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FBI Searched U.S. Senator in Foreign-Spying Database
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The Federal Bureau of Investigation wrongfully searched a foreign-intelligence database for information about a U.S. senator and two state officials last year, a federal surveillance court said, a disclosure that could fuel a bipartisan effort in Congress to overhaul the spying program.

In June 2022, an FBI analyst conducted four overly broad searches of the U.S. senator’s last name in a database of calls, texts, emails and other electronic information collected by the National Security Agency, the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said. The analyst also searched the data using the last name of a state senator. While the searches were factually justified, they lacked appropriate limits, such as a date range, on the breadth of data that was searched.

The names of the senators haven’t been made public.

The analyst had information that an unnamed foreign-intelligence service had been targeting the two legislators, but the analyst failed to meet standards required to conduct the search, the court said.

Additionally, an unidentified state judge’s social security number was wrongfully used in an October 2022 search of the foreign-intelligence trove after the judge complained to the FBI about alleged civil-rights violations perpetrated by a municipal chief of police, the court said. That search lacked sufficient factual justification to be performed, the court found.

The National Security Agency collects the data under a law known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, which allows the secretive eavesdropping agency to siphon digital data from U.S. technology providers. The data can then be searched without a warrant by various spy agencies, including the FBI, which has a robust counterintelligence mission.

Though intended for the communications of foreign national-security suspects living overseas, the database also holds information about Americans, gathered, say, when a person living in the U.S. communicates with an intelligence target living overseas.

Section 702 is due to expire at the end of the year, unless Congress renews it. Lawmakers in both parties have expressed interest in taking the opportunity to rewrite it, including potentially to require a warrant for some searches of Americans’ data. The Biden administration is pushing for the renewal of the program without major changes, arguing it is essential to meet a range of national-security threats.

The U.S. senator was notified about the search after the fact, a senior FBI official told reporters Friday. The state senator and state judge haven’t been notified, the FBI official said, adding that normally individuals aren’t told about wrongfully conducted searches.

In recent years, surveillance-court judges have found the FBI routinely violated Americans’ privacy rights by searching for their data in the intelligence database.

The searches revealed Friday related to public officials occurred after the FBI began implementing a series of internal changes adopted over the past years to address repeated violations by analysts, such as requiring them to proactively opt-in to using the database and mandating written justifications. The Biden administration previously disclosed that the frequency of FBI searches of U.S. data fell sharply last year, from up to millions of searches to about 120,000.

Overall, the court opinion estimated the FBI’s rate of noncompliance with searching standards was under 2%.

Earlier this year, Republican Rep. Darin LaHood disclosed in a congressional hearing that the FBI had inappropriately searched his name in the Section 702 database between December 2019 and May 2020, according to a previously disclosed U.S. intelligence report.

Republican criticism of the FBI and its leadership has grown over what former President Trump and his conservative allies in Congress have alleged are abuses of power by federal law enforcement. FBI Director Chris Wray last week strongly defended his workforce in hours of combative questioning by Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, including about Section 702.

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  • Typical rino in the house of rep can’t trust any of them says:

    Wray and his pack of thugs do not have the right to just spy on conservatives how about the commie socialist on the left if anything they’d hit the mother lode on this scum! And Jordan still waiting for you to charge Wray with contempt of Congress like you promised today is Aug 6th it’s been 12 days since you broke that promise but then you are a rino with you head up bidens fking a** and still no impeachment I wonder what you would do if an ordinary citizen committed Treason 4 times against America would you fking act then rino! Jordan just can’t take your and comers feet dragging any longer your DO NOTHIG attitude toward us hard working American you’ve made promises to is now falling on deaf ears we’re tired of your leftist lies you promised words mean nothing it’s just more lies to us and we’re the people who are paying for it every fking day with biden stealing after raising our taxes and giving that money to Ukraine to launder for biden! You’ve run out of time the trust is gone your just another leftist rino stooge!

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    Masks, Social Distancing Return to China

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    China has brought back masks and social distancing in a chilling echo of lockdown as they battle a mystery pneumonia outbreak four years on from Covid.

    Alarming footage has emerged of mask-wearing crowds inside Chinese hospitals.

    Areas in the north of the country such as Beijing and Liaoning have been hit the hardest, with reports emerging last week that hospitals are being overwhelmed with sick children.

    A common bacterial infection called mycoplasma pneumoniae has circulated since May but is now showing ground glass opacity in lung scans – an indicator of severe respiratory illness.

    Also known as “white lung syndrome”, many parents are deeply worried and are having to wait at least a day just for emergency care.

    But China continues to insist that flu and the usual winter bugs are to blame for the latest outbreak, rather than a new virus, and can cope with the spike in sickness.

    Local authorities, however, are already being called upon to open more fever clinics and promote vaccine uptake among children and the elderly.

    “Efforts should be made to increase the opening of relevant clinics and treatment areas, extend service hours and increase the supply of medicines,” said ministry spokesman Mi Feng.

    He also advised people to wear masks and called on local authorities to focus on preventing the spread of illnesses in crowded places such as schools and nursing homes.

    But his statement comes after a Beijing children’s hospital told state media CCTV that at least 7,000 patients were being admitted daily to the institution, exceeding capacity.

    It followed up the largest paediatric hospital in nearby Tianjin reportedly receiving more than 13,000 children through its doors.

    The concerning spread of illness comes as the nation enters its first full winter season since lifting strict COVID-19 restrictions last December.

    Professor Francois Balloux, from the UCL Genetics Institute, has blamed China’s strict lockdown lowering immunity for the “exit wave” sweeping across the country.

    While the US and UK also saw spikes in infections like RSV and flu after pandemic rules were lifted, China’s have been on a bigger scale.

    Things escalated further last week when the World Health Organisation (WHO) were forced into a rare public intervention, formally requesting further information from Beijing on the infections.

    The WHO said no unusual or novel pathogens had been detected in data provided by China, however.

    But both China and the WHO have been accused of a lack of transparency in their initial reports on the Covid pandemic.

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    Mike Pence Testified Under Oath to Jack Smith Team

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    Former Vice President Mike Pence initially did not want to preside over the count of electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021, amid pressure from then-President Trump to overturn the election results, according to a new report from ABC News.

    ABC News spoke with sources familiar with what Pence told federal investigators led by special counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Sources told the outlet that investigators pushed Pence on personal notes he had taken during his vice presidency that were obtained by investigators from the National Archives.

    The notes indicate that Pence had briefly decided that he would not oversee the counting of the electoral votes, writing that there were “too many questions” and that it would otherwise be “too hurtful to my friend,” which likely references Trump.

    In August, Trump was indicted on four counts in the federal election interference case, which alleged the former president directed a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and was at the center of the campaign to block the certification of votes Jan. 6. Pence testified for several hours in front of the grand jury investigating the case in April.

    According to ABC’s reporting, Pence told Smith’s team that his loyalty to Trump never wavered at the time. Sources described the former vice president telling investigators that his “only higher loyalty was to God and the Constitution.”

