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Biden 'wrong once again' about GOP's message to Americans, Mitch McConnell says

Good morning and welcome to Fox News First. Here’s what you need to know as you start your day … McConnell: Biden ‘got it wrong again’ when he claimed GOP can’t say ‘what they’re for’President Biden’s repeated claim that Republicans cannot articulate “what they are for” to the American people drew pushback Thursday night from […]

Chicago officers voice concern with Superintendent Brown after bloody start to new year

Chicago Police Department (CPD) officers may be losing faith in Superintendent David Brown as the city grapples with a bloody start to 2022, according to a local report.Compared to January 2021, murders have gone down, with 22 murders reported so far this year compared to 30 reported over the same time period last year. All other crimes — including sexual assault, aggravated battery, robbery, burglary and motor vehicle theft — have increased compared to January 2021.The murder rate so far this year has exceeded the murder rates recorded over the same time periods in 2020, 2019 and 2018, according to Chicago crime statistics.One of four police supervisors who spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times on the condition of anonymity said Brown’s “strategies and his efforts [and] the threatening of command staff shows a lack of leadership.”
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown addresses reporters about a suspect in the killing of a 7-year-old girl earlier this year.
(Chicago Police Department)”I can’t think of one member of the command staff that is willing to back him,” the officer said.Mayor Lori Lightfoot tapped Brown to head the city’s police department in April 2020 — a difficult time to take over leadership amid Chicago’s first COVID-19 surge and just ahead of violent riots sparked by the May 2020 death of George Floyd.CHICAGO POLICE INVESTIGATING MULTIPLE BURGLARIES REPORTED IN JUST ONE NIGHTSimilar to a number of major U.S. cities, including Philadelphia, Chicago’s crime rate has continued to increase since 2020. The police department recorded 797 homicides by the end of 2021 — 25 more than the number of homicides recorded in 2020 and 299 more than in 2019. There were 3,561 shooting incidents in 2021, which is just over 300 more than were recorded in 2020 and a staggering 1,415 more than in 2019.Also like other cities, the CPD is grappling with staffing shortages and low morale after two years of the pandemic and a national reevaluation of police departments, police tactics and police funding.
Police officers look on near Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s home as people protest the shooting and killing of 13-year-old Adam Toledo by an officer Friday, April 16, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg tries to clarify controversial policy memo, says it gave 'wrong impression'

New York City’s Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said Thursday that a controversial memo he released at the start of his term left “the wrong impression” about his law enforcement policy plans, adding that it “left many New Yorkers justifiably concerned.” Bragg, who took on the elected role at the beginning of the year, was speaking at the New York University’s School of Law Thursday afternoon when he said he took “full accountability” for the confusion the January 3 memo caused, further describing the missive as being “unclear and legalistic.”FORMER PROSECUTORS CALL MANHATTAN DA’S SOFT-ON-CRIME POLICIES ‘DEFINITION OF INSANITY’
Then-Democratic candidate for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks to the press after casting his ballot in the New York City election in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., November 2, 2021. Reuters/Mike Segar

San Francisco nurse who 'abruptly' left job mid-shift hasn't been seen since

The search continues for a Stanford traveling nurse who left his job Tuesday morning and has been missing ever since. A search conducted by California Highway Patrol Hayward (CHP) and other volunteers discovered 27-year-old Michael Odell’s car near San Francisco Dumbarton Bridge, according to NBC Bay Area. When investigators visited Odell’s roommate, Joshua Paredes, with the news, he seemed confused.The roommates’ last exchange happened during Odell’s overnight shift at the Stanford Hospital Tuesday morning. He left his shift around 4:30 am Tuesday after telling his supervisor that he forgot something in his car, Paredes told the San Francisco Chronicle. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPParedes proceeded to check his roommate’s phone location using the Find My Friends app, where he discovered that the phone was on the Dumbarton Bridge. He later called the police to report his missing roommate and was joined by friends and nurses in order to search for Odell. California Highway Patrol joined the search team on Wednesday and will lead the effort going forward. His car has since been towed from the location. The Coast Guard searched the water for Michael Odell on Wednesday, but was unable to find anything according to CHP Hayward’s public information officer, Kyle Musselman.

