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1. Black History Wins as Republican McCarthy Struggles


First Day of 118th Congress

Source: The Washington Post / Getty

What You Need to Know:

During one of, if not the most public events, full of pomp and circumstance, on the first day of the 118th Congress, House leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) faced his most public rejection by members of his own party in his quest to become Speaker of the House. During the first round, as every Democrat rose to vote for Hakeem Jeffries as the next Speaker, Republicans were splintered as most voted for McCarthy, and others placed their support for other Republicans including Conservative Congressman Andy Biggs of Arizona and Republican rabble-rouser, Jim Jordan of Ohio. Not making the type of history he aimed for, McCarthy became the first House Speaker nominee in 100 years to fail to win the gavel from his party members on the first vote.

2. China to Eclipse USA in Space Race, Top NASA Official Warns




Another side of the moon. Astronaut of China and US flags. Two astronaut flags on the moon.

Source: Vasif Bagirov / Getty


What You Need to Know:

China is slowly eclipsing the United States in the space race, and the country needs to “watch out” that its rival does not gain a foothold and try to dominate lunar resources, NASA’s top official, Bill Nelson, has warned.

The former astronaut and Florida Republican senator warned that China could eventually claim to “own” the moon’s resource-rich areas.

There are some extremely valuable resources on the moon, such as Helium-3, a rare natural gas on earth but much more abundant on the lunar surface and desirable for future nuclear fusion reactors.


3. New Rules to Extend North Carolina Emergencies Begin in 2023


Close-up view of the North Carolina state flag waving

Source: rarrarorro / Getty

What You Need to Know:

The new year will place new hurdles in the path of North Carolina’s current and future governors before states of emergency they issue can extend into months or even years, as happened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A provision in the 2021 state budget law that takes effect Sunday requires governors to gain formal support from other elected officials for their short-term emergency declarations to last beyond 30 days.

It’s among a dozen state laws taking effect in part or in full as 2023 begins. The laws include an income tax cut, the creation of a new Department of Adult Correction, and new directives to prevent the sale of stolen goods on online marketplaces.


4. First Transgender Person Executed in Missouri



What You Need to Know:

Nearly 1,600 death row inmates have been put to death in the U.S. since 1977, but a Tuesday execution in Missouri was the first of an openly transgender woman.

This was also the state’s first use of the death penalty on a woman since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976, according to U.S. House of Representative members Cori Bush and Emanuel Cleaver, who urged Parson to grant clemency.

5. Black and Missing: Tiffany Foster


African American woman Tiffany Foster has been missing since March 1, 2021. The 37-year-old was last seen at Lakeside Apartments in Newnan, Georgia. Her car was found in Fulton County with her personal belongings still inside.

Tiffany is 5’2″ with black hair and hazel eyes.

Anyone with information on Tiffany’s disappearance should go to the Black and Missing Foundation website.