Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: September 13, 2022

Ukraine's counteroffensive in Kharkiv region drives Russians back to border, Biden expands "Cancer Moonshot" initiative, and more


Ukrainian forces drive Russians to border in Kharkiv counteroffensive

Ukraine's military continued its unexpectedly swift counteroffensive against Russian troops in northeastern Kharkiv province on Monday, retaking several villages and driving retreating, outnumbered Russian troops all the way to the Russian border. A Russian-installed official in the region, Vitaly Ganchev, told the state-owned Rossiya-24 television channel "the situation is becoming more difficult by the hour." The success of the counteroffensive, after months without significant progress for Ukraine, boosted national morale and prompted even some of Russian President Vladimir Putin's allies to criticize the invasion. "The world is impressed. The enemy is panicking," Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said.


Biden expands 'Cancer Moonshot'

President Biden on Monday announced an expansion of his "Cancer Moonshot" initiative to reduce cancer deaths by speeding up research on new treatments, detection, and prevention methods. Cancer "doesn't care if you're a Republican or a Democrat," Biden said at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. "Beating cancer is something we can do together." Biden compared the push to Kennedy's speech exactly 60 years ago calling for putting a man on the moon. Biden said his administration's initiative aims to reduce cancer deaths by 50 percent over 25 years. He named longtime science adviser Renee Wegrzyn as the first director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, created in March.


King Charles and siblings escort Queen Elizabeth's coffin in Edinburgh procession

Britain's King Charles III and his siblings — Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, and Prince Edward — on Monday walked behind the hearse carrying the coffin of their mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as it was driven from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland. Thousands of mourners watched the procession silently. The queen will lie in rest in the cathedral until Tuesday afternoon. The coffin will then be flown to London and taken to Buckingham Palace ahead of a Monday funeral in Westminster Abbey. British police have arrested at least four people who protested the monarchy and King Charles as the nation mourns the death of the queen, whose 70-year reign was the longest in the country's history.


DOJ says it would accept Trump special master candidate

The Justice Department indicated in court papers filed Monday that it would accept one of former President Donald Trump's two proposed candidates for special master to review documents seized in a search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. If Judge Aileen Cannon selects the candidate, former New York federal judge Raymond Dearie, as special master, the review could start soon. Trump's lawyers on Monday asked Cannon to deny a DOJ request to restore FBI access to the material for its criminal investigation into Trump's handling of classified documents and other papers that belong in the National Archives. Cannon has told the FBI and prosecutors they can't use the material until a special master has determined whether some documents are protected by attorney-client or executive privilege.


Book: Trump intended to stay in White House despite loss

Former President Donald Trump seemed to acknowledge he had lost to President Biden right after the 2020 election, before changing course and insisting the election had been stolen from him, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman writes in a forthcoming book. Haberman said that after Trump started questioning the legitimacy of the results, he told close aides he was "never leaving" the White House, CNN reported Monday. "I'm just not going to leave," Trump told an aide, according to Haberman. It had not been previously reported that Trump insisted he simply wouldn't leave the White House. Haberman's book, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, is due out Oct. 4.


DOJ expands Jan. 6 inquiry with 40 subpoenas in a week

Justice Department officials issued 40 subpoenas to one-time aides of former President Donald Trump in a week, marking a major escalation in the federal investigation into Trump's campaign to reverse his 2020 election loss to President Biden, The New York Times reported Monday. The Justice Department, with court approval, seized the phones of at least two top-ranking Trump advisers — Boris Epshteyn, an in-house counsel involved in coordinating Trump's legal efforts, and Mike Roman, who served as the Trump campaign's Election Day operations director. The moves, separate from an inquiry into Trump's handling of classified records, are part of the Justice Department's criminal investigation into potential links between the Trump team and the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by a mob of Trump's supporters.


Biden pushes to avert rail strike that could worsen supply problems

President Biden and members of his Cabinet are talking with leaders of unions and rail companies about averting a freight-rail strike that could worsen supply-chain problems. Negotiations between the unions, which represent about 60,000 workers, and the railroads have hit an impasse ahead of a Friday deadline, when a cooling-off period Biden imposed two months ago expires. Biden's Presidential Emergency Board has recommended a settlement that includes an immediate 14 percent raise and more raises going forward, among other benefits. About 45,000 other union members are represented by unions that have reached tentative contract deals, but a strike by engineers and conductors represented by the still-negotiating unions could bring to a halt railways that carry nearly 30 percent of the nation's freight.


Blue Origin suffers its 1st rocket launch failure

Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket suffered an unspecified booster-rocket failure just over a minute after launch on Monday, triggering its unoccupied capsule's emergency abort system. The capsule's single engine blasted it away from the booster rocket, and the capsule, which carried science experiments from schools, universities, and other organizations, landed safely in the West Texas desert under parachute. It was the first failed launch for Blue Origin, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' spaceflight company. The failure occurred at Max Q, the moment when an ascending rocket hits its most intense aerodynamic stress. Blue Origin has flown 31 people on suborbital flights and aimed for more flights this year, but those plans are on hold pending a Federal Aviation Administration investigation.


L.A. County confirms 1st monkeypox death

Los Angeles County public health officials on Monday announced the nation's first confirmed monkeypox death. The person, a resident of the county, died Thursday, but the cause of death was still under investigation at that point by the county Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An adult who was severely immunocompromised and diagnosed with monkeypox died in Texas last month, but the precise cause of that death has yet to be determined. Eighteen people have died in other countries this year, but the United States has experienced the world's biggest outbreak, with nearly 22,000 cases. Monkeypox, which is related to smallpox but less deadly, was rarely reported outside Africa before this year.


Lee Jung-jae, Zendaya make Emmy history

Netflix's hit series Squid Game won several categories at Monday's Emmy Awards, with South Korea's Lee Jung-jae becoming the first Asian actor to win outstanding lead actor in a drama series. He was also the first person to win the award for a series that's not in English. Hwang Dong-hyuk took the award for best director in the drama category. Zendaya won the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series. The Euphoria star, who also won in 2020, became the first Black actor to win the lead drama actress Emmy twice. "My greatest wish for Euphoria was that it could help heal people, and I just want to say thank you for everyone who has shared their story with me," Zendaya said.


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