    Investigators also pressed Pence on his recent memoir, which detailed some of the conversations he had with Trump about certifying the votes. The investigators were interested over the placement of a comma at one point in Pence’s book, which the former vice president said was a mistake, sources told ABC.

    In his memoir, Pence wrote that he told Trump “You know, I don’t think I have the authority to change the outcome” of the election on Jan. 6. However, Pence reportedly told investigators that the comma was not supposed to be there, which suggested that Trump knew Pence could not overturn the results when overseeing the election.

    Smith cites the line from Pence’s memoir in his 45-page indictment against the former president.

    Pence ended his four-month campaign for the White House last month. Since leaving office and throughout his campaign, Pence maintained that he did the right thing by not attempting to overturn the election results Jan. 6.

    Pence could take the stand against Trump should Smith’s election case go to trial, which is currently slated to occur in March.

    The special counsel’s office declined to comment on ABC’s report.

    This article was updated.

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    Koch Network Endorses Nikki Haley for President

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    The political network founded by the Koch brothers is endorsing Nikki Haley in the Republican presidential primary race, giving her organizational muscle and financial heft as she battles Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida for second place in Iowa.

    The group announced its plans in a memo on Tuesday.

    The commitment by the network, Americans for Prosperity Action, bolsters Ms. Haley as the campaign enters the final seven weeks before the first nominating contest. Since the first Republican primary debate, Ms. Haley has steadily climbed in polls, and is closely competing with Mr. DeSantis for the second-place slot in Iowa. Former President Donald J. Trump remains the dominant front-runner in the race.

    Ms. Haley, who has described Mr. Trump’s time as past, has gained support from donors and her candidacy has received approval from elite opinion-makers, many of whom describe her as the best alternative to Mr. Trump.

    But Ms. Haley’s campaign does not have the organizational strength that Mr. DeSantis does, thanks to work the super PAC affiliated with his campaign has been doing for much of the year.

    The endorsement from the super PAC established by David and Charles Koch could help change that. It will give her access to a direct-mail operation, field workers to knock on doors and people making phone calls to prospective voters in Iowa and beyond. The group also has money to spend on television advertisements.

    It also helps fuel Ms. Haley’s momentum heading into the final weeks before voting begins.

    Americans for Prosperity Action has been among the country’s largest spenders on anti-Trump material this year, buying online ads and sending mailers to voters in a number of states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. All told, the group has spent more than $9 million in independent expenditures opposing Mr. Trump.

    One mailer in Iowa, paid for by AFP Action, shows images of Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden and reads, “You can stop Biden…by letting go of Trump.”

    But so far none of that spending has benefited any of his rivals, who have been busily battling each other.

    The Koch network is well financed, raising more than $70 million for political races as of this summer.

    The group has been committed to opposing Mr. Trump’s return as leader of the Republican Party. In a February 2023 memo, Emily Seidel, the president of Americans for Prosperity, wrote, “We need to turn the page on the past. So the best thing for the country would be to have a president in 2025 who represents a new chapter.”

    Mr. DeSantis’s campaign, which has seen upheaval in recent days including the C.E.O. of his super PAC resigning, tried to throw cold water on the endorsement before it was even announced.

    “Every dollar spent on Nikki Haley’s candidacy should be reported as an in-kind to the Trump campaign,” wrote a DeSantis spokesman, Andrew Romeo, on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, thirty minutes before A.F.P. Action officials announced the endorsement in a press call.

    “No one has a stronger record of beating the establishment than Ron DeSantis, and this time will be no different,” he wrote.

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    Hunter Biden Agrees to Testify Publicly Before House Oversight Committee

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    Hunter Biden is willing to testify before the House Oversight Committee — but only in public, according to a letter his attorney wrote to Republican lawmakers on Tuesday.

    Chairman James Comer of the House Oversight Committee issued a subpoena earlier this month to depose Hunter Biden on Dec. 13. In his letter, Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Biden, accused Comer of selectively leaking information from closed-door depositions with other witnesses in his ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

    “We have seen you use closed-door sessions to manipulate, even distort the facts and misinform the public,” Lowell wrote to Comer.

    “We therefore propose opening the door.”

    “Your empty investigation has gone on too long wasting too many better-used resources. It should come to an end,” Lowell continued. “Consequently, Mr. Biden will appear at such a public hearing on the date you noticed, December 13, or any date in December that we can arrange.”

    Comer announced a slew of subpoenas on Nov. 8 targeting members of the president’s family, including Hunter Biden, brother James Biden, and former Hunter Biden business associate Rob Walker, demanding they appear for depositions.

    “The House Oversight Committee has followed the money and built a record of evidence revealing how Joe Biden knew, was involved, and benefited from his family’s influence peddling schemes,” Comer said in a statement earlier this month.

    “Now, the House Oversight Committee is going to bring in members of the Biden family and their associates to question them on this record of evidence.”

    Lowell called the subpoenas a “political stunt” at the time, adding, “Nevertheless, Hunter is eager to have the opportunity, in a public forum and at the right time, to discuss these matters with the Committee.”

    In a lengthy memo, the White House accused House Republicans of abusing their power to conduct a smear campaign against the president and his family, saying they are “throwing spaghetti” at the wall after failing to produce evidence to support their allegations.

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    Murdoch Deposed in Smartmatic Lawsuit

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    Rupert Murdoch is being deposed Tuesday as part of the $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit filed against Fox Corp. by the voting technology company Smartmatic, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC.

    Murdoch is expected to sit for questioning in Los Angeles on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the source.

    It is the second time this year that Murdoch, 92, has been deposed in a high-stakes defamation lawsuit accusing Fox News of airing lies about the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

    Under questioning in January as part of a similar defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, Murdoch said that some Fox News hosts and personalities “endorsed” the false narrative that the election was stolen from then-President Donald Trump.

    Fox paid $787.5 million to settle Dominion’s lawsuit, nearly half the $1.6 billion figure initially demanded by the voting company.

    Smartmatic’s lawsuit accuses Fox and a handful of its hosts and guests of knowingly lying, or acting with reckless disregard for the truth, by entertaining or endorsing the false claim that the company rigged the election for President Joe Biden over Trump.

    Smartmatic, which is suing in New York Supreme Court, is seeking “in excess of $2.7 billion” in damages it says were caused by the defendants’ “disinformation campaign.”

    Murdoch is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, which was filed against Fox personalities Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro and former opinion host Lou Dobbs.

    Trump’s former attorney Rudy Giuliani and pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell are also included as defendants.

    A New York appeals court in February declined an attempt by Fox to dismiss the defamation suit.

    Murdoch officially stepped down as chair of Fox and News Corp. earlier this month, putting his son Lachlan in charge of both. The elder Murdoch is now chairman emeritus of the companies.

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    Jimmy Carter, 99, Says Goodbye to Wife Rosalynn

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    Amy Carter choked back tears on Wednesday as she talked about the love story of her parents, Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter.

    Her father, the former president Jimmy Carter, sat in the front row as she spoke. He arrived at his late wife Rosalynn’s memorial in wheelchair and underneath a blanket bearing her face in a heartbreaking goodbye to his wife of 77 years.

    The 99-year-old sat in the front row with his family and alongside all the living first ladies – Melania Trump, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, and Jill Biden – and President Joe Biden and Bill Clinton.

