Government shutdown: Compromise unlikely before end of year
A partial government shutdown will enter its seventh day Friday amid no signs that Congress and the White House are any closer to ending their standoff. The House and Senate returned to work Thursday but quickly adjourned after scheduling no votes. Border wall funding has been at the center of a budget dispute that has shut down nine federal departments and several smaller agencies since Saturday, forcing about 800,000 federal employees to go on furlough or work without pay. President Donald Trump demanded $5 billion for the border wall, although he insisted repeatedly during his presidential campaign that he’d make Mexico pay for the structure — congressional Dems refuse to give him the funding, arguing that a wall would be ineffective and a waste of money. Officially, both the House and the Senate each are scheduled to reconvene Monday, New Year's Eve.
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DHS Secretary to visit El Paso after migrant children die in custody
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is scheduled to visit El Paso Friday to see how the agency is conducting medical screenings and to review conditions at Border Patrol stations following the deaths of two migrant children. On Tuesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Felipe Gomez Alonzo, an 8-year-old boy from Guatemala, died after almost a week in custody. Jakelin Caal, 7, also Guatemalan, died Dec. 8. at an El Paso children's hospital after being detained with her father and while preparing to travel by bus to a Border Patrol station in New Mexico. The back-to-back deaths prompted an outcry from immigration activists, politicians and human rights groups and raised questions about the Trump administration policies that have separated children and parents and filled detention centers.
Severe weather likely to affect millions across the nation
Blizzard conditions and sustained winds will likely threaten post-holiday travelers across the nation Friday after the chilly weather caused chaos from Minnesota to Kansas and as far east as New England. likely threaten post-holiday travelers Travel will be hazardous with slick roads, especially in areas where blizzard warnings are in effect, the National Weather Service warned. At least two storm-related deaths were reported on Thursday, one in Kansas and another in Louisiana. Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer declared a state of emergency, urging travelers to pay attention to weather alerts. As of late Thursday, almost 50 million people were under flood watches in the Southeast.
College football bowl season rolls along with juicy tripleheader
The bowl season really heats up on Friday with the College Football Playoff semifinals just a day away. A tripleheader of bowl games kicks off when Auburn and Purdue meet for the first time ever in the Music City Bowl (1:30 p.m. ET on ESPN). West Virginia will be without quarterback Will Grier — who is sitting out in order to prepare for the 2019 NFL draft — when it faces Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl (5:15 p.m. ET on ESPN). In the nightcap, Iowa State will look to finish its best season in decades against Washington State in the Alamo Bowl (9 p.m. ET on ESPN). Take a look at who our college football experts predict will win.
Want to ring 2019 with more dough? Mega Millions jackpot still up for grabs
No one matched all six numbers in the Christmas night Mega Millions drawing, meaning Friday's drawing will be worth an estimated $348 million, with the cash option worth $210.2 million. It will be the 30th-largest all-time lottery jackpot played in the U.S., and the 13th-largest Mega Millions in history. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are quite slim: 1 in 302,575,350. The only states that don't offer Mega Millions are Alaska, Nevada, Utah, Mississippi and Alabama, according to the game's website. Good luck!
Contributing: Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Government shutdown, Mega Millions jackpot: 5 things to know Friday