Up First briefing: Defense bill delayed; Threads’ news policy; SAG-AFTRA strike vote

Hard-right House Republicans have delayed a defense bill, Meta’s Twitter rival Threads de-emphasizes news and politics, and SAG-AFTRA prepares to vote on a strike.

Legislation on hold: The vote on an $886 billion defense spending bill has been delayed because hard-right House Republicans want to include amendments that shape military policy on issues such as abortion access and diversity.
* The bill is viewed as must-pass bipartisan legislation, but the contentious amendments could put Republicans in swing districts in awkward positions ahead of reelection campaigns.

App news: Meta’s new app, Threads, is quickly becoming popular despite a policy of de-emphasizing news and politics.
* According to NPR’s Bobby Allyn, Meta has found that users are more engaged when content centers around influencers and celebrities, which draws more advertising revenue.

Labor dispute: SAG-AFTRA, the Hollywood actors union, is set to vote on a potential strike following unsuccessful negotiations with major studios.
* Federal mediators, who often use techniques like shuttle diplomacy and reality testing in private caucus situations, joined the negotiations yesterday.

In the courts: Fox News is facing a defamation lawsuit brought by Trump supporter and Jan. 6 protester Ray Epps.
* Epps is suing over statements made by Fox host Tucker Carlson alleging that Epps is an undercover FBI agent who incited violence at the Capitol.

Homelessness issue: Cities like New York and LA have declared record level of homelessness, despite significant financial input.
* Factors contributing to the issue include an increasing number of people becoming homeless, rents outpacing wages, restrictive zoning laws, and the ending of pandemic-era aid programs.

View original article on NPR

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