Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro: Preorders, price and more


The $199 Galaxy Buds Pro have long been one of our best wireless earbuds picks, thanks to their great sound, dependable noise cancellation and uniquely robust set of features. But it’s been nearly two years since they first launched, and in that time, a lot of worthy alternatives have popped up — including the ultra-adaptive Sony LinkBuds S and the super-secure Beats Fit Pro.

That makes now a great time for a refresh, and Samsung is delivering exactly that with the Buds 2 Pro: a $229 pair of wireless earbuds that are built to feel — and sound — even better than their popular predecessors. But can these slick buds justify their higher price tag? Here’s everything we know about them after some quick eyes-on impressions.

galaxy buds 2 pro 1

Mike Andronico/CNN

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are available for preorder today for $229 and will start shipping on Aug. 26. Those who order through Samsung now will get a free wireless charger, $30 in Samsung credit and up to $75 off with an eligible trade-in.

You’ll have three color options to choose from: White, Graphite and Bora Purple — the latter of which you’ll find on nearly all of Samsung’s new products for this summer, for those looking to coordinate.

galaxy buds 2 pro 5

Mike Andronico/CNN

While they may look similar to their predecessor from a distance, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro actually have a few noticeable changes over last year’s model. The most striking difference is that the buds now have a smooth matte finish, which is more pleasing to the eye — and should hopefully be less prone to smudges — than the glossy coating on the original Buds Pro.

Samsung says the new buds are 15% smaller than the previous edition, and that seems legit from what we’ve seen. These earbuds are much sleeker and more uniformly rounded than their bulkier predecessors, and look a fair amount like the standard Galaxy Buds 2 — or a pair of AirPods Pro with their stems cut off. According to Samsung, the new design will reduce pressure and keep the buds from rotating around too much in your ear. We already found the original Buds Pro to be pretty comfortable, so we’re eager to see how different they feel this time around.

galaxy buds 2 pro 6

Mike Andronico/CNN

When I picked up the Buds 2 Pro during my brief hands-on time, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the case now has a soft-touch finish rather than a glossy plastic exterior. Not only does this feel great and make the case easier to grip, but it should also be less prone to scratches and smears when you put it in your pocket. And while the Buds 2 Pro come in virtually the same colors as before, they all look nicer up close, thanks to that new coating.

We’ve yet to go ears-on to test the Buds 2 Pro’s audio quality, but considering how great the original sounded, we have high expectations. Samsung is promising support for high-fidelity 24-bit audio this time around as well as Dolby Atmos for immersive 360-degree sound. That’s a compelling upgrade for audiophiles, though only select music streaming services — such as Tidal and Qobuz — offer support for that level of quality. These new additions join an already robust set of Galaxy Buds Pro features, such as active noise cancellation, an ambient sound mode, custom equalizer settings and SmartThings Find support for tracking down your buds in the event you lose them.

galaxy buds 2 pro 2

Mike Andronico/CNN

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro look to improve on one of the best pairs of wireless earbuds with an even more attractive design and high-fidelity audio support. There’s just one big sticking point: the $229 price tag.

That’s a $30 bump from the original retail price of the Galaxy Buds Pro, which themselves are currently available for close to $100 these days. At a time when the AirPods Pro frequently dip as low as $160 — and with so many great $199 competitors like the Sony LinkBuds S and Beats Fit Pro — the Buds 2 Pro’s $229 asking price seems especially steep. We’ll find out if the upgrades are worth the extra expense when we get our hands on the Buds 2 Pro for a full review later this month.



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Biden faces October deadline to decide whether to help Trump avoid questions in Strzok lawsuit





CNN
 — 

President Joe Biden’s White House has until mid-October to decide if he wants to assert executive privilege and hinder an effort to obtain testimony from former President Donald Trump about Trump’s pressure campaign to get a then-top FBI agent fired.

US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set the October 14 deadline at hearing Wednesday in the lawsuit brought by former top FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok, who was terminated by the FBI in 2018 after the revelation of anti-Trump texts which Strzok exchanged with a top FBI lawyer that he was having an extramarital affair with at the time.

Jackson’s request that the Biden White House make clear its intentions for asserting privilege in depositions Strzok is seeking in the case is the latest decision confronting the President and his administration about what lengths it should go to protect Trump in court.

Biden has declined to assert privilege in some of the testimony and documents that the House January 6 Committee has obtained, but he has asserted privilege for other information sought by the committee. The Biden-era Justice Department has also sought to shield Trump in a defamation lawsuit brought by a woman who accused Trump of sexual assault.

Previously in the Strzok case, the Justice Department had sought to quash Strzok’s subpoena of Trump under a legal principle that sets the bar high for when current or former high-ranking government officials can be compelled to testify in a case. Jackson has not resolved the merits of those arguments, but she said Wednesday that she wanted to begin the process of litigating the privilege issues.

The Justice Department has also asked the court to block a deposition Strzok is seeking of FBI Director Chris Wray.

A deposition of former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is scheduled for next month, and other former lower ranking officials have also been deposed.

Strzok – who was involved in both the Trump-Russia probe and the investigation into Hilary Clinton’s private email server – sued the Justice Department, the FBI, and those agencies’ leaders in 2019. He alleges the Justice Department violated his constitutional rights and the Privacy Act in how it went about firing him and publicly releasing his texts with former FBI attorney Lisa Page. Page – who was also involved in those probes – has brought a lawsuit of her own against the Justice Department. Her and Strzok’s cases have been consolidated for the purposes of discovery.

