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Daily News Digest – January 2, 2023

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, January 2.

1. Stephen Boyd: The Monday Brief

  • Things will heat up in Montgomery next week, but for this week all eyes are on Washington, where the 118th Congress is set to convene tomorrow.
  • Fortunately, we have Stephen Boyd to break down all the palace intrigue from the Capitol.
  • He has the latest on Sen.-elect Katie Britt’s assuming office, new staff hires within the delegation and the saga of Kevin McCarthy’s long and perhaps doomed quest to become Speaker.
  • Read the full Monday Brief HERE.



2. Year starts with hurdles for both parties as they look to 2024 contest

  • Both political parties are opening the new year confronting critical questions about the people and policies they want to embrace as the next election speeds into view.
  • The challenges are particularly urgent for Republicans, who hoped to enter 2023 with a secure grip on one, if not both, chambers of Congress. Instead, an underwhelming midterm election yielded only a thin House majority that will expose fierce intraparty divisions this week as California Rep. Kevin McCarthy fights for the speakership.
  • A central figure in virtually everything is Donald Trump, the former president who transformed the GOP more than seven years ago and is still fighting to exert his will over Republicans in Congress, the RNC and Republican voters just as the next presidential primary season begins.
  • For now, at least, Democrats appear to be far more united than their Republican counterparts.
  • But much depends on Joe Biden and whether the 80-year-old president will follow through on his plan to seek reelection. If he eschews another term — and a formal announcement may be months away — Democrats would be thrust into a murky future with no obvious popular alternatives.
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who did not rule out another presidential bid of his own, said Democrats are also at a “pivotal moment,” facing cracks in their delicate political coalition among young people, African Americans, Latinos and working-class voters.
  • Read more HERE.





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3. Black support for GOP ticked up in this year’s midterms

  • Black voters have been a steady foundation for Democratic candidates for decades, but that support appeared to show a few cracks in this year’s elections.
  • Republican candidates were backed by 14% of Black voters, compared with 8% in the last midterm elections four years ago, according to AP VoteCast, an extensive national survey of the electorate.
  • In Georgia, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp more than doubled his support among Black voters to 12% in 2022 compared with 5% four years ago, according to VoteCast. He defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams both times.
  • If that boost can be sustained, Democrats could face headwinds in 2024 in Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where presidential and Senate races are typically decided by narrow margins and turning out Black voters is a big part of Democrats’ political strategy.
  • Read more HERE.



4. Chief justice: Judges’ safety ‘essential’ to court system

  • With security threats to Supreme Court justices still fresh memories, Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday praised programs that protect judges, saying that “we must support judges by ensuring their safety.”
  • Roberts and other conservative Supreme Court justices were the subject of protests, some at their homes, after the May leak of the court’s decision that ultimately stripped away previous court protections for abortion. Justice Samuel Alito has said that the leak made conservative justices “targets for assassination.” And in June, a man carrying a gun, knife and zip ties was arrested near Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house after threatening to kill the justice, whose vote was key to overturning the court’s Roe v. Wade decision.
  • Roberts, writing in an annual year-end report about the federal judiciary, did not specifically mention the abortion decision, but the case and the reaction to it seemed clearly on his mind.
  • “Judicial opinions speak for themselves, and there is no obligation in our free country to agree with them. Indeed, we judges frequently dissent — sometimes strongly — from our colleagues’ opinions, and we explain why in public writings about the cases before us,” Roberts wrote.
  • Read more HERE.



5. Alzheimer’s drug approval ‘rife with irregularities’

  • The Food and Drug Administration’s contentious approval of a questionable Alzheimer’s drug took another hit late last week as congressional investigators called the process “rife with irregularities.”
  • The 18-month investigation by two House committees detailed “atypical collaboration” between FDA regulators and a company it’s supposed to oversee — Aduhelm manufacturer Biogen. The probe also cited Biogen documents saying the company intended to “make history” when it set what investigators called an “unjustifiably high” initial price of $56,000 a year for the drug.
  • The criticism comes as the FDA is expected to decide whether to approve another new Alzheimer’s drug in January. Thursday’s report urged the agency to “take swift action” to ensure that any future Alzheimer’s approvals aren’t met with “the same doubts about the integrity of FDA’s review.”
  • The FDA and Biogen issued statements defending the Aduhelm approval process.
  • Read more HERE.



ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Stephen Boyd: THE MONDAY BRIEF | January 2, 2023
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Year starts with hurdles for both parties as they look to 2024 contest
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Black support for GOP ticked up in this year’s midterms
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Chief justice: Judges’ safety ‘essential’ to court system
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alzheimer’s drug approval ‘rife with irregularities’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Cannabis Commission receives 94 license applications
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Young throws for 5 TDs, Alabama tops K-State in Sugar Bowl
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ground crew worker killed in accident at Montgomery airport
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 1 dead, 9 hurt in Mobile shooting near Moon Pie drop
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Final goodbye: Recalling influential people who died in 2022
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Dozens of 2022 candidates referred to AG over missing, late campaign finance reports – New Year marks end of Alabama law requiring concealed carry gun permits – A tragic year for the Magic City: Birmingham’s historic 2022 homicide toll, by the numbers – American Airlines ground crew worker killed at Montgomery airport – Alabama woman found shot in driveway dead in act of domestic violence, police say – Bryan Kohberger ‘shocked a little bit’ by his arrest in 4 Idaho student murders, lawyer says
Montgomery Advertiser – Suspect in custody for Montgomery man’s shooting death
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery airport reopens after American Airlines employee killed
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Tuscaloosa juvenile charged with murder in New Year’s Eve shooting
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham bars thankful to survive 2022 with inflation, supply chain issues
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Early morning shooting leaves one dead in Tuscaloosa
Decatur Daily – 2023 outlook: Construction, roads and more growth ahead for Decatur, other local cities
Decatur Daily – Attorney says former Decatur resident accused of Huntsville slaying acted in self-defense
Times Daily – Empty Table Fund about $10K shy of goal
Times Daily – Florence man facing drug trafficking charge
Times Daily – Shoals saw extreme cold, heat and tornadoes in 2022
Gadsden Times – One charge in murder of 13-year-old Piedmont boy
Gadsden Times – GMA to host artists’ panel discussion, kickoff for new exhibits on Jan. 7
Dothan Eagle – Jaywalking gets green light, and more new laws that take effect today
Dothan Eagle – 1st 2 years revealed President Biden’s generational ambition
Dothan Eagle – LGBTQ+ people who made history in 2022
Opelika-Auburn News – Ground crew worker killed in accident at Alabama airport
Opelika-Auburn News – Homelessness in San Francisco: talk of frustration, survival
Opelika-Auburn News – Reading minds: Scientists think solution for honeybee decline may lie in insects’ brains
WSFA Montgomery – NTSB releases new details in fatal accident at Montgomery airport
WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery woman found shot to death on New Year’s Day
WSFA Montgomery – Worker killed in Montgomery airport ‘industrial’ accident
256 Today – Botanical Garden hosts State of Healthcare summit
WASHINGTON POST – Benedict’s funeral to bring ‘two popes’ era to a complicated close
WASHINGTON POST – Hungry and on the march as the climate heats up: Termites in Australia
WASHINGTON POST – The newly relevant relationship between Trump and ‘Sunset Blvd.’
NEW YORK TIMES – A Heavily Armed Man Caused Panic at a Supermarket. But Did He Break the Law?
NEW YORK TIMES – China’s Young Elite Clamber for Government Jobs. Some Come to Regret It.
NEW YORK TIMES – In a Small Arkansas City, Crime, Dread and an Emergency Curfew
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Stay for Pay? Companies Offer Big Raises to Retain Workers
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Investors Brace for More Market Tumult as Interest Rates Keep Rising
WALL STREET JOURNAL – For Battered Bonds, Threats of Further Losses Linger

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