The News You Need To Read This Morning

Raphael Warnock's Georgia Senate victory, the torment of gift anxiety, and the 2022 words of the year.

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Raphael Warnock defeated Herschel Walker in the Georgia runoff, giving Democrats 51 Senate seats

Sen. Raphael Warnock speaks in front of a podium during a rally

Sen. Raphael Warnock has once again kept Georgia blue in a special runoff Senate election. The Democrat defeated Republican former football star Herschel Walker in Tuesday’s runoff, giving Democrats the Senate majority and Warnock a full six-year term following the other runoff election he won last year.

Following his slim lead in the November election, Warnock had remained a slight favorite to win the runoff, with experts predicting that Black, educated, and suburban voters would be turned off by Walker’s many controversies as a candidate. Walker, who habitually made unintelligible remarks about everything from gun violence to the economy to healthcare, had been plagued by accusations of domestic violence by his ex-wife, as well as another former girlfriend who came forward last week.

Warnock’s victory further underscores the surprising strength of Democrats’ performance in the midterm elections, which are typically punishing for the party in the White House. His win, along with Democratic victories in Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada, ensures that Democrats will have 51 seats in the next Senate, maintaining control of that chamber despite the House of Representatives narrowly flipping to Republicans.

Why did Ukraine allies impose a price cap on Russian oil?

  • The US, the EU, and other major global economies have agreed to a $60 maximum price cap for purchasing Russian oil. "This is a dramatic and unprecedented move by the US and its partners — especially given how dependent Europe was on Russian energy," Vox's Jen Kirby reports. With the agreed-upon price cap, "any country that wants to pay more for Russian oil can’t use operators or insurers from this coalition, which is a big share of the market."


Someone threatened to kill a California lawmaker after Charlie Kirk and Marjorie Taylor Greene criticized his work supporting trans kids. State Sen. Scott Wiener recently helped pass a law that protects families traveling from places where it's illegal for children to receive gender-affirming care. In November, Greene called Wiener a "communist groomer."

What is gift anxiety? Unlike people who may feel excited by holiday shopping season, there are some for whom the practice of giving or receiving gifts stirs deeper questions about feeling loved, worthy, burdened, or indebted.

Wednesday received backlash after Jenna Ortega revealed she had COVID-19 when she filmed that viral dance scene. Many have criticized the producers and series director Tim Burton for allowing Ortega to work when she felt so unwell — and putting the rest of the staff at risk.

The Colorado Springs shooter suspect faces 305 criminal charges

A memorial with flowers and candles and a small photo frame that says "love over hate" in a rainbow heart

The suspect in last month's Colorado Springs, Colorado, shooting at a gay nightclub has been formally charged with 305 counts, including hate crimes, police announced Tuesday.

The charges include 10 counts of first-degree murder, 70 counts of attempted first-degree murder, 48 counts of bias-motivated hate crimes, and 90 counts of first-degree assault. District Attorney Michael Allen said that the number of counts is subject to change as they determine how many people were in the club that night. It's not yet clear whether there will be federal charges related to this case.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is accused of storming the club before midnight dressed in tactical gear and armed with a pistol and an assault-style rifle, killing five people and injuring 22 others on Nov. 19. The attack ended when two patrons subdued the assailant.

The attack took place the night before the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors trans people killed in hateful acts of violence. Before the shooting, Club Q was considered an LGBTQ safe haven in the conservative area of Colorado Springs, especially as anti-gay and anti-trans rhetoric from conservative public figures has led to threats and real-life violence.


The 2022 words of the year are all over the place

An ink painting of a one-eyed goblin with scruffy facial hair and a green robe

At the end of each year, dictionaries around the globe select one word to sum up how language morphed in the preceding 12 months, to recognize a trend in mainstream vernacular and comment on the human condition at that moment in time.

Here’s a look at the many words of the year, selected by the lexicographical powers that be:

  • Merriam-Webster
    gaslighting (n.): “the act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one’s own advantage.”

  • Cambridge Dictionary
    homer (n.): “an informal American English term for a home run in baseball.”

  • Macquarie Dictionary
    teal (n.): “an independent political candidate who holds generally ideologically moderate views, but who supports strong action regarding environmental and climate action policies, and the prioritising of integrity in politics.”

  • Collins Dictionary
    permacrisis (n.): “an extended period of instability and insecurity.”

  • Oxford Languages
    goblin mode (n.): “a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typical in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.”

Why were these words chosen? Which other words were runner-ups? Read our copy team’s full story for more answers.

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