👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ Roughly 87 million people in 17 states – representing nearly a third of the American population – are at risk for poor air quality as smoke from the Canadian wildfires spreads. Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh were among the cities with the worst air quality in the world, leading the EPA to warn “everyone should stay indoors” as the air quality indexes fell into the “very unhealthy” category. The smoke is the result of one of Canada’s worst wildfire seasons in decades, with more than 19 million acres of land already burned this year. There were nearly 500 active wildfires burning in Canada as of this morning, with more than 250 burning out of control. Wildfires in the U.S. have been growing in frequency, duration, and intensity due in part to human-caused climate change. The United Nations has also warned that a similar trend is occurring worldwide. Elsewhere, another 69 million people face heat alerts in the South, Southeast, and parts of the Midwest and California. (NBC News / Wall Street Journal / NPR / Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press)
- California set to face its first major heat wave of the year. “Temperatures could reach 110 degrees in the Central Valley.” (Washington Post)
- A heat dome has caused Texas to rival the hottest locations on Earth. “A stagnant dome of high pressure has fueled dangerous heat and humidity across most of the state, with several cities hitting or surpassing 110 degrees Fahrenheit.” (NBC News)
- 💡 How to build a DIY air filter for wildfire smoke. The Corsi-Rosenthal Box is an affordable homemade air cleaning system that can reduce indoor exposure to wildfire smoke (and other airborne particles, like Covid-19). You’ll need a 20” box fan, four 20x20 MERV 13 furnace filters, some duct tape, and a piece of cardboard. Here’s your assembly guide.
2/ Trump sued E. Jean Carroll for defamation after a jury found he sexually abused and defamed her. Trump alleges that Carroll defamed him the day after the jury awarded her $5 million in damages when she said she Trump raped her. The federal jury had found Trump liable for sexually abusing Carroll, but not raping her. Trump “has been the subject of significant harm to his reputation, which, in turn, has yielded an inordinate amount of damages sustained as a result,” according to the filing. He wants Carroll to pay him unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, as well as to retract multiple statements. Meanwhile, a New York judge earlier this month allowed Carroll to amend her defamation lawsuit against Trump, letting her to seek additional damages after Trump repeated statements the jury found to be defamatory after the verdict. (CNN / NBC News / Bloomberg / Associated Press / USA Today / CNBC / ABC News)
3/ Rudy Giuliani recently met with federal prosecutors investigating Trump’s his efforts to reverse the 2020 election results. The voluntary interview with special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecutors comes as the grand jury has questioned the actions of Trump’s lawyers, including Giuliani, and their baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. (CNN / CNBC / NBC News)
poll/ 44% of voters overall say they would consider voting for third-party candidate in a 2024 matchup between Biden and Trump. Among Democrats, 45% say they’d consider a third-party candidate, while 34% of Republicans say they would consider backing a third-party candidate. (NBC News)
poll/ 63% of women disapprove of the Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Among men, 48% have an unfavorable view of DeSantis. (Florida Politics)
poll/ 30% of voters say the economy is the most important to issue in the 2024 presidential election. 28% say preserving democracy in the U.S. is the next most important issue, followed by gun violence (9%), abortion (8%), immigration (7%), health care (6%), climate change (4%), and racial inequality (3%). (Quinnipiac)
poll/ 60% of Americans say gun violence is a “very big problem” in the country. 62% say gun violence will increase in the next five years. 7% say gun violence will decrease. (Pew Research Center)
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