Strzok was a target of verbal attacks by Trump and his allies as part of the larger ire Trump expressed towards the FBI during the Trump-Russia investigation. Trump repeatedly called publicly for Strzok’s ouster until Strzok was fired in August 2018.

At Wednesday’s hearing, DOJ attorneys indicated that two buckets of executive privilege may be in play: privilege protecting presidential communications and a privilege for the deliberative process behind decision-making.

Jackson raised questions about whether those privileges would apply in a situation dealing with an employment decision, rather than devising policy.

After Strzok’s team deposes Rosenstein and former FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich next month, Strzok will lay out in a court filing due September 29 the subject areas and questions he would like to ask Trump and Wray about.

In the filing due October 14, the Justice Department will tell the court over which areas of questioning the government intends to assert the presidential communications privilege or the deliberative process privilege. Another round of briefing about executive privilege in the case will be due October 28.



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3 people dead after house explosion in Indiana, authorities confirmed


“There could be other victims, we have not completed our search,” Connelly said, “The buildings are not yet safe to enter.”

“Initial survey of the damage is that 39 houses have been damaged from either severe to minor damage,” Connelly told reporters.

A structural collapse team was called in to survey buildings that were thought to be in danger of collapsing.

Multiple agencies are on the scene and authorities have asked residents to stay away from the area.

An investigation of the incident is underway Connelly added.



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Biden signs bill expanding health care benefits for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits


The bill is a major bipartisan victory for Congress and addresses an issue that is personal to the President. Biden has said he believes there may have been a connection between the brain cancer that killed his 46-year-old son, Beau Biden, and the burn pits Beau was exposed to during his military service.

Burn pits were commonly used to burn waste — including trash, munitions, hazardous material and chemical compounds — at military sites throughout Iraq and Afghanistan until about 2010. These massive open-air burn pits, which were often operated at or near military bases, released dangerous toxins into the air that, upon exposure, may have caused short- and long-term health conditions, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“Toxic smoke, thick with poison spreading through the air and into the lungs of our troops. When they came home many of the fittest and best warriors that we sent to war were not the same. Headaches, numbness, dizziness, cancer. My son Beau was one of them,” Biden said.

Beau Biden was an Iraq war veteran who served as the attorney general of Delaware and died of brain cancer in 2015.

The bill adds conditions related to burn pit and toxic exposure, including hypertension, to the Department of Veterans Affairs list of illnesses that have been incurred or exacerbated during military service, removing the burden for veterans to prove that their toxic exposure resulted in these conditions. It could provide coverage for up to 3.5 million toxic-exposed veterans.

“I was going to get this done come Hell or high water,” Biden said, calling the legislation “the most significant law our nation has ever passed to help millions of veterans who are exposed to toxic substances during their military services.”

The President said, “We have many obligations and only one truly sacred obligation: To equip those we send into harm’s way and to care for them and their families when they come home.”

U.S. President Joe Biden hands a pen to Brielle Robinson, the daughter of Sgt. 1st Class Heath Robinson, as her mother, Danielle Robinson, stands by during a signing ceremony for "the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promises to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022," in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., August 10, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Biden was introduced on Wednesday by Danielle Robinson, the wife of Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson, whom the legislation is named after. Her daughter, Brielle Robinson, was by her side. Danielle Robinson was first lady Jill Biden’s guest at Biden’s State of the Union address when he called on Congress to pass burn pits legislation.

“To us and to many of you in the room, if not all of you, it’s personal. Personal for so many people like Danielle and Brielle. Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson, just 39 years old. … They held his hand for the last time at age 39,” Biden said.

Biden thanked comedian and political activist Jon Stewart, who has been a lead advocate for veterans on the issue and was at the White House for the bill signing.

“You refused to let anybody forget. You refused to let them forget. And we owe you big, man. We owe you big,” Biden said.

The Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas were scheduled to attend the bill signing at the White House.

The White House is hailing the legislation, known as the PACT Act, as the most significant expansion of benefits and services for veterans exposed to toxins in more than 30 years.

The bipartisan bill passed Congress last week after Republicans, who had previously supported the measure, temporarily blocked the bill from advancing while they sought to add cost-controlling amendments to the package. Republicans’ surprise move sparked swift backlash among veterans and veterans’ groups, and advocates for the measure protested on the US Capitol steps for days.



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Omaha man charged with theft after stolen vehicles recovered from Benson property


JULIE: BACK IN DOUGLAS COUNTY COURT, PROSECUTORS SAY THIS IS THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR A RENTAL LOT FILLED WITH STOLEN PROPERTY IN BENSON. INVESTIGATORS SAY QUIM HEREDIA-SANCHEZ STOLE AT LEAST 11 VEHICLES, WORTH $106,000. POLICE RECOVERED THOSE VEHICLES LAST MONTH FROM A PROPERTY NEAR 61ST AND BINNEY STREETS. A JUDGE SET BOND AT $250,000. HEREDIA-SANCHEZ GOES BACK TO COURT SEPTEMBER 13

Omaha man charged in theft of at least 11 vehicles worth more than $106,000

A 37-year-old Omaha man is charged with six counts of theft by receiving in relation to stolen property recovered in Benson.Quim Heredia-Sanchez is accused of stealing at least 11 vehicles, worth an estimated $106,026, according to law enforcement.According to court documents, the vehicles were recovered on July 24 from a property in Benson, located near 61st and Binney streets. Among the vehicles recovered were a Sea-Doo boat and boat trailer, a 1997 Chevrolet C15 pickup, a 2003 Kawasaki CYL VST motorcycle, a 2017 Kawasaki BR125J motorcycle, a 2008 Honda CBR600 motorcycle, a 2006 GMC Yukon Denali, a 2015 Dodge Challenger, a 2007 KTM motorcycle frame, a Pentora 125 four-wheeler and a Texas Pride roll-off dump trailer, according to court documents.Heredia-Sanchez, who is held on a $250,000 bond, is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 13.

