Jackson water crisis: Biden puts ball in Reeves’ court. Mar-a-Lago raid: Judge unseals detailed list of seized material. Zaporizhzhia: UN nuclear inspectors arrive at Ukraine plant.
Jackson water crisis: Biden puts ball in Reeves’ court
Much of Jackson still lacks adequate water pressure on the fourth day of the outage. As of Wednesday, about 80% of the city still lacked adequate water pressure. It’s not clear if there has been any improvement since then. Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba claims that there has been some improvement, but would not say when he thought water pressure would be fully restored.
The National Guard are now manning seven new water distribution sites which will remain open “until further notice”.
After issuing a federal state of emergency declaration earlier this week, President Biden seemed to call out Gov. Tate Reeves. “We’ve offered every single thing available to Mississippi. The governor has to act,” Biden said yesterday. “There’s money to deal with this problem. We’ve given them EPA. We’ve given them everything there is to offer”. Biden said he has no immediate plans to visit Jackson, but the director of FEMA is due to visit today.
Decades of political hot potato
Biden’s comments echo years of frustration with the state government’s inaction on the matter. Reeves and other state GOP say they don’t want to give Jackson a “bailout” to restore water service to its 160,000 residents. However, in recent years the state granted hundreds of millions of dollars to wealthier white communities to build new water facilities.
Successive administrations of Jackson’s city government are also guilty of years of neglect and mismanagement. Over a decade ago, the city contracted with Siemens to sort out the water authority’s billing issue. Siemens somehow managed to make matters even worse. But even if the billing was up to snuff, more than a quarter of Jackson’s residents are below the poverty line. The city simply doesn’t have the customer and tax base to raise the $2 billion Mayor Lumumba estimates it will take to fix the problem. Certainly not in the near term.
Mar-a-Lago raid: Judge unseals detailed list of seized material
A federal judge in Florida has unsealed a detailed list of property seized from Mar-a-Lago by the FBI on August 8. The list details the contents of 33 boxes that Trump kept either in his office or in a storage room at his Florida estate. It includes:
- 103 classified documents (31 “Confidential”; 54 “Secret”; 18 “Top Secret”).
- 11,108 documents belonging to the US Government without classification markings.
- 1,675 Magazines/Newspapers/Press Articles and other Printed Media dating between 2008 and 2020.
- 48 Empty Folders labeled “Classified”.
- 42 Empty Folders labeled “Return to Staff Secretary/Military Aide”.
- Several dozen items of personal memorabilia including clothing items, gifts and books.
What does all this mean?
The 11,000+ US documents are presumably non-classified material from Trump’s presidency that should have been turned over to the National Archives when he left office.
The 90 empty folders are most alarming as it supports suspicions that a great deal of highly sensitive material has not yet been recovered. A previous filing by the DOJ alludes to witness testimony that sensitive material was removed from Mar-a-Lago after FBI agents visited the property to recover documents in June. During that search, members of Trump’s legal team forbade agents from opening certain boxes to search for classified material.
All of this material was haphazardly intermingled with Trump’s 1,675-piece collection of magazines and newspaper clippings. It’s almost as if Trump was treating the classified documents as part of his own personal scrapbook.
As for where the 90 folders worth of classified documents are, it’s anyone’s guess. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is currently conducting a risk assessment. For now, they say they don’t believe this material has yet found its way into an adversaries hands.
Zaporizhzhia: UN nuclear inspectors arrive at Ukraine plant
Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, have arrived in Zaporizhzhia to evaluate the damage to the nuclear facility from shelling. The plant has been occupied by Russian forces for months, but remains under the control of its Ukrainian handlers. Hours before the IAEA inspectors were due to arrive, there was a new round of shelling that hit the plant. The Ukrainians and Russians have each blamed the other for the shelling. Russian military forces have been using the plant as a nuclear shield to launch attacks on surrounding cities.
On arriving at the plant, the inspectors seem to have been quite dismayed at what they saw. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told reporters that the “plant and physical integrity of the plant” had been “violated several times”. Grossi also said several IAEA inspectors were remaining behind to continue monitoring the situation, and perhaps also hoping their presence might discourage whoever keeps firing on the plant.
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