Happy Monday. The Artemis 1 mission launch is today! If all goes well, the unmanned Orion spacecraft might already be on its way when you’re reading this! NASA is truly shooting for the moon with this one!!!
🇵🇰 Pakistan’s climate change minister said Thursday that deadly flooding has affected at least 33 million people in the country. 1,033 people have died since mid-June, according to the country's National Disaster Management Authority.
🧨 The U.S. Pentagon announced a new priority for military operations: protecting civilians. The 36-page report details major changes to everything from training to drone strikes.
🇹🇼 Taiwan is planning to increase its defense spending by 13.6% for a record total defense budget of 586.3 billion New Taiwan dollars ($19.41bn). China-prep is not cheap.
🇨🇳 China deployed jets and warships in the Taiwan Strait a few hours after the U.S. did the same on Sunday.
🍺 18-year-olds can now buy guns in Texas, after a federal judge struck down a ban prohibiting the purchase of guns by those under 21. At least they can’t drink?
🚨 In related news, the school police chief in Uvalde, TX, was fired three months after the deadly shooting at Robb Elementary School.
*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 5:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.
Economy: Senator Elizabeth Warren says she's worried the Fed will push the U.S. into a recession. Markets didn't like those comments.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice released the affidavit used to get the search warrant (which has also been released) for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in West Palm Beach, FL.
How We Got Here
The August search of Trump’s home prompted storms of outrage, which led to the release of the search warrant. Happy now? the DOJ asked. Nope. The outrage wanted the affidavit.
The DOJ argued that the affidavit would hurt their investigation and that it would have to be redacted to the point of useless to keep people safe, but a federal judge disagreed. So the 32-page affidavit was released with (as the DOJ warned) almost 21 pages completely or mostly redacted.
“The government is conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorized spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records,” the affidavit reads. “Based upon this investigation, I do not believe that any spaces within the PREMISES have been authorized for the storage of classified information at least since the end of FPOTUS’s Presidential Administration on January 20, 2021.”
The affidavit says that the National Archives sent a referral to the DOJ after the Archives received 15 boxes from Mar-a-Lago in January that contained pretty secret documents. According to CNBC, “The 15 boxes included 184 specific documents marked classified, 67 of which were marked ‘confidential,’ 92 marked ‘secret,’ and 25 documents marked ‘top secret.’”
A DOJ investigation then followed, including some subpoenas that it seems like the Trump camp may have only partially responded to. This then led to the August search of Trump’s home. The investigation is still ongoing, and the New York Times reports that the Justice Department recently subpoenaed more Mar-a-Lago surveillance footage.
We’ll see how that goes.
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Starting October, 24 million British households will see their energy bills increase 80% a year. That’s according to the country’s energy regulator, which announced Friday it will raise its price cap on consumer bills in October.
According to Reuters, “An annual average bill of 1,277 pounds last year will hit 3,549 pounds this year and leading forecaster Cornwall Insight said prices were likely to rocket again in 2023.” (Another cap increase is likely in January as the country’s dependence on Russian oil runs up against sanctions heading into the winter cold.)
Any government aid to ease the pain is a big question mark right now because the new Prime Minister won’t be announced until September 5. Front-runner Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said she would cut taxes before resorting to “handouts.”
The upcoming U.S. midterms have recently moved from a sleeper with expected (Republican) victories to a possible nail-biter.
In recent generic ballots, where people were asked which party they would vote for without naming candidates, RealClearPolitics shows Republicans receiving an average 44% of the vote with Democrats close behind at 43.6%.
A lot changes when you add names and faces, but these numbers are a glimmer of hope for many Dems who had all but accepted defeat.
Why the shift?
There are a handful of reasons why people might be thinking about how they will vote in November (lower gas prices, Biden wins like the Inflation Reduction Act), but a big one that Dems are certainly pushing is the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
In order to increase their chances even more, Democrats have been pumping money into far-right candidates’ campaigns so that those candidates win their primaries and the Dems will win against them in the general. This is not a new idea, but it can backfire hugely, especially in this climate. Also, it is a rather depressing strategy.
Is there a chance for Dems to win in the midterms? There’s always a chance. But November is a long way away in political terms.
113 million. That is how old newly uncovered dinosaur tracks in Texas are. Drought conditions recently revealed the tracks at the Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, TX. The bright side of our climate disaster?
137,000. That is how many additional troops Russian President Putin has ordered to be recruited into the country’s military. As many as 80,000 Russian troops are estimated to have been killed or wounded in the war in Ukraine, so that will have to be one hell of an advertising campaign.
2035. That is the year when California will ban the sale of gas-powered cars. This will likely speed up the switch to electric.
$1.6 billion. That is how much elderly billionaire Barre Seid donated to new conservative dark-money group Marble Freedom Trust, in the largest known donation to a political advocacy group in history. Federalist Society co-chair, Trump advisor, and conservative judicial kingmaker Leonard Leo runs the Marble Freedom Trust, and the money will likely be used to put more conservatives on courts throughout the country.
This may be the reason why we can’t teach old dogs new tricks.
Most dog-owners agree that dogs are just like humans in many ways. But scientists have found one similarity no one is wild about. As dogs age, they are increasingly at risk for Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD). Basically, doggy dementia.
The study, published in Scientific Reports, found that the risk of CCD increases by a whopping 50% each year after a dog has lived ten years. Those odds increase even more for inactive dogs.
This doesn’t mean your dog is definitely going to have CCD, but it is something to keep an eye on. They might not be peeing in your living room just because they think it’s a good conversation piece.
Britney Spears is trending because she released her first new song since her conservatorship ended. “Hold Me Closer” is a collaboration with Elton John, and it is ready to hit the clubs. The song also hit number #1 on Friday making this her first #1 since 2013.