A 37-year-old Omaha man is charged with six counts of theft by receiving in relation to stolen property recovered in Benson.

Quim Heredia-Sanchez is accused of stealing at least 11 vehicles, worth an estimated $106,026, according to law enforcement.

According to court documents, the vehicles were recovered on July 24 from a property in Benson, located near 61st and Binney streets.

Among the vehicles recovered were a Sea-Doo boat and boat trailer, a 1997 Chevrolet C15 pickup, a 2003 Kawasaki CYL VST motorcycle, a 2017 Kawasaki BR125J motorcycle, a 2008 Honda CBR600 motorcycle, a 2006 GMC Yukon Denali, a 2015 Dodge Challenger, a 2007 KTM motorcycle frame, a Pentora 125 four-wheeler and a Texas Pride roll-off dump trailer, according to court documents.

Heredia-Sanchez, who is held on a $250,000 bond, is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 13.



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Carol Moseley Braun Fast Facts





CNN
 — 

Here is a look at the life of former US Senator Carol Moseley Braun.

Birth date: August 16, 1947

Birth place: Chicago, Illinois

Birth name: Carol Elizabeth Moseley

Father: Joseph Moseley, policeman

Mother: Edna (Davie) Moseley, medical assistant

Marriage: Michael Braun (1973-1986, divorced)

Children: Matthew, 1977

Education: University of Illinois, B.A., 1969; University of Chicago, J.D., 1972

First African American woman elected to the US Senate.

As a US senator, Moseley Braun was the first woman to serve on the Senate Finance Committee.

1973-1977 – Serves as assistant US attorney.

1978-1988 – Member of the Illinois House of Representatives. Becomes the first African American woman to serve as assistant majority leader.

1988-1992 – Recorder of deeds for Cook County, Illinois. Is the first woman and first African American to hold an executive office in Cook County.

1993-1999 – US senator from Illinois.

1998 – Defeated in the 1998 Senate election.

1999-2001 – American ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.

February 18, 2003 – Officially announces that she will be running for the Democratic nomination for president.

January 15, 2004 – Drops out of the race for president and endorses Howard Dean.

2005 – Founds an organic products company, Good Food Organics, which is the parent company of Ambassador Organics.

April 27, 2007 – Suffers a broken wrist after being attacked by a mugger outside her Chicago home.

November 20, 2010 – Officially announces her candidacy for mayor of Chicago.

February 22, 2011 – Loses to Rahm Emanuel in Chicago’s mayoral race.

September 2016 – Becomes a visiting professor of political science at Northwestern University.



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Best Apple back-to-school sales 2022: Save on Macbooks, iPads, AirPods and more


A new school year means that many new and returning students will be buying some pricey tech to get geared up for classes — including plenty of Apple products. We all know those don’t come cheap, so we’ve scoured a few different sites to find discounts and sales to help ease the burden on wallets. Be sure to check out our recommendations for must-haves like iPads, AirPods, MacBooks, iPhones and other Apple accessories if you’re not sure what you need.

We sifted through a bunch of retailers to find you the best deals. Target is hosting a massive sale with savings on every Apple device imaginable. Amazon and eBay are great for refurbished models if you want to save even more money and don’t care about not having a new model (and for many students, a new model isn’t super-necessary). Apple itself is also having its yearly educational sale through September 26 for students (or those with a .edu email address), with up to $150 off laptops and $100 of iPads.

Read on for some of the best deals on Apple gear below.

Apple

Amazon has a ton of deals on iPads, like $80 off the 202110.2-inch version with WiFi and 256GB.

Students can take education discounts from $50 off iPad Airs (hello, all-day battery life) and Pros (which are super-fast) — and pick up a $100 gift card, too. Plus, AppleCare is 20% off right now too. All of this comes courtesy of a .edu email address, so sign up for one ASAP if you don’t have one already.

Best Buy has a ton of great deals going on on iPads right now: Namely, fourth-generation models with Wi-Fi and 64GB for $150 off and $200 off the 256GB versions.

eBay is a great outlet for second-hand iPads that are certified to be in good working order, so if you just need a tablet to get things done with, we suggest checking the retailer’s selection out stat. (Used is also great for younger kids!) You can get good-condition seventh-generation iPads with 32GB and Wifi starting at $219.95, with more recent models like the Apple iPad Pro from 2018 with 4G speed and very good edition for $718.24.

Walmart’s marked down a lot of Apple gear, including several iPad models both new and refurbished. For example, you can find a new 2021 iPad Mini (sixth generation) for $409, $50 off its usual price.

