10 things you need to know today: August 22, 2023

Trump's bond set at $200,000 in Georgia election case, Southern California drenched by Hilary but avoids feared devastation, and more

Flooding in Palm Springs from Tropical Storm Hilary
(Image credit: Philip Cheung for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

1. Trump's bond set at $200,000 in Georgia election case

A judge in Fulton County, Georgia, on Monday granted former President Donald Trump a $200,000 bond in the racketeering case related to his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state. Trump, whose lawyers agreed to the bond in a meeting with prosecutors, said he will surrender for booking on Thursday. Under the bond terms, Trump can't communicate directly with his co-defendants except through his lawyers, or intimidate witnesses. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis secured the indictment against Trump and 18 others, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, last week. Trump and his allies are accused of conspiring to subvert the will of voters in a failed bid to reverse President Biden's victory.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution The Washington Post

2. Southern California sees flooding from Hilary

Tropical Storm Hilary's historic rains caused flash floods that washed out and buried roads in Southern California, stranding firefighters and motorists in hard-hit parts of San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Hilary, the first tropical storm to hit Southern California in more than 80 years, was downgraded as it pushed inland, but still threatened parts of the Southwest with potentially catastrophic flooding. It broke "virtually all rainfall daily records," according to the National Weather Service in Los Angeles. But the region dodged the widespread devastation some officials feared. "Some places did see rather severe flooding, and that extends actually into Nevada," UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said. But much of "Southern California did escape a worst-case flood event."

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Los Angeles Times NPR

3. House Freedom Caucus issues demands to avoid government shutdown

The far-right House Freedom Caucus on Monday unveiled its demands to avoid a government shutdown. The group of about three dozen Republicans said it would oppose any stop-gap spending measure before the government runs short of money on Sept. 30 unless it includes more money for border enforcement, cuts for the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation, and a halt to "woke" Defense Department policies, according to Axios. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said earlier this month that a temporary spending measure would be needed to keep all federal agencies operating while lawmakers negotiate long-term spending bills.

Axios Politico

4. Report: Female soldiers face rampant sexism in Army special forces

Female soldiers are subjected to rampant sexism and harassment in special operations units dominated by men, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. The document said male soldiers made "overtly sexist" comments, particularly in opposition to women serving in commando units. "The idea that women are equally as physically, mentally and emotionally capable to perform majority of jobs is quite frankly ridiculous," said one male commenter. Investigators surveyed more than 5,000 people, including 837 female troops, 3,238 male troops, and about 1,000 civilians for the report. They found that female soldiers had a broad range of complaints, from sexism and isolation to poor-fitting equipment and a lack of child care.

The Associated Press

5. Biden tours Maui fire devastation, promises help rebuilding

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden met Monday with wildfire survivors and local officials on Maui. Biden promised enduring federal support for Hawaii and for people in the devastated historic town of Lahaina, where at least 114 people were killed and hundreds remain missing. "The devastation is overwhelming," Biden said, standing near a 150-year-old banyan tree that is one of Lahaina's landmarks. Biden promised to do everything he can to help Maui recover and rebuild. "We will be respectful of the sacred grounds and the traditions," he said, "and rebuild the way the people of Maui want to build." Maui Mayor Richard Bissen said he hoped a presidential visit would bring residents hope amid the devastation.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser

6. US urges Americans to leave Belarus

The Biden administration on Monday urged all Americans to leave Belarus and warned against travel to the country, Russia's closest ally in its invasion of Ukraine. The warning came as Belarus' neighbors Lithuania, Latvia and Poland boosted border security over concerns about potential violence by Russian Wagner Group mercenary forces exiled to Belarus after their brief mutiny and march toward Moscow. Longtime Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, widely known as Europe's last dictator, helped end the Wagner rebellion by offering the mercenaries refuge. "Do not travel to Belarus due to Belarusian authorities' continued facilitation of Russia's unprovoked attack on Ukraine, the buildup of Russian military forces in Belarus," and other dangers, the State Department warned.

The Hill

7. UK court sentences ex-nurse to life for killing 7 babies

A British judge on Monday sentenced former neonatal nurse Lucy Letby to life in prison with no possibility of parole for murdering seven babies at a northern England hospital in 2015 and 2016, and trying to kill six others. Justice James Goss said the rare "whole-life order" was warranted because Letby showed "malevolence bordering sadism" by killing fragile infants in her care. "You have coldly denied any responsibility for your wrongdoing. You have no remorse. There are no mitigating factors," Goss said. Letby killed some of the babies by injecting their intravenous lines with air. She poisoned others with insulin, and force-fed some with milk. After they died, she sometimes sobbed and made keepsakes for their grieving parents.

The Associated Press

8. Appeals panel says Alabama can enforce ban on transgender drugs for minors

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday ruled that Alabama can enforce its ban on treating transgender youths 18 and under with puberty blockers and hormones, saying states have "a compelling interest in protecting children from drugs, particularly those for which there is uncertainty regarding benefits." A lower court judge had blocked the ban pending an April trial. Monday's decision lifting the temporary injunction was the second appeals court victory for gender-affirming care restrictions passed by Republican lawmakers in a growing number of states. Several advocacy groups that challenged the law jointly vowed to continue fighting, saying "parents, not the government, are best situated to make these medical decisions for their children."

The Associated Press

9. San Francisco archdiocese files for bankruptcy as abuse suits loom

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it faces financial troubles from more than 500 lawsuits over child sexual abuse dating back decades. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said in a statement that bankruptcy protection offered the "best solution for providing fair and equitable compensation to the innocent survivors who have been harmed." He added: "The unfortunate reality is that the archdiocese has neither the financial means nor the practical ability to litigate all of these abuse claims individually." Advocacy groups said the move would make it harder for victims to get justice.

The Washington Post San Francisco Chronicle

10. Sha'Carri Richardson wins title of fastest woman in the world

American sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson won the 100-meter dash and the title of fastest woman in the world on Monday at the world track and field championships in Budapest. The win capped a comeback two years after a positive test for marijuana derailed her effort to take the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Richardson failed to qualify for last year's world championships. "I'm here, I told y'all," Richardson, 23, said. "I'm not back — I'm better." She finished in 10.65 seconds, edging out Shericka Jackson (10.72) and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.77), both of Jamaica. The race was Richardson's first major world competition. She entered the meet as U.S. champion, and had beaten Jackson both times they met previously this year.

ESPN The New York Times

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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.