Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: January 25, 2023

Documents with classified markings found in Mike Pence's home, Biden administration plans to send Ukraine Abrams tanks, and more


Classified material found in Mike Pence's home

Former Vice President Mike Pence notified Congress Tuesday that documents with classified markings had been found in his Indiana home. Pence's lawyer, Greg Jacob, said the documents were "inadvertently boxed and transported" there after his term as vice president under former President Donald Trump. The discovery last week came as special counsels look into the handling of classified material by President Biden and Trump. Biden's lawyers found two small sets of documents with classified markings at a private office Biden used after his vice presidency, and at his personal residence in Delaware. FBI agents seized a larger trove of documents in a search at Trump's Mar-a-Lago home in Florida after Trump declined to hand them over for months.


Reports: U.S. to send 30 Abrams tanks to Ukraine 

The Biden administration plans to send about 30 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine despite Pentagon concerns the tanks could be too difficult for Ukrainian troops to operate and maintain, The Wall Street Journal and other news organizations reported Tuesday evening. The decision, a reversal, could be announced as soon as Wednesday. The move would settle a diplomatic dispute and coincide with an agreement by Germany to allow the transfer of a smaller number of its Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine. Germany had been holding off until the U.S. committed to providing Abrams tanks. Ukraine has been asking for modern Western battle tanks for months, saying they were necessary for "'combined arms' maneuvers" to push through "entrenched Russian forces" in southern and eastern Ukraine.


Georgia judge keeps election interference report secret for now

Fulton County, Georgia, Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney said Tuesday the final grand-jury report on then-President Donald Trump's effort to get the state to reverse his 2020 election loss would remain secret for the time being. McBurney said he would review the decision after hearing from prosecutors, who don't want the document released until they decide whether to file charges, and media organizations, which are calling for it to be made public. The report is expected to include recommendations from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on possible charges. Willis started investigating shortly after a January 2021 phone call in which Trump pressed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find 11,780 votes" to put him ahead of President Biden in Georgia.


California sheriff says Half Moon Bay shooting spree was 'workplace violence'

San Mateo County, California, Sheriff Christina Corpus said Tuesday that the shooting rampage that left seven people dead in Half Moon Bay appeared to have been a case of "workplace violence." The victims were killed near nursery and farming businesses. Some of the victims were migrant workers, and suspect Chunli Zhao was an employee at one of the shooting locations. "The only known connection between the victims and the suspect is that they may have been co-workers," Corpus said. The attack was California's third mass shooting within days. "Tragedy upon tragedy," Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted.


McCarthy to block Schiff, Swalwell from intelligence committee

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday he would block House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries' (D-N.Y.) recommendation to reappoint Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, both California Democrats, to the House Intelligence Committee. McCarthy cited Schiff's leading role in the first impeachment effort against then-President Donald Trump, and Swalwell's alleged ties to a Chinese intelligence operative, although there is no evidence of wrongdoing by Swalwell. "This is not anything political," McCarthy said, adding, "integrity matters." Schiff said McCarthy was "carrying the dirty water" for Trump as retribution for Trump's first impeachment trial. The Democratic-led House in the last Congress voted to remove Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) from their committees over comments referencing violence against Democrats.


N.Y. gynecologist convicted of sexual abuse

A federal jury in New York on Tuesday found former Manhattan gynecologist Robert Hadden guilty of sexually abusing women during what were supposed to be routine examinations. Hadden was convicted on all four charges he faced of enticing former patients to cross state lines for illegal sexual activity. The charges stemmed from allegations relating to the abuse of four women who traveled from New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania for appointments with Hadden. The women were among dozens Hadden has been accused of abusing. "Robert Hadden was a predator in a white coat," said Damian Williams, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, after the verdict. 


Tornado causes 'catastrophic' damage near Houston

At least one tornado passed through areas southeast of downtown Houston on Tuesday, causing "catastrophic" damage in some places. In Pasadena, Texas, the storm ripped roofs off of homes, downed power lines, and destroyed the city's animal shelter, leaving two dogs injured. "We've seen plenty of damage," Mayor Jeff Wagner told reporters. "We've seen buildings that have collapsed." Pasadena Police Chief Josh Bruegger called the damage "catastrophic," saying it was "probably the worst damage I've seen" in 25 years in the city. At least one person was injured. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted that his department had high-water rescue vehicles ready to go before Tuesday's storm hit, and sheriffs are "responding to a high number of stranded motorists."


Skier Mikaela Shiffrin breaks Lindsey Vonn's record with 83rd World Cup win

U.S. skier Mikaela Shiffrin claimed her 83rd World Cup win on the Kronplatz mountain in northern Italy on Tuesday, breaking the record she briefly shared with fellow American Lindsey Vonn since tying it earlier this month. Shiffren burst out of the gate and never trailed any of her rivals in the record-setting race, seizing the lead in her first run. Swiss rival Lara Gut-Behrami came back from a slower start to challenge Shiffrin on the bottom of the course, but finished 0.13 seconds behind her, followed closely by Italian Federica Brignone. In the decisive second run, Gut-Behrami finished third but was fast enough to take second-place overall. Shiffrin celebrated with U.S. Alpine teammates already wearing T-shirts touting the record win.


U.S., states sue Google over its ad-market dominance

The Justice Department and eight states, including New York, California, and Virginia, filed a lawsuit against Alphabet's Google on Tuesday, accusing the internet search giant of illegally monopolizing the digital advertising market. The suit seeks to break up Google's ad unit, Bloomberg reported. "The harm is clear: Website creators earn less, and advertisers pay more, than they would in a market where unfettered competitive pressure could discipline prices and lead to more innovative ad tech tools," the Justice Department said in a complaint filed in a Virginia federal court. Google said the suit "attempts to pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector," and "largely duplicates an unfounded" Texas lawsuit that was recently dismissed.


'Everything Everywhere All at Once' leads Oscar nominations

Everything Everywhere All at Once led the 2023 Academy Awards nominations, which were released Tuesday, with 11 nods. The sci-fi comedy, which stars Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Stephanie Hsu, and Ke Huy Quan, is up for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and more. Yeoh is the second Asian woman ever nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. She's competing against Andrea Riseborough, Cate Blanchett, Ana de Armas, and Michelle Williams. The other Best Picture nominees are All Quiet on the Western Front, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis, The Fabelmans, Tár, Top Gun: Maverick, Triangle of Sadness, and Women Talking. The Best Actor nominees include Austin Butler, Colin Farrell, Brendan Fraser, Paul Mescal, and Bill Nighy.


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Will Donald Trump win the Republican nomination?
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Will Donald Trump win the Republican nomination?

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