Politics
Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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Politics

Hurricane Ian Lands in Florida

Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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The context
Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida today, slamming southwest Florida with heavy rain and high winds. The Biden administration authorized FEMA to provide aid in Florida as the storm surge threatened homes and lives.
Politics
Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Hurricane Ian Lands in Florida

The context
Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida today, slamming southwest Florida with heavy rain and high winds. The Biden administration authorized FEMA to provide aid in Florida as the storm surge threatened homes and lives.
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Surging tide

  • Hurricane Ian started creating storm surges as high as 18 feet on Wednesday afternoon.
  • The surges are some of the highest ever recorded.
  • Surges are the most deadly element of a hurricane because they cause extreme flooding in coastal areas.
  • 8-12 feet of surge flooding is expected between Bonita Beach and Chokoloskee in southern Florida. 6-10 feet is expected from Englewood to Longboat Key.
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Politics

Ken Paxton Runs Away

Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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The context
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton went viral for fleeing his home to avoid being served a subpoena to appear in an abortion case.
Politics
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Ken Paxton Runs Away

The context
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton went viral for fleeing his home to avoid being served a subpoena to appear in an abortion case.
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Under cover

  • Ernest Martin Herrera was attempting to serve Ken Paxton with a subpoena for a lawsuit filed by Texas nonprofits who want to provide Texans with funding to travel out of state to get abortions.
  • Paxton avoided the process server at all costs and eventually got into his wife's car and drove away from his house.
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Court filing

  • Paxton claimed he was protecting his family by fleeing the process server.
  • Paxton criticized the media as well for reporting without knowing the contents of the affidavit.
  • Federal Judge Robert Pittman eventually squashed the subpoena and granted Paxton a reprieve from testimony.
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Politics

Review Submitted

Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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The context
The DOJ submitted a detailed materials list to the special master appointed by the courts to review the documents seized by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago. The list refutes Trump's lawyers' claim that the FBI planted evidence on his property.
Politics
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Review Submitted

The context
The DOJ submitted a detailed materials list to the special master appointed by the courts to review the documents seized by the FBI from Mar-a-Lago. The list refutes Trump's lawyers' claim that the FBI planted evidence on his property.
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Accurate on our end

  • The Justice Department submitted an affidavit declaring that the inventory presented a full and accurate picture of the search to refute the claims that they planted evidence.
  • The FBI only had one day to compile the first inventory list, and this new version is more accurate because they had more time to evaluate the inventory of items.
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Special master's role

  • A former senior official in the DOJ, Sarah Isgur, told viewers of ABC that the special master would tell Trump to "put up or shut up" regarding the claims he's made about the seizure of documents.
  • Trump's team has until Friday to provide Judge Raymond Dearie with evidence that the FBI planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago or that the former president declassified anything.
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Politics

Snowden's New Home in Russia

Monday, September 26, 2022
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The context
Edward Snowden, who has been living in Russia since 2013 when he was stranded in Moscow's airport on his way to Ecuador, was granted citizenship by Russian President Vladimir Putin today. Snowden is a former U.S. intelligence contractor who leaked classified NSA documents about mass surveillance techniques to news organizations in 2013.
Politics
Monday, September 26, 2022

Snowden's New Home in Russia

The context
Edward Snowden, who has been living in Russia since 2013 when he was stranded in Moscow's airport on his way to Ecuador, was granted citizenship by Russian President Vladimir Putin today. Snowden is a former U.S. intelligence contractor who leaked classified NSA documents about mass surveillance techniques to news organizations in 2013.
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Putin grants

  • Vladimir Putin signed a decree that granted Edward Snowden Russian citizenship.
  • The whistleblower fled the U.S. in 2013 and was granted asylum in Russia. He has been residing in Russia with his wife and child since.
  • The news comes amidst widespread criticism of Putin over his decision to mobilize reservists to fight in Ukraine.
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New home

  • Snowden is one of the world's most high-profile fugitives for leaking mass surveillance techniques to news organizations.
  • In 2020, Snowden said that he decided to apply for Russian citizenship to give his family greater security and freedom to cross borders.
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The context
Mitch McConnell introduced Arizona's Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema at his center in Kentucky, praising the first-term senator for her defense of the filibuster. Sinema went on to deliver a speech at the McConnell Center.
The context
Mitch McConnell introduced Arizona's Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema at his center in Kentucky, praising the first-term senator for her defense of the filibuster. Sinema went on to deliver a speech at the McConnell Center.
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In defense of the filibuster

  • In her speech at the McConnell Center, Sinema spoke about wanting to restore the 60-vote threshold for all executive and judicial branch nominees.
  • The threshold was ended in 2013 by Harry Reid and Congressional Democrats in favor of a simple majority.
  • Sinema advocated for reinstating the 60-vote threshold in 2019 in a statement to Politico where she said she wanted to restore the Senate's supermajority.
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McConnell's a fan

  • McConnell praised Sinema, who is a Democrat, for her apparent bipartisanship and defense of the filibuster.
  • He called her a "geniune moderate" and a "dealmaker."
  • In response, Sinema touter her record with bipartisanship and said that the Senate shouldn't be a legislative body that rushes through decisions and breeds cooperation.
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Politics

New Autopsy Results Released

Friday, September 23, 2022
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The context
Stephen Cina, an Adams County, Colorado coroner, released an amended autopsy report today. The amended autopsy lists Elijah McClain's cause of death as an overdose of ketamine, which was administered by officers who forcibly restrained McClain in a chokehold as he was walking home from a convenience store in 2019.
Politics
Friday, September 23, 2022

New Autopsy Results Released

The context
Stephen Cina, an Adams County, Colorado coroner, released an amended autopsy report today. The amended autopsy lists Elijah McClain's cause of death as an overdose of ketamine, which was administered by officers who forcibly restrained McClain in a chokehold as he was walking home from a convenience store in 2019.
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Finally amended

  • McClain was just 23-year-old when he was killed.
  • When the Aurora, Colorado police department did an investigation in 2019, it found no policy violations but an independent investigation ruled that the officers had no basis to use any sort of force on McClain.
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Politics

Yet Another Special Master Hiccup

Friday, September 23, 2022
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The context
An appeals court dealt former president Donald Trump's legal team a significant blow, ruling that the DOJ can resume reviewing the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago and rejecting Trump's argument that he declassified the documents, saying that even if he had, the documents still belong to the government.
Politics
Friday, September 23, 2022

Yet Another Special Master Hiccup

The context
An appeals court dealt former president Donald Trump's legal team a significant blow, ruling that the DOJ can resume reviewing the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago and rejecting Trump's argument that he declassified the documents, saying that even if he had, the documents still belong to the government.
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Too much for one master

  • Judge Raymond Dearie has proposed that former Magistrate Judge James Orenstein help him complete the review of the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago.
  • Dearie also gave Trump's legal team until September 30th to back up their claim that the FBI planted evidence at Mar-a-Lago with an itemized list of documents they believe were planted.
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Can go criminal

  • A federal appeals court ruled that the DOJ can resume reviewing the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago and they can use them in a criminal investigation into Trump.
  • The ruling repeals an earlier ruling by Trump-appointed judge Aileen Cannon.
  • Trump nominated two of the three 11th Circuit judges that ruled on the DOJ appeal.
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Politics

GOP Reveals Plan for the House

Friday, September 23, 2022
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The context
House Minority Leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy rolled out the GOP's 'Commitment to America,' which is a legislative plan for the party if they take the House in the November midterms.
Politics
Friday, September 23, 2022

GOP Reveals Plan for the House

The context
House Minority Leader, Representative Kevin McCarthy rolled out the GOP's 'Commitment to America,' which is a legislative plan for the party if they take the House in the November midterms.
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Details

  • Amongst the various calls to action, McCarthy revealed that the party would support legislation that bans transgender athletes from competing in women's sports.
  • They also pledge in the plan to propose federal legislation to restrict abortion access in the whole country instead of leaving it up to the states, which has been the party's previous platform.
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House agenda

  • McCarthy revealed the plan today, and it is the most concrete attempt yet by the GOP to provide their legislative plan to voters.
  • At the core of the agenda is a Republican call for law and order and economic growth.
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Politics

House Passes Policing Bills

Thursday, September 22, 2022
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The context
The House passed four new policing bills after divisions in the Democratic party caused the bills to stall out temporarily. The bills eventually passed after lengthy negotiations between progressive and more moderate Democrats.
Politics
Thursday, September 22, 2022

House Passes Policing Bills

The context
The House passed four new policing bills after divisions in the Democratic party caused the bills to stall out temporarily. The bills eventually passed after lengthy negotiations between progressive and more moderate Democrats.
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Pro-police

  • Democrats have been fielding criticisms that the party is weak on crime, which prompted House Democrats to pull together four policing bills.
  • The bills aren't expected to pass in the Senate and are mostly a messaging tool.
  • Moderate Democrats want to reassure voters that they are not anti-police.
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Divided dems

  • The House finally passed the bills after last-minute objections from members of a progressive group of Democrats almost prevented the bills from passing.
  • One of the bills allocates federal grants to law enforcement agencies with less than 125 officers.
  • Another bill allocates grants to coordinated community violence initiatives in areas with a disproportionately high number of homicides and violent incidents.
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Politics

Second Act of Sandy Hook Trial

Thursday, September 22, 2022
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The context
Alex Jones once again appeared before a court in Connecticut to try and limit the amount of damages he has been ordered to pay to the parents of a victim of the Sandy Hook Shooting.
Politics
Thursday, September 22, 2022

Second Act of Sandy Hook Trial

The context
Alex Jones once again appeared before a court in Connecticut to try and limit the amount of damages he has been ordered to pay to the parents of a victim of the Sandy Hook Shooting.
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Back on the stand

  • Jones took to the stand today before a jury deciding how much Jones owes the families of Sandy Hook victims for slandering them and promoting the conspiracy theory that Sandy Hook was a hoax.
  • Jones's conduct outside the courtroom has been aggressive, holding press conferences outside the courthouse and calling the judge a tyrant.
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Try this again

  • The judge overseeing the trial, Judge Christopher Lopez, ordered new officials to handle the bankruptcy filing of Alex Jones's media company, Infowars.
  • Judge Lopez changed the officials in response to the trial's lack of honesty and transparency.
  • Jones filed for bankruptcy to limit the amount he would be liable to pay to the parents of the 10 Sandy Hook victims who sued him for damages.
  • Judge Lopez also imposed additional oversight on the Infowars host in response to his refusal to comply with discovery orders.
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Politics

Biden Addresses Putin at the UN

Wednesday, September 21, 2022
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The context
President Biden delivered a fiery address at the United Nations General Assembly today condemning Putin's war on Ukraine and calling on the UN to step forward to uphold the values of its charter. President Biden has pushed for more aid to Ukraine, especially after a surprise offensive that pushed Russian forces east and retook large swaths of the country.
Politics
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Biden Addresses Putin at the UN

The context
President Biden delivered a fiery address at the United Nations General Assembly today condemning Putin's war on Ukraine and calling on the UN to step forward to uphold the values of its charter. President Biden has pushed for more aid to Ukraine, especially after a surprise offensive that pushed Russian forces east and retook large swaths of the country.
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Focus on Ukraine

