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Today's Top Political and Coronavirus News Compilation - Thursday, September 22, 2022

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Below are some of the top political news stories of the day:


(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Trump’s legal woes mount without protection of presidency
WASHINGTON (AP) — Stark repudiation by federal judges he appointed. Far-reaching fraud allegations by New York’s attorney general. It’s been a week of widening legal troubles for Donald Trump, laying bare the challenges piling up as the former president operates without the protections afforded by the White House.


Today's Top Political and Coronavirus News Compilation - Wednesday, September 21, 2022

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Below are some of the top political news stories of the day:


(AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Trump docs probe: Court lifts hold on Mar-a-Lago records
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a stark repudiation of Donald Trump’s legal arguments, a federal appeals court on Wednesday permitted the Justice Department to resume its use of classified records seized from the former president’s Florida estate as part of its ongoing criminal investigation.


Latest Political News Feed

Kelly leads Masters by 10 points in Arizona reelection bid: survey

  • News source: Brad Dress
  • Replies: 0
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Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) is leading Republican challenger Blake Masters by 10 points in his bid for reelection, according to the latest
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Virgin Atlantic announces gender-inclusive uniform, ticketing policy

  • News source: Brooke Migdon
  • Replies: 0
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Story at a glance

  • Virgin Atlantic on Wednesday announced updates to its uniform policy and ticketing system in a company-wide effort to be more inclusive of all gender identities.

  • Under the new uniform policy, airline staff may select the uniform that “best represents them” and may choose to wear a badge displaying their preferred pronouns.

  • Virgin Atlantic passengers are also able to select a gender-neutral gender code while booking with their airline.

Virgin Atlantic on Wednesday announced updates to its uniform policy and ticketing system, removing a requirement that staff wear gendered uniforms and allowing nonbinary and gender nonconforming passengers to select a gender code and title consistent with their identities.

The British airline’s policy changes, which are effective immediately, allow flight and ground crew members to select whichever uniform best represents them, regardless of their gender, gender identity or expression, the company said Wednesday in a
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Trump Jr. to campaign with Vance in Ohio

  • News source: Julia Manchester
  • Replies: 0
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Donald Trump Jr. will hit the campaign trail with Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance in Ohio next week, according to details first shared with The Hill on Wednesday.

The eldest son of former President Trump will make three campaign stops with Vance next Wednesday, in Perrysburg, East Caledonia and Columbus.

The campaign stops will mark the first time Trump Jr. has campaigned with Vance in the general election but the two appeared together in West Chester, Ohio, before the state's primary.

Trump Jr. said in a statement to The Hill that he was “excited” to campaign with Vance next week, and called Democratic Senate nominee Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) a “lying leftist.”

“I’ve gotten to know JD really well over the past two years and strongly believe he’s the type of political outsider we desperately need in the U.S. Senate,” Trump Jr. said.

“Tim Ryan likes to fraudulently claim that he stood with my father on issues like trade, but my father and I both know that’s a lie and remember how he repeatedly attacked the tariffs my father instituted to protect American manufacturing jobs,” he continued.

Polls show a tight race between Vance and Ryan. A Spectrum News-Siena College poll released on Wednesday
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More Democrats than Republicans think Ukraine is winning Russia war: poll

  • News source: Olafimihan Oshin
  • Replies: 0
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More Democrats than Republicans believe that Ukraine is currently winning its war against Russia, according to a new The Economist/You Gov survey.

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What is seditious conspiracy?

  • News source: Jared Gans
  • Replies: 0
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The leader and other members of the right-wing militia group Oath Keepers are set to stand trial next week, facing some of the most serious charges stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

Stewart Rhodes and the four other Oath Keepers are facing
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7-year-old attacked by 'aggressive mountain lion' in California park

  • News source: Vivian Chow, Mary Beth McDade, Nexstar Media Wire
  • Replies: 0
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Judge allows defamation lawsuit against Fox News, Lou Dobbs to move forward

  • News source: Zach Schonfeld
  • Replies: 0
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A federal judge this week allowed a Venezuelan businessman’s defamation lawsuit to continue against Fox News and host Lou Dobbs over statements accusing the man of helping rig the 2020 presidential election.

Majed Khalil filed the suit last year, alleging statements made on Dobbs’s Twitter account and by Sidney Powell on Dobbs’s show defamed Khalil by accusing him of executing an “electoral 9-11” and helping change ballot counts in voting machines.

