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HeadlinesAugust 24, 2022

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After Campaigning for Abortion Rights, Democrat Pat Ryan Wins New York Special Congressional Election

Aug 24, 2022

Voters went to the polls Tuesday for primaries in Florida, New York and Oklahoma. In New York, redrawn congressional districts led to the losses of two Democratic incumbents. In New York’s redrawn 12th Congressional District, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler defeated fellow incumbent Carolyn Maloney, the chair of the House Oversight Committee. In the redrawn 10th Congressional District, former federal prosecutor Dan Goldman defeated several more progressive opponents, including incumbent Mondaire Jones and Yuh-Line Niou, a member of the New York Assembly. Goldman, who is an heir to the Levi Strauss fortune, spent $4 million of his own money on the race. He also picked up a controversial endorsement from The New York Times, whose publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, is a close family friend.

In another closely watched New York race, Democrat Pat Ryan won a special election in a swing district in the Hudson Valley, defeating Republican Marc Molinaro for an open seat. Ryan campaigned heavily on the need to protect reproductive rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. He spoke on Tuesday night.

Rep.-elect Pat Ryan: “When the Supreme Court ripped away reproductive freedoms, access to abortion rights, we said this is not what America stands for. As more and more kids are getting gunned down, by the same weapons I carried in combat, we said this is not what America stands for.”

Charlie Crist to Challenge Ron DeSantis in Florida Gubernatorial Race

Aug 24, 2022

In Florida, the state’s former Republican Governor Charlie Crist won Florida’s Democratic primary for governor on Tuesday. Congressmember Crist will face Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in November. Crist spoke on Tuesday night.
bq. Rep. Charlie Crist: “The stakes could not be any higher for this election. Our fundamental freedoms are literally on the ballot, my friends. A woman’s right to choose, on the ballot. Democracy, on the ballot. Your rights as minorities are on this ballot. That’s what’s at stake in this election. Make no mistake about it, because this guy wants to be president of the United States of America, and everybody knows it. However, when we defeat him on November 8, that show is over.”

25-Year-Old Gun Control Activist Maxwell Alejandro Frost Wins Florida Congressional Primary

Aug 24, 2022

In another Florida race of note, 25-year-old Maxwell Alejandro Frost won the Democratic primary in Florida’s 10th Congressional District. He is set to become the first Afro-Cuban American and first member of Generation Z to serve in Congress. Frost is the former national organizing director for March for Our Lives, which was formed by survivors of the Parkland shooting in Florida. Meanwhile, Val Demings easily won the Democratic primary for Senate Tuesday. She will face Republican Senator Marco Rubio in November.

U.S. to Give Ukraine $3 Billion on 6-Month Anniversary of Russian Invasion

Aug 24, 2022

The Biden administration is set to formally announce $3 billion in more military aid to Ukraine. The announcement is expected today, coinciding with Ukraine marking its Independence Day, as well as the six-month anniversary of the Russian invasion. Public gatherings have been banned in Kyiv due to fears of Russian strikes.

U.N. Warns of “Catastrophic Consequences” If Fighting Continues Near Ukrainian Nuclear Plant

Aug 24, 2022

Earlier today, Pope Francis repeated his call to end the war. He also warned of a potential nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. In recent weeks Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of attacking the plant, which has been under Russian control since March. On Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council held a meeting about Zaporizhzhia at the request of Russia. This is U.N. political chief Rosemary DiCarlo.
bq. Rosemary DiCarlo: “We must be clear that any potential damage to the plant, or any other nuclear facilities in Ukraine, leading to a possible nuclear incident would have catastrophic consequences, not only for the immediate vicinity, but for the region and beyond.”

Report: U.N. Faces Record Aid Shortfall to Address Humanitarian Crises

Aug 24, 2022

The New York Times reports the United Nations is facing a record aid shortfall to address growing humanitarian crises around the world. While the U.N. appeals for money for Ukraine have exceeded requests, other appeals have fallen far short. According to the Times, U.N. appeals are only 11% funded for Haiti, 12% for El Salvador, 14% for Burundi and 17% for Burma.

Reports: Biden to Announce Move to Cancel Some Student Debt

Aug 24, 2022

The Biden administration is expected to make an announcement today on student debt cancellation. According to multiple news accounts, the administration will cancel $10,000 of federal student loans for borrowers making $125,000 or less. The plan has been widely panned by groups pushing for broader student debt relief. Derrick Johnson, the head of the NAACP, tweeted on Tuesday, “President Biden’s decision on student debt cannot become the latest example of a policy that has left Black people — especially Black women — behind.”

Jury Convicts Two Boogaloo Movement Members in Plot to Kidnap Michigan Governor

Aug 24, 2022

A jury in Michigan has convicted two members of the far-right boogaloo movement of conspiring to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020. The men, Barry Croft and Adam Fox, face up to life in prison. During closing arguments, prosecutors claimed the men were hoping to “set off a second American civil war.” Defense lawyers have maintained their clients were entrapped by FBI informants.

National Archives Says Trump Took 700 Pages of Classified Documents from White House

Aug 24, 2022

The National Archives is claiming Donald Trump took more than 700 pages of classified documents to his resort in Florida after leaving the White House. That’s according to a letter the National Archives sent to Trump’s lawyers in May. The letter also appears to confirm some of the documents were highly sensitive material related to special access programs. The Archives released the letter on Tuesday — just over two weeks after FBI agents searched Trump’s property at Mar-a-Lago and seized more documents that had not been previously turned over.

