10 things you need to know today: May 11, 2023
Trump repeats false election claims and dismisses sexual abuse verdict in CNN town hall, Army sergeant is sentenced to 25 years for fatally shooting BLM protester, and more
Trump repeats false election claims in CNN town hall
Former President Donald Trump repeated false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him and made jokes about a jury verdict finding him liable for sexual abuse in his appearance in the first televised town hall of the 2024 presidential election campaign on Wednesday. Trump also said that if he's elected he will pardon many of his supporters who have been convicted of crimes for their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack by a mob trying to block the certification of his loss to President Biden. CNN moderator Kaitlan Collins repeatedly interjected to point out that Trump's claims about the election were false. "The election was not rigged, Mr. President. You can't keep saying that all night long." Trump called Collins a "nasty person."
Texas judge sentences Daniel Perry to 25 years for fatally shooting BLM protester
Texas Judge Clifford Brown on Wednesday sentenced a U.S. Army sergeant, Daniel Perry, to 25 years in prison for fatally shooting armed protester Garrett Foster, 28, during a 2020 Black Lives Matter protest in Austin. Prosecutors used Perry's social media history to portray him as a racist. "After three long years we're finally getting justice for Garrett," Foster's mother, Sheila Foster, told the court. Perry attorney Clinton Broden, who argued Perry shot Foster, an Air Force veteran, in self-defense, vowed to appeal, calling the case a "political prosecution." Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has said he would grant Perry a pardon if the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends one.
House Republicans release report with allegations against Biden relatives
House Republicans on Wednesday unveiled what they said was a smoking gun showing that members of the Biden family, including President Biden's son Hunter Biden, received $10 million in payments from foreign entities in China and Romania. "These people didn't come to Hunter Biden because he understood world politics or that he was experienced in it, or that he understood Chinese businesses. They wanted him for the access his last name gave him," Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) said. House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) said bank records showed a "pattern of influence peddling" by Biden's relatives when he was vice president. But the report doesn't provide evidence substantiating the allegations or implicating Biden, nor does it accuse anyone of illegal actions. The White House dismissed the report as nothing but "baseless innuendo."
George Santos pleads not guilty to fraud, other charges
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal charges of fraud, duping donors, stealing campaign funds, and lying on federal campaign forms. Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly, the prosecutor in Santos' district, called the indictment an "important first step in holding him accountable for the unbelievable actions that he's taken." Santos, who has faced calls to resign for lying about his experience and background during his campaign, is accused of fraudulently collecting $24,000 in unemployment benefits during the pandemic while he was earning $120,000 a year from a Florida-based investment firm. He also allegedly made false statements on 2020 and 2022 financial forms, misleading the House and the public about his finances.
Inflation unexpectedly eases to lowest level in 2 years
Inflation edged down to an annual rate of 4.9 percent in April from 5.0 percent in March in the 10th straight decline, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. Consumer prices rose 0.4 percent from the previous month. The increase in the consumer price index was slightly lower than economists expected, and reached the lowest level in two years. Inflation has fallen dramatically since the consumer price index increased by 9.1 percent on a year-to-year basis last summer, but it remains significantly above the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target rate. Some pressures have eased, like the surge in energy prices after Russia invaded Ukraine. But rising rents and car prices are still hurting American households. "It's going to be a bumpy ride back down to 2 percent," Vanguard international economist Andrew Patterson said.
Biden administration imposes new asylum rules as Title 42 ends
The Biden administration released a rule Thursday saying it will start denying asylum to migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border if they haven't applied online or requested protection in a country they traveled through. The measures are part of an attempt to prevent a wave of illegal border crossings after the expiration of Title 42, a pandemic-era policy allowing border officials to turn away asylum seekers in the name of preventing the spread of COVID-19. The new policy, which has gone through a public comment period and takes effect Thursday, stops short of a total ban but places tough limits on asylum for anyone failing to seek a legal pathway, while offering a chance of asylum for those with legitimate claims pursued legally.
Missouri Republicans pass transgender restrictions
The Republican-controlled Missouri House on Wednesday approved legislation seeking to ban gender-affirming care for children and bar transgender athletes from competing in women's sports. Gov. Mike Parsons, a Republican, has not indicated he plans to veto either of the bills. The measures are among the latest efforts by Republican lawmakers across the country to roll back protections for transgender people, particularly youths. The bill prohibiting "gender transition procedures" for people under 18 passed 108-50. The transgender sports measure passed 109-49. Republicans said the bills would protect children from harmful drugs and surgery. Heidi Schultz, a 44-year-old transgender woman from Kansas City, called the legislation "needlessly cruel."
Ukraine: Russia prepares evacuation of Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant workers
Russian authorities are preparing to evacuate more than 3,000 workers and families from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant Russian forces control in southern Ukraine, the country's energy provider, Energoatom, said Wednesday. Energoatom warned an evacuation could leave the plant, Europe's largest nuclear facility, with a "catastrophic lack of skilled personnel." Russia previously barred many workers from leaving, but it is now moving tens of thousands of people out of some occupied areas, including the Zaporizhzhia region, ahead of an anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive. Ukrainian military officials and Western analysts say Russian troops are expanding defensive fortifications, preparing for possible attacks.
More violent protests against former PM's arrest in Pakistan
Violence continued in Pakistan for a second day on Wednesday as supporters of Imran Khan protested the former prime minister's arrest on corruption charges, which he denies. Khan pleaded not guilty on Wednesday as the protests spread. Eight people have died in clashes with security forces. Police have arrested about 1,000 people, and the army deployed soldiers in several areas after mobs attacked some of its properties. Riot police stormed into an Islamabad court to arrest Khan on Tuesday as he attended a hearing in one of the cases against him. Khan, who was ousted last year, could be barred from office for life if convicted. He says the government is trying to keep him out of politics ahead of elections later this year.
Ex-Biden administration official files defamation suit against Fox News
Nina Jankowicz, an expert on Russian disinformation who briefly headed Homeland Security's short-lived Disinformation Governance Board, filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News on Wednesday. The suit says the conservative news network's hosts and guests "derided and lied about Jankowicz on repeat," exposing her to threats and damaging her career. Fox News aired allegations by right-wing commentators and politicians that the board was part of an Orwellian effort to control what Americans say and think. The board had no such authority, and was created to combat disinformation by foreign agents trying to influence U.S. elections, among other things. Fox, which last month settled a defamation suit by Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million, made no immediate comment.