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South Korean president to address Congress: April 27 rundown

Apr 27, 2023

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The U.S. is hosting South Korea’s president who is expected to make a speech to a joint session of Congress. And the number of Americans smoking cigarettes has reached an all-time low. These stories and more highlight the daily rundown for Thursday, April 27, 2023.

South Korean president to address Congress

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will deliver an address to a joint session of Congress. The leader is looking to strengthen his ties with the U.S. during this week-long trip. 

“To president Yoon and Mrs. Kim, thank you for making the journey. We are delighted to have you here. I’ve never been more optimistic, and I mean that, I’ve never been more optimistic about our nations, what we can achieve together if we continue to work together as allies and as friends,” President Biden said after welcoming Yoon to the White House on Wednesday, April 26. There, they called their bond “unbreakable” amid ongoing threats from North Korea

The two met to discuss the joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea and how to deter the North’s advancing nuclear program. Biden and Yoon also discussed the promotion of peace in Taiwan and their shared-support for Ukraine amid the war.

South Korea’s visit to the U.S. marks the 70th anniversary of the alliance.

House passes debt ceiling package

The Republican-controlled House narrowly passed a bill Wednesday, April 26, to raise the nation’s debt limit. However, the bill is expected to be dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled Senate. 

The bill was passed 217 to 215 with no Democratic support and 4 Republicans joining in opposition.

The bill would raise the spending cap by $1.5 trillion while cutting federal spending by around $4.5 trillion. The cuts would largely come from programs pushed by the White House. President Biden has asked for no spending cuts, saying he wants the debt limit raised without any conditions attached.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the nation could default on its debt as soon as June if a debt limit deal isn’t reached. This could create financial turmoil around the world and diminish the value of the U.S. dollar.

First Republic Bank stock tumbles

Eyes will be on First Republic Bank’s stock today as it plummeted for a second day on Wednesday, April 26. The future of the bank is on shaky ground after the disclosure that depositors withdrew more than $100 billion during last month’s banking crisis.

The New York Stock Exchange halted trading on the stock more than a dozen times yesterday, as shares plunged nearly 30%. On Tuesday, April 25, shares dropped to 49%. It has  raised concerns over the bank’s stability given the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. 

Bank executives have announced plans to get First Republic on better footing, which include selling off assets and job cuts. 

First Republic has already received two multi-billion dollar bailouts. The bank was given $30 billion in bailouts led by JP Morgan Chase in March 2023. In February 2023, JP Morgan also extended a $70 billion line of credit to First Republic.

Trans lawmaker barred from MT House floor

Montana Republicans have barred transgender lawmaker Zooey Zephyr from the House floor for the remainder of its legislative session. Zephyr was barred after telling peers next time they “bow your heads in prayer, you see blood on your hands.” The comments were made as the floor debated a bill to ban gender-affirming care for children.

The move to bar Zephyr caps off a weeklong standoff between the Democratic and House Republican leaders. Protests in support of Zephyr have disrupted legislative proceedings in the chamber.

Zephyr has defended the comments and refused to apologize, saying the comments came in defense of the transgender community.

U.S. adult cigarette smoking hits new low

The number of Americans smoking cigarettes has dropped to a new all time low, according to a government survey released today.

According to the CDC, one in nine adults say they smoke cigarettes. Last year, the percentage of adult smokers dropped to about 11%, down from 12.5% in the previous year.

But comparing that to the mid-1960’s, when 42% of U.S.. adults were smokers, smoking has dramatically dropped off over the years.

While cigarette smoking is fizzling out, the number of Americans using e-cigarettes increased to nearly 6%. That’s up from 4.5% the year before.

According to the CDC, cigarette taxes, tobacco product price hikes, smoking bans, and changes in social acceptance are all factors in the decline of cigarette smoking.

NFL draft tonight, Carolina Panthers hold first pick

Thirty-one football players will hear their names called during the first round of the NFL draft. Normally, there are 32 first round selections made, but this year the Miami Dolphins had to forfeit their top selection due to violations of the league’s integrity of the game policy. 

Teams at the top of the order are hoping their selections tonight will breathe fresh air into their organization.

Last month, the Carolina Panthers traded up to get the first overall pick, and will be followed by the Houston Texans.

Many draft experts say Alabama quarterback Bryce Young will be the first overall pick. Ohio State’s CJ Stroud is also expected to be one of the first few players taken.

The draft takes place in Kansas City, home of the reigning Super Bowl champions.

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KARAH RUCKER: COMING UP – THE U.S. IS HOSTING SOUTH KOREA’S PRESIDENT – WHO IS EXPECTED TO MAKE A SPEECH TO A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS THIS EVENING. AND –THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS SMOKING CIGARETTES HAS REACHED A NEW ALL-TIME LOW. HOW THE NUMBERS COMPARE OVER THE YEARS.

