A judge issued a Temporary Restraining Order this morning allowing protesters to return to Zuccotti Park after police evicted them in a midnight raid, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg appears to be ignoring the court order. At a press conference this morning, Bloomberg defended the move, saying that “the final decision to act was mine.” The judge will hold a hearing on the matter at 11:30 a.m.
Occupy Oakland protesters returned to a downtown park Monday evening after a police raid evicted them and resulted in 33 arrests. According to police, camping or sleeping at the park will now be prohibited. Said the chief of police: “There will be a strong police presence at the plaza 24-7.”
House Republicans and Senate Democrats have reached an agreement on the details of a spending package that will fund the federal government through Dec. 16. The deal would also fund five major departments through fiscal 2012. House and Senate leaders hope to secure passage of the bill by Friday, when the current resolution expires.
In another victory for activists, TransCanada has agreed to reroute the Keystone XL oil pipeline, avoiding the environmentally-sensitive area around the Sand Hills of Nebraska that helped make it a flashpoint of national controversy. The announcement comes just days after the State Department said it would evaluate alternative routes to avoid the Sand Hills.
Data from both sides of the border suggest that illegal immigration from Mexico is falling rapidly, “as U.S. job shortages, tighter border enforcement and the frightening presence of criminal gangs on the Mexican side dissuade many from making the trip.” Mexican census figures show that fewer nationals are leaving and many are returning, “leaving net migration at close to zero.”
The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops are stepping up their fight against abortion and marriage equality, reframing their opposition as a struggle for “religious liberty” against a government and a culture that are infringing on the church’s rights.
On ABC’s Good Morning America, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ (D-AZ) husband Mark Kelly said Giffords hopes to run for re-election and that they are proceeding with raising funds for a campaign. In an interview on Monday night, Giffords indicated that she would return to Congress when she is “better.”
With only a week left to strike a deal, the deficit super committee agreed not to count the $700 billion that the nation no longer plans to spend on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next decade towards its debt-reduction goal of $1.2 trillion. Instead, they may suggest using the savings to pay for an extension in unemployment benefits and a temporary payroll tax cut.
And finally: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) gave a TMZ paparazzo a fist bump yesterday at LAX after the photographer spotted the senator in the airport.