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Morning Rundown: Donald Trump indictment, poor air quality symptoms and Baby Gronk, explained

A federal grand jury indicted Trump on seven criminal charges in connection with his mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. 
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Donald Trump faces seven charges in a special counsel’s classified documents investigation. The Supreme Court’s surprise ruling on Alabama congressional maps could affect states across the South. And how the PGA Tour-LIV Golf merger is the latest example of Saudi Arabia’s growing stake in American institutions.

Here’s what to know today.

Trump becomes first former president to face federal criminal charges

Donald Trump, twice-impeached as commander-in-chief, has become the first former president to face federal charges. 

A federal grand jury indicted Trump on seven criminal charges in connection with his mishandling of more than 100 classified documents that were discovered last year at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. 

Two sources briefed on the seven charges say they include false statements and conspiracy to obstruct. All of the charges are related to retaining documents and obstructing justice. And one source notes that seven charges does not necessarily mean seven counts; there can be multiple counts associated with each charge. 

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Trump lawyer Jim Trusty told CNN a summons the defense team received included at least one charge related to the Espionage Act. 

A spokesperson for the special counsel declined to comment. The government had previously provided hints about possible charges, including in a search warrant for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in August.

Minutes after he announced he’d been indicted, Trump sent a fundraising appeal citing the criminal charges and posted a four-minute video on Truth Social in which he proclaimed his innocence and called the probe "a hoax."

Read the full story here.  

Follow our live coverage here.

Reaction and analysis to Trump's indictment

  • Some of Trump’s allies jumped to his defense, calling the indictment a “brazen weaponization of power” and an attempt to “preemptively steal the 2024 election.”
  • Few of Trump’s 2024 rivals challenged him after the indictment, and only one prominent Republican called on him to exit the race.

How the Supreme Court’s surprise decision could empower Black voters

Changes expected as a result of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision affirming part of the Voting Rights Act could result in new Black districts in the South that could affect which party controls Congress, experts say. 

The conservative-majority court surprised many observers and voting rights advocates when it ruled 5-4 to strike down Alabama’s congressional map, agreeing with a lower court that the state had diluted the power of Black voters by drawing just one majority-Black district when there were enough voters for two seats. Alabama’s Republican-controlled Legislature will be tasked with redrawing the state’s seven congressional districts so they include two majority-Black and heavily Democratic seats.

Now, similar cases in Louisiana, Georgia and Texas may be affected. But “that’s not to say all of those will now succeed,” one redistricting expert said.

The odd symptoms linked to poor air quality

It is probably no surprise that when the air is thick with wildfire smoke, like it currently is in the Northeast, it can cause itchy eyes, a scratchy throat and a cough. But it’s not uncommon for some people to also experience chest pain, headaches and dizziness, a critical care physician said. Even your sleep can also be thrown off by air pollution. And young children are known to become more irritable because of exposure to poor air quality (but then again, aren’t we all?).

Here are other symptoms to watch out for as smoke from Canadian wildfires continues to infiltrate the U.S.

And another day of unhealthy air in parts of the U.S. was forecast for Friday.

YouTube demonetizes some of Candace Owens’ videos

Several videos on conservative pundit Candace Owens’ channel were demonetized for violating YouTube’s monetization policies on hateful and derogatory content, which the company said may apply to instances of misgendering or deadnaming. Owens said on her podcast channel this week that YouTube gave her “an option to delete every video that I’ve ever done pertaining to gender in which I have accurately gendered someone,” referring to instances in which she’s used pronouns not preferred by trans individuals. 

YouTube did not remove Owens’ videos, but it did block ads on several of her videos, a Google spokesperson said. Owens said YouTube’s decision stifles her ability to state the “truth.”

The PGA Tour-LIV merger is Saudi Arabia’s latest power play

Saudi Arabia has flexed its influence in multiple American institutions, from Hollywood to Silicon Valley. Now, a surprise union this week between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, the upstart league funded by Saudi Arabia, gives the kingdom a foothold in one of the world’s enduring pastimes.

This merger is merely the latest frontier for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. But Saudi Arabia’s foray into mega-sporting events hasn’t come without criticisms, especially from those who accuse the country of “sportswashing” — an attempt to burnish its reputation while neglecting to address more serious issues — amid a strained relationship with the U.S.

▼ Today’s Talker

‘Baby Gronk,’ ‘Livvy’ and ‘rizz’ are on everyone’s tongues...

… but what do the words even mean? This viral meme, which could make even the most internet-savvy people question their English fluency, is centered around a 10-year-old football player known as Baby Gronk, whose father uploaded a video of him meeting a Louisiana State University gymnast, Livvy. But it wasn’t until another TikTok user added his own commentary to the video (and sprinkled in a few slang words) that Baby Gronk and Livvy captured the internet’s attention. Here's a handy translation guide.

▼ Politics in Brief

Suspended FBI agent: The FBI agent who was presented in a public hearing by House Republicans as a whistleblower was suspended by the bureau because internal investigators concluded he leaked sensitive information.

Biden family probe: House Republicans doubled down on their attacks against the president and his family after viewing an FBI document behind closed doors. 

E. Jean Carroll case: Donald Trump’s attorneys have asked for a new trial or that Trump pay less in damages after a $5 million jury verdict.

▼ Staff Pick

A supplement in energy drinks linked to slower aging

Red Bull gives you wings AND leads to longer life, eh? Just kidding. But new research that shows taurine slows aging in animals sure does make me feel better about guzzling a canister of rocket fuel each morning. Read on to learn more about the research, and how scientists first made the link between taurine and aging due to blindness and heart problems in cats. — Matt Grimson, assistant managing editor

▼ In Case You Missed It

Ukraine's military has launched its long-awaited counteroffensive against Russian forces.

Pat Robertson, the conservative evangelist who created the Christian Broadcasting Network and galvanized the modern Christian right, has died at the age of 93.

A funeral company owner in Washington, D.C., is facing murder charges after he allegedly shot two people, killing a pallbearer, at the burial of a child who was fatally shot on Mother’s Day.

A Louisiana man was arrested after allegedly jumping into an alligator pit in Florida and uploading a video of the stunt to TikTok.

An FDA panel recommended an injectable drug that can protect infants up to 2 years old from RSV.

Two lawyers who used to represent actor Danny Masterson were fined after a judge ruled they leaked confidential information to the Church of Scientology’s lawyer.

▼ Select: Online Shopping, Simplified

When you hear the words “air-conditioning unit,” you may think of a heavy, boxy unit that sits awkwardly in your window. If you want fresh, breezy air without the stress of installing and uninstalling window air conditioners, a portable unit can be a great solution. Here are the six top-rated portable air conditioners to keep you cool this summer.

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