Five in a Flash – August 30, 2017

Evan Vucci / AP

In today’s news: Trump visits Texas, federal flood insurance, Joel Osteen, the transgender military ban, and Uber.


Trump visits Texas, hailing officials’ Harvey response (LA Times) – “President Trump on Tuesday assured Texans slammed by Tropical Storm Harvey that ‘we are here to take care of you’ and promised a ‘better than ever before’ relief effort, as he visited the state while rescuers continued to pull people from submerged homes. . . . ‘The world is watching and the world is very impressed with what you are doing,’ Trump told officials at the Texas Department of Public Safety operations center in Austin who were coordinating rescue and shelter operations as rain continued to fall and water continued to swell in flood zones.”

Harvey damage adds to woes for federal flood insurance (CBS News) – “The National Flood Insurance Program is facing questions about its future amid rising costs related to Hurricane Harvey. The federal program already owed almost $25 billion to the U.S. Treasury before Harvey’s heavy rains and winds devastated Houston, an event certain to further strain the NFIP. As costs mount, it’s likely to heighten the debate about the future of the program, which is up for congressional renewal at the end of September.”

Joel Osteen says church has opened doors to flood victims (CNN) – “The megachurch led by Joel Osteen is receiving people who need shelter and also helping evacuees with supplies such as baby food, formula and other shelter needs, the church announced via Twitter Tuesday morning. Lakewood Church was under fire after apparently not opening up the church to flood victims. . . . [The church], which was founded by Osteen’s father in the 1950s, had posted on social media Monday that the venue was ‘inaccessible due to severe flooding’ following Hurricane Harvey, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm.”

Transgender ban frozen as Mattis moves forward with new review of options (Washington Post) – “Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced Tuesday that he is freezing the implementation of President Trump’s ban on transgender people serving in the military, saying that he will first establish a panel of experts to provide advice and recommendations on how to carry out Trump’s directive. The Pentagon confirmed the move in a statement attributed to Mattis, saying that he will first develop a study and implementation plan ‘as directed’ by the president in a memorandum released Friday.”

Uber faces investigation of possible foreign-bribery law violations (WSJ) – “The Justice Department has taken preliminary steps to investigate whether managers at Uber Technologies Inc. violated a U.S. law against foreign bribery, according to people familiar with the matter. The agency has begun to review allegations that Uber may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bans the use of bribes to foreign officials to get or keep business, these people said.”


Ford’s robocar delivers pizza in the name of science (WIRED) – “Yes, Ford is putting one of its autonomous vehicles to good use: delivering pizza in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For the next few weeks, randomly selected Domino’s customers will get the option to have their pie brought over by a modified Ford Fusion Hybrid, complete with the roof mounted whirring ‘coffee can’ sensors and plenty of ‘research vehicle’ stickers.”


A justification of US involvement in the Vietnam War (The Right)

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Connor Mighell is a third-year law student at the University of Alabama School of Law with an undergraduate degree in Political Philosophy from Baylor University. He is a contributor at Merion West and the curator of "Five in a Flash," a weekday newsletter. His work has been featured at The Federalist, SB Nation, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Hill, The Dallas Morning News, and The New Americana.

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