President Biden nominating Jerome Powell for 2nd term as Federal Reserve chair

President Joe Biden announced Monday that he’s nominating Jerome Powell for a second four-year term as Federal Reserve chair, endorsing Powell’s stewardship of the economy through a brutal pandemic recession in which the Fed’s ultra-low rate policies helped bolster confidence and revitalize the job market. Biden also said he would nominate Lael Brainard, the lone Democrat on the Fed’s Board of Governors and the preferred alternative to Powell among many progressives, as vice chair. The president said he will fill the three remaining slots on the board, including a vice chair for supervision, a bank regulatory post, in early December. Biden’s decision, reached after extensive consideration, strikes a note of continuity and bipartisanship at a time when surging inflation is burdening households and raising risks to the economy’s recovery. In backing Powell, a Republican who was first elevated to his post by President Donald Trump, Biden brushed aside complaints from progressives that the Fed has weakened bank regulation and has been slow to take account of climate change in its supervision of banks. If confirmed by the Senate, Powell would remain one of the most…

U.S. Rhodes scholars for 2022 include record number of women

The class of U.S. Rhodes scholars for 2022 includes the largest number of women ever selected for the scholarship in one year, the Rhodes Trust announced Sunday. Of the 32 students chosen to study at the University of Oxford in England, 22 are women, the office of the American secretary of the trust said in a statement. One of the women selected is Louise Franke, a 21-year-old senior studying biochemistry at South Carolina’s Clemson University. Franke said she hopes to merge her interests in science and public policy through a career in health care policy. She intends to study politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford. Franke, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, is also the first Clemson student elected to a Rhodes class. She cited her mentors and various academic programs at the school as integral to her success. “It feels amazing to be part of this historic moment, as a woman and as a woman from the South,” Franke said. “I don’t really have the words for it.” Also among the winners is Devashish Basnet, a senior studying political science at New York City’s Hunter College. Basnet…

BTS crowned artist of the year at American Music Awards

South Korean superstars BTS were crowned artist of the year at the American Music Awards on Sunday, brushing aside challenges from Taylor Swift, Drake and The Weeknd as they took home a total of three awards and teamed up with Coldplay for a raucous “My Universe” and closed the show with “Butter.” “Seven boys from Korea, united by love for music, met the love and support from all the armies all over the world,” said BTS’ RM after the group won their artist of the year for the first time. “This whole thing is a miracle. Seriously, we would never take this for granted.” The band was also named favorite pop duo or group and got the favorite pop song award for “Butter.” The show celebrated the best popular music for a second pandemic year with a mix of live and pre-taped performances. Silk Sonic’s Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak kicked off the awards on a funky, R&B and pre-taped note with their “Smokin Out the Window” and Jennifer Lopez pre-taped her “On My Way” from her upcoming romantic comedy “Marry Me.” An earlier scheduled performance of…

More Americans say it’s unlikely they will ever have children: poll

(The Hill) – An increasing portion of Americans say they are unlikely to ever have children, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Forty-four percent of current non-parents between ages 18 and 49 said they are unlikely to have children someday, marking an increase from 37 percent of respondents in 2018, according to the survey.  Just 26 percent of people in that group said they were “very likely” to have children someday, down from 32 percent in 2018, according to the poll.  Fifty-four percent of people who are already parents said that they were not likely at all to have more children. This figure is relatively similar to where it stood at 51 percent in 2018.  COVID-19 cases rise with Thanksgiving gatherings on the wayOne-third of Americans approve of Biden’s handling of inflation: poll The survey comes as U.S. birth rates dropped to an especially low level in the winter during the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Census Bureau said it would have expected a winter drop during the season when birth rates are typically at their lowest, but noted that the number of births during winter 2020-2021 was “unusually low.” At the time, the bureau also added that U.S. births have declined every year since…

