10 things you need to know today: August 11, 2018

Anti-racist activists rally in Charlottesville a year later, Trump's endorsement fails to secure a quick win in Kansas, and more

Mourners embrace in front of the hand-written chalk messages that line the walls outside the buildings where one year ago Heather Heyer was killed by a speeding vehicle driven by a white supr
(Image credit: Logan Cyrus/Getty Images)

1. Anti-racist activists rally in Charlottesville a year later

Anti-racist activists will rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, a year after the white nationalist "Unite the Right" demonstration plunged the city into turmoil. In August of 2017, white nationalists marched through the University of Virginia campus chanting Nazi slogans. The next morning, their clashes with counter-protesters turned violent, culminating in the death of Heather Heyer, 32, who was killed when she was hit by a car driven by a white supremacist who plowed into a crowd. Charlottesville will be subject to a heavy police presence this weekend, and the primary organizer of last year's white nationalist event was denied a permit for a concurrent demonstration this year.

The Associated Press USA Today

2. Trump's endorsement fails to secure a quick win in Kansas

President Trump's late endorsement of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in his GOP gubernatorial primary has so far failed to prove Trump's promise that any candidate he supports "will win." Kobach ran against incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) for the Republican nod, but only 100 votes separate the two and the race is too close to call. Colyer has hired an outside lawyer, anticipating a legal showdown. Republicans have deploying Trump to boost candidates in areas where the president is popular, but parts of Kansas have swung left, and Trump's influence is reportedly damaging efforts even in GOP-leaning regions.

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3. Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing date set

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has set the first day of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing for Sept. 4. The proceedings are expected to last three to four days. The hearing will begin with opening statements from the committee, and questioning of Kavanaugh will start the next day. President Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the bench on July 9 to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Many Senate Democrats pledged resistance to whomever Trump nominated and pushed to hold the confirmation vote after the November midterms.

ABC News The Week

4. Turkish lira plummets as Trump doubles tariffs

The Turkish lira plunged more than 16 percent Friday as tensions escalated between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Trump. Investors were already worried about Turkey's fragile economy, with the lira down 23 percent against the U.S. dollar in the past week. Erdogan responded with a defiant speech Friday, saying "Turkey won't surrender to economic hitmen." Trump reacted angrily to Erdogan's declaration of "economic war," announcing on Twitter he would double tariffs on steel and aluminum to 50 and 20 percent, respectively. "Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time," Trump wrote.

The Wall Street Journal CNN Money

5. Gaza border clash leaves 2 dead, hundreds injured

Tensions escalated at ongoing protests near the Gaza-Israel border Friday. Two Palestinians were killed, Gaza Health Ministry officials said, and more than 300 wounded. One of the people killed was a medic who suffered a gunshot wound, and 85 other people were injured by gunfire. Israel and Islamist militant group Hamas had agreed to a ceasefire, but Israel's military fired at protesters after Palestinians threw a grenade at Israeli forces. Israel estimates about 9,000 Palestinian demonstrators continue to gather at the border.

Haaretz Chicago Tribune

6. California wildfire smoke spreads to New York

Smoke from California's catastrophic wildfires is spreading across the country to New York City, a National Weather Service model shows. The particles are about a mile above the surface and will generally not affect air quality on the ground. California is presently dealing with three of the state's 30 largest fires on record. The Mendocino Complex Fire, now encompassing more than 300,000 acres, is California's largest fire ever. California has spent more than half of its annual fire budget in a span of just 40 days.

CNN The New York Times

7. Former presidential adviser Omarosa alleges racism in new book on Trump

President Trump's former assistant Omarosa Manigault-Newman declares her one-time Apprentice co-star "a racist, a bigot, and a misogynist" in her forthcoming memoir, Unhinged. She alleges the president has used the N-word multiple times, claiming three unnamed sources told her there are outtakes from Trump's time on The Apprentice in which he says the word. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to news of the memoir's content with a statement calling Manigault-Newman a "disgruntled former White House employee" who is "trying to profit off of these false attacks."

The Hill The Week

8. Twitter says Alex Jones will not be booted despite rule violations

Twitter said Friday it will not delete the accounts of conspiracy-monger Alex Jones and his Infowars media empire even though a review of their content identified seven tweets in violation of Twitter policies. Those tweets have been deleted, a Twitter representative told CNN, and the social network "will continue to review any content that is flagged to us and take action as appropriate." Twitter's decision to allow Jones to retain his accounts has come under critique as Jones has been removed from Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, Apple, and Pinterest.

The Hill CNN

9. Jury awards $289 million in Monsanto suit

A jury on Friday awarded $289 million to Dewayne Johnson, a man who sued agribusiness giant Monsanto alleging their Roundup herbicide product caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Johnson, a former school groundskeeper, is the first to go to trial with this claim, but his case is one of thousands claiming a link between Roundup and cancer. "I'm glad to be here to be able to help in a cause that's way bigger than me," Johnson said. Monsanto says it will appeal the decision, maintaining Roundup's active ingredient, glyphosate, does not cause cancer.

The Associated Press NBC News

10. Airline employee steals, crashes empty plane

A reportedly suicidal Horizon Air ground service agent stole one of the airline's planes from a maintenance area at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Friday night and crashed it about an hour later. The plane, a Bombardier Q400 turboprop that seats 76 people, was otherwise empty at the time of the crash. It was pursued by military jets before crashing on Ketron Island in Puget Sound. The identity of the man who stole the plane has not been released as local and federal authorities investigate. No terrorism ties are suspected, and no one else was injured in the crash.

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of TheWeek.com. She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.