10 things you need to know today: October 3, 2023

Trump calls fraud case a 'sham' as trial starts, Matt Gaetz files resolution seeking to oust McCarthy, and more

Donald Trump in court for New York fraud case
Donald Trump in court for New York fraud case
(Image credit: Stephanie Keith / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

1. Trump attends opening of his New York fraud trial

Former President Donald Trump on Monday attended the opening day of his New York fraud trial. State Attorney General Letitia James sued Trump, his company and top executives, including his two adult sons, accusing them of lying about his net worth and property values to get favorable loans and insurance. Judge Arthur Engoron, adjudicating the case without a jury, has already ruled that Trump committed fraud. The trial could result in Trump's loss of control over key properties, including Trump Tower. Trump said the trial was a "sham" designed to "hurt me in an election." Prosecutors told the court that Trump and the Trump Organization "were lying year after year after year" and that Trump reaped $100 million from fraud. The Associated Press

2. Gaetz launches effort to oust McCarthy

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) filed a resolution Monday seeking to oust House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) from his leadership post. Gaetz and other far-right McCarthy critics had threatened to push him out for working with Democrats to pass a temporary spending bill that prevented a government shutdown. Gaetz said he had enough votes to either force out McCarthy or leave him "working at the pleasure of the Democrats," adding, "I'm at peace with either result because the American people deserve to know who governs them." McCarthy reportedly views the vote as a chance to silence his right-wing critics. "Bring it on," he said on social media. The Washington Post, CNN

3. Thomas recuses himself as Supreme Court rejects Eastman appeal

Conservative Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday recused himself as the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by John Eastman, a former law professor who advised then-President Donald Trump leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. Eastman had sought to strike down a lower-court ruling that let the House Jan. 6 committee see emails he said were protected by attorney-client privilege. The lower court ruled that the messages were privileged but fell under an exception for communications involving crimes. Thomas, following normal procedure, did not say why he was recusing himself for the first time in a Jan. 6 case. But Eastman once served as his law clerk, and Thomas' wife, Ginni, participated in efforts to reverse Trump's 2020 election loss. NBC News, The New York Times

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4. UN Security council approves Kenya-led mission to target Haiti gangs

The United Nations Security Council on Monday approved sending a Kenya-led multinational security mission to Haiti to help police fight armed gangs that have seized control of most of the Caribbean nation's capital, Port-au-Prince. Haiti's prime minister, Ariel Henry, appealed last year for the international community to immediately deploy a force to increase security, although the request was controversial in a nation where foreign interventions have a checkered record. The Security Council resolution, written by the United States and Ecuador, calls for a force to support Haitian police and protect "critical infrastructure sites" like hospitals and ports, and help restore order so it will be safe to hold elections, The Washington Post reported. The Washington Post

5. Pope open to Catholic blessings for same-sex couples

The Vatican published a letter Monday in which Pope Francis suggested openness to blessing same-sex unions in the Catholic Church, as long as the blessing doesn't suggest equivalence to marriage. The pope was responding to five conservative cardinals who challenged him to reaffirm traditional church teaching on homosexuality ahead of a major assembly starting Wednesday. The statement marked an apparent shift from a 2021 Vatican statement that reiterated a church ban on blessing same-sex couples. The letter fueled fears among traditionalists that the Vatican might be leaning toward progressive reforms favored by the German Catholic Church, where most bishops back blessings for gay couples and calls to have female deacons. ABC News, The Wall Street Journal

6. John Kelly confirms that Trump thinks soldiers are 'suckers'

John Kelly, former President Donald Trump's longest-serving White House chief of staff, gave a blistering statement to CNN's Jake Tapper on Monday confirming comments Trump evidently made in office denigrating veterans and wounded soldiers. Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general, said Trump "thinks those who defend their country in uniform, or are shot down or seriously wounded in combat, or spend years being tortured as POWs are all 'suckers' because 'there is nothing in it for them.'" Kelly's statement confirmed details in a 2020 story in The Atlantic by editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg. "God help us," Kelly said. Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said "John Kelly has totally clowned himself with these debunked stories." CNN, The Washington Post

7. Microsoft chief testifies about 'Google web' dominance

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella testified Monday in a landmark antitrust trial that Google's online search dominance is so great that even his giant software company has trouble competing. The internet has become the "Google web," Nadella told a crowded courtroom. The testimony of Nadella, head of a company valued at $2.4 trillion, could be key in the government's effort to prove that Google has squeezed out rivals through anticompetitive deals. The two tech giants have fought for two decades over online search, mobile computing, web browsing and cloud computing, and now the "vicious cycle" is extending to artificial intelligence, Nadella said. The New York Times

8. GM, Ford to lay off another 500 workers amid strike

General Motors and Ford said Monday they were laying off 500 more workers at four Midwestern plants due to the impact of the United Auto Workers strike, now in its third week. The UAW said it had presented GM with a new proposed contract, but the automaker said "significant gaps remain." Ford is furloughing 330 workers at plants in Chicago and Lima, Ohio. GM is laying off 164 people at facilities in Ohio and Indiana. GM, Ford and Chrysler's Stellantis last month laid off a total of about 3,000 employees. The UAW on Friday expanded its first simultaneous strike against Detroit's Big Three automakers to include another GM plant in Lansing, Michigan, and a Ford assembly plant in Chicago. Reuters

9. Covid vaccine researchers win Nobel Prize for medicine

This year's Nobel Prize announcements kicked off Monday with the awarding of the Physiology or Medicine prize to Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman for their work developing mRNA vaccines that helped contain the Covid-19 epidemic. The vaccines have prevented millions of deaths and sped up the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The mRNA vaccines have been administered billions of times and could eventually be used to produce inoculations for deadly diseases like cancer. Dr. Karikó, the 13th woman to win the prize, struggled without funding or a permanent academic position for years after being told she was "not faculty quality" and being forced to retire, according to The New York Times. Stat News, The New York Times

10. Missing 9-year-old found safe in New York

Charlotte Sena, a 9-year-old girl who went missing during a camping trip at a New York state park, has been found safe after a massive two-day search effort, state authorities announced late Monday. Police tracked down a suspect using a ransom note left at the family's house. "He literally drove up to the family's mailbox," Gov. Kathy Hochul said. Officers monitoring the home had been diverted to another call, but investigators used fingerprints on the note to identify a suspect — Craig Nelson Ross Jr., 47. Police arrested Ross in a camper parked behind his mother's home and found the missing girl in a cabinet in the camper. "She knew she was being rescued," Hochul said. CNN

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