New York Governor Kathy Hochul was sworn in for her first elected term, making history as the first woman elected to the position in the state. Hochul initially took over after former Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned amid scandal. Hochul defeated challenger Lee Zeldin, former Congressman from Suffolk County, in the closest gubernatorial election New York has seen in decades. The Democrat, launching her term as the 57th governor of New York, said her goals were to increase public safety and to make the state more affordable, two pillars of the Zeldin campaign. “Right now, there are some fights we have to take on,” Hochul said after taking the oath of office at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. “First, we must and will make our streets safer.”


Three NYPD officers were injured when a machete wielding 19-year old attacked them near the Times Square ball drop on New Year’s Eve.  The attack occurred just outside a Times Square security screening zone.  The suspect carried a handwritten diary that expressed his desire to join the Taliban in Afghanistan and die as a martyr, law enforcement sources said.

The suspect remains in custody and under police guard at Bellevue Hospital, where he is being treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder sustained during the attack.  All three officers have been treated and released.  Federal authorities from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office were discussing whether to charge the suspect federally or under state law or both in relation to the attack. 


Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field and appeared to be getting CPR before being driven off the field in an ambulance during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Hamlin collided with a Bengals receiver after a completion, got to his feet, and then fell backward a second or two later and lay motionless. He was surrounded by stunned players from both teams, and when he was taken off the field 16 minutes later, the Bills gathered in prayer. The game was indefinitely postponed. Hamlin was in critical condition early Tuesday after the Bills say his heart stopped following the tackle. Bills quarterback Josh Allen simply said, “Please Pray for our brother.”  Football fans showed their support by contributing to Hamlin’s charity, called the Chasin M’s Foundation, designed to raise money to buy toys for children in need. The original goal was $2,500, but raised over $3 million overnight. 


A nurse strike looms over the New York City hospital system as contract negotiations continue.  A tentative agreement has been reached at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, which affects 4,000 nurses, and is awaiting ratification.  Contract talks between nurses and seven other hospitals will resume this week to avert a strike by 12,000 other nurses as early as next Monday, Jan. 9. “It could be an enormous public health calamity,” said Ken Raske of the Greater New York Hospital Association, who described the mood as among hospital managers as “extremely apprehensive.”




 The Nasdaq closed out its worst year since 2008 and is mired in a downturn that’s drawing many comparisons to the dot-com crash. “It’s really hard to be positive on tech right now,” said Gene Munster, managing partner at Loup Ventures. The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 1% in the fourth quarter, wrapping up its first four-quarter losing streak since 2000-2001. Over the course of the year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 73.55 points, or 0.22%, to close at 33,147.25. The S&P 500 shed 0.25% to end at 3,839.50. The Nasdaq Composite ticked down 0.11% to 10,466.88.


Barbara Walters, the TV journalist whose interviewing skills made her one of the most prominent figures in broadcasting, has died at 93. Beginning as a reporter in 1961, Walters was a pioneer when she became the first female anchor on an evening news program when she joined ABC News in 1976.  She launched “The Barbara Walters Specials” and “10 Most Fascinating People” before becoming a co-host and correspondent for ABC News’ “20/20” in 1984. During her 50-plus years in journalism, she interviewed every US president and first lady since Richard and Pat Nixon, along with countless other world leaders and celebrities.  


A suspect has been arrested in connection with the murders of four University of Idaho students, almost seven weeks after the quadruple murder. The suspect is a 25-year-old man who was taken into custody in Pennsylvania, over 2,500 miles away from where his alleged crimes took place. He was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and is being extradited back to Idaho. The public defender, who will not represent the suspect once he returns to Idaho, described his client as “calm and polite despite knowing the death penalty is on the table.” The family of the suspect expressed shock when they learned of the accusations.  “We will continue to let the legal process unfold and as a family we will love and support our son and brother,” they said in a statement. “We have fully cooperated with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to seek the truth and promote his presumption of innocence rather than judge unknown facts and make erroneous assumptions.”


