Happy Wednesday! After hearing about an Ecuadorian woman mistakenly declared dead—and returned to the hospital after knocking from inside her coffin at the wake—we think it’s time to bring back safety coffins.
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
- Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 37 federal charges alleging he illegally retained classified documents at his Mar-A-Lago property and conspired to conceal them from federal authorities. The judge presiding over the arraignment ordered Trump not to speak to his aide and alleged co-conspirator in the case, Walt Nauta, regarding the details of the indictment except through attorneys.
- The Consumer Price Index rose 4 percent year-over-year in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday, after climbing 4.9 percent in April. Consumer prices on all goods rose 0.1 percent month-over-month. Core inflation, which removes volatile food and energy prices, rose 5.3 percent yearly in May but ticked down from its 5.5 percent yearly increase in April. The inflation numbers—which show the CPI roughly halved from inflation’s recent peak of 9.1 percent last June—were better than expected but still exceed the Federal Reserve’s 2 percent target, though the central bank uses a different inflation index. The Fed meets this week to decide whether it will increase interest rates again, but the central bankers signaled earlier this month they may temporarily pause their rate hike campaign.
- The Office of the Special Counsel (OSC), an independent government watchdog, found White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre violated the Hatch Act—which bars federal employees from certain political activities—when she used the phrase “mega MAGA Republicans” from the White House Briefing Room podium before the 2022 midterm election. The OSC did not recommend any punishment for Jean-Pierre.
- The Pentagon announced Tuesday it will send Ukraine 15 more Bradley fighting vehicles plus additional anti-aircraft systems, troop carriers, and munitions for long-range missile launchers to replenish Ukrainian losses in the ongoing counteroffensive against Russian troops. It’s the 40th use of the presidential drawdown authority to supply Ukraine with equipment from U.S. stockpiles since the beginning of the invasion. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday the U.S. is also preparing to send Ukraine depleted uranium ammunition rounds to arm Abrams tanks it supplied Kyiv. The rounds are effective at penetrating the armor of Russian tanks at long distances but may carry environmental and long-term health risks.
- U.S. Central Command said Tuesday that 22 service members—who the New York Times reported were U.S. Army Delta Force commandos—were injured in a helicopter “mishap” in northeastern Syria Sunday. Fifteen of those injured in the incident, which CENTCOM said did not involve enemy fire, were evacuated to a U.S. military hospital in Germany for treatment. In April, the Army put a temporary ground stop on all helicopter flights after two crashes killed 12 service members.
- Republican Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio vowed Tuesday to put a procedural hold on all nominees to the Department of Justice in retaliation for Trump’s indictment. The hold prevents the Senate from confirming nominees by unanimous consent, forcing time-consuming individual votes.
- A Manhattan judge ruled Tuesday that Trump’s recent comments about New York writer E. Jean Carroll during a CNN town hall event could be added to her existing defamation case against him—separate from another case brought by Carroll in which a jury found Trump liable for sexually abusing her in the 1990s and defaming her in his denials. During the CNN event, just a day after the jury’s finding, Trump called Carroll a “wack job” and accused her of fabricating her rape accusation. Carroll originally filed this defamation lawsuit in 2019.
- Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction author Cormac McCarthy died Tuesday at 89 years old. Known for often graphic depictions of violence, he lent his distinctive voice to diverse genres from neo-western crime novels like No Country For Old Men to dystopian fiction, including The Road—his story of father and son trudging across a post-apocalyptic United States.
- The Las Vegas Golden Knights bested the Florida Panthers in a decisive 9-3 home victory to claim the Stanley Cup Tuesday. Their title in just their sixth year of existence makes them the fastest team to win the Cup in modern history.
Somehow, even a bog-standard arraignment hearing becomes a theater of the absurd when former President Donald Trump is involved.
Roosters wandering the courthouse grounds? A man dressed in prison stripes arrested for chasing Trump’s motorcade? A protester’s pig head on a pole turning several shades darker as it cooked for hours in the Miami sun?