    The service was filled with love, laughter and tears – most of which came as Amy Carter talked about her parents, who met as children and married young.

    Amy Carter admitted her part was ‘hard to read without crying so be patient,’ she pleaded.

    ‘My mom spent most of her life in love with my dad,’ she noted. ‘Their partnership and love story was a defining feature of her life. Because he isn’t able to speak to you today. I’m going to share some of his words about loving and missing.’

    She then read from a letter Jimmy Carter wrote Rosalynn 75 years ago while serving in the Navy: ‘My darling every time I have ever been away from you, I have been thrilled when I returned to discover just how wonderful you are. While I’m away I tried to convince myself you could not be as sweet and beautiful as I remember.’

    ‘But when I see you, I fall in love with you all over again. Does that seem strange to you? It doesn’t to me. Goodbye darling. Until tomorrow Jimmy.’

    Amy Carter, 56, is the Carters’ youngest child and spent her pre-teen years in the White House, growing up in the public eye.

    Jason Carter, a Carter grandson, said of Rosalynn Carter: ‘My grandmother doesn’t need a eulogy, her life was a sermon.’

    He talked about how Rosalynn was like all other grandmothers, giving her grandkids a $20 on their birthday and ‘almost all of her recipes call for mayonnaise.’

    ‘She was born just a few years after women got the right to vote in this small town in the south where people were still plowing their fields behind mules,’ he said.

    ‘She shaped our national policy she faced down dictators herself on issues of human rights. She built the Carter Center from an idea into a powerhouse human rights.’

    He praised her global humantarian missions, such as her work to eradicate guinea worm, pointing out the world has gone from 3.5 million cases a year to less than a dozen.

    ‘We’re in the last mile because she could see far and she kept going. She was not afraid of these long journeys,’ he said.

    Tuesday’s memorial was Jimmy Carter’s first public appearance in almost a year. The former president did not speak during the service.

    The Carters’ son James gave one of the eulogies for his mother, saying: ‘My mother was the glue that held our family together through the ups and downs and thick and thin of our family’s politics.’

    James told stories of his family’s adventures in politics and the good humor his mother displayed during the tough times.

    He credited his mother for getting him into rehab for his drug and alcohol addiction.

    ‘She saved my life,’ he said.

    And he concluded with: ‘My mother, Rosalynn Carter was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. And pretty to look at too.’

    Ahead of Jimmy Carter’s arrival at the service, Melania Trump and Michelle Obama walked into together to take their front row seats.

    The two former first ladies led the procession of VIPs into the memorial service, followed by Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, first lady Jill Biden and President Joe Biden.

    Jimmy Carter sat in the first row with his sons, John William ‘Jack’ Carter, James Earl ‘Chip’ Carter III and Donnel Jeffrey ‘Jeff’ Carter and his daughter, Amy Lynn Carter, during the service.

    Amy was seen holding her father’s hand during a performance of ‘Morning Has Broken’ by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chamber Chorus.

    Next to the family in the front row were the president, first lady, Bill Clinton and the former first ladies.

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    Charlie Munger Dies at Age 99

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    Billionaire Charlie Munger, the investing sage who made a fortune even before he became Warren Buffett’s right-hand man at Berkshire Hathaway, has died at age 99.

    Munger died Tuesday, according to a press release from Berkshire Hathaway. The conglomerate said it was advised by members of Munger’s family that he peacefully died this morning at a California hospital. He would have turned 100 on New Year’s Day.

    “Berkshire Hathaway could not have been built to its present status without Charlie’s inspiration, wisdom and participation,” Buffett said in a statement.

    In addition to being Berkshire vice chairman, Munger was a real estate attorney, chairman and publisher of the Daily Journal Corp., a member of the Costco board, a philanthropist and an architect.

    In early 2023, his fortune was estimated at $2.3 billion — a jaw-dropping amount for many people but vastly smaller than Buffett’s unfathomable fortune, which is estimated at more than $100 billion.

    During Berkshire’s 2021 annual shareholder meeting, the then-97-year-old Munger apparently inadvertently revealed a well-guarded secret: that Vice Chairman Greg Abel “will keep the culture” after the Buffett era.

    Munger, who wore thick glasses, had lost his left eye after complications from cataract surgery in 1980.

    Munger was chairman and CEO of Wesco Financial from 1984 to 2011, when Buffett’s Berkshire purchased the remaining shares of the Pasadena, California-based insurance and investment company it did not own.

    Buffett credited Munger with broadening his investment strategy from favoring troubled companies at low prices in hopes of getting a profit to focusing on higher-quality but underpriced companies.

    An early example of the shift was illustrated in 1972 by Munger’s ability to persuade Buffett to sign off on Berkshire’s purchase of See’s Candies for $25 million even though the California candy maker had annual pretax earnings of only about $4 million. It has since produced more than $2 billion in sales for Berkshire.

    “He weaned me away from the idea of buying very so-so companies at very cheap prices, knowing that there was some small profit in it, and looking for some really wonderful businesses that we could buy in fair prices,” Buffett told CNBC in May 2016.

    Or as Munger put it at the 1998 Berkshire shareholder meeting: “It’s not that much fun to buy a business where you really hope this sucker liquidates before it goes broke.”

    Munger was often the straight man to Buffett’s jovial commentaries. “I have nothing to add,” he would say after one of Buffett’s loquacious responses to questions at Berkshire annual meetings in Omaha, Nebraska. But like his friend and colleague, Munger was a font of wisdom in investing, and in life. And like one of his heroes, Benjamin Franklin, Munger’s insight didn’t lack humor.

    “I have a friend who says the first rule of fishing is to fish where the fish are. The second rule of fishing is to never forget the first rule. We’ve gotten good at fishing where the fish are,” the then-93-year-old Munger told the thousands of people at Berkshire’s 2017 meeting.

    He believed in what he called the “lollapalooza effect,” in which a confluence of factors merged to drive investment psychology.

    A son of the heartland

    Charles Thomas Munger was born in Omaha on Jan. 1, 1924. His father, Alfred, was a lawyer, and his mother, Florence “Toody,” was from an affluent family. Like Warren, Munger worked at Buffett’s grandfather’s grocery store as a youth, but the two future joined-at-the-hip partners didn’t meet until years later.

    At 17, Munger left Omaha for the University of Michigan. Two years later, in 1943, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, according to Janet Lowe’s 2003 biography “Damn Right!”

    The military sent him to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena to study meteorology. In California, he fell in love with his sister’s roommate at Scripps College, Nancy Huggins, and married her in 1945. Although he never completed his undergraduate degree, Munger graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1948, and the couple moved back to California, where he practiced real estate law. He founded the law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson in 1962 and focused on managing investments at the hedge fund Wheeler, Munger & Co., which he also founded that year.

    “I’m proud of being an Omaha boy,” Munger said in a 2017 interview with Dean Scott Derue of the Michigan Ross Business School. “I sometimes use the old saying, ‘They got the boy out of Omaha but they never got Omaha out of the boy.’ All those old-fashioned values — family comes first; be in a position so that you can help others when troubles come; prudent, sensible; moral duty to be reasonable [is] more important than anything else — more important than being rich, more important than being important — an absolute moral duty.”

