact reason for his dismissal, only stating that Francis had “relieved” Strickland from his duties. An ultra-conservative, Strickland was outspoken about the numerous ideological differences between himself and the pope. This includes hot-button issues in the Catholic Church such as same-sex marriage and abortion, where Francis has taken a more liberal stance than many of his papal predecessors. Strickland was seen as one of the United States’ leading conservative voices of the Catholic Church. The New York Times, The Texas Tribune
9. Millions of Indians celebrate Diwali Millions of Indians helped set a new Guinness World Record on Sunday during their celebration of Diwali. Worshippers at the Saryu River, in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, lit an estimated 2.22 million oil lamps and burned them for 45 minutes as part of the Hindu festival of lights. This set a new world record, beating the 1.5 million oil lamps lit during Diwali in 2022. The holiday is celebrated across India by the igniting of various lamps and other light sources, including candles, fireworks and streamers. However, the festival and the world record also came amid concerns over India’s increasing troubles with air pollution, which continues to persist across the country. The Associated Press
10. Alec Baldwin makes surprise return to ‘Saturday Night Live’Alec Baldwin appeared for a short cameo on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ marking the actor’s first return to the sketch comedy show since the fatal shooting in 2021 on the set of his film ‘Rust.’ Baldwin had last appeared on the show three years ago with his now-infamous portrayal of former President Donald Trump. He had not appeared on the show since then despite being one of its most welcomed guests, having hosted ‘Saturday Night Live’ 17 previous times. Amid the continuing legal troubles related to the ‘Rust’ shooting, though, Baldwin still found time to drop by for a quick cameo in a sketch with this week’s host, Timothee Chalamet. Los Angeles Times