On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: Affidavit on Trump home search to be released
The document is heavily redacted. Plus, Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant in Ukraine is temporarily disconnected from the power grid, White House correspondent Joey Garrison looks at the political impact of President Joe Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness, a rookie NFL punter allegedly gang-raped a minor and travel reporter Zach Wichter looks ahead toward holiday flights.
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Good morning. I’m Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Friday, the 26th of August, 2022. Today the affidavit on the Mar-a-Lago search is finally released, plus more from this week’s rocket attack on a Ukrainian train station, and more.
Here are some of the top headlines:
- Dangerous heat in coming decades will likely hit much of the world at least three times more often as climate change gets worse. That’s according to a study published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment. It found that temperatures and humidity that feel like 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher statistically should happen 20 to 50 times a year by mid-century in the world’s mid-latitudes.
- At least two people are dead and several more injured after a shooting at a Kentucky homeless shelter. A motive in the Henderson, Kentucky tragedy is unclear.
- And a new USA TODAY Ipsos poll finds that Sen. Bernie Sanders has the highest overall favorability among nearly two dozen possible 2024 presidential election contenders from both parties. He’s still relatively low 46% rating is thanks to crossover appeal as the highest rated Democrat among Independents.
A federal magistrate yesterday ordered the release of a redacted version of the Justice Department’s affidavit that supported the search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate. Magistrate Bruce Reinhart said the edited document would be made public by noon Eastern Time today. That decision came just hours after the Justice Department submitted a redacted version of the document used to justify an August 8th search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. FBI agents seized 11 sets of classified documents, but prosecutors did not release details about what the documents contained, something the affidavit could shed light on. The Department of Justice though has said the document would require such extensive redactions that it would not reveal anything new or meaningful to the public.
We’re learning more about Wednesday’s Russian rocket attack in Ukraine that killed 25 people at a train station. More than 30 people were also injured in the attack in Chaplyne. The city is in Ukraine’s east, between Zaporozhye and Donetsk. The incident also came on Ukraine’s Independence Day. Resident Olena Budnyk described the chaos.
Taylor Wilson translating for Olena Budnyk:
“It flew and crashed. We didn’t understand anything at all. I didn’t get what happened and why at all. Everything sank into dust. There was a dust storm, we couldn’t see anything. We didn’t know where to run. I am very sorry for people. When the wagons began to burn, we later learned how many were injured and died. The car was driving by, five people burned in the vehicle and the child was there. This child was 11-years-old.”
Russia said it targeted a military train and killed Ukrainian reservists. A car bombing last week outside Moscow that killed a pro Putin commentator had put Ukraine on high alert already for retaliation, though Ukrainian authorities denied involvement in the attack.
Meanwhile, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, was temporarily disconnected from the power grid yesterday when fires damaged its only transmission line. Russia took control of the facility and surrounding area early in the war. And more recently the UN and International Atomic Energy officials have been trying for weeks to get access to the plant. Spokesperson for the secretary general, Stéphane Dujarric, said the International Atomic Energy Agency will take the lead on when to visit the plant.
I think what we’ve seen today is yet another reminder of why it’s important to get the IAEA technical team in there as soon as possible. We are continuing to work with our IAEA partners who are in the lead. And I know there’s an intense discussions ongoing as we speak, but they will be the ones who will take the lead in announcing when that team will go there.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of storing weapons at the plant and launching weapons from around it. Russia though accuses Ukraine of recklessly firing on the facility.
Less than three months until this fall’s midterm elections, President Joe Biden announced major student loan debt forgiveness. And the decision could have ripple effects in battle grounds, Senate and House races across the country. White House correspondent Joey Garrison spoke with producer PJ Elliott to explain why Biden’s move is a major gamble heading into November.
There’s two ways to look at this politically as it relates to the midterms. And again, this is deciding whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate and the House. And for Democrats, this student loan forgiveness, I mean, it’s a real opportunity seemingly to drive turnout among young voters who lean overwhelmingly Democratic. They voted for Biden in 2020 but there’s usually younger voters, and we’re talking in the 18 to 29-year-old bracket, they often don’t come out during non-presidential elections during a midterm.
And so Biden has done a couple of things now that could be policies that are really geared toward young voters. One of those is the climate actions that he took, historic action on climate change, and the Inflation Reduction Act. One thing, really wasn’t anything Biden did, but the Supreme Court overturning Roe V. Wade, the abortion rights issues, is another issue that is a major one for young voters. And then third is the cancellation of student loan debt. And that’s something that, if you look at polling, overwhelmingly young voters support that.