Dobbs, the Fox Corporation and Fox News moved to dismiss the case in January, arguing the statements were protected under the First Amendment and were not said with actual malice, the standard of proof required for defamation against a public figure.

U.S. District Court Judge Louis Lee Stanton denied the motion on Monday, saying Khalil is not a public figure and his complaint showed enough evidence of false and defamatory statements to move forward to discovery in the case.

“Defendants repeatedly maintained their claims about Khalil long after Powell's election fraud theories were challenged,” Stanton wrote in the ruling. “Numerous reports that declared the falsity of the claims against Dominion and Smartmatic and rejected Powell as an accurate source of information gave Defendants reasons to doubt Powell's veracity and the accuracy of her reports.”

Khalil’s complaint references a Dec. 10, 2020, tweet from Dobbs listing Khalil as one of “four names” that people need to get familiar with, accusing him of being a liaison with Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the “effective COO” of an election rigging scheme using Smartmatic and Dominion voting machines.

“The 2020 Election is a cyber Pearl Harbor: The leftwing establishment have aligned their forces to overthrow the United States government,” Dobbs
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Gavin Newsom asked if he ever talks to Kimberly Guilfoyle: 'Nope, not lately'

  • News source: Julia Shapero
  • Replies: 0
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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said he no longer speaks with his ex-wife and former Trump advisor Kimberly Guilfoyle.

When asked if he ever talks to Guilfoyle, who is now engaged to Donald Trump Jr., Newsom told MSNBC in a recent interview, “Nope, not lately.”

The Democratic politician, who many see a potential future presidential candidate, was briefly married to Guilfoyle in the early 2000s.

Newsom noted in the MSNBC interview aired on Wednesday that he had an "interesting" but "not as combative" relationship with Guilfoyle during the Trump administration.

“Even though we went at it on a lot of issues, we also found ways to get along,” Newsom said.

Newsom is widely seen as a possible Democratic candidate for president in 2024, if President Biden chooses not to seek reelection. The California governor has been fueling speculation with his recent forays into the politics of Republican-held states, particularly Texas and Florida.

Newsom challenged Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who is also seen as a likely 2024 presidential candidate, to a
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What you need to know about Hurricane Ian

  • News source: Jared Gans
  • Replies: 0
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Hurricane Ian is set to slam into the western coast of Florida as a major Category 4 storm, bringing intense winds, heavy rain and high risk of flooding.

The storm is expected to
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Hurricane Ian roils Florida governor’s race

  • News source: Max Greenwood
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MELBOURNE, Fla. – Hurricane Ian is complicating Florida’s closely watched gubernatorial race, as Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and his Democratic opponent Charlie Crist are forced to navigate the potentially treacherous political terrain caused by the storm.

For DeSantis, the storm is a political make-or-break moment. On one hand, it offers the potential for wall-to-wall media coverage that could help boost his profile both at home and nationally as he weighs a 2024 presidential run. On the other, any perceived misstep could cost him heavily, especially in November when voters will decide whether to give him a second term in the governor’s mansion.

“Particularly for DeSantis, who has such a reputation as such a polarizing figure, it’s an opportunity for him to show that he can be bipartisan on some really important issues, some really important actions,” Aubrey Jewett, a political science professor at the University of Central Florida, said.

“Of course, there’s always a danger — a risk that you’re not perceived as an effective leader, in which case it might actually turn very heavily against you.”

Meanwhile, Crist, a former Florida governor who resigned his seat in Congress last month, has found himself on the sidelines. His campaign has suspended its advertisements in key media markets amid the hurricane, seeking to avoid any suggestion that he is politicizing a natural disaster.

Asked during a press briefing on Tuesday what he thought of DeSantis’s response to the hurricane so far, Crist demurred, saying that it wasn’t the time to pass judgment on the governor’s performance.

“I don’t want to get into Monday morning quarterbacking before Monday,” Crist told reporters on Tuesday. “I don’t think it’s appropriate.”

“I think what we all need to do is protect our fellow Floridians, doing whatever we can to maintain that safety, watch out for the flooding, listen to local officials. I think that’s the appropriate posture right now.”

DeSantis, a rising conservative star known for his frequent spats with Democrats and the Biden administration, has also used the moment to highlight his willingness to work with the other side.

On Tuesday evening, the governor spoke to President Biden on the phone, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a tweet, adding that the two men committed to “continued close coordination” as Florida grapples with the hurricane and its aftermath.

That came after DeSantis told reporters during a press conference that he hadn’t yet heard from Biden but was open to talking with him.

