Tue, Aug 08, 2023
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The Department of Education allegedly "stacked the deck in favor of borrowers and against schools," the complaint read.
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Welcome to the Bulletin,
- Special Counsel Jack Smith is asking the court to dismiss Donald Trump's protective order counterproposal that would broaden access to evidence, saying that the initial order sought by the Justice Department was "standard" and "reasonable."
- A three-judge panel blocked new rules enacted by the Education Department that make it easier for some student-loan borrowers to have their debt eliminated, marking another setback for President Joe Biden's student debt relief efforts.
- At least two people have died as severe storms, including hail and lightning, wreaked havoc in the eastern U.S. Damaging winds uprooted trees, millions were knocked out of power, and thousands of flights were canceled or delayed.
- U.S. diplomat Victoria Nuland said she was denied requests to meet with Niger President Mohamed Bazoum during her visit, and that coup leaders were "firm" on "how they want to proceed, and it does not comport with the Constitution."
- New York City Mayor Eric Adams plans to set up a new humanitarian center for asylum seekers along the East River on Randall's Island. The center is expected to house as many as 2,000 adult asylum seekers.
- Director William Friedkin, who won an Academy Award for directing 1971's The French Connection and was also nominated for 1973's The Exorcist, has died at age 87.
- South Korea has started the evacuation of more than 35,000 participants at the World Scout Jamboree from the campsite a week early due to incoming typhoon Khanun, which is forecast to hit the southern regions on Thursday.
- In the ongoing war in Ukraine, at least 31 people were injured and five people died in Russia's strikes on Pokrovsk in the Donetsk Oblast, according to Ukraine's interior minister. Meanwhile, a Ukrainian woman identified as a Russian informant has been arrested after allegedly plotting to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelensky.
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TL/DR: "Is this a surprise they’re (the U.S.) going out? Not necessarily," commentator Alexi Lalas said.
The U.S. women's national soccer team (USWNT) crashed out of the Women's World Cup, losing on penalties to Sweden to end a disappointing tournament campaign. Sweden's winning penalty only crossed the line by ~0.04 inches after being checked by the video official. The USWNT, which won both in 2015 and 2019, was widely tipped to pick up a third successive title in Megan Rapinoe's final World Cup before retirement. So what went wrong?
There were injuries before the tournament started, affecting a settled starting 11. Despite that, sticking with the remaining familiar names meant the U.S. team had an average age of 28.3 years, the fourth-oldest in the tournament. Rapinoe is 38. "They were just not good enough to go and win that historic third in a row," U.S. legend Alexi Lalas said. The more complicated answer is that the global women's game has caught up, with American early investment in the game now matched by rivals. For Donald Trump, a frequent critic of the USWNT, the answer was more clear. "WOKE EQUALS FAILURE," he wrote on Truth Social.
What happens now? Rapinoe and defender Julie Ertz have already announced their retirement from the team. Coach Vlatko Andonovski is widely rumored to lose his job but, for now, remains in post. As for the Women’s World Cup as a whole, England, Spain, and Japan (in order of odds) are now favorites with bookmakers.
TL/DR: More than 30% of Americans support the military forces heading to the war-torn country, but President Joe Biden has said that U.S. soldiers "are not and will not be engaged in a conflict with Russia."
Almost one-third (31%) of Americans support sending U.S. troops to the battlefields of Ukraine, a new poll conducted for Newsweek found. 34% neither support nor oppose the idea, while 34% of respondents are against it. The U.S. is Ukraine's biggest backer in terms of military aid, but the President Joe Biden administration said the U.S. military will not head to the front lines. Washington has pledged over $43 billion in security assistance to Kyiv.
Gen Z (18-26 years) heavily supported the measure, with 47% support; just 4% felt strongly against it. Those over 59 years opposed it, with 25% "strongly" opposing the idea. In July, President Joe Biden authorized additional 3,000 reserve troops to be sent to Europe "to defend our NATO allies." But Ukraine is not part of the U.S.-led alliance despite desperate calls. Ukrainian leaders acknowledge that its NATO membership is not possible until the war ends.
What happens now? Another survey for Newsweek found that American support for Ukraine joining NATO is declining. 47% of respondents said they support Ukraine being admitted into NATO, down from 55% just three months ago. About 100,000 U.S. troops are in Europe, including in nations like Poland that have emerged as a critical hub for supporting and supplying aid to Ukraine. This is in addition to the 300,000 troops kept on standby by NATO's 31-member alliance.
TL/DR: "My country is on fire right now. We wake up one morning and, you know, the entire country was changed completely," Gal Salomon, co-founder and executive chairman of healthtech company CLEW, told Newsweek's Paul Rhodes.
