Today’s edition of quick hits.
* It was quite a day in New York’s most closely watched courtroom: “The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s $250 million civil fraud trial in New York issued a partial gag order in the case Tuesday after the former president trashed the judge’s law clerk on social media. ‘Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, inappropriate and I won’t tolerate it,’ an angry Judge Arthur Engoron said after Trump’s post and comments about his law clerk.”
* Great news for Medicare beneficiaries: “Major drug companies including Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb have committed to participate in Medicare drug price negotiations with the federal government, the Biden administration said Tuesday. The move is a positive step for people on Medicare, although there are still lawsuits from drug companies fighting the price negotiations.”
* SCOTUS: “The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed likely to preserve the work of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau against a conservative-led challenge. Even some conservative justices sounded skeptical of arguments that the agency, created after the 2008 financial crisis to regulate mortgages, car loans and other consumer finance, violates the Constitution in the way it is funded.”
* Climate crisis: “Early analyses show global warmth surged far above previous records in September — even further than what scientists said seemed like astonishing increases in July and August. The planet’s average temperature shattered the previous September record by more than half a degree Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit), which is the largest monthly margin ever observed.”
* An intensifying diplomatic challenge: “India has told Canada to remove 41 of its 62 diplomats in the country, an official familiar with the matter said Tuesday, ramping up a confrontation between the two countries over Canadian accusations that India may have been involved in the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in suburban Vancouver.”
* I’ve been meaning to mention this: “Donald Trump’s visit to a South Carolina gun store last week raised questions about what happened, exactly, and whether he broke any laws in the process. Remember, a Trump spokesman initially said the former president, who is facing several criminal indictments, purchased a gun during the campaign stop, only to walk back the claim later that day. Well, we may learn more about that visit, thanks to special counsel Jack Smith raising the incident in his latest filing in Trump’s federal election interference case in Washington, D.C.”
* Well, that would be different: “Pope Francis opened the door Monday for some Catholic priests to bless same-sex unions, hinting at a reversal of the official Vatican position that has put it at odds with many of its own progressive followers.”
* A striking report: “What was Elon Musk’s strategy for Twitter? A year after the world’s richest man acquired the social media platform, a game plan published by a fired Trump White House staffer provides a clue.”
See you tomorrow.