Apple

You can currently snag a pair of AirPods Pro for $75 off over at Amazon with free two-shipping if you’re a Prime member. Amazon’s also currently offering $100 off the AirPods Max over-ear headphones (the full discounted price applies in-cart).

Apple AirPods Pro are at Target right now for $70 (a cool almost-30%) off — or grab the second-gen AirPods for $30 off.

Apple AirPods Pros, complete with MagSafe charging case, are $40 off right now.

Head to the mobile retailer for a pair of Apple AirPods Pro with MagSafe Case for $199.99 instead of $249.99 — that’s 20% off.

Grab a pair of AirPods Pros at Walmart for $179.99, down from an original $214.

Tefeca Breathable Sport Loop ArmBand for Apple Watch

AT&T

Apple Watches are buy one, gift one at AT&T right now, including the Series 7 and Nike SE.

Several models of the Apple Watch are on sale at Best Buy, including the SE with a 40mm strap and gold case for $60 off, the Nike SE for $60 off or the 44mm with a sport band for $60 off as well.

You can find both new and refurbished Apple Watches (from a few generations) on sale at Walmart. Refurbished models are promised to work and look like new, which is great if you don’t care about or don’t want to spend the money on having the very latest one. For example, a restored Apple Watch series 4 with a 44-millimeter band is currently $109.49, or the 5th-gen version in silver aluminium is $179 — you can also skip ahead to pick up a restored Series 7 for $333.97.

Woot! is a great place to pick up used wearables, including scratch-and-dent Series 4 watches starting at $109.99, a Series 3 starting at $84.99 and Series 5 starting at $149.99.

iPhone

The new Series 7 can be found for 30% off on Amazon right now sporting a 41-millimeter band, while the GPS version with a 45-millimeter band is 16% off. If you’re not too bothered about having the absolute latest model, Amazon’s currently offering Apple Watch Series 5s in 44-millimeter widths for $209 off retail, bringing them down to $219.99 — they’re refurbished but totally functional and described as in excellent condition.

AT&T

Pick out a 64GB iPhone 12 for $10.14 per month on an installment plan instead of $20.20 (plus an activation fee and taxes) plus up to $365 in bill credits. There’s lots of details in the T&Cs so read them carefully — but if you’re looking for a new plan anyway, it’s a great way to get an iPhone you can pay off a little bit each month.

If you’re moving away for class and switching phone carriers anyway, head to Best Buy — the company is offering up to $150 back in savings with a qualified activation with a carrier like T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T. You’ll also get perks like free Apple Music and News+ for up to six months and free Apple+ TV for three months (new or returning subscribers only).

Trust us: Your phone might find itself in some strange situations in college, so having a used phone is not a bad idea. eBay’s refurbished iPhone selection is extensive, with options like a B+- or very good-condition iPhone 11 64GB for $319.95 instead of its original list of $699. You can also get an Apple iPhone X 64GB Factory Unlocked phone for almost 81% off its list price, or just $214.95.

A ton of iPhones are on sale right now when you attach them to a carrier. Boost Mobile’s prepaid smartphone offers, for example, include a 2nd-gen 64GB Apple iPhone SE for $199.

Woot offers a range of refurbished iPhones almost continually on sale, with the latest deals including an Apple iPhone 8 for $139.99, 11s starting at $329.99, XRs starting at $224.99 and Xs (not XS) for $214.99.

Apple Magic Keyboard

AT&T

A ton of accessories are extremely on sale, including a clear iPhone 12 Mini case from Speck that’s $5, a Tylt 20W Fast Charging Wall Charger for $9.99 instead of $19.99, $33.99 Belkin MagSafe Car Vent Mounts (down from $39.99) and an antimicrobial glass screen protector for iPhone 13 Pro Max that’s half price now at $30. Try the code B2S20 at checkout to see if you can save even more.

Sharp-looking caramel leather cases for the iPhone 13 Mini are $29.99 on Verizon’s website right now versus a normal $59.98.

Outfit your device to your needs and preferences with Apple accessories on sale at Walmart, including with keyboard folios and covers for iPads. Deals include a smart keyboard folio for a 12.9-inch iPad on sale for $79.95 from $119.93 and a smart keyboard folio for the iPad Pro 11-inch (third generation) and iPad Air (fifth generation) for $160.06 instead of $240.09. You can also pick up a cover for the iPad Mini fourth and fifth generations for $19.95 instead of $39.

Over on the iPad side, you can pick up a Magic Keyboard that turns your iPad Pro setup into something resembling a mini desktop computer — it’s now $299.99 instead of $349 — or a second-generation Apple Pencil for $99, or $30 off.

You can usually find some essential accessories on sale at Woot!, with a ton of older-model ones that come in handy when they get harder to find pretty much everywhere else. Right now, those include $13.99 magnetic cases for the iPhone 13 Pro Max and a $9.99 10W Qi wireless charging pad (it’s relatively slow, but it’s also relatively cheap).



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Trump seizes on FBI search to fuel backlash


The former President’s supporters, whose distrust of government institutions he’s cultivated for years, were free to conjure a damning narrative of political persecution, seeking to discredit the probe, while the facts and the nature of any Trump offenses remained hidden in line with the FBI’s investigative protocols.

Those who know what federal agents were looking for, what they found, and the extent of the former President’s criminal exposure are not talking. That includes FBI Director Christopher Wray (a Trump appointee), Attorney General Merrick Garland and the former President himself, who has not said what was written in the search warrant.