    In California, he partnered with Franklin Otis Booth, a member of the founding family of the Los Angeles Times, in real estate. One of their early developments turned out to be a lucrative condo project on Booth’s grandfather’s property in Pasadena. (Booth, who died in 2008, had been introduced to Buffett by Munger in 1963 and became one of Berkshire’s largest investors.)

    “I had five real estate projects,” Munger told Derue. “I did both side by side for a few years, and in a very few years, I had $3 million — $4 million.”

    Munger closed the hedge fund in 1975. Three years later, he became vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

    ‘We think so much alike that it’s spooky’

    In 1959, at age 35, Munger returned to Omaha to close his late father’s legal practice. That’s when he was introduced to the then-29-year-old Buffett by one of Buffett’s investor clients. The two hit it off and stayed in contact despite living half a continent away from each other.

    “We think so much alike that it’s spooky,” Buffett recalled in an interview with the Omaha World-Herald in 1977. “He’s as smart and as high-grade a guy as I’ve ever run into.”

    “We never had an argument in the entire time we’ve known each other, which is almost 60 years now,” Buffett told CNBC’s Becky Quick in 2018. “Charlie has given me the ultimate gift that a person can give to somebody else. He’s made me a better person than I would have otherwise been. … He’s given me a lot of good advice over time. … I’ve lived a better life because of Charlie.”

    The melding of the minds focused on value investing, in which stocks are picked because their price appears to be undervalued based on the company’s long-term fundamentals.

    “All intelligent investing is value investing — acquiring more than you are paying for,” Munger once said. “You must value the business in order to value the stock.”

    But during the coronavirus outbreak in early 2020, when Berkshire suffered a massive $50 billion loss in the first quarter, Munger and Buffett were more conservative than they were during the Great Recession, when they invested in U.S. airlines and financials like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs hit hard by that downturn.

    “Well, I would say basically we’re like the captain of a ship when the worst typhoon that’s ever happened comes,” Munger told The Wall Street Journal in April 2020. “We just want to get through the typhoon, and we’d rather come out of it with a whole lot of liquidity. We’re not playing, ‘Oh goody, goody, everything’s going to hell, let’s plunge 100% of the reserves’ [into buying businesses].”

    The philanthropist/architect

    Munger donated hundreds of millions of dollars to educational institutions, including the University of Michigan, Stanford University and Harvard Law School, often with the stipulation that the school accept his building designs, even though he was not formally trained as an architect.

    At Los Angeles’ Harvard-Westlake prep school, where Munger had been a board member for decades, he ensured that the girls bathrooms were larger than the boys room during the construction of the science center in the 1990s.

    “Any time you go to a football game or a function there’s a huge line outside the women’s bathroom. Who doesn’t know that they pee in a different way than the men?” Munger told The Wall Street Journal in 2019. “What kind of idiot would make the men’s bathroom and the women’s bathroom the same size? The answer is, a normal architect!”

    Munger and his wife had three children, daughters Wendy and Molly, and son Teddy, who died of leukemia at age 9. The Mungers divorced in 1953.

    Two years later, he married Nancy Barry, whom he met on a blind date at a chicken dinner restaurant. The couple had four children, Charles Jr., Emilie, Barry and Philip. He also was the stepfather to her two other sons, William Harold Borthwick and David Borthwick. The Mungers, who were married 54 years until her death in 2010, contributed $43.5 million to Stanford University to help build the Munger Graduate Residence, which houses 600 law and graduate students.

    Asked by CNBC’s Quick in a February 2019 “Squawk Box” interview about the secret to a long and happy life, Munger said the answer “is easy, because it’s so simple.”

    “You don’t have a lot of envy, you don’t have a lot of resentment, you don’t overspend your income, you stay cheerful in spite of your troubles. You deal with reliable people and you do what you’re supposed to do. And all these simple rules work so well to make your life better. And they’re so trite,” he said.

    “And staying cheerful … because it’s a wise thing to do. Is that so hard? And can you be cheerful when you’re absolutely mired in deep hatred and resentment? Of course you can’t. So why would you take it on?”

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    5th Day of Ceasefire: Hamas and Israel Exchange More Hostages for Prisoners

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    Hamas and Israel released more hostages and prisoners under terms of a fragile cease-fire that held for a fifth day Tuesday as international mediators in Qatar worked to extend the truce.

    In the latest swap since the cease-fire began Friday, Israel said 10 of its citizens and two Thai nationals were freed by Hamas and had been returned to Israel. Soon after, Israel released 30 Palestinian prisoners. The truce is due to end after one more exchange Wednesday night.

    For the first time, Israel and Hamas blamed each other for an exchange of fire between troops and militants in northern Gaza. There was no indication it would endanger the truce, which has enabled humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza.

    CIA director William Burns and David Barnea, who heads Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, were in Qatar, a key mediator with Hamas, to discuss extending the cease-fire and releasing more hostages, a diplomat said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was set to visit the region this week.

    Israel has vowed to resume the war to end Hamas’ 16-year rule in Gaza and crush its military capabilities once it’s clear that no more hostages will be freed under the deal. That would almost certainly require expanding its ground offensive from northern Gaza to the south, where most of Gaza’s population of 2.3 million is now crowded. It’s unclear where they would go if Israel does so as Egypt has refused to accept refugees and Israel has sealed its border.

    The Biden administration told Israel it must avoid “significant further displacement” of and mass casualties among Palestinian civilians if it resumes its offensive, and that it must operate with more precision in southern Gaza than it has in the north, according to U.S. officials.

    Hamas and other militants still hold about 160 hostages out of 240 seized in their Oct. 7 terrorist attack into southern Israel that ignited the war. Israel has said it is willing to extend the cease-fire by one day for every 10 additional hostages that Hamas releases, according to the deal brokered by the Qatar, Egypt and the U.S. But Hamas is expected to make much higher demands for the release of captive Israeli soldiers.

    HOSTAGES AND PRISONERS RELEASED

    The latest group of Israeli hostages freed from Gaza — nine women and a 17-year-old — was flown to hospitals in Israel, the Israeli military said. The hostages were handed over on a street crowded with cheering people, AP video showed. The 17-year-old girl could be seen walking alongside Hamas militants to a waiting Red Cross Jeep with her small, white-haired dog named Bella.

    Tuesday’s hostage release brought to 60 the number of Israelis freed during the truce. An additional 21 hostages — 19 Thais, one Filipino and one Russian-Israeli — have been released in separate negotiations since the truce began.

    Before the truce, Hamas released four Israeli hostages, and the Israeli army rescued one. Two other hostages were found dead in Gaza.

    The latest swap brought to 180 the number of Palestinian women and teenagers freed from Israeli prisons.

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    Trump Wins Another Ballot Challenge, Federal Judge Dismisses Rhode Island Case

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    A federal court in Rhode Island on Monday dismissed the latest case attempting to keep former President Donald Trump off the state’s ballot over the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

    It’s the fourth court this month to deliver a setback to anti-Trump activists who are trying to keep the GOP presidential front-runner off state ballots in 2024.

