Want to catch up with the news quickly? Here are the top stories from Wednesday, November 8, 2023.
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1. A government shutdown is on the horizon... again
Republicans have been pushing for IRS budget slashes and U.S.-Mexico border security funding in return for approving Democrats' proposed aid to Ukraine and Israel. Biden has requested $61 billion in aid for Ukraine and $14.3 billion in aid for Israel. Republicans in the House had separated the two and passed funding for Israel alone, which Senate Democrats rejected Tuesday.
2. Syphilis cases skyrocket among infants
Over 3,700 newborns tested positive for congenital syphilis in 2022, according to the CDC , which described the development as “alarming” while calling for increased testing for expecting mothers and their babies. The spike in cases marks the highest rates in 30 years, with 10 times more babies born with the disease in 2022 compared to 2012.
“The congenital syphilis crisis in the United States has skyrocketed at a heartbreaking rate,” CDC Chief Medical Officer Debra Houry said in a statement . “New actions are needed to prevent more family tragedies. We’re calling on healthcare providers, public health systems, and communities to take additional steps to connect mothers and babies with the care they need.”
3. Some good news: the Great Barrier Reef is regenerating
After a sixth "mass bleaching event" in May 2022, which left 91 percent of the Great Barrier Reef affected, coral spawning season began Nov. 2, signalling hope for the world's largest coral reef system.
Warming waters have been detrimental to coral reefs in recent years, which have seen
unprecedented ocean temperatures
occurs when coral becomes "stressed," and turns white, which can be caused by changes to temperature, light, or nutrients.