10 things you need to know today: August 12, 2022
Garland requests release of Trump search warrant that reportedly sought nuclear documents, police kill suspect who tried to breach Ohio FBI office, and more
Garland requests release of Trump search warrant
Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Thursday that the Justice Department had asked a judge to unseal the warrant FBI agents used to search former President Donald Trump's home at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Garland said the public has a "clear and powerful interest" in understanding what the FBI was looking for, and why. The Washington Post reported that people familiar with the investigation said the agents were looking for documents about nuclear weapons. Trump received a subpoena this spring requesting he hand over classified documents he allegedly took when he left the White House, suggesting the Justice Department tried to get the material without resorting to an unprecedented raid on a former president's home, The New York Times reported.
Armed man killed after alleged attempt to breach Cincinnati FBI office
An armed man wearing body armor fired a nail gun in a failed attempt to "breach the Visitor Screening Facility" at the FBI's Cincinnati, Ohio, office Thursday. The suspect allegedly fled and fired at law enforcement officers who chased him on Interstate 71. He stopped his vehicle on a rural road and refused to negotiate. Police tried "less lethal tactics," but an officer fatally shot him when he raised his gun, state Highway Patrol Lt. Nathan Dennis said. Authorities identified the suspect as Ricky Shiffer, 42, and said they were investigating whether he had been in Washington shortly before the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. The FBI has received increasing threats since agents searched former President Donald Trump's Florida home this week.
CDC eases COVID-19 guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday loosened its coronavirus guidelines, dropping a recommendation that people quarantine after contact with an infected person. The CDC also said it was no longer calling for people to stay at least six feet away from others. The easing of COVID-19 prevention standards came as the risk of serious illness and death remained low despite a significant number of infections from the highly contagious BA.5 Omicron subvariant. An estimated 95 percent of Americans 16 and up have some level of immunity from vaccines or previous infection. "The current conditions of this pandemic are very different from those of the last two years," CDC epidemiologist Greta Massetti said.
U.S. backs call for demilitarized zone around Ukraine nuclear plant
The United States on Thursday backed Ukraine's call to establish a demilitarized zone around Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, where fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces has raised concerns of a possible nuclear disaster. "Fighting near a nuclear plant is dangerous and irresponsible — and we continue to call on Russia to cease all military operations at or near Ukrainian nuclear facilities and return full control to Ukraine," a State Department spokesperson said. Earlier Thursday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged an immediate halt to military operations around the facility, Europe's largest nuclear power plant. Russia seized the facility in March. Moscow and Kyiv blamed each other for fresh shelling.
Newsom unveils plan to store more water as California gets drier
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Thursday released a plan to capture and store more water as the state faces a hotter, drier future. With California expecting an estimated 10 percent decrease in its water supply by 2040 due to rising temperatures and decreasing runoff, the plan calls for accelerating infrastructure, including recycling more wastewater and desalinating seawater and brackish groundwater, and reducing water use by 8.4 million households. "The hots are getting a lot hotter. The dries are getting a lot drier," Newsom said. "We have to adapt to that new reality." The plan calls for expanding below-ground storage capacity by four million acre-feet to help prepare for the expected loss of up to nine million acre-feet per year.
Prominent cleric killed in Afghanistan bombing
A prominent Afghan cleric, Sheikh Rahimullah Haqqani, was killed in Kabul by a suicide bomber who detonated explosives hidden in an artificial leg, Taliban sources said Thursday. The religious leader supported the Taliban and was a prominent critic of the Islamic State's regional affiliate in Afghanistan. "It's a very huge loss for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," a senior Taliban official in the interior ministry said. Sheikh Haqqani is one of the highest profile leaders to be killed in Afghanistan since the Taliban returned to power as the United States military withdrew last year. The Islamic State Kohrasan Province (IS-K) claimed responsibility for the bombing, which occurred in the cleric's office. IS-K had targeted Haqqani before.
Report: Arctic heating nearly 4 times faster than rest of Earth
The Arctic is heating 3.8 times faster than the planet as a whole, according to a new study published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment. Scientists previously calculated that the Arctic was warming about twice as fast as the rest of Earth, but the new research found that previous studies underestimated the impact of warming since 1979, when reliable satellite measurements first became available. "The Arctic is more sensitive to global warming than previously thought," said Mika Rantanen of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, one of the study's authors. In recent years, heat waves in the far north, which have fueled wildfires and increased ice melt, suggest Arctic warming could be even more intense than the computer models show.
Judge sentences ex-Virginia cop to 87 months for Capitol riot
A federal judge on Thursday sentenced former Virginia police officer Thomas Robertson to 87 months in prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. A jury this year found Robertson, 49, guilty of six crimes, including using a large wooden stick to block police outside the Capitol. Robertson and his friend, Jacob Fracker, were Rocky Mount, Virginia, police officers when they stormed the Capitol, but were fired after the attack. "You were not some bystander who just got swept up in the crowd," Judge Christopher R. Cooper of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., said at Robertson's sentencing. "It really seems as though you think of partisan politics as war and that you continue to believe these conspiracy theories."
Anne Heche 'not expected to survive' accident injuries, family says
Actress Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury after crashing her vehicle into a Los Angeles house last week and is "not expected to survive," her family and friends said in a statement released to media on Thursday. "Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive," the statement read. "It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable." Heche has been on life support since shortly after she drove her car at high speed through a neighborhood and slammed into the home, causing her vehicle to burst into flames.
NBA to retire Bill Russell's No. 6 jersey leaguewide
The NBA announced Thursday that it was retiring Bill Russell's No. 6 jersey by all 30 of the professional basketball league's teams, the first time a player has been honored this way league-wide. Players currently wearing No. 6, including Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, can continue wearing it. Russell, who died last month at age 88, was named NBA MVP five times in his 13-year playing career. He became the first Black head coach in U.S. professional sports when he was named player-coach in 1966, and led the team to titles in 1968 and 1969. "Bill Russell's unparalleled success on the court and pioneering civil rights activism deserve to be honored in a unique and historic way," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.