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Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

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The Suffolk Journal

In the nation: WGA strike ends, federal government faces possible shutdown, Biden joins UAW picket line, Menendez faces charges

In+the+nation%3A+WGA+strike+ends%2C+federal+government+faces+possible+shutdown%2C+Biden+joins+UAW+picket+line%2C+Menendez+faces+charges
Leo Woods

Writers Guild Association strike ends with contract agreement

 

The Writers Guild of America and Hollywood studio executives reached a contract agreement Sept. 26, signaling the end of the nearly five-month-long strike, according to the Associated Press

The deal includes increased royalties for streaming content and restrictions on the use of artificial intelligence, according to The New York Times

“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership,” said the WGA negotiating committee in a statement. 

Guild writers are able to return to work Sept. 27 as writers begin the process of ratifying the contract. WGA encouraged members to join SAG-AFTRA picket lines in support of a strike that began July 15. 

WGA’s strike began May 2, citing writers’ economic struggles amidst the rise of streaming, fewer job opportunities and low pay, as well as concerns surrounding artificial intelligence, according to CNN.  

The deal drew approval from President Joe Biden, who expressed the sentiment in a press release

“I applaud the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for reaching a tentative agreement that will allow writers to return to the important work of telling the stories of our nation, our world – and of all of us,” said Biden. 

 

Potential government shutdown looms

 

Congress is days away from a government shutdown if the House doesn’t pass a stopgap bill. 

Government funding is set to end Oct. 1 if the House isn’t able to pass the Senate’s stopgap bill, according to CNN. House Republicans are refusing a short-term funding extension.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the bill contains funding for Ukraine, but House Speaker Kevin McCarthy doesn’t agree with combining that funding in this extension, according to The Boston Globe.

According to the New York Times, a number of far-right Republicans have threatened to remove McCarthy from his post if he brings the Senate bill to the House floor for a vote.

A government shutdown would disrupt millions of people’s lives and force them to work without pay during the duration of the shutdown. According to the Globe, a government shutdown in 2018 cost the economy about $11 billion.

On Sept. 26, McCarthy told the public he is doing everything he can to prevent a shutdown.

In New England alone, more than 60,000 employees will not receive paychecks during the shutdown, according to the Globe.

 

Biden joins UAW picket line

 

President Joe Biden joined striking members of the United Automobile Workers union Sept. 26 in Bellville, Michigan in front of a General Motors facility. 

NBC News reported Biden’s trip to Michigan marks the first time a sitting president joined a picket line for workers demanding better wages. He encouraged union members to continue their fight and emphasized his support for the cause.

“You deserve what you’ve earned, and you’ve earned a hell of a lot more than you get paid now,” Biden said, according to the New York Times.

In Mansfield, workers at a Stellantis parts distribution facility joined the UAW strike Sept. 23, the Boston Globe reported. Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined workers on the picket line, holding a “UAW ON STRIKE” sign.

The union is asking for a 40 percent wage increase over four years, a reinstatement of pensions and shorter work hours, according to the Times. Workers across the country are striking plants and distribution centers owned by Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.

 

New Jersey senator Robert Menendez indicted in bribery scheme

 

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez was charged with accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes Sept. 22, according to The New York Times.

The indictment outlines a series of bribes between Menendez and three New Jersey businessmen in the form of cash, gold, a luxury vehicle and mortgage payments, primarily in exchange for Menedez utilizing his position as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to increase assistance from the U.S. to Egypt. 

Menendez also tampered with the criminal investigation of Jose Uribe, one of the New Jersey businessmen, in exchange for cash. 

The indictment also charges Nadine Menendez, the senator’s wife, and the three businessmen, Fred Daibes, Wael Hana and Jose Uribe. Charges of conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit honest services fraud have been assigned to all five defendants, with Menendezes also charged with conspiracy to commit extortion under the color of official right. 

New Jersey Gov. Philip Murphy was the first of several leaders to call for Menendez’s resignation.

“For years, forces behind the scenes have repeatedly attempted to silence my voice and dig my political grave. Since this investigation was leaked nearly a year ago, there has been an active smear campaign of anonymous sources and innuendos to create an air of impropriety where none exists,” Menendez said in a statement to the Associated Press.

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Leo Woods
Leo Woods, News Editor | he/him

Leo is a senior political science major with a minor in journalism from Clinton, Connecticut. He has photographed political events, protests, performing arts groups and documented Boston Pride for the People for the History Project. Outside of Suffolk, Leo is an avid Dungeons and Dragons player and podcast listener. After graduation, he plans on attending law school and working in politics.

Follow Leo on X @leowoods108

Maren Halpin
Maren Halpin, Editor-in-Chief | she/her
Maren is a junior print/web journalism major with a minor in political science from Milford, Massachusetts. When she’s not in The Journal office or chasing a new story, you can usually find Maren in Suffolk’s orientation office or at an on-campus event. In her free time, she loves to go to her favorite coffee shops, listen to Noah Kahan, Hozier and Taylor Swift on repeat, explore the city and spend time with family and friends. Maren is passionate about politics and hopes to go into political journalism in the future. 
Follow Maren on X @Maren_Halpin26
Sarah Roberts
Sarah Roberts, News Editor | she/her
Sarah is a senior from Taunton, Massachusetts, majoring in print and web journalism. She’s on the cross country and indoor/outdoor track and field teams. When she’s not running along the Charles or doing laps on the track in East Boston, you will probably find her in a coffee shop. Sarah is a coffee connoisseur and enjoys trying new coffee places frequently. In her free time if she isn’t reading, she’s watching some true crime shows or rewatching Gilmore Girls for the hundredth time. After college, she hopes to work in investigative journalism.
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