Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning. Sign Up

Daily News Digest – December 28, 2020

Good morning!

Here’s your Daily News for Monday, December 28.


1. Trump relents, signs COVID relief and spending package

  • President Donald Trump has signed a $900 billion pandemic relief package, ending days of drama over his refusal to accept the bipartisan deal that will deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals and avert a federal government shutdown.
  • The massive bill includes $1.4 trillion to fund government agencies through September and contains other end-of-session priorities such as an increase in food stamp benefits.
  • The signing Sunday at his private club in Florida came amid escalating criticism over his eleventh-hour demands for larger, $2,000 relief checks and scaled-back spending even though the bill had already passed the House and Senate by wide margins. The bill was passed with what lawmakers had thought was Trump’s blessing, and after months of negotiations with his administration.
  • In his statement, Trump repeated his frustrations with the COVID-19 relief bill for providing only $600 checks to most Americans instead of the $2,000 that his fellow Republicans already rejected. He also complained about what he considered unnecessary spending by the government at large.
  • “I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed,” Trump said in the statement.
  • Most of the projects Trump previously criticized as wasteful, including billions in foreign aid, were in his original budget request to Congress.
  • While the president insisted he would send Congress “a redlined version” with items to be removed under the rescission process, those are merely suggestions to Congress. The bill, as signed, would not necessarily be changed.
  • There were several Alabama-specific projects included in the omnibus spending package, according to U.S. Richard Shelby, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. They include more than $500 million for construction of the FBI’s growing Huntsville campus, $3.4 billion for space launch and landing programs managed by Marshall Space Flight Center, $1.2 billion for flight training at Fort Rucker, $125 million for Hydra rockets built in Anniston, $11.6 million for a new F-35 Simulator Facility at Montgomery Regional Airport Base, and billions more toward medical research, of which UAB is a major part.
  • Read the full story HERE.



2. After naming bombing suspect, focus turns to motive

  • With federal officials having identified the man believed to be behind Nashville’s Christmas Day bombing, authorities now turn to the monumental task of piecing together the motive behind the explosion that severely damaged dozens of downtown buildings and injured three people.
  • While officials on Sunday named Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, as the man behind the mysterious explosion in which he was killed, the motive has remained elusive.
  • “These answers won’t come quickly and will still require a lot of our team’s efforts,” FBI Special Agent Doug Korneski said at a Sunday news conference. “Though we may be able to answer some these questions as our investigation continues, none of those answers will be enough by those affected by this event.”
  • Officials have received hundreds of tips and leads, but have concluded that no one other than Warner is believed to have been involved.
  • “Nashville is considered safe,” said Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake. “There are no known threats against this city.”
  • The bombing took place on a holiday morning well before downtown streets were bustling with activity and was accompanied by a recorded announcement warning anyone nearby that a bomb would soon detonate.
  • Then, for reasons that may never be known, the audio switched to a recording of Petula Clark’s 1964 hit “Downtown” shortly before the blast.
  • Authorities said Warner was not known to law enforcement before the Christmas blast.
  • Read more HERE.’


3. In the Weeds: Exit interview with Bradley Byrne

  • I sat down with Congressman Bradley Byrne for the last episode of the year for our “In the Weeds” podcast.
  • Of course, Byrne is leaving Congress after serving Alabama’s 1st District for seven years.
  • I’ve known Bradley Byrne for about 15 years, going back to his time in the State Senate and taking over the two-year college system as chancellor. He’s seen a lot in his career and been through some high profile battles, so I was eager to get his perspective on a number of topics.
  • We talked about a lot: Accomplishments he’s proud of, opportunities he’d like to have back, the state of the Republican Party vis-à-vis Trump, what needs to change about Congress, what’s next for him career wise, and what he’ll miss the most.
  • The best parts, though, are him telling stories, both from the Capitol and from the road in Alabama. It’s long, but worth it.
  • Listen to and read our full “In the Weeds” interview HERE.
  • You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or Stitcher.


4. Veto override on NDAA?

  • The U.S. House of Representatives will vote today on overriding President Donald Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act.
  • Trump vetoed the annual military policy and spending bill last week, complaining that it did not contain language repealing Section 230 of the Communications Act, an unrelated law that provides a liability shield to social media companies. He has also opposed a provision in the NDAA allowing for a process for renaming military bases named after Confederate generals.
  • The NDAA originally passed overwhelmingly – 335-78 in the House and 84-13 in the Senate – margins that are more than enough for a veto override. However, some Republicans who voted for the bill have said they would not vote to override Trump’s veto.
  • Here’s where the end of the year combined with COVID-related travel problems could make it interesting. It takes two thirds votes in both chambers to override a veto, but that’s two thirds of the members voting, not of the chambers at large.
  • So, if Republicans who would otherwise sustain the president’s veto don’t make it back to Washington for today’s House vote, it could pad the numbers for an override.
  • Things could get even trickier in the Senate, where Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has said he will delay any override efforts, but Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe has encouraged fellow Republicans to override.
  • Read more from The Hill’s Rebecca Kheel HERE.