  • President Biden focused on the impact of Russia's war on Ukraine on global security and Putin's violation of the United Nations charter.
  • Biden announced new aid for countries facing food shortages caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
  • He also spoke about the importance of the United Nations coalescing behind its charter and principles in response to President Putin's ongoing campaign to violate Ukraine's sovereignty.
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Russia made a mess of the UN

  • President Biden spent most of his time before the general assembly eviscerating Russian president Vladimir Putin.
  • Biden said that Russia had made a mockery of the UN charter through their invasion of Ukraine and their threat to use nuclear weapons if any members of the UN intervened.
  • President Biden's speech followed an announcement earlier today by Putin that he is activating members of the reserves to bolster the waning number of troops in Ukraine. Putin also hinted he would use nuclear weapons to intimidate other nations.
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The context
The New York Attorney General, Letitia James, has filed a $250 million lawsuit against former president Donald Trump. The lawsuit alleges that Trump defrauded lenders by inflating and falsifying statements about his wealth.
Politics
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

$250 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Donald Trump

The context
The New York Attorney General, Letitia James, has filed a $250 million lawsuit against former president Donald Trump. The lawsuit alleges that Trump defrauded lenders by inflating and falsifying statements about his wealth.
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Not just Donald

  • The suit names three of Trump's children, as well as two business executives as coconspirators in the scheme.
  • James is seeking to bar the Trump Organization from making real estate transactions for the next five years.
  • In the suit, James accuses Trump's team of creating more than 200 inflated evaluations of company finances.
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Politics

Another Special Master Hiccup

Tuesday, September 20, 2022
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The context
Former President Trump's request for a special master to review the documents the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago may have backfired. Judge Raymond Dearie, who was appointed as the special master, has asked Trump's team to prove that he declassified the records before removing them from the White House.
Politics
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Another Special Master Hiccup

The context
Former President Trump's request for a special master to review the documents the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago may have backfired. Judge Raymond Dearie, who was appointed as the special master, has asked Trump's team to prove that he declassified the records before removing them from the White House.
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Pick a lane

  • Judge Raymond Dearie summoned the former president's attorneys to his chambers in New York today.
  • During the meeting, he questioned the attorneys, asking them to provide evidence that Trump made any attempt to declassify the documents found in his possession at Mar-a-Lago.
  • Trump's lawyers have tried to resist Dearie's requests for proof, saying it could make Trump vulnerable in the case of criminal charges being filed.
  • He also reminded the lawyers that the charges against Trump are still civil in nature, which means that the burden of proof to substantiate any claims made by the team is on them.
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Clear this up

  • During the first public hearing led by Dearie, he told Trump's team; "You can't have your cake and eat it too," referencing the team's desire to have a special master appointed but then refuse to cooperate with the special master's requests.
  • Dearie has until November 30th to complete his review of the documents.
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Separate filing

  • Trump's legal team filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to further block the DOJ from accessing the records seized from Mar-a-Lago.
  • His team claims that the documents are protected by executive privilege, but the DOJ argues that executive privilege only applies to the sitting president and that executive privilege is not justifiable cause to block a criminal investigation or address national security concerns.
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Politics

Feeding Our Future's Fed a Fraud

Tuesday, September 20, 2022
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The context
The founder of Feeding Our Future is one of 47 people arrested in the largest pandemic fraud in the U.S., which funneled $250 million in federal food aid funding into the pockets of various Minnesota business owners associated with the nonprofit designed to feed needy children.
Politics
Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Feeding Our Future's Fed a Fraud

The context
The founder of Feeding Our Future is one of 47 people arrested in the largest pandemic fraud in the U.S., which funneled $250 million in federal food aid funding into the pockets of various Minnesota business owners associated with the nonprofit designed to feed needy children.
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Indictments issued

  • The scheme defrauded the government of more than $250 million in pandemic funds intended to provide children with access to food and adequate nutrition during the pandemic.
  • It is the largest pandemic fraud in the U.S. and the largest federal case ever brought in the state of Minnesota.
  • U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announced the indictments today, saying that the business owners exploited a federal child nutrition program that funded restaurants that participated in the food aid program and distributed food to children outside of school programs.
  • The founder of Feeding Our Future, Aimee Bock, is charged with submitting fake invoices which supposedly proved they were using the funds to provide meals to thousands of children per day at their 200 program sites.
  • Bock and the other conspirators in the scheme are accused of taking bribes, lying to authorities about using funds, and pocketing the funds for their own lavish purchases.
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Uncovering the scheme

  • The $250 million was used to buy homes, resort properties, luxury cars, expensive jewelry, and other luxury items instead of being used to feed needy kids in Minnesota.
  • The scheme lasted from 2020 to 2021 when suspicious authorities halted payments to Feed Our Future, and the FBI began investigating.
  • The DOJ has seized $50 million in property from the 47 people involved in the fraud.
  • The accused would make up false rosters of children fed at the sites and report the same number of meals served at each location, which tipped off authorities. Others took bribes, pocketed money from the nonprofit instead of using it to provide children with food, or laundered the funds given to them by the government to feed the children.
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Politics

Mark Frerichs Freed by Taliban

Monday, September 19, 2022
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The context
The family of Mark Frerichs, a navy veteran who worked as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan, says the Taliban have freed him in a suspected prisoner swap for Bashir Noorzai, a notorious drug lord and member of the Taliban.
Politics
Monday, September 19, 2022

Mark Frerichs Freed by Taliban

The context
The family of Mark Frerichs, a navy veteran who worked as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan, says the Taliban have freed him in a suspected prisoner swap for Bashir Noorzai, a notorious drug lord and member of the Taliban.
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Prisoner swap

  • Frerichs was abducted in January 2020 and has been held in Afghanistan since. He is rumored to have been held by the Haqqani network, which is closely linked to the Taliban.
  • Bashir Noorazi is an associate of the Taliban and has been held in the US since 2008 after being convicted of heroin trafficking.
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Narrow window

  • President Biden executed the prisoner swap in a matter of months, agreeing to commute the life sentence of Noorzai after 17 years in U.S. custody.
  • Frerichs spent two and half years in captivity. Biden called the swap a difficult decision, as Frerichs had done nothing to deserve his imprisonment while Noorzai had been in charge of the world's largest heroin smuggling operation and had frequently helped the Taliban.
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Politics

Devastation in the Caribbean

Monday, September 19, 2022
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The context
Hurricane Fiona hit the Caribbean yesterday, knocking out power on the entire island of Puerto Rico before moving on to the Dominican Republic, causing landslides and dangerous flooding.
Politics
Monday, September 19, 2022

Devastation in the Caribbean

The context
Hurricane Fiona hit the Caribbean yesterday, knocking out power on the entire island of Puerto Rico before moving on to the Dominican Republic, causing landslides and dangerous flooding.
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Progression

  • Fiona started as a tropical storm, but then intensified into a hurricane as it barreled down on Puerto Rico on Sunday.
  • While the wind strengths were not as high as Hurricane Maria last year, the storm dropped a huge amount of rain on the island, causing extreme flooding and knocking out power for the island's residents.
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Rescue operations

  • In some areas of Puerto Rico, as much as 30 inches of rain fell on Sunday afternoon through the night. The island is currently in the eye of the storm.
  • The National Guard is currently working to rescue stranded residents.
  • As of this morning, more than 1.3 million residents of Puerto Rico are without power.
  • President Biden designated Hurricane Fiona an emergency, which activated the National Guard and other federal agencies to coordinate relief efforts.
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Politics

Special Master Appointed

Friday, September 16, 2022
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The context
Judge Aileen Cannon has appointed a special master to review the documents seized from Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago. She appointed Raymond J. Dearie and denied an appeal by the DOJ, blocking them from reviewing the documents until the special master completes a review.
Politics
Friday, September 16, 2022

Special Master Appointed

The context
Judge Aileen Cannon has appointed a special master to review the documents seized from Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago. She appointed Raymond J. Dearie and denied an appeal by the DOJ, blocking them from reviewing the documents until the special master completes a review.
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Next steps

  • One victory for the DOJ is that Judge Cannon required former President Trump's team to pay for the cost of the special master.
  • Dearie will review the documents that have been categorized as "classified" first, then move to the rest of the documents.
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Special master set

  • Judge Aileen M. Cannon rejected an appeal by the DOJ, which requested she lift a pause on the DOJ's investigation and review of the documents.
  • She appointed a semiretired judge from New York, Raymond J. Dearie, to review the more than 11,000 records. The DOJ objected to his appointment because he still occasionally hears cases, and judges who are still actively serving are not supposed to have other employment.
  • The DOJ's investigation is effectively on pause until Dearie completes his review.
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Politics

Update on Martha's Vineyard

Friday, September 16, 2022
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The context
The governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, provided an update saying that the immigrants who were flown to Martha's Vineyard under false pretenses by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will voluntarily depart to a military base in Cape Cod where they will be housed and given humanitarian aid.
Politics
Friday, September 16, 2022

Update on Martha's Vineyard

The context
The governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, provided an update saying that the immigrants who were flown to Martha's Vineyard under false pretenses by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will voluntarily depart to a military base in Cape Cod where they will be housed and given humanitarian aid.
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Perspective of immigrants

  • The migrants who were flown to Martha's Vineyard came to the U.S. from Venezuela.
  • After landing, they were taken to a community center, fed and given shelter.
  • Many of the immigrants had been travelling for long periods of time, traveling through multiple countries to make it to the U.S.
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Off to Cape Cod

  • Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts announced that he would activate 125 members of the National Guard to house, care for and facilitate the transition to Cape Cod for the immigrants.
  • The military base in Cape Cod has been used as an emergency shelter before, including sheltering Louisiana residents impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
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Politics

Amtrack Crisis Averted

Thursday, September 15, 2022
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The context
Amtrack, the leaders of railroad workers unions, and president Biden all convened to avert a potential strike scheduled for Friday if Amtrack failed to settle with union leaders who demanded better conditions for workers.
Politics
Thursday, September 15, 2022

Amtrack Crisis Averted

The context
Amtrack, the leaders of railroad workers unions, and president Biden all convened to avert a potential strike scheduled for Friday if Amtrack failed to settle with union leaders who demanded better conditions for workers.
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Biden's role

  • Amtrack and the labor union leaders spent 20 hours in the final stretch of negotiations with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
  • President Biden spoke to the negotiating parties at around 9 p.m. last night to say that a railway shutdown was unacceptable. Both parties credited Biden's intervention with providing the kick they needed to agree on a deal finally.
  • The tentative agreement was announced at 5 a.m. this morning. The labor unions will need to approve the deal, but the potential Friday strike has been averted.
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White House announcement

  • The White House announced the agreement between Amtrack and the negotiating labor unions in the nick of time. If they hadn't reached a deal, the Amtrack workers were planning to go on strike on Friday.
  • Amtrack will resume the train services it paused in anticipation of the possible strike.
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Politics

Senate to Hear Marriage Equality Bill

Thursday, September 15, 2022
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The context
The Senate will delay voting on a bill to codify same-sex marriage until after the midterm elections, as it is more likely they will have the votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.
Politics
Thursday, September 15, 2022