Target will no longer open its stores on Thanksgiving Day

Target will no longer open its stores on Thanksgiving Day, making permanent a shift to the unofficial start of the holiday season that was suspended during the pandemic. To limit crowds in stores, retailers last year were forced to turn what had become a weekend shopping blitz into an extended event, with holiday sales beginning as early as October. That forced shift appears to have been fortuitous. U.S. holiday sales last November and December rose 8.2% in 2020 from the previous year, according to The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group. The trade group predicts 2021 could shatter that record, growing between 8.5% and 10.5%. Americans, able to get the same offers over a broader timespan relieving some of the stresses that go hand in hand with the holidays, appeared to embrace the change. “What started as a temporary measure driven by the pandemic is now our new standard — one that recognizes our ability to deliver on our guests’ holiday wishes both within and well beyond store hours,” Target CEO Brian Cornell wrote in a note to employees. The new standard…

Sleeping Man Rescued From Burning Laguna Niguel Apartment Fire Thanks To Thermal Imaging Camera

LAGUNA NIGUEL (CBSLA) – Firefighters used a thermal-imaging camera to locate and rescue a man who was sleeping as a fire tore through his Laguna Niguel apartment building early Monday morning. Nov. 22, 2021. (Orange County Fire Authority) The fire was reported at a two-story apartment complex at Pearl and Crystal Cay at 2:15 a.m., according to the Orange County Fire Authority. Video from the scene showed flames and smoke coming from the building as firefighters use a ladder to access the second story. OCFA reports that crews utilized a new tool, a personal thermal imaging camera, to find and rescue a man who was sleeping in a bedroom of one of the apartments. He was taken to a hospital with unknown injuries. The fire was determined to have been accidentally caused by improperly disposed “smoking material,” OCFA said. The fire department reported that all its firefighters now have such thermal imaging cameras installed on their turnout coats. A thermal imaging camera used by OCFA crews. Nov. 22, 2021. (OCFA)

Deadly Wisconsin Christmas parade: Investigators look at whether driver was fleeing crime

Investigators are examining whether the person who drove an SUV through a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee may have been fleeing from a crime when he crashed into the paradegoers, a law enforcement official briefed on the matter told The Associated Press. The investigators were questioning a person in custody about that incident, which the official described as an altercation involving a knife. The official, who cautioned the investigation was still in the early stages and was continuing to develop, could not discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. The city of Waukesha posted on its social media accounts that it could confirm at least five died and more than 40 were injured at the Sunday parade, while noting that it was still collecting information. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below. WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — A joyous scene of marching bands and children dancing in Santa hats and waving pompoms turned deadly in an instant, as an SUV sped through barricades and into a Christmas parade in suburban Milwaukee, killing at least five people…

Red Flag Warning Still In Place As Dry Winds Whip Up Wildfire Risk

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A Red Flag Warning will remain in place through Monday afternoon for much of Los Angeles and Ventura counties due to the elevated wildfire risk brought on by dry Santa Ana winds. Smoke from a 16-acre wildfire which sparked in Riverside, Calif. Nov. 21, 2021. (CBSLA) The Red Flag Warning that took effect Sunday morning is scheduled to expire at 3 p.m. Monday. It is brought on by the heavy winds, coupled with low humidities and high temperatures, which make for ripe wildfire conditions. “Any new fire ignitions will have an increased risk of rapid fire spread, long range spotting, and extreme fire behavior, especially considering the dry fuels in place,” the National Weather Service wrote in a statement. Winds are expected to be less intense than they were Sunday, when they peaked at between 35 and 55 miles per hour. Late Sunday morning, an off-road vehicle crash is believed to have sparked a 16-acre wildfire which threated a neighborhood in Riverside. According to the Riverside Fire Department, the vehicle crashed onto a private property where mulch was being stored, jumpstarting…

Man Shot, Killed At Willowbrook Metro Station; Suspect Wounded By LA Deputies

WILLOWBROOK (CBSLA) — A man was shot and killed on a Metro station platform in Willowbrook Sunday afternoon, and the suspect was then shot and wounded by responding Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies after allegedly opening fire on them. Nov. 21, 2021. (CBSLA) The first shooting was reported at about 2 p.m. at the Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Metro station. Deputies were called to a shooting on the station to find a Hispanic man between the ages of 50 and 60 lying dead on the C-Line platform from a gunshot wound to the head, the sheriff’s department said. Meanwhile, as they were arriving at the scene, the suspect was waiting for them on the platform, LASD reports. According to the sheriff’s department, the suspect jumped down onto the eastbound tracks and then pointed a gun at deputies and opened fire. The deputies returned fire and struck the suspect, who was then taken to a nearby hospital in unknown condition, the sheriff’s department reports. The identities of the victim and suspect were not immediately released. No deputies were wounded. According to the sheriff’s department, surveillance footage showed the…

