Former President Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants in a Georgia racketeering case are being charged in a county jail — unlike the trial in his other three criminal cases. Also in the news: A painful process rages on in Maui, teams search for missing persons in burnt Lahaina and Matilda’s madness ramps up while Australian fans compete for a home win at the World Cup.
🙋🏼♀️ I’m Nicole Fallert, Author of the daily briefing. These stargazers flooded Joshua Tree National Park, leaving behind garbage and starting illegal bonfires.
Well, here we goWednesday news.
Trump and his allies face charges in Georgia jail, not in court
An indictment by a Georgia grand jury poses a particularly serious threat because, unlike former President Donald Trump’s two federal indictments, a conviction in a Georgia state court cannot be conditional on a future presidential pardon.
The crucial difference in the charge against Georgia is that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has indicted Trump under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a statute that has been used in the past to combat drug dealing and gangs.
Continue reading: Seven moments in Trump’s call to Georgia are now considered an “open conspiracy act.”
Searching for the dead is a grim quest on Maui
A week after the deadly fires scorched the historic town of Lahaina, authorities late Tuesday brought the death toll to 106 and released the first names of people killed by wildfires. The county said in a statement that Lahaina residents Robert Dyckman, 74, and Buddy Jantoc, 79, were among the dead, the first people to be so named. Three other victims have been identified, the county wrote, and their names will be released once next of kin are notified. Dozens of “human remains” have been recovered and are awaiting identification, the county said. Read more
- private developers have started reaching out to residents, making offers to buy the land where houses once stood.
- An energy company was a “significant factor” in the devastating Maui wildfires, the lawsuit states.
- Specialized Teams Morticians, coroners, and other death investigation experts help with the difficult task of identifying the dead people.
- No stranger to tragedy Maui Police Chief John Pelletier led the response to the 2017 Las Vegas massacre.
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Heat causes Louisiana to declare a state of emergency
While parts of the South may get a brief respite from extreme heat this week, the Pacific Northwest is muggy and the National Weather Service warns record-breaking temperatures will spread to the central United States by Friday. Persistent heat and drought conditions in Louisiana prompted Gov. John Bel Edwards to declare a state of emergency Monday as much of the South suffers from an ongoing heatwave. The Louisiana Declaration also underscores the ongoing risk of overheating in parts of the country. Read more
North Korea claims US soldier Travis King crossed the border after becoming disillusioned with America
North Korea claims Pvt. Travis King stormed across the border last month after becoming disillusioned with the inequality of American society and racial discrimination in the US Army. Wednesday’s state media report was the first word on North Korea’s detention of King. North Korea’s investigation into King’s “illegal” entry was said to be continuing. It is impossible to verify the authenticity of the comments attributed to King. The United States and others have accused North Korea of using former detainees to extort diplomatic concessions. A US Department of Defense official said the Pentagon is working to bring King back to the US Read more
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The Blind Side theme Michael Oher is suing the Tuohy family
Former NFL star Michael Oher has sued the family who took him in, claiming they never legally adopted him and only wanted to profit at his expense. Oher was taken in by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy while living in poverty and navigating the foster care system. After attending Tuohy’s alma mater, Ole Miss, he was selected as a first-round draft pick. His life story was adapted into the 2009 blockbuster film The Blind Side, based on the 2006 book of the same name by Michael Lewis. In his petition on Monday, Oher urged the Tuohy family to stop using his name and likeness and additionally to pay back any debts. Read more
Photo of the day: World Cup semi-final between Australia and England
Australia’s Matildas meet rivals England’s Lionesses in the World Cup semifinals on Wednesday. England lost the semifinals at the 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cups. Matildas madness rages among the fans as Australia find themselves in the last four for the first time and aim to become only the second hosts to win the title on home soil. Read more
Nicole Fallert is a newsletter writer at USA TODAY. Sign up for the email here. Would you like to send Nicole a message? Email her at NFallert@usatoday.com or follow her thoughts on Twitter. Support journalism like this by subscribing to USA TODAY here.
The Associated Press contributed to the coverage.