“I’m happy to brief the president if he’s interested in hearing what we’re doing in Florida,” DeSantis said at a briefing in Tallahassee. “My view on all of this is like, you’ve got people’s lives at stake, you’ve got their property at stake and we don’t have time for pettiness. We got to work together to make sure we’re doing the best job for them. So my phone line is open.”

DeSantis, of course, isn’t the first Florida governor to be tested by a major hurricane. Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) received generally favorable marks for his handling of a spate of storms in 2004, while Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who served two terms in the governor’s mansion between 2011 and 2019, became known for his almost-ubiquitous media presence during hurricanes.

And while hurricanes always have the potential to help or hurt incumbent governors, DeSantis’s approach to the storm carries extra weight. The midterms are just 40 days away, meaning Hurricane Ian and its aftermath will be fresh on the minds of voters come November.

One Republican strategist said that perhaps one of the biggest questions for DeSantis will be whether he can communicate empathy in his hurricane response.

“He’s not known for looking particularly empathetic. That’s just not his leadership style,” the strategist said. “So beyond being an effective manager, it’s a time to show empathy, to tell people that things are going to get better. I think that’s going to be the big one for him.”

But Hurricane Ian could also cause another headache for DeSantis. Florida’s property insurance market is already incredibly fragile, and the storm has heightened fears that it could deal more damage to the market, potentially handing the governor a political blow.

On Monday, before Hurricane Ian struck Florida, Crist slammed DeSantis as the “worst property insurance governor in Florida history,” getting in one final attack before the storm.

“Gov. DeSantis let these insurance companies double Floridians rates and they’re still going belly up when homeowners need them most,” he said. “You pay and pay and pay, and the insurance company isn’t there for you in the end anyway.”

For Crist, navigating the storm may prove particularly challenging. While he previously served as Florida governor, he never faced a major hurricane. And now, as a private citizen, Crist will have to figure out a way to stay relevant at a time when Floridians aren’t focused on politics.

“He can try to pitch in and be helpful — make announcements about being safe and certainly pitch in after the hurricane passes,” Jewett said. “But those are all somewhat limited, especially compared to the governor. Crist has a few things he could do but not a whole lot.”

Of course, defeating DeSantis was never going to be easy. Despite the Florida governor’s polarizing persona, his overall approval rating remains above water, and public polling routinely shows him leading Crist. A Suffolk University-USA Today survey released earlier this month found him with a 7-point edge over his Democratic rival.

And barring a major misstep by DeSantis, that appears unlikely to change while Florida deals with Hurricane Ian and its aftermath. In the meantime, Jewett said, both candidates would be wise to tread carefully.

“I think for both the incumbent governor and the challenger, one of obstacles is to make sure they don’t appear political on this crisis and the response,” he said. “That’s a sure way to turn voters off.”
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Katie Couric says she's been treated for breast cancer

  • News source: The Associated Press
  • Replies: 0
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NEW YORK — Katie Couric said Wednesday that she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent surgery and radiation treatment this summer to treat the tumor.

Couric, who memorably was tested for colon cancer on the Today show in 2000, announced her diagnosis in an essay on her website, saying she hoped it would encourage other women to be tested.

Couric, 65, was diagnosed on the first day of summer and wrote that she had her final radiation treatment on Tuesday.

"My left breast does feel like I've been sunbathing topless, but other than that...
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These are the hardest states to vote in

  • News source: Shirin Ali
  • Replies: 0
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Story at a glance

  • Election Law Journal published a new iteration of its Cost of Voting Index ahead of the 2022 election cycle.

  • Since 2020, researchers found 19 states had passed at least 33 new laws that made voting more difficult.

  • New Hampshire, Mississippi and Arkansas were deemed the three states most difficult to vote in.

Midterm elections are rapidly approaching and in some parts of the country casting a ballot has become more difficult, as an increasing number of states implemented restrictive voting laws since the 2020 election cycle.

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, former President Trump prompted concerns about voter fraud and many states reacted by imposing restrictions that have resulted in making voting more difficult, while also pulling back on voting policies implemented during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new restrictions run the gamut, with the Election Law Journal finding that within one year, 19 states have passed at least 33 new laws that made voting more difficult through restrictions on same-day voter registration, requiring a full Social Security number and mandating additional documentation in order to register to vote beyond what’s federally required.

Michael Pomante, co-author of Election Law Journal’s
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What is the Joe Manchin permitting reform fight about?

