Breaking the Bubble (04/21/23)

Madison Kurtz, Senior Writer


Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems settled their defamation lawsuit for $787.5 million on Tuesday, just before the court’s opening arguments were set to begin. The jury had been set to decide whether Fox News is guilty for publishing the false claim that Dominion’s voting machines were rigged in the 2020 election. The company filed the lawsuit against Fox News in 2021, challenging claims made by hosts and guests on Fox News, Fox Business and host Lou Dobbs’s social media that had slandered Dominion’s name and encouraged conspiracy. Originally, Dominion had sought $1.6 billion in damages.

Last Monday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy unveiled a plan to raise the debt ceiling for a year, return the federal government spending to fiscal year 2022 levels and limit spending increases over the next 10 years to one percent of annual growth. The plan aims to curb spending by pulling back unspent COVID-19 funds, implementing additional work requirements for recipients of federal aid, boosting oil and gas production and reforming the permitting process. Whether the bill would raise the debt ceiling by a specific dollar amount or suspend it until a certain date is not known, but both moderates and conservatives still seem to have widespread support.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order last Tuesday issuing more than 50 directives across nearly every Cabinet-level agency for expanded and guaranteed access to affordable long-term care and child care. The Office of Personnel Management is directed to review child care subsidy policy and consider setting standards for all federal government employees to access assistance. The executive order further seeks to improve working conditions for early educators, long-term care workers and child care workers. The Department of Health and Human Services is instructed to increase benefits for Head Start employees and issue regulations to ensure Medicaid funding for care workers.


According to the U.N. more than 200 people have died in Sudan’s armed power struggle since last Saturday. The fight for control over the country is between the army and the paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Last Tuesday a U.S. diplomatic convoy was attacked amid ongoing fighting in the nation’s capital, Khartoum, sparking concern for US citizens in the area. The U.S. Mission to Sudan issued a security alert to U.S. citizens. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told reporters last Tuesday at the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Summit that he had contacted the leader of each force in the conflict to demand a ceasefire out of concern for civilian deaths. Though a ceasefire was agreed upon, the fighting could not be stopped. The United States appears to be losing the battle for influence in Sudan to Russia, whose mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner group have reportedly not been attacked as they drive through Khartoum. 

Last Tuesday, the European Parliament approved legislation to tax imports based on greenhouse gasses emitted in its production, marking the first time in history that climate regulation will be integrated in global trade rules. Countries that put a price on carbon will be deducted payments for overseas carbon emissions at E.U. borders. This legislation has caused concern in the United States, China and parts of the Global South where manufacturers rely more on coal-fired electricity. Companies must report on total emissions of their imported goods starting in October and will have to start paying the tax in 2026.

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