A group of House Republicans from New York, led by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, has introduced a resolution seeking the expulsion of Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., from Congress, citing Santos as a “fraudster” and “stain” on the House and New York State.

D’Esposito’s resolution has garnered support from fellow New York House Republicans, including Nick LaLota, who described Santos as “immoral” and “untrustworthy.” This move follows federal prosecutors issuing a 23-count indictment against Santos, alleging identity theft, fraud, and other offenses. Despite Santos’s plans to fight the charges, the resolution aims to remove him from office. While House Democrats previously initiated expulsion proceedings, the Ethics Committee has been investigating Santos, prompting D’Esposito and his colleagues to call for swift action. Expelling Santos would require a two-thirds majority vote in the House, and Republicans seem confident in their ability to garner support for the resolution.


Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat from New Jersey, has been hit with a new accusation of conspiring to act as an agent of Egypt while serving as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as stated in a recent indictment by Manhattan federal prosecutors. This charge alleges that Menendez, along with his wife Nadine Menendez and another defendant, Wael Hana, conspired to have the senator work on Egypt’s behalf without registering with the Justice Department, violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The indictment also seeks to seize the Menendez’ residence and a Mercedes-Benz convertible allegedly given as a bribe. These allegations put significant pressure on Menendez to resign from his Senate position. If convicted, he could be the first sitting senator charged with conduct covered by the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Menendez has previously been indicted on corruption charges and faced calls for expulsion from fellow Democrats. Historians find these accusations among the gravest against a senator in recent history.


New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov, a Republican, made headlines when she was arrested during a pro-Palestinian protest at Brooklyn College. The protest took place against the backdrop of escalating tensions due to the Hamas-Israel conflict. Vernikov, who attended the event to counter the pro-Palestinian demonstrators, was taken into custody after she was found in possession of a handgun, which she had tucked into her waistband. While Vernikov possessed a valid firearm license, New York law prohibits guns in “sensitive locations,” including protests. The arrest prompted a strong response from various quarters, with the New York City Council stating that the incident was under investigation and might result in the recusal of committee members. Vernikov, a lawyer, did not immediately respond to requests for comment but had previously stated on social media that she was officially a licensed gun owner, intending to carry her firearm “to as many places as I’m legally allowed to.” She also hinted at a potential challenge to New York’s concealed carry laws in a bid to expand the list of places where firearms can be brought. 




Conservative Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio has initiated a House floor vote to determine whether he will succeed the ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy and resolve the ongoing gridlock within the divided GOP. Jordan, however, lacks the votes needed to secure the speakership, despite gaining support from key holdouts. He needs 217 votes for election, but as of Tuesday, six Republicans expressed opposition, with three leaning against him. The exact vote count is dynamic due to Rep. Gus Bilirakis’s temporary absence for his mother-in-law’s funeral, which reduces the number of votes Jordan can afford to lose from four to three. Democratic absences could further affect the margin. Jordan and his supporters have made significant progress in garnering support, reducing the number of GOP opponents from around 55 to approximately eight to ten. If Jordan doesn’t secure the votes on the initial ballot, additional rounds of voting could be forced, as seen with McCarthy’s election in January. However, there remain lawmakers publicly opposing Jordan, primarily due to discontent with the removal of Kevin McCarthy and the opposition to House Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s speaker nomination.


President Joe Biden will visit Israel this week to show strong support for the country’s efforts to eliminate Hamas while also seeking ways to ease the situation in Gaza. This visit, prompted by an invitation from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, carries significant risks as Biden works to prevent the Middle East crisis from escalating further. During his visit, Biden will also travel to Jordan to meet with regional leaders and discuss the situation. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been engaged in discussions with Israeli officials to open Gaza to humanitarian aid and prevent civilian casualties. The visit aims to strike a balance between supporting Israel and addressing the situation in Gaza while avoiding the conflict’s expansion to other fronts.


A federal judge, Tanya Chutkan, has issued a gag order, barring former President Donald Trump from attacking witnesses, prosecutors, and court staff involved in his criminal case in Washington, D.C., related to his alleged efforts to subvert the 2020 election. Chutkan emphasized that First Amendment protections must yield to the administration of justice and witness protection. The order escalates the tension between Trump’s 2024 presidential ambitions and his status as a criminal defendant. While Trump’s attorneys argued that his political campaign warranted free speech, the judge emphasized that he could not engage in a “pretrial smear campaign” against potential witnesses and threatened potential sanctions if he violates the order. Trump plans to appeal the decision, and the ruling could limit his public attacks on legal proceedings and witnesses.


