Mar-a-Lago, 'ultra-Maga Republicans,' New York gun law: Daily Briefing Thursday – USA TODAY

Donald Trump’s lawyers want a fair shake at reviewing seized Mar-a-Lago documents. Battle-ground state Pennsylvania sets the stage for a MAGA-bashing speech from President Joe Biden tonight. And keep reading for our review of  “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.”
Happy September 🎃  I’m Nicole Fallert, writer of Daily Briefing, a morning news column from USA TODAY. I’m always curious what readers want to see first thing in the morning. Politics? Deep-dive investigations? Celebrity news? Tell me what kind of stories you’d like to see via this form here! Now, let’s get started with Thursday’s news.
🌅 Up first: Nearly 27,000 pounds of over-ripe tomatoes were hurled in the “world’s largest food fight” in Buñol, Spain. Here are pics from the red-stained fight
Donald Trump’s legal team has continued to press for the appointment of special master to review documents seized in the government’s search of the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate, asserting that the law enforcement action was aimed at “criminalizing a former president.” Trump’s lawyers responded Wednesday night to a filing from prosecutors that opposed the demand for an independent screener. They said a special master was needed for the sake of fairness, asserting that “left unchecked, the DOJ will impugn, leak, and publicize selective aspects of their investigation.” U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon is to hear arguments on the matter Thursday. Read more
President Joe Biden is set to give a primetime speech Thursday night on “the continued battle for the soul of the nation” as early voting in the November midterm elections draws nearer. Biden is set to deliver the remarks at 8 p.m. ET outside Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia in what will be the president’s second of three trips to Pennsylvania – a crucial Senate battleground – over a one-week stretch. Biden and Democrats are out to label Republicans as increasingly extreme. It’s why Biden adopted a new name to define the opposition: “ultra-MAGA Republicans” – a reference to the political movement spawned by his predecessor. Read more 
New York City residents and visitors to the infamous Times Square in Manhattan are greeted by newly erected “Gun Free Zone” signs. City officials were putting up the signs in anticipation of a new state law going into effect Thursday that restricts where guns may be carried in public. The law was passed in reaction to a June decision by the Supreme Court that struck down a law regulating gun ownership. The law is drawing fresh legal challenges, with opponents arguing it puts too many restrictions on where people have a right to carry guns. Here’s what the law says
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Where does abortion access stand today, one year after Texas’ six-week abortion ban, known as SB 8, took effect? Numerous state-level bans were either introduced or passed across the nation in reaction to SB 8, attempting to curb or protect the right to abortion. Then came the leaked Supreme Court decision in May — and the actual decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in June — that reversed Roe v. Wade, catalyzing state-level battles over abortion and propelling the issue front-and-center ahead of the midterm elections. Read more
One thing to know: There’s a lot happening in state legislatures involving abortion that can be hard to keep up with, but voters care about the issue now more than ever.
Experts are starting to understand the effects of the pandemic on education. New federal data reveals that 9-year-olds’ reading and math scores have declined significantly across the board since the start of the pandemic. The results show the largest average score decline in reading since 1990, and the first ever score decline in mathematics, the National Center for Education Statistics said. In other words, no group of high- or low-performing students was spared from a decline in performance by the pandemic and remote schooling. Read more
The 79th Venice Film Festival kicked off with plenty of star power as celebrities, decked in designer, arrived to fête their new films. Glitz and glam were all in focus as stars including Regé-Jean Page, Adam Driver and Tessa Thompson descended on the northern Italian city. 
Click here to see more of the glam at the 2022 Venice Film Festival.
Nicole Fallert is a newsletter writer at USA TODAY, sign up for the email here. Want to send Nicole a note, shoot her an email at or follow along with her musings on Twitter. Support journalism like this – subscribe to USA TODAY here.
Associated Press contributed reporting.


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