Hurricane Harvey, now downgraded to a Tropical Storm based upon its sustained wind speeds, remains the driving news story in America right now. As the Texas Gulf Coast and the nation deal with this storm into its fifth day, the impact of the storm is spreading across the Gulf Coast and continuing to wreak havoc in the Houston metropolitan area. Beyond Harvey, there are other trending topics in the news right now. Let’s look at the rundown for August 29th.

Harvey moves offshore, for now

After soaking the Texas Gulf Coast and devastating Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, for five days, Harvey has finally moved offshore back into the Gulf of Mexico.

While this is good news in some cases, it is worrisome at the same time. has the full rundown, but you can expect to see Harvey regain some strength in the Gulf of Mexico before it moves back inland at the Texas-Louisiana border and pushes northeast toward Nashville, Tennessee by the end of the week. Storm surges along the shores of the Gulf Coast, heavy rain bands, and tornados are all possible in the days to come.

North Korea fires missile over Japan, President Trump responds

Provocative missile launches from North Korea are nothing new under the regime of Kim Jong-un. There are a number of unsettling factors at play under the latest Kim to rule the hermit kingdom. Kim Jong-un has grown more aggressive than his father, Kim Jong Il.

As the Washington Post notes, North Korea has conducted 17 launches this year alone, compared to 16 missiles in 17 years under the rule of Kim Jong Il.

What’s worse is the increasing rhetoric and aggressive nature of Kim Jong-un’s launches. The latest test fire included three separate missile launches, with one traveling over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

Most North Korean missile launches crash down in the Sea of Japan between the two nations. Both President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the aggression behind the launch, with President Trump concluding his statement on the launch by remarking that “threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world.

All options are on the table.”

Sarah Palin’s defamation suit dismissed by judge

Sarah Palin’s defamation suit against the New York Times was dismissed by a judge today in a federal court of law. The case is tied to the 2011 shooting of former Rep. Gebrielle Giffords (R-Ariz). In the run up to the 2012 midterm elections, Palin had put out a list of Democratic seats she believed Republicans could “target” during the midterms to swing seats in Congress from blue to red.

The map of seats featured a bullseye on the districts Palin believed Republicans could flip, but it was incorrectly stated in a June 14 2017 editorial piece in the Times as Democratic lawmakers’ faces. Palin sued, claiming the paper falsely accused her of “inciting a mass shooting” and running a claim it “knew to be false.” The June 14th editorial was in response to the June shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) during a congressional baseball practice for Republicans.

Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed Palin’s claim, noting that “in the exercise of that freedom (of political journalism), mistakes will be made, some of which will be hurtful to others” and that the Times issued two corrections on the matter.

President Trump to restore program for surplus weapons

In the wake of social unrest following Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri and the heavily armed police presence during the protests in that city, former President Barack Obama curtailed a program that sends that nation’s surplus military weapons, vehicles, and other equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies.

A Monday decision from President Trump, which has largely flown under the radar with the nation’s focus on Harvey, will restore the transfer of those surplus weapons and additional equipment to state and local law enforcement.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions remarked that President Obama’s cutbacks on the program went too far, and President Trump campaigned as a law-and-order candidate.

President Trump’s decision to restore the program is being met with condemnation, though. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tweeted that he disagreed and would be reintroducing a bill entitled the “Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act.”