Wednesday Briefing: McCarthy Ousted as House Speaker | Court Practice News

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his leadership position. The vote was instigated by a group of hard-liners from his own Republican Party.

It was the first time in the modern history of the House of Representatives that such a vote passed. The House speaker is second in line to the president after the vice president.

The vote passed 216-210.

The effort to oust the speaker, led by Representative Matt Gaetz, was incited by McCarthy’s reliance last weekend on Democrats to pass a temporary spending bill to keep the government open until mid-November. The rebellion prompted an extraordinary Republican-against-Republican debate on the House floor over McCarthy’s future before the final vote. There was no groundswell of support from Democrats to give the Republican leader an easy way out.

Background: In January, McCarthy made concessions to hard-line conservatives to get elected as speaker, allowing any member to move to vacate the position — virtually assuring this day would come.

What’s next: There is no clear replacement for McCarthy, and the vacancy essentially paralyzes the House until one is chosen, according to multiple procedural experts. The House and Senate must pass appropriations bills to fund the federal government before mid-November or there will be a shutdown.

Related: Gaetz’s effort has drawn attention to a long-running House ethics investigation against him into allegations that he engaged in sexual misconduct and illicit drug use, among other accusations.

Sam Bankman-Fried is accused of siphoning billions of dollars from customers of FTX, his digital currency exchange, which collapsed in November. The trial opened with jury selection yesterday and opening statements are expected today.

The 31-year-old founder faces seven counts, including wire and securities fraud, as well as money laundering. He has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he could receive what would amount to a life sentence.

It’s not yet clear whether Bankman-Fried will testify. It’s also not clear what his defense will be, but after FTX filed for bankruptcy, Bankman-Fried blamed an accounting error for causing billions of dollars of user funds to vanish without his knowledge.

The big picture: The charges against Bankman-Fried have made him into a symbol of the unrestrained hubris and shady deal-making that turned cryptocurrencies into a multi-trillion-dollar industry during the pandemic. Crypto insiders have been trying to distance themselves from Bankman-Fried and are united in their zeal to see him held to account. They are rooting for his downfall.

A teenager opened fire in the Siam Paragon luxury mall in downtown Bangkok yesterday, the authorities said. The 14-year-old killed two people and injured five in one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations.

The authorities said that the suspect, who was taken into custody, had a history of mental illness and had been receiving treatment in a hospital, but that he had not taken his medication.

Thailand has one of the highest gun homicide rates in Southeast Asia and lacks mental health services for the young. But mass shootings are very rare, and most high-profile gun homicides have been personal disputes involving former army or police officers who can buy their weapons at a steep discount from the government.

In order to cut emissions, global shipping is using an old fuel source: The wind.

One vessel uses a giant kite, flying 1,000 feet up in the sky. Another has steel and composite-glass sails the height of three telephone poles. They’re not in wide use yet, but one expert said he expected 10,700 merchant ships to be using wind propulsion by 2030.

China’s young people, tech professionals and entrepreneurs are leaving.

My colleague Li Yuan, who writes our New New World column, found that many started thinking about emigrating after China amended its constitution to let President Xi Jinping effectively rule for life. Others mentioned the years of constant lockdowns and quarantines under its “zero-Covid” policies.

The U.S. isn’t benefiting from this exodus. Some said that was because of America’s complicated and unpredictable visa process. Others said emigrants choose Canada and European countries because they offer better social benefits, work-life balance and gun control laws.

Most of the tech professionals took a pay cut when they emigrated. “I feel like I’m paying for liberty,” said Zhou, who quit his job at a start-up in Beijing and now works at an automobile company in Western Europe. “It’s worth it.”

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