Senate to Hear Marriage Equality Bill

The context
The Senate will delay voting on a bill to codify same-sex marriage until after the midterm elections, as it is more likely they will have the votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.
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After the elections

  • The Respect for Marriage Act passed in the House in July.
  • Senator Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin is the lead negotiator for the bill. She announced today that the bill would hit the Senate floor after the midterm elections in November.
  • The bill itself repeals the Defense of Marriage Act which defines marriage as the union between a man and woman.
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GOP strategy

  • The bill is one component of the Democratically controlled House's response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The overturning marked the first time the Supreme Court revoked a constitutional right.
  • The bill is expected to pass in the Senate when it is voted on. The Republican negotiators for the bill hope they will receive more support after the midterms.
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Politics

More Information from Martha's Vineyard

Thursday, September 15, 2022
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The context
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took credit for sending a privately chartered plane filled with 50 immigrants to the island of Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts. The plane took off from San Antonio, Texas, and the passengers were told they were being sent to Boston.
Politics
Thursday, September 15, 2022

More Information from Martha's Vineyard

The context
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took credit for sending a privately chartered plane filled with 50 immigrants to the island of Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts. The plane took off from San Antonio, Texas, and the passengers were told they were being sent to Boston.
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Experience of passengers

  • The 50 passengers on the plane were flown from San Antonio, Texas, on a plane chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The plane was unannounced and unexpected at Martha's Vineyard airport.
  • The passengers on the plane were approached outside a shelter in San Antonio and told to board the plane to Boston, where they would get expedited papers. The plane stopped briefly in Florida and South Carolina before landing in Martha's Vineyard.
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Political stunt

  • Once the plane landed, the passengers were fed and taken to a local shelter to be housed.
  • Local community members stepped up as translators and offered services to the passengers.
  • DeSantis's actions constitute a steep escalation of a campaign by Texas governor Gregg Abbott who has been busing immigrants to sanctuary cities like Washington and New York.
  • DeSantis is suspected of having presidential ambitions, and this political stunt certainly captured attention, with Massachusetts officials decrying the treatment of the migrants.
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Politics

Patagonia Founder Gives Away Company

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
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The context
The founder, his wife and children, of Patagonia, just gave away the $3 billion company, dedicating the entirety of its profits to fight climate change. Yvon Chouinard founded the outdoor clothing company 50 years ago.
Politics
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Patagonia Founder Gives Away Company

The context
The founder, his wife and children, of Patagonia, just gave away the $3 billion company, dedicating the entirety of its profits to fight climate change. Yvon Chouinard founded the outdoor clothing company 50 years ago.
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No longer a reluctant billionaire

  • Yvon Chouinard and his wife, Claire, transferred ownership of Patagonia almost 50 years after its founding.
  • The profits from the successful retailer will exclusively go towards climate change and protecting wild spaces worldwide.
  • Patagonia has long been an industry pioneer, engaging with political issues like climate change and taking a stand on human rights issues. They even sued the Trump administration on behalf of the Bears Ears National Monument.
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Ownership transfer

  • Patagonia's previously privately held ownership has been transferred to a climate-focused trust, and the profits will be distributed across a group of nonprofits.
  • Yvon Chouinard and his family will remain on the board of directors of Patagonia, and Ryan Gellert, the current CEO, will retain his position.
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Politics

LASD Targets Critics

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
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The context
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department searched the homes of two vocal critics of the department, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Civilian Oversight Commissioner Patti Giggans. The LASD did not reveal the cause of the search but they may be investigating an old contract granting Giggan's nonprofit funding.
Politics
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

LASD Targets Critics

The context
The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department searched the homes of two vocal critics of the department, Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and Civilian Oversight Commissioner Patti Giggans. The LASD did not reveal the cause of the search but they may be investigating an old contract granting Giggan's nonprofit funding.
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Basis for search

  • The LASD said that the search warrant was related to an ongoing public corruption investigation.
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said the investigation was bogus and that the corruption claims had come from a former employee.
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Nonprofit hinge

  • Patti Giggans, one of the search targets, is a member of the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission.
  • Giggans runs Peace Over Violence, a nonprofit that the LASD says is at the center of a public corruption investigation.
  • The investigation is looking into whether a country contract awarded to Peace Over Violence was influenced or swayed by Giggan's friendship with County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.
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Politics

Biden Loves Electric Cars

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
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The context
President Biden made an appearance at the Detroit Auto Show today to promote the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides a massive amount of funding in grants to companies building electric vehicles and chargers.
Politics
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Biden Loves Electric Cars

The context
President Biden made an appearance at the Detroit Auto Show today to promote the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides a massive amount of funding in grants to companies building electric vehicles and chargers.
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Praise the Union

  • President Biden touched down in Detroit to announce the approval of $900 million in infrastructure spending to build a nationwide charging network for electric vehicles.
  • Biden also thanked the role of car manufacturing union members in getting him elected in 2020 and reaffirmed his commitment to creating stateside jobs in the auto industry by union contracts for infrastructure and manufacturing projects.
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Charging grants

  • The North American International Auto Show hasn't been held in Detroit since before the Coronavirus pandemic began.
  • Biden's appearance reaffirmed his administration's commitment to accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles in the U.S.
  • The new grants, made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act, will go to manufacturers to build EV chargers and bolster the production of electric vehicles.
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Politics

Lindell's Phone Seized

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
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The context
MyPillow executive and fervent Donald Trump supporter Mike Lindell's phone was seized by FBI agents investigating false claims made by Lindell that Dominion Voting Systems helped to "steal" the 2020 presidential election.
Politics
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Lindell's Phone Seized

The context
MyPillow executive and fervent Donald Trump supporter Mike Lindell's phone was seized by FBI agents investigating false claims made by Lindell that Dominion Voting Systems helped to "steal" the 2020 presidential election.
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Phone seized

  • Mike Lindell has consistently pushed claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, which Joe Biden won.
  • The FBI seized Lindell's phone while he was in Minnesota.
  • While Lindell spoke about the seizure on his podcast, the Justice Department did not offer any more information than to say that the agents executing the search were acting on a warrant signed by a federal judge.
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More than the phone

  • The FBI also served Lindell with a grand jury subpoena, signaling that their investigation into attempts to meddle with electronic voting machines or discredit their legitimacy is progressing.
  • The subpoena requests documents/objects from Lindell and summons him to a grand jury hearing in Colorado in November.
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The context
Newly released text messages show that former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant helped NFL legend Brett Favre funnel welfare funds from the nations poorest state, to build a volleyball stadium for the University of Southern Mississippi.
The context
Newly released text messages show that former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant helped NFL legend Brett Favre funnel welfare funds from the nations poorest state, to build a volleyball stadium for the University of Southern Mississippi.
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Existing allegations

  • In 2017 and 2018, Brett Farve received $1.1 million from federal welfare funds to deliver motivational speeches, but the Mississippi state auditor discovered that he had never made the speeches.
  • The auditor found that upwards of $70 million in welfare funds had been given to odd causes like Favre's speeches or a horse farm through a nonprofit group that Nancy New, a friend of Phil Bryant's wife, runs.
  • Nancy New and her son pled guilty and agreed to cooperate, releasing text messages and correspondences that show the depth of the corruption in Mississippi's capital.
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Bryant and Favre, co-conspirators

  • Text messages submitted to the court by Nancy New showed that Governor Phil Bryant lobbied for welfare funding to go to Brett Favre's idea to build a volleyball stadium at USM.
  • Favre obtained $5 million in federal welfare funding for the project after Governor Phil Bryant vetted his proposal. The group conspired to front the project as a venue for the nonprofit to use in order for it to qualify for funding.
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The context
President Biden hosted an event at the White House to celebrate the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which included many of his core campaign promises.
Politics
Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Celebrating the Inflation Reduction Act

The context
President Biden hosted an event at the White House to celebrate the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which included many of his core campaign promises.
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Building towards the midterms

  • President Biden invited supporters to the White House to celebrate the Inflation Reduction Act.
  • The act's passage is a significant win for Democrats as they face the upcoming midterms.
  • Biden has claimed that he has the 'strongest' manufacturing jobs creation record of all the former presidents, and the celebration reinforced that claim by focusing on the jobs that the bill will create.
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Biden calls it a win

  • President Biden's celebration will have to contend with the news that consumer prices are still rising, though the price of gas has fallen.
  • Inflation rose in August, which could complicate the rollout of the bill.
  • The bill was passed after Senator Joe Manchin switched his position and supported a new version of the act after Democrats made compromises.
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The context
In an effort to inspire Republican voters before the November midterms, Senator Lindsey Graham proposed a national abortion ban after 15 weeks. Such a bill would be passable if Congress were controlled by the GOP and could override a veto by President Biden.
Politics
Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Graham Tries to Unite Republicans Against Abortion

The context
In an effort to inspire Republican voters before the November midterms, Senator Lindsey Graham proposed a national abortion ban after 15 weeks. Such a bill would be passable if Congress were controlled by the GOP and could override a veto by President Biden.
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Proposal

  • Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina announced a bill proposing a national abortion ban.
  • The ban will restrict abortions after 15 weeks.
  • Abortion is an important issue for voters in the upcoming midterm elections in November.
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GOP front

  • Graham's proposal is likely an effort to unite the GOP on abortion issues before the midterm elections.
  • The ban would create a federal ban on abortions after 15 weeks, which is a little over three months. Many Republican-led states have already passed trigger laws that are more restrictive than the legislation proposed by Graham.
  • Republicans have faced backlash amongst voters for their effort to end the protections of Roe v. Wade. In the post-Roe era, voters increasingly list abortion and reproductive care access as the top issue they are concerned about.
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Politics

Biden Makes Promises in Boston

Monday, September 12, 2022
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The context
President Biden spoke in Boston today as he unveiled the next stages of his Build Back Better campaign. He delivered a speech at John F. Kennedy Library about his commitment to providing funding and resources to finally cure cancer. Then, at Boston Logan Airport, he spoke about his intention to revitalize America's airport with federal infrastructure spending.
Politics
Monday, September 12, 2022

Biden Makes Promises in Boston

The context
President Biden spoke in Boston today as he unveiled the next stages of his Build Back Better campaign. He delivered a speech at John F. Kennedy Library about his commitment to providing funding and resources to finally cure cancer. Then, at Boston Logan Airport, he spoke about his intention to revitalize America's airport with federal infrastructure spending.
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'Cancer Moonshot'

  • Biden delivered his speech, 'Cancer Moonshot,' on the anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's 'Moonshot' where he promised to land an American on the moon.
  • In the speech, Biden revealed his commitment to halving the death rate from cancer in the U.S. in the next quarter century.
  • President Biden's busy stop in Boston precedes his travel to the U.K. to attend the funeral service of the late Queen Elizabeth II.
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Airports are on the agenda

  • President Biden announced a $62 million investment into improving Boston's Logan Airport, coming from the bipartisan infrastructure bill passed past year.
  • The funding will help to improve terminals and reduce emissions.
  • The appearance is part of Biden's tour through the country to highlight and celebrate recent wins by Democrats who are working with narrow majorities in Congress
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Politics

