Judge hears arguments in Trump documents case; mortgage rates rising; fewer file for unemployment | Hot off the Wire podcast

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A federal judge has heard arguments on whether to appoint an outside legal expert to review government records seized by the FBI last month in a search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home. There was no immediate ruling after arguments Thursday.

Lawyers for Trump say the appointment of a special master is necessary to ensure an independent inspection of the documents. The Justice Department says an appointment is unwarranted because investigators have completed their review of potentially privileged records.

Chicago officials say 75 immigrants have arrived in the city on buses from Texas, as part of a border policy by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office confirmed that the migrants arrived Wednesday night and that the city has welcomed them and will make sure they receive shelter and food. 

About 2 in 10 Americans say they’ve had a personal experience with gun violence or a connection to someone who experienced it. That’s according to a new poll that also found racial and ethnic disparities in how Americans experienced gun violence.

One of Atlanta’s largest hospitals says it plans to shut down in two months after experiencing more than $100 million in losses over the past year. Wellstar Health System announced late Wednesday that the Atlanta Medical Center will close on Nov. 1.

A judge ruled that the jury for school shooter Nikolas Cruz can see the swastikas he drew on class assignments. Cruz pleaded guilty to the 2018 killings at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The trial is to decide whether he’s sentenced to death or life without parole.

Local law enforcement agencies from suburban Southern California to rural North Carolina have been using an obscure cellphone tracking tool, at times without search warrants, that empowers them to follow people’s movements months back in time.

Lawyers for John Eastman say they advised their client to assert attorney-client privilege and invoke his constitutional right to remain silent when testifying before a special grand jury investigating possible election interference in Georgia. Charles Burnham and Harvey Silverglate confirmed Wednesday that Eastman had appeared in court in Fulton County, complying with a subpoena the district attorney had issued to him.

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose to their highest level in two months this week, providing no relief for a slumping housing market. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year rate rose to 5.66% from 5.55% last week.

Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the labor market continues to shine despite weakening elements of the U.S. economy. Applications for jobless aid for the week ending Aug. 27 fell by 5,000 to 232,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The Department of Transportation has launched a customer service dashboard to help vacationers ahead of the travel-heavy Labor Day weekend. Starting Thursday, travelers will be able to check the dashboard and see what kinds of guarantees, refunds or compensation the major domestic airlines offer in case of flight delays or cancellations.

Reports of sexual assaults across the U.S. military jumped by 13% last year, driven by significant increases in the Army and the Navy as bases began to move out of pandemic restrictions and public venues opened back up.

Bed Bath & Beyond says that it will shutter stores and lay off workers in a bid to turn around its beleaguered business. The home goods retailer based in Union, New Jersey, said Wednesday it will close about 150 of its namesakes stores and slash its workforce by 20%.

A new study says that what meteorologists consider dangerous heat will happen at least three times more often in coming decades as climate change worsens.

An unprecedented red tide in the San Francisco Bay Area is killing thousands of fish and other marine life whose carcasses are washing ashore, creating a foul odor that experts say could get worse during this weekend’s expected heat wave.

The United States says it has determined that Russia is suffering “severe manpower shortages” in its six-month-old war with Ukraine and that is has become more desperate in its efforts to find new troops to send to the front lines.

South Korea may conduct a public survey to help determine whether to grant exemptions to mandatory military service to members of the K-pop boyband BTS. By law, all able-bodied men in South Korea must serve 18-21 months in the military. But exemptions are granted to certain athletes, musicians and artists.