Senate may override Trump’s veto on defense act
The final days of a chaotic Congressional session are expected to continue Friday as the Senate appears poised to override President Donald Trump’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – which would mark the first congressional override in Trump’s tenure as president and a final rebuke of Trump weeks before he leaves office. If the override doesn’t happen Friday, it is expected to happen Saturday. On Monday, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to override the president, a remarkable bipartisan condemnation in a divided Washington. Trump has said he’s against changing the names of bases named for Confederate military leaders and the bill would establish a commission to develop a plan. Trump also criticized the bill for not including language that strips protections social media companies enjoy under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The measure protects the companies from being sued by anyone claiming to be harmed by a post.
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Minimum wage to rise in 20 states
Twenty states and 32 cities and counties – including many in California – are set to raise their minimum wages on or around New Year’s Day, according to a report provided exclusively to USA TODAY by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), a worker advocacy group. About half of those localities will reach the $15 threshold championed by striking fast-food workers. The turnabout in views regarding a $15 wage base has been head-spinning. Even states with relatively low minimums, like Florida and Virginia, are poised for significant increases in 2021 and headed toward $15, or at least the strong possibility of it, by 2026.
Stores open and closed on New Year’s Day
Unlike Christmas, many more national chains are open but some major retailers – Costco, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Aldi and Trader Joe’s, for example – will be closed Friday, New Year’s Day. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, expect some stores to limit the number of shoppers allowed inside. More restaurants will also be open to bid 2020 a farewell and welcome in 2021. Expect to find many restaurants operating with special hours Friday. However, we also suggest you check with your closest location as not all of them will be open and hours will vary.
College Football Playoff kicks off with intriguing semifinal matchups
After a tumultuous regular season upended by the coronavirus pandemic, the College Football Playoff semifinals have finally arrived. The two games kick off on New Year’s Day with No. 1 Alabama taking on No. 4 Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl (5 p.m. ET, ESPN) which has been moved from its traditional location in Pasadena, California to Arlington, Texas, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Later, No. 2 Clemson, led by star quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and No. 3 Ohio State face off in the Sugar Bowl nightcap (8 p.m. ET, ESPN) in New Orleans. The winners will face off for the national championship on Jan. 11 in Miami.
New season of ‘Cobra Kai’ debuts on Netflix
Season 3 of “Cobra Kai” is ready to strike on Netflix, without mercy. The next installment of “The Karate Kid” sequel centered on William Zabka’s Johnny Lawrence, decades after losing to Ralph Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso at a big tournament in the 1984 movie, premieres Friday, a week earlier than the original announced date. Fans can expect to see some familiar faces from the first two “Karate Kid” movies this season, including the return of Martin Kove’s John Kreese, and a surprise or two along the way.