    John Castro, a long-shot presidential candidate, had filed cases arguing that Mr. Trump is prevented from running for president due to the Constitution’s insurrection clause, which essentially says anyone who led a rebellion can’t serve in federal office.

    But on Monday, Chief Judge John J. McConnell Jr., an Obama appointee, dismissed Mr. Castro’s case in Rhode Island. The Supreme Court previously refused to hear a challenge from Mr. Castro out of Florida.

    “The American people have the unassailable right to vote for the candidate of their choosing at the ballot box, something the Democrats and their allies driving these cases clearly disagree with,” said Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung. “President Trump believes the American voters, not the courts, should decide who wins next year’s elections and we urge a swift dismissal of all such remaining bogus ballot challenges.”

    It’s the latest victory for Mr. Trump. Liberal advocacy groups have appealed lower court rulings in Colorado and Michigan that would keep Mr. Trump on the primary ballot next year, asserting that the Constitution’s clause on insurrection forbids him from being reelected following the 2021 Capitol attack.

    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a left-leaning watchdog group, filed an appeal on behalf of a group of voters with the Colorado Supreme Court, after a trial judge rejected their claim that Mr. Trump can’t be on the state’s primary ballot. The state’s Supreme Court is expected to hear the case on Dec. 6.

    The judge in Colorado reasoned that Mr. Trump did engage in an insurrection, but that the insurrection clause of the Constitution preventing rebels from serving in office didn’t apply to the presidency.

    Earlier this month, a Michigan judge gave the former president a partial win, saying Michigan’s secretary of state can’t keep his name off the 2024 primary ballot.

    Opponents of the president have also appealed that decision, asking the Michigan Supreme Court to issue a decision by Friday as they try to bypass an appeals court.

    The Minnesota Supreme Court also dismissed a case on Nov. 8 in an order, saying it couldn’t prevent the state party from putting Mr. Trump‘s name on their ballot. It left the general election issue to be decided at a later date, saying advocates can renew their challenge.

    New Hampshire officials have also moved to keep Mr. Trump on the ballot there.

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    Child Pneumonia Cases Surge in Europe — As Fears Rise Over Outbreak in China

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    The Netherlands is experiencing an uptick in pneumonia cases among children, marking the second country to report an outbreak of this type this week.

    The Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL), a research institute in Utrecht, around 25 miles south of Amsterdam, reports that 80 of every 100,000 children between ages 5 and 14 came down with pneumonia last week.

    This is the largest outbreak of pneumonia NIVEL has recorded in recent years. At the peak of the 2022 flu season, when pneumonia cases were most common, there were 60 recorded cases for every 100,000 children in the age group.

    A news outlet in the Netherlands said neither NIVEL nor the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, the Dutch equivalent of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), could give an explanation as to why pneumonia cases were increasing.

    Mysterious pneumonia cases in China have also begun to raise alarms. First reports emerged last week that children’s hospitals in Beijing and the province of Liaoning were overrun by children coming in with pneumonia.

    Chinese officials told the World Health Organization that no new pathogens were detected in the outbreak, and instead the illnesses were caused by known seasonal viruses such as the flu and RSV, along with the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

    Officials said that strict COVID measures, which were lifted at the end of 2022, left the population vulnerable to these annual viruses.

    Now, during the first flu season since the lifting of the nation’s strict COVID lockdowns, the population is being ravaged by the annual bugs.

    However, COVID-related measures have been gone in the Netherlands for some time, making it unclear what would cause such a spike this year.

    Some fear that officials in China are covering up the early stages of an epidemic, however.

    The nation was largely criticized for its initial response to the discovery of COVID-19 almost exactly four years ago, and some have seen the current situation as an echo of the past.

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    Elon Musk Visits Israel, Tours Kibbutz Massacred on Oct 7

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    Elon Musk visited a kibbutz in southern Israel on Monday alongside Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to witness firsthand the violence inflicted by Hamas terrorists against civilians on October 7.

    Sporting a protective bulletproof vest, Musk viewed the burnt and destroyed homes in the kibbutz near the Gaza border, where more than 50 people were murdered. About 20 more were taken hostage or are missing. Musk was able to witness where terrorists butchered entire Israeli families.

    The Times of Israel reported that Musk also watched a 44-minute video of what happened on October 7. The video was compiled from hundreds of videos that Hamas terrorists filmed of themselves joyously murdering, beheading, burning, and raping innocent Israelis.

    One of the street’s Musk toured is a neighborhood of one bedroom homes for young people, where all the residents are believed to have been murdered, an Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson told The Daily Wire during a tour of the site earlier this month.

    AFTERMATH OF HAMAS MASSACRE ON KFAR AZA, ISRAEL

    “It was jarring to see the scene of the massacres as well as to see the short film afterwards that showed more of innocent people getting killed,” Musk said in an X Space with Netanyahu, during which they discussed what they saw.

    “It was troubling in that movie, especially to see the joy experienced by people that were killing innocent civilians, including kids and babies and defenseless people essentially,” Musk said. “It’s one thing if, obviously, if civilians die, accidentally, but it’s another thing to revel in the joy of killing civilians. That’s evil.”

    “The rebuttal is often made, ‘Well, Israel has killed civilians in Gaza,’ but there is an important difference here, which is that Israel tries to avoid killing civilians, doing everything it can to avoid killing civilians,” Musk said, adding that Israel does not express joy when innocent life is lost like Hamas does.

    Musk said that he found the “massive protests in almost every major city in favor of Hamas” very troubling.

    When Netanyahu said that Israel needs to get “get rid of the poisonous regime” inside Gaza the same way that the United States and allies did in Germany and Japan during World War II, Musk responded: “There’s no choice.”

    Musk added that while it was imperative that the terrorists all be eliminated, it would also be critical to help rebuild Gaza the same way that the allies did with Germany and Japan.

    Musk also said that it was important to start cracking down on overt anti-Semitic propaganda against Israel that is used to brainwash Muslims and others into wanting to kill Jews.

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    Argentina’s Milei to Meet Biden Team After Lunch with Bill Clinton

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    Argentina’s President-elect Javier Milei will meet with a top security aide to U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington, the White House confirmed on Monday, after the libertarian lunched with former U.S. President Bill Clinton in New York.

    The meal with the former U.S. leader, a Democrat largely on the opposite side of the ideological fence from Milei, marked an especially surprising part of the incoming Argentine president’s first foreign trip after winning a run-off vote earlier this month.

    Earlier on Monday, Milei arrived in New Jersey with a small group of advisors, including former central banker Luis Caputo, the frontrunner to be his economy minister, and his campaign manager sister Karina Milei, his office said in a statement.

    Upon arriving in the United States, Milei first visited the tomb of a well-known orthodox Jewish rabbi before having lunch with Clinton, according to a statement from the president-elect’s office.

    On Tuesday, Milei will meet with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, while his economic advisers are scheduled to meet with senior U.S. finance officials to discuss the president-elect’s economic priorities.

