House speaker fight and Pepperdine crash victims remembered: Morning Rundown

President Joe Biden makes his case for providing aid for Israel and Ukraine in a rare prime-time speech. The House’s temporary speaker threatens to quit. And new research warns against dangers of electric scooters and desk magnets for kids.

Here’s what to know today.

Biden urges aid for Israel and Ukraine in Oval Office speech

In a rare Oval Office speech last night, President Joe Biden made his case to the nation about why he believes it is important to support Israel and Ukraine in their ongoing wars, as he looks to build support for an aid package aimed at strengthening both countries. 

Biden said his administration plans to submit an emergency funding package today. That request may include $60 billion in aid to Ukraine and a total of $40 billion for Israel, Taiwan and the U.S.-Mexico border, people familiar with the matter said. “It’s a smart investment that’s going to pay dividends for American security for generations,” Biden said.

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But as conflicts unfold overseas, the fallout in the U.S. is growing more pronounced. Many Americans are demanding a cease-fire in Israel, as well as more than 400 congressional staffers who anonymously signed an open letter.

Biden also urged tolerance and compassion in the U.S., days after a landlord stabbed and killed a 6-year-old boy. He and his mother were targeted because of their Muslim faith, law enforcement officials said. 

Read more takeaways from Biden’s speech.

More on the Israel-Hamas war:

  • Follow our live blog for the latest updates.
  • The U.N. called for a cease-fire near the Egypt border to get aid into Gaza.
  • Death threats, doxxing and suspensions from school: Concerns are growing over free speech in Israel.
  • A veteran State Department official resigned over the Biden administration’s “blind support” of Israel in its war with Hamas.
  • Inside the White House’s outreach to the family of the slain 6-year-old Palestinian American boy.
  • A U.S. Navy warship shot down multiple drones and three cruise missiles that were heading “potentially toward Israel,” a Defense Department spokesperson said.

Temporary House speaker threatens to quit

In a closed-door meeting yesterday, Rep. Patrick McHenry told GOP colleagues he might resign as speaker pro tempore if Republicans push him to move legislation on the floor without an explicit vote to expand his powers, according to lawmakers in the room.

Read More:   What is mycoplasma pneumonia, the illness driving an outbreak in Ohio?

“If you guys try to do that, you’ll figure out who the next person on Kevin’s list is,” McHenry said, referring to former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s secret list of GOP lawmakers who would serve as temporary speaker in the event of a vacancy. McHenry has also threatened to resign as speaker pro tempore in individual conversations with members.

It’s the latest sign of chaos within the House, which is at a standstill until a new speaker is elected. Rep. Jim Jordan, the Republican nominee for the leadership role, backed an effort to empower McHenry until January while Jordan worked to shore up support for his own candidacy, but the effort collapsed. A third floor vote for a speaker is scheduled for 10 a.m. today. 

Families remember Pepperdine students killed in crash

pepperdine student car accident victimPeyton Stewart.Courtesy Barry Stewart

Peyton Stewart, pictured above, was a “go-getter,” a world traveler and a foodie with a refined palette, her father, Barry Stewart, told NBC News. The 21-year-old, who was studying business at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, was among four students who died this week when a driver lost control of his car along Pacific Coast Highway and struck three vehicles that hit the young women. Niamh Rolston, Asha Weir and Deslyn Williams and Peyton Stewart were all seniors and all members of the Alpha Phi sorority.

Asha Weir’s mother, Vinita Weir, said her daughter had been looking forward to visiting home to Philadelphia for Thanksgiving. Now, “I miss her and don’t know how to do life without her.”

Natalee Holloway’s mother grateful for answers in 2005 murder

Beth Holloway is at peace knowing her “never-ending nightmare” has come to an end. This week, Joran van der Sloot pleaded guilty to extortion and wire fraud charges, an agreement that compelled him to reveal all he knows about Natalee Holloway’s killing, which he had previously confessed to. 

It’s unlikely van der Sloot will ever spend a night behind bars for her death. The statute of limitations in Aruba, where van der Sloot murdered Natalee Holloway in 2005, is 12 years. But Beth Holloway said she took comfort in getting answers about what happened to her daughter. “I don’t think any victim’s family is ever going to think an amount of time is enough,” she said. Watch the full interview with NBC News correspondent Sam Brock.

The items frequently landing kids in emergency rooms

Electric scooters, curling irons and desk magnets among the objects injuring children and frequently the cause of emergency room visits, according to research that will be presented this weekend at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference.

Powerful magnets are particularly worrisome if a kid swallows more than one because their attraction can pinch body tissue. Curling irons can leave kids with serious burns. And electric scooters have left many with head injuries and fractures. But these aren’t the only products parents are warned to be careful with.

Read More:   Doctors in South Korea walk out in strike of work conditions

Politics in Brief

Georgia election interference case: Trump campaign legal adviser Kenneth Cheseboro turned down a plea offer from the Fulton County district attorney’s office, a source confirmed. Earlier yesterday, former Trump attorney Sidney Powell pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to commit election interference. She agreed to serve six years of probation. Jury selection in Cheseboro’s case is scheduled to begin today.

Hunter Biden: David Weiss, the special counsel investigating Hunter Biden, will sit for an interview next month with the House Judiciary Committee, led by Rep. Jim Jordan.

Congress: Laphonza Butler, the California Democrat appointed to fill the seat of Dianne Feinstein, said she won’t seek a full Senate term in 2024.

2024 election: Donald Trump’s campaign is planning a counterprogramming event just a few minutes down the road from the third GOP debate, scheduled for Nov. 8 in Miami.

Capitol riot: On Jan. 6, a rioter yelled the name “John Richter” on the Senate floor. Months later, the FBI showed up at the wrong John Richter’s house to question him, NBC News justice reporter Ryan J. Reilly writes in his new book “Sedition Hunters: How January 6th Broke the Justice System.”

Staff Pick: 30-year mystery solved

Allen Livingston’s mother had no idea what happened to him when he disappeared in 1993 — but she had a hunch that he had been murdered by a suspected Indiana serial killer. This week, she learned she was right. This story is a look at a family’s tireless pursuit to find out what happened to their loved one and includes a haunting quote from a county coroner: “What are the odds that our first identification from 10,000 pieces of bone would be to that family that made the initial call?” — Elizabeth Robinson, newsletter editor

In Case You Missed It 

Travis King, the U.S. soldier who ran into North Korea in July, has been charged with multiple crimes, including desertion, possession of child pornography and the assault of fellow soldiers.

Billionaires are driving South Florida home prices to new records. For example, a waterfront home that last sold for $7.4 million went for about $50 million.

CVS Health said it is pulling some of the most common decongestants with phenylephrine as the only active ingredient from its shelves.

Britney Spears is shedding new light on what her life was like during her 13-year court-ordered conservatorship in her new memoir.

Select: Online Shopping, Simplified

 “Dry brushing” removes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin and can help even out texture. All you have to do is swipe a soft brush in gentle strokes over your body. So what should you look for in a dry brush and how do you do it properly? Dermatologists answered some frequently asked questions and recommended their favorite products.

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Elizabeth Robinson

Elizabeth Robinson is a newsletter editor for NBC News, based in Los Angeles.