Happy Friday! Fast food fans in Florida are accusing Burger King of telling a whopper … about the Whopper, which the plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit say is up to 35 percent smaller in real life than recent advertising suggests.
Perhaps, rather than defend itself against the allegations, BK will let the customers have it their way, since—as they’ve told us so, so, so many times this year—we rule.
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
- Ukrainian forces have reportedly breached the first of Russia’s main defensive lines this week near the village of Verbove, southeast of Zaporizhzhia. The advance would mark the first time the Ukrainians have penetrated the Russians’ highly fortified defensive lines and is raising cautious hopes for a breakthrough in the country’s counteroffensive.
- The Biden administration on Tuesday approved—for the first time—a military transfer to Taiwan under foreign military financing, a program typically reserved for grants to sovereign nations. State Department officials notified Congress they intended to obligate $80 million for Taipei, which Beijing considers to be a part of China, to purchase weapons but clarified to Reuters that aid offered under FMF did not indicate a change in the U.S. “One China” policy.
- Niger’s military junta ordered the country’s police to expel the French ambassador this week, noting that the visas for Sylvain Itte and his family had been canceled and giving them 48 hours to leave the country. The announcement followed a previous ultimatum from the junta, which Paris ignored, ordering France to recall the ambassador. A September 3 deadline looms for France to remove the 1,500 French troops stationed in the country.
- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms moved Thursday to expand background checks on gun purchases by clarifying—and expanding—the definition of a gun seller. If the proposed rule enters into force, the measure, precipitated by last year’s Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, would tighten restrictions on gun sellers at flea markets, gun shows, and other secondary markets, setting stricter limits on how many firearms they can sell before being required to get a Federal Firearms License.
- President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration for Florida on Thursday after Hurricane Idalia made landfall as a Category 3 storm on the state’s Gulf Coast earlier this week. After weakening to a tropical storm, the system barrelled through Southeast and caused a significant storm surge off the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas, leaving hundreds of thousands of customers without power. Biden said he would tour the affected areas in Florida on Saturday.
- The Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, increased 3.3 percent year-over-year in July, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday—up from a 3 percent annual rate one month earlier. Even after stripping out more volatile food and energy prices, core PCE increased at a 4.2 percent annual rate, well above the Fed’s 2 percent target. On a month-over-month basis, prices were up 0.2 percent—the same rate as June. Consumer spending, meanwhile, increased 0.8 percent in July, the strongest month-over-month increase since January.
- Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty on Thursday to racketeering and other charges filed in Fulton County, Georgia, related to his alleged efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 election. Trump entered his plea in a court filing and waived his right to an in-person arraignment, previously scheduled for September 6. In a separate filing, Trump also formally asked the judge to sever his case from that of his co-defendants seeking a speedy trial, on the grounds that his legal team would not have sufficient time to prepare their defense if they were bound to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ preferred October 23 trial date. Meanwhile, Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, said Thursday he would not call a special session of the legislature to investigate Willis, despite requests from some GOP lawmakers in the state. “Up to this point, I have not seen any evidence that DA Willis’ actions or lack thereof warrant action by the prosecuting attorney oversight commission,” Kemp told reporters.
- Two leaders of the Proud Boys, Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl, were sentenced to 17 and 15 years in prison, respectively, on Thursday after they were convicted on charges of seditious conspiracy for their actions during the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol. Prosecutors sought sentences of 33 years for Biggs, whom they described as the “tip of the spear,” and 30 years for Rehl.
- Clarence Thomas’ financial disclosure report for 2022 was made public on Thursday, with the Supreme Court justice reporting three trips on private jets in 2022 funded by Dallas real estate mogul Harlan Crow: two to American Enterprise Institute conferences in Dallas (Thomas cited security concerns following the Dobbs opinion leak), and one to upstate New York. The disclosure came after the justice faced intense scrutiny this spring for previously unreported travel paid for by Crow. (Harlan Crow is a minority investor in The Dispatch and a friend of the founders.)
Democrats Feud Over New York’s Migrant Surge
In July 2021 the newly crowned Democratic nominee for mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, took a visit to the White House to meet with the president. Adams left the meeting happy, noting the White House calls him “the Biden of Brooklyn.” Both politicians had defeated more progressive primary challengers in part by presenting more moderate positions on crime and policing, and political observers heralded Adams’ victory as a blueprint for Democrats looking to fend off Republican attacks on crime.
But in recent months, the pair’s relationship has soured over a separate issue: immigration.