10 things you need to know today: June 27, 2023

CNN airs recording in which Trump appears to show off classified document, Putin breaks silence and accuses Wagner mercenaries of 'betraying' Russia, and more

A photo of Vladimir Putin addressing the public on a screen
Russian President Vladimir Putin broke his silence following the end of a mutiny by Wagner Group mercenaries
(Image credit: NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP via Getty Images)

1. CNN airs tape of Trump appearing to show off classified document

CNN on Monday broadcast a video clip in which former President Donald Trump appeared to discuss a Pentagon "plan of attack" against Iran and show it to two staff members and two people working on a biography of former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. The federal indictment charging Trump with 37 felonies tied to his handling of national security secrets includes a transcript of the recording, but this was the first time it was aired publicly. The New York Times said Trump can be heard describing what he called a "highly confidential" Iran document, and acknowledge he couldn't declassify it because he was no longer in office, appearing to contradict his recent statements describing the document as news clippings.

CNN The New York Times

2. Putin accuses Wagner mercenary group of 'betraying' Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday broke his silence following the end of a 24-hour mutiny by Wagner Group mercenaries led by Yevgeny Prigozhin, saying the Wagner forces made the "right decision" to end their march toward Moscow. He added that their "armed rebellion would have been suppressed anyway." Putin accused "the organizers of the rebellion" of "betraying their country," without mentioning Prigozhin by name. Prigozhin also made his first remarks since he withdrew from a city his forces occupied on the highway to the Russian capital, saying in an audio message released on the Telegram messaging app that his soldiers were protesting an order to sign a contract with the Russian military, "not to overthrow the government of the country."

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The Washington Post BBC News

3. Russia drops mutiny case against Wagner Group

Russian authorities said Tuesday they had concluded a mutiny investigation of Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Wagner mercenary group, for leading thousands of his troops to within 125 miles of Moscow over the weekend before abruptly turning around. The Federal Security Service, or FSB, said nobody involved would be charged because they "ceased activities directed at committing the crime." A conviction for armed mutiny is punishable with up to 20 years in prison. Prigozhin's whereabouts remained unclear, although the Kremlin has said he would be exiled to Belarus, and independent Belarusian military monitoring project Belaruski Hajun said a business jet Prigozhin has used landed early Tuesday near Minsk. Belarus brokered the agreement that ended Prigozhin's march toward Moscow.

The New York Times NPR

4. Supreme Court dismisses Louisiana's appeal to save GOP-drawn electoral map

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed an appeal by Louisiana's Republican secretary of state, Kyle Ardoin, in defense of a new electoral map that was challenged as discriminatory because it created just one majority Black congressional district in the state. The state has six U.S. House districts, and about a third of the state is Black. The court's decision could result in the creation of a second congressional district in the state with a majority of Black voters. U.S. Judge Shelly Dick had ordered the state's GOP-controlled legislature to create two majority-Black House districts, saying that including just one in the electoral map unconstitutionally diluted the influence of Black voters. The decision could boost Democrats' effort to regain control of the House next year.


5. Colorado Springs nightclub shooting suspect pleads guilty

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 23, pleaded guilty Monday to five first degree murder counts in a mass shooting at a Colorado club in November 2022. He also pleaded guilty to 46 attempted-murder counts, and no contest to "bias motivated crime" charges. He faces five consecutive life sentences under a plea agreement with prosecutors. Aldrich entered Club Q, a popular spot in the small Colorado Springs LGBTQ community, and opened fire with a pistol and an assault-style rifle, killing five people and injuring 17 before two patrons tackled him and held him down. Aldrich confirmed the pleas, telling Judge Michael McHenry he "intentionally and after deliberation" killed the victims. Family and friends of the victims read statements in court, with several describing Aldrich as a "madman."

Idaho Statesman The Washington Post

6. Honduras conducts prison sweep similar to El Salvador's crackdown

Honduras on Monday cracked down on gang members with a prison sweep to find contraband that mirrored harsh tactics used in neighboring El Salvador to reduce gang violence. Honduran military police, who have taken charge of the Central American nation's prisons, emptied cell blocks at several prisons, forcing inmates to sit crammed in rows while officers searched the cell blocks, finding hundreds of rounds of ammunition, pistols, assault rifles, and grenades. The crackdown came after a massacre left 46 female inmates dead last week at a women's prison. A similar crackdown by Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele sparked allegations of human rights abuses but pleased many residents fed up with gang violence and extortion.

The Associated Press

7. DeSantis unveils hard-line migration policy plan

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, unveiled a hard-line set of proposed immigration policies, part of a broad effort to appeal to conservative supporters of the GOP front-runner, former President Donald Trump. DeSantis proposed ending birthright citizenship and possibly allowing the use of deadly force against suspected drug traffickers and others breaking through border barriers with "hostile intent." "If you drop a couple of these cartel operatives ... you're not going to have to worry about that anymore," DeSantis said during a campaign event in Eagle Pass, a Texas border town. Aron Thorn, a senior lawyer in the Beyond Borders Program of the Texas Civil Rights Project, said these ideas have long been seen as "radical and extremist."

The New York Times

8. Supreme Court rejects N.C. charter school appeal in dress code case

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider a North Carolina charter school's challenge of an appeals court ruling striking down a school dress code requiring girls to wear skirts. The 4th U.S. District Court of Appeals threw out the dress code, ruling that North Carolina charter schools are "state actors" working on the government's behalf, so they can't impose rules that won't fly in traditional public schools. The ACLU and several parents of female students had sued Charger Day School, which emphasizes "traditional values" and gets 95% of its funding from the state, arguing that its dress code violated the Constitution's equal protection clause and federal anti-discrimination law, Title IX.

Politico NPR

9. Prosecutors seek death penalty in Idaho college killings

Prosecutors said in court documents filed Monday they will pursue the death penalty against Bryan Kohberger, the man accused of killing four Idaho college students last year. Kohberger, 28, showed "utter disregard for human life" and no reason has surfaced to rule out capital punishment, the documents said. Kohberger was a criminal justice doctoral student at a nearby university when he was arrested at his family's Pennsylvania home in December. The four students — Ethan Chapin, 20, of Conway, Washington; Madison Mogen, 21, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; Xana Kernodle, 20, of Avondale, Arizona; and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, of Rathdrum, Idaho — were found dead from stab wounds in an off-campus home in Moscow, about 300 miles north of Boise.

NBC News

10. Texas power demand spikes in deadly record heat

Texas electricity demand is surging this week as the state struggles through record heat. Power costs for peak hours surged to nearly 50 times the normal level in recent days, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. A 14-year-old boy from Florida collapsed on a trail in Big Bend National Park and died Friday, when temperatures there reached 119 degrees Fahrenheit. The teen's stepfather was killed when he crashed his car rushing for help. The heat wave is expected to worsen across other Southern states through this week, with forecaster warning of possible record high temperatures Wednesday through Friday from Texas to Missouri to Florida.

The Hill 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.