Israel is in a moment of crisis, both within and without. However, a first-time visitor sees signs of hope. A day after Newsweek's Paul Rhodes arrived, Israel Defense Forces raided a Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin. That did little to hamper a party atmosphere among people at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Tel Aviv didn't skip a beat after a terror attack there. "We live in a tough neighborhood" and have "known periods of terror worse than what is going on now," resident and chief executive of food-tech startup Dr. Ilan Samish said. "Tel Aviv is a very safe space."
Despite being frequently targeted by missile attacks, the city of Sderot is a magnet for young families. For some, the biggest threat: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policies. Protests over the judicial overhaul have created uncertainty that is spooking investors, Samish said. New startups — that are a big driver for Israel's economy — are now failing to attract backers.
What happens now? “The only solution that I see right now is two states,” Salomon says. “We have to let [the Palestinians] go." However, the chances of such a solution soon seem slim. Hamas wants the destruction of the Jewish state, while Israel said it does not negotiate with terrorists, and Hamas and Hezbollah are designated terror groups by Israel and the U.S. Department of State. Public support for the solution is falling too. Among all Israelis—Jews and Arabs—39% back a two-state solution, the lowest level since surveys began in June 2016. Knesset member Milwidsky says an agreement with the Palestinians is needed but with less help than usual from the U.S. Middle East expert Meir Javedanfar noted that the U.S. is distracted by the Ukraine war, China, and its domestic headaches. "We need to look after ourselves more.” He is hopeful of a reconciliation, however slow and painful that may be.
TL/DR: Insurance companies are departing from Florida due to its vulnerability to extreme weather conditions as climate change continues to threaten the nation's insurance market.
Florida is becoming "uninsurable" according to experts, and the Sunshine State may not be the last as extreme weather continues to threaten the nation's insurance market. At least six insurers went insolvent in Florida last year with 15 major insurers announcing a departure from the state due to its vulnerability to extreme weather; and while climate change intensifies the frequency and severity of these weather conditions, other states, starting from California, could see an exodus of insurance companies too.
Farmers Insurance is one of the latest insurers to depart from Florida citing "catastrophe costs at historically high levels and reconstruction costs continuing to climb". Economist and researcher Yanjun Liao told Newsweek that insurers "might not be completely clear" on how to measure damage risks associated with extreme events if the nation continues experiencing growth in catastrophic weather. During the 1990s, the country averaged $23 billion in annual insured losses, but that has since shot up to $70 billion.
What happens now? Experts say the insurance crisis is a “50-state issue.” Insurer departures could expand to the lower Southeast and the upper Midwest in the future, "where insurance companies may decide to start pulling back as well" according to Florida State professor Charles Nyce. In Louisiana, for example, major storms over the last five years have already driven up the overall cost of insurance on the private side, and wildfires in California will also spread, adding to the insurance burden. Nyce says companies will have to fundamentally change how they reprice, how they look at risk, and how they’re investing from a mitigation and adaptation standpoint.
TL/DR: "We support Pakistan's government's efforts to combat terrorism and ensure the safety and security of its citizens in a manner that promotes the rule of law, the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, good governance, tolerance, and inclusiveness," a State Department spokesperson told Newsweek.
Pakistan is looking to China and the U.S. for support in bringing stability to the region as the security situation continues to deteriorate over growing militancy and threats of conflict, Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. told Newsweek. Despite their feud, Khan said the two power have an interest in averting a major crisis. China-Pakistan cooperation on economic, security, and defense has helped instill stability, Khan said, and Pakistan was seeking "an equally robust relationship" with Washington.
Several issues plague Pakistan: Protests over former Prime Minister Imran Khan's arrest, economic prospects, growing militant attacks, and tensions with India over Kashmir. Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif recently said he was prepared to resume dialogue with India. Washington supported the move. Amid rising security woes after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, a State Department spokesperson said that a visit by U.S. officials to speak with Taliban officials demonstrated how "we are open to continuing" a dialogue with the group to combat "terrorism" and "counternarcotics efforts."
What happens now? Khan welcomed the U.S. position on both the Taliban and India, hoping “there would be a reciprocal resonance from New Delhi.” Washington's engagement with the Taliban could be useful in pursuing the shared goal of pushing the group “to neutralize these terrorist groups,” He argued. Chinese Embassy to the U.S. spokesperson Liu Pengyu said “China will continue to maintain close communication and coordination with all parties on combating terrorism and jointly safeguard world peace and tranquility." But the International Monetary Fund’s new $3 billion approved funds are conditional on policy reforms. Former cricket player Sarfraz Nawaz was hopeful that, with support from the IMF, China, Western powers, and Middle Eastern countries, Pakistan could climb out of its current troubles if the government played its part.