Fed study on digital currency leans toward role for banks

The Federal Reserve released a highly anticipated report on central bank digital currencies that suggested it is leaning toward having banks and other financial firms, rather than the Fed itself, manage digital accounts for customersBy CHRISTOPHER RUGABER AP Economics WriterJanuary 20, 2022, 9:19 PM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleWASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve on Thursday released a highly anticipated report on central bank digital currencies that suggested it is leaning toward having banks and other financial firms, rather than the Fed itself, manage digital accounts for customers.A central bank digital currency would differ in some key ways from the online and digital payments that millions of Americans already conduct. Those transactions are funneled through banks, which wouldn’t be necessary with a digital dollar.The Fed’s paper stressed that no final decisions about a digital currency have been reached. But it suggested that a digital currency that “would best serve the needs” of the nation would follow an “intermediated model” under which banks or payment firms would create accounts or digital wallets.The Fed characterized the potential introduction of a digital currency as a step that could have far-reaching consequences for banks and other financial firms as well as for the central bank itself.“The introduction of a (central bank digital currency) would represent a highly significant innovation in American money,” the study said. The Fed said it “could fundamentally change the structure of the U.S. financial system, altering the roles and responsibilities of the private sector and the central bank.”The report comes at a time when digital money is proliferating in a variety of forms. Millions of people own cryptocurrencies, though they are often used more as investments than as forms of payment. But so-called stablecoins, which are often pegged to the dollar, have also soared in use in the past year, mostly for cryptocurrency transactions.And most central banks around the world are studying government-backed digital currencies. China’s central bank has already tested a digital version of the yuan. The European Central Bank began exploring a digital euro in October and said its “investigation period” would last two years. Some Caribbean nations have already issued digital currencies.China’s action and the explosion of stablecoins, which can be used in place of dollars in international transactions, have raised pressure on the Fed to consider a digital currency. Last March, Chair Jerome Powell said that while the Fed needed to keep pace with financial innovations, it would proceed cautiously.“As the world’s principal reserve currency…we have an obligation to be on the cutting edge of understanding the technological challenges,” Powell said then. “But…we don’t need to rush this project. We don’t need to be first to market.”The Fed is likely years away from actually issuing a digital currency, if it decides to do so. The paper released Thursday kicks off a 120-day comment period, during which the Fed will seek input from the public. The Fed also said it would proceed only with support from Congress, “ideally in the form of a specific authorizing law.”And officials at the central bank aren’t all in agreement about whether a central bank digital currency is needed. Lael Brainard, who serves on the Fed’s Board of Governors and has been nominated by President Joe Biden to be vice chair, has, for example, expressed support for the concept, while Christopher Waller, another board member, has been skeptical.A digital dollar could bring a host of benefits as well as risks. It would be a safer form of digital payment, because the Fed, unlike a bank or the companies issuing stablecoins, can’t go bankrupt. It could be easier and less expensive to access for people without bank accounts.At the same time, a digital currency could pose privacy risks because it would be issued by the government. The Fed’s paper suggests, though, that banks and other third-party firms would shield consumer data from the Fed while also implementing existing rules against money-laundering and other illicit activity.Such a government-issued digital dollar could also have major consequences for commercial banks because many Americans might prefer to hold such currency in a “wallet” issued by a payment provider like PayPal or Venmo, potentially cutting into bank deposits.The Fed could even seek to influence the economy through a digital currency, as it now does by controlling interest rates. It could pay interest on a digital dollar, for example, or even have it decline in value, as a form of a negative interest rate. An interest payment could make a digital dollar more attractive than money in a bank.“This substitution effect could reduce the aggregate amount of deposits in the banking system,” the Fed report said.That hasn’t gone unnoticed by banks. The Bank Policy Institute, a lobbying group, asserted in a blog post last June that the Fed doesn’t have legal authority to pay interest on a digital dollar.

Wisconsin man convicted of killing, dismembering his parents

A jury has convicted a Wisconsin man who was accused of killing and dismembering his parentsByThe Associated PressJanuary 20, 2022, 9:24 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleMADISON, Wis. — A jury on Thursday convicted a Wisconsin man accused of killing and dismembering his parents last summer.Jurors deliberated for just over two hours before finding 23-year-old Chandler Halderson guilty on all counts related to the July 1 killing of 50-year-old Bart Halderson and 53-year-old Krista Halderson at their home in Windsor, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) west of Milwaukee.Chandler was convicted on two counts each of first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse, hiding a corpse and falsifying information about a missing person. A first-degree intentional homicide conviction carries a mandatory life sentence.Defense attorneys for Halderson rested their case Thursday without calling witnesses or testimony from the defendant.Over seven days, prosecutors laid out their case that Halderson killed his parents. They contend he first tried to dispose of the bodies by burning them in the family fireplace, then he scattered their dismembered body parts across Dane County.Investigators said Halderson killed his parents after his father discovered he had been lying about attending Madison Area Technical College. It was one in a web of lies the 27-year-old told about work, school and being on a police scuba dive team, according to prosecutors.Halderson was arrested July 8 after telling police a day earlier that his parents had gone missing following a Fourth of July trip to northern Wisconsin. Investigators said it was soon clear his story didn’t add up.

New Mexico National Guard members invited to volunteer in schools, day cares amid teacher shortage

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday announced that the state’s National Guard will stand in schools and day cares as part of a new initiative to support schools experiencing staffing shortages.The first-of-its-kind initiative called Supporting Teachers and Families (STAF) will allow state workers and National Guard members to volunteer in schools and child care centers or become licensed K-12 substitute teachers or child care workers amid coronavirus-related staffing shortages.”Our schools are a critical source of stability for our kids – we know they learn better in the classroom and thrive among their peers,” Grisham said in a Wednesday statement. “Our kids, our teachers and our parents deserve as much stability as we can provide during this time of uncertainty, and the state stands ready to help keep kids in the classroom, parents able to go to work and teachers able to fully focus on the critical work they do every single day in educating the next generation.”SCHOOLS RECRUIT PARENTS TO BE SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS AMID COVID STAFFING SHORTAGESState employees and National Guard members interested in volunteering or earning their substitute licenses must undergo the same background check and online workshop requirements as other substitute teachers and child care workers.
Michelle Lujan Grisham, governor of New Mexico, listens during an interview at her office in Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. 
(Steven St John/Bloomberg via Getty Images)Volunteers will be able to use administrative leave in order to participate in the initiative amid statewide staffing shortages — an issue plaguing schools across the U.S. as the omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to surge.COVID-DETECTING K9S DEPLOYED TO MASS SCHOOL DISTRICTSince New Mexico students came back from winter break, about 60 school districts and charter schools have returned to remote learning due to staffing shortages. Additionally, 75 child care centers have partially or completely closed due to staffing shortages from the beginning of the year, according to a press release.Grisham amended a public health order on Dec. 2, 2021, requiring all public school teachers in the state to get their booster shots by Jan. 17, or get tested weekly for the virus. 
Elementary students wearing masks in the classroom. (iStock)