10 things you need to know today: June 14, 2023

Former President Donald Trump pleads not guilty to alleged mishandling of classified documents, inflation slowed in May, and more

Trump speaks to reporters
Trump is accused of trying to keep sensitive defense and nuclear information at his Mar-a-Lago residence
(Image credit: Stephanie Keith / Getty Images)

1. Trump pleads not guilty

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday pleaded not guilty in a Miami federal court to criminal charges over his handling of national security secrets — the first time the Justice Department has charged a former president with a crime. Trump was accused in a 37-count indictment of trying to keep sensitive defense and nuclear information at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida, and lying to federal officials trying to recover the material. Former Trump aide Walt Nauta was charged with conspiring with Trump to obstruct justice. Supporters outside the courthouse chanted, "We love Trump." Later, Trump said at his Bedminster, New Jersey, resort the case was "political persecution like something straight out of a fascist or communist nation."

The Miami Herald CBS News

2. Inflation slowed in May

Consumer price growth dropped to an annual rate of 4% in May from 4.9% in April, adding to data supporting an expected pause in the Federal Reserve's aggressive campaign to raise interest rates at the close of a two-day meeting on Wednesday. Inflation has been falling slowly but steadily since peaking at a 40-year high of 9.1% in June 2022. The Fed has been committed to hiking rates sharply enough to raise borrowing costs and bring consumer price increases under control, even it if means tipping the economy into a recession. Despite the improvement, "core inflation," excluding volatile food and energy costs, remains high at 5.3%, down from 5.5% in April.

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The Washington Post Politico

3. Ukraine, Russia both claim gains as counteroffensive continues

Ukraine and Russia made opposing claims of progress during a long-awaited counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces trying to reclaim territory Russian troops have occupied since invading last year. Reuters journalists who reached the village of Neskuchne independently confirmed that Ukraine had reclaimed the town in one of Ukraine's biggest advances in seven months. The journalists saw the Ukrainian flag flying over a grocery store and Russian soldiers dead in the street. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he saw no need for calling up more troops to confront the counteroffensive. His government didn't acknowledge any gains by Ukraine. Russia's defense ministry released a video appearing to show German tanks and U.S. fighting vehicles captured from Ukrainian forces.


4. Explosion damages Russia oil refinery

An explosion sent flames and thick smoke rising from a Russian oil refinery less than 80 miles from President Vladimir Putin's Black Sea palace on Tuesday. The blast at the Krasnodar Oil Refinery was caused by a suspected drone attack, or sabotage. The diesel processing facility is in Krasnodar, a regional capital linked to Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, which Russia occupies and illegally annexed in 2014. The city is crucial to Russia's war effort, as it serves as a resupply hub for Crimea. The explosion was the latest in a series of apparent attacks inside Russia as Ukraine starts a counteroffensive to reclaim occupied territory.

New York Post

5. Dozens die in Nigeria river boat accident

More than 100 people died when a river boat capsized this week in the Niger River in Nigeria's western state of Kwara. The victims included people returning from a wedding party. The death toll stood at 103 Tuesday night but was expected to rise. More than 100 people were rescued. "The boat capsized in complete darkness and it wasn't until hours later that we were alerted," said a police spokesperson, Okasanmi Ajayi. River boat accidents are a recurring problem in the West African nation due to overloading and lax safety regulations. "We lost a lot of people, including women and children," said Ibrahim Hassan of Ebbu, a village where many of the wedding guests lived. "Our community will never be the same again."

The New York Times

6. Cadet kills 2 instructors at Japan military firing range

A cadet allegedly opened fire on his own unit at a military shooting range in central Japan on Wednesday, killing two instructors and injuring a third, Japan's defense ministry said. Police arrested an 18-year-old suspect but could not immediately determine the motive. The suspect joined the country's Ground Self-Defense Force in April. "We will investigate the cause of the incident to ensure that it doesn't happen again," GSDF Chief of Staff General Yasunori Morishita said. Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported that the cadet fired an automatic rifle. Gun violence is rare in Japan, which has extremely strict gun control laws and one of the lowest rates of gun violence in the world.

CNN Reuters

7. Capitol rioter facing wrongful death suit sentenced to 2 months in jail

Washington, D.C., chiropractor David Walls-Kaufman, 66, was sentenced Tuesday to two months in a jail for illegally protesting in the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack by a mob of then-President Donald Trump's supporters. Walls-Kaufman still faces a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Erin Smith, the widow of D.C. police officer Jeffrey Smith, who suffered a brain injury when he was hit with his own baton during the riot, and later died by suicide at age 35. Authorities didn't have enough evidence to criminally charge Walls-Kaufman, who lived and worked on Capitol Hill, with assaulting Smith, but the burden of proof is lower in a civil suit.

The Washington Post

8. Government watchdog says White House press secretary violated Hatch Act

A government watchdog warned White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre that she violated the Hatch Act by referring to "mega MAGA Republicans" in the lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections, NBC News reported Tuesday. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) sent a letter to Jean-Pierre informing her of the determination. The Hatch Act limits federal employees' political activities to ensure "federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan fashion." A conservative group, Protect the Public's Trust, filed the complaint after Jean-Pierre in November said "mega MAGA Republicans" didn't believe in "the rule of law." After an investigation, OSC "decided to close this matter without further action" despite its finding. The Trump administration was called out for numerous Hatch Act violations.

NBC News

9. 3 killed in England stabbing spree

A man fatally stabbed two 19-year-old college students in the streets of Nottingham, England, on Tuesday, then stabbed a middle-aged man to death and stole his van. His body was found more than a mile away. The killer then ran over three pedestrians, police said. Police arrested a 31-year-old suspect. "This is a horrific and tragic incident which has claimed the lives of three people," Chief Constable Kate Meynell said. The nearby school the students attended, the University of Nottingham, said it was "shocked and devastated by the news." The school canceled a graduation ball that had been planned for Tuesday night. The Nottinghamshire Police said they were keeping an "open mind" about possible motives. The attacker appeared to have acted alone.

The Guardian The Associated Press

10. Pulitzer Prize winning author Cormac McCarthy dies at 89

Author Cormac McCarthy, who wrote dark novels about Appalachia and the American Southwest, died Tuesday at his Santa Fe, New Mexico, home. He was 89. McCarthy, widely considered one of the nation's greatest writers, was famous for bleak and violent novels like "Blood Meridian" and "The Road." His characters were typically outsiders, and his fiction included extreme violence, like scalpings, rape, and cannibalism. "There's no such thing as life without bloodshed," he said told The New York Times magazine in a rare 1992 interview. Several of his books, including the National Book Award winning western "All the Pretty Horses" and apocalyptic Pulitzer Prize winner "The Road," were made into films. "No Country for Old Men" won the best picture Oscar in 2008.

The New York Times CNN

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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.