10 things you need to know today: August 16, 2023

Trump promises "irrefutable" evidence of Georgia election fraud, Maui officials identify 1st two victims in Lahaina wildfire as death toll reaches 106, and more

Morgue trucks in Maui after deadly wildfire
(Image credit: Yuki Iwamura / AFP via Getty Images)

1. Trump promises 'irrefutable' new evidence of Georgia election fraud

Former President Donald Trump said Tuesday in a social media post that he would present a report next Monday with "irrefutable" new evidence of 2020 "presidential election fraud" in Georgia that would exonerate him and others indicted by a Fulton County grand jury. "Based on the results of this CONCLUSIVE Report, all charges should be dropped," he wrote. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) tweeted in response that "the 2020 election in Georgia was not stolen," and "anyone with evidence of fraud has failed to come forward — under oath — and prove anything in a court of law." Separately, special counsel Jack Smith's office gained access to a trove of Trump's direct messages on Twitter under a January search warrant.

Fox News The New York Times

2. Hawaii wildfire death toll reaches 106 as 1st victims identified

Officials in Maui County, Hawaii, on Tuesday released the names of the first two victims identified from the wildfire that destroyed the historic town of Lahaina, as the confirmed death toll rose to 106. The first officially identified victims were Robert Dyckman, 74, and Buddy Jantoc, 79, both of Lahaina. "We offer our deepest condolences to the families who are beginning to receive notifications about their loved ones," said Mayor Richard Bissen. Three other victims have been identified but authorities are waiting until their families have been notified to release their names. The fire has burned 2,170 acres and is now 85% contained. Firefighters are monitoring potential flare-ups and tackling "hot spots" in other Maui wildfires.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Honolulu Star-Advertiser

3. Russia launches drone and missile strikes across Ukraine

Russia's military hit targets across Ukraine with drones and missiles on Tuesday and Wednesday, damaging infrastructure and grain depots, and killing an undetermined number of civilians. Six Russian-launched missiles damaged 120 homes and wounded 19 people, including a 10-year-old child, in the western region of Lviv, authorities there said. "Deliberate large-scale attacks on civilians. Solely for the sake of killing and psychological pressure," Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. The attacks came as Russian military leaders met with counterparts from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa for a security conference outside Moscow.

The Associated Press

4. Trump Mar-a-Lago manager pleads not guilty in documents case

Former President Donald Trump's property manager at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to federal charges related to Trump's handling of classified documents. Carlos De Oliveira is accused of conspiring with Trump and another aide, Walt Nauta, to erase footage from a security camera outside a storage room containing classified documents. Attorney Larry Donald Murrell Jr. told a magistrate, Shaniek Mills Maynard, that De Oliveira wants a jury trial. Three or four supporters outside the courthouse held signs reading "Lock Biden Up." Trump pleaded not guilty in June. Nauta entered a not-guilty plea in July. De Oliveira was added to the indictment along with more charges against Trump and Nauta in late July.

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

5. North Korea says US soldier was fleeing 'racial discrimination'

North Korea said Wednesday that U.S. soldier Travis King, who crossed the border from South Korea last month, is seeking refuge after facing "inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination" in the U.S. military. King, a 23-year-old private who was facing disciplinary action, slipped away after being escorted to a South Korean airport to return to the United States. He ran across the border after sneaking onto a tour of the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea. Washington said it couldn't verify Pyongyang's claim that King had requested refuge. The U.S. is negotiating to get King released.

BBC News

6. Ex-FBI counterintelligence agent pleads guilty to helping sanctioned Russian oligarch

Charles McGonigal, a former high-ranking FBI counterintelligence official, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges related to his work for a Russian oligarch. McGonigal told a federal judge in New York City that he was "deeply remorseful" for violating Russia sanctions by working for billionaire industrialist Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch he once investigated, after retiring. McGonigal, 55, said he accepted more than $17,000 for helping Deripaska collect dirt on a rival Russian oligarch. The U.S. imposed sanctions on Deripaska in 2018 in connection with Russia's annexation of Crimea. McGonigal also tried to help Deripaska get the sanctions lifted, and was negotiating to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars for finding hidden assets belonging to Deripaska's business rival.

The Associated Press

7. Mother of 6-year-old who shot teacher pleads guilty to neglect

Deja Nicole Taylor, the mother of a 6-year-old boy who shot his first-grade teacher in a Virginia school, pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony child neglect. The child used his mother's handgun to shoot the teacher, Abby Zwerner, in a classroom full of students seven months ago. Virginia prosecutors agreed to drop another charge, reckless storage of a firearm. Taylor pleaded guilty in June to federal gun charges. State prosecutors said they would seek a sentence in line with guidelines calling for six months in prison. The crime is punishable by up to five years, and a judge will have the final say at an October sentencing hearing. Zwerner resigned after recovering from wounds to her hand and chest.

The Virginian-Pilot The Associated Press

8. Tesla shares fall after latest cuts in EV price wars

Tesla shares fell 2.8% on Tuesday after the electric-vehicle maker unveiled its latest price cuts in its 2023 EV price war. Shares of luxury EV startups Rivian and Lucid also fell. Tesla introduced new, shorter-range versions of its Model S and Model X vehicles late Monday with base prices reduced by $10,000. Tesla's new standard Model S is now listed at $78,490. It has a range of 320 miles on a charge. The new standard Model X is priced starting at $88,490. Its range is 269 miles per charge. Tesla's shares have retreated as Cathie Wood and her Ark Invest firm sold nearly 120,000 shares in the last three sessions.

Investor's Business Daily

9. US retail spending surged in July

Americans increased retail spending last month despite the Federal Reserve's aggressive interest rate hikes intended to cool the economy and reduce inflation. Spending at stores, online and in restaurants rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.7% in July compared to June, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. That was up from a 0.3% gain in June and the fastest pace since the beginning of 2023. The gain exceeded the 0.2% increase in consumer prices last month, indicating that spending is rising faster than prices. "The fact that the labor market is still strong is a support for spending," Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial, said in The Wall Street Journal. But it could slow after a summer splurge on travel and entertainment, experts say.

The Wall Street Journal

10. Spain advances to World Cup final with win over Sweden

Spain beat Sweden — the team that knocked out the U.S. — 2-1 on Tuesday to advance to its first-ever final at the FIFA Women's World Cup. Spain, led by young star Salma Paralluelo, scored first. Sweden substitute Rebecka Blomqvist tied the score at 1-1 in the 88th minute, only to have Spanish fullback Olga Carmona receive a short corner kick and blast it into the goal off the underside of the crossbar a minute later. On Sunday, Spain will play the winner of the global soccer tournament's other semifinal between Australia and England, which is being played Wednesday in Sydney.

Fox Sports The New York Times

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

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.