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HeadlinesAugust 29, 2022

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“Serious Climate Catastrophe”: Unprecedented Floods Displace Millions in Pakistan

Aug 29, 2022

Pakistan has declared a national emergency as massive floods continue to devastate the country. At least 119 people died over the weekend, bringing the death toll to over 1,000 since June. More than 33 million people have been displaced. Pakistan’s top climate official described the flooding as a “serious climate catastrophe.” Floods have swept away homes, roads and bridges across Pakistan, where some regions have received 600% more rain than usual. This is Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif: “When the plane was landing just now, I looked down with great concentration. It looked like the angry waves of the River Indus had spread across the whole region. The flood of 2010 was a very huge flood in our history, but I feel that this flood has caused much greater havoc. There is extreme devastation all around. More than 900 people have died.”

Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, Warns Residents to “Get Out Now” as Floodwaters Rise

Aug 29, 2022

In Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves has declared a state of emergency, after torrential rains caused the Pearl River to overflow its banks, causing massive flooding. In Mississippi’s capital city, Jackson, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba on Sunday urged residents in flood zones to pack enough supplies to last for several days and to evacuate.

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba: “If you are capable of getting out now, get out now. Get out as soon as possible.”

Today the Pearl River is expected to crest at nearly 36 feet — 10 feet higher than what’s normally considered a flood stage.

DOJ Releases Affidavit Used to Justify FBI Search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

Aug 29, 2022

The Justice Department has released a redacted version of the affidavit the FBI used to get a search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. The affidavit revealed authorities were concerned Trump still had possession of top-secret documents that could have compromised U.S. intelligence sources and methods. It also revealed the National Archives had recovered 184 classified documents at Mar-a-Lago in January. Twenty-five of those documents were marked “top secret,” and some included information intercepted under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The affidavit went on to state, “There is also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found.” In related news, a federal judge in Florida, who was appointed by Trump, has indicated she will agree to his request to authorize a special master to review the documents seized by the FBI.

Anti-Radiation Iodine Tablets Handed Out as Fighting Rages Near Russian-Held Nuclear Plant

Aug 29, 2022

In Ukraine, Russian and Ukrainian forces continue to trade heavy fire around the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, raising fears of a major radiation disaster. Over the weekend, Ukraine accused Russia of using positions near the plant’s six nuclear reactors to stage artillery attacks on nearby Ukrainian towns. Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry says it shot down a Ukrainian drone near the Zaporizhzhia plant’s nuclear waste enclosure. Russia also accused Ukraine of shelling the site several times, which Ukrainian officials deny. Officials have started handing out iodine tablets to some 400,000 people living near the plant to help protect them from a potential radioactive release. This comes as the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency says a team of experts is on its way to Zaporizhzhia and will arrive later this week to evaluate the safety and security of Europe's largest nuclear power station.

Russia Blocks Draft of U.N. Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

Aug 29, 2022

At the United Nations, a month-long meeting to review the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty has ended in failure after Russia objected to a joint statement from 151 nations because it included a paragraph about its occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

32 Killed, Over 150 Injured as Rival Militias Clash in Libya’s Capital

Aug 29, 2022

In Libya, at least 32 people died and 159 people were wounded Saturday as rival militias fought in Tripoli. It was the heaviest fighting seen in Libya’s capital in two years. The dead included at least 17 civilians. Libya has been in a state of crisis for over a decade after NATO helped rebels topple the government of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Since February, Libya has had two prime ministers competing for power. Saturday’s fighting was between militias with ties to each of the men.

EPA to Reclassify “Forever Chemicals” as Hazardous

Aug 29, 2022

The Environmental Protection Agency has moved to reclassify two commonly used chemicals as “hazardous substances,” after a growing body of scientific research linked them to cancer and other health problems. On Friday, the EPA said its move to reclassify PFAS under the federal Superfund law could accelerate cleanup efforts at hundreds of toxic sites across the U.S. PFAS are often called “forever chemicals,” because they can take centuries to break down in the environment. They’re used in everything from food packaging and cookware to cosmetics, fabrics and firefighting foam. In humans, PFAS have been linked to a host of dangerous health effects, including liver damage, decreased fertility, asthma, thyroid disease, low infant birth weight and cancer.