THE DAILY RUNDOWN STARTS RIGHT NOW. THIS IS STRAIGHT-ARROW NEWS. BRINGING YOU UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS. I’M KARAH RUCKER.

SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT TO ADDRESS CONGRESS

HAPPENING TODAY – SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT YOON SUK YEOL {sook yee-ol} WILL DELIVER AN ADDRESS TO A JOINT SESSION OF CONGRESS. 

THE LEADER IS LOOKING TO STRENGTHEN HIS TIES WITH THE U-S DURING THIS WEEK-LONG TRIP. 

PRESIDENT BIDEN: “And to President Yoon and Mrs. Kim, thank you for making the journey. We are delighted to have you here. I’ve never been more optimistic, and I mean that, I’ve never been more optimistic about our nations, what we can achieve together if we continue to work together as allies and as friends.”

YESTERDAY PRESIDENT BIDEN WELCOMED YOON TO THE WHITE HOUSE WHERE THEY CALLED THEIR BOND *UNBREAKABLE* AMID ONGOING THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA. 

THE TWO MET TO DISCUSS THE JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES BETWEEN THE U.S. AND SOUTH KOREA AND HOW TO DETER THE NORTH’S ADVANCING NUCLEAR PROGRAM.

BIDEN AND YOON ALSO DISCUSSED THE PROMOTION OF PEACE IN TAIWAN AND THEIR SHARED-SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE AMID THE WAR.

SOUTH KOREA’S VISIT TO THE U.S. MARKS THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THEIR ALLIANCE.

HOUSE PASSES DEBT CEILING PACKAGE

THE REPUBLICAN-CONTROLLED HOUSE NARROWLY PASSED A BILL ON WEDNESDAY TO RAISE THE NATION’S DEBT LIMIT. HOWEVER — THE BILL IS EXPECTED TO BE “DEAD ON ARRIVAL” IN THE DEMOCRAT-CONTROLLED SENATE. 

REP. JODEY ARRINGTON | (R) TEXAS: “No responsible leader can look at the rapid deterioration of our balance sheet and the unsustainability of our deficit spending and stand idly by defending status quo.”

MINORITY LEADER HAKEEM JEFFRIES | (D) NEW YORK: “This reckless Republican effort to lead us down the road of a dangerous default will hurt working families, hurt the middle class, hurt all those Americans who aspire to be part of the middle class.”

THE BILL WAS PASSED 217 TO 215 WITH NO DEMOCRATIC SUPPORT AND 4 REPUBLICANS JOINING IN OPPOSITION.

THE BILL WOULD RAISE THE SPENDING CAP BY $1.5 TRILLION DOLLARS WHILE CUTTING FEDERAL SPENDING BY AROUND $4.5 TRILLION — WITH CUTS LARGELY COMING FROM PROGRAMS PUSHED BY THE WHITE HOUSE. 

PRESIDENT BIDEN HAS ASKED FOR NO SPENDING CUTS — WANTING THE DEBT LIMIT RAISED WITHOUT ANY CONDITIONS ATTACHED.

THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATES THAT THE NATION COULD DEFAULT ON ITS DEBT AS SOON AS JUNE IF A DEBT LIMIT DEAL ISN’T REACHED — WHICH COULD CREATE FINANCIAL TURMOIL AROUND THE WORLD AND DIMINISH THE VALUE OF THE U.S. DOLLAR.

FIRST REPUBLIC BANK STOCK TUMBLES

EYES WILL BE ON FIRST REPUBLIC BANK’S STOCK TODAY AS IT PLUMMETED FOR A SECOND DAY ON WEDNESDAY. 

THE FUTURE OF THE BANK IS ON SHAKY GROUND AFTER MONDAY’S DISCLOSURE THAT DEPOSITORS WITHDREW MORE THAN 100-BILLION-DOLLARS DURING LAST MONTH’S BANKING CRISIS.

THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE HALTED TRADING ON THE STOCK MORE THAN A DOZEN TIMES YESTERDAY, AS SHARES PLUNGED NEARLY 30 PERCENT. ON TUESDAY — SHARES SUNK 49 PERCENT. IT’S RAISED CONCERNS OVER THE BANK’S STABILITY — GIVEN THE RECENT COLLAPSE OF SILICON VALLEY BANK AND SIGNATURE BANK. 

THIS WEEK — BANK EXECUTIVES ANNOUNCED PLANS TO GET FIRST REPUBLIC ON BETTER FOOTING — WHICH INCLUDE SELLING OFF ASSETS…AND JOB CUTS.

FIRST REPUBLIC HAS ALREADY RECEIVED TWO MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR BAILOUTS.

THE BANK WAS GIVEN $30 BILLION DOLLARS IN BAILOUTS LED BY J-P MORGAN CHASE LAST MONTH.