Now that doesn’t of course mean that they’re going to show up at the polls. And Republicans, what you’re seeing is they’re trying to use this as a wedge in the midterms saying that it’s unfair for people who paid off loans or working class Americans who college was never the route that they could take, but they had to … manufacturing workers or farmers, et cetera. And so they’re making that case to their voters, and it turned into delivering a line of attack for Republicans that we’re already seeing.
Joey, it’s obviously too soon for any polling on how the student loan forgiveness will affect voters. But what about the other things that you mentioned? Is there any data out there that says the Republicans or the Democrats are favored in the midterms?
Well, it’s too early for that. I mean, I think that Democrats are overall pretty confident. I think that they think that this can really drive their base. Really it’s all, midterm election is two things. One, in today’s politics it’s important to get those Independents and try to … They’re pretty much evenly divided between supporting Democrats in some elections, Republican in others, and that can often swing race. But the other thing is driving out your base, and this is very much a base play. For really much of the past year, until the last month, since Biden’s administration, much of what we saw was underwhelming for a lot of progressive Democrats. For 12 months, Biden couldn’t get his own party to negotiate a social spending Build Back Better plan, but finally he was able to get Senator Manchin and others on board last month for the Inflation Reduction Act. And now he’s taking long-awaited action for student loan debt relief. And so I think the president can argue that he’s delivered on some major campaign promises that will resonate among your core Democrats going out to vote.
For Joey’s full story, head to USATODAY.com.
Buffalo Bills’ rookie punter Matt Araiza has been named in a lawsuit for his alleged involvement in the gang-rape of a minor. According to a civil lawsuit filed yesterday in California, a document obtained by USA TODAY Sports alleges he had sex with an inebriated 17-year-old outside an off-campus party. It then says he brought her inside, where she was allegedly assaulted by multiple men, including at least one player currently listed on the San Diego State football roster. The Bills said they would not comment on an ongoing legal matter, but it’s not clear whether they’ll cut Araiza. They have no other punter on their roster after recent roster moves.
As the busy travel season gets closer for Thanksgiving, more than 30,000 flights for November have already been cut. But Travel Reporter Zach Wichter tells producer PJ Elliot that travelers don’t need to panic.
Pretty much all the major carriers in the US in recent months have announced cuts to their schedule for November. The numbers that I saw from Cirium indicate that it’s probably about 50,000 flights across the three biggest airlines over the course of that one month. And I realize that 50,000 is a top line number, sounds like a huge number of flights that’s going to be canceled and people may be panicking a little bit about that.
But the truth of the matter is that, yes, it’s a kind of large number of flights that are being pulled from the schedule now, but it’s happening early enough in advance that it probably won’t actually affect the travel plans of most people who have already booked. They may get shuffled around to other flights, but at this point it’s very unlikely that they won’t be able to get to the destination that they’re trying to get to in November. So for Thanksgiving travelers, especially … planes may be a little more crowded, but it probably isn’t going to make a huge difference to their plans.
Zach, what about those who haven’t booked their travel plans yet? Is it too late? Should they start panicking?
I would not worry yet. If you have not booked your Thanksgiving travel, it’s a good idea to start looking at that and start tracking the prices, and probably even consider booking soon. But the flights for Thanksgiving are not yet sold out. There are still plenty of flights on the schedule.
Like I said, November is seeing a drawdown in the number of flights that many airlines are operating from the schedules that they originally published. That’s largely because both the airlines and air traffic control centers are still struggling to staff up from the pandemic. And so they are trying to match their schedules to what they’re actually going to be able to fly in November. So from the airlines’ perspective, this is actually a move to boost their reliability, not to inconvenience travelers.
Looking even further ahead, after the holidays, is there any light at the end of the tunnel here where airlines are back to full capacity and everything is back to normal?
That’s a good question. And over the course of the summer, obviously this has been a question on a lot of people’s minds, and it’s something that I’ve been doing a bunch of reporting on. Pretty much all the experts I’ve spoken to have said that this summer seems to be the peak of the pain for airlines and for air travelers. The reason for that is that travel demand really came back very quickly this summer to pre-pandemic levels. And airlines and the rest of the industry were caught a little flat-footed, trying to meet that demand.
Since the start of the summer airlines have put a lot of effort into hiring more staff. They downsized through voluntary buyouts, retirements, that sort of thing, earlier in the pandemic. And so they’re really working to increase their ranks again. As time goes on and airlines get bigger, their operations should get more reliable and their schedule should fill out again.
Thanks for listening to 5 Things. You can find us every morning right here, wherever you’re listening right now. Thanks to PJ Elliott for his great work on the show, and I’m back tomorrow with more of 5 Things from USA TODAY.