Today’s edition of quick hits.
* There are serious weather conditions brewing in New Orleans: "Severe storms are rolling through New Orleans metro Wednesday as they make their way across Southeast Louisiana. A tornado warning is in effect for New Orleans, Marrero and Harvey until 4:30 p.m., forecasters said. Residents should take cover immediately."
* Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s latest announcement: “Amid signs that price growth in the U.S. economy is rapidly cooling, the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday it was slowing the pace of its rate-hiking program designed to tackle inflation — but that more hikes were still on the table.”
* At the United Nations: “Iran was expelled from the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women on Wednesday after the United States called for its ouster over Tehran’s ‘systematic oppression’ of women and violent crackdown on street protests against the death of Mahsa Amini.”
* Outreach to African officials: “President Joe Biden touted relations between the U.S. and African nations Wednesday, addressing a gathering of nearly 50 leaders from the continent and announcing new initiatives to bolster trade.”
* Intensifying conditions in Lima: “Peru’s new government declared 30-day national emergency on Wednesday amid violent protests following the ouster of President Pedro Castillo, suspending the rights of people to gather and move freely across the Andean nation.”
* Life-saving commutations: “Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday that she would commute the sentences of all 17 individuals on Oregon’s death row to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the latest in her end-of-term string of clemency decisions.”
* Mark your calendars: “The House select committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol will have its final public meeting on Monday and will potentially release a final report on Dec. 21, according to a person familiar with the committee’s plans who was not authorized to comment publicly.”
* What could possibly justify such a request? “Employees at the Texas Department of Public Safety in June received a sweeping request from Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office: to compile a list of individuals who had changed their gender on their Texas driver’s license and other department records during the past two years.”
* Given the modest penalties, this isn’t an especially big deal: “Donald J. Trump’s family business lost a criminal contempt trial that was held in secret last fall, according to a newly unsealed court document and several people with knowledge of the matter, with a judge ruling against the company almost exactly a year before it was convicted of a tax fraud scheme last week.”
* I’m not sure I’d characterize refusing to pay bills as a permissible cost-cutting move: “To cut costs, Twitter has not paid rent for its San Francisco headquarters or any of its global offices for weeks, three people close to the company said. Twitter has also refused to pay a $197,725 bill for private charter flights made the week of [Elon] Musk’s takeover, according to a copy of a lawsuit filed in New Hampshire District Court and obtained by The New York Times.”
* On a related note, it looks like free speech “absolutism” isn’t quite what it used to be: “Twitter has suspended an account that tracked CEO Elon Musk’s private jet — just one month after Musk himself said he’d allow the account to stay put. Wednesday morning, the account, @elonjet — which had amassed more than half a million followers — was listed as suspended for having violated unspecified Twitter rules.”
See you tomorrow.