January 2022 Current Events: US News

Updated March 24, 2022 | Infoplease Staff
Joe Biden

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The world is a very busy place, and it's hard to stay on top of everything. Infoplease has got you covered. Here are the US news events you need to know so far for January 2022:

  1. Justice Breyer Announces Retirement
  2. Sarah Palin Sues New York Times for Defamation
  3. Senate Committee Approves Regulatory Bill Against Big Tech
  4. Court Blocks Vaccine Mandate
  5. President Biden Bullish on Employment Figures

Justice Breyer Announces Retirement

Justice Breyer

Photo Source: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

On January 26, liberal justice Stephen Breyer announced his impending retirement at the age of 83. Breyer, who has served on the court since 1994, is the first justice to retire during Joe Biden's presidential term. Senate Democrats hope to capitalize on the chance to name a new liberal justice and shape the court for the coming decades. The early favorite to assume the seat is Leondra Kruger of California, who would be the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
Source: Reuters

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Sarah Palin Sues New York Times for Defamation

Sarah Palin

Photo Source: File Photo REUTERS/Tami Chappell

On Monday, January 24, former Alaska governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's lawsuit against the New York Times went to trial. Palin is seeking recompense for defamation, as she claims the New York Times defamed her by linking her PAC to the shooting of U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords in 2011. Analysts believe the case is unlikely to break in Palin's favor, as the editorial response at the time suggests editorial negligence at best, rather than a willful assault on Palin's character.
Source: Reuters

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Senate Committee Approves Regulatory Bill Against Big Tech

Senator Klobuchar

Photo Source: Tom Brenner/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

On January 20, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill targeting Big Tech monopolies despite direct lobbying by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. The bill seeks to restrict the ability of tech companies to selectively promote their own businesses on their respective platforms (e.g. Google pointedly promoting Google-owned products over those of competitors in Google search results). Although senators lent some credence to privacy concerns raised by Cook, the bill was approved for general debate with the bipartisan approval of several senators.
Source: US News

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Court Blocks Vaccine Mandate

Texas Court

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

On January 14, the Supreme Court upheld a Circuit Court ruling blocking the Biden administration's vaccine mandate for federal contractors, claiming that it overreached executive authority. The ruling was accompanied by several other local rulings in states such as New York that curbed executive authority in issuing similar mandates, arguing that such powers are reserved to the legislature. Critics fear the rulings will reduce the US capacity to manage the COVID-19 crisis as the country faces record infection rates.
Source: BBC

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President Biden Bullish on Employment Figures

President Biden

Photo Source: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

On January 7, nearing the end of his first year as president, Joe Biden took to the press to talk about the country's rapid economic recovery since the beginning of his term. His focus was the low unemployment rate, which at under 3.9% made it the lowest unemployment rate since the Clinton administration. Despite widespread discontent over the president's handling of inflation, Biden was optimistic on the Fed's ability to manage the monetary issues and capitalize on the economic improvements.
Source: U.S. News

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