The most the public knows is that the search was in relation to presidential records, including some classified material, that Trump is alleged to have taken from the White House. The search came after the ex-President or his team failed to return documents that were property of the government and that authorities believed had national security implications, a person familiar with the matter told CNN on Tuesday. There were also suspicions over whether Trump’s representatives were being truthful about his haul, this source said.

But a strong sense of the unknown hangs over the entire case, which is fueling the conservative counter-attack and is also leading to a torrent of speculation about the motives for the search and the material that was taken away by FBI teams. And because government prosecutors don’t typically talk about ongoing investigations unless they reach a decision to charge someone — to ensure the integrity of the probe and the privacy of those under investigation — it is unlikely there will be clarity on the situation anytime soon.

“The department can’t say much about it now; it’s inappropriate to talk about it now, but it’s unclear, and it’s a big deal,” said Preet Bharara, a CNN senior legal analyst and a former US attorney for the Southern District of New York, on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

10 questions about the FBI's search of Mar-a-Lago

Given the extraordinary circumstances of a search at a former president’s home, it seems unlikely that such a politically volcanic step would have been precipitated by clerical disputes over documents or minor infringements of the Presidential Records Act. This is especially the case since an operation of this significance would have required sign-offs at the top of the FBI and the Justice Department. But given how little is known about the search, it’s hard to properly evaluate claims by Trump’s camp that it was an extreme, unwarranted step.

Trump’s attack dogs ignore one key fact

While the furious reaction from Trump world builds, his defenders are ignoring one key fact: The FBI didn’t just turn up at his Palm Beach residence on a whim. They had to obtain a warrant from an independent judge who had to be convinced there was probable cause that a criminal offense had taken place and that there was evidence on site to prove that was the case. Such procedures are how it’s supposed to work in the justice system, which rests on the principle that no one — not even former presidents — are above the law.

But that didn’t halt full frontal attacks by Trump’s political allies and media mouthpieces over the unprecedented search of an ex-President’s home, a stunning escalation as the DOJ pursues two probes related to Trump.

“We are no better than a third world country, a banana republic,” Trump wrote on Truth Social, characteristically accusing his foes of weaponizing the Justice Department, a transgression of which he was frequently guilty of attempting as President. Trump’s credibility on these issues is also undermined by his record, including two impeachments — one for trying to get a foreign power, Ukraine, to meddle in a US election and the second for inciting an insurrection in a bid to stay in power despite losing a free and fair election.

Trump fields calls from Republican allies to speed up 2024 bid after FBI raid

Trump seized on the FBI search to inject momentum into a 2024 presidential campaign he’s been keen to launch for weeks — and there is new speculation the rush to his side by many Republicans could prompt him to announce sooner rather than later. The former President met 12 of his closest House allies at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club on Tuesday and got nothing but support for a bid to get his old job back.

It’s just a matter of “when” he announces, Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana told CNN. “My sense is he is fired up and ready to go.”

The FBI search on Monday represented a remarkable development in just one of the legal fronts bearing down on Trump. It recently emerged that his lawyers are in discussions with Justice Department prosecutors conducting a probe into the circumstances surrounding the January 6, 2021, insurrection. Trump may also be drawn into a criminal probe in Georgia into efforts by him and his allies to steal President Joe Biden’s 2020 win in the state. And he is set to be deposed on Wednesday in a civil investigation in New York into the Trump Organization’s finances.

But if any proceeding against Trump is automatically considered by his fans to be political and tainted, there is little hope for the integrity of US judicial institutions.

Trump’s counter-attack portends a period of angst for America

The uproar Trump quickly stoked was an ill omen for a period of vicious polarization in the months ahead. This new national nightmare is sure to color yet another election since Trump is already a front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination and millions of supporters will buy into his storylines.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — despite giving no sign he had inside knowledge of the intricacies of the investigation related to Trump — issued a threat to enlist a potential new Republican majority after the midterms to go after Garland.

“I’ve seen enough. The Department of Justice has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization,” the California Republican said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Another key member of House GOP leadership also weighed in.

“There must be an immediate investigation and accountability into Joe Biden and his Administration’s weaponizing this department against their political opponents — the likely 2024 Republican candidate for President of the United States,” said New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking House Republican.

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley, who raised a fist in encouragement to Trump’s mob before it stormed the Capitol on January 6 said that, at a minimum, Garland should be impeached or resign. Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who chairs the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, compared the actions of the federal government to the Gestapo in Nazi Germany in an appearance on Fox Business.

The unhinged rhetoric was, if anything, more extreme on conservative media outlets that supported and enabled Trump while he was president. And the vitriol was pouring out on social media, recalling the violent speech that led up to the Capitol attack. On one online forum dedicated to Trump, a poster commented: “Lock and load,” while another said Garland “needs to be assassinated,” CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan reported.

Trump shows his command over the GOP’s grassroots

The vehemence of the response to the FBI search simultaneously demonstrated Trump’s hold over his party and the strength of his authoritarian personality cult among the GOP grassroots as he contemplates a 2024 campaign launch.

The conservative backlash again exposed the undercurrent of violence in American political life. And it demonstrated how many Republicans with aspirations of winning elections know they must show total loyalty to the former President, whatever his alleged transgressions.