    Meetings will also take place with officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Milei’s office previously announced, aimed at explaining Milei’s economic plans, which on the campaign trail included dollarizing Argentina and shuttering its central bank.

    Argentina is the IMF’s largest debtor nation as it struggles to tame inflation approaching 150%.

    Milei will take office on Dec. 10 at a time when over two-fifths of Argentina’s population is in poverty and a recession looms for South America’s second-largest economy.

    Earlier on Monday, Reuters reported that a previously announced visit to Buenos Aires from former U.S. President Donald Trump – seen by many as much closer to Milei ideologically – is unlikely to happen, according to a source close to Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

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    PHOTOS: Jill Biden Unveils 2023 White House Christmas Decorations

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    Jill Biden unveiled this year White House decorative theme for the Christmas season on Monday.

    The theme, “Magic, Wonder, and Joy,” is inspired by children’s experiences of the season: “completely present in the beauty and bounty around them, their senses alight, with hearts open to the magic, wonder, and joy of the holidays,” Biden said.

    Throughout the White House grounds are 98 Christmas trees, almost 34,000 ornaments, 72 wreaths and about 142,000 holiday lights.

    Here are some of the decor highlights:

    The Blue Room displays the official White House tree, an 18.5 foot Fraser Fir that reaches from the floor to the ceiling and was sourced from North Carolina. The tree has the names of all the U.S. states, territories and Washington, D.C. A toy train chugs around the bottom of the tree.

    The ornaments on the Gold Star Christmas tree are engraved with the names of military servicemen who have died.

    The marble arches in the Ground Floor Corridor are decorated with letters to Santa and holiday messages from around the country. Biden thanked the correspondence volunteers who keep in touch with Americans year round. This area also features various editions of the poem “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore to commemorate its 200th anniversary.

    The East Room, the largest room in the White House, features a Nativity scene and Advent calendars counting down the days to Christmas, with surprises behind each number.

    The China Room is filled with sweet treats, such as cakes, cookies and gingerbread.

    In the Red Room are ornaments that have the hand prints and family portraits of children who belong to military families.

    The State Dining Room has a rendition of Santa’s workshop, equipped with workbenches, stools and ladders leading up to the Christmas trees. The room also features a gingerbread replica of the White House.

    A gold star Christmas tree is seen in the East Wing during the 2023 White House Holiday media preview in Washington, DC, on November 27, 2023. The theme for the 2023 White House holiday decorations is The “Magic, Wonder, and Joy” of the Holidays. (Photo by Mandel NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

    More than 300 volunteers worked for over a week to decorate the White House.

    To schedule a tour of the White House to see the decorations, you can email your House representative.

    “I know that [magic, wonder and joy] can feel hard to find sometimes as the days grow shorter and the weather grows colder, as our hearts grow heavy in the face of a tumultuous world, as we miss those who are no longer with us – an empty seat at the table of our holiday gatherings. But it’s in these times when we are searching for hope and healing…that’s when we need each other the most,” Biden said.

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    North Korea Takes Photos of White House with Military Spy Satellite

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    North Korea claimed its first spy satellite put into space, which was launched into orbit last week, has taken photos of the White House, Pentagon and nearby US naval stations.

    The prominent US sites add to a list of areas North Korea claims to have photographed using its reconnaissance probe that was launched on Nov. 21.

    The state’s official media said leader Kim Jong Un has seen the latest images along with previous photos of Rome, Anderson Air Force Base in Guam, Pearl Harbor and the US Navy’s Carl Vinson aircraft carrier.

    South Korea salvaged one of North Korea’s spy satellites after a failed launch earlier this year and concluded the technology had little value as a reconnaissance probe.

    While Seoul believes any North Korean satellite would be rudimentary at best, such technology could help Kim’s regime in its targeting as it steps up its ability to deliver a nuclear strike.

    North Korea had said the satellite would formally start its reconnaissance mission from Dec. 1 after some fine tuning, but the official Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday: “the fine-tuning process of the satellite is being hastened to end one or two days earlier.”

    There has been no confirmation from the outside world on whether the satellite is fully operational and North Korea has yet to release any images taken by its new satellite.

    The probe can probably take photos, but a thorough analysis is needed to see if those images would be of high enough resolution to have any military value, South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Jeon Ha-kyu said at a briefing in Seoul on Tuesday.

    White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said the US cannot independently verify the North Korean claim.

    “We strongly condemn the DPRK for its launch of a space launch vehicle using ballistic missile technology, which is a brazen violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions, raises tensions, and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region and beyond,” Watson said in a statement, referring to North Korea by its formal name.

    North Korea has a history of bluster when it comes to satellite claims. Under the leadership of Kim Jong Il — the father of the current leader — North Korea had said it placed a satellite into orbit that was playing revolutionary songs, only to have Washington say the probe was likely at the bottom of the sea.

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    Student, 15, Killed by Younger Peer in Brawl at North Carolina High School

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    A 15-year-old student was fatally knifed by a 14-year-old classmate Monday during a wild, caught-on-camera brawl inside a North Carolina high school on Monday.

    The melee inside the gym at Southeast Raleigh High School also landed a second student, 16, in the hospital a non-life threatening stab wound, according to local reports.

    “Both victims were transported to an area hospital,” Raleigh police chief Estella Patterson said during a press conference. “Sadly one victim succumbed to his injuries.”

    “This is a very unfortunate incident that has occurred today,” she added. “One that is very disturbing to us.”

    The teen accused of stabbing two of his peers was arrested and charged with murder on a juvenile petition, WRAL reported, citing authorities.

    Part of the fight caught on camera showed two students face-to-face before a youngster in a black jacket threw a punch at a student in a red jacket who then responded with his own punch.

    The fight then spills into the gym as other students quickly follow the brawl.

    During the escalating melee, one of the students appeared to jab at two teens with a sharp object while before fleeing, according to the footage obtained by WRAL and CBS 17.

    The identities of the victims and suspect were not released.

    Sherelle McLaughlin told WRAL that her son, who is the alleged stabber, was only defending himself.

    She also said she doesn’t believe he took the knife to school, but got it from someone else in the building.

    “The whole situation is terrible,” McLaughlin said. “I feel bad for the other family but in return, I feel bad for my son because he was fighting for his life. It wasn’t a fair fight. I just don’t think it should have happened like that.”

    The school will be closed Tuesday as students come to grips with the death of a classmate and the district reviews safety protocols.

    “Schools should be a safe haven for our students and staff,” Wake County Superintendent Robert Taylor said. “What happened here today is unacceptable.”

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    Florida High School Suspends Top Officials for Allowing Trans Athlete on Girls’ Team

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    A Florida high school principal and three other officials have been reassigned after letting a trans girl play on a girls’ volleyball team – despite it being against state law.

    Principal James Cecil, assistant principal Kenneth May, athletic director Dione Hester and volleyball coach Jessica Norton were all shuffled away from teaching roles.

    Bosses at Monarch High School in Pompano Beach had raised ‘allegations of improper student participation in sports.’

    It comes after Ron DeSantis signed a bill barring transgender females from playing on public school teams intended for student athletes born as girls in 2021.

