https://thehill.com/homenews/1230-report/3644515-the-hills-1230-report-how-a-nationwide-railroad-strike-was-averted-watch-roger-federers-retirement-announcement-serena-williams-teases-return-to-tennis-cnns-new-morning-show-details-prince-har/

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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* 

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.

NEWS OF THE MORNING 

Back on track, baby! 

President Biden announced Thursday morning that railroad companies and their unions have reached a tentative agreement to avoid the national strike that would have shut down all trains after midnight. 

Added to Biden’s schedule at the last minute: The White House sent an updated schedule around 10:30 a.m. to include a 10:45 a.m. meeting with negotiators, followed by 11 a.m. remarks on the railway labor agreement. Watch Biden’s remarks 

Photo of Biden meeting with negotiators in the Oval Office: Via The Wall Street Journal’s Ken Thomas 

THIS DEAL DIDN’T MAGICALLY APPEAR:  

CNN reports that this deal was reached after roughly 20 hours (!) of negotiations that involved Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. Biden even chimed in on the negotiations around 9 p.m. Wednesday. 

WHAT’S IN THE NEGOTIATED DEAL:  

  • More time off  
  • Time off for medical appointments
  • Block health care hikes 
  • Two-person crews 
  • Pay raises 

Details for each from The Hill’s Karl Evers-Hillstrom 

ROLL BACK THE AMTRAK TRIPS
Following the announcement of a tentative deal to avert a train strike, Amtrak is reversing its plans to cancel long-distance routes.  

Keep in mind: Amtrak started canceling some routes on Tuesday, worried the strike would start before some trains reached their final destination. 

How closely was Amtrak tied to the negotiations?: “Amtrak was not involved in the contract negotiations between rail workers and freight companies, but many of its trains run on railroads owned by third parties that could be impacted by a strike.” What we know about Amtrak’s restored service 

Happy Thursday! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Sign up here.

🎾 Other news this morning 

First, Serena. Now, Roger! 🙁 

AP/Lee Jin-man

Tennis star Roger Federer announced on Thursday morning that he is retiring from professional tennis.  

How he announced it: He posted a video on Twitter. Watch Federer’s retirement announcement 

He said he will play in one more tournament, but that won’t be a Grand Slam event: Federer said his last ATP tennis tournament will be the Laver Cup in London next week. 

How many Grand Slam titles Federer has won: Federer has won 20 Grand Slam titles in his career, the third most in history. (Rafael Nadal has won 22 Grand Slam titles; Novak Djokovic has won 21.)  

ACTUALLY, SPEAKING OF SERENA WILLIAMS

During an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Serena Williams hinted at a possible return to professional tennis. 

In Williams’s words: “You never know, and I’ve just been saying that Tom Brady started a really cool trend!”  

Williams is referring to football legend Tom Brady’s retirement, followed by a return to the sport a little over a month later. 

Watch Serena’s full response — and body language — on GMA 

‘New Day’s’ last day

CNN is switching up its morning news coverage, announcing a new morning show anchored by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow andKaitlan Collins

Any details?: It will debut later this year with a new name and format. 

Keep in mind: CNN has been making a lot of changes since its new president, Chris Licht, took over in May. Some of those changes have come under criticism.  

More context to the announcement, via The Hill’s Dominick Mastrangelo

🎈In the White House 

The plot twists of this season have been wild:  

“Fresh inflation data and a subsequent stock market tumble have come at a bad time for President Bidenand Democrats, who were just appearing to be getting comfortable framing the economy as an asset for their party’s pitch to voters in November.” 

OK, so get it: Democrats held a White House event to celebrate the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which had been planned for weeks. But right before the event, new data showed that inflation actually rose in August when economists had expected it to dip. 

What this could mean for the economy: “Fed officials are under greater pressure to keep raising interest rates at a rapid pace with inflation still stubbornly high. Doing so will slow the economy — potentially into a recession — as soon as next year, with the race for the White House looming in 2024.”  

How this could play outvia The Hill’s Alex Gangitano and Brett Samuels 

‘HOW INFLATION IS FUELING A NATIONWIDE LABOR MOVEMENT’
The Hill’sTobias Burns explains

💵 In Congress 

It’s about to go down:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) are headed on a collision course over how to fund the government. 

What Scott and Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) want: A short-term funding bill so that if Republican win control of the House and Senate next year, they could shape the longer-term funding bill themselves. 

What we know about McConnell’s perspective: “[S]everal Republican senators say McConnell wants to pass a year-end omnibus spending bill before the end of the 117th Congress, although they add the leader is playing his cards close to the vest.” 

What to expect, via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton

🗳 On the campaign trail 

Interesting read — ‘Election deniers advanced to November ballots in 27 states, report finds’: 

NBC News’s Adam Edelman reports that “candidates who deny the results of the 2020 election have advanced to November ballots in statewide races for positions that will oversee, defend or certify elections in more than half of the states, according to a nonpartisan group tracking the races.”  

Why this is significant: “Many of the general election contests will be competitive races in critical battleground states — among them Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Michigan — whose outcomes could have enormous impacts on the results of the next presidential election in those states.”  

Breakdown from NBC 

Read the States United Action report

🦠 Latest with COVID 

 THE COVID-19 NUMBERS 

Cases to date: 95.2 million 

Death toll: 1,046,195 

Current hospitalizations: 27,467 

Shots administered: 610 million 

Fully vaccinated: 67.6 percent of Americans 

CDC data here.

🐥Notable tweets 

LOL, the way Prince Harry greeted actor Matt Smith is great

Actor Matt Smith, who played young Prince Philip in Netflix’s “The Crown” and is now playing Daemon Targaryen in HBO’s “House of the Dragon,” appeared on NBC’s “Today.”  Watch his interview 

My favorite tidbit: Smith said he met Prince Harry at a polo match, who walked up to the actor and greeted him as “Granddad.”

On tap 

The House and Senate are in. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C. 

  • 8:30 a.m.: Biden received his daily briefing. 
  • 10:10 a.m.: Harris spoke at the United We Stand Summit. 
  • 11:30 a.m.: A Senate judicial confirmation vote. Today’s Senate agenda 
  • 1:45 p.m.: Harris hosts a multilateral meeting with Caribbean leaders.  
  • 1:45 p.m.: Another Senate confirmation vote. 
  • 1:45 – 3:30 p.m.: The House votes before leaving for the weekend. Today’s House agenda 
  • 3:30 p.m.: Biden delivers a keynote speech at the United We Stand Summit at the White House. 

All times Eastern.

📺What to watch 

  • Today: The United We Stand Summit at the White House. Livestream 
  • 10:30 a.m.: The White House Monkeypox Response Team held a press briefing. Video 
  • 1:15 p.m.: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing. Livestream 
  • 8:25 p.m.: Biden attends the 45th Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Livestream 

🍝 In lighter news 

Today is National Linguine Day and National Double Cheeseburger Day! 

You want thingamabobs? I’ve got twenty!:  

Disney released its first trailer for the upcoming live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” with Halle Bailey playing Ariel. 

Watch the trailer 

It’s impossible not to smile while watching this: Watch the reactions of young Black girls watching the trailer and seeing Ariel as a Black Disney princess. CNN clip 

And because you made it this far, I’ll leave you with a cat enjoying an afternoon drink

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