News Brief: Haley Makes Big Announcement, USPS to Raise Postage Stamp Prices, and California Adopts Permanent Water Conservation Framework

The former South Carolina governor makes a huge announcement, the president’s son will not seek a new trial...
News Brief: Haley Makes Big Announcement, USPS to Raise Postage Stamp Prices, and California Adopts Permanent Water Conservation Framework
U.S. Republican presidential hopeful and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign rally in Portland, Maine, on March 3, 2024. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)
Bill Thomas

Good morning, and welcome to The Epoch Times News Brief for Wednesday, July 10, 2024. I’m Bill Thomas, we’ve got a number of important news stories to share with you, and here’s what’s going on.

The former South Carolina governor makes a huge announcement, the president’s son will not seek a new trial, and California aims to save a lot of water. Also, it’s going to cost you more to mail a letter, and the ACLU says it won’t challenge a ruling regarding the Voting Rights Act.

We’ll get to each one of these very critical stories coming up, but first, we begin with a former GOP presidential candidate who is now backing Donald Trump.

Haley Makes Big Announcement Ahead of RNC Convention

Nikki Haley has just announced that she’s releasing her 97 delegates and urging those delegates to support former President Donald Trump.

Ms. Haley says the Republican National Convention is the time for Republican unity. Her announcement comes just days before the convention, where Mr. Trump is set to be officially nominated as the party’s 2024 presidential candidate.

Ms. Haley, the former South Carolina governor and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, says, “We need a president who will hold our enemies to account, secure our border, cut our debt, and get our economy back on track.”

So you know, she will not be attending the four-day convention, which is happening July 15 through July 18 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Her spokesperson says she wasn’t invited, but Ms. Haley says that’s ok and despite their differences, she’s voting for him and wishes him the best.

Ms. Haley went on to say that she wants a “president who would support capitalism and freedom,“ and that while the former president ”has not been perfect on these policies,” he is preferable to President Joe Biden.

Interesting to note, Ms. Haley is encouraging former President Trump to reach out to the millions of people who voted for her and not just assume that they’re going to vote for him.

As we continue—even though he’s facing a prison sentence and enormous fines, Hunter Biden will not be seeking a new trial.

Hunter Biden Withdraws Bid for New Trial in Federal Gun Case

On Monday, the president’s son withdrew his motion for a new trial, just one day after prosecutors claimed that his request for a new trial was based on a misunderstanding of how the U.S. appeals court system works.

Hunter Biden was convicted last month on federal gun charges and a short time after his conviction, he filed a motion requesting a new trial. He claimed that the judge who oversaw his case lacked the power to try it because the U.S. Appeals Court for the 3rd Circuit had not issued rulings on his appeal of the case.

However, the special counsel prosecutors who brought the trial said that the appeals court had allowed the judge to put him on trial, adding that the Biden team’s request for a new trial was “meritless and is based on his apparent misunderstanding of appellate practice.”

To refresh your memory, a jury ultimately found Mr. Biden guilty of three federal gun charges. The charges stemmed from his purchase of a pistol in 2018 and checking “no” on a federal gun purchase form that asked if he used or was addicted to illegal drugs.

By the way, the judge has not set a sentencing date for Mr. Biden, who has denied any wrongdoing.

A story now that affects all of us. Prices for groceries, fuel, and rent just keep rising, and this weekend, something else goes up in price—and by nearly 8 percent.

USPS to Raise Postage Stamp Prices by 7.8 Percent Beginning July 14

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is set to raise the price of stamps this weekend—their second price increase this year.

The rates, which were last raised in April, take effect this Sunday. The USPS says the new hikes will raise mail prices by nearly 8 percent, which it claims is necessary to achieve “financial stability.”

So you know, it will now cost you 73 cents instead of 68 cents to send a 1 oz. letter in the United States. The price for delivering international letters goes up from $1.55 to $1.65 per oz. Plus, the cost of sending domestic postcards will set you back 56 cents, and international postcard prices are going from $1.55 to $1.65.