    ‘Although we cannot comment further, we will continue to follow state law and will take appropriate action based on the outcome of the investigation,’ Broward County School District spokesman John Sullivan said.

    ‘We are committed to providing all our students with a safe and inclusive learning environment.’

    A family friend of the trans athlete told CBS Miami the student hadn’t yet ‘come out’ as transgender yet, with officials saying they’ve mishandled the students privacy.

    ‘It’s horrendous first on just a human level that the school would out somebody on an issue like this that’s obviously incredibly sensitive.

    ‘It’s just dumbfounding, and the Broward County Schools should be ashamed of themselves,’ said Scott Galvin, Executive Director of Safe Schools South Florida.

    The student, according to sources, transitioned several years ago. The school district superintendent and the regional superintendent of schools chose to reassign the Monarch High officials.

    As of 2023, 20 states have passed legislation protecting the rights of female athletes from facing what supporters say is an unfair competitive advantage from biologically male athletes.

    But the Biden administration is attempting to amend Title IX, the law that protects women’s sports, to allow athletes to compete on either men’s or women’s teams consistent with their gender identity.

    Supporters of the sports bills say they are needed to preserve fairness, asserting that biologically born women and girls would be at a disadvantage against transgender athletes who were born as male but have since transitioned to female.

    DeSantis signed the bill flanked by several teenage women athletes. He said the law was needed to ensure fairness for women participating in sports across the state.

    ‘We are going to go based off biology, not based off ideology when we are doing sports,’ he said.

    The Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group, said it would challenge the Florida law in court as having been based on a ‘false, discriminatory premise’ that threatened the wellbeing of transgender children.

    ‘Transgender kids are kids; transgender girls are girls. Like all children, they deserve the opportunity to play sports with their friends and be a part of a team,’ Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement.

    The Florida legislation passed over the objection of Democrats and civil rights advocates who call the banning of transgender girls and women from sports unnecessary and discriminatory and accuse Republicans of portraying them as a provocation to energize the right wing of their party.

    The law says a transgender student athlete can´t participate without first showing a birth certificate saying she was a girl when she was born.

    It’s not clear whether all females must show their birth certificates, or only those whose gender is questioned.

    The proposal allows another student to sue if a school allows a transgender girl or woman to play on a team intended for biological females.

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    CBS ‘Late Show’ Off Air After Colbert Suffers Ruptured Appendix

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    Comedian Stephen Colbert, host of CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” announced that his show is canceled this week as he recovers from surgery for a ruptured appendix.

    “Sorry to say that I have to cancel our shows this week. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Turkey overdose, Steve? Gravy boat capsize?” Actually, I’m recovering from surgery for a ruptured appendix,” Colbert said in a statement through the show’s various social media accounts.

    “I’m grateful to my doctors for their care and to Evie and the kids for putting up with me,” the late night host said, jokingly adding: “Going forward, all emails to my appendix will be handled by my pancreas.”

    According to the Mayo Clinic, a ruptured appendix causes pain in the lower right abdomen. This results in symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal bloating, and a low-grade fever that may rise as the illness worsens.

    Treatment for this condition usually involves antibiotics and surgery to remove the appendix.

    The announcement comes a year after Colbert shared that he tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in production of his show to be postponed as he recovered from the illness.

    The Late Show was dark for all of the summer due to the WGA strike.

    The canceled week slate of “The Late Show” was set to feature actress Jennifer Garner, director Baz Luhrmann, Barbra Streisand, Kelsey Grammer, Patrick Stewart, and former show bandleader and musical director Jon Batiste, according to CBS News.

    Colbert replaced David Letterman as the host of “The Late Show” in September of 2015, almost a year after leaving his nine-year run as host of “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central.

    Colbert is one of four men to still host traditional late-night talk shows on ABC, CBS and NBC, which have been falling in viewership since their heyday in the 1990s.

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    Fourth Group of Hostages Released — Israel and Hamas Agree to Two Day Extension of Ceasefire

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    Hamas released a fourth group of hostages on Monday, just hours after Israel and Hamas agreed to extend the pause in the fighting in Gaza by two days.

    The militant group released 11 Israelis — nine children and two women — under the deal with Israel. Thirty-three Palestinians — mostly children — were released from Israeli prisons later Monday.

    The Israeli hostages released Monday were from the Nir Oz Kibbutz, — the Israeli Kibbutz that suffered the most devastating attack on Oct. 7. About one in every four residents of the Kibbutz was killed or kidnapped.

    The extension will allow for the release of at least 20 more Israeli hostages — 10 on each day of the pause — in addition to the 50 who were freed as part of the initial ceasefire agreement.

    Israel will also allow more aid trucks into Gaza and release three Palestinian prisoners for every additional hostage released, as it did under the current deal.

    President Biden welcomed the extension in a statement.

    “We will not stop until all of the hostages held by Hamas terrorists are released,” Biden said, adding that he has remained “deeply engaged over the last few days to ensure that this deal—brokered and sustained through extensive U.S. mediation and diplomacy—can continue to deliver results.”

    White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters earlier Monday that the Biden administration wants the pause to be extended even further in order to release more hostages

    The announcement that the pause would be extended came as the process to release the fourth group of hostages was about to get underway after a delay.

    On Sunday night, Hamas sent the list of the 11 hostages that would be released as part of the fourth group but Israeli officials said it was “very problematic.”

    Israeli officials said it was a violation of the understandings between the parties because it included children without their mothers.

    The Israelis demanded that the list be revised so that the two mothers are included, three Israeli officials said.

    Israeli officials said Egyptian and Qatari mediators pressed Hamas for 12 hours to change the list until they agreed on Monday afternoon local time.

    The hostages released so far include 4-year-old Israeli American Abigail Edan.

    Biden said on Monday that he spoke “with Abigail’s family following her release, and we are working closely with our Israeli partners to ensure she gets the care and support she needs as she begins to recover from this unspeakable trauma.”

    Hamas has also released more than a dozen Thai nationals, one Filipino, and one Russian Israeli as part of separate agreements.

    More than 240 people, including several Americans, were abducted during the Oct. 7 terrorist attack. At least 1,200 people were killed in the attack, according to Israeli officials. Prior to the most recent releases, four hostages, including two Americans, were freed, one was rescued and two others were found dead.

    The pause in fighting has offered a short reprieve to the more than 2.2 million Palestinians living in Gaza who had been under Israel’s heavy bombardment since the war began. At least 14,850 Palestinians have been killed, according to the Ministry of Health in Hamas-run Gaza.

    Under the pause deal, Israel has allowed hundreds of trucks carrying aid and more fuel into Gaza. That’s allowed aid groups to increase their operations to address the dire humanitarian conditions in Gaza, but they’ve said four days is simply not enough to respond to the scale of the crisis.

    Israel has vowed to continue the war after the pause in fighting “with full military power.”

    “We will not stop until we achieve our goals: the destruction of Hamas and bringing home the hostages from Gaza to Israel,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said last week.

    This article was updated. 

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    UPDATE: Arrest Made After Three Palestinian Students Shot in Vermont – Suspect Identified

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    Three top Palestinian college students were shot in what is being characterized as a “bias attack.” The victims, who were attending woke institutions such as Harvard, Brown University, and Trinity University, were targeted while on their way to a family dinner in Vermont’s bustling city of Burlington, the New York Post reported.

