DML Morning Briefing Aug. 11

A crazy school policy, FBI Director Wray speaks to reporters, a new China virus, MORE!

By  Katrina Lusteck

Today is August 11. Below are some of the stories grabbing headlines this morning. I hope you share this briefing as doing so will make you the smartest person in the room. se Witherspoon and Amy Grant as alumni unveils new policy allowing ANYONE who identifies as female to enroll

Daily Mail reports: Harpeth Hall issued a letter to parents Tuesday declaring ‘any student who identifies as a girl may apply to our school’ and that the institution supports gender identity.

The $33,000-a-year Tennessee prep school, which educated actress Reese Witherspoon and singer Amy Grant, claims there has been ‘no change’ to the admissions application process which is ‘open to any female student.’

The school reiterated that its environment is centered around women and the new policy offers a safe space for students to express their gender identity.

MY TAKE: This is a sick policy that allows people to play make believe, but that’s not the real problem. The real problem is the safety and security of the girls is at risk, not to mention the way this will change the way the actual girls interact.

2 – Trump’s bond with GOP deepens after primary wins, FBI search

AP NEWS reports: The Republican response to the FBI’s search of Trump’s Florida estate this week was an especially stark example of how the party is keeping Trump nearby. Some of the Republicans considering challenges to Trump in a 2024 presidential primary, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, were among those defending him. Even long-established Trump critics like Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan questioned the search, pressing for details about its circumstances.

But even before the FBI showed up at Mar-a-Lago, Trump was gaining momentum in his post-presidential effort to shape the GOP. In all, nearly 180 Trump-endorsed candidates up and down the ballot have won their primaries since May while fewer than 20 have lost.

Only two of the 10 House Republicans who supported Trump’s impeachment after the Jan. 6 insurrection are expected back in Congress next year. Rep. Jaime Herrera-Beutler, R-Wash., who conceded defeat after her Tuesday primary, was the latest to fall. Leading Trump antagonist Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., is at risk of joining her next week.

The rapid developments crystalized the former president’s singular status atop a party he has spent the past seven years breaking down and rebuilding in his image. Facing mounting legal vulnerabilities and considering another presidential run, he needs support from the party to maintain his political career. But, whether they like it or not, many in the party also need Trump, whose endorsement has proven crucial for those seeking to advance to the November ballot.

MY TAKE: It’s true. Republicans are livid and hopefully ready to unite.

3 – FBI director condemns threats to agents after raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

ABC News reports: Answering questions at the FBI Omaha, Nebraska field office, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday he couldn’t talk about FBI agents searching Mar-a-Lago, the home of former President Donald Trump, but did say that he is “always concerned” about the threats to law enforcement.

“Well, as I’m sure you can appreciate that’s not something I can talk about,” Wray said, becoming the first senior Justice Department official to decline to comment on the record and on camera about the search of the former president’s estate.

Wray also spoke about an increase in threats against law enforcement agents.

“Violence against law enforcement is not the answer, no matter what anyone is upset about,” Wray said. “In the last few years we’ve had an alarming rise in violence against law enforcement.”

The director said it takes a “special person” to sacrifice his or her life for a stranger, and that is what law enforcement officers, including FBI agents, do every day.

“The FBI is always concerned about violence and threats of violence to law enforcement, including the men and women of the FBI,” an unnamed FBI spokesperson said in an e-mail to ABC News. “We work closely with our law enforcement partners to assess and respond to such threats, which are reprehensible and dangerous. As always, we would like to remind members of the public that if they observe anything suspicious to report it to law enforcement immediately.”

MY TAKE: I support law enforcement wholeheartedly. Special people. That said, I want to know who the mole was, and what they claimed Trump had to warrant this crazy raid.

4 – Anne Heche crash investigation upgraded to ‘FELONY’ status because the woman whose house she slammed into at 100mph ‘while drunk’ suffered several cuts that required medical treatment

Daily Mail reports: The horrific car crash that saw actress Anne Heche lose control of her Mini Clubman as it careered into a home setting both ablaze is now being treated as a potential felony due to the injuries inflicted on the woman inside the home.

Heche, 53, is in a coma in hospital and is in ‘extreme critical condition’ – with injuries that are far more serious than first thought. The crash could also see her in legal trouble as the LAPD is investigating.

TMZ reports that police in Los Angeles are treating the incident as a potential felony investigation because the woman inside the home, Lynne Mishele, suffered. The police believe Heche’s erratic, reckless driving may have been done under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

‘At this time, Anne is in extreme critical condition. She has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention,’ a rep for the actor said in a statement.

‘She is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since shortly after the accident,’ they added.

MY TAKE: I wish no one ill, so I wish Heche a full recovery. Then, she deserves to pay heavily for what can only be viewed as a blatant disregard for the safety of others. It’s sickening to see her speeding through a neighborhood and recklessly speeding past pedestrians… From IV to cuffs for her!

5 – China warns of new Langya virus that has sickened 35 people

NY Post reports: Nearly three dozen people have been sickened by a new virus spreading in China — with scientists warning it is too early to tell if it is deadly or spreads among humans.

The Langya henipavirus — or LayV — appears to be jumping from animals in parts of China, nearly three years after the coronavirus pandemic started there.

It belongs to a family of viruses that “are known to infect humans and cause fatal disease,” a Chinese-led team of international scientists wrote in a peer-reviewed study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

That includes the Nipah virus, which spreads from pigs and kills up to 75% of those infected, according to the World Health Organization.

However, so far none of the 35 confirmed LayV cases found in Shandong and Henan provinces have proven deadly.

MY TAKE: China is a never ending nightmare.