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5:40 PM ET, December 31, 2022


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
The ‘Red Wave’ Washout: How Skewed Polls Fed a False Election Narrative  —  The errant surveys spooked some candidates into spending more money than necessary, and diverted help from others who otherwise had a fighting chance of winning.  —  Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat …
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
The Invention of Elise Stefanik  —  To rise through the Trump-era G.O.P., a young congresswoman gave up her friends, her mentors and her ideals.  Will it be enough?  —  Elise Stefanik had had enough.  —  In the wake of the 2018 midterms, the young congresswoman was sick of commuting …
New York Times:
Benedict XVI, First Modern Pope to Resign, Dies at 95  —  He defined a conservative course for the Roman Catholic Church, but his papacy was noted for his struggle with the clergy sexual abuse scandal and for his unexpected resignation.  —  Benedict XVI, the pope emeritus …
Washington Post:
How Benedict's death could reshape the Catholic Church  —  VATICAN CITY — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's death Saturday is an epochal loss for a church that was defined first by his resolute conservatism and later by his radical decision to abdicate power.  —  The Vatican said that Benedict died …
New York Times:
Pope Benedict XVI Dies  —  Updates: Pope Francis Will Preside Over Benedict's Funeral on Thursday … The first pope to step down in six centuries dies in retirement.  —  Pope Benedict XVI, the eminent German theologian and conservative enforcer of Roman Catholic Church doctrine who broke …
Nicole Winfield / Associated Press:
Benedict XVI, first pope to resign in 600 years, dies at 95
David Cay Johnston / The Daily Beast:
Trump's Taxes Are the Best Case Yet for Putting Him in Prison  —  This Friday news dump is a huge deal, and should be the final nail in his coffin. … Don't let the cynics who know little about our tax system trick you into thinking there was nothing all that new or important in the six years …
Washington Post:
House panel releases Trump tax returns in another setback for former president
Authorities tracked the Idaho student killings suspect cross-country to Pennsylvania, sources say  —  Authorities tracked the man charged in the killings of four Idaho college students all the way to Pennsylvania and surveilled him for several days before finally arresting him on Friday, sources told CNN.
Mary Papenfuss / HuffPost:
Trump Called Supporters Storming Capitol ‘Trashy’ But Good ‘Fighters’: Jan. 6 Testimony  —  He was “reveling” in how they were “fighting for him,” testified former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.  —  When Donald Trump was watching last year's Jan. 6 riot unfold on TV …
Discussion: Political Wire and Raw Story
ABC News:
Barbara Walters, trailblazing TV icon, dies at 93  —  The pioneering TV news broadcaster was the first female anchor in evening news.  —  Barbara Walters, the trailblazing television news broadcaster and longtime ABC News anchor and correspondent who shattered the glass ceiling and became …
Los Angeles Times:
Barbara Walters dies at 93; news anchor broke the boy's club of network television
Alessandra Stanley / New York Times:
Barbara Walters, a First Among TV Newswomen, Is Dead at 93
Washington Post:
The talented Mr. Santos: A congressman-elect's unraveling web of deception  —  Even by the low standards for truth-telling in politics, the scope of the falsehoods from the newly elected House Republican has been breathtaking  —  The Republican who won a congressional seat on Long Island …
Discussion: NewsOne
Karen Townsend / HotAir:
Award-winning broadcaster suspended for speaking the truth during a college bowl sportscast  —  North Carolina State radio broadcaster Gary Hahn was suspended on Friday.  His offense was referring to “illegal aliens” in El Paso while giving an update on the Sun Bowl being played in El Paso.
Brian Chappatta / Bloomberg:
Elon Musk Becomes First Person Ever to Lose $200 Billion  —  Elon Musk was the second person ever to amass a personal fortune of more than $200 billion, breaching that threshold in January 2021, months after Jeff Bezos.  —  The Tesla Inc. chief executive officer has now achieved a first of his own …
Ronald G. Shafer / Washington Post:
When the House needed two months and 133 votes to elect a speaker  —  For the first time in exactly 100 years, the U.S. House of Representatives may need more than one round of voting to elect a speaker when the new Congress convenes on Tuesday.  —  But a few extra rounds of balloting …
Associated Press:
Black support for GOP ticked up in this year's midterms  —  Black voters have been a steady foundation for Democratic candidates for decades, but that support appeared to show a few cracks in this year's elections.  Republican candidates were backed by 14% of Black voters …
Discussion: Washington Examiner and Twitchy
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 More Items: 
Stephen Burgen / The Guardian:
Exiled chief rabbi says Jews should leave Russia while they can
Associated Press:
Divisive social media star Andrew Tate detained in Romania
 Earlier Items: 
Sarah D. Wire / Los Angeles Times:
Jan. 6 committee is running out of time. Key documents may soon be locked away for decades
Discussion: CNN