10 things you need to know today: August 5, 2023


Judge rules Texas’ abortion ban must allow medical exceptions

A Texas judge on Friday ruled that the state’s abortion ban was too restrictive against women with complex pregnancies, issuing a temporary injunction to allow certain medical exemptions for abortions. State District Court Judge Jessica Mangrum outlined these medical exemptions as a pregnancy that presents a risk of infection, requires regular and invasive treatment, or when a doctor determines that the fetus will not survive beyond birth. Mangrum also ruled that Texas cannot prosecute doctors who perform abortions under these guidelines, as they would be doing so using their “good faith judgment” that there is an outstanding health risk. The state of Texas is likely to appeal Mangrum’s ruling. 

The Texas TribuneHouston Chronicle


Prosecutors seek protective order after threatening Trump post

Justice Department prosecutors on Friday asked a federal judge to impose a protective order against former President Donald Trump in relation to his indictment for his role in overturning the 2020 election. The order outlines specific rules that prosecutors want Trump to follow during the course of the trial, which would include not sharing any materials that his legal team receives during the discovery process with parties that shouldn’t have them. The request came following a post by Trump on his Truth Social media platform, in which he wrote, “IF YOU GO AFTER ME, I’M COMING AFTER YOU!” Prosecutors noted that Trump has a history of attacking judges and other legal officials in his criminal cases. 

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Ukraine attacks Russian tanker near bridge to Crimea

A Ukrainian drone attacked a Russian tanker vessel in the Black Sea, near the bridge that links Russia to the Crimean Peninsula, officials said Saturday. The ship, called the Sig, was damaged “near the waterline on the starboard side, presumably as a result of a sea drone attack,” Kremlin officials said. There were no reported deaths from the attack. The strike was the second reported attack in two days by a Ukrainian drone against a Russian target. The ship was allegedly transporting fuel to be used for the Russian war effort at the time of the attack, and was previously sanctioned by the United States for providing weapons to Syria in 2019. 

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Florida reverses decision on teaching AP Psychology course

The head of Florida’s education department said Friday that AP Psychology may be taught “in its entirety” in the state, in a reversal of course after Florida’s laws had blacklisted the class. Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr. wrote that the course “can be taught in its entirety in a manner that is age and developmentally appropriate and the course remains listed in our course catalog.” Florida officials had effectively banned AP Psychology in the state because it taught “content on sexual orientation and gender identity [that] is illegal under state law.” However, the state appeared to reverse its decision after the College Board urged districts not to teach the course in Florida. 

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NASA fully restores contact with Voyager 2 spacecraft

NASA said Friday that it had fully restored communications with the Voyager 2 deep spacecraft, weeks after a mistaken command by flight controllers accidentally caused it to go dark. Officials at the California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory said the spacecraft started returning data after its antenna was shifted via a massive long-distance radio dish in Australia. Voyager 2 had previously lost communications after engineers mistakenly shifted its antenna away from Earth. However, signs of life came this past week, when the vessel, which is more than 12.4 billion miles from home, sent a short signal to NASA indicating that it was still operational. 

The Associated PressSpace.com


Bangladesh battling dengue fever outbreak that has infected more than 60,000

Bangladesh is continuing to battle a widespread outbreak of dengue fever, as the rapidly spreading disease has carved its way through the densely populated nation. More than 61,000 people have reportedly been infected and nearly 300 have died, according to data obtained by Reuters. This makes 2023 the deadliest year of the dengue fever epidemic in Bangladesh since 2000. Hospitals throughout the country, especially in the capital of Dhaka, are struggling to take in patients and make room as case levels continue to rise. The disease has no vaccine or specific drug and is common in South Asia during the summer, when the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads the disease is most potent. 

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DOJ investigating alleged racial profiling issues among Connecticut troopers

The Justice Department has opened an investigation into a Connecticut audit that found state troopers may have been submitting false information to a racial profiling database in order to hide the ethnicity of motorists they were pulling over. The audit, conducted by the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice, found that as many as 26,000 state troopers may have sent falsified information to the state’s Racial Profiling Prohibition Project, making it appear as though they were stopping more white drivers than they actually were. This false information was found in data going back as far as 2014, officials said. The DOJ asked Connecticut officials to suspend their own investigation pending the federal inquiry. 

WVIT-TV The Associated Press


Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan sentenced to 3 years in jail

Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested Saturday after being sentenced to three years in jail for corruption. The 70-year-old, Khan, who served as prime minister from 2018 to 2022, was handed the sentence after a court ruled that he had illegally sold gifts from other world leaders that were worth an estimated 140 million Pakistani rupees (US$497,000). The judge declared that Khan had “deliberately submitted fake details” to the court and had been engaged in longstanding corruption, adding that Khan’s “dishonesty has been established beyond doubt.” Khan’s lawyer told reporters that they would be appealing the ruling, calling the former prime minister a victim of political persecution. 

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Actor Mark Margolis dies at 83

Mark Margolis, an actor best known for his roles as the dominating drug mule Hector Salamanca on “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” has died at the age of 83. Margolis’ son Morgan Margolis announced that his father died this past week in New York City following a short illness. A native of Philadelphia, Margolis first made a name for himself as a henchman in the iconic 1983 gangster film “Scarface,” and also landed notable roles in “Ace Venture: Pet Detective” and the television series “Oz.” However, it was his portrayal of Hector that cemented him as a television star, and he received an Emmy nomination for the role in 2012. 

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Numerous teams poached from Pac-12 in college conference shift

Friday was a rough day for the Pac-12 conference, as five universities announced that they were leaving the college sports bloc in favor of rival conferences. The University of Arizona, Arizona State University and the University of Utah announced that they would be leaving to join the Big-12. The trio’s decision came just hours after the University of Washington and the University of Oregon announced that they were departing the Pac-12 in favor of the Big Ten. The decision comes at a watershed moment for the Pac-12, which now has just four schools remaining in the conference. Two California-based schools, UCLA and USC, announced last year that they were also leaving the Pac-12.

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