Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: September 9, 2019

Harold Maass
Mike Pompeo in Canada


Mark Sanford becomes 3rd Republican to challenge Trump in primaries

Mark Sanford, a former South Carolina governor and congressman, announced Sunday that he would challenge President Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination. "I'm here to tell you now that I am going to get in," he told host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. "As a Republican Party, we have lost our way." Sanford joins fellow challengers former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R), who have already announced longshot bids to oust Trump in the primaries. Sanford will seemingly emphasize the increasing national debt and the need to cut back on deficit spending, though he also said he believes the country needs "to have a conversation about humility," indicating there will be a cultural aspect to the campaign, as well. [The State, The Hill]


Pompeo defends Trump decision to call off Taliban meeting

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday defended President Trump's decision to cancel secret meetings at Camp David with leaders of the Taliban and Afghanistan's government because of a recent Taliban bombing in Kabul that killed a U.S. service member. "When the Taliban tried to gain negotiating advantage by conducting terror attacks inside of the country, President Trump made the right decision to say that's not going to work," Pompeo said as he made a string of appearance on five Sunday TV news shows. He added that Trump won't ease pressure on the Taliban "if they don't deliver on the commitments that they've made." The Taliban said Trump's cancellation of the talks would lead to "more losses" for the U.S. Republican and Democratic critics said Trump should never have planned the meeting so close to the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. [The Associated Press, Reuters]


Nadal wins U.S. Open, beating Medvedev in a 5-set thriller

After five sets and nearly five hours, Rafael Nadal defeated Daniil Medvedev Sunday night during the U.S. Open final, giving him his 19th career Grand Slam championship and putting him one title short of Roger Federer's record total. Nadal, 33, won 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4. "A crazy match, no?" said Nadal. "The nerves were so high after having the match almost under control." Nadal now has four U.S. Open titles, and is the first male to win five Grand Slams in his 30s. The No. 5 seed, Medvedev, 23, was trying to become the first male tennis player born in the 1990s to win a Grand Slam. This was his first time playing in a U.S. Open final. [NBC Sports, The New York Times]


Dorian heads into North Atlantic after battering eastern Canada

Dorian buffeted far-eastern Canada with hurricane-force winds before weakening and heading into the North Atlantic. The storm, which had already hit the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, and the Carolinas, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people. No deaths were reported in Canada. Dorian was blamed for two deaths in the U.S. The storm did its worst damage by far in the northern Bahamas, where it made its first landfall as a catastrophic Category 5 storm with top sustained winds of 185 miles per hour. At least 44 people were killed in the Abaco islands and on Grand Bahama. The toll was expected to rise, as hundreds remained missing in devastated areas still isolated due to storm damage. As many as 70,000 people were left homeless. [Vox, The Associated Press]


Russia's ruling party loses several seats in Moscow election

Local elections were held on Sunday across Russia with most attention focused on Moscow, where large protests took place in July after several opposition candidates were excluded from the ballot. Early Monday, Russian news agency RIA reported that United Russia, the country's ruling party that supports Vladimir Putin, lost roughly one-third of its seats in Moscow's parliament. The party will still likely control 26 of the 45 seats, Reuters reports, retaining its majority. The protests broke out after the Central Election Commission said many opposition candidates couldn't register because they didn't collect enough valid signatures. Critics said the claim was intended to help United Russia hold onto the seats despite dwindling popularity. [Reuters]


U.K. bill barring no-deal Brexit set to become law

Parliament's bill seeking to block a no-deal Brexit is set to become law on Monday over the objections of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The legislation requires Britain to seek another Brexit extension from the European Union if lawmakers don't approve a withdrawal agreement by Oct. 19. Otherwise, the U.K. is scheduled to leave the trading bloc at the end of October. The opposition Labour Party and other groups also have said they would not back Johnson's call for early elections until he agrees to rule out a no-deal Brexit, which Johnson's rivals say would severely damage the British economy. Johnson last week expelled 21 members of his Conservative Party for defying him and joining opposition lawmakers seeking to prevent him from leading the country out of the EU even without a deal. [The New York Times]


Tom Steyer becomes 11th Democrat to qualify for October debate

Billionaire former hedge fund investor Tom Steyer on Sunday became the 11th presidential candidate to qualify for the Democratic Party's October debate. Candidates must receive donations from 130,000 people and reach 2 percent in four national polls to get into the debates. Steyer fell one poll short of qualifying for this week's third Democratic debate, but he received 2 percent support in a new poll released Sunday, good enough to earn him a spot in the Oct. 15 forum in Nevada. "We are thrilled that Tom will be able to share his vision — of how together we can fix our broken political system — with the American public," his campaign manager, Heather Hargreaves, said in a statement on Sunday. [The New York Times]


4 missing after cargo ship catches fire in Georgia

A cargo ship rolled over and caught fire near a Georgia port, the U.S. Coast Guard said Sunday. The vessel, the Golden Ray, had 23 crew members and a pilot on board. Twenty were rescued and search teams were still looking for four crew members who remained missing. Rescuers also were trying to stabilize the 656-foot vehicle carrier. "Once salvage professionals have determined the vessel to be stable, we will identify the best option to continue our rescue efforts for the four crew members who remain on board," Coast Guard Capt. John Reed said at a Sunday news conference. Investigators could not immediately determine the cause of the accident. Hurricane Dorian passed by the area last week, but it was not clear whether sea conditions caused the ship to tip. [The Associated Press]


India detects robotic spacecraft after losing contact during lunar landing

India has detected the robotic spacecraft it sent to the moon's south pole a day after losing contact with it as it was landing, K. Sivan, the director of the Indian Space Research Organization, announced Sunday. The lander was detected on the lunar surface by a thermal image taken by the Chandrayaan-2 mission's orbiter. Indian space officials could not immediately establish the condition of the lander, but they believed it had been through a "hard landing." "We are trying to establish a contact," Sivan said, according to Asian News International. A successful landing on the unexplored part of the moon would have made India the fourth nation to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon, along with the U.S., Russia, and China. [The New York Times]


Opera union launches investigation into allegations against Plácido Domingo

The American Guild of Musical Artists, which represents opera performers, is investigating sexual harassment and abuse allegations against superstar Plácido Domingo. The union said in an email to its members that it had asked opera companies that Domingo, 78, had worked for to look into the allegations, but that the organizations had "been unwilling or unable to provide AGMA with sufficient assurances about the scope and timing of their investigations, as well as whether or not the findings will be publicly disclosed or otherwise made available to the union." The union said in the email that its inquiry would be done by former federal prosecutor J. Bruce Maffeo, now a criminal defense attorney with the firm Cozen O'Connor. [The Associated Press]