Fed Chair Says U.S. Must Suffer “Pain” of Higher Interest Rates to Battle Inflation

Aug 29, 2022

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has warned that efforts to control inflation will bring “pain” to many households. Powell spoke in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday.

Jerome Powell: “Reducing inflation is likely to require a sustained period of below-trend growth. Moreover, there will very likely be some softening of labor market conditions. While higher interest rates, slower growth and softer labor market conditions will bring down inflation, they will also bring some pain to households and businesses. These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation. But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.”

Progressives, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, have warned Powell’s moves will lead the United States into a recession. Reich said, “The pain is already being felt across the land. Most Americans aren’t getting inflation-adjusted wage increases, which means they’re becoming poorer.”

Asylum Seeker Dies by Suicide at For-Profit ICE Jail in New Mexico

Aug 29, 2022

In New Mexico, a 23-year-old asylum seeker from Brazil has died by suicide while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Kesley Vial was being indefinitely detained at the troubled Torrance detention center as he awaited his deportation to Brazil. The American Civil Liberties Union said Vial’s death was the “result of abhorrent conditions and treatment” by ICE and Torrance staff. Torrance is managed by the private prison corporation CoreCivic. Last year it failed its annual government inspection due to chronic understaffing and unsanitary and unsafe conditions.

Ethiopian Forces Blamed for Airstrike on Tigray Kindergarten That Killed 7

Aug 29, 2022

In Ethiopia, at least seven people, including several children, were killed Friday when government forces attacked a kindergarten in the northern Tigray region. The attack in Tigray’s regional capital, Mekelle, came as a five-month truce between Ethiopia’s military and separatist rebels unraveled, threatening to worsen a humanitarian crisis that’s already among the worst in the world. The U.N. says the fighting has left about half of Tigray’s 6 million residents on the brink of famine.

6 of 43 Kidnapped Mexican Students Were Kept Alive for Days Before Their 2014 Murder

Aug 29, 2022

Mexico’s truth commission investigating the 2014 disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa reported Friday six of them were kept alive in a warehouse for days before they were turned over to a local army commander who ordered their execution. Last week the truth commission called the disappearances a “state crime.” On Friday, hundreds took to the streets of Mexico City demanding justice for the 43 — and Mexico’s other disappeared people. This is Hilda Hernández, the parent of a missing student.

Hilda Hernández: “We want justice. A lot of evidence points to the fact that the former attorney general, Jesús Murillo, obstructed the investigation, whether by omission or participation. He has to pay. As a mother, I tell you we still feel pain. And this man has never touched his heart.”

Thousands Rally to Oppose Corruption Charges Against Argentina’s Vice President

Aug 29, 2022

In Argentina, thousands of people took to the streets of Buenos Aires Saturday to defend Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner against allegations of corruption. Kirchner is accused of defrauding the state in a scheme to divert public funds during her term as president from 2007 to 2015. The weekend protest came just days after prosecutors called for a 12-year prison sentence and a ban on public office for Kirchner. Police fired tear gas at protesters, and at least four people were arrested.

California Governor Threatens to Veto Bill Making It Easier for Farmworkers to Unionize

Aug 29, 2022

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom has threatened to veto a bill that would make it easier for farmworkers to cast their ballots in union elections remotely, via mail. In a veto statement released Friday, Governor Newsom suggested he’s willing to negotiate changes to the legislation. The measure is backed by the United Farm Workers, which has vowed to continue fighting to expand voting accessibility in farmworkers’ unionization efforts. Newsom’s veto threat came on the same day the San Francisco Chronicle reported a wine company he co-founded with billionaire Gordon Getty purchased a new vineyard in Napa County for $14.5 million. Farmworkers have often denounced a chronic lack of protections and unsafe working conditions at California’s vineyards. We’ll have more on this story with the president of the United Farm Workers later in the broadcast.

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