Trump Pressures the Court

Monday, September 12, 2022
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The context
The DOJ is looking to resume reviewing classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, before the official appointment of a special master. Today, Trump filed to block the DOJ from resuming the review.
Politics
Monday, September 12, 2022

Trump Pressures the Court

The context
The DOJ is looking to resume reviewing classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, before the official appointment of a special master. Today, Trump filed to block the DOJ from resuming the review.
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Trump's take

  • In response to the DOJ's effort to get the green light from a federal judge to resume reviewing documents that were seized in the raid on Mar-a-Lago in August, Trump's team filed to block the DOJ from reviewing documents.
  • The DOJ is appealing a ruling by a Trump-appointed Florida Judge that ruled that a special master must be appointed to review the documents before the DOJ can proceed with its investigation.
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Court battle

  • Donald Trump's attorney filed to keep the ruling by Judge Aileen Cannon that a special master must go through the documents seized by the FBI before the DOJ can resume its investigation.
  • Trump's team claims that a ruling by a judge in 2012 opened a pathway for Trump to have legally de-classified documents and house them at this residence.
  • The Justice Department has proposed two possible special masters, both of whom are former federal judges that have handled the case with classified materials before.
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The context
Judge Donald Middlebrooks of the Southern District of Florida threw out a lawsuit filed by former president Donald Trump against Hilary Clinton over allegations that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
Politics
Friday, September 9, 2022

Judge Dismisses Trump Attack on Clinton

The context
Judge Donald Middlebrooks of the Southern District of Florida threw out a lawsuit filed by former president Donald Trump against Hilary Clinton over allegations that Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.
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Tossed out

  • The judge called the lawsuit a forum for Trump to voice any and all grievances he had towards Clinton and her team, and that Trump's team did not present a proper avenue for legal redress of any potential harm that the allegations may have caused his reputation.
  • Trump and his team also waited too long to file the case, exceeding the statue of limitations for his claims based in 2016.
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Inappropriate motivations

  • The judge called out Trump for using the court as a soapbox to complain about people who have opposed him and present his political manifesto.
  • The 108-page lawsuit accused Hilary Clinton, other Democrats, and former FBI Director James Comey all conspiring to create a narrative that Trump worked with Russia to win the 2016 election.
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Politics

DC Declares Public Emergency

Thursday, September 8, 2022
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The context
The mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser, declared a public emergency over busloads of immigrants being sent by Texas and Arizona to the nation's capital.
Politics
Thursday, September 8, 2022

DC Declares Public Emergency

The context
The mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser, declared a public emergency over busloads of immigrants being sent by Texas and Arizona to the nation's capital.
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Bowser responds

  • The Republican governors of border states, Texas and Arizona, have been sending buses of immigrants who crossed into the U.S. from Mexico to Washington D.C.
  • In response, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the creation of the Office of Migrant Affairs, which will support arriving immigrants and receive $10 million in funding.
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Strategy going forward

  • Bowser estimated that 9,400 immigrants have been bused to the Capital since Texas and Arizona began their campaign, which they say is in protest of lackluster immigration laws.
  • The newly created Office of Migrant Services will establish a system for meeting the buses, facilitate travel for families who want to leave D.C. and establish housing support for immigrants who stay in the city.
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Politics

Rest in Peace, Queen Elizabeth

Thursday, September 8, 2022
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The context
Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest reigning monarch, died today at age 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
Politics
Thursday, September 8, 2022

Rest in Peace, Queen Elizabeth

The context
Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest reigning monarch, died today at age 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
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Long reign

  • Queen Elizabeth took the throne in 1952 and is the longest reigning monarch in British history.
  • Her eldest son, Prince Charles, will inherit the throne from his mother.
  • One of her final acts as Queen was to appoint Liz Truss as the country's new Prime Minister.
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End of a long era

  • Queen Elizabeth's reign included World War II, the Cold War, the post-imperial era, and, most recently, Britain's exit from the European Union.
  • Her death is devastating for British citizens, who she steered through periods of uncertainty and upset with characteristic grace.
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Politics

Steve Bannon To Surrender Himself

Wednesday, September 7, 2022
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The context
Steve Bannon is expected to turn himself over to New York authorities on Thursday and face a new criminal charge for his role in the crowdfunding campaign to 'Build the Wall' between Mexico and the U.S., which he and other conspirators used to enrich their own pockets. Trump pardoned Bannon in an earlier iteration of the charges, but New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg is pursuing charges again.
Politics
Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Steve Bannon To Surrender Himself

The context
Steve Bannon is expected to turn himself over to New York authorities on Thursday and face a new criminal charge for his role in the crowdfunding campaign to 'Build the Wall' between Mexico and the U.S., which he and other conspirators used to enrich their own pockets. Trump pardoned Bannon in an earlier iteration of the charges, but New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg is pursuing charges again.
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Old case, new charge

  • According to a source close to Bannon, he plans to turn himself over to authorities in New York on Thursday to be charged in a new criminal case.
  • The charges hinge on Steve Bannon's involvement in the "We Build the Wall" project, a scheme to raise money to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, which in reality was being pocketed by the three.
  • While Trump pardoned Steve Bannon, his two co-conspirators were charged for their involvement in the scheme in April. They will be sentenced in December.
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Charges anticipated

  • Steve Bannon served as the chief strategist to former President Donald Trump.
  • In a statement, Bannon said that the charges were politically motivated and made to make Trump supporters look bad ahead of the upcoming midterms.
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Politics

Oath Keepers Outed

Wednesday, September 7, 2022
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The context
The Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism and the transparency collective Distributed Denial of Secrets partnered to release a comprehensive list of members of the right-wing extremist group the Oath Keepers. The list revealed that hundreds of the members are politicians, law enforcement officers, and members of the military.
Politics
Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Oath Keepers Outed

The context
The Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism and the transparency collective Distributed Denial of Secrets partnered to release a comprehensive list of members of the right-wing extremist group the Oath Keepers. The list revealed that hundreds of the members are politicians, law enforcement officers, and members of the military.
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Who are the Oath Keepers?

  • The Oath Keepers was founded in 2009 as a loosely affiliated group that promoted the view that the federal government is tyrannical. They are considered a far-right extremist group that recruits members on the premise that they must defend the Constitution from left-wing liberals.
  • The organization heavily recruited within the military and police forces.
  • The Oath Keepers were one of the groups heavily involved in planning and executing the Capitol riot on January 6th.
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List leak

  • The transparency collective Distributed Denial of Secrets released a list of the names of Oath Keeper members today. The Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism combed through and discovered the list.
  • The list shows hundreds of members who are law enforcement officers, elected officials, and past or current members of the military.
  • The data has revealed the presence of extremists in law enforcement and politicians, which concerns experts who are tracking the rise of misinformation about the 2020 presidential election or threats on law enforcement after the raid on Mar-a-Lago.
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Politics

Judge Sides with Trump

Tuesday, September 6, 2022
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The context
The Trump-appointed judge, Aileen M. Cannon, ruled that the Department of Justice must pause their investigation into the documents illegally retained by Trump at his residence in Mar-a-Lago until the appointment of a "special master" conducts an independent review of the hundreds of classified, top secret documents seized by the FBI.
Politics
Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Judge Sides with Trump

The context
The Trump-appointed judge, Aileen M. Cannon, ruled that the Department of Justice must pause their investigation into the documents illegally retained by Trump at his residence in Mar-a-Lago until the appointment of a "special master" conducts an independent review of the hundreds of classified, top secret documents seized by the FBI.
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Judge sides

  • The ruling blocks prosecutors with the DOJ from continuing to review the documents that were seized during the search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence.
  • The ruling also pauses the investigation into Trump for keeping classified documents and removing them from the White House.
  • The DOJ argued that the documents were presidential records and, as such, belong to the government and not to Trump, which would mean that a special master is unnecessary.
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Experts concerned

  • The ruling by Judge Aileen M. Cannon granted the soon-to-be appointed special master broad-ranging powers that extend beyond just filtering through the documents for any personal belongings of former president Donald Trump.
  • The special master will be able to filter documents that they deem fall under the umbrella of "executive privledge," which could include classified documents.
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The context
President Biden delivered a speech last night in Philadelphia, which positioned the current moment in history as one where America will need to choose between preserving democracy or sliding into fascism.
Politics
Friday, September 2, 2022

Takeaways From Biden's Speech in Philadelphia

The context
President Biden delivered a speech last night in Philadelphia, which positioned the current moment in history as one where America will need to choose between preserving democracy or sliding into fascism.
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Fine line

  • President Biden called the present moment an inflection point in which Americans have to decide the fate of the country by voting for Democrats in the upcoming midterms.
  • He called attention to the extremism of Trump-supporting Republicans and their campaign to restrict voting rights and the right to privacy. He also criticized Republicans for standing by claims that the 2020 election was stolen.
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Power of choice

  • President Biden's speech heavily leaned on the importance of choice in a democracy.
  • The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade sparked a movement of democratic candidates gaining traction in close races in swing states.
  • Biden positioned the upcoming midterms as a matter of life or death for democracy instead of positioning them in the context of future economic prosperity.
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Politics

Empty Folders at Mar-a-Lago

Friday, September 2, 2022
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The context
The Justice Department released new details about the materials taken from Mar-a-Lago on August 8th. They revealed that agent found 48 empty folders, marked as classified.
Politics
Friday, September 2, 2022

Empty Folders at Mar-a-Lago

The context
The Justice Department released new details about the materials taken from Mar-a-Lago on August 8th. They revealed that agent found 48 empty folders, marked as classified.
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Inventory released

  • In a filing that was unsealed today, the F.B.I. released the inventory of all the materials taken from the raid on Mar-a-Lago.
  • Amongst the inventory were 48 empty folders that were marked as classified. The folders were missing the classified documents that were supposed to be inside.
  • Trump's team promised they had returned all the sensitive materials to the D.O.J. in June when they delivered another round of documents.
  • In the August raid, the agents found boxes of documents that were classified. In the boxes, there were over one hundred documents that were marked as classified.
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Poor conditions

  • The agents who searched Mar-a-Lago found the documents in Trump's office and a storage room. The Justice Department pointed out in the filing that neither location was secure.
  • The classified documents were kept in an area that also held magazines, personal items, clothing, and newspapers.
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The context
Kellye SoRelle, the top lawyer for the Oath Keepers extremist group, has been arrested and charged for her involvement in the January 6th Capitol riots.
Politics
Thursday, September 1, 2022

Top Lawyer for the Oath Keepers Arrested

The context
Kellye SoRelle, the top lawyer for the Oath Keepers extremist group, has been arrested and charged for her involvement in the January 6th Capitol riots.
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Arrested in Texas

  • Kellye SoRelle was arrested for conspiring to obstruct Congress's certification of election results on January 6th.
  • While she wasn't charged with seditious conspiracy, like other members of the riots, she is accused of tampering with evidence being investigated by a grand jury in a DOJ investigation.
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Four charges

  • SoRelle is the lawyer for the far-right extremist group the Oath Keepers., many of whom attended the January 6th riot.
  • SoRelle has been indicted on four counts, obstruction of official proceedings, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, and finally, entering restricted buildings or grounds (the Capitol building).
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Politics

