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Morning Rundown: Donda Academy suit, student loan relief program and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ first draft

A third teacher is suing rapper Ye’s private Christian school, saying she was dismissed after parents complained that her classroom had no books.
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The debt ceiling bill heads to President Joe Biden for his signature. A former teacher at Ye’s Donda Academy files a complaint against the school. And find out what the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” was initially called.

 Here’s what to know today.

McCarthy-Biden debt ceiling deal soars through the Senate

The bill that would extend the debt ceiling for two years and establish a two-year budget agreement is headed to President Joe Biden’s desk after the Senate voted last night to pass it. The vote was 63-36. 

Biden is expected to sign the Fiscal Responsibility Act and avert a catastrophic debt default with days to spare before Monday’s deadline. 

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The final Senate vote came after 11 amendments were considered, a demand by some senators in exchange for agreeing to vote on the bill quickly. All of the amendments were shot down. 

Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised the Senate for its swift action. “America can breathe a sigh of relief,” he said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell championed the bill as an “urgent and important step in the right direction — for the health of our economy and the future of our country.”

Once the bill is signed into law, it’ll affect federal student loan payments and SNAP benefits. Here’s what else.

Bill Cosby faces new sexual assault lawsuits

A former Playboy model has publicly accused Bill Cosby of drugging and raping her in 1969, and accusers in Nevada are planning legal action against the actor, with help from “look back window” laws that allow adult victims of sexual assault to file for civil damages even after the statute of limitations has expired. 

Victoria Valentino filed a suit yesterday in Los Angeles, sharing details of the alleged incident over 50 years ago. A spokesperson for Cosby alleged the legislation that allowed Valentino’s suit to be possible was a violation of the actor’s constitutional rights.

In Nevada, a new law signed this week will likely bring forth additional legal challenges.

Complaint against Ye’s Donda Academy adds to school’s troubled portrait

A third teacher is suing rapper Ye’s private Christian school, saying she was dismissed after parents complained that her classroom had no books, according to an amended complaint filed yesterday in Los Angeles County. Timanii Meeks’ allegations will be added to a lawsuit filed earlier this year by two former teachers.

In the complaint, Meeks detailed her time working at Donda. She says she began working at the Southern California school last August as a substitute teacher in math, with plans for a full-time position in the theater department. In mid-October, the staffing agency that placed her said the school had instructed her to no longer teach there.

South Carolina store owner who killed teen previously shot at others he suspected of shoplifting

Rick Chow, the convenience store owner who fatally shot 14-year-old Cyrus Carmack Belton after falsely accusing him of stealing, was involved in at least two prior altercations in which he opened fire on people he suspected of shoplifting, authorities said. In fact, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department had received numerous calls about trouble at the Xpress Mart Shell gas station, the department said. Records describe what allegedly happened during two incidents in 2015 and 2018.

Extreme weather could threaten the global wheat supply

This year, late rain in China’s largest wheat-growing province is complicating efforts to harvest grain already damaged by wet weather. But what if extreme weather had also affected crops in the Midwest? New research imagines what a double threat would do to the global food supply: prices would soar, and communities worldwide risk going hungry.

While the study calls attention to a problem that hasn’t yet happened, that’s exactly the point, said Erin Coughlan de Perez, the study’s lead author and climate scientist. “The whole point of imagining these serious consequences — we could take action to prevent them and build a more resilient system.”

▼ Today’s Talker

Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was almost called …

… “Mongolian Rhapsody.” Never-before-seen copies of Freddie Mercury’s handwritten lyrics reveal he intended to give the song a different name at first. The line “Mama, just killed a man” even had an alternative: “Mama, there’s a war began.” (Imagine singing that at karaoke.) A trove of the singer’s artifacts, including this famous song’s first draft, will be up for auction next week.

▼ Politics in Brief 

Student loan debt: The Senate voted to block Joe Biden’s student debt relief program, but the president has said he’ll veto the measure.

Biden’s fall: A White House aide said the president is “fine” after he fell on stage at a graduation ceremony for the U.S. Air Force Academy. 

Immigration: The number of migrants illegally crossing the southwest U.S. border is at its lowest point since the start of the Biden administration. Here are four reasons why there was not a post-Title 42 surge.

DeSantis campaign: The Florida governor and 2024 presidential hopeful lashed out at a reporter at the end of an event in New Hampshire yesterday, twice barking “Are you blind?”

▼ Staff Pick

Revisiting the site of a massacre

A mass shooting at a Sweet 16 in April shattered yet another community in America, this time a rural Alabama town of 3,100 residents. NBCBLK reporter Curtis Bunn visited Dadeville on the day of the local high school’s graduation, where everyone seemed to know someone who had been shot. What he found was a town grieving together, from parents who lost their college-bound children, to neighbors who simply felt called to be there. Michelle Garcia, NBC BLK Editor

▼ In Case You Missed It

 Four days before an Iowa apartment building collapsed, an engineering firm warned that it could crumble.

A gun store owner near Atlanta will close his store after he said his conscience was burdened by recent mass shootings, plus a customer who wanted to purchase 4,000 rounds.

With news that actor Al Pacino is expecting a child at the age of 83, doctors and medical ethicists are warning about the risks of fathering children in old age

There were about 350 Americans studying in China compared to 300,000 Chinese students in the United States, an imbalance could have long-lasting implications for relations between the two countries

Greece’s oldest archeological site has been discovered, with 700,000 year old stone tools dragging the dawn of Greek archaeology back by a quarter-million years.

A Washington state woman who repeatedly refused tuberculosis treatment was taken into custody more than three months after an arrest warrant was issued. 

▼ Select: Online Shopping, Simplified

 Working long hours in front of the computer can be taxing on your body, and how you use a keyboard could be adding to the stress. For example, if you’re typing incorrectly, you may be overextending your fingers and wrists. Here’s how ergonomic keyboards can help alleviate pain and four great options to consider.

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