TL/DR: “The city is not opposed to groups feeding those who are homeless,” said Houston mayor Sylvester Turner. “But doing it in front of the central library is discouraging families, children, and others from using it.”
An international group that is known for sharing free vegetarian meals with the hungry and protesting war and poverty is at the center of a battle in Houston. Food Not Bombs volunteers are facing tens of thousands of dollars in fines after a crackdown by the Houston Police Department, which has issued at least 44 tickets to volunteers since March for violating a 2012 city ordinance that restricts meal donations.
The law was never enforced until now. Why now? The city says it's a health and safety issue and has caused a rise in complaints outside the Houston Public Library, where volunteers are staged. An alternative feeding location was offered. But, was refused as it is next to a police station. Controversy is not new to the organization, whose members have faced arrest for sharing food since its start in Boston in the 1980s. The movement has spread from San Francisco to Houston to London and has served as soldiers in the fight against homelessness. California, New York, Florida, Washington, and Texas account for 55% of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S.
What happens now? Both Houston and Food Not Bombs have vowed to stay the course, with the city intending to issue more tickets and Food Not Bombs threatening to challenge all of them in court. If found guilty, each ticket could see them handed the maximum penalty of $2,000 per fine, equating to around $88,000 in total. So far, two cases were dismissed because officers failed to appear in court. “They're criminalizing people that are trying to help people," Aliene Wingate-Adams, a volunteer who was cited told KPRC news. Adams has extended an invitation to the Mayor and city to visit the organization in an attempt to diffuse tensions.
I'm a Trans Man. I Didn't Realize How Broken Men Are
Robin Williams, illustrated as a giant blue Genie, had just finished singing to Aladdin about how he had never had a friend like him. I observed intently, desperate to find a Genie who could make me look like the boy I was on the inside. This was one of my first memories of realizing I was transgender. I was eight years old in the 1990s.
As I grew, my life showed cracks in my identity. I had three sisters, and it was painfully evident that one of us was not like the others. When I came out to my mom, she went through her old journals and found one from when I was three. She wrote in it how I seemed to hate being a girl. My life constantly felt like a puzzle that was missing too many pieces.
When I enthusiastically started the transition process at 26 years old, I thought I had prepared for all the significant side effects: Acne, sweating, having an enormous appetite, and everything else that comes from testosterone.The Full STORY
- "There's this issue...about whether or not you can put a former president with a Secret Service detail in a prison, I offered a solution the other day: put him in solitary confinement. Then he won't have exposure to the general population, and then he won't be a safety risk, a security risk. I think it's absurd to think that you cannot put somebody who ends up going through the process, who's convicted and sentenced, I think it's absurd that you'd put him in anything but a federal penitentiary where he deserves to be. Again, we do not treat him any differently than we'd do [for] any of us if we were prosecuted...and we were sentenced, and we were having to do the time. We should do it exactly where everyone else has to do it," MSNBC host Kaite Phang arguing in favor of keeping former President Donald Trump in solitary confinement if convicted after he pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against him in his second federal indictment.
- "If we don't heed that call, shame on us. And the consequences, I believe, would be disastrous. So my call is to go to our well-positioned, well-prepared—of good character and competency, you know who they are—to jump in. Because Democrats and the country need competition." Democratic lawmaker Dean Phillips warned of consequences if President Joe Biden is not successfully challenged in the 2024 presidential primary.
- "Will this lead to a full-blown war in Africa? It certainly has the potential to do so, and would be a significant and devastating event," Former NATO Commander James Stavridis said Sunday on the conflict in Niger amid a looming deadline for coup leaders to cede power.
- Former Minneapolis police officer Tou Thao will be sentenced for his role in the 2020 killing of George Floyd. A judge will decide whether Thao — the last of four officers to be sentenced in the case — will spend additional time in prison after being found guilty of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
- President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will welcome the Houston Astros to the White House to celebrate the team's 2022 World Series victory. The visit comes ahead of a three-game series between Astros and Baltimore Orioles.
- The week will be critical for investors as the consumer price index and producer prices could determine whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in September. Consumer credit for June is on the calendar today at 3 p.m. ET.
- Shares of Palantir Technologies, Tyson Foods, and Paramount Global will be in focus as the companies report their quarterly earnings reports.
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Is that what I want? And if I do that, what am I sacrificing?
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August 11 issue
'Sound of Freedom' Reveals Rising Power of Jesus in Hollywood
Moscow's Propaganda Machine Is Malfunctioning
Election 2024 Poll: How Voters Feel About Key Issues
How Big Brands Support Unreliable AI-Generated Sites
From Garbage to Green: Global Fashion Shows That Highlight Sustainability
Ophelia Lovibond is Ready for Minx's Starz Era
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Israel is at a moment of crisis, both within and without. A first-time visitor, however, sees signs of hope.
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