In an unsettling incident in Illinois, a 6-year-old Muslim boy lost his life and his mother sustained severe injuries after they were attacked by their landlord, who now faces hate crime charges. The assailant allegedly singled out the victims due to their faith and as a response to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, underscoring the intersection of international events and local hate crimes. Law enforcement agencies across the United States have been on high alert recently, given the surge in antisemitic and Islamophobic sentiments, with the FBI, along with Jewish and Muslim organizations, reporting a troubling increase in hateful and threatening rhetoric. This tragic episode serves as a stark reminder of the urgency in addressing the broader issue of hate crimes, promoting tolerance, and ensuring community safety in the face of such violence.


Microsoft-owned LinkedIn has announced the layoffs of nearly 700 employees, primarily from the engineering department, with additional cuts in finance and human resources groups, as the company grapples with slowing year-over-year revenue growth over eight consecutive quarters, despite consistent membership growth. These job reductions aim to streamline operations, enhance efficiency, and adapt to the FY24 plan’s key initiatives. This move follows Microsoft’s previous announcement of 10,000 job cuts in January and reflects a broader effort to reduce costs amidst a challenging revenue growth environment. LinkedIn is simultaneously increasing hiring in India, emphasizing its commitment to strategic priorities and supporting affected employees during this transition.


Pfizer’s stock is declining on the first day of trading as the company reported weaker-than-expected sales for its Covid-19 vaccine and treatment, leading to a $9 billion reduction in its revenue projections for the year. While Pfizer had initially expected a sales rebound in the second half of 2023, shares dropped over 1%, and Moderna, a competitor reliant on its vaccine, fell nearly 5%. Pfizer’s global usage of Paxlovid is slightly above last year but below expectations, with uncertainty surrounding vaccination rates for the year’s fall period. The company has lowered its revenue expectations for both Paxlovid and Comirnaty, resulting in a reduced 2023 revenue forecast of $58 billion to $61 billion, falling short of Wall Street’s previous expectations. However, JPMorgan believes these cuts may stabilize earnings expectations for the next year.


Rite Aid has filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to sell part of its business due to financial losses and opioid-related lawsuits. The company will continue to fill prescriptions and serve customers during its Chapter 11 restructuring process, which aims to reduce debt and address litigation claims. Rite Aid, which operates over 2,000 stores primarily on the East and West Coasts, has struggled with annual losses, opioid-related legal challenges, and staffing issues in its stores. The bankruptcy filing follows allegations of filling illegal prescriptions, leading to lawsuits. Rite Aid plans to close underperforming stores and has received fresh financing to support the restructuring. The company is also selling its pharmacy benefits manager, Elixir, and has appointed a new CEO with experience in financial restructuring. The filing lists $8.6 billion in total debts and $7.6 billion in assets, and the company expects to close several hundred locations, potentially relieving staffing pressure in the industry.


Israel NEWS


The Hamas terror group announced the death of a senior member in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip. In a statement, Hamas said Ayman Nofal, a member of the terror group’s General Military Council and the head of its military wing’s Central Gaza Brigade, was killed in a strike in the Bureij refugee camp. The Israel Defense Forces has not yet commented on the apparent assassination.


In Israel, Likud Party lawmaker Amit Halevi introduced a bill to the parliament, which has garnered support from 39 Knesset members, including some from the opposition Yesh Atid Party. The bill proposes allowing courts to impose the death penalty on Palestinian terrorists who participated in Hamas’s terror assault on October 7. This proposed law draws inspiration from a previous Israeli law related to the death penalty for Nazis and their collaborators. The Hamas attack on October 7 resulted in a significant number of casualties and hostages taken in Gaza. As the Knesset began its winter session, Israeli lawmakers are primarily focused on supporting the IDF’s war efforts and managing economic issues.


Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the top Roman Catholic Church official in the Holy Land, expressed his willingness to exchange himself for the children held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza amid an imminent Israeli ground assault. He made this heartfelt but unofficial offer during an online meeting with Vatican-based journalists. The offer comes in the context of ongoing efforts to free those kidnapped during the conflict, including children. As of now, the situation remains complex and uncertain, with international efforts to locate and free the hostages ongoing.


The Shin Bet security agency’s head, Ronen Bar, has taken personal responsibility for the lack of an early warning for the Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7. He acknowledged in a message to agency members that despite their efforts, they were unable to generate a sufficient warning to prevent the attack. Unusual movement in the Gaza Strip was identified before the attack, leading to late-night discussions among senior officials, but the signs were mostly dismissed. Bar ordered a small team to the Gaza border in anticipation of a small-scale attack. However, at least 10 members of the Shin Bet were killed during the attacks, and Bar emphasized that they are currently in a war, not just a round of fighting, with no defined border or time limit.


Israel’s parliament has formally ratified an emergency unity government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which incorporates centrist opposition legislators, demonstrating Israel’s commitment to confronting the ongoing war with Hamas in Gaza, notably after a devastating attack by the militant Islamist group. This unity government reflects the suspension of conventional political norms, underscoring the gravity of the crisis, deemed one of the most critical in Israel’s history. Netanyahu, addressing the legislature, stressed the government’s determination to achieve a complete victory and the eradication of Hamas, characterizing the October 7 attack as “the most horrendous day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust.” The agreement entails the inclusion of former Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his centrist party members in a coalition that shapes one of Israel’s most right-wing governments, despite Gantz’s earlier opposition. Prior to this unity government, Israel’s political landscape had been deeply fractured, primarily over a contentious effort to reform the judiciary led by Netanyahu’s government, creating divisions between his religious nationalist supporters and more liberal, secular Israelis. Nevertheless, the present crisis has prompted the shelving of these disparities in anticipation of an Israeli military incursion into Gaza. Benny Gantz, upon his swearing-in, pledged decisive action against the enemy, while the leader of the largest opposition party in parliament, former Prime Minister Yair Lapid, declined to join the unity government due to the presence of extreme right-wing members, such as Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. However, Lapid committed to not opposing the government and pledged his support during the ongoing security crisis. 




In a terror incident in Brussels, two Swedish nationals were killed, and a third person was wounded by a self-identified member of the Islamic State who claimed responsibility for the attack in a video posted online. The attacker fled the scene, prompting a massive manhunt and an increase in Belgium’s terror alert level. The Belgian federal prosecutor stated that there was no evidence linking the attacker to the recent conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants, suggesting that the likely motive for the attack was the Swedish nationality of the victims. The shooter, who identified himself as Abdesalem Al Guilani, made a video statement asserting his affiliation with the Islamic State. The third victim, a taxi driver, was wounded but in non-life-threatening condition. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo offered condolences and stressed the joint effort to combat terrorism with Sweden. In response to the situation, Sweden’s Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson advised all Swedes in Belgium to be vigilant and follow instructions from Belgian authorities. The incident occurred during a heightened security period in some European countries related to the Israel-Hamas conflict, with France deploying additional troops following a recent attack that President Emmanuel Macron condemned as “barbaric Islamic terrorism.” The attacker’s video message expressed radical beliefs, but the investigation is ongoing, and the situation has raised security concerns in the region. France has increased border controls with Belgium, and Belgian authorities have advised against unnecessary trips in the capital.


The French government raised its terrorist threat alert to the highest level following a knife attack in a school in northern France. A teacher was killed, and three others were injured in what officials described as an Islamist terror attack, which deeply shocked the country. The main suspect in the attack, identified as Mohammed M., a Russian immigrant born in 2003, had been previously flagged in France’s S Files, a database of people believed to be potential threats. The suspect had even been questioned the day before the assault but was released as it was determined that he did not pose an immediate threat. This incident has raised questions about security in schools in France, particularly given the previous attack on a teacher in 2020. France has faced a series of terrorist attacks in recent years, with heightened security measures and intelligence efforts in place to prevent such incidents. In this case, officials also suggested a possible link between the attack and the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, contributing to an “extremely negative atmosphere.” President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences and emphasized the need to stand together against the “barbarity of Islamist terrorism.” The government has increased security measures, and schools across the country will see enhanced security in response to this incident.