Ginni Thomas is Back in the News

Thursday, September 1, 2022
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The context
The Washington Post broke a bombshell report that the wife of Supreme Court Justice, Ginni Thomas, urged lawmakers in Wisconsin to overturn the state's election results which helped elect Joe Biden to the presidential office in 2020. She was already revealed to have tried to interfere in Arizona's election certification process.
Politics
Thursday, September 1, 2022

Ginni Thomas is Back in the News

The context
The Washington Post broke a bombshell report that the wife of Supreme Court Justice, Ginni Thomas, urged lawmakers in Wisconsin to overturn the state's election results which helped elect Joe Biden to the presidential office in 2020. She was already revealed to have tried to interfere in Arizona's election certification process.
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Campaign by Thomas

  • Virginia Thomas urged lawmakers in Arizona and Wisconsin to "choose" presidential electors who would certify electoral results for Trump instead of Biden, who had actually won.
  • Voters elect the presidential electors in their state, not lawmakers. Her emails to the lawmakers were sent after the election in November and December 2020 before Biden took office.
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Tried it in Wisconsin

  • Ginni Thomas frequently advocates for conservative causes, which has called into question her husband's position on the Supreme Court.
  • In emails that contained the subject line, "Please do your Consitutional duty," Thomas asked Wisconsin lawmakers to reverse the election results that elected Joe Biden in the state.
  • The emails were sent to Sen. Kathy Bernier and state Rep. Gary Tauchen in Wisconsin on the day after Trump refused to concede the election to Biden.
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The context
The Department of Justice released more information justifying the raid on Mar-a-Lago on August 8th. The release outlines how the DOJ made a case for obstruction after Trump's team withheld documents from the FBI in January.
Politics
Wednesday, August 31, 2022

DOJ Releases More Information About Raid

The context
The Department of Justice released more information justifying the raid on Mar-a-Lago on August 8th. The release outlines how the DOJ made a case for obstruction after Trump's team withheld documents from the FBI in January.
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I looked!

  • The DOJ realized that Trump's team had withheld and concealed additional documents after they conducted a search of Mar-a-Lago in June.
  • Trump's attorney said that on May 5th, she conducted a search of his property including his personal quarters looking for records in a case brought by the New York State Court.
  • Her testimony suggests she handled the classified documents being held at Mar-a-Lago, and that she was aware of their classified nature.
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Path to obstruction

  • During the FBI's second visit to Mar-a-Lago, the former president offered his help to the agents.
  • Despite the offer, Trump's team concealed additional documents from the agents and moved them so as not to be discovered, despite signing a statement saying that all the requested documents had been turned over to the agents.
  • The refusal to hand over the entirety of the documents constitutes obstruction, which may heavily impact whether the DOJ brings charges against Trump.
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Politics

Key Ruling in Michigan

Wednesday, August 31, 2022
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The context
The Michigan Supreme Court will likely hear a case over whether to put a constitutional amendment to protect the right to an abortion on the ballot in November.
Politics
Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Key Ruling in Michigan

The context
The Michigan Supreme Court will likely hear a case over whether to put a constitutional amendment to protect the right to an abortion on the ballot in November.
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Impending case

  • The Michigan Board of Canvassers rejected a motion to add a proposed constitutional amendment to add protections for the right to an abortion to the constitution.
  • The new path for the motion is to be heard before the Michigan Supreme Court, which will decide whether voters can vote on the motion on the ballot in November.
  • The Reproductive Freedom for All ballot measure would enshrine protections for abortion services, contraception, prenatal and postpartum care, miscarriage care, childbirth, infertility care, and sterilization procedures.
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Court's call

  • The motion is being sponsored by the Reproductive Freedom for All campaign. The campaign is expected to appeal the decision to the liberal-leaning Michigan Supreme Court.
  • Abortion rights have become a powerful rallying cry for Democrats since Roe v. Wade was overturned.
  • Having abortion rights on the ballot could be a boost for Democrats and voter turnout.
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The context
President Biden traveled to Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, to deliver remarks about public safety and reiterated his commitment to ban assault weapons.
Politics
Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Biden's Remarks from Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

The context
President Biden traveled to Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, to deliver remarks about public safety and reiterated his commitment to ban assault weapons.
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Biden speaks to voters

  • President Biden's remarks are intended to respond to the GOP's outrage at the search and seizure of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago earlier in August.
  • Pennslyvania is a key swing state in the upcoming midterms.
  • Biden will make the case that voting for extremist members of the GOP who decry the FBI or continue to support the Capitol riots.
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New plan

  • He advocated for increased funding for police departments and said there was no place in America for threats against law enforcement in reference to threats made against the FBI.
  • Part of the plan is to recruit and train more officers to engage in community policing in underserved communities.
  • He also reiterated that he is determined to ban the sale of assault weapons.
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The context
Residents of Jackson, Mississippi, have lost access to reliable drinking water indefinitely after Governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves announced a state of emergency. The already troubled water system supplying the city has been further damaged by recent flooding and has suffered from a lack of funding for years.
Politics
Tuesday, August 30, 2022

State of Emergency in Jackson Mississippi

The context
Residents of Jackson, Mississippi, have lost access to reliable drinking water indefinitely after Governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves announced a state of emergency. The already troubled water system supplying the city has been further damaged by recent flooding and has suffered from a lack of funding for years.
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Uncertain access

  • The complications causing the failure of the water supply system were overwhelmed by flooding from the Pearl River and years of poor management at the city-run water treatment plant that has been poorly funded, operated, and understaffed.
  • Demographically, Jackson is more than 80%, Black residents.
  • The plant that provides water to Jackson is the O.B. Curtis water treatment plant which sits north of the city. The motors that power the plant's pumps failed on Monday.
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A new crisis

  • More than 150,000 people lost access to safe drinking water today, and there is no definite end.
  • City officials have begun distributing bottled water and are telling residents to boil water before drinking. Because of cloudy water, residents have already been under notice to boil their water before drinking for the month.
  • Governor Tate did not offer any information about when the water-supply system will be up and running again.
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Politics

DOJ Completes Initial Review

Monday, August 29, 2022
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The context
The Department of Justice has begun the process of reviewing the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, deciding to set aside records that are covered by the attorney-client privilege.
Politics
Monday, August 29, 2022

DOJ Completes Initial Review

The context
The Department of Justice has begun the process of reviewing the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago, deciding to set aside records that are covered by the attorney-client privilege.
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Initial review

  • The DOJ completed an initial sweep of all the documents taken from Mar-a-Lago.
  • During their sweep, they set aside documents containing information that the attorney-client privilege could cover.
  • Trump's legal team can now file a specific motion to reclaim the documents set aside by the DOJ.
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Limited items

  • In response to the seizure, Trump's legal team filed a motion to appoint a special master to review the materials to filter out personal property or privileged documents.
  • The move by the DOJ may undermine Trump's efforts to add a sympathetic third party to the process of reviewing the documents since any documents that the special master would have filtered out have already been set aside.
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The context
During an appearance on Fox News, Senator Lindsay Graham predicted 'riots in the streets' if Trump is indeed prosecuted for illegally withholding documents from the National Archives and storing them at Mar-a-Lago.
Politics
Monday, August 29, 2022

Senator Graham Shares His Predictions

The context
During an appearance on Fox News, Senator Lindsay Graham predicted 'riots in the streets' if Trump is indeed prosecuted for illegally withholding documents from the National Archives and storing them at Mar-a-Lago.
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While on Fox

  • While on "Sunday Night in America," Senator Graham criticized the FBI and the Biden administration.
  • He said that if Trump is indicted and faces charges for mishandling classified documents, there will be widespread upset and rioting in the streets by his supporters.
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Graham gets into it

  • During the appearance, Graham said he thinks there is a double standard in how former president Donald Trump is treated.
  • He pointed to a recent viral video from Joe Rogan's podcast where Mark Zuckerberg spoke about receiving misinformation warnings from the FBI as an example of the double standard.
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Politics

Affidavit Released

Friday, August 26, 2022
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The context
The Justice Department released a heavily redacted affidavit that was used to obtain a warrant to raid Mar-a-Lago to search for classified documents that former president Donald Trump withheld from the National Archives.
Politics
Friday, August 26, 2022

Affidavit Released

The context
The Justice Department released a heavily redacted affidavit that was used to obtain a warrant to raid Mar-a-Lago to search for classified documents that former president Donald Trump withheld from the National Archives.
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Judge approves

  • The Justice Department finally released the affidavit that was shown to judge Bruce Reinhart in Florida to obtain the search and seizure warrant used to raid Mar-a-Lago.
  • Reinhart ordered the Justice Department to release the affidavit, so the Justice Department submitted redactions and deletions before eventually releasing it.
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Redactions

  • The redactions removed the identities of witnesses and investigators to protect them from the increasingly heated criticism from Trump supporters.
  • But, the affidavit contains the backbone of the Justice Department's case for a warrant, saying they had submitted multiple requests for documents and had been denied by Trump.
  • Trump's team has claimed that he had the absolute authority to declassify documents and keep them in his possession.
  • The basis for the seizure was established when agents went through boxes from Trump and his team after a seizure in January. In those boxes were documents with the highest possible security ranking, which required that they be held in government-controlled facilities and protected from foreign governments.
  • The information in the boxes contained intelligence from human sources around the world, which, if shown to anyone without security clearance, could jeopardize their lives.
  • Investigators viewed security footage from Mar-a-Lago, showing members of Trump's team moving and reorganizing the documents into different boxes. Those members did not have the authorization to view the documents.
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The context
The Justice Department filed a proposal for redactions and deletions on the affidavit they used to obtain authorization to raid Mar-a-Lago. The redactions will likely hide the names of investigators on the case and other highly classified information from the public if the affidavit is, in fact released.
Politics
Thursday, August 25, 2022

One Step Closer to a Released Affidavit

The context
The Justice Department filed a proposal for redactions and deletions on the affidavit they used to obtain authorization to raid Mar-a-Lago. The redactions will likely hide the names of investigators on the case and other highly classified information from the public if the affidavit is, in fact released.
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Proposed redactions

  • The Justice Department proposed broad redactions to the affidavit to shield the identity of the sources who revealed that Trump was keeping classified documents from the White House at Mar-a-Lago.
  • The redactions will likely remove the names of investigators working on the case as well.
  • Trump has publicly stated that he wants all the documents associated with the search to be unsealed but has yet to cooperate fully.
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Potential impacts

  • The suggested redactions were requested by a Southern Florida judge who is determining whether the affidavit should be unsealed and publicly released.
  • Releasing the affidavit in full could endanger the investigation and make potential witnesses scared to testify.
  • Media outlets and other interested parties have filed for access to the affidavit.
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The context
President Biden announced his long-awaited student loan debt relief plan. His administration will cancel up to $10k in student loans and $20k for Pell Grant recipients for borrowers who earn less than $125k a year and couples who make less than $250,000 a year. He also extended the Federal student loan payment pause through December 31st.
Politics
Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Student Loan Forgiveness Decision Announced

The context
President Biden announced his long-awaited student loan debt relief plan. His administration will cancel up to $10k in student loans and $20k for Pell Grant recipients for borrowers who earn less than $125k a year and couples who make less than $250,000 a year. He also extended the Federal student loan payment pause through December 31st.
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Biden's announcement

