Daily Briefing: 20 impeachment counts against Texas AG

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A Texas House committee has recommended to impeach embattled Attorney General Ken Paxton amid a series of allegations of abuse of office. Also in the news: An Indiana doctor who spoke out about providing a 10-year-old rape victim with abortion care was found liable for violating patient privacy laws. Washington is heading out for the long weekend with mere days until the nation could see an unprecedented default on the national debt.

🙋🏼‍♀️ I'm Nicole Fallert, Daily Briefing author. Are you reading this from the airport? Today's the busiest day for flying in years.

Now, here we go with Friday's news.

20 impeachment counts against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Texas lawmakers have issued 20 articles of impeachment against state Attorney General Ken Paxton, ranging from bribery to abuse of public trust as state Republicans surged toward a swift and sudden vote that could remove him from office. The charges were released Thursday night, hours after a Republican-led House investigative committee recommended impeaching the state’s top lawyer. The House could vote on the recommendation as soon as Friday. If it impeaches Paxton, he would be forced to leave office immediately. Read more

Indiana doctor who reported Ohio 10-year-old’s abortion violated privacy laws

An Indianapolis doctor who spoke publicly about providing abortion care to a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio was found liable Thursday for violating state and federal patient privacy laws by the Indiana Medical Licensing Board. During a disciplinary hearing, Dr. Caitlin Bernard said she followed state reporting requirements and hospital policy — which she has asserted repeatedly. But in a split decision, the board found that the doctor violated privacy laws in her handling of the patient’s information. While Bernard could have had her license revoked, the board found her fit to continue practicing medicine. Read more

Dr. Caitlin Bernard testifies on Thursday, May 25, 2023, during a hearing in front of the state medical board.
Dr. Caitlin Bernard testifies on Thursday, May 25, 2023, during a hearing in front of the state medical board.

More news to know now

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Six days until the debt ceiling deadline

President Joe Biden and lawmakers prepare to leave Washington for the long Memorial Day weekend with only days remaining until a June 1 expiration date for the nation's debt. Unless a deal is reached Friday, negotiators are expected to continue to meet virtually over the Memorial Day weekend. House Republicans began departing the capital Thursday, but are on a 24-hour notice from McCarthy to reconvene at the Capitol if necessary. House Democrats tried to seize on Republicans' absence: With one side of the chamber empty, Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries called the debt ceiling crisis "manufactured, MAGA madness" during remarks from the House floor. Read more

US House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, in Washington, DC, May 25, 2023.
US House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, in Washington, DC, May 25, 2023.

Supreme Court limits government power to curb water pollution

The Supreme Court on Thursday sided with a couple who have been battling the Environmental Protection Agency for more than a decade over a plan to develop a property in the Idaho panhandle.

The decision has potentially sweeping national ramifications for water quality, agriculture and development.

  • A majority of the court said that the lack of clarity about what types of waters are covered by the Clean Water Act was difficult for property owners to understand.

  • What Alito wrote: A "staggering array of landowners are at risk of criminal prosecution" if they don't realize their property is subject to federal environmental rules.

  • Bottom line: The court's opinion adopts a new, more narrow standard that will limit how much water the EPA may regulate. That's a win for developers and a loss for environmentalists.

Read our full recap of the decision here and how the court sided with a grandmother who lost her home.

Head of Russian private army says forces are handing control of Bakhmut to Moscow

The head of the Russian private military contractor Wagner claims his forces have started pulling out of Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine and handing over control to the Russian military. His announcement Thursday came days after he said Wagner troops had captured the ruined city. The Bakhmut triumph delivered a badly needed victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has lost momentum and now faces a Ukrainian counteroffensive using advanced weapons that Kyiv’s Western allies have provided. Read more

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Study identifies symptoms that distinguish long COVID

A clearer picture of what's become known as long COVID-19 is starting to emerge, which should eventually allow researchers to treat symptoms that can devastate people's lives for months or years after a COVID-19 infection. In a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health, researchers identified symptoms that are the most distinctive to long COVID, including: fatigue, especially after exercise, brain fog and dizziness, among others. Researchers believe it's possible that long COVID has different causes in different people, or that some people are affected by a combination of factors. Read more

Quick hits

Photo of the day:  Johns Hopkins grads get a surprise commencement speaker

The latest graduates from Johns Hopkins University got a powerful message from a surprise commencement speaker Thursday: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who addressed the students via a livestream from embattled Kyiv. He highlighted how unexpected events − such as a war − can change the course of life, so it’s important to seize the moment at hand. Read more

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses via livestream the graduates of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses via livestream the graduates of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

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 NFallert@usatoday.com or follow along with her musings on Twitter. Support journalism like this – subscribe to USA TODAY here.

Associated Press contributed reporting.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Texas AG Paxton, debt ceiling, Indiana abortion doctor, EPA, Ukraine, Russia: Daily Briefing