Election Day races to watch and WeWork bankruptcy: Morning Rundown

Election Day races to watch and WeWork bankruptcy: Morning Rundown
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Biden's administration struggles to convince Israel to pause fighting in Gaza. Races this Election Day will provide insight into the political environment before the 2024 election. And office-sharing company WeWork files for bankruptcy protection.

Here's what to know today.

U.S. struggles in efforts to pause Israel’s offensive in Gaza

A meeting over the weekend in Amman, Jordan, between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Arab foreign ministers ended with disappointment. U.S. appeals for a humanitarian pause in Israel’s air and ground war in Gaza didn’t sway Israel.

“Everyone expected the U.S. to get a humanitarian pause,” said a Middle Eastern diplomat familiar with the talks. “But it seems to be harder than expected.”

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The meeting illustrates how the Biden administration is struggling to contain the growing crisis in the Middle East, as Washington is trying to maintain its traditional support for Israel amid growing international outrage. The crisis has left the U.S., Israel and its Western allies increasingly isolated in a way that is starting to resemble the 2003 Iraq War, damaging alliances while also fueling potential extremism at home, Western diplomats said.

Israel is following an “operational clock” while President Joe Biden is looking at a “political clock,” and “those two clocks are not in sync,” one expert said.

Read the full story here.

4 big races to watch on Election Day

In Kentucky, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear is running for a second term in a state where Republicans regularly win by double digits. In Mississippi, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves seeks a second term, going up against a Democrat who has kept the race closer than expected. And abortion is on the ballot in important races in Ohio and Virginia.

The results of each race will give signals about what voters are thinking ahead of 2024. Learn more about the candidates and the races.

Conservatives rally behind a staggered funding plan

House Republicans are expected to gather this morning at a closed-door meeting to discuss government funding options. With less than two weeks until the federal government runs out of money, “everything is on the table,” said conservative Rep. Byron Donalds, who met last night with House Speaker Mike Johnson and other members of Johnson’s leadership team to discuss government funding.

Johnson has said that he would prefer to pass a continuing resolution through Jan. 15 that would keep the government’s lights on through the holidays and buy the House and Senate more time to pass and negotiate all 12 appropriations bills. But during last night’s meeting, GOP leaders also discussed another idea, favored by conservatives, that would split up the appropriations bills. Here’s what they have in mind.

WeWork files for bankruptcy protection

WeWork, the office-sharing company once valued at $47 billion, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New Jersey federal court, saying it had entered into agreements with the vast majority of its secured note holders and that it intended to trim “non-operational” leases. The filing is limited to WeWork’s locations in the U.S. and Canada, the company said. WeWork has suffered one of the most spectacular corporate collapses in recent U.S. history, as it tried and failed to go public in 2019 and saw many companies abruptly end their leases during the pandemic.

The filing doesn’t necessarily spell the end for WeWork. Former CEO and co-founder Adam Neumann said in a statement to CNBC that the filing was “disappointing” but he believes that a reorganization could allow the company to “emerge successfully.”

Jewish man dies after altercation at dueling war rallies in Southern California

Authorities in Ventura County, California, are investigating the death of a Jewish man who “was in a physical altercation” with counter-protesters at dueling pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian rallies over the weekend. During the altercation on Sunday, Paul Kessler “fell backwards and struck his head on the ground,” the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said. Kessler, who was 69 years old, died Monday.

The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Kessler’s cause of death to be “blunt force head injury and the manner of death homicide,” the sheriff’s office said. Here’s what else we know.

Today’s Talker: A billionaire’s suggestion for a 70-hour workweek...

... set off an online debate between those who think 70 hours is too much and those who believe such a level of dedication to work is necessary. The suggestion for 70 hours came from Infosys founder Narayana Murthy, who said young people in India should be working that much to boost the country’s economy. Indians already work an average of 47.7 hours a week, which is more than the average work week in the U.S. — 36.4 hours, in case you’re wondering — as well as other Asian countries. So how much work is too much? It depends on who you ask.

Politics in Brief

Third GOP debate: Five candidates qualified for the third GOP presidential debate tomorrow in Miami: former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. One candidate fell short. Meanwhile, Donald Trump will skip the debate (again) to rally in a city that is 95% Hispanic and where he has broad support.

2024 election: Democratic frustrations with President Joe Biden are spilling into public view, with one calling his re-election campaign a “five-alarm fire” after a weekend of bleak polling numbers. Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is set to endorse Trump’s presidential bid tomorrow. And Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds endorsed DeSantis.

Gun rights: The Supreme Court will consider whether a federal law that prohibits domestic abusers from owning firearms is unconstitutional as a result of its own ruling from last year.

Trump civil fraud trial: An often-irate Donald Trump testified in his own trial yesterday, using his time on the stand to engage in several blistering attacks against the judge and lawyers in the case whom he maintained were “unfair.”

Staff Pick: A mayor’s sudden death and the dangers of ‘outing’

The apparent suicide of small-town Alabama mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland came 48 hours after a conservative news site published stories that included what it said were photos of him wearing women’s clothing and makeup. Regardless of how he identified, Copeland’s online persona was revealed without his consent, a practice called “outing” within the LGBTQ community. Reporter Jo Yurcaba spoke to an expert about the history of public officials being outed, including some cases with tragic outcomes. — Elizabeth Robinson, newsletter editor

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In Case You Missed It

  • Aurora, Colorado, police officer Nathan Woodyard was found not guilty in the killing of Elijah McClain. Woodyard was the first officer to confront McClain as the 23-year-old walked home from a convenience store in 2019.

  • The union representing Hollywood actors countered studios’ “best and final offer,” as both sides remain divided on key issues.

  • The FDA is urging drugmakers to develop new treatments for addictions to stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine as overdose deaths rise. But finding an effective treatment could take years.

  • A 14-year-old boy in Florida collapsed and died after suffering cardiac arrest while running a 5K.

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This article was originally published on NBCNews.com