Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: November 19, 2022

Justice Department names special counsel to investigate Trump, negotiators reportedly strike deal on U.N. climate talks, and more

1

Justice Department names special counsel to investigate Trump

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday named a special counsel to helm the two major criminal investigations into former President Donald Trump. The counsel, Jack Smith, will take over as the primary investigator examining Trump's role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and will also oversee the investigation into reported classified documents being kept at Trump's home in Florida after leaving office. Smith is the former head of the Justice Department's public integrity wing, and most recently served as the chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague, where he investigated war crimes during the Kosovo War. Trump has said he will not cooperate with the special counsel. 

2

Negotiators reportedly strike deal on U.N. climate talks

Negotiators on Saturday reportedly struck a potential landmark deal on United Nations climate talks - the creation of a fund to compensate poor nations victimized by extreme weather due to climate change. Maldives Environment Minister Aminath Shauna told The Associated Press, "There is an agreement on loss and damage." The deal is in theory only, as it still needs to be ratified unanimously in a vote, but Shauna added that, "That means for countries like ours we will have the mosaic of solutions that we have been advocating for." The proposal reportedly came from Egyptian officials. 

3

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes sentenced to more than 11 years in prison

Elizabeth Holmes, the embattled founder of Theranos who was found guilty of massive fraud involving hundreds of millions of dollars, was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison on Friday. She was sentenced to a total of 135 months, to be followed by an additional three months of supervised release after her imprisonment. Holmes was found guilty this past January of defrauding investors on the merits of her blood testing machines, and was facing up to 20 years in prison - though federal prosecutors were seeking just 15 years. Holmes was ordered to turn herself into custody on April 23, 2023. 

4

North Korea launches ICBM, reveal little-known daughter of Kim Jong Un

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un oversaw the launch of a "new" type of intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday, officials said. The new missile was reportedly launched from Pyongyang International Airfield, and Japanese officials warned following the test that the ICBM could have the potential to reach the mainland United States. The launch was also notable as Kim was accompanied by his young daughter, and was seen holding her hand in photographs by the missile. While Kim was also joined by his wife, Ri Sol Ju, according to North Korean officials, the existence of the couple's daughter had never been previously confirmed. 

5

Elon Musk begins Twitter poll in regards to reinstating Donald Trump

Controversial Twitter CEO Elon Musk began a poll on Friday asking whether he should reinstate the account of former President Donald Trump. Musk, who took over as Twitter's new head in the prior weeks, previously committed to allowing Trump back on the platform. The former president was suspended from Twitter following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. While Musk said earlier in the day that he had not yet made a final decision on reinstating Trump, he has already made the decision to allow some other controversial figures back onto the platform. Early results showed that around 60 percent of respondents to the poll wanted to reinstate Trump. 

6

At least 2 dead as western New York sees massive snowfall

At least two people reportedly died after Buffalo saw a historic snowstorm on Friday that brought areas across western New York state to a screeching halt. In certain areas, almost six feet of snow had fallen in suburbs of the city, a figure considered historic for this time of year, according to the National Weather Service. The Weather Prediction Center said Saturday morning that the snowfall "will produce near zero visibility, very difficult to impossible travel, damage to infrastructure, and may paralyze the hardest-hit communities." The town of Natural Bridge in Jefferson County had recorded 70.9 inches by Saturday, just under six total feet. The two deaths reportedly came from cardiac issues related to snow shoveling. 

7

Arizona county election board delays certification of results

The election board of Arizona's Cochise County delayed certifying the results of the state's midterm election results after reportedly being convinced by a trio of conspiracy theorists to do so. The three men reportedly alleged that the county had used voting machines that were not certified, and have filed at least four similar cases with the Arizona Supreme Court. While the court has dismissed all four of these cases for a lack of evidence, the trio was able to convince the Republican-led election board in Cochise County to delay the certification of the election until a Nov. 28 deadline. 

8

Gas explosion causes at least nine deaths on eastern Russian island

At least nine people reportedly died on Saturday following the partial collapse of an apartment block in a far-east Russian city. The five-story apartment block, located on the Russian island of Sakhalin, crumbled as the result of a gas explosion, according to Russian state news agencies. One of these agencies, TASS, reportedly said a 20-liter gas cylinder connected to a stovetop had been the initial cause of the explosion. At least one person is reportedly still missing, and investigators said they were continuing to investigate the explosion.  

9

Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX seeks court relief for payments

Collapsed crypto exchange FTX said Saturday that it was preparing to reorganize its business, and requested in a court filing Saturday for financial relief toward paying up to $9.3 million to a number of its critical vendors. The embattled crypto exchange, in addition to around 100 affiliated firms, asked for permission in court to begin a new global cash management system in order to payout these critical vendors. Following the initial $9.3 million, FTX asked for an additional $17.5 million in another order. The exchange previously filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 11, and its numerous high-profile investors are estimated to have lost billions of dollars. The exchange said it needed to court relief to avoid "immediate and irreparable harm."

10

Police report released on 'Rust' shooting involving Alec Baldwin

The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office on Friday released its report into the October 2021 shooting on the set of the western film Rust involving actor Alec Baldwin. The 550-page report details the investigation into the shooting, which resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and also injured director Joel Souza. While Baldwin has admitted to holding a Colt .45 revolver when it went off, he has continually said he did not know the gun was loaded with live ammunition. Among the new information in the police report was a series of text messages sent by Baldwin after the shooting, which shows he began texting Hutchins' widow just days following the incident. 

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