Start your day smarter with the most important world news, plus intriguing and offbeat stories.
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Start your day smarter with a dossier on the most important world news, rounded off with a shot of intriguing and offbeat stories. Like the president, you deserve no less.
Aug 12, 2022
The Department of Justice and Donald Trump want the warrant for Monday’s search released to the public. Police in Ohio shot and killed a man suspected of attempting to enter an FBI field office while armed. The U.N. Security Council has been warned of a possible nuclear disaster in Ukraine if both sides don’t act quickly. And South Korea’s president has pardoned the heir to the Samsung empire in a controversial move. All this and more in today’s PDB.
The DOJ Wants You to See the Trump Document Investigation Warrant
The Department of Justice has sought to release the warrant used in Monday’s search at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property due to the “substantial public interest in this matter.” Trump took to his Truth Social platform to say he would not oppose any release: “I am going a step further by ENCOURAGING the immediate release of those documents.” Specifics about the material, which reportedly concerns nuclear weapons, are yet to be released. If the warrant is unsealed it could disclose information about the Trump White House’s handling of sensitive documents, as well as details of the FBI investigation. (Sources: WaPo, AP)
Armed Man Shot, Killed After FBI Office Standoff
Authorities say the man, identified as Ricky Shiffer, tried to enter the FBI’s Cincinnati field office carrying a nail gun and an AR-15 rifle. After fleeing the scene he led local police on a car chase before an hourslong standoff in rural Ohio. A motive is still being investigated, but media reports suggest an account bearing Shiffer’s name made posts on Trump’s Truth Social platform which called for “patriots” to kill federal agents on Tuesday. “Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be deeply concerning to all Americans,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said Thursday night. (Sources: CNN, NYT)
Nuclear Complex Specter Haunts Europe, UN
Russia blames Ukraine, Ukraine says it’s Russia’s fault. The Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex in south-central Ukraine was struck five times Thursday, sparking serious fears of a nuclear fallout amid the crisis. It’s prompted the U.N. nuclear watchdog to push for a demilitarized zone and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to demand both sides back off the area. “This is a serious hour, a grave hour,” International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi told the Security Council in an emergency meeting Thursday night, urging that the IAEA must enter “Zaporizhzhia as soon as possible.” (Sources: Reuters, The Guardian)
South Korea’s Samsung ‘Prince’ Pardoned in Bribery Scandal
Lee Jae-yong was convicted of bribery and embezzlement in 2017 and served 2 1/2 years. President Yoon Suk-yeol’s pardon will reinstate all of Lee’s rights, as needed by the company to help navigate post-pandemic headwinds, the government said. Lee has twice been jailed for bribery, this time for paying $8 million to former President Park Geun-hye and an associate to win backing in a merger. Revelations of that scandal led to mass protests erupting in Seoul each weekend, and the jailing of Park. Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and 1,691 others were also pardoned ahead of South Korea’s Liberation Day anniversary Monday. (Sources: BBC, Yonhap)
Here are some things you should know about today:
‘Monster.’ Wildfires in southern France have forced 10,000 people to evacuate as firefighters battle to tame the blaze. Firefighters from across Europe descended on France to help as the fire reached day three on Thursday. (Source: Reuters) New recipe. Johnson & Johnson will ditch its talc-based baby powder next year and introduce a corn starch product to replace it. Women have blamed the powder for causing ovarian cancer — a charge the company has long denied. (Source: BBC) Mourning. Mali descended into three days of mourning Thursday after dozens of soldiers were killed in twin terror attacks last weekend. The government has blamed an Islamic State-linked group. (Source: DW)
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Climate Crisis: Arctic Heating Up Nearly 4 Times Faster Than Rest
Scientists previously thought the region was only heating up twice as fast as the rest of us. “The Arctic is more sensitive to global warming than previously thought,” researcher Mika Rantanen said of the findings. It’s exactly 3.8 times faster than the rest of the world, according to satellite data tracking changes from 1979 to 2021. Human-caused climate change is the main culprit behind the rapid heating, but other factors, such as the warming of sea ice — which then turns into darker water, heating sea ice even faster — and air pollution from Europe are also driving the process. (Source: NPR)
The FTC is Coming for Big Tech’s User Data
The Federal Trade Commission gave an “advance notice of proposed rulemaking” on Thursday, flagging likely reforms to regulations around user data. Data brokering — the practice of collecting data, organizing it and then selling it on — is “commercial surveillance,” the FTC said, and leaves users vulnerable to hacks or data breaches. Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter noted the agency wasn’t looking at replacing legislation — rather, it’s a move to reform its own regulations. FTC efforts to bring big tech to heel over breaches and other transgressions have been stymied by a 2021 Supreme Court ruling that limits financial penalties it can impose. (Source: Gizmodo)
We Need to Talk About Ezra
Vermont Police Attend ‘The Flash’ Star’s Property in Family Search
Vermont State Police are looking for a 25-year-old woman and her three children, believed to be living with Ezra Miller at their Vermont farm. Police attempted to serve the woman with an emergency order to seize the children into protective custody, but were repeatedly rebuffed by Miller, who claimed the family no longer lived there. Officials believe it may be an attempt to dodge the order, but concerns over Miller’s state of mind have been building in recent months following a string of assault allegations and burglary charges. Warner Bros. Discovery is slated to release The Flash next summer. (Sources: Rolling Stone, AV Club)
Anal Sex Popularity Is a Back Door to Health Issues: Report
Britain’s National Survey of Sexual Attitudes found that among 16-to-24-year-olds, rates of heterosexual anal sex have grown from 12.5% to 28.5% in recent decades. But it’s potentially dangerous, warn surgeons Tabitha Gana and Lesley Hunt. They have found an increase in health problems in women engaging in the sex act, including a rise in trauma injuries. “Women have less robust anal sphincters and lower anal canal pressures than men, and damage caused by anal penetration is therefore more consequential,” the pair wrote in a recent journal article. They advocate more careful screening to reflect the trend. (Source: The Guardian)
Judge Junks LIV Golfers’ Grab for PGA Tournament
Not quite a hole-in-one. A California judge has struck down efforts from Saudi Arabia-backed LIV golfers to force the PGA Tour to rescind a temporary restraining order against them competing in the FedEx Cup playoffs. “The evidence shows almost without a doubt that they will be earning significantly more money with LIV Golf than they could reasonably have expected to make through TOUR play over the same time period,” Judge Beth Labson Freeman ruled Thursday. If LIV golf is the future, Freeman pondered in her judgment, why do Talor Gooch, Matt Jones and Hudson Swafford still want to play PGA? (Source: ESPN)
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