Voters are choosing a Republican nominee for Wisconsin governor. Former President Donald Trump has endorsed businessman Tim Michels, a self-described outsider who has put $12 million into his own campaign, against former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who has support from former Vice President Mike Pence and ex-Gov. Scott Walker. Both candidates falsely claim the 2020 election was rigged, though Kleefisch has said decertifying the results is “not constitutional,” while Michels said “everything will be on the table.” The race to face Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is another proxy war between Trump and Pence, one-time partners now pursuing different futures for the Republican Party.
The FBI’s unprecedented search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence is ricocheting around government, politics and a polarized country. Trump and his allies are complaining, and others are wondering Tuesday why the Justice Department — notably cautious under Attorney General Merrick Garland — decided to take such a drastic step. The FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records there from the White House. That’s according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. Trump says agents opened a safe at his home, and he likens their search to “prosecutorial misconduct.”
A race between the Republicans seeking to knock off Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul is headed to voters. Adam Jarchow and Eric Toney are the leading candidates in a Tuesday primary that hasn’t drawn as much attention as Wisconsin’s governor and Senate races, but carries big stakes. Unseating Kaul would put the GOP in position to sink his lawsuit against the state’s abortion ban or investigate former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. Jarchow, a former lawmaker, has carved out a more conservative profile, including criticizing transgender issues. Toney, the Fond du Lac district attorney, brought charges against five people over listing post office boxes as their address for voter registration.
Ahmaud Arbery is being honored by his hometown after stiff sentences for hate crimes against the white men who chased and killed him. Dozens of people joined Arbery's family on a sweltering street corner Tuesday as Brunswick city officials unveiled signs designating a 2.7-mile roadway as Honorary Ahmaud Arbery Street. Arbery was fatally shot Feb. 23, 2020, after being chased by three men in pickup trucks who wrongly suspected him of committing crimes. Father and son Greg and Travis McMichael were sentenced to life terms for hate crimes by a federal judge Monday. Their neighbor, William “Roddie” Bryan, got 35 years. All three had already received life sentences in a Georgia court for Arbery's murder.
The FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate marked a dramatic and unprecedented escalation of the law enforcement scrutiny of the former president, but the Florida operation was just one part of one investigation related to Trump and his time in office. The potential legal peril from multiple quarters comes as Trump lays the groundwork for another presidential run in 2024. He has denied any wrongdoing and worked to cast Monday’s search as a weaponization of the criminal justice system and a political ploy to keep from another term in office. Here’s a look at the probes under way in different states and venues.
A Moscow court has extended the detention of Vladimir Kara Murza Jr., a prominent opposition activist who has been jailed since April on charges of spreading “false information” about Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. Russia adopted a law criminalizing spreading “false information” about its military shortly after Russian troops rolled into Ukraine in late February. The law, which stipulates a prison sentence of up to 15 years, has been used against dozens of people to stifle opposition to the war. The Basmanny court on Tuesday ordered Kara Murza held until Oct. 12. The case against him stems from a March 15 speech he gave to the Arizona House of Representatives in which he denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Voters in four states on Tuesday will determine their party’s nominees for the statewide office that typically oversees elections. Much of the attention will be focused on Wisconsin, where the secretary of state does not have any role with elections. Republicans want to change that should they win the office in November. Primaries are also being held in Minnesota, Connecticut and Vermont. In Wisconsin, all three GOP candidates have echoed former President Donald Trump’s false claims that fraud cost him the 2020 election. They have called for dismantling the state election agency established with bipartisan support just six years ago.
Officials say staff at Multnomah County jails shared personal and medical information belonging to hundreds of people who were incarcerated. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports county said names, dates of birth and photos — as well as medical information like diagnoses and treatments — may have been released amid sharing between September 2019 and June, impacting more than 350 people. The data transfer affected people who were participating in the county’s program to evaluate if they were mentally healthy enough to participate in their own criminal defense. The information was shared with the county Health Department’s Behavioral Health Forensic Diversion staff for the purpose of coordinating services to help with legal defense.
Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, big tech firms and the European Union moved to ban the country's main propaganda and disinformation channels. Nearly six months later, the number of sites pushing that same content has exploded. That's according to a new report from a tech firm, NewsGuard, that tracks disinformation. NewsGuard has identified 250 websites actively working to spread Kremlin disinformation. In some cases, Russia's propaganda agencies merely rebrand the content with a new name and logo before reposting it from new accounts. Experts say the ease with which Russia has evaded bans on its content show a need for more a aggressive approach by governments and tech companies.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ use of the hallucinogenic drink ayahuasca during an offseason retreat isn’t considered a violation of the NFL’s drug policy. Rodgers discussed on “The Aubrey Marcus Podcast” last week how he went on an ayahuasca retreat to Peru in 2020. Ayahuasca is defined as a psychoactive beverage native to South America and is often used for religious, ritualistic or medicinal purposes. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says it wouldn’t have triggered a positive test result on either the substance abuse or performance-enhancing substance policies collectively bargained by the NFL and its players’ association.
The white father and son convicted of murder in Ahmaud Arbery’s fatal shooting after they chased the 25-year-old Black man through a Georgia neighborhood have been sentenced to life in prison for committing a federal hate crime. A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Travis McMichael and his father Greg McMichael on Monday in Brunswick. Both were previously sentenced to life without parole in a state court for Arbery’s murder. The McMichaels armed themselves with guns and used a pickup truck to chase Arbery after he ran past their home on Feb. 23, 2020. Neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan, who recorded cellphone video of the slaying, was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
Axios Media is being acquired by Cox Enterprises, which says it plans to push the online news provider into new markets while broadening its coverage. Axios, citing sources, reported Monday that the deal is worth $525 million. Cox, a conglomerate whose other media companies include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Dayton Daily News, first became an investor in Axios last year. Axios co-founders and former Politico journalists Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz will continue to hold substantial stakes in the company and will lead editorial and day-to-day business decisions.
Matthew DePerno made his political reputation on loudly and repeatedly questioning the 2020 presidential election results. But now the political novice is accused of helping obtain improper access to voting machines and intending to use them to further the false claims, just three months before voters head to the polls in key statewide races in battleground Michigan. The reliability of election systems and equipment was already at stake in the attorney general's race given DePerno’s history. Michigan political experts said the new accusations are likely to influence voters, the majority of whom don't buy former President Donald Trump's lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Olivia Newton-John, who sang 'Physical' and played Sandy in 'Grease,' has died, her husband says on Facebook, Instagram.
Published reports say the Michigan Attorney General’s office is asking that a special prosecutor investigate whether the Republican candidate for state attorney general and others should be charged in connection with an effort to gain access to voting machines after the 2020 election. The Detroit News reported Sunday that Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office has petitioned the Michigan Prosecuting Attorneys Coordinating Council to appoint a special prosecutor to consider charges against nine people. They include Republican attorney general candidate Matt DePerno, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump. He supports Trump’s false claims about his 2020 loss in the swing state to President Joe Biden. DePerno's campaign says Nessel's actions are "unethical."
Republicans who are running to be secretary of state in Wisconsin and Minnesota in primaries Tuesday are repeating Donald Trump’s false claims about the last presidential election and they've suggested they want more authority over how elections are run, especially in Democratic-leaning counties. Wisconsin’s office of secretary of state has no role in elections, but that could change if Republicans are able to win the post this year and pass a law that would empower the office with far more responsibilities. In Minnesota, the leading GOP secretary of state candidate has called the 2020 election a “train wreck.” Connecticut and Vermont also are holding primaries for secretary of state on Tuesday.
Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is facing a hefty price tag for his lies about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre — $49.3 million in damages and counting — for claiming the nation’s deadliest school shooting was a hoax. The verdict is the first of three Sandy Hook-related cases against Jones to be decided and a punishing salvo in a fledgling war on harmful misinformation. But what does it mean for the larger misinformation ecosystem of election denial, COVID-19 skepticism and other dubious claims that Jones helped build? Courts have held that defamatory statements against a person or a business aren’t protected as free speech, but lies about things like science, history and the government are.
