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“As we mark the first night of Hanukkah, we celebrate with the first-ever White House menorah.”

The White House and First Lady Jill Biden tweeted on Sunday, Dec. 18, accompanied by a video of the White House’s menorah being lit to honor the first day of Hanukkah. The president and first lady will add the menorah to the permanent White House collection, which will be the first time a Jewish artifact is added to the White House archives. (NPR — Dec. 19, 2022)

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  • Claremont McKenna College political scientist Jack Pitney, regarding San Bernardino County’s November vote to consider seceding from California and forming their own state. Though the consideration received a razor-thin majority, many are skeptical that secession from the state would actually be viable. The county’s 20,000 square miles is composed of more land than nine states. (Associated Press — Dec. 16, 2022)
  • Dr. Erica Michiels, who directs pediatric emergency medicine at Corewell Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich., regarding the growing wait in the ER as hospitals across the nation have been stretched beyond capacity by waves of RSV, a respiratory virus, and the flu. Typically the Devos Children’s ER sees about 140 kids a day, but recently in mid-December the visits have reached 253. (NPR — Dec. 15, 2022)
  • Persis Yu, deputy executive director and managing counsel for the Student Borrower Protection Center, regarding an email that was sent out to some borrowers Tuesday morning from the Department of Education reversing course on a previous email about student debt relief applications. In November many borrowers received emails saying that their student loan relief application was approved and they would receive up to $20,000 in cancellation, but then a second email was sent out on Dec. 13, stating that some approvals were sent in error. (NPR — Dec. 14, 2022)
  • Veronica Gail Kawānanakoa, regarding the death of her wife, Abigail Kinoiki Kekaulike Kawānanakoa, the so-called last Hawaiian princess whose lineage included the royal family that once ruled the islands and an Irish businessman who once became one of the state’s largest landowners. Kawānanakoa held no formal title but was a symbol of the state’s national identity. She died on Sunday at the age of 96. (Associated Press — Dec. 13, 2022)
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