Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 2, 2022

Hurricane Ian death toll rises to 67 as recovery continues, Biden to visit Puerto Rico and Florida, and more


Deaths in Florida from Hurricane Ian rise to 67 as recovery effort continues

The number of deaths in Florida from Hurricane Ian has risen to at least 67, according to officials, as people across parts of the state begin the massive recovery effort. The hurricane made landfall this past Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, and carved a path through southwest and central Florida before heading north and leaving more devastation in South Carolina. While Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has said that at least 1,070 people have been rescued from the flooding, the significant cleanup is just beginning to get underway, and thousands of Floridians remain displaced from their homes. Deaths in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Cuba have also been confirmed as a result of the storm. 


President Biden to visit Puerto Rico and Florida in coming week

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, President Joe Biden will visit Puerto Rico and Florida this coming week, the White House said on Saturday. The president, along with first lady Dr. Jill Biden, will travel to both locations to survey the damage left by the hurricane, one of the strongest to batter the region in years. The first couple will visit Puerto Rico on Monday, followed by a trip to Florida on Wednesday, where Biden is likely to meet with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). Though the two have been at odds the past few weeks over DeSantis' decision to send migrants to northern states, DeSantis has shown an effort to coordinate with the federal government in recent days. 


United States brings home 7 detainees in prisoner swap with Venezuela

The United States on Saturday secured the release of seven American detainees from Venezuela in a rare prisoner swap with the country. In exchange, the U.S. released a pair of nephews of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's wife, who had both been in American prisons on narcotics charges. The seven freed Americans include five executives from oil company Citgo that had been held captive by Venezuelan authorities for almost five years. The prisoner transfer, which reportedly took place on the Venezuelan-allied island of St. Vincent and Grenadines, followed a months-long negotiation process between the U.S. and Venezuela. Despite the rare show of diplomacy, the White House insisted that its policy towards the socialist-run country had not changed. 


National Archives says some Trump administration records are still missing

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) said in a recent letter to Congress that a number of records from the former Trump administration are still missing. While all presidential records should have been turned over under the Presidential Records Act when former President Trump left office, the letter, addressed to the House Oversight Committee, said that gaps in the records remain. This includes records related to "non-official electronic messaging accounts that were not copied or forwarded into their official electronic messaging accounts," which administration employees would have been required to do. The letter comes as the investigation into the former president's handling of classified documents at his personal home in Mar-a-Lago continues. 


Over 130 people dead following stampede at Indonesian soccer game

A massive crowd crush at an Indonesian soccer game on Sunday ended with at least 131 people dead, according to officials, making it one of the deadliest stadium disasters in history. The incident occurred during a match in the city of East Java between Arema FC and rival Persebaya Surabaya. Following the game, fans of the two teams reportedly began to get confrontational in the stands, and the violence soon escalated throughout the stadium. Police then deployed tear gas directly into the crowd, and reportedly beat fans with riot gear as well. This caused a mad dash for the stadium's exit, which led to a stampede that resulted in mass casualties and crush injuries. 


CDC says Monkeypox virus could spread throughout U.S. 'indefinitely'

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the monkeypox virus is unlikely to be eradicated in the United States, and could spread through the country "indefinitely," according to a report from the organization. The CDC said that while the outbreak of the virus has begun to slow following increased vaccination rates, low-level transmissions could continue for the foreseeable future. According to the report, transmission is likely to remain especially prevalent in the LGBT+ community, particularly among gay and bisexual men. The outbreak first began this past summer, with the Biden administration declaring a public health emergency in August. 


Brazilians head to polls in presidential election amid violence, uncertainty

Amid a climate of violence and political uncertainty, Brazilians on Sunday cast their votes in the latest presidential election. The election pits incumbent right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro against the more progressive Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Lula, who previously served as president from 2003 to 2010, has enjoyed a steady lead in the polls for months, and early exit numbers showed that he looked poised to cruise to an easy victory over the incumbent Bolsonaro. However, Bolsonaro has caused many in the country to fear post-election violence or reprisals, given that he has hinted he may not accept the results of the election if Lula wins. If no candidate wins more than half of the votes, though, then the pair will participate in a run-off election on Oct. 30. 


House passes bill giving $2.7 billion to families of 9/11 victims

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan bill that would allocate $2.7 billion in funding for families of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The bill passed with an overwhelming margin of 400 to 31. The bill was sponsored as part of a bipartisan effort from New York representatives and would earmark lump-sum payments to be directed to any 9/11 family members who have been unable to receive money from the government's Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism Fund. "For years, the wives, husbands, and children of those killed on 9/11 were refused assistance from this particular fund, even as more distant relatives received compensation," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "This is about fairness today." The bill will now head to the Senate. 


Doctor that allowed Dolphins quarterback to play after injuries is fired

The doctor that allowed Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to play again following an apparent head injury was reportedly fired by the NFL Player's Association on Saturday. Tagovailoa was injured during a game last weekend against the Buffalo Bills, but was cleared by medical staff to return to the field — despite appearing to be wobbly and unstable. Just four days later, during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals this past Thursday, Tagovailoa hit his head again and had to be stretchered off the field. Immediately following the hit, the quarterback's hands were seen to be displayed in front of him in a "fencing position," often a sign of traumatic brain trauma. Tagovaiola later released a statement thanking fans for their support. 


'Saturday Night Live' returns for Season 48

Live from New York, Saturday Night Live returned to the airwaves for its 48th season, with host Miles Teller and musical guest Kendrick Lamar. The sketch comedy show began by poking fun at the show itself during its cold opening and utilized a number of surprise cameos to generate laughs from the crowd. The new season comes amidst a flurry of changes for SNL, as a number of notable cast members, including Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Chris Redd all departed the show. This marked one of the show's single-largest cast changes in years and paved the way for a number of new featured players to be hired on. 


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