Jury in Ahmaud Arbery death trial to hear closing arguments Monday

Attorneys were scheduled to give closing arguments Monday in the murder trial of three white men charged in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, whose death became part of a broader reckoning on racial injustice in the criminal legal system. Prosecutors and defense attorneys were expected to spend hours making their final cases to the disproportionately white jury. The jurors heard 10 days of trial testimony that concluded last week, not long after the man who shot Arbery testified he pulled the trigger in self-defense. Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael grabbed guns and pursued Arbery in a pickup truck after spotting the 25-year-old Black man running in their neighborhood on Feb. 23, 2020. A neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, joined the chase and recorded video of Travis McMichael opening fire as Arbery threw punches and grabbed for his shotgun. No one was charged in the killing until Bryan’s video leaked online two months later and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation took over the case from local police. All three men face counts of murder and other charges. Defense attorneys say the men suspected Arbery had burglarized a house under construction and intended to hold…

IOC interview with Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai raises even more questions

Out of public view for almost three weeks, Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai has appeared in a video call with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. The IOC and the Chinese government would like this to be the end of the Peng saga, which has run since Nov. 2 when she accused former vice premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. That may be wishful thinking on their part. The interview offered few details, no follow-ups on her allegations, and invited more questions for the IOC, Peng, and China. It seems unlikely to satisfy Steve Simon, the chairman and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association, who has been blunt in criticizing China and has threatened to pull all top-tier WTA events from the country. Even after the IOC video was published Sunday, the WTA repeated what Simon has been saying for more than a week, calling for a full, fair, and transparent investigation “without censorship.” According to the IOC, Peng held a 30-minute call with Bach, and he recounted in a statement that she is “safe and well, living at her home in Beijing, but would…

Kyle Rittenhouse tells Fox News he’s ‘not a racist person,’ backs BLM movement

Kyle Rittenhouse, who was acquitted on charges stemming from killing two men and wounding another during the unrest that followed the shooting of a Black man by a white police officer, says in a new interview that he’s “not a racist person” and supports the Black Lives Matter movement. “This case has nothing to do with race. It never had anything to do with race. It had to do with the right to self-defense,” the 18-year-old tells Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview set to air Monday night. Rittenhouse is white, as were the men he shot. Rittenhouse was 17 last year when he traveled 20 miles (32 kilometers) from his home in Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha, Wisconsin, which had been racked with protests in the wake of the Aug. 23 shooting of Jacob Blake. That shooting and the response in Kenosha — protests that turned destructive — became part of the national reckoning over police use of force against Black people following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis the previous May at the hands of police. Rittenhouse, armed with an AR-style semiautomatic rifle, joined others who…

‘Field of Dreams,’ ‘Sandlot’ actor Art LaFleur dies at 78

(The Hill) – Art LaFleur, a prolific actor known for his role as Babe Ruth in the classic movie “The Sandlot” and as another baseball player in “Field of Dreams,” died Wednesday after a 10-year battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 78. Shelly LaFleur, the actor’s wife, announced his death via a Facebook post published on Thursday, Nov. 18. “He was a generous and selfless man which carried over to his acting but more importantly it was who he was for his family and friends,” said Shelly LaFleur, who was with the late actor for 43 years. “Art was larger than life and meant the world to us.” Colombian embassy cosplays as latest Disney movie setting LaFleur appeared in dozens of movies throughout his career, including “The Blob” and “Cobra,” but he was best known for playing Ruth in “The Sandlot,” appearing as his ghost to give advice to fictional character Benny Rodriguez. “Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die, follow your heart kid, and you’ll never go wrong,” LaFleur says in one of the movie’s most iconic lines. …