Speaker McCarthy ousted in historic House vote, as scramble begins for a Republican leader
WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker Kevin McCarthy was voted out of the job Tuesday in an extraordinary showdown — a first in U.S. history, forced by a contingent of hard-right conservatives and throwing the House and its Republican leadership into chaos.
It’s the end of the political line for McCarthy, who has said repeatedly that he never gives up, but found himself with almost no options remaining. Neither the right-flank Republicans who engineered his ouster nor the Democrats who piled on seem open to negotiating.
McCarthy told lawmakers in the evening he would not run again for speaker, putting the gavel up for grabs. Next steps are highly uncertain with no obvious successor to lead the House Republican majority. Action is halted in the House until next week, when Republicans try to elect a new speaker.
“I may have lost this vote today, but as I walk out of this chamber I feel fortunate to have served," McCarthy said at a press conference at the Capitol, alternating between upbeat assessment of his speakership and angry score-settling of those who ousted him.
Still, he said, “I wouldn't change a thing.”
New York judge issues limited gag order after Trump sends disparaging post about court clerk
NEW YORK (AP) — Rebuking Donald Trump, a state court judge imposed a limited gag order Tuesday in the former president’s civil business fraud trial and ordered him to delete a social media post that publicly maligned a key court staffer.
Judge Arthur Engoron told all participants in the case not to smear court personnel, warning of “serious sanctions” if they do.
“Personal attacks on members of my court staff are unacceptable, not appropriate, and I will not tolerate them,” Engoron said after complaining — without naming names — about a defendant's ”disparaging, untrue and personally identifying post about a member of my staff."
A few hours earlier, Trump had posted a photo of Engoron’s principal law clerk, Allison Greenfield, posing with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., at a public event. Trump, the Republican front-runner for president in 2024, has repeatedly cast the trial as a political attack by New York’s Democratic attorney general, Letitia James.
Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform that it was “disgraceful” that Greenfield was working with the judge in the courtroom, adding to complaints he'd made outside court Monday.
Lahaina residents deliver petition asking Hawaii governor to delay tourism reopening
HONOLULU (AP) — Residents from fire-stricken Lahaina on Tuesday delivered a petition asking Hawaii Gov. Josh Green to delay plans to reopen a portion of West Maui to tourism starting this weekend, saying the grieving community is not ready to welcome back visitors.
The petition signed by 3,517 people from West Maui zip codes comes amid a fierce and anguished debate over when travelers should return to the region home to the historic town of Lahaina that was destroyed in the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century. At least 98 people died in the Aug. 8 blaze and more than a dozen are missing. The first phase of the plan to reopen Maui to tourists begins Sunday, the two-month anniversary of the disaster.
Though many residents say they are not ready, others say they need tourism so they can work in hotels and restaurants to earn a living.
“We are not mentally nor emotionally ready to welcome and serve our visitors. Not yet,” restaurant bartender Pa‘ele Kiakona said at a news conference before several dozen people delivered the petition. “Our grief is still fresh and our losses too profound.”
Tamara Paltin, who represents Lahaina on the Maui County Council, said two months may seem like a long time, but she noted Lahaina residents didn’t have reliable cellphone service or internet for the first month after the fire and have been coping with uncertain housing. She said many people, including herself, can’t sleep through the night.
Multiple people have been shot on campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore, police say
BALTIMORE (AP) — Multiple people were shot at Morgan State University in Baltimore on Tuesday, police said.
The Baltimore Police Department said officers were on the scene for an “active shooter situation” on the campus of the historically Black university. The address given for the shooting appeared to match a residential building.
“We’re asking everyone to shelter in place and avoid the area,” police said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
Police spokesman Vernon Davis told the Baltimore Banner that at least four people were shot. Their conditions weren't immediately known.
Police spokesperson Amanda Krotki also said “multiple victims” were shot.
Suspect in police beating has ruptured kidney, headaches; his attorneys call for a federal probe
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Attorneys for a drug suspect who was repeatedly punched, elbowed and kneed by officers in northeast Florida during a traffic stop said Tuesday that they are petitioning the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the case.
Le’Keian Woods suffered a ruptured kidney, throws up whenever he eats and has migraine headaches following the confrontation on Friday, his attorneys said at a news conference outside the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office headquarters. Mug shots taken after Woods’ arrest shows him with both eyes swollen shut and bruises and cuts on his face.
“He is in excruciating pain,” attorney Marwan Porter said. “He is really, really hurting.”
Porter likened the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office officers' behavior to an Ultimate Fighting Championship “ground and pound beatdown by trained professionals, allegedly.”
Sheriff T.K. Waters on Monday that his officers' actions were justified because Woods appeared to resist arrest even after he was zapped with a stun gun and pinned to the ground.
Hunter Biden pleads not guilty to three federal gun charges filed after his plea deal collapsed
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to three federal firearms charges filed after his earlier deal imploded, setting the case on a track toward a possible trial in 2024 while his father is campaigning for reelection.
President Joe Biden’s son has been charged with lying about his drug use in October 2018 on a form to buy a gun that he kept for about 11 days. He could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted. When asked by Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke if he understood the charges against him, he said, “Yes, Your Honor.”
