10 things you need to know today: August 25, 2023

Trump reports for booking at Georgia jail, US intelligence believes Prigozhin died in plane brought down intentionally, and more

Donald Trump on tarmac in Atlanta
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

1. Trump booked on Georgia election charges, released on bond

Former President Donald Trump surrendered for booking Thursday at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta on charges of conspiring to overturn Georgia's 2020 presidential election. Jail personnel took Trump's mug shot during his processing, the first time that has happened in his four indictments, before he was released on a negotiated $200,000 bond. Just before Trump turned himself in to face 13 felony counts, he reportedly hired veteran defense lawyer Steve Sadow, who said he would be lead counsel on Trump's team. The former president is expected to fire one of the lawyers who negotiated his bond, Drew Findling. Trump is one of 19 co-defendants in a broad racketeering indictment handed up by a grand jury last week.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution The Washington Post

2. US believes Prigozhin died after intentional blast downed plane

U.S. intelligence officials believe Wagner mercenary group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin was killed in Wednesday's plane crash in Russia, and that the aircraft was intentionally brought down with an explosion probably ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, The New York Times reported Thursday. Moscow has not officially confirmed that Prigozhin was one of the 10 people on board, all of whom died. Prigozhin was considered an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin until two months ago, when he led a brief mutiny and marched toward Moscow to demand the replacement of Russia's military leaders. Putin said Thursday, in his first comments about the crash, that Prigozhin "made some serious mistakes in life, but he also achieved necessary results."

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The New York Times The Associated Press

3. Judge sets October trial for 1 Trump co-defendant in Georgia election case

A Georgia judge on Thursday agreed to schedule an Oct. 23 start to the trial of Kenneth Chesebro, an attorney who supported former President Donald Trump and is one of the 19 co-defendants accused of illegally conspiring to overturn Trump's 2020 election loss to President Biden. Chesebro filed a "demand for a speedy trial" on Wednesday. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis initially asked for a March start for all the trials, but on Thursday asked the judge, Scott McAfee, to start them all on the same day Chesebro requested. So far, the October date only applies to Chesebro. Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, has asked for a delay until after the election.

CBS News

4. Spanish soccer chief expected to resign over post-World Cup conduct

Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish soccer federation, is expected to resign as the organization's general assembly holds an emergency meeting amid an uproar over his behavior after the national team won the Women's World Cup. Rubiales has faced intense criticism since he grabbed player Jenni Hermoso during the awards ceremony, and kissed her on the lips without her consent. "I did not like it, but what could I do?" Hermoso said. Earlier, Rubiales had grabbed his crotch in what The Associated Press called "a lewd victory gesture" in a VIP area with Spain's Queen Letizia and the 16-year old Princess Sofía nearby. FIFA, the world's governing body for the sport, opened an investigation into Rubiales' conduct on Thursday.

The Associated Press

5. China bans Japanese seafood imports over nuclear wastewater discharge

Japan on Thursday started discharging tainted water from the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant over the objections of fishing communities, environmentalists and China, which responded by banning all seafood imports from Japan. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power started pumping small quantities of nuclear wastewater from the plant, which was wrecked in a 2011 tsunami, two days after Japan's government approved the plan. Monitors from the United Nations, which also signed off on the plan, were dispatched to observe. The discharge is expected to take 30 to 40 years. China called the project "extremely selfish and irresponsible." Critics say there's no long-term data to indicate what harm it could cause.

The Guardian

6. 2 Fed leaders say rate hikes nearly over

Two Federal Reserve officials indicated Thursday that the central bank was close to the end of its aggressive interest rate hikes to slow the economy and bring down inflation. "We may need additional increments, and we may be very near a place where we can hold for a substantial amount of time," Boston Fed President Susan Collins told Yahoo Finance before the Kansas City Fed's annual economic policy symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. "We may be near, but we may need to increase a little bit further." She said multiple Fed leaders expect one more rate hike. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said the Fed had "probably done enough" and could now "let the restrictive stance work for a while."


7. Study: China had 2 million excess deaths in 2 months after lifting 'zero Covid' policy

China recorded nearly two million excess deaths in the two months after it abruptly ended its tight "zero Covid" restrictions, according to a U.S. study published Thursday in JAMA Network Open. The study, conducted by the federally funded Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, examined mortality data published by Chinese universities and found in internet searches, and found about 1.87 million excess deaths among people over age 30 in December 2022 and January 2023. That December, China lifted its tough restrictions after three years of mass testing and widespread quarantine lockdowns. China said in January that 60,000 people had died in hospitals since it ended the "zero Covid" policy.


8. Kentucky district cancels classes due to Covid, flu

A Kentucky school district canceled in-person instruction this week — less than two weeks into the school year — after attendance dropped to 81% due to rampant cases of Covid-19, strep throat and the flu. The Lee County School District canceled classes on Tuesday and Wednesday and shifted to remote instruction on Thursday and Friday to reduce the risk of infection. Sports practices and games were canceled for the week. "We're sanitizing our buses and our buildings and giving our staff and our students time to heal," Superintendent Earl Ray Schuler said. Several other school districts, including in Palm Springs, California; Johnston, Iowa; and Milwaukee, have also had to cancel or suspend classes due to high numbers of ill students.

NBC News

9. Suspected California mass shooter identified as ex-cop

Orange County, California, police on Thursday identified the suspected attacker in a mass shooting at a biker bar as John Snowling, a former Ventura Police Department sergeant. The gunman killed three people and wounded six others Wednesday night at Cook's Corner, a landmark bar. Snowling, who allegedly had two handguns and a shotgun, was killed in an exchange of fire with multiple sheriff's deputies who responded to a 911 call. Snowling shot his estranged wife, Marie Snowling, first, police said. She survived and was hospitalized in critical condition, as was another surviving male victim. The four other wounded people, all men, were listed as stable. Several of the wounded people were members of a band playing at the bar.

Los Angeles Times

10. Maui County sues utility, saying its power lines started deadly wildfire

Maui County on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Hawaiian Electric, saying the utility's power lines sparked three recent wildfires, including the blaze that killed at least 115 people in the scorched historic town of Lahaina. The lawsuit says the company was negligent because it should have cut power after the National Weather Service warned of the fire danger posed by high temperatures and powerful winds from a passing storm on Aug. 8, according to The Wall Street Journal. Maui asked the court for unspecified civil damages to compensate for lost infrastructure and the cost of fire response, lost tax revenue, and damage to landmarks and the environment.

The Wall Street Journal

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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.