Democrats retained control of the Senate in US Midterms. Their leadership has portrayed this as vindication of their agenda and a rebuke of election denialism and extremist candidates on the right, even as Republicans edged towards control of the House of Representatives with a handful of key races yet to be called. Democrats gained Senate control late Saturday when Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto defeated former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt. However, the solidity of their control remains in question. While Democrats currently hold a 50-50 split with the tie breaking vote, Georgia is having a runoff election. A victory by Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock would give the party outright majority control, bolstering its sway over committees, bills, and judicial picks. Republicans, however, remained close to seizing control of the House as officials continued counting ballots, with returns still flowing in for several races, including many in liberal-leaning California. As of Sunday, Republicans had won 211 seats and the Democrats 205, with 218 needed for a majority. It could take several days before the outcome of enough House races is known to determine which party will control the 435-seat chamber.
Funds vanish at bankrupt crypto exchange FTX; probe underway:
A person walks past the FTX Arena, where the Miami Heat basketball team plays, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
Hours after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday, collapsed cryptocurrency trading firm FTX confirmed there was “unauthorized access” to its accounts. The embattled company’s new CEO John Ray III said Saturday that FTX is switching off the ability to trade or withdraw funds and taking steps to secure customers’ assets. Exactly how much money is involved is unclear, but analytics firm Elliptic estimated Saturday that $477 million was missing from the exchange. Another $186 million was moved out of FTX’s accounts, but that may have been FTX moving assets to storage, said Elliptic’s co-founder and chief scientist Tom Robinson. Until recently, FTX was one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. It was already short billions of dollars when it sought bankruptcy protection Friday and its former CEO and founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, resigned. The unraveling of the once-giant exchange is sending shockwaves through the industry, with companies that backed FTX writing down investments and the prices of bitcoin and other digital currencies falling. These shockwaves have led Politicians and regulators to call for stricter oversight of the unwieldy industry though it remains unclear what specific measures, if any, will be put in place
U.S COVID public health emergency to stay in place:
The United States announced Friday that it will keep in place the public health emergency status of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will allow millions of Americans to still get free tests, vaccines and treatments until at least April of next year. The possibility of a winter surge in COVID cases and the need for more time to transition out of the public health emergency to a private market were two factors that contributed to the decision not to end the emergency status in January, one of the officials announcing the extension said. The US Department of Health and Human Services has promised to give states 60 days notice before letting the emergency expire, which would have been on Friday if it did not plan on renewing it again in January. Health experts believe that the country will see a COVID-19 surge this winter, one official said. The official said there remained a lot of work to be done for the transition out of the public health emergency. When the emergency expires, the government will begin to transfer COVID healthcare to private insurance and government health plans.