Ex-Louisville Cop Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Warrant for Raid on Breonna Taylor’s Home

Aug 24, 2022

A former Louisville police detective has pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to falsify the search warrant used to justify the deadly raid on Breonna Taylor’s home two years ago. Kelly Goodlett, who resigned from the Louisville police earlier this month, becomes the first officer to be convicted for involvement in the raid during which police officers shot Taylor dead in her own home.

Charges Dropped Against Atlanta Cops in Shooting Death of Rayshard Brooks

Aug 24, 2022

In Georgia, a special prosecutor has dropped charges against two Atlanta police officers involved in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, an unarmed 27-year-old Black man who was shot dead in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant in 2020. The incident began when police found Brooks sleeping in his car outside the Wendy’s. The police questioned Brooks, patted him down and gave him a breathalyzer test. During a scuffle, he grabbed one of the officers’ stun guns and attempted to run away. An officer then shot Brooks in the back two times. The officer, Garrett Rolfe, can then be heard on a bodycam video saying, “I got him.” The president of the NAACP in Georgia, Gerald Griggs, criticized the decision to drop charges, saying, “There is no statute of limitations on a murder case, and there will be no statute of limitations on our efforts to ensure there is justice for Rayshard Brooks.”

Justice Department Launches Probe into Arkansas Officers After Brutal Beating

Aug 24, 2022

In more news about police violence, the Justice Department has launched a federal civil rights probe into three officers in Arkansas who were filmed on Saturday brutally beating 27-year-old Randal Worcester as they pressed him face-first into the pavement. The three officers involved have been suspended.

U.S. Bombs Syria in Attempt to Take Out Sites Affiliated with Iran

Aug 24, 2022

In news from the Middle East, the U.S. has announced it carried out airstrikes in eastern Syria on Tuesday. In a statement, the U.S. Central Command said the strikes targeted sites affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the U.S. attacks killed at least six Syrian and foreign fighters. Iran’s Foreign Ministry condemned the U.S. strikes as a “violation by the U.S. Army of the people and infrastructures of Syria.”

Ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Begins 12-Year-Sentence

Aug 24, 2022

In Malaysia, former Prime Minister Najib Razak will serve 12 years in prison for his role in looting some $4.5 billion from the state fund. A top court on Tuesday upheld Razak’s 2020 conviction on money laundering, abuse of power and other corruption-related charges. Many called the verdict historic, as Razak is the first former Malaysian prime minister to be sent to prison. He served from 2009 to 2018, when he was defeated in that year’s election due to mounting public anger over the fraud scandal.

Thai Court Suspends Prime Minister over Term Limit Dispute

Aug 24, 2022

In Thailand, the Constitutional Court has suspended Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha from official duties as it reviews a petition challenging the legality of his eight-year term limit. The petition was filed by Thailand’s leading opposition party, arguing his time spent as head of a military government after he staged a coup in 2014 should count toward his constitutionally stipulated term as prime minister.

Mexican Reporter Fredid Román Shot Dead, 15th Journalist Killed This Year in Mexico

Aug 24, 2022

In Mexico, journalist and columnist Fredid Román was shot dead in the state of Guerrero Monday. He’s the 15th journalist killed in Mexico so far in 2022. Román was reportedly gunned down by unknown attackers on a motorcycle in the city of Chilpancingo. Before his murder, Román had published a column discussing the alleged involvement of local politicians in the 2014 disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa and a new report by Mexico’s truth commission calling the disappearances a “state crime.”

Texas Declares Emergencies in 20 Counties After Massive Floods

Aug 24, 2022

Texas has declared emergencies in over 20 counties after torrential rain in recent days triggered flash floods, turning roads into rivers, destroying homes and killing at least one person. In the city of Mesquite, a woman died after her car was swept away by floodwaters. She was identified as 60-year-old Jolene Jarrell, a mother and grandmother who worked as an Uber driver. She was on her way home from dropping off a passenger when she was caught in the massive flood.

5-Year-Old Guatemalan Girl Drowns Trying to Cross Rio Grande

Aug 24, 2022

In more news from Texas, a 5-year-old girl from Guatemala drowned in the Rio Grande Monday. Margaret Sofia was reportedly ripped from her mother’s arms after the girl was pulled by heavy muddy waters as they tried to swim across the river between Juárez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas. The girl’s mother, Silvia García del Carmen, was rescued. This is the head of firefighters in Ciudad Juárez.
bq. Sergio Rodríguez: “The water levels of the Bravo River are swollen, and people who try to cross are risking their lives. That is what happened in this case. We received a report of a person in this part of the river. The fire and rescue departments intervened and rescued the body of a 5-year-old girl.”
This comes as the Biden administration continues to enforce Title 42, the Trump-era, pandemic policy which has blocked some 2 million asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border from entering the country through safer routes and ports of entry to apply for refuge in the United States.

Ex-Security Head of Twitter Warns of “Extreme, Egregious Deficiencies” in Security Protocols at Social Media Giant

Aug 24, 2022

The former head of security at Twitter has filed a whistleblower complaint with federal agencies describing what he calls “extreme, egregious deficiencies by Twitter” that pose a threat to user privacy and national security. The software engineer Peiter Zatko, who is better known by his hacker name “Mudge,” alleges Twitter has misled federal regulators about its cybersecurity defenses. He spoke on CNN Tuesday.
bq. Peiter Zatko: “There’s an analogy of an airplane. So, you get on an airplane, and every passenger and the attendant crew all have access to the cockpit, to the controls. You know, that’s entirely unnecessary. It might be easy, but there — it’s too easy to accidentally, or intentionally, turn an engine off.”

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