Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: August 29, 2022

More artillery strikes hit near Ukraine nuclear plant, Pakistan appeals for additional aid as flood death toll rises, and more

1

Shelling continues near Ukraine nuclear plant ahead of inspection

More artillery fire hit near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in southern Ukraine over the weekend, Ukrainian officials said Sunday. The fighting came as the International Atomic Energy Agency prepares to send a team of scientists this week to assess damage from recent shelling. Ukraine and Russia blame each other for strikes dangerously close to the nuclear plant, Europe's largest. Russian forces, which have controlled the area where the plant is located since shortly after they invaded Ukraine in late February, fired rocket artillery and howitzers over the weekend at the Ukraine-controlled town of Nikopol, across from the Dnipro River from the plant. The IAEA said the most recent attacks "once again underlined the risk of a potential nuclear accident."

2

Pakistan appeals for more aid as flood death toll rises 

Pakistan appealed for more international aid as the death toll from devastating floods that started in mid-June rose to 1,033. The National Disaster Management Authority said Sunday that 119 people had died within the last 24 hours. The United States, Britain, United Arab Emirates, and other countries have already contributed money, but an aide to Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told the BBC that the country desperately needs more help. "Pakistan has been grappling with economic issues, but now just when we were about to overcome them the monsoon disaster hit," the aide said. According to reports in the Dawn newspaper, Sharif has promised $45 million to provide every affected family $112 within a week.

3

NASA says moon mission launch plan unaffected by lightning strikes

NASA said Sunday that its new moon rocket, the 322-foot Space Launch System, suffered no damage in a weekend thunderstorm that included several lightning strikes at the launch pad. The rocket, the most powerful one NASA has ever built, is scheduled to blast off Monday for a test flight with an empty Orion crew capsule, built for NASA by Amazon, Cisco, and Lockheed Martin, although the countdown was delayed due to a fuel leak. The Artemis 1 mission capsule will orbit the moon with three test dummies to check vibration, acceleration, and radiation. If all goes well on the six-week test flight, astronauts could return to the moon in a few years, a half-century after the U.S. space agency's Apollo program. 

4

American, 24, dies fighting in Ukraine

A 24-year-old Memphis, Tennessee, native was killed in combat "literally immediately after arriving at the front line" to fight alongside Ukrainian troops against Russian forces in the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Oleg Kozhemyako, governor of Russia's eastern Primorsky Krai region, said on Telegram. USA Today reported Sunday that the State Department had confirmed the American's death. "Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we have no further comment at this time," the State Department told the newspaper in an email. The American was killed Tuesday by pro-Russia militia forces in the Donbas region, and his passport and other identifying documents were found on him, DPR spokesperson Darya Morozova said. Two other Americans were killed in Ukraine last month.

5

Kinzinger: It's 'hypocritical' for GOP to defend Trump taking classified documents

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) on Sunday accused fellow Republicans of "hypocrisy" for defending former President Donald Trump's handling of classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate, after many of the same GOP lawmakers spent "years chanting 'lock her up' about Hillary Clinton because of some deleted emails." Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, made the comments on NBC's Meet the Press. The Justice Department on Friday released a redacted version of the affidavit used to obtain a search warrant for the Aug. 8 raid of Trump's home, indicating the feds are investigating several potential crimes, including obstruction of justice. Trump denies any wrongdoing.

6

O'Rourke pauses campaign events after hospitalization

Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic candidate for governor in Texas, said Sunday he would postpone all campaign events after being hospitalized for a bacterial infection. O'Rourke, a former three-term member of Congress, said he checked into Methodist Hospital in San Antonio after feeling sick, and was treated with IV antibiotics. He said via Twitter that his symptoms had improved and he would rest at home in El Paso as his doctors advised. O'Rourke, who is challenging Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in November, said he would be "back on the road with you as soon as I am able." Abbott leads O'Rourke by 7 percentage points, according to a Dallas Morning News/UT Tyler poll conducted in the first week of August.

7

Man opens fire in Oregon supermarket, killing 2

A gunman opened fire in the parking lot of a shopping center in Bend, Oregon, before entering a Safeway grocery store and fatally shooting two people. Police who responded to reports of shots at the Forum Shopping Center found the man believed to be the attacker dead, with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle and a shotgun near the body. Officers didn't fire any shots, Bend Police Chief Mike Krantz said. A third victim is being treated at a nearby hospital, in good condition. Customers and workers "started running out the back emergency exit telling other people to do the same," said Dexter Chamberlin, who was checking out at the Safeway when the gunfire erupted. "We ran to a nearby apartment complex and hid."

8

Jackson, Mississippi, braces for flooding as Pearl River crests

People living along the Pearl River in Mississippi braced for flooding over the weekend as the water level rose following heavy August rains in the central part of the state. Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said as many as 150 homes in the northeastern and southern parts of the state capital were threatened as experts predicted the river would crest at 36 feet early Monday. "If you are able to get out of your home, do it now," Lumumba urged people in flood-prone neighborhoods. Parts of the area flooded in 2020 when the river crested at 36.67 feet. Gov. Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency. "If your home flooded in 2020, there is a high probability it will happen again," he said.

9

Poll: GOP could gain fewer House seats than previously expected

A CBS News poll released Sunday indicated that Republicans could gain fewer House seats than previously expected in the fall midterms, but still win control with a narrow majority. The new poll found that the GOP is poised to gain 12 seats, which would give them a total of 226 seats, down from the 230 seats the CBS election tracker predicted in July. Some Republicans had hoped for 240 seats or more. The shift came as the public reaction to the Supreme Court's overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision that had protected abortion rights shifted momentum to the Democrats. Falling gas prices and what CBS called "the Donald Trump factor" also hurt Republicans.

10

Mickey Mantle baseball card sells for record $12.6 million

A mint condition Mickey Mantle baseball card fetched $12.6 million Sunday, making it the most valuable piece of sports memorabilia ever sold at auction. The previous record was $9.3 million for the jersey sold earlier this year that soccer legend Diego Maradona wore when he scored the "Hand of God" goal in the 1986 world Cup, The New York Times reported. The card featuring Mantle, who was the most powerful switch-hitter in baseball history, would have been sold originally in a wax-wrapped pack for a penny or a nickel, said Chris Ivy, the director of sports auctions at Heritage Auctions. The sale came after a surge in the sports collectible market since the coronavirus crisis hit the U.S. in 2020.

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