10 things you need to know today: July 30, 2023


Federal judge dismisses Trump lawsuit against CNN

A federal judge on Friday dismissed a $475 million lawsuit against CNN from former President Donald Trump. The lawsuit claimed that the network had defamed the former president by referring to his false claims about the 2020 presidential election as a “big lie,” which Trump alleged created an unfair tie between himself and the terminology used by the Nazis. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Raag Singhal denied that this was the case, writing, “CNN’s statements, while repugnant, were not, as a matter of law, defamatory.” Singhal added that “CNN’s use of the phrase ‘the Big Lie’…does not give rise to a plausible inference that Trump advocates the persecution and genocide of Jews.”

The Washington PostCNN


West African leaders to meet over Niger coup

Leaders from across West Africa are set to meet during an emergency summit on Sunday to discuss the ongoing coup d’etat in Niger. The heads of the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as well as the eight-member West African Economic and Monetary Union, will convene in Nigeria to discuss the next steps in dealing with the situation. This could include suspending Niger from their proceedings, closing their borders to Niger nationals, or cutting them off from centralized banks. Niger’s de facto leader, who has been in power since usurping the democratically elected president last week, has urged the international community not to intervene in the rebellion. 

The GuardianReuters Skip advert


Saudis reportedly demanding concessions in American-brokered rapprochement with Israel

The Biden administration is pushing ahead with efforts to broker a rapprochement deal that would establish new diplomatic relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. The news comes as President Biden sent National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan back to Saudi Arabia recently, as his administration continues to try and stamp out an agreement. However, sources told The New York Times that the deal is contingent on a number of concessions being demanded by the Saudis. This reportedly includes the insistence on a security pact with the United States, as well as the development of a civilian nuclear program. The Saudis are also reportedly insisting that Israel give “significant concessions” to the Palestinians. 

The New York TimesThe Times of Israel Skip advertSkip advert


Russia reportedly destroys three Ukrainian drones trying to attack Moscow

Russian officials said Sunday that Russia had destroyed three Ukrainian drones that were attempting to attack Moscow, in the latest push by Ukraine to go on the counteroffensive. The Russian Defense Ministry said on the state-run news agency Tass that one drone was shot down west of the city center, while two others were “suppressed by electronic warfare” and crashed into a pair of office buildings. At least one person was reportedly injured. Ukraine has not acknowledged the incident, and rarely does so when it comes to counterattacks inside Russian territory. Moscow itself has also rarely been targeted by Ukraine, but has seen increased threats in recent months. 

BBC NewsAFP via Barron’sSkip advert


Federal judge blocks Arkansas law targeting librarians

A federal judge in Arkansas temporarily blocked a law Saturday that would implement sweeping new censorship laws against books and libraries throughout the state. U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks placed a temporary injunction on the law, writing that it was “likely to result in the abridgment of Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights.” The law, Act 372, would ban libraries from distributing books deemed “obscene” to children, and also allow librarians and booksellers to be criminally charged if they do not comply. The misdemeanor that would result is punishable by up to one year in prison. There is still a chance for the law to be upheld, as lawmakers are still working to determine its constitutionality.

The Arkansas Democrat-GazetteKNWA-TV


Phoenix to see falling temperatures for the first time in a month

Residents of Phoenix may finally see some respite from record temperatures this coming week. Forecasters have predicted that the mercury in Arizona’s capital will fall below 110 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday for the first time in a month. However, this will only come after a record-setting weekend of scorching temperatures, as Phoenix saw its 30th-straight day of 110 degrees or more on Saturday. This far outpaced the previous record of 18-straight 110-degree days set in 1974, and has made the Arizona desert one of the hottest places in the world this July. Monsoon rains and strong winds are expected to bring cooler temperatures across the region this week. 

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RFK Jr. floats misleading claim about being denied Secret Service protection

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said Friday that the Biden administration had stopped him from receiving Secret Service protection during his campaign. “Since the assassination of my father in 1968, candidates for president are provided Secret Service protection. But not me,” he tweeted. However, this claim is misleading, as “major” presidential candidates are provided Secret Service protection, but not until 120 days before a presidential election. The 2024 election is more than 460 days away. The Secretary of Homeland Security determines at that time which candidates fall into the “major” category, and typically are required to have received a significant percentage of national polling. 

PoliticoThe Hill


Burning Dutch cargo ship stranded off coast due to high winds

Strong winds are hindering efforts to tow a burning cargo ship to safety off the coast of The Netherlands, Dutch authorities said Sunday. The ship, the Fremantle Highway, was unlikely to continue moving at the time due to winds coming in from the southwest, according to the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. “The towing of the Fremantle Highway to the new temporary location may therefore still take several days to start,” the ministry said Saturday night. The ship, which is carrying thousands of new cars, has been burning in the North Sea since last Tuesday. Firefighters have decided to let the flames burn out over fears of making the ship unstable. 

The Associated PressSkip advert


Colombia stuns Germany in last minute during World Cup match

The Colombia national soccer team stunned mighty Germany at the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Sunday, potting a goal in the dying minutes of stoppage time to give them a last-minute win in the knockout stage. Colombia went on top early from a strike by Linda Caicedo, bouncing the ball into the corner of the net in the 52nd minute. Germany tied the game on a penalty kick from star Alexandra Popp with just a minute remaining in regulation. However, just when it appeared the game would end in a draw, Manuela Vanegas headed the ball into the net to give Colombia the shocking upset victory. 

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Ye’s Twitter account unsuspended six months after ban

Rapper Ye’s Twitter account was unsuspended on Saturday, six months after he was banned from the platform for posting a swastika. The rapper’s account was “being ‘turned back on.’ It will be ineligible for monetization and no ads will appear next to his posts, according to the company,” The New York Times technology reporter Ryan Mac tweeted. Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, was suspended from Twitter after posting a picture of a swastika inside of a Star of David, which Twitter owner Elon Musk said violated the company’s policy against inciting violence. His account had also been restricted previously in 2022 after he shared antisemitic comments. 

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