  • News source: TheHill - Most Popular
  • Replies: 0
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The last several weeks of news in Congress has been dominated by a fight over Sen. Joe Manchin’s push for permitting reforms — which took a severe blow Tuesday when the West Virginia Democrat acknowledged his proposal lacked the support to get through the Senate.

Manchin’s request that his permitting reform proposal be removed from a must-pass government-spending measure leaves a long-standing issue on the approval process for energy and infrastructure projects with an unclear future.

Powerful people — President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) — had promised to make Manchin’s proposal law after he backed the sweeping Inflation Reduction Act last month, giving a huge victory to the White House that has elevated Democratic midterm prospects.

Yet the proposal itself ran into deep opposition from progressives who believe Manchin’s measure would have contributed to climate change and pollution.

In the end, however, it was really Republicans in the Senate who doomed it. The GOP senators have long griped about the length that environmental reviews in the permitting process, but they argued Manchin’s measure didn’t go far enough.

They also felt burned by the passage of the summer legislative package, which passed under an arcane budgetary process that prevented a GOP filibuster. Its passage was made possible by Manchin, who represents an otherwise deep-red state, and many in the GOP wanted revenge.

It was an unusual storyline in Washington. Republicans angered by a centrist Democrat providing a political gift to House progressives, who would have faced a tough decision if Manchin’s bill had cleared the Senate on a must-pass measure to prevent a government shutdown.

Permitting reform has long been an issue the GOP has wanted to do work on.

The Trump administration estimated that it can take an average of 4.5 years for an environmental review to wrap up, something that Manchin and many Republicans have said is much too long.

They say that this prevents the country from having sufficient energy infrastructure. Manchin proposed a series of “reforms” aimed at shortening that process.

Manchin and his backers argue that the energy approval needs to be changed so that the country can more speedily build pipelines, wind turbines, solar farms, natural gas export terminals, nuclear plants, electricity transmission lines and more.

Permitting reform is controversial as many environmentalists see long reviews as ensuring
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College tuition: high and made-up

  • News source: TheHill - Most Popular
  • Replies: 0
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When private, not-for-profit colleges increase tuition, the government never asks them to explain their numbers. The truth is most can’t. A tuition increase is a strategic decision reflecting what colleges believe the government and parents will accept, and what other colleges will do. State college tuition is a negotiated number between the colleges and state authorities. Any cuts in state aid usually end up as higher tuition for students. In few cases, tuition decisions are based solely or even largely on the real cost changes a college faces in any given year.

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Biden asks if lawmaker killed in August accident is in attendance at White House event

  • News source: Brett Samuels
  • Replies: 0
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President Biden on Wednesday asked if Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), who was killed in a car accident last month, was in attendance at a White House hunger conference.

Biden was delivering a speech at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health when he recognized the lawmakers who helped make the event a reality.

"I want to thank all of you here, including bipartisan elected officials like Rep. [Jim] McGovern (D-Mass.), Sen. [Mike] Braun (R-Ind.), Sen. Cory [Booker] (D-N.J.), Rep. ... Jackie, are you here? Where's Jackie?,” Biden said, referring to Walorski.

Shortly after Biden spoke, White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice moderated a panel at the conference and acknowledged Walorski’s death.

Walorski was killed in an Aug. 3 accident.

A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

During her time in Congress, Walorski made combating hunger and malnutrition a key part of her work. She co-chaired the House Hunger Caucus with McGovern, and she co-sponsored legislation with McGovern, Booker and Braun to convene the White House conference that took place on Wednesday. Such an event had not been held at that level in decades.

Walorski died in August in a car crash. She had served in Congress since 2013.

Biden issued a statement at the time of Walorski’s death mourning her loss and expressing condolences to her family. The White House also lowered flags to half staff to commemorate her death.

Biden’s verbal slip provided instant fodder for many conservatives who have argued the 79-year-old has lost a step and is not mentally fit for the job.

“I guess Biden forgot he issued this statement unless he didn’t actually issue this statement!?!” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, referencing the statement from Biden in the wake of Walorski’s death.

“This man is not mentally fit to serve as President of the United States,” the conservative group Tea Party Patriots tweeted.

Biden has repeatedly pushed back on claims that he is unfit for office, pointing to his busy schedule and his ability to handle the rigors and demands of the job on a daily basis.

“If you think I don't have the energy level or the mental acuity, then, you know, that's one thing. It's another thing, you just watch and, you know, keep my schedule. Do what I'm doing,” Biden said in a recent interview with “60 Minutes.”
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