Republican congressman says FBI seized his cellphone

A strong streak of hypocrisy was also evident among Republicans who had demanded 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton be disqualified from running for president over her mishandling of classified information but who are now accusing the FBI of pursuing a vendetta against Trump. Some GOP figures are, however, accusing Democrats of double standards since they faulted the FBI for its investigation into Clinton’s emails but appear happy for the bureau to go after Trump.

The fury the ex-President was able to stoke on Monday evening was partly enabled by his own years of false claims of harassment by the “Deep State.”

Alberto Gonzales, who served as attorney general under Republican President George W. Bush, issued a plea on Tuesday for calm.

“People need to just hold their horses. They need to understand and be reminded of the fact that this was done with standard practices, a federal judge was involved, the department made the requisite showing, they got a search warrant, they collected the information,” Gonzales said on CNN’s “Newsroom.”

“This doesn’t mean Donald Trump is going to be charged, doesn’t mean there is going to be a trial — this is all part of the process of getting the information.”

But such respect for judicial process, the rule of law and facts seems almost quaint in what is still clearly the Trump era of American politics.

Given the immediate claims by Trump allies that the search showed the Biden administration was weaponizing the law to persecute him, it is inevitable that the integrity of the country’s instruments of justice will be further damaged — even if the department takes criminal steps against him.

Not all Republicans jumped on Trump’s bandwagon after the search. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who would prefer to train the focus on Biden’s record ahead of the midterm elections, was noticeably reticent, saying he was preoccupied by floods in his home state of Kentucky. But as the political pressure mounted, he issued a statement Tuesday evening saying that Garland needed to provide answers to the American people “immediately.”

Trump’s power was shown when two of his potential GOP presidential primary foes — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence — defended the former President and demanded answers.

The furor of the last few days also showed that any remaining hopes that Biden might have of making good on his inaugural promise to bring the country together probably fizzled as soon as FBI agents went through the gates at Mar-a-Lago.

And that’s just a preview of the eruption that would test the fabric of American democracy if Trump were to be indicted in either of the Justice Department’s probes.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Melanie Zanona, Katelyn Polantz, Kaitlan Collins and Pamela Brown contributed to this story.



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Pearland Little League pitcher Kaiden Shelton comforted on mound by Tulsa batter whom he hit in head


PEARLAND, Texas (KTRK) — With a whole town tuning in Tuesday, Pearland Little League fulfilled its journey back to the Little League World Series with a 9-4 victory over Tulsa, Oklahoma in the Southwest Regional Final.

Pearland ran the table en route to its fourth World Series berth in 12 years, going 13-0 from district, state, and regional levels.

The moment that may be most talked about from Tuesday’s game involved Pearland pitcher Kaiden Shelton who threw an errant pitch that hit Tulsa batter Isiah Jarvis in the head.

Jarvis was on the ground for several minutes as coaches and trainers checked on him.

Meanwhile, Shelton was distraught over what happened. After Jarvis walked to first base under his own power, he called for time, went to the mound, and embraced and comforted Kaiden.

A whole town watches its boys of summer

Residents have been catching every game of the regional tournament so far. An official watch party took place at Hometown Sports Bar and Grill.

“I was watching with my family, and so there was a lot of excitement!” said Danae Lee, a fan.

This version of the team is undefeated in the regional tournament and is picking up support with every run scored.

“It’s everywhere. You see signs all over Pearland!” said Nancy Small, another fan.

Dr. Mercedes Giles and Janell Bernal are former baseball players, and they are ready for the team to make it big time.

“We’re pumped. We are so excited to hear that the team has made it so far in the competition. I love when they come through the neighborhood, and we cheer for them all the time,” said Dr. Giles, the team’s former left fielder.

James Reyes plays for Pearland High School and told us that the older guys are 100% behind the Little Leaguers.

“Me and my friends had a watch party a couple of days ago, and even around the Pearland High School area, you can just tell everybody is excited. All the coaches are hyping it up,” said Reyes.

Town residents will have to wait a little before they know who the team faces in the historic tourney.

Pearland advanced to the Little League World Series in 2010, 2015 and 2016. The 2010 team reached the U.S. Championship game.

The World Series is scheduled to run Aug. 17-28.

For more on this story, follow Jeff Ehling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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The best pillows for side sleepers in 2022, tried and tested


If you sleep on your side, you need a pillow that keeps your shoulder, neck and head in a neutral, comfortable position. For many side sleepers that means a different type of pillow from those meant for back or stomach sleeping.

Hundreds of pillows are sold specifically for side sleepers, so we set out to find the best ones, sleeping on 23 pillows ranging from those specifically sold for side sleepers to those that are intended to cover all sleep positions, many of which we examined in our search for the best pillows overall. We also spoke with doctors, sleep specialists and academic researchers that study sleep positions to find answers on the best shapes and fill for side sleepers. In the end, we came up with three great choices that should suit those who sleep on their sides.

Best pillow for side sleepers overall

The supportive Eli & Elm Side Sleeper pillow has a U-shaped cutout that makes room for your shoulder when sleeping on your side. It also cradled our necks well when we slept on our backs, so it’s great for anyone who shifts positions.

Best memory foam pillow for side sleepers

The squishy yet supportive Casper Hybrid pillow offers a better balance between softness and support than other memory foam pillows we tested, and it is well ventilated so you won’t overheat.

Best pillow for side sleepers on a budget

The affordable Beckham Hotel Collection pillow is just right — not too soft or too firm. The dense fill kept our heads and necks supported through the night. It’s also one of the least expensive pillows we tested.

