Day 671: "Bad things."
1/ A gunman killed five people and injured 18 others at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, which occurs annually on Nov. 20 to honor victims of anti-trans violence. Anderson Lee Aldrich faces five murder charges and five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury. Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said the shooting has “the trappings” of a hate crime. A year and a half before he was arrested, Aldrich allegedly threatened his mother with a homemade bomb. Despite the incident forcing neighbors to evacuate while the bomb squad and crisis negotiators talked him into surrendering, there is no record of anyone trying to trigger Colorado’s “red flag” law, which would have allowed the seizure of Aldrich’s weapons and ammo. 57% of American, meanwhile, say they want stricter gun laws – down from 66% in June. (Associated Press / NPR / Washington Post / New York Times)
2/ Diplomats from nearly 200 countries failed to reach an agreement to phase out fossil fuels, but agreed to set up a “loss and damage” fund to help vulnerable countries cope with climate change disasters. The meeting, known as COP27, ended with an agreement that reaffirmed the goal of keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but didn’t address the root cause of the climate crisis: greenhouse gas emissions. More than 80 other countries wanted language that would have called for a “phase-down” of all fossil fuels, which would have gone beyond the deal in Glasgow that called for a “phase-down” of coal only. The effort to phase out all fossil fuels, however, was “stonewalled by a number of large emitters and oil producers,” including China, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. (CNN / Vox / New York Times / Washington Post / Bloomberg / Associated Press)
3/ Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to oversee two Justice Department criminal investigations into Trump: his handling of classified documents found at Mar-a-Lago and his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss. Garland named Jack Smith as special counsel, saying Trump’s presidential candidacy and Biden’s intention to run for reelection were “extraordinary circumstances” that necessitated a “special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution.” Smith was previously the chief of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, overseeing public corruption and elections-related investigations. Trump, meanwhile, called Smith’s appointment “unfair,” claiming that the independent prosecutor “want[s] to do bad things to the greatest movement in the history of our country, but in particular, bad things to me.” (Wall Street Journal / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / CNN / CNBC)
4/ The Jan. 6 committee plans to release “all the evidence” it has collected “within a month” – before the panel ends when Republicans take control of the House in January. Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, added “the evidence is there” to make a criminal referral against Trump. (CBS News / ABC News)
5/ The Manhattan district attorney’s office has restarted its long-running criminal investigation into Trump and the $130,000 hush money Michael Cohen paid to Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 presidential election. District Attorney Alvin Bragg is reportedly revisiting whether Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, could be pressured into cooperating with the probe. Weisselberg recently pleaded guilty to unrelated tax fraud charges in a criminal case involving the Trump Organization. The potential charges are related to insurance fraud and unrelated to the hush money payment. (New York Times)
6/ Chief Twit reinstated Trump’s Twitter account after posting a poll asking the platform’s users, bots, and fake accounts if the former president’s permanent ban for inciting the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol should be reversed. Elon Musk, who has spent months complaining about Twitter’s problem with bot and fake accounts, claimed “the people have spoken” after more than 15 million votes were logged. The “yes” vote won, with 51.8%. Trump, meanwhile, said he sees “a lot of problems at Twitter” and poured cold water on the idea of returning to the platform, saying, “I don’t see any reason for it.” (New York Times / Bloomberg / NPR / Reuters / Associated Press)
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