Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: August 10, 2022

The FBI search focused on suspicion Trump withheld classified material, explosions rock a Russian base in Crimea, and more


FBI search of Trump's home focused on suspicion of withheld documents

The FBI's search at former President Donald Trump's Florida home, during which agents opened Trump's safe, appeared to be focused on classified White House materials Trump should have returned, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the discussions. Investigators reportedly suspect that Trump or his aides kept key records when they handed over 15 boxes of items to the National Archives seven months ago. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that President Biden was not briefed in advance about plans for the unprecedented search of a former president's home. "We learned about this, the president learned about this, just like you all did, through the public reports," Jean-Pierre said.


Explosions reported at Russian air base in Crimea

Authorities in Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia, reported a series of large explosions Tuesday near a Russian military air base. At least one person was killed, numerous others were injured, and about 30 residents near the airfield were evacuated. The Russian defense ministry said detonated aviation ammunition caused the blasts. Ukraine publicly denied responsibility, but an unidentified senior Ukrainian military official told The New York Times that Ukrainian loyalists carried out the strike. The rare explosions deep inside Russian-controlled territory came as Ukraine pushes a counteroffensive to liberate parts of southern Ukraine that Russia has seized. The damage in Crimea, which Ukraine wants to win back after eight years in Russian hands, boosted morale in Kyiv.


Biden signs bill to boost U.S. semiconductor chip production

President Biden on Tuesday signed the CHIPS and Science Act, which seeks to boost U.S. semiconductor chip manufacturing with a more than $200 billion investment over five years. The legislation aims to lower the cost of goods and make the U.S. less dependent on foreign chip makers, helping avert the type of supply-chain disruptions triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Biden called the measure a "once-in-a-generation investment in America itself." The White House said earlier this week that companies have committed to nearly $50 billion in new investments in American semiconductor production in response to Congress' recent approval of the bill.


Biden signs off on proposal to admit Finland, Sweden to NATO

President Biden on Tuesday gave final U.S. approval to the proposal to admit Finland and Sweden to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Both Nordic countries have long remained neutral, but they quickly asked to become part of NATO after Russia's invasion of Ukraine made them wonder if they would be next to face Moscow's aggression. Biden said if all NATO nations sign on, as required, adding Finland and Sweden will strengthen the Western defense alliance. "It was and is a watershed moment, I believe, in the alliance. And for the greater security stability not only of Europe and the United States, but of the world," Biden said at the signing event, attended by the ambassadors of Sweden and Finland.


Appeals court rules IRS must give Congress Trump tax returns

A federal appellate court panel ruled Tuesday that the Internal Revenue Service must give former President Donald Trump's federal income tax returns, and those of his businesses, to the House Ways and Means Committee. The 3-0 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit marked the latest in a series of court losses for Trump as he tries to shield his financial documents from investigators. Trump says the inquiries are politically motivated. The powerful House committee says it needs Trump's returns for an investigation into IRS audits of presidential income tax returns, and the appellate panel said the lawmakers have the authority and a "legitimate legislative purpose" to demand the records, which date from 2015 through 2020.


Suspect arrested in murders of New Mexico Muslim men

New Mexico police have arrested Muhammed Syed, 51, and charged him with the murders of two of the four Muslim men killed in Albuquerque, three of whom were killed in the last two weeks. Investigators tracked a Volkswagen Jetta allegedly driven by the suspect in the latest killing. "The driver was detained and he is our primary suspect for the murders," Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina announced on Twitter. The victim in the most recent shooting, 25-year-old Naeem Hussain, was found dead from a gunshot would on Friday. Muhammad Afzaal Hussain, 27, was found fatally shot on Aug. 1, within a week of the murder of Aftab Hussein, 41. Both men were from Pakistan. The first victim, Afghan immigrant Mohammad Ahmadi, was killed last November.


Trump-backed candidate wins Wisconsin primary, Omar survives challenge

Tim Michels, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, won Tuesday's Republican primary to challenge Wisconsin's Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in November. Michels beat former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, an establishment-backed candidate endorsed by former Vice President Mike Pence. The vote marked the latest in a series of wins for Trump primary picks, demonstrating the former president's influence with the GOP base as he backs candidates embracing his 2020 election denial. Four states held primaries Tuesday. In Minnesota, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D), a member of the progressive Squad, narrowly beat a primary challenge from centrist former Minneapolis City Councilmember Don Samuels. Her victory in November is a near certainty in the overwhelmingly Democratic Minneapolis-area district.


GOP Rep. Scott Perry says FBI seized his cellphone

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), an ally of former President Donald Trump and chair of the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus, said Tuesday that three FBI agents seized his cellphone. Perry did not say what the FBI was seeking with its search warrant, which agents would have had to provide to take the phone. Perry is one of at least 11 congressional Republicans involved in discussions with Trump's White House about overturning the election, according to former Justice Department officials, the House Jan. 6 committee, and an October 2021 Senate Judiciary Committee report. Perry said the FBI "made no attempt to contact my lawyer, who would have made arrangements for them to have my phone if that was their wish."


Mississippi grand jury declines to charge Emmett Till accuser

A Mississippi grand jury has declined to indict Carolyn Bryant Donham, 87, on charges of kidnapping and manslaughter in connection to the 1955 killing of Emmett Till, county district attorney W. Dewayne Richardson announced Tuesday. Till, a Black teenager, was murdered after Donham accused him of making lewd remarks and grabbing her at her family's store. The grand jury heard from witnesses but decided there wasn't enough  evidence to bring charges. Donham said she didn't know what her then-husband and brother-in-law planned to do to Till, who was 14, after they brought him to her for identification. Till's disfigured body was found days later in a river. The murder and calls for justice fueled the civil rights movement.


Serena Williams announces looming retirement from tennis

Tennis legend Serena Williams said in a Vogue article published Tuesday that she plans to retire from the sport some time after the U.S. Open, which starts later this month. "I hate that I have to be at this crossroads," Williams, almost 41, told Vogue's Rob Haskell. "I'm torn: I don't want it to be over, but at the same time I'm ready for what's next." Williams, who is also hugely successful with her fashion and entertainment businesses, said she doesn't like the word "retirement," and prefers to consider herself to be "evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me," like giving her daughter Olympia a sister. Williams has won 23 Grand Slam titles and more than $100 million in prize money.


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