By the way, this past May, the Postal Regulatory Commission said that the agency’s rate hikes are consistent with established regulations and there’s no legal basis for rejecting the increased rates.

On the other hand, in April, a group of senators wrote a letter “calling out” the USPS leadership for the “unsustainable” price hikes, blaming the postal service’s policies for its current financial situation.

We now move to the Golden State, where water conservation is an extremely critical issue.

California Adopts First Permanent Statewide Water Conservation Framework

California has adopted a historic statewide water conservation plan, which will affect hundreds of urban retail water suppliers that serve 95 percent of the state—and this is all in an effort to save more water by the year 2040.

The State Water Resources Control Board approved the new rules last week, saying it’s necessary in order to address a 10 percent water supply shortfall it claims will happen by 2040 due to hotter and drier conditions in the state.

Interesting to note that this board is comprised of just five members who are appointed by the governor, and this small group will decide the water needs of the entire state.

Here’s how the program is designed to work. California urban water suppliers will need to calculate how much water they can allocate to users based on residential indoor and outdoor water use. Irrigation meters will decide on water allocations for commercial, institutional, and industrial landscapes.

The State Water Resources Control Board projects these new regulations will produce around 500,000 acre-feet of water savings annually by 2040, which it claims is enough to supply 1.4 million households for one year.

These new regulations stem from the passage of Assembly Bill 1668 and Senate Bill 606, which were passed back in 2018. The bills outline the requirements for water suppliers, which will impact agricultural water suppliers, rural communities, and drought planning.

The new rules go into effect in January 2025, but water suppliers have until 2027 to get up to speed with compliance.

You should know that unlike temporary emergency water usage rules, which have been implemented in the past, these new regulations will be permanent.

We’ll switch gears for a really interesting story regarding the American Civil Liberties Union. It says it will not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene regarding the Voting Rights Act.

ACLU Won’t Ask US Supreme Court to Review Voting Rights Act Ruling

The ACLU and other groups in Arkansas will not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court ruling that stated private groups cannot sue the state under a key section of the federal Voting Rights Act.

They allowed a high court filing deadline to expire earlier this month.

The ACLU, along with the Arkansas State Conference NAACP, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel, had argued in their prior lawsuit that the plan deprives black people and other minority groups of the right to elect representatives whom they want.

A 2–1 panel on the appeals court decided that only the U.S. attorney general can enforce Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and that outside groups cannot file lawsuits using that section of the law.

Section 2 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act requires political maps to include districts where the preferred candidates of minority populations can win elections.

A spokesperson for the ACLU said that the Eighth Circuit’s ruling was “wrong” and contrary to 60 years of precedent. They also said that there’s “an alternative mechanism for private plaintiffs to vindicate their rights” and that the group is considering other avenues for challenging the Arkansas redistricting plan.

You should know that the Eighth Circuit ruling only applies to federal courts covered by the district, which includes Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Looks like our time is just about up for today, so we’re going to call it a wrap for the Wednesday edition of The Epoch Times News Brief.

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And finally, as we do each and every day on this program, we wrap everything up with a very “notable” quote:

It was astronaut Neil Armstrong who said: “Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.”

Among his many accomplishments, Neil Armstrong was the first human being to set foot on the moon, and that happened on July 20, 1969. Others came after him, but he was the first.

For all of us here at The Epoch Times News Brief, I’m Bill Thomas.

Thanks for making us your one-stop source for a concise, accurate, and unbiased daily synopsis of many of the news stories you need to know about.

Enjoy the remainder of your day and we’ll see you right back here tomorrow for the Thursday edition of The Epoch Times News Brief. Have an awesome day today, and bye for now.

Bill Thomas is a two-time Golden Mike Award winner who has specialized in breaking news coverage. In his career he has covered floods, forest fires, police pursuits, civil unrest, and freeway collapses. He is a host of EpochCasts News Brief, an audio news show from The Epoch Times. You can reach Bill via email at [email protected]
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