Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: August 10, 2016

Harold Maass
Simone Biles competes on the balance beam at the 2016 Rio Olympics
Lars Baron/Getty Images)


Trump starts firestorm by saying 'Second Amendment people' can stop Clinton

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump ignited a controversy on Tuesday by telling supporters that if Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is elected, only "Second Amendment people" will be able to prevent her from appointing a pro-gun-control judge to break the tie on the Supreme Court. Democrats accused Trump of suggesting that someone should assassinate Clinton. A Trump campaign spokesman said he was not calling for violence, but saying instead that the "amazing spirit" and unity of Second Amendment advocates give them great political power. [Politico]


U.S. women's team dominates to win gymnastics gold

The U.S. women's gymnastics team won the gold medal in the team competition at the Rio Olympics on Tuesday, led by the sport's dominant athlete, Simone Biles. In their second straight Olympic team championship, the U.S. women — Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian — finished with a score of 184.897. That was more than eight points ahead of silver-medalist Russia, which was allowed to compete despite a ban affecting many Russian athletes over the country's doping scandal. China won the bronze. [ESPN, The New York Times]


Feds conclude Baltimore police routinely violated civil rights

A Justice Department report to be released on Wednesday says that Baltimore police have routinely violated citizens' constitutional rights with unlawful stops and excessive force, according to the Los Angeles Times, which obtained a copy of the report. The Justice Department launched a civil rights investigation last year after the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered a fatal spinal injury in police custody. The 163-page report says the abuses fell mostly on black residents of poor neighborhoods. [Los Angeles Times]


Conservative group releases more Clinton emails

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch on Tuesday released 165 pages of emails from Hillary Clinton's private server obtained from the State Department through a Freedom of Information Act request. The emails were from Clinton aide Huma Abedin's account on the server; 44 were to or from Clinton, but were not included in the 30,000 work-related emails Clinton turned over to the State Department, as required by law. In one exchange, Douglas Band, the head of the Clinton Foundation's Clinton Global Initiative, pushed to get a top Clinton Foundation donor in touch with the State Department's "substance person" on Lebanon. [The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times]


Trump says he will debate Clinton — if conditions are met

Donald Trump said Tuesday that he wants to debate Hillary Clinton "very badly," but only if the rules and moderators are "fair." The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates has scheduled three presidential debates in September and October, and one vice-presidential matchup. Trump said he would have to "see the conditions" before fully committing. Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta said Trump's apparent wavering was either a sign he was "trying to avoid debates, or merely toying with the press to create more drama." [Time]


Clinton calls on Congress to approve emergency spending to fight Zika

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called on Republican leaders in Congress to approve emergency spending to prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Clinton made the remarks after touring a health clinic in Miami, where a recent Zika outbreak prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a travel advisory urging pregnant women to stay away from the affected neighborhood, Wynwood. A spokesman for Clinton's Republican rival, Donald Trump, accused her of "playing politics" with the Zika crisis. [The Washington Post]


Putin and Erdogan meet to repair ties in warning to West

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday discussed repairing frayed relations in their first meeting since the Turkish air force downed a Russian plane over Syria nine months ago. Putin promised to let Russian tourists visit Turkey again, and Erdogan said Turkey was ready to move on a joint natural gas pipeline project. The meeting was seen as a signal of Erdogan's displeasure over what he sees as the West's insufficient support after a failed coup. [The Associated Press, The Guardian]


Paul Ryan easily wins primary in reelection bid

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) soundly defeated his Donald Trump-inspired challenger, Paul Nehlen, in his primary race on Tuesday, as expected. Nehlen embraced Trump's hardline positions on immigration. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, briefly shined a spotlight on the race by delaying his endorsement of Ryan, saying he was "not quite there yet" — echoing what Ryan said while holding off before endorsing Trump. With the vote looming, Trump endorsed Ryan last week. [Reuters]


Judge rejects Blagojevich plea for reducing sentence

A federal judge on Tuesday upheld the 14-year sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted in 2011 of trying to sell the appointment to the Senate seat left vacant when Barack Obama was elected president. Blagojevich and his wife and daughters pleaded for a reduced term. "I recognize my words and actions led me here," the disgraced Democrat said. Prosecutors said Blagojevich admitted mistakes but not breaking the law, and that until he takes full responsibility "there can be no rehabilitation." [CNN]


Phelps and Ledecky add to U.S. swimming gold-medal haul

Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky helped deliver another big night for U.S. swimmers at the Rio Olympics on Tuesday. Phelps won his 20th gold medal with a split-second win in the 200m butterfly, regaining an Olympic title he held for two Olympics before losing it by 0.05 seconds in the 2012 London Games. Later in the night, Phelps snagged his 21st gold medal swimming the anchor leg of the 4x200m free relay. Ledecky out-touched Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom, winning her second gold, and her third medal in Rio. [Swimming World, CBS Sports]