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Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Congress and offered gratitude for U.S. support throughout the war with Russia.

Karah Rucker

Anchor/Reporter/Producer

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The Morning Rundown™

Morning rundown: Zelenskyy’s address, bomb cyclones hit US

Dec 22, 2022

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Karah Rucker

Anchor/Reporter/Producer

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Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the American people. FTX and Alameda Research crypto execs plead guilty. Bomb cyclones sweep the Midwest. These stories and more highlight Straight Arrow News’ morning rundown for Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022. 

Zelenskyy addresses Congress, America

“I hope my words of respect and gratitude resonate in each American heart. Ukraine holds its lines and will never surrender,” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said. 

Zelenskyy received several standing ovations from U.S. lawmakers last night as he addressed Congress and offered gratitude for U.S. support throughout the war with Russia. The U.S. vowed more financial support to Ukraine, which Zelenskyy called an investment, not charity. At the end of his speech, he offered a Ukrainian flag signed by Ukrainian troops as a token of the two countries’ alliance.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this flag is a symbol of our victory in this war. We stand, we fight, and we will win because we are united. Ukraine, America and the entire free world,” Zelenskyy said.

Omnibus held up by Title 42 policy

Ukraine could soon receive $45 billion worth of aid from Congress if lawmakers pass the omnibus spending bill. The clock is ticking, as Congress faces a Friday deadline to pass it through both chambers. The Senate could be taking a vote as early as this morning.

But there’s been one apparent hold up: a difference of opinion on immigration policy is getting in the way. Republicans want an amendment vote included in the deal that would require the Biden administration to preserve Title 42 at the border. If the Senate does include an amendment for Title 42, it would make the omnibus harder to pass once it’s sent to the House.

FTX top executives plead guilty

Two former top executives involved in the collapsed crypto company FTX have pled guilty to several criminal charges, including fraud. Former Alameda Research CEO Caroline Ellision and FTX co-founder Gary Wang entered plea deals and are cooperating with federal prosecutors. The plea deals come as FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has been extradited to the U.S. and is expected to appear before a judge in Manhattan today.

“Let me reiterate a call that I made last week. If you participated in misconduct at FTX or Alameda, now is the time to get ahead of it. We are moving quickly and our patience is not eternal,” United States Attorney Damian Williams said. 

1,100 flights cancelled due to bad weather

It’s being called a “once in a generation” storm impacting nearly every state and crippling travel plans for Christmas weekend. The winter storm is evolving into what’s called a bomb cyclone, as blizzard warnings and negative-degree temperatures blanket the Midwest.

In South Dakota, more than 100 cars were stuck on a highway as heavy snow and wind created poor visibility. More than 1,100 flights have already been canceled as of Thursday morning. Most of those are out of airports like Chicago and Denver.

The winter storm system is expected to make its way across the U.S. today and tomorrow.

GOP House members release Jan. 6 report

The House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots is expected to release its full report today. Ahead of that release, House Republicans have released their own investigation findings. The report focuses on the security failures at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 and the breakdown in communication between Capitol Police, security, and other law enforcement agencies. The report is a direct rebuttal to the designated House Committee investigating Jan. 6 for the past 17 months. The GOP report leaves little to no blame on former president Donald Trump.

While the Jan. 6 House Committee is expected to release its final report today, Committee members already recommended criminal charges against Trump.

FCC investigates largest robocall scam

How many robocalls have you received asking if you would like to extend your car’s warranty? If you feel like you’ve heard this line over and over again, you’re not alone.

The FCC is cracking down on a robocall scam that involved more than five billion unsolicited calls over just a three month period. These particular scammers used more than 100 million spam telephone numbers to make phone calls to millions of Americans.

The FCC is proposing a record $300 million fine over the auto warranty scam, marking the largest robocall operation the Federal Communications Commission has ever investigated.

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