News

Monday | November 22nd, 2021

It’s Monday, November 22nd, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast:

1) Fallout After Rittenhouse Verdict

The Topline: Following Friday’s not-guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, multiple cities across the country experienced protests and in some cases, rioting, due to the jury’s decision.

Quote Of The Day:Self-defense is not illegal, and I believe they came to the correct verdict, and I’m glad that everything went well.”

– Kyle Rittenhouse in his first interview following the trial

Trial Fallout

While there have been pro-BLM protests in Kenosha following the verdict, demonstrations have so far remained peaceful. In Portland however, police declared a riot on Friday night as demonstrators smashed windows and attempted to knock down the doors to city buildings after the verdict was reached.

Rioters were also allegedly tearing down fencing and using construction signs as street barricades. At least one police car was smashed, and there were some trash and debris fires. 

Ultimately the riot was dispersed by around 11pm, after the police gave out 17 warnings, and 5 tickets. 

There were also protests in New York City, most of which were peaceful, but a handful of people were arrested for property damage in Queens, where protests took place on a residential street. 

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Political Reaction

President Biden addressed the verdict multiple times on Friday, first in a comment outside the White House, where he said, “I stand by what the jury has concluded. The jury system works, and we have to abide by it.”

But after that statement was largely derided by members of his own party, the President issued a separate written statement that took a different tone, saying the decision made him “angry and concerned.” 

Vice President Kamala Harris issued a statement of her own that suggested that the judicial system failed. “Today’s verdict speaks for itself. I’ve spent a majority of my career working to make our criminal justice system more equitable. It’s clear, there’s still a lot more work to do.”

Potential Legal Fallout

Some legal experts are saying this could be another Covington Catholic situation, where Rittenhouse could make a defamation case against public figures and outlets who labeled him a white supremacist murderer. 

2) Missing Chinese Tennis Star

The Topline: The story of missing Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai swept across the world of tennis last week and has now entered the political realm, as it appears the Chinese Communist Party played a role. 

Background

On November 2, Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai posted to Chinese social media that a former Vice Premier of the Communist Party sexually assaulted her three years ago following a round of tennis, while his wife allegedly guarded the door. Her post was deleted nearly 30 minutes after publication and Peng’s account was soon blocked to searchers. 

From that point on, no one heard from or saw Peng in public, raising concern over her safety. 

Multiple tennis stars including Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka spoke out on social media on her behalf, demanding answers. 

Then last week, a written statement attributed to Peng was posted to Twitter by CGTN — a Chinese state-affiliated media company — in which Peng recanted her claim that she was sexually assaulted.

The statement immediately raised concerns regarding her safety and whereabouts, and most assumed she did not write the statement herself, or was coerced into doing so. 

The Winter olympics are in Beijing this year, and the chair of the World Tennis Association said he is willing to pull business out of China if Peng’s safety can’t be confirmed and if there isn’t an investigation into her allegations. 

Fred Lee/Getty Images

Video Emerges

The WTA statement seemed to garner a reaction from the Chinese government, as a video emerged over the weekend showing Peng eating at a restaurant with her friends and a coach. The footage was posted by the official newspaper of China’s Communist Party, casting obvious doubt on the legitimacy of Peng’s safety. 

The International Olympic Committee released a statement saying they held a video call with Peng, in which she said she was “safe and well” but asked for privacy. 

Remember: The Chinese Communist Party has a well documented history of threatening those who speak out against the state — including billionaire businessmen and entertainers. 

3) The Most Expensive Thanksgiving Meal Ever

The Topline: As inflation continues to rise and supply chain backups persist, this year’s Thanksgiving meal will be more expensive than ever. And now, there’s growing concern over a potential nationwide turkey shortage.

Quote Of The Day: “People are going to the grocery store and they’re getting sticker shock cause they’ve jacked the price up — a turkey that was 35 dollars last year is 70 dollars this year.” -Chris Simpson, owner of Field of Dreams farms in Tennessee

Turkey Shortage

The USDA released a new report showing that turkey inventories were 24% lower this year compared to the last three years. In addition, according to the Farm Bureau, turkey prices this year are almost 25% higher than last year. 

Now, many grocery chains have responded by limiting the number of turkeys people can buy at once, and some started placing warnings on their website that they can’t guarantee they’ll be able to fulfill online orders that include turkey.

Via Getty Images

 The Reasons

According to farmers and economists, the shortage has been caused by the labor shortage, as well as increased costs on goods essential for raising livestock and meat birds. 

Chris and Sue Ellen Simpson, farmers in Tennessee, told the Daily Wire prices have been impacted by “the shortage of labor when it comes to trucking these birds from the farm to the processing, from the processing to the market,” among other things. They also said increased gas and grain prices have left many farmers with no choice but to raise costs. 

Prices Up Across The Board

The Farm Bureau report showed that the cost of an average thanksgiving meal this year is up 14% compared to last year. And that’s not because just one product is more expensive. Nearly every industry has been impacted, with prices on pie crusts up 20% this year, and dinner rolls up 15%. 

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Other Stories We’re Tracking

According to a new United Nations report, the ongoing supply chain crisis may drive costs of computers, apparel and furniture up 10%.The report cites problems with “container ship carrying capacity, container shortages, labour shortages, continued on and off COVID-19 restrictions across port regions and congestion at ports” that could lead to price hikes through 2023.

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