His lawyer Abbe Lowell said in court he plans to file a motion to dismiss the charges, challenging their constitutionality.
“Mr. Biden pleads not guilty to the three counts that have been brought against him,” Lowell said to the judge.
Hunter Biden has acknowledged struggling with an addiction to crack cocaine during that period in 2018, but his lawyers have said he didn’t break the law. Cases like this, against drug users accused of having guns, are rare, and an appeals court has found the underlying statute violates the Second Amendment under new Supreme Court standards.
Stock market today: Wall Street buckles under higher bond yields as Dow wipes out gain for the year
NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street fell sharply Tuesday as it focused on the downside of a surprisingly strong job market.
The S&P 500 dropped 1.4% to its lowest point in four months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 430 points, or 1.3% and wiped out the last of its gains made for the year so far. Some of the heaviest losses came from Big Tech stocks, which sent the Nasdaq composite to a market-leading loss of 1.9%.
Stocks fell as the pressure on them cranked even higher from rising Treasury yields in the bond market. Such weight has been the main reason the S&P 500 has lost more than 40% of its value since the end of July, after charging higher for much of the year.
The 10-year Treasury yield climbed again Tuesday, up to 4.79% from 4.69% late Monday and from just 0.50% early in the pandemic. It touched its highest level since 2007 and rose after a report showed U.S. employers have many more job openings than expected.
When bonds are paying so much more in interest, they pull investment dollars away from stocks and other investments prone to bigger swings in price than bonds. High yields also make borrowing more expensive for companies and households across the economy, which can hurt corporate profits.
Bus crash near Venice, Italy, kills at least 21 people, including Ukrainian tourists
ROME (AP) — At least 21 people were killed and 18 injured in a fiery bus crash in Mestre, Italy, just across the Venetian Lagoon from old Venice, where firefighters and other emergency responders worked into the night trying to extract bodies and squelch the flames.
The bus was carrying foreign tourists, including Ukrainians, according to a Venice official, when it fell from an elevated street Tuesday en route to a camping site near the community of Marghera.
“The people in the bus found themselves surrounded by flames, ” said Mauro Luongo, commander of the Venice firefighters team. “The scene we found was terrible. It took about one hour to extract some of the bodies.”
Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that the crash scene was “apocalyptic” and declared the city in a state of mourning.
Four of the injured were in serious condition following the accident, which happened on the mainland just 9 km (3.7 miles) northwest of the old city of Venice, said Renato Boraso, a Venice city official. Two of the dead were children, Venice prefect Michele Di Bari said.
Butler sworn in as third Black female senator in US history, replaces late California Sen. Feinstein
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former union leader and Democratic insider Laphonza Butler was sworn in as the newest member of the Senate on Tuesday, replacing California Sen. Dianne Feinstein after her death and becoming only the third Black female senator in history.
Butler was appointed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday, just two days after Feinstein died at her home in Washington. Butler is a longtime fundraiser and strategist in the state’s Democratic circles and was the head of Emily’s List, a national organization that raises money for women candidates who support abortion rights.
The new senator was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris, who served as the second Black female senator until she resigned in 2021 to join President Joe Biden in the White House. The first was Democratic Sen. Carol Moseley Braun of Illinois, who served one term in the 1990s.
With dozens of supporters and family members looking down from the gallery, Butler smiled broadly as she walked down the center aisle of the Senate alongside Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of California and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. After Harris administered the oath of office, members of the Senate from both parties crowded around her to shake her hand.
Schumer, D-N.Y., said that “today, the Senate takes another step towards fully reflecting our vibrant democracy.”
US announces sweeping action against Chinese fentanyl supply chain producers
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration took aim Tuesday at the fentanyl trafficking threat, announcing a series of indictments and sanctions against Chinese companies and executives blamed for importing the chemicals used to make the deadly drug.
Officials described the actions, which include charges against eight Chinese companies accused of advertising, manufacturing and distributing precursor chemicals for synthetic opioids like fentanyl, as the latest effort in their fight against the deadliest overdose crisis in U.S. history. The moves come one day before senior administration officials are set to visit Mexico, whose cartels are part of the global trafficking network, for meetings expected to involve discussion of the drug threat.
“We know that this network includes the cartels’ leaders, their drug traffickers, their money launderers, their clandestine lab operators, their security forces, their weapons suppliers, and their chemical suppliers,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a news conference. “And we know that this global fentanyl supply chain, which ends with the deaths of Americans, often starts with chemical companies in China.”
Besides charging eight companies, the Justice Department also indicted 12 executives for their alleged roles in drug trafficking. In a coordinated action, the Treasury Department announced sanctions against 28 people and companies — mostly in China but also in Canada — that will cut them off from the U.S. financial system and prohibit anyone in the U.S. from doing business with them. None of those charged has been arrested, but Garland said prosecutors intended to "bring every one of these defendants to justice.”
“It’s the latest step in the rapid scaling up of our work targeting the financial flows that power the global illicit drug trade,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo. He said Treasury is also seeking out the friends, family members, and affiliates of the people who benefit from drug sales.
The Associated Press