5 things to know for December 2: SCOTUS, Federal funding, Coronavirus, India, Michigan

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By AJ Willingham, CNN

Inflation is usually not something to celebrate, but it can have unexpected benefits for some Americans. For example, homeowners could see their home increase in value, while their monthly payments would stay the same. Here’s what you need to know to Get operational and get on with your day.

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1. SCOTUS

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in a Mississippi abortion law case that could change the future of abortion rights in the United States. Given the High Court’s Conservative 6-3 majority, it looks like the judges will uphold the 2018 law, which contains restrictions on abortion contrary to precedents set in the landmark Roe v. Wade of 1973. Chief Justice John Roberts suggested a middle ground that would uphold Mississippi law but not entirely end the right to abortion access nationwide. Judge Brett Kavanaugh said if Roe is quashed, states may choose to keep the process legal and accessible. Such a suggestion, which could seriously hamper access to safe abortions for millions of people, is one of the reasons abortion rights allies are so concerned about these ongoing procedures.

2. Federal funding

Time is running out for another government shutdown. If lawmakers fail to pass a bill to keep things open, the government will run out of funding tomorrow. So far, lawmakers have been unable to come to an agreement, and now all 100 senators must agree to hold a vote on the issue as soon as possible. Democrats and Republicans grapple with disagreements over the length of a funding extension. Some GOP senators are also threatening to block the process by demanding a separate vote to fund federal vaccine initiatives. While lawmakers are optimistic government funds will not expire, there would be real consequences if they did. Millions of military personnel and civil servants could have to work without pay if things drag on, and things like gun license applications would be affected as well.

3. Coronavirus

The first confirmed US case of the Omicron coronavirus variant has been detected in California. Today, the White House is preparing to define new actions to fight the pandemic now that Omicron has reached American shores and the country is preparing for another potentially deadly Covid-19 winter. These actions should include new guidelines on national and international travel, as well as greater awareness of vulnerable groups. At the same time, the President of the European Commission called for discussions on compulsory vaccinations within the European Union. Several European countries, including Germany, are discussing new pandemic restrictions, many of which target the unvaccinated.

4. India

The contentious farm laws that sparked more than a year of protests in India have now been officially repealed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party had claimed that the reforms would modernize India’s agricultural system. But farmers have said it could expose them to exploitation and ruin their livelihoods, and they have shown up in droves at the protests, sometimes camping outside the capital New Delhi or riding farm equipment. Some of these protests continue, as farmers say they have a list of other unfulfilled demands, including the legal right to a minimum support price for their entire crop. Yet the repeal marks a rare policy reversal for the Indian government.

5. Michigan shooting

The suspected Michigan school shooter, accused of killing four people and injuring several others Tuesday at Oxford high school, has been charged with terrorism as well as murder, assault and weapons. Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said the charge was unusual but included not only those who died or were injured, but also the many students traumatized by the shooting. Investigators discover disturbing activities by the suspect in the days and hours leading up to the attack, including in social media posts, videos and journal entries. McDonald said that after reviewing some of the evidence, she had no doubts the shooting was premeditated. The 15-year-old suspect will be tried as an adult and his lawyer has pleaded not guilty on his behalf.

LUNCH BROWSE

A look back at 2021 in pictures

You will gasp, you will laugh, you will cry … and then cry a little more …

Home Alone could be yours for a night

If you’ve ever watched this movie and thought, “Hmmm. It’s a very beautiful house ”, you are not alone!

Bad Bunny and Olivia Rodrigo topped Spotify Streams in 2021

Were you one of their listeners, or will your best song be a weird song that you played nonstop for several weeks in June?

McDonald’s is bringing back its holiday pie

Mmm, the taste is festive.

Astronauts celebrate Chile’s record harvest in space with taco night

Space tacos! Space tacos!

THE NUMBER OF THE DAY

1995

This is the last time Major League Baseball operations were disrupted by a work stoppage – until now. The collective agreement between Major League Baseball and the players union expired last night without resolution. Now players cannot use the facilities and free agents cannot sign new contracts until a new deal is made.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“In good conscience, I don’t see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely and has apparently been pressured to contradict his allegation of sexual assault.”

Steve Simon, President and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association. The WTA announced an immediate suspension from all tournaments in China, including Hong Kong, in response to Beijing’s silence over sexual assault allegations made by Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here >>>

AND FINALLY

How the magic works

How are the Rockettes preparing for a big Christmas number? Surprisingly, it is… an elevator? (Click here to see.)

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