  • Biden announced his administration's plan to provide Americans with federal student loan debt relief.
  • Students who received money from the Pell Grant will be eligible for up to $20,000 in debt relief. Students who took out other federal loans qualify for $10,000 in relief.
  • He also extended the student loan payment pause through December.
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From a promise to action

  • President Biden followed through on his campaign promise to provide Americans with relief from federal student loans. People who took out federal student loans and make less than $125,000 annually will qualify for the relief.
  • The announcement is the most extensive action of student loan forgiveness per individual ever from a presidential administration. Biden shared the information on Twitter.
  • The decision is likely the result of an investigation by the Department of Education into the President's authority to act on student loan forgiveness.
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The context
The two men who plotted to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 were convicted today. The verdict was decided by a federal jury in Michigan after the prosecutor appealed an earlier decision by another jury not to convict the men.
Politics
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Whitmer's Potential Kidnappers Convicted

The context
The two men who plotted to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020 were convicted today. The verdict was decided by a federal jury in Michigan after the prosecutor appealed an earlier decision by another jury not to convict the men.
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Convicted after all

  • The two men, Barry Croft and Adam Fox, conspired to kidnap Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer in a plot that was uncovered by FBI agents who were undercover at the time.
  • Whitmer is in the process of campaigning for re-election, and the FBI is under fire by conservatives for raiding Mar-a-Lago, so the trial was politically charged.
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Meaningful verdict

  • The two men were angry with Whitmer over Covid-19 restrictions like vaccine mandates.
  • The prosecutors built their case on secretly recorded conversations between the men about their anger towards Whitmer.
  • The case exemplified many peoples' fears about the possibility of politically motivated violence in 2020 before the presidential election and against the backdrop of anger about Covid-19 regulations.
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Politics

FBI's Urgency Explained

Tuesday, August 23, 2022
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The context
A letter from the National Archives revealed the cause for the FBI's raid on Mar-a-Lago. According to the letter written by the the head of the National Archives, Trump's team had refused to comply with orders to return some of the government's most classified documents on multiple occasions by withholding documents from NARA. The FBI found more than 300 additional classified documents at Mar-a-Lago this August after NARA expressed alarm when they discovered Trump's team still withheld documents after the first round of seizures back in January.
Politics
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

FBI's Urgency Explained

The context
A letter from the National Archives revealed the cause for the FBI's raid on Mar-a-Lago. According to the letter written by the the head of the National Archives, Trump's team had refused to comply with orders to return some of the government's most classified documents on multiple occasions by withholding documents from NARA. The FBI found more than 300 additional classified documents at Mar-a-Lago this August after NARA expressed alarm when they discovered Trump's team still withheld documents after the first round of seizures back in January.
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NARA sounds the alarm

  • In the letter, written on May 10th to Trump's lawyers, the National Archive expresses extreme concern that Trump's possession of the documents posed a grave threat to national security.
  • The letter also revealed that the Archive had notified Trump's team on multiple occasions that they must return the documents in question but that they had not received the collection in full and that even when they had gotten documents, they were not allowed to access them for months.
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700 pages

  • The letter, written by Debra Steidel Wall, revealed that Trump took 700 pages of classified documents with him to Mar-a-Lago when he left office in January 2021.
  • The letter pushed back on Trump's claim of executive privilege and that Trump's team had interfered with the Justice Department's ability to investigate the condition of the documents and the severity of the risk to national security posed by the missing documents.
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Politics

Trump Takes to the Court

Monday, August 22, 2022
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The context
Former president Donald Trump and his legal team filed a suit today asking a judge to appoint a "special master" to sift through all the materials and documents seized from his home in Mar-a-Lago. The suit demands the Justice Department pause its investigation until a third party is appointed.
Politics
Monday, August 22, 2022

Trump Takes to the Court

The context
Former president Donald Trump and his legal team filed a suit today asking a judge to appoint a "special master" to sift through all the materials and documents seized from his home in Mar-a-Lago. The suit demands the Justice Department pause its investigation until a third party is appointed.
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Team files

  • Trump's team filed a motion to stop the Justice Department from proceeding with its investigation until the court can appoint a special master who will handle the documents.
  • The filing also asks that the DOJ provide Trump's team with a detailed list of all the items taken and return anything irrelevant to their investigation.
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Trump's demands

  • The suit was filed in Florida with Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed by Trump and confirmed shortly after Trump lost the 2020 election.
  • The documents in question were seized in response to an investigation into Trump for keeping classified documents from his presidency and possible obstruction of justice.
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The context
The New York Times published an investigation into a massive $1.6 billion donation to a new conservative non-profit run by Leonard Leo, called the Marble Freedom Trust, by a low-profile Republican financier. The donation was routed through various channels to avoid being taxed.
Politics
Monday, August 22, 2022

Times Reveals a Massive Conservative Donation

The context
The New York Times published an investigation into a massive $1.6 billion donation to a new conservative non-profit run by Leonard Leo, called the Marble Freedom Trust, by a low-profile Republican financier. The donation was routed through various channels to avoid being taxed.
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Huge sum

  • The donation is one of the largest donations to a political organization ever made, and it came from Barre Seid, a frequent Republican donor, and electronics manufacturing mogul.
  • The Marble Freedom Trust was created in May 2020 and is run by Leonard Leo, who has spent years and large sums of money backing conservative judges and financing Republican interests in voting cases, climate change policy, and abortion rights.
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Background on Leo

  • Leonard Leo has had a massive impact on today's conservative-stacked Supreme Court as the head of the Federalist Society.
  • Leo helped raise about $250 million between 2014 and 2017 to support the nominations and confirmations of conservative judges.
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Politics

Dr. Fauci Plans His Exit

Monday, August 22, 2022
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The context
Dr. Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to president Biden, will step down from his posts in December.
Politics
Monday, August 22, 2022

Dr. Fauci Plans His Exit

The context
Dr. Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to president Biden, will step down from his posts in December.
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On to the next

  • Dr. Fauci said he would spend his following chapter writing, promoting civil service, and traveling.
  • President Biden responded to Fauci's announcement by saying he was a "dedicated public servant."
  • Fauci has had a polarizing tenure as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, overseeing the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Fauci was criticized for his slow response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and he was attacked for unpopular Covid-19 mask mandates and regulations by conservatives like Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.
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When November ends

  • Dr. Fauci called his decision a transition into a new phase, not retirement. He has been an advisor to seven presidents over the last four decades, ending his term in December with President Biden.
  • President Biden said that as president-elect, one of his first calls was to Fauci to ask him to lead the Covid-19 response.
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The context
The Supreme Court ruled to temporarily halt a Georgia election law that allows voters from all over Georgia to vote for local officials in counties they do not reside in. The Court blocked the election law on the grounds that it is racially discriminatory.
Politics
Friday, August 19, 2022

Supreme Court's Ruling in Georgia

The context
The Supreme Court ruled to temporarily halt a Georgia election law that allows voters from all over Georgia to vote for local officials in counties they do not reside in. The Court blocked the election law on the grounds that it is racially discriminatory.
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Temporary reprieve

  • The Court unanimously agreed with a previous ruling by a federal judge that the election law discriminated against Black voters by reducing the impact of their vote in local elections.
  • The law set up a system for voting for Public Commissioners who served in the Georgia Public Service Commission, which sets rates for utilities.
  • All residents of Georgia could vote on the five officials, but they serve in the district they reside in, which made it harder for Black voters, who overwhelmingly live in District 3 in Georgia, to elect candidates in their district.
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Court decides

  • The Court took up the case after a group of Black voters in Georgia filed an emergency request.
  • The decision builds off of a ruling by US District Judge Steven Grimberg, which decided that the voting method violated the Voting Rights Act by reducing Black voters' impact on election officials to the commission.
  • The decision did leave room for a lower court to pick the case back up and challenge the ruling before elections are held in November.
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The context
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered his take on the upcoming midterm elections, saying that the most likely outcome is that Republicans will gain a majority in the House but will lose Senate seats.
Politics
Friday, August 19, 2022

Mitch McConnell's Midterm Predictions

The context
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell offered his take on the upcoming midterm elections, saying that the most likely outcome is that Republicans will gain a majority in the House but will lose Senate seats.
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Grim prediction

  • McConnell predicted that the GOP would gain the majority in the House but lose the balance of 50/50 in the tied Senate.
  • He said that Senate races require higher quality candidates, implying that the Republicans running for Senate seats left much to be desired.
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May remain minority leader

  • Mitch McConnell reset expectations that Republicans could control the Senate and the House after the midterm elections.
  • If the Republicans don't get the majority in the Senate, then McConnell will remain the Senate Minority Leader.
  • Republican Senate candidates are struggling in races against Democratic opponents, making the midterm elections fraught. But, the opposition party usually wins more seats during midterm elections, so the outcome of the midterms remains to be seen.
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The context
As the monkeypox outbreak continues to spread in the U.S., the Danish manufacturer of the vaccine has reached a deal with the U.S. to allow American manufacturers to produce the vaccine to meet the rising demand.
Politics
Thursday, August 18, 2022

The U.S. Will Manufacture Monkeypox Vaccines

The context
As the monkeypox outbreak continues to spread in the U.S., the Danish manufacturer of the vaccine has reached a deal with the U.S. to allow American manufacturers to produce the vaccine to meet the rising demand.
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Delivered on deal

  • The vaccine is manufactured in Denmark, and the company Bavarian Nordic has entered into an agreement with a Michigan-based company to move the final packaging steps to the U.S.
  • The Biden administration has faced criticism for not moving quickly enough to secure the vaccine and for underestimating the scale of the outbreak.
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Denmark plus Michigan

  • Bavarian Nordic and Michigan-based Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing will package 2.5 million doses of the monkeypox vaccine that the U.S. ordered in July.
  • Bavarian Nordic is a relatively small manufacturer, so pulling production stateside will increase production exponentially.
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Politics

Weisselberg Pleads Guilty

Thursday, August 18, 2022
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The context
The Trump Organization's chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, pled guilty today to participating in tax fraud. As CFO, Weisselberg lied about the value of Trump Organization-owned properties to get tax breaks and loans.
Politics
Thursday, August 18, 2022

Weisselberg Pleads Guilty

The context
The Trump Organization's chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, pled guilty today to participating in tax fraud. As CFO, Weisselberg lied about the value of Trump Organization-owned properties to get tax breaks and loans.
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Consequences of the deal

  • Allen Weisselberg will likely serve five months in prison and pay around $2 million as part of the plea deal.
  • Weisselberg will be required to testify truthfully about illegal business practices at the Trump Organization.
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Scheming at the top

  • As part of the deal, Weisselberg may be called as a witness for the prosecution in upcoming cases against the Trump Organization for illicit business practices.
  • Weisselberg admitted to prosecutors that the organization avoided paying taxes on corporate benefits and that he benefited from tax evasion. The company also inflated the value of the properties they owned and managed to receive loans which Weisselberg admitted to using for personal gain.
  • Weisselberg declined to turn on former president Donald Trump as part of the deal.
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Politics

