The Wider World

Debt limit battle in Congress

SENATE wing of the U.S Capitol building (Wikipedia).

Raise the debt ceiling, let Uncle Sam borrow more money and stave off a government shutdown? Maybe, maybe not.

Fiscal drama over Thursday’s deadline to pass a bill funding government operations heightened on Monday when the U.S. Senate voted 50-48 against taking up the debt limit resolution that has already passed the House of Representatives, according to the Associated Press.

The vote was initially 49-49, but Democratic Majority Leader Chuck Schumer changed from “yes” to “no” in order to allow it to be considered again. Sixty votes in favor are needed to advance the bill.

“We’ll get it done,” said President Joe Biden. “You know me, I’m an optimist.”

The present stalemate comes at a time when Biden and his Democratic colleagues are striving to pass a $3.5 trillion package aimed at expanding the social safety net and fighting climate change.

Murder rates spiked in 2020, reports FBI

MURDER rates rose in 2020 (Shutterstock).

The biggest one-year increase of homicides took place in 2020 since such statistics have been kept was reported Tuesday by the FBI. The tallies go back to 1960.

According to The New York Times, 21,500 people were killed by other people in the U.S. during that period, which include a year in which the coronavirus took hold. Overall, other major crime is down in 2020 from 2019.

Explanations offered for the increase in murders ranged from the tensions created by COVID-19, the effects of protests on the larger society and the rising number of gun purchases.

Also in the news …

  • Singer R. Kelly (at right) was convicted by a federal jury Monday on nine criminal counts, including one of racketeering and eight counts of violating the Mann Act sex trafficking law. According to United Press International, Kelly faces 10 years to life in prison.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed a law making permanent the sending of mail ballots to voters in all elections. The measure had originally been adopted for the 2020 election because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports UPI.

Sports:  Gathering strength for the stretch run

With just six games remaining in the regular season, both the Dodgers and Angels have today (Monday) off.

They will begin their last lap on Tuesday with the Dodgers hosting the San Diego Padres and the Angels visiting the Texas Rangers.

The Dodgers are guaranteed a wild card spot if they finish second in the NL West, but would then face a one-game “play-in” contest to advance.

For more on the Dodgers pursuit of the National League West flag, go to:

Weather: Get ready for a hot time

Cool fall weather will persist in the West Orange County area for the next two days, then heat up strongly by Thursday. According to, Tuesday’s high will be 74 with an overnight low of 63 under partly cloudy skies. Wednesday will be similar at 78 (59), but then Nature turns up the heat to 90 (62) on Thursday with lots of sun. Daytime temps will stay in the high 80s and low 90s through Sunday. In the coastal areas of Huntington Beach, daytime temps will be 72 on Tuesday, 74 on Wednesday and then 84 on Thursday.






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