Southwest Airlines had a costly holiday week, with around 16,000 cancellations possibly costing the airline hundreds of millions of dollars.  In the period between December 21 and 29, Southwest canceled 45% of its operation.  What started out as bad weather issues that all airlines were facing turned into a nightmare, as Southwest’s point-to-point system, which normally allows them to have direct flights between locations that other airlines so not have, caused nationwide struggles as crews could not get reassigned.  Southwest has two tasks ahead of them - going through thousands of passenger reimbursement receipts and improving the internal technology that contributed to the meltdown. “We have plans to invest in tools and technology and processes, but there will be immediate work to understand what lessons are learned here and how we keep this from ever happening again, because it cannot happen again,” Southwest CEO Bob Jordan told staff.  


Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and head of Twitter, has become the first person ever to lose $200 billion from his net worth, according to a Bloomberg report. Musk, 51, previously became the second person ever to amass a fortune of more than $200 billion in January 2021, after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Musk has now seen his wealth drop to $137 billion following a recent drop in Tesla shares. In 2022, Tesla sold a record 1.3 million vehicles, but the number fell short of CEO Elon Musk’s pledge to grow the company’s sales by 50% nearly every year. The 2022 figure topped the prior record of 936,000 vehicles delivered in 2021, but it was shy of the 1.4 million needed to reach the company’s 50% growth target. Sales grew 40% year over year, while production climbed 47% to 1.37 million.





Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as Israeli Prime Minister, taking office for the 6th time.  His 64-seat majority is the strongest in his long political career.  The first items on his agenda are shoring up the diplomatic relationships he made when last in office, and expanding on the Abraham Accords. In addition to reaching out to Saudi Arabia, Bibi is set to visit the United Arab Emirates as early as next week in what will be his first trip outside the country since the swearing-in of his new government. UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan called Netanyahu to congratulate him after the swearing-in of the government. “His Highness expressed his aspirations to further strengthen ties between the two countries across all fields, with a particular focus on matters of development, as well as advance the path of partnership and peace forward for the benefit of peoples of the two nations and the broader region,” the official Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.


National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir visited the Temple Mount early morning, his first trip to the holy site since taking up his ministerial post last week. The visit came hours after reports that Ben Gvir had agreed to put off the visit following a meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, and despite condemnation from the opposition and threats from the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group. “Our government will not surrender to threats from Hamas,” Ben Gvir said at the conclusion of his visit, which reportedly lasted some 15 minutes and passed without immediate incident.


Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has died at the age of 95.  The former Pope shocked the Catholic world when he retired in 2013, making him the first to do so since 1415.  He led the Church for almost eight years until health concerns caused him to step down. His successor, Pope Francis, will lead the funeral ceremony, where over 65,000 people have viewed his body lying in state at the Vatican. Bells rang out from Munich cathedral and a single bell was heard ringing from St Peter’s Square in Rome after the death was announced.


Pelé, the Brazilian king of soccer who won a record three World Cups and became one of the most commanding sports figures of the last century, died at 82. The standard-bearer of “the beautiful game” had undergone treatment for colon cancer since 2021. The medical center where he had been hospitalized for the last month said he died of multiple organ failure as a result of the cancer. “Pelé changed everything. He transformed football into art, entertainment,” Neymar, a fellow Brazilian soccer star, said on Instagram. “Football and Brazil elevated their standing thanks to the King! He is gone, but his magic will endure. Pelé is eternal!”


Israel fired missiles at the Damascus International Airport in Syria, putting it out of service.  The Syrian army claims that two soldiers were killed and two others wounded.  This was the second attack in seventh month that put the airport out of service.  Israel targeted the airport, and other ports in government-held parts of Syria, in an attempt to prevent arms shipments from Iran to militant groups backed by Tehran, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah.  While not commenting on this particular strike, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to his cabinet about threats to Israel in general.  “We will work openly, from a position of strength, in the international arena against a return to the nuclear agreement,” Netanyahu said. “Not only in talks with leaders behind closed doors but strongly and openly in the sphere of global opinion, which is now aware of the true dangers posed by Iran – the Iranian regime that is killing innocent citizens in and outside Iran.”


United Kingdom Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2023 New Year Honors, according to a statement released Friday by the U.K. cabinet office. Mirvis was given the designation by King Charles III in recognition of his “significant services to the Jewish community, to interfaith relations and to education.”