Biden extends student loan repayment pause until June 2023. At least 7 dead in shooting at Virginia Walmart. Brazil election: Loser Bolsonaro challenges results.
Biden extends student loan repayment pause until June 2023
Two federal courts recently halted implementation of Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. On Nov. 10, a federal district court in Texas blocked the program after a lawsuit filed by a conservative group on behalf of two borrowers who didn’t qualify to benefit from the program. Days after, a US court of appeals in Missouri granted an injunction in a suit by six Republican-led states.
The Biden administration has since sought intervention from the Supreme Court to allow the program to continue. However, the Supreme Court may not issue a final ruling until June. This left many borrowers (26 million of whom have already applied for relief) uncertain whether they would have to restart payments in Jan. 2023, when the current moratorium on repayments expires. Biden had intended this 8th extension of the pause on repayments since 2020 to be the last. But in light of the legal challenges and the possibility of a resolution not coming for months, Biden has once again extended the pause on repayments, this time until June 30, 2023.
Previously, the Department of Education had warned in a court filing of a “historically large increase” in student debt defaults due to the impact of the pandemic if the program remained blocked. Even before the pandemic, 60% of student borrowers were not making payments on their debt in late 2019. Debt relief advocates predicted that as many as 75% percent of borrowers would not have resumed payments if the moratorium had ended in January.
At least 7 dead in shooting at Virginia Walmart
Around 10pm local time last night, yet another mass shooting took place. This time it occurred at a Walmart in Chesapeake, VA. It remains unclear at this time exactly how many people were killed or injured. Police have so far only confirmed that 7 people died, including the shooter. Five others, they said, remained at area hospitals and their condition was unknown.
Survivors and witnesses have given details of the shooting that have not yet been confirmed by the police. Walmart employee Briana Tyler said she was reporting to work for her overnight shift. She’d gone to the break room where employees routinely met to receive assignments. Just as the meeting was getting underway, Tyler said one of the store’s managers appeared in the doorway and started shooting.
Tyler said it didn’t appear the manager was aiming at anyone in particular. He was just sweeping back and forth across the room with the firearm. Then, Tyler said, the manager left the break room and went to the main sales floor, where he continued shooting.
According to police, the shooter took his own life at the scene. Police have identified the shooter as Andre Bing, 31, and have confirmed only that Bing was a Walmart employee. At present, no motive is apparent. Police have executed a search of Bing’s home.
Brazil election: Loser Bolsonaro challenges results
In last month’s election in Brazil, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro narrowly lost to his leftist challenger, former President Lula da Silva. Brazil’s courts and even its military have upheld the results of the election, which was decided by a margin of 2 million votes.
Still, Bolsonaro’s diehard supporters weren’t having it. They set up barricades on key roads in the country to block traffic to protest the results. Most of those barricades dispersed after Bolsonaro called on his supporters to end the roadblocks. However, many Bolsonaro supporters continue to call on the military to seize control and prevent the transfer of power from Bolsonaro to da Silva. The military has not obliged.
It was noted at the time that Bolsonaro did not concede his election defeat, saying only that he respected the constitution. One of his aides followed up stating that the transfer of power would move forward. Now, Bolsonaro and his party have issued a court challenge to contest the results. In the suit, Bolsonaro is claiming an audit found that some voting machines malfunctioned and argues that those votes should be “invalidated”.
Bolsonaro is unlikely to prevail, but the challenge does energize a small group pf his most fanatical followers. A supreme court justice said if Bolsonaro doesn’t present this audit within 24 hours, he would throw the case out.
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