$124.99 From $99.99 at Eli & Elm

The Eli & Elm Side Sleeper pillow

The supportive Eli & Elm Side Sleeper pillow has a curved cutout that creates room for your shoulder when sleeping on your side, setting this pillow apart from the rest. We found the extra room quite comfortable and also appreciated how it let us hold onto the edges of the pillow while sleeping on our side, keeping our arms and hands more comfortable too. As a bonus, we loved that we felt like we were cradled when we slept on our backs too, so it’s a great choice if you shift positions often.

The pillow is filled with a blend of latex and polyester that is adjustable and removable. Similar to other adjustable pillows, you can take out as much fill as you want to achieve the exact height and firmness level that’s most comfortable. We found the pillow came with plenty of fill for those that like a firm pillow, though we had to remove some to soften it up. If you like an extra-firm pillow, Eli & Elm offers an option to buy extra fill. It took a few nights of trial and error before we figured out the optimal amount of fill, but once we did we found the pillow very comfortable.

The Side Sleeper has two slight drawbacks. First, we found that the pillow sleeps slightly hot — not so much so it disturbed our sleep but if you are sensitive you may want to keep that in mind or plan to accessorize with some of our recommendations for hot sleepers.

Also, the odd shape doesn’t fit well in standard pillow cases. However, the cover is removable and washable so you can use it without a pillowcase (which is what we did in testing). If you absolutely need a pillowcase, Eli & Elm also sell a custom pillowcase that you can buy separately. We also appreciate the company’s 45-day return policy in case the pillow doesn’t work out.

From $99 at Casper and Amazon

The Casper Hybrid Pillow

Casper describes this pillow as “feeling like a marshmallow” and we couldn’t agree more; that’s exactly what this pillow feels like. The squishy yet supportive Casper Hybrid pillow has a synthetic fill core surrounded by an outer layer of memory foam, which offers the perfect balance between excellent support and comfortable plushness, unlike some other foam pillows which we found too firm or too soft in our testing. The ventilation holes in the foam layer also give the Casper Hybrid an advantage over other memory foam pillows — it never left us feeling overheated while sleeping, so it’s a great choice if you are a hot sleeper.

While the Hybrid Pillow is sold for general use, we liked it for sleeping on our side because of its rectangular shape and substantial side gusset, which helped keep our head elevated in a comfortable position but didn’t dig into our shoulder or neck. It also kept its shape throughout the night.

The Hybrid Pillow comes in two heights, regular with a 2-inch gusset and low loft with a 1.25-inch gusset. You can take a quiz on Casper’s website to help determine which loft height is right for you. Casper recommended a low loft pillow for our tester’s needs and we found it was the perfect size for our petite tester, so if you have a larger frame you may want to consider the regular loft size.

The Casper Hybrid Pillow comes with a removable and machine-washable cover and Casper offers a 30-night return policy on most pillows, although at time of testing the low loft version is on final sale.

The Beckham Hotel Collection Pillow

The Beckham Hotel Collection pillow has a denser fill compared to most down alternative pillows, giving it a firmer feel but enough give that it cradled our heads comfortably as we slept on our sides. The Beckham pillow’s support didn’t fade over the course of the night, as the firm fill doesn’t fall flat, unlike some other pillows we tested.

We appreciated that it could be machine-washed, however, the instructions state it should be dried flat which is less than ideal and takes at least half a day depending on the temperature inside your living space. We did machine-dry it, however, to see how it fared and it held up without any noticeable changes, but we suspect over time machine-drying could potentially cause the pillow to degrade faster.

This was one of the most budget-friendly pillows that we tested and it’s far more comfortable than you might expect given the low cost, so if you don’t want to splurge on a more expensive pillow this is a great pick.

While many brands design and market pillows tailored specifically to back, stomach or side sleepers, all of the experts we spoke to told us that pillow comfort is very personal, and just because a pillow is marketed for side sleepers doesn’t mean it will work for you. According to Dr. Andrew Varga, neuroscientist and physician at The Mount Sinai Integrative Sleep Center, “There is limited, if any, scientific evidence regarding pillow types.”

After testing dozens of pillows, we have found that the way pillows are labeled can give at least some indication of how the pillow will feel, and that makes a good starting point when shopping for side sleeper pillows (or for other sleeping positions). In general, pillows meant for side sleepers — like those for back sleepers — are often firmer and loftier than pillows for stomach sleepers, which helps keep your head elevated properly when laying on your side. And some contoured or cutout designs may provide better comfort for some side sleepers.

According to Josh Tal of Josh Tal & Associates Sleep and Health Psychotherapists, people who sleep on their sides need to look for a pillow that provides support for the shoulder, neck and head, and allows for a neutral, supportive position. Because of this, Tal says, “side sleepers usually prefer a pillow with more loft to cradle the head, paired with an indentation to comfort the shoulder and a potentially an elevated bump in the bottom of the pillow to support the neck.”

Also, keep in mind that everyone’s neck is different, so the type of contour or density of fill that achieves this will vary from individual to individual. If you’re smaller-framed, you may need a lower loft pillow; if you’re bigger, you may need a higher loft pillow to keep the neck aligned with the spine.

We found that pillows for side sleepers come in more unique shapes than other types of pillows and can offer certain benefits such as allowing more room for your shoulder or more neck support.