    The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) named the individuals involved as Hiham Awartani, Tahseen Ali, and Kenan Abdulhamid, who had gathered to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday break.

    According to WCAX: “The suspect was on foot in the area when investigators say he discharged at least four rounds from his pistol without speaking. Two of the victims were wearing keffiyehs at the time of the assault, according to Chief Murad.”

    Authorities transported the victims to the University of Vermont Medical Center. The Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) reported that two of the individuals were in intensive care, with one suffering from extremely critical and severe injuries.

    It is still unclear why the Palestinian students were shot in Burlington but that hasn’t stopped the pro-Palestinian lobby to start casting blame for the attack.

    On Sunday Burlington police detained Jason Eaton, 48, near where the shooting occurred.

    Eaton lived in the building near where the shooting occurred.

    Newsweek reported:

    He was detained at around midday on Sunday near where the shooting occurred. Police searched his home in the apartment building in front of where the shooting took place and arrested him on Sunday evening.

    Eaton faces three counts of aggravated assault, police said. He is expected to be arraigned on Monday. Newsweek has contacted the Burlington Police Department for further comment via email.

    Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid and Tahseen Ali Ahmad were identified by their families as the victims, according to a post on X, formerly Twitter, from the Institute for Middle East Understanding. Awartani is a student at Brown University, Abdalhamid is a student at Haverford College and Ahmed is a student at Trinity College.

    “We are extremely concerned about the safety and well-being of our children,” the statement said. “We call on law enforcement to conduct a thorough investigation, including treating this as a hate crime. We will not be comfortable until the shooter is brought to justice.”

    Police released a statement on Jason Eaton’s arrest.

    UPDATE: The police released a photo of the suspect Jason Eaton, via WCAX.

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    Pro-Abortion Groups Seek Ballot Measures in 9 More States in 2024

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    Seeking to extend their unbroken winning streak, pro-abortion supporters are already deeply entrenched in efforts in at least nine states to put the issue on the ballot in 2024. Groups have begun collecting signatures to let voters in these states decide on similar initiatives.

    The latest victory for the movement was in Ohio, where voters enshrined abortion rights in the constitution of the Republican-leaning state.

    “We’ve already seen the power of direct democracy in seven states where campaigns to protect or restore abortion rights won resoundingly,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, the CEO of Planned Parenthood’s political arm — a group closely involved in state efforts to expand abortion rights. “Across the country, voters are eager to fight the tide of anti-abortion policies pushed by politicians.”

    Tough road ahead in Nebraska, South Dakota and Missouri

    In Nebraska, a coalition of pro-abortion advocates called Protect Our Rights launched an effort last week to have a ballot measure placed next November that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution up until fetal viability, or about the 24th week of pregnancy. The proposal includes exceptions beyond that time for a woman’s life and health.

    Currently, abortion is illegal in Nebraska after about the 12th week of pregnancy, with exceptions for rape, incest and saving the mother’s life.

    Ashlei Spivey, a member of Protect Our Rights’ executive committee, said petitions will begin circulating next week.

    To successfully place the measure on the ballot, the group must obtain the signatures of about 123,000 registered voters by early July. Making the task more difficult, however, is a requirement in Nebraska that the bundle must also include at least 5% of registered voters in 38 of the state’s 93 counties.

    Officials leading an effort in neighboring South Dakota to have a ballot measure placed there in 2024 have been working to overcome similar challenges.

    A group called Dakotans for Health is seeking to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot next fall that would make abortion legal in all situations in the first trimester of a pregnancy. The proposal would allow abortion to remain illegal in the second trimester except when a woman’s health or life is at risk. In the third trimester, the proposal would allow exceptions only when the woman’s life is at risk. If passed, the amendment would effectively undo the state’s near-total ban on abortion, which snapped back into effect after Roe was struck down. The law, which abortion advocates say is among the harshest in the U.S., prohibits all abortions except when necessary to save the mother’s life.

    To place the measure, Dakotans for Health first must collect 35,000 signatures from registered voters before May 7.

    Pro-abortion advocates face similar landscape in Missouri, where groups have proposed 11 different amendments that would take different approaches to expanding abortion rights in the state — but have yet to move forward with any one of them. Missouri’s near-total ban on abortion (care is only allowed in a “medical emergency” to save the woman’s life) snapped back into effect after the Dobbs decision.

    The most prominent effort so far seeks to put to voters a constitutional amendment that would legalize abortion up until the point of fetal viability, though there is also a Republican-led effort underway in the state that could result in an amendment that imposes less severe abortion restrictions than what the state law currently mandates.

    Questions abound in Florida

    Meanwhile, an effort in Florida to amend the state constitution to ban abortion restrictions up until fetal viability faces hurdles — but its backers are still exceedingly hopeful.

    The group leading the effort, Floridians Protecting Freedom, must collect the valid signatures of close to 900,000 registered voters in the state by Feb. 1 to move forward with the process of getting the proposal on the November 2024 ballot.

    The group has so far had about 492,000 signatures validated, meaning it still must collect nearly half the required amount in just 10 weeks — a tight timeline.

    Currently, abortion is legal in Florida up to 15 weeks, though that law’s future will be determined by the state Supreme Court. However, if the court upholds the law, the decision would actually mean that a six-week abortion ban, with exceptions for rape, incest and the mother’s life — which was enacted earlier this year but remains blocked — would be allowed to stand.

    If passed in November, the amendment would effectively undo both laws.

    Success more likely in Nevada, Arizona, Maryland, New York and Colorado

    The paths ahead for placing proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot in five other states are far rosier.

    In Arizona, a group called Arizona for Abortion Access is seeking to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot that would create a “fundamental right” to receive abortion care up until fetal viability. After that point, the measure would bar the state from restricting abortion care in situations where the health or life of the pregnant person is at risk, according to the treating health care professional.

    Under Arizona law, abortion care is legal up until the 15th week of pregnancy, with an exception after that to save the mother’s life but no exceptions for rape or incest.

    To get the measure placed, the group will need to gather about 384,000 valid signatures from registered voters in the state by July 3.

    In neighboring Nevada, where abortion is already legal up until the 24th week of pregnancy, advocates are looking to put on the ballot a constitutional amendment that would enshrine similar language — protecting abortion rights up until fetal viability — and make it close to impossible for lawmakers to ever undo those protections.

    Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom, the group leading the effort, must collect 103,000 signatures by June 26 to get the measure on the November ballot. But even if it passes, it would have to, under Nevada law, pass again in 2026 before the constitution is formally amended.

    In the solidly blue states of Maryland and New York, lawmakers — who control the amendment process in those states — have already succeeded in putting measures on the 2024 ballot that would enshrine abortion rights in those states’ constitutions.

    Both states already have lenient abortion laws and the amendments are already widely expected to pass.

    And in Colorado, where abortion is already legal in all situations, groups are in the early stages of proposing an amendment that would formally enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. The proposal would also end a ban on the use of state funds for abortion care.

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