GA Today: Rudy Giuliani, calling 988, and a dog named Coco
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Now, the news:
FULTON PROBE: GRAHAM MUST TESTIFY; GIULIANI IS TARGETED
A federal judge ruled Monday that South Carolina U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham must answer questions in front of a special grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.
The 22-page order from Judge Leigh Martin May rejected Graham's claims that testimony regarding alleged calls to Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger were protected by the U.S. Constitution, sovereign immunity and because he is a high-ranking government official.
"The Court finds that the District Attorney has shown extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham’s testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia’s  elections," May wrote.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in Atlanta on Monday told lawyers for Rudy Giuliani that he’s a target of their criminal investigation into possible illegal attempts by then-President Donald Trump and others to interfere in the 2020 general election in Georgia.
Special prosecutor Nathan Wade alerted Giuliani's local attorney in Atlanta that the former New York City mayor could face criminal charges, another Giuliani attorney, Robert Costello, said. News of the disclosure was first reported by The New York Times.
- Trump hires prominent Atlanta attorney for election probe
- FBI, Homeland Security warn about threats to law enforcement after Trump search
- The reason why presidents can't keep their White House records dates back to Nixon
JUDGE REFUSES TO IMMEDIATELY BLOCK GEORGIA ABORTION BAN
A state judge refused Monday to immediately stop enforcement of Georgia's restrictive abortion law, which took effect last month and bans most abortions once fetal cardiac activity is present.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled he did not have the authority to issue a preliminary injunction and block the law at this stage of the lawsuit.
He stressed that his decision did not touch on the merits of the case, which will continue.
- "The question of whether it is constitutional for the State to force a woman to carry to term a six-week-old embryo against her wishes, even in the face of serious medical risk, remains to be answered," he wrote.
- Political Rewind: The right to be 'let alone': Could Georgia's privacy law be used vs. abortion ban?
COULD CALLING 988 HAVE SAVED BRIANNA GRIER?
Mental illness should not be a death sentence.
That is the thought of so many people whose loved ones have been killed by police or die in police custody after calling for help. On Thursday, the Rev. Al Sharpton eulogized Brianna Grier in an Atlanta church. The service was followed by a march to the state Capitol to push for justice for Grier.
GPB’s Morning Edition host Leah Fleming spoke with Andrea Brown, executive director of the Black Mental Health Alliance in Baltimore, Md., and asked whether Brown thinks the family did the right thing by calling police for help.
- "We have to change the narrative, so we don't call the police first," Brown said.
THE DOJ IS INVESTIGATING SOUTHERN BAPTIST LEADERS FOLLOWING SEXUAL ABUSE CRISIS
Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention said Friday that several of the denomination's major entities are under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice in the wake of its multiple problems related to clergy sex abuse.
The SBC's Executive Committee has received a subpoena, but no individuals have been subpoenaed at this point, according to the committee's lawyers.
- "This is an ongoing investigation and we are not commenting on our discussions with DOJ," they said.
There was no immediate comment from the Justice Department about the investigation.
AN INSURANCE POLICY FOR COASTAL GEORGIA'S SALT MARSHES? CONSERVATIONISTS ARE CONSIDERING IT
Between their ability to protect against flood damage, limit erosion and filter water, these fragile ecosystems of meandering creeks and swampy grasslands — a hallmark of Coastal Georgia — provide a plethora of services to society, reports GPB's Benjamin Payne.
- “If we can quantify that, that's when we can really start to explore innovative funding solutions for protecting and restoring that marsh — one of those potentially being insurance,” said Liz Fly, an ocean conservationist at The Nature Conservancy.
The nonprofit is partnering with the University of Georgia on a new study aimed at appraising the value of salt marshes and determining whether insurance could shore up these protective shorelands. Experts estimate that 70% of salt marshes have already been lost, primarily due to development. Threats of sea-level rise caused by climate change add to the urgency of the study's findings.
GEORGIA'S NEWEST BREAKOUT (CANINE) STAR IS NAMED COCO
Moviegoers who see Prey, the newest film in the Predator series, may see a Georgia native on the screen. In particular, one with four legs, reports GPB's Sarah Rose.
- "Fulton County Animal Services was thrilled to find out that one of our former residents has hit the bigtime," the agency wrote in a press release. "Coco, who came into our care at the beginning of 2021, is the breakout star of one of this summer's biggest movie hits, Prey."
Coco stars as the main character's furry canine companion, tagging alongside as the heroine, played by Amber Midthunder, fights an alien threat.
Social media users are referring to her as "The Meryl Streep of dogs," but Coco had no acting experience.
- "She was originally meant to have a small role; however, her popularity among test audiences encouraged director Dan Trachtenberg to include more of Coco in the film," FCAS said.