CDC Initiates Overhaul

Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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The context
After two extensive reviews of the CDC, one led Jim Macrae, an official in the Department of Health and Human Services, and another by CDC Chief of Staff Sherri Berger, the agency's director announced that they would initiate a series of changes to improve the agency's response to future pandemics or outbreaks of disease.
Politics
Wednesday, August 17, 2022

CDC Initiates Overhaul

The context
After two extensive reviews of the CDC, one led Jim Macrae, an official in the Department of Health and Human Services, and another by CDC Chief of Staff Sherri Berger, the agency's director announced that they would initiate a series of changes to improve the agency's response to future pandemics or outbreaks of disease.
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Lessons learned

  • The CDC faced intense criticism for handling the Covid-19 pandemic, primarily for providing unclear guidance and failing to communicate safety measures and regulations to the American public effectively.
  • The CDC Director, Rochelle Walensky, shared that in response to two agency reviews, the CDC will work on restructuring how it provides public health guidance and communication with Americans.
  • One structural change the agency will implement is the creation of a new executive council that will guide the agency's efforts to redirect the agency's focus to public health policy and action.
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Politics

Liz Cheney Loses in Wyoming

Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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The context
House Representative Liz Cheney lost the GOP primary to defend her seat to Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman. Cheney is the chair of the January 6th committee investigating Trump and his team's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Cheney has five months left in Congress.
Politics
Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Liz Cheney Loses in Wyoming

The context
House Representative Liz Cheney lost the GOP primary to defend her seat to Trump-endorsed Harriet Hageman. Cheney is the chair of the January 6th committee investigating Trump and his team's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Cheney has five months left in Congress.
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Hageman advances

  • Incumbent Liz Cheney broke with the Republican party when she refused to support Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection. By criticizing him and acting as the chair of the special committee investigating him, she lost favor within the Republican party.
  • She lost the race to defend her House seat to attorney Harriet Hageman, who former president Trump endorses.
  • Hageman was born in Wyoming and received her law degree from the University of Wyoming. She specialized in natural resources and water litigation.
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Next for Cheney

  • After losing the primary, Representative Liz Cheney filed to transfer the funds from her campaign to a newly formed political-action committee called "The Great Task."
  • Representative Cheney is reportedly considering running for president as an independent since she faces steep opposition within the Republican party for criticizing Trump.
  • Cheney lost her primary by a significant percentage. The Republican voting base in Wyoming still overwhelmingly supports Trump.
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The context
The federal government announced cuts to water allocations from the Colorado River for western states as the water level in Lake Mead, and Lake Powell continues to plummet thanks to a historic drought. The Federal Bureau of Reclamation announced a 21% cut to Arizona's water allocation and 8% to Nevada's.
Politics
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Government Cracks Down On Colorado River Use

The context
The federal government announced cuts to water allocations from the Colorado River for western states as the water level in Lake Mead, and Lake Powell continues to plummet thanks to a historic drought. The Federal Bureau of Reclamation announced a 21% cut to Arizona's water allocation and 8% to Nevada's.
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Cuts coming

  • Drought in the southwest is drying up two of the country's largest reservoirs, Lake Powell and Lake Mead.
  • The drought is also impacting water levels in the Colorado River, causing states, water managers, and tribes to renegotiate water allocations from the river.
  • The federal government is expected to step in to enforce water-saving measures since negotiations between states, cities, and agricultural producers are not going well.
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Federal Government steps in

  • The Biden administration announced that it would require water usage cuts for western states along the Colorado River.
  • The administration warned states in June that if they failed to reduce water usage by 2-4 million acre-feet, they would step in to enforce cuts for them.
  • Lake Powell and Lake Mead provide hydroelectricity, which they cannot do if the water levels drop too low to flow through power-generating dams.
  • Some experts predict that states will pay farmers to plant fewer crops to reduce water usage. Some relief money could come from the $4 billion allocated for drought relief in the Inflation Reduction Act.
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Politics

So Long ITT Tech Debt

Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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The context
The Biden administration canceled $3.9 billion of student debt for students defrauded by the for-profit technical university, ITT Tech. The cancelation is the latest round of a series of student-debt relief actions undertaken by the Biden administration.
Politics
Tuesday, August 16, 2022

So Long ITT Tech Debt

The context
The Biden administration canceled $3.9 billion of student debt for students defrauded by the for-profit technical university, ITT Tech. The cancelation is the latest round of a series of student-debt relief actions undertaken by the Biden administration.
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Debt relief

  • The Department of Education will cancel $3.9 billion in student debt for about 208,000 people who attended ITT Tech.
  • ITT Tech was found to have engaged in fraudulent practices, including lying about students' job prospects after graduating or their ability to transfer credits to or from other schools.
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About time

  • ITT Tech closed in September 2016. The debt relief covers students who attended the institution from 2005 through its closure in 2016.
  • The Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said it was time for borrowers to stop paying loans they took out after being lied to by ITT Tech.The cancelation is the latest round of a series of student-debt relief actions undertaken by the Biden administration.
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The context
President Trump told his supporters to settle down after an increased number of threats have been levied at the FBI after raiding Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago during an appearance on Fox News.
Politics
Monday, August 15, 2022

Trump Tells Supporters to Cool it

The context
President Trump told his supporters to settle down after an increased number of threats have been levied at the FBI after raiding Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago during an appearance on Fox News.
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Trump speaks

  • In the wake of the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, President Trump tried to reign in his supporters who have criticized the FBI for its actions.
  • Trump said that the "temperature had to be brought down" and that his aides had offered the Trump team's full cooperation with the Department of Justice.
  • There have been an increased number of threats against the FBI after they conducted the raid, which Trump and his allies have called unjustified and politically motivated.
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Tone it down

  • While Trump called for his supporters to settle down, he reiterated his anger at the FBI over the raid, telling Fox News that Americans wouldn't fall for another "scam."
  • He also called his supporter's anger to the hosts' attention and said he had offered to cooperate fully.
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The context
Rudy Giuliani was informed today that he is under criminal investigation for his attempts to de-certify electoral results in Georgia. A federal judge ruled that Senator Lindsay Graham must testify in the case and face questioning from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Both are heavy blows to Trump's team members, who are being investigated members of Trump's team for election interference in Fulton County, Georgia, during the 2020 presidential election.
Politics
Monday, August 15, 2022

Graham and Giuliani Heat Up in Georgia

The context
Rudy Giuliani was informed today that he is under criminal investigation for his attempts to de-certify electoral results in Georgia. A federal judge ruled that Senator Lindsay Graham must testify in the case and face questioning from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Both are heavy blows to Trump's team members, who are being investigated members of Trump's team for election interference in Fulton County, Georgia, during the 2020 presidential election.
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Bad news for Giuliani

  • Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City and a former advisor to Donald Trump, is scheduled to appear before a special grand jury in Georgia on Monday.
  • His lawyer, Robert Costello, revealed that prosecutors told him Giuliani was a target of a criminal investigation into election interference by Trump and his advisers.
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Graham is on the hook

  • The subpoena was issued by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is investigating Trump's efforts to influence the Georgia election results. Graham argued that he had the right to remain silent and not comply with the subpoena, but a federal judge ruled that he must comply.
  • The federal judge who ordered Graham to comply said that there was significant interest and information to be gained from his testimony and that his position as a member of Congress did not grant him any special immunity that would prevent him from testifying.
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The context
The House passed the Inflation Reduction Act today, sending the ambitious spending bill to Biden's desk. The bill includes landmark spending on climate change initiatives, healthcare, and new tax provisions.
Politics
Friday, August 12, 2022

Inflation Reduction Act Off to Biden

The context
The House passed the Inflation Reduction Act today, sending the ambitious spending bill to Biden's desk. The bill includes landmark spending on climate change initiatives, healthcare, and new tax provisions.
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Off to Biden

  • The bill is a long-awaited victory for the Biden administration, who made passing a new Democratic spending agenda a core part of his presidential campaign.
  • The bill almost died in the Senate but was revived when Senators Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer reached a compromise on the current bill to avoid a Republican filibuster.
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Key wins

  • President Biden's administration has secured some key wins in cooperation with Congress. In addition to passing the Inflation Reduction Act, Congress passed the PACT Act, approved Finland and Sweden's applications to NATO, a bill requiring background checks for young gun buyers, and the CHIPS and Science Act.
  • While most Republicans were not sold on the bill, Democrats passed the bill in the House today.
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House seals the deal

  • The bill includes $740 million in spending to enact new climate change initiatives, make healthcare less expensive, and create new tax provisions.
  • The bill passed the House with a 220-207 vote.
  • Senate Democrats have been negotiating the bill's specifics for about a year. Every House Democrat voted in support of the bill.
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Politics

Trump Warrant Unsealed

Friday, August 12, 2022
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The context
The unsealed warrant obtained by the FBI to seize 33 items revealed that the FBI was looking for documents related to espionage, nuclear weapons, and classified secrets when they raided former President Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago.
Politics
Friday, August 12, 2022

Trump Warrant Unsealed

The context
The unsealed warrant obtained by the FBI to seize 33 items revealed that the FBI was looking for documents related to espionage, nuclear weapons, and classified secrets when they raided former President Donald Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago.
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Warrant still under wraps

  • While the warrant obtained by the Justice Department that authorized the raid on Mar-a-Lago remains sealed, sources close to the investigation told reporters at the Washington Post that the warrant was to find documents that were related to nuclear weapons.
  • The documents were taken from the White House and stored at Mar-a-Lago.
  • The Post emphasized that the seizure of the documents reflected the anxiety felt by the Department of Justice about classified secrets and documents about nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands.
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Trump disagrees

  • President Trump responded to the report, calling the allegations that the documents pertained to nuclear secrets false.
  • He has not opted to release a list of the documents taken from his residence, even though the FBI gave him such a list.
  • Trump did say that his lawyers will not oppose the release of the list of the original warrant used to search Mar-a-Lago.
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Receipts

  • The receipt of the items taken in the raid was also publicized today.
  • The list of items contains a dossier regarding the pardon of Roger Stone, documents about the President of France Emmanuel Macron, and several other classified documents.
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Authorized search

  • The warrant reveals that the DOJ is investigating Trump for three possible criminal violations: violating the Espionage Act by sharing defense information, tampering with records, and hiding records from the National Archives.
  • The warrant authorized the agents to remove anything that had evidence of the three criminal violations from Mar-a-Lago.
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Investigation escalates

  • The issuing judge unsealed the warrant obtained by the FBI to search Mar-a-Lago in search of documents that Trump took from the White House.
  • The warrant revealed that the DOJ is investigating Trump under the Espionage Act and for potential obstructions of justice.
  • The agents were instructed to seize any documents that were categorized as classified, showed evidence of tampering, or were related to domestic defense.
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Politics

Merrick Garland Takes the Mike

Thursday, August 11, 2022
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The context
Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke for the first time today about the decision to raid Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago. Garland said that he signed off on the search and has moved to unseal the search and seizure warrant and publicize the list of items taken in the raid.
Politics
Thursday, August 11, 2022

Merrick Garland Takes the Mike

The context
Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke for the first time today about the decision to raid Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago. Garland said that he signed off on the search and has moved to unseal the search and seizure warrant and publicize the list of items taken in the raid.
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Garland speaks