A MONTH PRIOR — JP MORGAN ALSO EXTENDED A $70 BILLION DOLLAR LINE OF CREDIT TO FIRST REPUBLIC.

TRANS LAWMAKER BARRED FROM MT HOUSE FLOOR

State House Majority Leader Sue Vinton | (R) Montana: “Representatives from House District No.100 will no longer be admitted to this floor, House anteroom, or House gallery. The representative has the option to continue to participate remotely by voting only in floor proceedings via the process currently in place for the duration of the session until the 68th Legislature adjourns.”

MONTANA REPUBLICANS HAVE BARRED TRANSGENDER LAWMAKER ZOOEY ZEPHYR FROM THE HOUSE FLOOR FOR THE REMAINDER OF ITS LEGISLATIVE SESSION – AFTER THE STATE REPRESENTATIVE TOLD HER PEERS NEXT TIME THEY QUOTE “BOW YOUR HEADS IN PRAYER, YOU SEE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS.”

THE COMMENTS WERE MADE AS THE FLOOR DEBATED A BILL TO BAN GENDER-AFFIRMING CARE FOR CHILDREN.

THE MOVE TO BAR ZEPHYR CAPS OFF A WEEKLONG STANDOFF BETWEEN THE DEMOCRAT AND HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADERS.

PROTESTS IN SUPPORT OF ZEPHYR HAVE DISRUPTED LEGISLATIVE PROCEEDINGS IN THE CHAMBER.

ZEPHYR HAS DEFENDED HER COMMENTS AND REFUSED TO APOLOGIZE – SAYING THE COMMENTS CAME AS SHE STOOD UP FOR THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY.

U.S. ADULT CIGARETTE SMOKING HITS NEW LOW

THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS SMOKING CIGARETTES HAS DROPPED TO A NEW ALL TIME LOW ACCORDING TO A GOVERNMENT SURVEY RELEASED TODAY.

ACCORDING TO THE CDC – ONE IN NINE ADULTS SAY THEY SMOKE CIGARETTES. LAST YEAR – THE PERCENTAGE OF ADULT SMOKERS DROPPED TO ABOUT 11 PERCENT – DOWN FROM 12.5 PERCENT IN THE PREVIOUS YEAR.

BUT COMPARING THAT TO THE MID-1960’S – WHEN 42 PERCENT OF U.S. ADULTS WERE SMOKERS – SMOKING HAS DRAMATICALLY DROPPED OFF OVER THE YEARS.

WHILE CIGARETTE SMOKING IS FIZZING OUT – THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS USING E-CIGARETTES INCREASED TO NEARLY 6 PERCENT — UP FROM 4.5 PERCENT THE YEAR BEFORE.

ACCORDING TO THE CDC – CIGARETTE TAXES, TOBACCO PRODUCT PRICE HIKES, SMOKING BANS, AND CHANGES IN SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE ARE ALL FACTORS IN THE DECLINE OF CIGARETTE SMOKING.

NFL DRAFT TONIGHT, CAROLINA PANTHERS HOLD FIRST PICK

31 FOOTBALL PLAYERS WILL HEAR THEIR NAMES CALLED TONIGHT DURING THE FIRST ROUND OF THE NFL DRAFT. 

NORMALLY, THERE ARE 32 FIRST ROUND SELECTIONS MADE, BUT THIS YEAR THE MIAMI DOLPHINS HAD TO FORFEIT THEIR TOP SELECTION DUE TO VIOLATIONS OF THE LEAGUE’S INTEGRITY OF THE GAME POLICY. 

TEAMS AT THE TOP OF THE ORDER ARE HOPING THEIR SELECTIONS TONIGHT WILL BREATHE FRESH AIR INTO THEIR ORGANIZATION.

LAST MONTH THE CAROLINA PANTHERS TRADED UP TO GET THE FIRST OVERALL PICK — AND WILL BE FOLLOWED BY THE HOUSTON TEXANS.

MANY DRAFT EXPERTS SAY ALABAMA QUARTERBACK BRYCE YOUNG WILL BE THE FIRST OVERALL PICK. 

OHIO STATE’S C-J STROUD IS ALSO EXPECTED TO BE ONE OF THE FIRST FEW PLAYERS TAKEN.

THE DRAFT TAKES PLACE IN KANSAS CITY TONIGHT — HOME OF THE **REIGNING SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS.

THESE ARE YOUR TOP STORIES. THANKS FOR WATCHING THE DAILY RUNDOWN. WE’RE ON A MISSION TO BRING BACK TRUSTWORTHY JOURNALISM BY SERVING ONLY YOU — NOT AN AGENDA. BE SURE TO CHECK OUT MORE OF OUR WORK AT STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM.

WE’LL SEE YOU BACK HERE TOMORROW. UNTIL THEN I’M KARAH RUCKER. HAVE A GREAT DAY!

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