10 things you need to know today: December 8, 2022
Trump lawyers hand over more classified material found in Florida, Peru lawmakers oust president after he tries to dissolve Congress, and more
Trump lawyers hand over more classified material found in Florida
A search team hired by former president Donald Trump's lawyers found at least two items marked classified in a West Palm Beach, Florida, storage unit Trump uses, news outlets reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The documents were in a storage locker rented by the federal General Services Administration to temporarily house items taken as part of the former president's return to private life in 2021. The search was among at least three at Trump properties, with another conducted at Trump Tower in New York and another at the former president's Bedminster golf club in New Jersey. Trump's lawyers immediately gave the materials to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which previously seized classified material at Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach.
Peru's president ousted after trying to dissolve Congress
Peruvian lawmakers rejected President Pedro Castillo's decree dissolving Congress and voted to remove him from office, and replace him with the Andean nation's vice president, Dina Boluarte. Castillo's move aimed to head off lawmakers' previously scheduled third attempt to impeach him, accusing him of a "permanent moral incapacity" to rule the South American country. The embattled leftist president had named an emergency government and called for special elections to pick new legislators, saying in a televised address that he would lead by decree in the meantime. He also ordered a nightly curfew starting Wednesday. Boluarte accused Castillo of an attempted "coup." Castillo was arrested after his ouster.
Report: Nigerian military ran forced abortion program
The Nigerian military has operated a secret, forced-abortion program since at least 2013 as part of its fight against Boko Haram militants, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing dozens of witness accounts and documentation. The program in the country's northeast terminated at least 10,000 pregnancies, sometimes using injections, and mostly without the person's consent or knowledge, witnesses said. Many of the women and girls had been kidnapped and raped by Islamist militants. Some were as young as 12 years old. Human rights groups called the report "disturbing." Nigeria's defense chief, Gen. Lucky Irabor, said it was "not true."
Congressional committees seek documents on Kushner bailout
Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee and the House Oversight Committee this week sent letters to the State and Defense departments seeking information about whether Jared Kushner's actions on Middle East policy as a Trump White House adviser were influenced by the bailout of one of his family's New York City buildings, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. The Post, which obtained the letters, said they concerned a deal Kushner and his father made in 2018 with a Canadian company, Brookfield Asset Management, which agreed to a $1.2 billion, 99-year lease that enabled the Kushners to avoid defaulting on a loan due the next year. The Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund, was an investor in one of Brookfield's investment arms.
Iran executes a prisoner arrested in protest crackdown
Iran on Tuesday executed a person who participated in anti-government protests and was convicted of injuring a security guard with a knife and closing off a street in Tehran, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency. The prisoner, identified as Mohsen Shekari, was arrested in the government's crackdown on nationwide protests that broke out over the September death of a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody after her arrest by the Islamic Republic's morality police. The unrest has presented one of the biggest challenges to the Islamic Republic since it took power in 1979. The judiciary announced Tuesday that five other people were sentenced to death for the killing of a Basij militia member, Rouhollah Ajamian, although they can appeal.
Taliban holds 1st public execution since returning to power
The Taliban carried out its first public execution of a prisoner since returning to power in Afghanistan last year, a spokesperson for the Islamic fundamentalist group said Wednesday. Senior Taliban leaders attended the execution in western Farah province of a man accused of fatally stabbing another man in 2017. The victim's father carried out the execution, shooting the condemned man three times. Three courts investigated the case, and the Taliban's supreme spiritual leader authorized the sentence. Before the execution, Afghanistan's supreme court announced that public lashings of men and women for certain offenses, including robbery and adultery, had been carried out in several provinces recently. The United Nations' human rights office has called for the Taliban to halt such punishments.
Former Theranos COO sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison
Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, the former chief operating officer and president of the defunct blood-testing startup Theranos, was sentenced on Wednesday to nearly 13 years in prison for fraud. Theranos attracted high-profile investors by claiming its tests could quickly detect several illnesses with only a few drops of blood. This wasn't true. Theranos was later dissolved after The Wall Street Journal reported on the company and the accuracy of its machinery and testing, and the executives were found to have falsified documents and faked test results. Both Balwani, 57, and Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, 38, were accused of deceiving investors and charged with fraud. In November, Holmes was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.
SCOTUS hears N.C. GOP challenge of court election oversight
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in an appeal by North Carolina Republican lawmakers challenging a decision by the state's top court to throw out a state House district map illegally biased against Democratic voters. Some members of the Supreme Court's 6-3 conservative majority, including Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, expressed agreement with some of the Republicans' arguments. Other conservative justices were "harder to read," according to Reuters. The court's three liberal justices signaled that they disagreed with the North Carolina Republicans' argument that the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures complete authority over election rules and district maps, with no court authority to intervene.
California seeks $600,000 in unpaid taxes from Kanye West's fashion company
California authorities are trying to collect at least $600,000 in unpaid taxes from Yeezy Apparel, a fashion company run by embattled rapper Ye, NBC News reported Wednesday. Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, reportedly owns and manages the Yeezy brand, and has recently claimed that four of his personal accounts have been frozen due to tax debt, NBC reported. The Yeezy debt adds to Ye's financial troubles, which have mounted as a backlash over his recent antisemitic comments costs him business deals. The state has sent at least three letters about the debt to Ye since July 2021, and placed tax liens on his company's assets. "That's certainly a sign of either extreme incompetence or extreme cash problems," USC law professor Edward McCaffery told NBC.
Aaron Judge to stay with Yankees in 9-year, $360 million deal
Aaron Judge, Major League Baseball's 2022 American League MVP, will remain with the New York Yankees in a nine-year, $360 million deal, MLB Network and multiple other media outlets reported Wednesday. The San Francisco Giants, Judge's hometown team, had tried to lure him away, but the Yankees kept him with the help of the third-largest total contract guarantee in professional baseball history. The contract is the largest ever awarded to a free agent, surpassing Bryce Harper's 13-year, $330 million 2019 deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Judge was a pillar of the Yankees' offense last season, hitting 62 home runs, a record outside the steroid era.