Some late-breaking, still relatively unconfirmed, but potentially hopeful news on global nuclear security. Fingers crossed! - Jack
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THE BIG NEWS
We Might Be On the Brink of Success With the Iran Nuclear Deal
I have to start this story with the disclaimer that like most international agreements, everything could fall apart by the time you read this letter. But right now, early reports coming from the negotiations between the U.S., EU, and Iran about resurrecting the 2015 JCPOA (known as the Iran deal) show some shockingly encouraging signs.
First, where the U.S. is at: on Monday, the White House insisted that Iran drop its "unacceptable demands" that go beyond the scope of the original JCPOA, which traded sanctions relief for assurances that Iran wouldn't pursue a nuke. These demands are basically concessions that Iran is demanding in retaliation for, you know, the U.S. blowing the whole thing up under Trump.
That doesn't sound super friendly, but negotiations with the Europeans are in a better place.
The European Union gave Iran a "final" text on reviving the deal, and asked for a response by Monday. The U.S. will have to sign of on it as well, and has said they'll look it over privately, but it's really the Iranian response that's vital. If they agree to largely go along with the EU's draft, it seems likely that the U.S. will find a way to compromise as well. Early reports could be a whole lot worse:
Reporters (Cirincione is an analyst and political wonk) say that Iran has responded to the EU's list, and it's not an out of hand rejection.
Again, this isn't a ringing endorsement. But for a negotiation process that has at times seemed completely dead in the water, we'll take any bit of hope we can get for a return to a better and more stable world, where innocent Iranians don't suffer under brutal sanctions because of their leadership (and ours)'s irrational demands for nuclear power.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Giuliani in Deep Trouble in Georgia
News from the many fronts of Trump's various legal troubles: it's Rudy time, baby! The Times reports that prosecutors in the Georgia election interference case – one of the most serious for a broad range of Trumpworld figures – are specifically targeting Giuliani for his role in allegedly uh... doing extremely shady stuff in order to pressure local officials to hand the election in that state to Trump instead of Biden. Prosecutors have notified Giuliani and his representation. As a note – this doesn't mean Rudy has been indicted yet, but that legal teams on both sides are preparing for the possibility that he will. Any more chances we get to see Rudy sweat on the stand are good ones!
U.S. Still Hasn't Evacced Afghan Strike Victims' Family Members
When the U.S. military killed 10 civilians in an airstrike last August, it eventually promised that it would do right by the victims families, particularly as the airstrike's clearly intended target turned out to be not a terrorist but an aid worker for a U.S.-funded NGO. And yet, that promise hasn't come true. Lawyers for the victims surviving relatives say that many members of the family are still languishing under Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Per the Times, "fewer than a dozen of the 144 family members have been resettled in the United States and 32 people remain trapped in Afghanistan with little hope of getting out soon." That's a grim outcome for a family that has already suffered so much, and one the U.S. should be taking immediate pains to rectify.
- Liz Cheney Down Bad in Wyoming Primary Down over 20 points in the polls, the daughter of a world-class Dick's only chance is voters who changed their registration to Republican in order to protect the anti-Trump conservative's seat in her primary tonight. We'll see if it works. via Five Thirty Eight and Roll Call.
- William Ruto Declared Kenya's Next President, Through Controversy There's a good chance Ruto's opposition will challenge the vote. via NYT.
- Ukraine Claims Hit on Wagner Base Analysts think they struck the facility with a U.S.-made HIMARS system after locating it through the Russian mercenaries social media posts. Modern warfare for you. via NYT.
- PA Man Threatened FBI Online A suspect has been arrested and charged for making violent threats towards the agency on the right wing social networking site Gab. via NYT.
- Chicago's Intelligensia Coffee Becomes Latest Shop to Unionize Management tried vicious union busting, of course. via In These Times.
Number of apprehensions of migrants on the Southern border, through the end of June, which has already surpassed the 2021 total. This could be due to increased migration or increased policing, or both.
ON THE SHOW TODAY
8/16: Sam breaks down the biggest headlines of the day.
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
I love every part of this guy's ridiculous, astroturfed campaign.
CNN's Jim Acosta rakes Andrew Yang over the coals about his idiotic new political party.
“I am a daughter of a construction worker and independent contractor! I grew up in a home where sometimes we had what we needed, but many times we did not. “That was five decades ago. And we have families today still facing wage theft while the construction industry is booming with millionaires and multimillionaires—all at the expense of exploiting the families that are working for them.”
– Monica Bravo executive director of the West Side Community Organization, on the chronic wage theft plaguing the construction industry.
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