  • Attorney General Merrick Garland delivered two minutes of remarks in response to the growing anger amongst Republicans over the search of Mar-a-Lago.
  • He called the raid a necessity since earlier attempts to recover the documents Trump's team was storing in Florida had failed.
  • He added that he filed a motion to unseal the warrant, which granted the FBI permission to conduct the raid and seize the documents from Mar-a-Lago. He also moved to unseal the receipt of the items taken in the raid.
  • Garland reminded reporters that the FBI is filled with dedicated civil servants, and attempts to disparage the agency's agents were misguided.
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Team informed

  • In his remarks, Garland told reporters that Trump's legal team had been informed of the search and that a representative from his counsel was present during the search.
  • Trump will have the opportunity to request that the warrant and receipt of seizure remain sealed.
  • The raid was in response to a DOJ investigation on behalf of the National Archives that is requesting the return of documents that Trump removed from the White House and stored at Mar-a-Lago.
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Politics

Beto Bites Back

Thursday, August 11, 2022
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The context
Beto O'Rourke, who is running for Governor of Texas against incumbent Greg Abbott, called out a heckler during a campaign stop who was laughing as O'Rourke spoke about the Uvalde Shooting.
Politics
Thursday, August 11, 2022

Beto Bites Back

The context
Beto O'Rourke, who is running for Governor of Texas against incumbent Greg Abbott, called out a heckler during a campaign stop who was laughing as O'Rourke spoke about the Uvalde Shooting.
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F-bomb

  • At a campaign stop in Mineral Wells, Texas, the Democrat Beto O'Rouke was holding a town hall where he spoke about the Uvalde Shooting, which killed nineteen children and two adults.
  • During his remarks, a heckler started laughing, which prompted O'Rouke to call him out, saying that while the shooting might be funny to the heckler, it was certainly not funny to him.
  • O'Rourke added the expletive, mother f* while addressing the heckler.
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Viral campaign

  • O'Rourke's exchange with the heckler has gone viral.
  • Gun control has become a central tenet of O'Rourke's campaign, and he has criticized incumbent governor Gregg Abbott for failing to protect students from mass shootings. During his office as governor, Abbott has loosened gun regulations and refused to pass any gun control measures.
  • At a press conference after the shooting in Uvalde, O'Rourke confronted Abbott, saying his policies were to blame for the deaths at Robb Elementary School.
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The context
The Department of Justice unsealed records today that revealed that former national security advisor John Bolton and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were the targets of an assassination plot by a member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Shahram Poursafi.
Politics
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Bolton and Pompeo Targeted in Assassination Plot

The context
The Department of Justice unsealed records today that revealed that former national security advisor John Bolton and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were the targets of an assassination plot by a member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Shahram Poursafi.
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Targeting Bolton

  • Sharam Poursafi was charged with plotting to murder John Bolton after a drone strike killed Qassem Soleimani in January 2020. Soleimani served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and at the time of his death, he was the leader of an elite special ops group.
  • Poursafi repeatedly attempted to pay $300,000 to the unnamed source in the investigation to kill Bolton, who was a national security advisor when the strike killed Soleimani.
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Pompeo as well

  • In the correspondences between Poursafi and the source, he hinted that he had a $1 million job for a second hit.
  • The Department of Justice revealed that the second hit was meant to target former secretary of state Mike Pompeo.
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Politics

Trump Pleads the Fifth

Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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The context
Former President Donald Trump invoked the right to remain silent in his deposition with the New York Attorney General, Letitia James, today.
Politics
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Trump Pleads the Fifth

The context
Former President Donald Trump invoked the right to remain silent in his deposition with the New York Attorney General, Letitia James, today.
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Silent interview

  • Former President Donald Trump sat down with New York Attorney General Letitia James today to be deposed in a civil case determining whether the Trump organization falsified documents to avoid taxes and secure loans.
  • Before being deposed, Trump released a statement saying he intended to invoke the fifth amendment, meaning he would remain silent in the face of James's questioning.
  • Trump finally testified after a lengthy legal back and forth between the Trump family and the Attorney General's office. The Trump family tried to avoid the subpoena to testify in the civil case.
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Plead the fifth

  • President Trump said that he decided to remain silent at the advice of his attorneys. He also called the civil case unfounded and politically motivated.
  • Trump's children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. were deposed earlier in the month as part of the investigation.
  • James's office has been investigating Trump's organization for falsifying financial statements tied to his New York business dealings to obtain tax cuts and loans.
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Politics

CHIPS Bill Signed into Law

Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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The context
President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Bill into law today to boost domestic production of semiconductor chips through a series of subsidies available to companies like Intel to build out their chip-manufacturing capabilities.
Politics
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

CHIPS Bill Signed into Law

The context
President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Bill into law today to boost domestic production of semiconductor chips through a series of subsidies available to companies like Intel to build out their chip-manufacturing capabilities.
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Signed in

  • The Senate passed the CHIPS bill off to Biden, and he signed the ambitious bill into law today.
  • Biden was joined by a crowd of tech executives, members of Congress, and observers as he signed the bill.
  • The bipartisan bill invests billions into semiconductor manufacturing and scientific research on American soil. It also includes tax credits for companies that invest in semiconductor chip manufacturers.
  • The bill joins a list of recent accomplishments for the Biden administration, including the passage of the Democratic spending agenda in the Senate and a successful drone strike that killed al-Qaeda's leader in Afghanistan ahead of the midterms.
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Competitive edge

  • The bill aims to help the US compete with countries like China, which is investing billions into its chip-manufacturing capabilities, and protect the country from supply chain disruptions that may be caused by tensions with China or the ongoing war in Ukraine.
  • The bill will provide $52.7 billion in subsidies for chip manufacturers to build domestic production plants and pull their manufacturing stateside.
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Politics

FBI Raids Mar-a-Lago

Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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The context
The FBI raided former President Donald Trump's home at Mar-a-Lago yesterday. President Trump was in New York City at the time of the raid, which seemed to be focused on seizing documents from his home.
Politics
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

FBI Raids Mar-a-Lago

The context
The FBI raided former President Donald Trump's home at Mar-a-Lago yesterday. President Trump was in New York City at the time of the raid, which seemed to be focused on seizing documents from his home.
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Executing the raid

  • The FBI executed a search warrant to look for documents that are part of an ongoing investigation from Trump's time in office which may have been transported or stored at his resort in Palm Beach.
  • While Trump announced the search last night, the FBI began searching his residence yesterday morning.
  • The National Archives requested the search as part of an ongoing investigation into the handling of classified documents during Trump's presidency.
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Republican Backlash

  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican Representative from California, expressed outrage at the raid. He said that if Republicans win the House in the upcoming primaries, they will investigate the DOJ for raiding Trump.
  • Republican allies of Trump decried the raid, calling it an overstep of the DOJ's powers.
  • Democrats defended the raid, calling it an appropriate measure as part of the ongoing investigation into Trump.
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Politics

DeSantis is on the Move

Monday, August 8, 2022
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The context
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will head to key battleground states this month to campaign for Trump-backed candidates ahead of the midterm elections.
Politics
Monday, August 8, 2022

DeSantis is on the Move

The context
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will head to key battleground states this month to campaign for Trump-backed candidates ahead of the midterm elections.
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Uniting the GOP

  • Governor Ron DeSantis will stump for several Trump-endorsed candidates in Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio, and Pennsylvania ahead of the 2022 midterms.
  • DeSantis's agenda to visit the key battleground states shows his growing political influence amongst GOP voters. His presence is being presented as part of an effort to unite GOP voters.
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Rallying for

  • Governor DeSantis has quickly become a popular rising star in the GOP.
  • He will speak at the Turning Point Action "Unite and Win" rallies.
  • Some of the notable candidates that DeSantis will stump for are JD Vance, Doug Mastriano, Blake Masters, and Kari Lake.
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The context
In February 2020, Travis McMichael, his father George McMichael and their friend William Bryan followed and killed Ahmaud Arbery. Today, Travis and George McMichael were sentenced again to life in prison, plus ten years, for federal hate crimes.
Politics
Monday, August 8, 2022

George and Travis McMichael Sentenced Again

The context
In February 2020, Travis McMichael, his father George McMichael and their friend William Bryan followed and killed Ahmaud Arbery. Today, Travis and George McMichael were sentenced again to life in prison, plus ten years, for federal hate crimes.
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Re-sentenced

  • Travis McMichaels was sentenced to a second life sentence, which he will serve in state prison. His lawyer requested that he serve his sentence in federal prison because he had received death threats and was worried for his safety.
  • Today's sentencing follows the conclusion of a trial in November in which all the McMichaels were convicted of murder and given life sentences.
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Federal charges

  • Travis and his father were sentenced on federal hate crime charges, and the second life sentence is largely symbolic since the two are already serving life sentences for Arbery's death.
  • Travis and his father pursued Ahmaud Arbery after he jogged through their neighborhood and shot him. Their friend William Bryan filmed the shooting.
  • Federal prosecutors showed text messages and posts from social media in which the McMichaels wrote and shared negative comments about Black people to bolster their argument that Arbery's death was a hate crime.
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Politics

Sinema's Sold

Friday, August 5, 2022
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The context
Senator Kyrsten Sinema will support the Inflation Reduction Act proposed by Senators Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer after they agreed to change tax proposals in the act, allowing Democrats to overcome a Republican filibuster and pass the act.
Politics
Friday, August 5, 2022

Sinema's Sold

The context
Senator Kyrsten Sinema will support the Inflation Reduction Act proposed by Senators Joe Manchin and Chuck Schumer after they agreed to change tax proposals in the act, allowing Democrats to overcome a Republican filibuster and pass the act.
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Moving forward

  • Krysten Sinema is a Democratic senator from Arizona whose support for the bill is crucial to overcoming a potential Republican filibuster on the ambitious spending agenda.
  • She indicated that her support had been won after changes to the bill's tax provisions, including removing a new proposed tax on carried interest and paring back corporate tax increases.
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Votes to come

  • Sinema added that in exchange for her support, she got Democratic leaders to remove a tax increase on wealthy hedge fund managers and private equity executives and add provisions to boost the clean energy economy.
  • She also fought to include billions in drought relief money for states like her home state of Arizona, which is suffering from extreme drought.
  • Now that Sinema is on board, a vote on the agenda can be scheduled.
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Politics

China Responds to Pelosi Visit

Friday, August 5, 2022
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The context
China has finally levied its response to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. China has pulled out of several critical areas of cooperation, including climate change initiatives, and imposed sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family.
Politics
Friday, August 5, 2022

China Responds to Pelosi Visit

The context
China has finally levied its response to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. China has pulled out of several critical areas of cooperation, including climate change initiatives, and imposed sanctions on Pelosi and her immediate family.
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Chinese military show

  • After Pelosi and the congressional delegation accompanying her left Taiwan, China embarked on its largest display of military might in the seas and skies surrounding the island. The military drills featured missile launches that hammered at the island's borders and flew above Taipei.
  • Taiwan maintains that the military show of force will not be met with any Taiwanese military action.
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China tests the waters

  • Five missiles fired at Taiwan by China landed in Japanese waters off of Hater