The FBI has seized documents from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. On Monday evening, Trump issued a statement saying, “My beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. They even broke into my safe!” Trump was in New York at the time. Multiple news outlets are reporting the FBI executed a search warrant as part of a probe into whether Trump removed 15 boxes of White House records including some classified documents after he left office. Such a move might constitute a criminal violation of the Presidential Records Act.
In response, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy threatened to investigate Attorney General Merrick Garland if Republicans win back control of the House after the midterm elections. This all comes as Donald Trump is facing multiple other investigations over his attempt to overturn the 2020 election. After headlines, we’ll get the latest with Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.
The head of Ukraine’s state-run nuclear power company is calling on Russia and Ukraine to adopt a five-kilometer-wide demilitarized zone around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, after fighting over the weekend damaged safety equipment at the Russian-occupied site.
Petro Kotin: “The situation is very dangerous. We encountered such a situation at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, if you remember. But there is a very big difference here: There are six power units. All of them are filled with nuclear materials. Also, there are pools with spent nuclear fuel. All of this requires constant cooling at the expense of working pumps. These pumps run on electricity.”
Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of placing explosive landmines around the power units at Zaporizhzhia in what President Volodymyr Zelensky called “nuclear blackmail.”
Ukraine’s military says its forces are advancing on the strategic city of Izyum in northeastern Ukraine as part of a counteroffensive aimed at retaking areas under Russian occupation.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration said Monday it’s sending another $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine, including advanced anti-radar missiles produced by Raytheon. It’s the 18th time the U.S. has sent a package of weapons since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The Pentagon said Monday as many as 80,000 Russian troops have been killed or injured in the fighting, though that number was impossible to verify.
The Palestinian Health Ministry reports Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinian men earlier today as they raided a house in the city of Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The ministry says at least 40 other Palestinians were wounded in the raid; four of them are in serious condition. Israel says none of its troops were injured in the assault, which killed a senior commander with the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade.
The latest violence came as a ceasefire held in the Gaza Strip, after three days of Israeli bombardment killed at least 44 Palestinians, including 15 children. Three hundred fifty others were injured. The Palestinian Authority says some 1,500 housing units were damaged or destroyed by Israel’s weekend assault. This is Muhammad Shamlakh, whose family’s home in Gaza City was demolished.
Muhammad Shamlakh: “A ceasefire or not, how will this help us after the fighting, when our house was shelled and demolished? Who will put it back in its previous state? The leaders have shaken hands. That is fine. But what about the people who lost their homes and who are stranded now? We have relatives who lost their house previously, and now it has happened again.”
Here in New York, hundreds of people gathered outside the Midtown Manhattan offices of the group Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Monday for an emergency rally in response to Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza. This is Abdullah Akl of the group Within Our Lifetime, which organized the protest.
Abdullah Akl: “This protest is happening all across the country, especially as Gaza is being bombed today and in the last four days. Ceasefire doesn’t really mean a ceasefire, because, as we know, ceasefires are broken time and time again, especially by apartheid forces. And so, we’re here saying that ceasefires don’t work. We’re here fighting for absolute liberation of Palestine.”
European Union negotiators have put forward a final draft text of a document that would restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. President Trump unilaterally pulled the United States from the landmark agreement in 2018, prompting Iran to expand its nuclear activities. On Monday, U.S. and Iranian negotiators wrapped up talks in Vienna, Austria, with a proposal that would see Iran halt the enrichment of some nuclear materials in exchange for relief from sanctions. Negotiations had remained stalled for months, in part due to President Biden’s decision to keep Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on a terrorist blacklist.
In immigration news, the Biden administration said Monday it’s officially ending the contested Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” policy and will no longer force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases are resolved in U.S. courts. The announcement came just hours after a judge lifted an injunction, in effect since December, blocking Biden officials from terminating the program, formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP. The Supreme Court ruled in June the Biden administration had the authority to end the policy. Thousands of asylum seekers enrolled in the program have faced kidnapping, torture, rape and other dangerous conditions while waiting in Mexico.
A federal court in Brunswick, Georgia, has sentenced the white father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael to additional terms of life in prison on federal hate crimes charges for the 2020 murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man shot and killed while jogging through a mostly white neighborhood. An accomplice, William Bryan Jr., was sentenced to an additional 35 years. All three men are already serving life sentences in Georgia after they were convicted last November of Arbery’s murder. On Monday, a judge rejected a bid by the McMichaels to serve their time in federal prison, which they argued would be safer than the state prison where they’re being held. Ahmaud Arbery’s mother Wanda Cooper-Jones spoke to reporters outside the courthouse after the sentences were handed down.
Wanda Cooper-Jones: “Travis chose not to even say that he was sorry. So it really showed the court, it showed the family, it showed everybody who’s been saying 'Justice for Ahmaud,' what kind of people really took my son away.”
In Maryland, the family of Anton Black has reached a $5 million deal to partially settle their wrongful death lawsuit. Black was a 19-year-old African American who died in 2018 after he was pinned down by three white police officers, shackled by the legs and electrocuted with a Taser. A physician at Johns Hopkins concluded Anton Black died of asphyxiation. His family sued, saying officers used excessive force and later tried to cover up the killing with false claims that Black was on drugs and showed “superhuman” strength. As part of the settlement, three coastal towns in Maryland have agreed to change their policies on police use of force and will adopt new methods of training officers.
In Cuba, at least one firefighter is dead and 14 people are missing after a massive fire at an oil storage facility spread to a third storage tank. Officials say the blaze began late Friday after lightning struck part of the oil depot in the western province of Matanzas. It’s one of Cuba’s worst environmental disasters in decades and threatens to bring rolling blackouts to the island, which relies heavily on imported foreign oil to generate electricity.
In the Philippines, police arrested former vice-presidential candidate, scholar and activist Walden Bello on cyber libel charges. He’s since been released after he posted bail. Last year, ahead of the presidential election in the Philippines, a member of Vice President Sara Duterte’s campaign, Jefry Tupas, filed a cyber libel complaint against Bello over statements he allegedly made about Tupas on social media. Sara Duterte is the daughter of former President Rodrigo Duterte, whose government has been accused of severe human rights violations and repression against critics and journalists. On Twitter, Walden Bello wrote, “These people are mistaken if they think they can silence me and suppress my exercise of free speech.”