10 things you need to know today: September 8, 2023

A jury finds ex-Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro guilty of contempt of Congress, appeals court panel says Texas can keep border buoys in Rio Grande for now, and more

Peter Navarro convicted of contempt of Congress
(Image credit: Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images)

1. Ex-Trump adviser Peter Navarro found guilty of contempt of Congress

A jury on Thursday found former Trump administration trade adviser Peter Navarro guilty of contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the House select committee that investigated the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. Navarro was the second aide to former President Donald Trump to be prosecuted for withholding cooperation. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon was convicted on two contempt counts last year, and is appealing the verdict. Navarro's lawyers, who said prosecutors failed to show that Navarro didn't accidentally fail to cooperate with the subpoena, sought a mistrial, citing possible influence by protesters while jurors took a break outdoors. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta did not immediately rule on the motion. Mehta scheduled a Jan. 12, 2024, sentencing hearing.

CNN Politico

2. Appeals panel says Texas can keep border buoys for now

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday night temporarily blocked a lower court order for Texas to remove floating barriers Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had installed in the Rio Grande to deter migrants from crossing the river to enter the United States. U.S. District Judge David Ezra had ordered Texas to take the 1,000-foot string of buoys out of the border river by Sept. 15 in a win for the Biden administration. Ezra, a Reagan appointee, said Abbott lacked required federal permission to install the barrier. A three-judge panel of the New Orleans-based appeals court said the buoys near Eagle Pass, Texas, can remain in place while the 5th Circuit considers the state's appeal.

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San Antonio Express-News Texas Public Radio

3. Biden seeks to counter Russia, China aggression at G-20 summit

President Biden is scheduled to arrive in India on Friday for this weekend's Group of 20 summit. With Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin skipping the meeting, Biden will have "an opening to re-establish the U.S. as the polestar of the international system," and counter aggression from Beijing and Moscow, Bloomberg reported. National security adviser Jake Sullivan said this week that the United States hopes the gathering will show that the G-20 remains "a forum that can actually deliver" meaningful initiatives to help developing countries and make "progress on key priorities for the American people, from climate to technology."

Bloomberg CNN

4. Hurricane Lee's top winds reach 165 mph over Atlantic

Hurricane Lee strengthened rapidly into a Category 5 storm early Friday as it barreled toward the northeast tip of the Caribbean's Leeward Islands. Lee's top sustained winds reached 165 miles per hour, according to a National Hurricane Center update early Friday. Lee was sending rip currents and hazardous waves across the northern Caribbean. Forecasters said Lee could churn up dangerous surf conditions along the southern U.S. East Coast by Sunday, but it remained unclear whether the potentially catastrophic monster storm would hit the mainland United States. "It is way too soon to know what level of impacts, if any, Lee might have along the U.S. East Coast, Atlantic Canada or Bermuda late next week," the hurricane center said.

NPR The New York Times

5. Ukraine slams Musk over report he foiled drone attack in Crimea

A Ukrainian official harshly criticized Elon Musk on Thursday after an excerpt from a new biography described how Musk ordered his engineers to cut SpaceX's Starlink internet service near Crimea to prevent Ukraine from attacking Russian ships with underwater drones. Musk, who sent Starlink internet terminals to Ukraine shortly after Russia invaded, told biographer Walter Isaacson he feared the sub attack would prompt a nuclear attack from Russia. "Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars," Musk told Isaacson. "It was so people can watch Netflix and chill and get online for school and do good peaceful things." Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said Musk's "cocktail of ignorance and big ego" allowed Russian ships "to fire Kalibr missiles at Ukrainian cities," killing children.

The Washington Post CNBC

6. Georgia prosecutor says Jordan interfering in Trump case

Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis slammed Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Thursday for demanding records of any communication she has had with the Justice Department about former President Donald Trump's efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss. Jordan, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, sent Willis a letter 10 days after a Fulton County grand jury indicted Trump and 18 allies, suggesting she was trying to interfere in the 2024 presidential election by undercutting Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination. Willis wrote that the "obvious purpose" of Jordan's letter was to spread "inaccurate information" for political gain, "to obstruct a Georgia criminal proceeding and to advance outrageous misrepresentations."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

7. Rescuers scramble to save ailing American in Turkey cave

More than 150 rescuers rushed to save an ailing American explorer, Mark Dickey, trapped 3,280 feet underground in a cave in southern Turkey's Taurus mountains. Dickey, 40, began suffering gastrointestinal bleeding while exploring the Morca cave. "Several international teams, including Croats and Italians, are aiding in the operations. The guy is some 1,000 meters deep, they are dividing the ascent in seven sections," Bulent Genc, head of Turkey's TUMAF caving federation, told Reuters. "They expect (rescue operations) to take 10 days, but it may be shorter if the guy's better or longer if his situation worsens." Rescuers have sent six units of blood and doctors, but might need a stretcher to get Dickey out.

Reuters Independent

8. 5 ex-London police officers admit racist messages about Meghan, other royals

Five former London police officers pleaded guilty Thursday to sending offensive WhatsApp messages to each other that included racist references to Meghan Markle and other members of the royal family. Three messages the men exchanged between August 2018 and September 2022, after they had all left the force, included racist comments about Markle — the Duchess of Sussex and wife of Prince Harry — whose mother is Black and father is white. One message referenced Harry's older brother, Prince William, his wife Kate, and Rishi Sunak, Britain's first prime minister of color. Commander James Harman, who leads the Metropolitan Police's Anti-Corruption and Abuse Command, called the racist messages "absolutely appalling" and said they could "further damage confidence in policing."


9. 'That '70s Show' star Danny Masterson sentenced to 30 years to life for rapes

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine F. Olmedo on Thursday sentenced "That '70s Show" actor Danny Masterson to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women 20 years ago. A jury found the actor guilty of two counts of rape in May but couldn't reach a verdict on allegations of sexual abuse from a third woman. "When you raped me, you stole from me," one of the women Masterson was convicted of raping said at the sentencing hearing. "That's what rape is, a theft of the spirit." Masterson has been jailed since May and maintains his innocence. Prosecutors retried Masterson this year after an initial jury last year couldn't reach verdicts.

The Associated Press

10. Coco Gauff advances to her 1st US Open final

Coco Gauff beat Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 7-5 on Thursday night to advance to her first U.S. Open final. "It was a tough match," with "a lot of emotional challenges," Gauff said, "but I think I did a good job of staying focused." At 19, Gauff is the youngest American to reach the New York tennis tournament's final since Serena Williams in 2001. The No. 6 seeded Gauff will face second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in Saturday's final. Sabalenka won the Australian Open in January and will rise to No. 1 in the world on Monday for the first time, win or lose. She advanced by beating American Madison Keys in a third-set tiebreaker, 0-6, 7-6, 7-6 (10-5).

USA Today The Washington Post

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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.