Updated Jan 6, 2023, 3:24pm EST
North America

13 interesting stories you may have missed during the 13 failed House Speaker votes


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The News

As the U.S. House of Representatives tried, and failed, for a 13th time to elect a leader on Friday, the political drama has dominated TV news coverage, while play-by-play updates about each of the votes consumed much of U.S. social media chatter.

It has officially been the longest fight for House speaker since before the Civil War.

Here are 13 stories you may have missed amid the distractions of the ongoing four-day Capitol Hill drama.

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The Stories

  1. In California, a Black family recently won an effort to regain a plot of beachside land that was taken from their descendants by the government nearly 100 years ago. Now, they plan to sell the land to Los Angeles County for $20 million, NPR reported.
  2. At least 60 academics in Afghanistan have resigned in protest of the Taliban’s recent decree banning women from higher education, The Guardian reported.
  3. U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is looking into a plan that would require all students in England to study math until they turn 18, but critics say the plan won't be possible without more math teachers, according to the BBC.
  4. With the baguette supply at risk, energy suppliers in France will allow bakeries to negotiate their new payment plans so they don't go out of business, per CNBC.
  5. Tesla shares dropped 12.2% on Tuesday, "the worst day for Tesla shares in more than two years," following what was the worst year ever for Tesla shares, per CNN Business.
  6. It's now illegal for some foreigners in Canada to buy homes, as a two-year-ban aimed at relieving housing costs for residents goes into effect, the BBC reported.
  7. Bed Bath & Beyond said in a filing Thursday that it may have to file for bankruptcy, saying there is "substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue" as its finances worsen, per CNN.
  8. Following social media rumors in China that the new COVID omicron variant led to stomach cramps and diarrhea, residents rushed to buy diapers, and Chinese public health officials had to warn people not to hoard them.
  9. A wanted cartel leader and the son of drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán was arrested by Mexican federal forces on Thursday, leading armed men to take hostages, burn vehicles, and storm an airport, the Los Angeles Times reported.
  10. A newly discovered comet will be visible from the Northern Hemisphere later this month, coming closest to Earth on Feb. 1-2, according to It may be easiest to see on Jan. 21, during the new moon.
  11. A map that apparently shows the location of a hidden Nazi stash of stolen jewelry, watches, and diamonds was made public this week by the National Archive of the Netherlands, inspiring a slew of amateur treasure hunters to search around the Dutch countryside, De Telegraaf reported.
  12. Hong Kong plans to resume hamster imports this month after a year-long COVID-related ban, Channel News Asia reported. Last January, the government ordered a cull of around 2,000 of the pet rodents as a pandemic precaution.
  13. The last surviving WWII veteran in the Democratic Republic of Congo was buried Friday, Semafor reported. Corporal Albert Kunyuku, who died at age 100, was one of the estimated 25,000 soldiers of the Belgian Congo Army, Force Publique, which fought alongside Allied forces elsewhere in the world despite Belgium's surrender to Nazi Germany in 1940.


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