Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: August 28, 2022

Judge announces 'preliminary intent' to appoint special master for Mar-a-Lago documents, U.S. warships enter Taiwan Strait, and more

1

Judge announces 'preliminary intent' to appoint special master to review Mar-a-Lago documents

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon issued a two-page order on Saturday signaling her "preliminary intent" to grant former President Donald Trump's request that the court appoint a special master. The special master, a third-party attorney, will be tasked with reviewing the documents taken from Mar-a-Lago and returning to Trump any records that fall outside the scope of the search warrant that prompted the raid. Cannon also told the Justice Department to provide her with more information about the classified records taken from the former president's residence.

2

U.S. warships enter Taiwan Strait for 1st time since Pelosi visit

Two United States Navy warships, the guided-missile cruisers USS Antietam and USS Chancellorsville, entered the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, becoming the first U.S. naval vessels to pass through the waterway since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) visited the contested island earlier this month. The U.S. 7th Fleet in Japan said in a statement that the warships passed "through waters where high seas freedoms of navigation and overflight apply in accordance with international law" and that there had been "no interference from foreign military forces so far." Col. Shi Yi of the Chinese People's Liberation Army said the move demonstrates "that the U.S. is a destroyer of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait."

3

Cruz worries 'slacker baristas' who had student loans forgiven might 'get off the bong' and vote

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) expressed concern Friday that "slacker baristas" who benefited from student loan forgiveness might "get off the bong" long enough to vote Democrat in November. "There is a real risk," Cruz said on his podcast, Verdict with Ted Cruz. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) responded by tweeting a video of a group of nurses explaining their struggles with student debt. "[T]hey are not slackers. They deserve relief," Sanders wrote. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) made a comment similar to Cruz's on Saturday, accusing President Biden of "robbing hard working Americans to pay for Karen's daughter's degree in lesbian dance theory."

4

Shaquille O'Neal joins effort to amend Australian Constitution

Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal lent his voice to an effort to amend the Australian Constitution, appearing at a press conference in Sydney alongside Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Saturday. The proposed amendment would create an indigenous "Voice to Parliament" to ensure that Australia's Aboriginal communities were consulted on issues affecting them. A date for the referendum has not yet been set. To succeed, an Australian referendum needs the support of a majority of voters nationwide and the support of a majority of voters in a majority of states. The last Australian referendum, which would have cut the country's ties with the British monarchy and established a republic, failed in 1999.

5

Report: Trump's Truth Social platform faces financial setbacks

Former President Donald Trump's social media platform is in financial trouble, The Washington Post reported Saturday. Truth Social, which launched in February, is still struggling to attract a large audience, drawing around 300,000 daily active users compared to Twitter's 37 million. Trump, by far the most followed person on Truth Social, has around four million followers. Former President Barack Obama, the most followed person on Twitter, has over 132 million. Digital World Acquisition, the firm planning to acquire the media company behind Truth Social, warned last week that those numbers could slide even further if Trump "becomes less popular or there are further controversies that damage his credibility."

6

Clashes between rival Libyan militias leave at least 23 dead in Tripoli

A series of clashes between rival Libyan militias left at least 23 people dead and 140 injured in the capital city of Tripoli, the country's Ministry of Health said Saturday. The country's Government of National Unity, which has the backing of the United Nations, said the fighting was triggered by "a military group firing randomly at a convoy." Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said Guterres "urges the Libyan parties to engage in a genuine dialogue to address the ongoing political impasse and not to use force to resolve their differences."

7

Macron concludes trip to Algeria with joint declaration of 'renewed partnership'

French President Emmanuel Macron concluded a three-day visit to Algeria on Saturday, signing a joint declaration with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune in which the two leaders agreed "to open a new era ... laying the foundation for a renewed partnership." Macron also announced that he would admit an additional 8,000 Algerian students to French universities. Algeria gained its independence from France in 1962 following 132 years of colonial rule and eight brutal years of war, a history that strains relations between the countries to this day. Last year, Macron accused Algeria's government of promoting "hatred towards France"

8

Pakistan floods destroy major bridge, displacing 180,000 people

Some 180,000 Pakistanis fled their homes on Saturday after ongoing floods destroyed a major bridge in the country's northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Pakistan's government has called in the army to assist in disaster relief, with army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa promising not to "spare any effort to assist them in this difficult time." The flooding, which began in mid-June due to heavy rainfall, has killed over 900 people in Pakistan and nearly 200 in neighboring Afghanistan.

9

Pope Francis praises medieval pontiff who resigned

Pope Francis on Sunday visited the tomb of Pope Celestine V, who resigned the papacy in 1294. Francis tweeted that Celestine "was a courageous witness of the Gospel. In him, we admire a Church free from worldly logic, witnessing completely to that name of God which is Mercy." He also praised his medieval precursor's humility. Some observers suggest that Francis' visit to Celestine's tomb in L'Aquila, Italy, could foreshadow his own resignation. Celestine, a pious monk with little talent for administration, is a canonized saint in the Catholic Church, but is a denizen of hell Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Dante disapproved of Celestine's resignation, which delivered the papacy to the politically assertive Pope Boniface VIII.

10

Buffalo Bills release rookie punter accused of gang-raping a minor

The Buffalo Bills on Saturday released punter Matt Araiza after he and two of his former college teammates were accused of gang-raping a 17-year-old girl at a party last year. The 22-year-old rookie, who earned the nickname "Punt God" during his years at San Diego State, was set to be the Bills' starting punter in the upcoming season. The plaintiff, identified only as Jane Doe, filed the lawsuit on Thursday, claiming that she was intoxicated and slipping in and out of consciousness when the sexual assault took place. Araiza said Friday that the "facts of the incident are not what they are portrayed in the lawsuit or in the press."

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