The head of Amnesty International’s Ukraine chapter has resigned, saying the human rights organization shot down her opposition to publishing a report that claimed Ukrainian forces had exposed civilians to Russian attacks by basing themselves in populated areas. In a statement issued Friday night, Oksana Pokalchuk accused her former employer of disregarding concerns of local staff members who had pushed for the report to be reworked. The report released Thursday drew angry denouncements from top Ukrainian officials, who accused the authors of equating the Ukrainian military’s defensive actions to the tactics of the invading Russians. Russia has justified attacks on civilian areas by alleging that Ukrainian fighters had firing positions at the targeted locations.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says China should not hold talks on important global matters such as the climate crisis “hostage,” after Beijing cut off contacts with Washington in retaliation for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this week. Blinken also said in a news conference Saturday in Manila that the U.S. aims to deescalate tensions, which have flared after China launched war drills just off Taiwan and took other retaliatory steps. Pelosi’s trip to the self-governed island outraged China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary. Blinken says China's shutting down cooperation on climate change “doesn’t punish the United States — it punishes the world.”
Republican hopes to reclaim a crucial governor’s seat in swing-state Wisconsin this year long appeared to rest on Rebecca Kleefisch. She's a former TV news anchor who spent eight years as former Gov. Scott Walker’s heir apparent and vowed to continue his sharply conservative policies. Then a wealthy construction company owner jumped in, dumped $12 million of his own money into the race and won Donald Trump’s backing. Now Tim Michels is in a dead heat with Kleefisch heading into Tuesday’s primary to decide who will face Democratic Gov. Tony Evers in November. The race also shaped up as another proxy fight between Trump and his estranged former vice president, with Mike Pence throwing his support to Kleefisch.
A Texas jury has ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages to the parents of a child who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, adding to the $4.1 million he has to pay for the suffering he put them through by claiming for years that the nation’s deadliest school shooting was a hoax. The parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis say they were tormented by the Infowars host’s false claims that the worst classroom shooting in U.S. history was orchestrated by the government to tighten gun laws. The total of nearly $50 million marks the first time Jones has been held financially liable for peddling lies about the 2012 attack in Newtown, Connecticut.
Far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones bulled through the first trial that could decimate his personal fortune and media empire in his usual way. He was loud, aggressive and talking about conspiracies both in and out the courtroom. It was business as usual for the gravelly voiced, barrel-chested Jones. But by courtroom standards, his erratic and, at times, disrespectful behavior is unusual. It's also potentially complicated for the legal process. Jones and his media company, Free Speech Systems, were ordered Friday to pay $45.2 million in punitive damages on top of $4.11 million in compensatory damages to the parents of 6-year-old Jesse Lewis. He was killed with 19 other first graders and six educators in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.
New Mexico officials say a drunk man barreled an SUV through a parade that celebrates Native American culture and that least 15 people were injured, including two Gallup police officers. The state police agency said Friday they have no reason to suspect the crime was motivated by hate. The incident stoked fear in the crowd of thousands who lined the parade route in front of businesses selling Native American jewelry, arts and crafts. Police arrested 33-year-old Jeff Irving and said his blood-alcohol content was three times the state's legal limit for driving. Court records didn't list an attorney who could comment on his behalf
Twitter says vulnerability in its software that exposed an undetermined number of owners of anonymous accounts to potential identity compromise last year was apparently exploited by a malicious actor. It did not confirm a report that data on 5.4 million users was offered for sale online as a result but said users worldwide were affected. The breach is especially worrisome because many Twitter account owners, including human rights activists, do not disclose their identities in their profiles for security reasons that include fear of persecution by repressive authorities. The company recommended users seeking to keep their identities veiled not add a publicly known phone number or email address to their Twitter account.