5. CFP matchups: What will decide Tide-Irish, Tigers-Buckeyes?

  • The last time Alabama and Notre Dame played each other, it was a BCS championship blowout won by the Crimson Tide.
  • The last time Clemson and Ohio State faced off — just last year — they played one of the best semifinals in the College Football Playoff’s 6-year history.
  • According to the oddsmakers, this season’s CFP semis figure to be more of the same.
  • Alabama is about a three-touchdown favorite against Notre Dame when they play Jan. 1 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to open the semifinal doubleheader.
  • Clemson is favored by seven to beat Ohio State in the nightcap at the Superdome in New Orleans.
  • With help from ESPN analyst Greg McElroy and the SEC Network’s Cole Cubelic, read more from Ralph Russo about some of the key matchups that could decide which teams play for the national championship on Jan. 11 in South Florida.
  • Full story HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – After naming bombing suspect, focus turns to motive


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Trump relents, signs COVID relief, averts federal shutdown


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In the Weeds: Exit interview with Bradley Byrne


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – CFP matchups: What will decide Tide-Irish, Tigers-Buckeyes?


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama ending in-person unemployment help


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – US plants hope to maintain production despite virus threat


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Warnock and Loeffler work to consolidate voters for runoff


AL.COM – 2,470 new COVID-19 cases in Alabama


AL.COM – How COVID-19 is closing in on Alabama healthcare workers


AL.COM – Unemployment benefits expire for millions as Trump rages


AL.COM – Folksy but firm Gov. Kay Ivey just keeps on telling Alabamians to wear their ‘bloomin’ masks’


AL.COM – What happens when Richard Shelby leaves office? Alabama Senator’s influence seen in massive spending bill


AL.COM – Contributor Cameron Smith: America’s failed political leadership is your fault


Montgomery Advertiser – 61-year-old man shot to death Saturday morning in Montgomery


Montgomery Advertiser – One killed in quadruple shooting in Montgomery, suspect arrested


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – B’ham police investigate weekend shooting death


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – “Cat cafe” hopes to do well with weekend schedule


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – B’ham police investigating after woman shot multiple times


Tuscaloosa News – A race well run: Lillie Leatherwood retires after career of helping children


Tuscaloosa News – Homer Hickam has passion for writing and and dinosaur hunting


Tuscaloosa News – Tuscaloosa City Council moves to help out local YMCA


Decatur Daily – Woman dies in Huntsville-Brownsferry Road wreck


Decatur Daily – Data show area has seen 339 more deaths this year; funeral homes adapt


Decatur Daily – AT&T customers can text 911, Morgan Sheriff’s Office says


Times Daily – School officials: COVID took its toll educationally


Times Daily – aEmpty Table Fund soars to $54,965


Times Daily – One Place, Safeplace receive grants


Anniston Star – 10 pivotal pandemic moments in Calhoun County


Anniston Star – 10 pivotal pandemic moments in Calhoun County


Anniston Star – 10 pivotal pandemic moments in Calhoun County


YellowHammer News – University of South Alabama’s annual campaign raises $224,316 for United Way


YellowHammer News – University of South Alabama building digital history lab


YellowHammer News – House Majority Ldr Ledbetter: DoJ prison lawsuit ‘a little bit aggravating’ — ‘It didn’t get this way overnight, and we’re not going to fix it overnight’


Gadsden Times – Altoona man arrested in Christmas Eve slaying of girlfriend


Gadsden Times – Paraglider rescued from tree in Southside Saturday


Gadsden Times – Hospitals hold prayer vigils to honor workers, patients


Dothan Eagle – Unemployment claims climb for Wiregrass counties


Dothan Eagle – Asia Today: Governor of hotspot Thai province infected


Dothan Eagle – Global stocks advance after Trump signs $900B aid package


Opelika-Auburn News – The Year of COVID (aka 2020) in Review


Opelika-Auburn News – In-betweenland: As 2020 slips away, an American snapshot


Opelika-Auburn News – Global stocks advance after Trump signs $900B aid package


WSFA Montgomery – Trump signs massive measure funding government, COVID relief


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery warming center receives holiday donation


WSFA Montgomery – FBI at home of possible person of interest in Nashville bomb


WAFF Huntsville – COVID-19 in Alabama: 1,602 new confirmed cases on Sunday


WAFF Huntsville – Nashville officers praised as heroes for saving lives


WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville Havoc set to start season with new COVID-19 precautions


WKRG Mobile – Police release dramatic video of downtown Nashville explosion


WKRG Mobile – Police release dramatic video of downtown Nashville explosion


WKRG Mobile – AT&T reports significant progress on Nashville restoration efforts


WTVY Dothan – Still waiting on your Christmas package to arrive?


WTVY Dothan – Alabama ending in-person unemployment help


WTVY Dothan – Tony Rice, master bluegrass guitarist, dies at 69


WASHINGTON POST – Trump signs stimulus and government spending bill into law, averting shutdown


WASHINGTON POST – Authorities identify Anthony Warner as Nashville bomber, say his remains were found in the wreckage


WASHINGTON POST  – Why these Fox News loyalists have changed the channel to Newsmax


NEW YORK TIMES – Trump Signs Pandemic Relief Bill After Unemployment Aid Lapses


NEW YORK TIMES – A Quiet Life, a Thunderous Death, and a Nightmare That Shook Nashville


NEW YORK TIMES – Did These New York Clinics Ignore Rules on Who Gets Vaccinated First?


WALL STREET JOURNAL – U.S. Stock Futures Rise on Stimulus Bill Passage


WALL STREET JOURNAL – China Tells Ant Group to Refocus on Its Payments Business


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Nashville Bombing Suspect Anthony Warner Died in Explosion, Police Say



Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)



Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Web Development By Infomedia