Latest News Headlines for Thursday February 1, 2024 – On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve chose to maintain its current interest rate levels, postponing the much-anticipated rate reductions expected to occur later this year.

The federal funds rate will continue to range between 5.25% and 5.5%. The Fed stated, “The Committee seeks to achieve maximum employment and inflation at the rate of 2 percent over the longer run. The Committee judges that the risks to achieving its employment and inflation goals are moving into better balance.”

The Justice Department revealed on Wednesday that it has thwarted an attack by Chinese government-backed hackers targeting U.S. critical infrastructure. The hackers used malware to compromise “hundreds” of home and small business routers.

In a court-sanctioned operation initiated last month, U.S. officials successfully dismantled the botnet by removing malware from routers within the U.S. and implemented measures to prevent future reinfections.

The U.S. government has identified the Islamic Resistance in Iraq militant group as responsible for the drone attack in Jordan that resulted in the deaths of three American service members.

National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby stated, “The attack in Jordan was planned, resourced, and facilitated by an Umbrella group called the Islamic Resistance in Iraq.” Kirby explained that this group includes several factions, including Kataib Hezbollah.

Alec Baldwin has entered a not guilty plea for the second time to charges of involuntary manslaughter in the 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the “Rust” film set.

The 65-year-old actor and executive producer waived his right to an arraignment, initially scheduled for Thursday, and submitted his plea through a court filing. Baldwin, under the terms of the filing, is prohibited from possessing firearms among other conditions.

In New Mexico, three police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Robert Dotson, who was mistakenly targeted at the wrong address, will not face charges, as communicated by the New Mexico Justice Department.

The incident occurred on April 5, 2023, when Farmington police officers Daniel Estrada, Dylan Goodluck, and Waylon Wasson, responding to a domestic violence call, erroneously went to Dotson’s residence, mistaking house number 5305 for 5308.

A federal judge in Florida has dismissed Disney’s lawsuit against Governor Ron DeSantis and other state officials. The lawsuit contested the state legislature’s decision to modify the Reedy Creek Improvement District’s governance structure.

Disney’s lawsuit, filed last April, claimed the changes were retaliatory, responding to the company’s criticism of the Parental Rights in Education Act, often referred to by opponents as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Five asylum-seekers were arrested in Midtown Manhattan, accused of assaulting police officers, according to the NYPD.

Police stated that during an attempt to disperse a disorderly group on West 42nd St., a physical altercation ensued. As officers tried to detain one individual, the suspects began kicking and punching them. The officers suffered minor injuries and received treatment at the scene.

The Justice Department announced on Wednesday a $59 million settlement with eBay. The settlement resolves claims that the e-commerce giant facilitated the sale of thousands of pill presses on its platform, potentially aiding in the illegal production of drugs.

Under the agreement, eBay will pay one of the largest penalties imposed under the Controlled Substances Act and will implement changes to prevent future sales of pill presses and related items.

A 285-year-old lemon discovered in an old cabinet drawer was sold at an auction in England for $1,780.

Brettells Auctioneers in Shropshire reported that a family brought in a 19th-century cabinet, previously owned by a late uncle, to their facility.

While preparing the cabinet for sale, a specialist found the lemon tucked away in a drawer.

Inscribed on the fruit was the note: “Given By Mr P Lu Franchini Nov 4 1739 to Miss E Baxter.”

Deciding to auction the historic lemon, the auction house was astounded when it garnered a winning bid of $1,780.

In contrast, the cabinet itself was sold for a mere $40.