  • Cutout: Some pillows for side sleepers have a semi-circular cutout at the bottom. This allows more room for your shoulder when you’re laying on your side without the pillow getting in the way. We found that this design let us lay our head more comfortably on the pillow when sleeping on our side.
  • Gusset: Gussets are extra rectangular side panels sewn into the edges of the pillow; these create a more structured feel than the flat sewn edges of traditional pillows. These gussets help the pillow maintain its shape and offer extra elevation to keep the head supported, which can be more comfortable when sleeping on your side.
  • Contour: Some pillows are designed with an upper face meant to match the contour of your head, neck and shoulder. These curves and indentations they are meant to support your neck and cradle your head. Most of these pillow types are made with firm foam so they keep their shape and don’t shift.

Fill and firmness

For side sleepers, Tal recommends a medium to soft fill that allows the head, neck and shoulder to fall gracefully into the pillow, with enough balance to keep the head and spine neutral. Good fill materials to achieve this include memory foam, down and down alternatives. If you’ll be adding or removing fill, make sure to balance the amount of fill throughout the pillow to achieve the correct alignment — you don’t want a lumpy pillow.

Susan J. Gordon research professor at the Flinders University College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Adelaide, Australia, who has studied the effect of pillow types in relation to sleep quality and their effect on waking back and neck pain, recommends laying on a pillow for at least 15 minutes to try it out. That’s the time it takes for the body to fully settle so you’ll know whether or not the pillow is right for you.

Since one pillow will not work for everyone, make sure to check the brand’s return policy. Many brands offer a trial period or returns, but some brands do not allow you to return the pillow. You’ll want to choose a pillow with a good return policy in case the pillow does not work for you, unless you’re willing to take the risk of not being able to return it.

After narrowing down our list to the most popular pillows and brands, we slept on each for a minimum of two nights, noting factors like construction quality and comfort. We evaluated each using the following criteria.

  • Comfort: After sleeping on each pillow for a few nights, we judged how comfortable each pillow was to sleep on, noting if we had to make adjustments throughout the night, the pillow fell flat or retained a lot of heat.
  • Durability: In order to assess the durability of each pillow, we washed and dried each pillow twice, if applicable, according to the manufacturer’s care instructions. If the pillow indicated it was not machine-washable, we washed the cover where possible. We evaluated each pillow for how much it flattened or changed shape after washing and sleeping on it. We also looked at the overall appearance of the pillow after wash and use and noted if anything broke in the process.
  • Ease of cleaning: For each pillow, we scored it on how easily and if it could be cleaned, taking into account if it’s machine-washable, dry clean, spot clean or not washable at all.
  • Firmness options: We looked at how many firmness options are available for each pillow or if it can be adjusted to anyone’s fill preference, which makes it more likely you’ll be able to find the right fit for you.
  • Trial and return policy: Since pillows are highly personal, we also scored each pillow brand on its trial policy, whether or not you could test it out and how many days you had to return it.

We loved the Garnet Hill Heirloom European White Goose Down Pillow, so it’s no surprise we also liked their down-alternative pillow as well. It’s more plush and supportive than most other synthetic fill pillows we tested and keeps its shape throughout the night. It’s washable and comes in three firmness levels. Garnet Hill also has a 90-day return policy.

Down pillows can fall flat throughout the night, but the Parachute down side sleeper pillow has a side gusset, and when we tested this pillow it kept its shape fairly well. It contains some feathers as opposed to 100% down, which is not ideal, but we found the feathers didn’t poke through the material or make too much noise. It also comes in a down alternative version for those that are allergic to down or prefer synthetic fill.

The Saatva latex pillow has two components: an inner core filled with shredded latex that’s removable and a surrounding outer layer that’s filled with down alternative. This allows for some adjustability in how high and firm you want the pillow and makes it easier to adjust than other pillows, where you’re taking out bits and pieces of fill, but it’s limited to two options. All of our testers found the pillow most comfortable without the inner core.

Like many other adjustable pillows, the Layla Kapok pillow can be adjusted by adding or removing fill to achieve a personalized height and firmness level. It’s filled with a combination of shredded memory foam and kapok fibers that come from a kapok tree and feel similar to a mix between cotton and wool. The honeycomb-patterned cover adds an extra layer of plushness and it can be removed and washed. One of our testers noticed a slight musty smell, though it seemed to get better over time as the pillow aired out. Another tester didn’t notice a smell at all on their pillow, so keep in mind this pillow may need to air out for a while if it has a smell.

The Brooklinen Marlow pillow immediately caught our attention with its side zippers that allow you to adjust the firmness by opening or closing the zippers. We were intrigued by this unique system, however, we found only a slight difference in firmness when the zippers were closed versus open. We found it too firm for side sleeping; it may be better-suited for a larger-framed side sleeper, as our petite sider sleeper found it too high. It only comes in one firmness level but does come in standard and king sizes.

Tempur-Pedic recommends this pillow for back and side sleepers, saying its molded contoured design follows the curve of your body, supporting your head and neck. It comes in small, medium and large sizes and has a guide on its website to help you choose the correct size based on your body measurements. While we found the contour pillow supported our neck and allowed our head to lay in the dip, it was also extremely firm, much more so than most Tempur-Pedic beds and pillows we’ve tried, with little to no give. This is great for someone who wants an extra-firm pillow that won’t change shape at all, but it’s likely too firm for most.



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