10 things you need to know today: June 8, 2023

Prosecutors signal Trump could be indicted soon in Mar-a-Lago document case, smoke from Canada wildfires hits N.Y. with its worst air quality on record, and more

New York's skyline covered in orange wildfire smoke
75 million people were under air-quality alerts in the Northeast
(Image credit: Lev Radin / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

1. Reports: Prosecutors close to seeking Trump indictment

Federal prosecutors are close to asking a grand jury to indict former President Donald Trump on criminal charges related to his handling of classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, several news outlets reported Wednesday. Trump has been notified he's a target of a criminal investigation, and The Independent, a British newspaper, reported that the Justice Department could seek an indictment as soon as Thursday. The Justice Department is likely to pursue any charges in a courthouse near Trump's Florida home, The Washington Post reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Much of special counsel Jack Smith's investigation has been before a Washington, D.C., grand jury, but prosecutors believe filing the case in Florida will eliminate potential challenges over the venue.

The Independent The Washington Post

2. N.Y. choked with worst air quality on record from Canadian wildfires

Smoke from Canadian wildfires continued to clog the air across much of the Northeastern United States on Wednesday, sending the air quality index in New York City to its worst level since the Environmental Protection Agency started recording the measurements in 1999. Seventy-five million people were under air-quality alerts. Manhattan was cloaked in an orange haze as the index rose above 324 — 300 is considered "hazardous." Up to 50 is "good;" over 150 is "unhealthy." In Syracuse, the index surpassed 400. Gov. Kathy Hochul called the pollution "an emergency crisis," and warned it could last days. "People have to prepare for this over the long haul," she said.

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The New York Times CNN

3. Pence launches campaign with harsh criticism of Trump

Former Vice President Mike Pence made his first appearance as a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination in early voting Iowa on Wednesday, denouncing former President Donald Trump for his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. Pence said his former boss, whose supporters rioted hoping to keep him in power, "endangered my family and everyone at the Capitol ... But the American people deserve to know that on that day, President Trump also demanded I choose between him and our Constitution. Now voters will be faced with the same choice." Pence, who followed up his speech with a CNN town hall, also accused Trump, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, of abandoning conservative values on abortion and other issues.

The Associated Press

4. Zelenskyy visits areas flooded after Ukraine dam breach

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday visited flood-ravaged areas in Kherson in southern Ukraine. Rescuers in boats have been rushing to find stranded residents since the Kakhovka dam on the Dnipro River, which separates Russian and Ukrainian troops, burst, sending water rushing into towns downstream and forcing evacuation orders for tens of thousands of people. Zelenskyy said more than 2,000 people had been rescued from flooded areas. There have been reports of several drownings, but Ukrainian government did not yet have details on casualties. "Our task is to protect lives and help people as much as possible," Zelenskyy wrote on the Telegram messaging app. "I thank the rescuers and volunteers!"

The Wall Street Journal BBC News

5. Hawaii's Kilauea starts erupting again

Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island started erupting again Wednesday after a three-month pause. Webcams showed fountains of glowing lava within Halemaumau crater, far from any people or buildings inside a national park. "The lava this morning is all confined within ... the summit caldera. So plenty of room for it still to produce more without threatening any homes or infrastructure," said park spokesperson Jessica Ferracane. "So that's the way we like our eruptions here." Ferracane said park officials were bracing for crowds hoping to watch the bubbling lava lake from park overlooks. "Kilauea overlook was spectacular this morning," she said. "It was molten red lava. There's several areas of pretty robust fountaining. It's just really, really pretty."

Honolulu Star-Advertiser The Associated Press

6. Rival groups clash over Pride Month at California school board meeting

Pro- and anti-LGBTQ demonstrators clashed outside a California school board meeting this week before board members unanimously approved an agenda item calling for recognizing June as Pride Month. Three people were arrested after fighting erupted among hundreds of protesters gathered for the Glendale Unified School District board meeting. Some waved Pride flags; others waved American flags and chanted, "Leave our kids alone," in protest of the board's policies supporting LGBTQ youth. The conservative group GUSD Parents Voices urged people to attend the Tuesday meeting to help "fight against indoctrination in our schools." Parents had clashed days earlier at an elementary school in the district that held a Pride-themed assembly. One person at the meeting called the anti-LGBTQ protests "heartbreaking."

Los Angeles Times

7. Florida woman arrested for fatally shooting neighbor

Florida police have charged a woman, 58-year-old Susan Louise Lorincz, with manslaughter for fatally shooting a neighbor who came to her door to discuss a dispute. Lorincz, who is white, had yelled at the children of the victim, Ajike Owens, who was Black, as they played near her apartment. Witnesses said she shouted at them and threw a roller skate that hit one of Owens' sons in the foot. Owens, 35, knocked on Lorincz's door with her 9-year-old son by her side, and Lorincz fired a shot through the door, striking Owens in the chest. The shooting occurred Friday, but the sheriff's office said it had to make sure the shooting didn't fall under the state's "stand your ground" self-defense law before arresting Lorincz on Tuesday.

The New York Times

8. Actor Jay Johnston arrested on Capitol attack charges

Federal authorities have charged actor Jay Johnston — who has appeared in or voiced characters on "Mr. Show," "Arrested Development," "Bob's Burgers," and "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" — over his alleged participation in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack by a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters. Johnston was charged with felony obstruction of officers during civil disorder, according to court documents. He also faces several misdemeanor charges. Johnston was among hundreds of alleged rioters identified by independent online investigators. He reportedly was "banned" by the "Bob's Burgers" production team in December 2021. He voiced the Jimmy Pesto Sr. character on the animated show. He allegedly used a stolen Capitol Police shield during clashes between rioters and police.

NBC News

9. CNN CEO Chris Licht steps down

Chris Licht is stepping down as CEO and chair of CNN after just over a year on the job, Warner Bros. Discovery confirmed Wednesday after his departure was first reported by Puck. "I have great respect for Chris, personally and professionally," Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said in a press release. "The job of leading CNN was never going to be easy." Licht's departure came days after a damaging profile of him in The Atlantic that described a "meltdown" at the network. The piece detailed how Licht was seeking to court Republican viewers but had "lost the confidence of his own newsroom" after steps like a CNN town hall in which former President Donald Trump repeated his false claims about the 2020 election.

Puck CNN

10. Messi to join Miami Major League Soccer team

Argentine soccer legend Lionel Messi announced Wednesday that he would join Major League Soccer team Inter Miami as a free agent after playing his last game for French champions Paris St. Germain over the weekend. Messi rejected a lucrative offer in Saudi Arabia and reportedly considered going back to Barcelona, but couldn't because of the Spanish league's fair play rules. "I made the decision that I'm going to go to Miami," Messi told Mundo Deportivo and Sport newspapers, although he said the decision was not quite final. He said he had decided that he would leave Europe if the Barcelona move didn't work out "to get out of the spotlight and think more about my family."


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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.