10 things you need to know today: August 9, 2023

Ohio voters reject GOP push to raise referendum threshold ahead of abortion question, DeSantis shakes up leadership of his struggling campaign, and more

Supporters of Issue 1 in Ohio
(Image credit: Maddie McGarvey / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

1. Ohio voters defeat GOP push to raise referendum threshold

Ohio voters on Tuesday rejected Issue 1, a proposal to make it harder to amend the state's constitution. Republicans pushed the measure in a months-long campaign, hoping it would help them defeat a November ballot question on enshrining abortion rights in the state's constitution. They argued that Issue 1 would keep controversial policies out of the constitution. Opponents called it a power grab. Ohio Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters called the 57% to 43% "no" vote "a victory over out-of-touch, corrupt politicians who bet against majority rule, who bet against democracy." After the measure's defeat, citizen-proposed constitutional amendments can continue to pass with a simple majority in Ohio. Issue 1 would have raised the threshold to 60%.

The Columbus Dispatch The Associated Press

2. DeSantis replaces campaign manager as White House bid struggles

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), former President Donald Trump's closest rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has replaced his campaign manager, Generra Peck, as part of a shakeup after a series of problems and sagging poll numbers. James Uthmeier, who serves as chief of staff in the governor's office and is one of DeSantis' most trusted aides, will take over as campaign manager. Peck, who will stay on as a strategist, has faced criticism for big spending and a subsequent funding shortfall that led to layoffs just two months into DeSantis' bid for the White House. DeSantis also is bringing onto his campaign David Polyansky, an adviser for the main pro-DeSantis super PAC.

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The New York Times The Washington Post

3. Supreme Court lets Biden 'ghost gun' regulations stand, for now

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that the Biden administration can enforce regulations designed to keep track of so-called ghost guns that people can build at home using kits available online. The rules also require background checks on buyers. Two members of the court's 6-3 conservative majority — Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Amy Coney Barrett — joined the three liberal justices in the majority on the 5-4 decision. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released the regulations last year after a sharp increase in the availability of the untraceable guns. The high court's ruling pauses a lower court decision against the regulations, allowing them to be enforced while the case goes through the courts.

NBC News USA Today

4. US to restrict investment in advanced industries in China

The Biden administration is expected to impose new restrictions on U.S. investments in several advanced industries in China, including quantum computing, artificial intelligence and advanced semiconductors, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. Supporters of the move say it's necessary to protect national security. The restrictions, which would bar private equity and venture capital firms from making investments in those sectors, are part of a U.S. effort to reduce the flow of dollars and expertise to China. Geopolitical tensions have taken a toll on China's economy. Beijing on Wednesday reported that its exports to the rest of the world plunged in July at their fastest pace since February 2020, as Western manufacturers reduced their reliance on Chinese suppliers.

The New York Times The Wall Street Journal

5. Biden designates new national monument near Grand Canyon

President Biden on Tuesday officially designated 1,562 square miles around Grand Canyon National Park as a national monument, Baaj Nwaavjo I'tah Kukveni. "Preserving these lands is good not only for Arizona, but for the planet," Biden said. "It's good for the economy, it's good for the soul of the nation, and I believe with my core, to my core, it's the right thing to do." Biden said the designation would honor the federal government's treaty obligations with Native American tribes that were forced out of their ancestral homes as the Grand Canyon park was developed. Republicans and uranium-mine operators opposed the designation of the new national monument.

NBC News The Associated Press

6. China clashes with Philippines over grounded ship in South China Sea

China is repeating its demand that the Philippines tow a World War II warship grounded on the Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratly Islands. Manila has a small number of troops living on the ship, which it uses as an outpost, and a Chinese warship fired a water cannon at a small boat taking the troops supplies, sparking a protest. Beijing has stoked tensions with several other countries by claiming control over the contested South China Sea. Friction has escalated under Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. The U.S. supports Manila in its maritime disputes with Beijing. China has accused Washington of "hyping up" disputes in the South China Sea, including the one over the grounded boat.

Reuters The Guardian

7. US embassy in Haiti briefly closes due to nearby gunfire

The U.S. embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, closed for the day on Tuesday due to "rapid gunfire" nearby. The embassy in late July urged U.S. citizens to leave the Caribbean nation as soon as possible because of "armed clashes between gangs and the police and the high threat of violent crime and kidnapping throughout Port-au-Prince." Last week, armed men kidnapped a New Hampshire nurse and her child from a clinic run by a charity led by her husband. Gang violence has caused an estimated 165,000 Haitians to flee their homes. Some neighborhoods have pushed back with vigilante killings of gang members. The United States last week backed a United Nations plan for a multinational police force led by Kenya to help local police fight gang violence.

The Hill

8. Alabama police issue arrest warrants after dockside brawl

Montgomery, Alabama, authorities said Tuesday they had issued arrest warrants for three white men as an investigation continued into a racially charged brawl that erupted at a riverfront dock. The fight started when white boaters attacked a Black employee after he tried to get them to move a small private boat that was occupying a space needed by a large riverboat. Footage of the incident recorded by people on the riverboat and the dock showed a white man charging and pushing the Black employee. Several shirtless white boaters then started punching him on the ground as people on the boat shouted for someone to help him. Several Black bystanders rushed in to help, including one who jumped off the riverboat and swam to shore.


9. Los Angeles city workers stage 1-day walkout

Thousands of Los Angeles municipal workers walked off the job for a one-day strike on Tuesday in the first major walkout by the city's employees in decades. The striking employees — including airport custodians, lifeguards, traffic officers, engineers and sanitation workers — accused the city of unfair labor practices and refusing to bargain in good faith, saying job vacancies were forcing them to work longer hours for less pay. "L.A. city you're no good," workers wearing purple union T-shirts chanted at Los Angeles International Airport. "Treat your workers like you should." Mayor Karen Bass and other officials denied that the city was being unfair, and said no services would shut down during the strike.

Los Angeles Times

10. Ireland, fans mourn Sinead O'Connor

Several thousand people lined the streets of Bray, Ireland, on Tuesday to pay their final respects to singer-songwriter Sinead O'Connor, who died on July 26 at age 56. After a private funeral, the cortege passed slowly through the seaside town where O'Connor had lived. Some mourners tossed flowers. Some raised fists. Others waved Irish and rainbow flags. A crowd outside O'Connor's home of 15 years sang her best-known hit, 1990's "Nothing Compares 2 U," as the hearse stopped there. Fans praised O'Connor for her outspokenness on abuse, abortion and her mental health struggles. "Did we really hear what she was trying so hard to tell us for so long?" Susan Murphy, 51, said to The Washington Post. "I don't know. Maybe we heard too late."

The Washington Post The Associated Press

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