Good morning, Philadelphia. Today the Trump-Russia dossier is back in the news, as is Larry Krasner, both certainly not for the last time. But perhaps most importantly, Pennsylvania is taking a bold step in the fight against the opioid epidemic.
— Aubrey Nagle
Later today, Gov. Tom Wolf will make Pennsylvania the eighth state to declare a statewide emergency in the wake of the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation.
The status is normally reserved for natural disaster recovery. In Philadelphia, overdose deaths reached record highs in 2017, with final totals expected to pass 1,200 — quadruple the murder rate.
Yesterday Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California released a transcript of the testimony made by Glenn R. Simpson, founder of research firm Fusion GPS which commissioned the famed Trump-Russia dossier, to the Senate Judiciary Committee in August. His testimony reveals that the author of the dossier feared a political candidate was being blackmailed and thus brought his findings to the FBI.
(Simpson actually has a local connection, too: he went to Conestoga High School in Chester County and faced a harsh spotlight as a teen after a classmate died following a party at his house.)
Overnight, the Associated Press also obtained a report by congressional Democrats, to be officially released today, which calls out Trump personally for failing to respond to Russia's mounting destabilization activities in the U.S.
After ousting dozens from his office during his first week, new Philly District Attorney Larry Krasner has one response to critics of the ousters: "The coach gets to pick the team."
He revealed more about his staffing plans yesterday in his first public interview since being sworn in, vowing to make the office less hierarchical and naming new hires. Krasner also elaborated on the clean sweep to columnist Solomon Jones, emphasizing that he requested resignations rather than firing staffers.
A full list of who was dismissed has yet to be revealed, and columnist Stu Bykofsky believes Philadelphians have the right to know who left and why.
We want to see what our community looks like through your eyes. Show us the park that your family walks through every weekend with the dog, the block party in your neighborhood or the historic stretch you see every morning on your commute to work.