Trump Deposition, Albuquerque Murders, and Teens on Social Media Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Thursday, Aug. 11, and we're covering a deposition in New York, a murder suspect in New Mexico, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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Trump Takes the Fifth

Former President Donald Trump said he invoked the Fifth Amendment yesterday, declining to answer questions from the New York attorney general's office brought as part of a civil financial probe. The three-year-old state inquiry reportedly centers on claims Trump and the Trump Organization artificially inflated the value of real estate holdings to secure loans, while deflating them to take advantage of tax breaks. Trump and company officials have denied wrongdoing.  


The former president said his decision was influenced by Monday's FBI raid into his Mar-a-Lago residence (see previous write-up). Officials said the search warrant was not directly related to either the New York probe or the Jan. 6 Committee's investigation, but was the result of claims Trump improperly took White House documents to his personal residence—some potentially classified—instead of providing them to the National Archives.


See an overview of what is and isn't known about the search

Albuquerque Murders Suspect 

Police have detained a 51-year-old Afghan Muslim man in connection with the murder of four Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Muhammad Syed, who authorities say knew the victims with whom he possibly had interpersonal conflict, was arrested earlier this week after a traffic stop more than 100 miles away from his home in Albuquerque. Police say it isn't clear yet whether the crimes should be classified as hate crimes, serial killings, or both. 


Syed was charged with killing two victims July 26 and Aug. 1, for which police found bullet casings connecting both crimes and a gun used in those shootings in his home. Syed has also been identified as a person of interest in the killing of two others Nov. 7, 2021 and last Friday. 


Syed's motive is still unclear, though reports say Syed, a Sunni Muslim, allegedly resented his daughter's marriage to a Shiite Muslim. Sunnis and Shiites make up the two largest branches of Islam (see 101).  

US Inflation Eases

US inflation rose 8.5% year-over-year in July, down from the 40-year high of 9.1% in June, a possible sign that inflation is starting to ease. The decrease is primarily driven by price declines in gas (7.7%) and energy (4.6%), which help offset increases in shelter and food costs. See the data release here.


The consumer price index is a proxy for inflation that tracks the price of a basket of goods and services. Higher inflation means consumers can buy fewer goods with each dollar they spend (see 101). The core consumer price index, which removes volatile food and energy prices, rose 5.9% year-over-year. Despite the news, analysts expect the Federal Reserve to continue with plans to raise interest rates to curb inflation.


The news comes days after the Inflation Reduction Act was passed in the Senate.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Disney Plus tops 152 million subscribers, 5 million more than forecast; Disney's stock up 6% in after-hours trading (More)


> Jury selection begins in Vanessa Bryant's lawsuit against Los Angeles County over husband Kobe's helicopter crash photos (More) | WWE discloses another $5M in payments made by former CEO Vince McMahon amid allegations of misconduct (More)


> Sesame Place announces diversity initiatives, mandatory bias training following accusations of racial bias at the Philadelphia theme park (More)

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Science & Technology

> Reports say Meta (Facebook) provided chat logs to Nebraska officials used to charge Norfolk woman for violating abortion laws (More) | Company says it responded to a search warrant, investigation launched before Supreme Court's decision on Roe v. Wade (More)


> Scientists identify molecular mechanism to potentially curb glioblastoma, the most common form of brain cancer; new drug interferes with a protein on the surface of cancer cells, inhibiting tumor growth (More)


> Huge meteorite impacts helped shape the early evolution of the Earth's continents, new study suggests (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +2.1%, Dow +1.6%, Nasdaq +2.9%) as inflation eases; Nasdaq enters bull market territory up 20% since June low (More)


> Satellite internet provider Starlink’s bid for nearly $1B in subsidies to provide rural internet denied by the Federal Communications Commission (More)


> US national average gas prices fall below $4 per gallon yesterday for the first time since March; as of this writing, average price has risen to $4.01 (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> House begins debate on the Inflation Reduction Act; final vote on the $700B climate, health, and tax package expected tomorrow (More) | See what's in the bill here (More)


> Iranian operative charged in 2021 murder-for-hire plot to kill former Trump national security adviser John Bolton; Revolutionary Guard member currently wanted by the FBI (More)


> Authorities solve 40-year-old murder of 15-year-old California girl; the arrest of Gary Ramirez is the latest cold case to be solved using forensic genetic genealogy (More) | Read more about the technique here (More)



The Cost of Rare Earths

AP | Staff. The metallic elements used in everything from cars to phones are wreaking havoc on local environments in Myanmar. (Read)


Aeon | Matt Alt. The adult embrace of childish culture and behavior is often looked down upon, but could it spur needed solutions in a rapidly changing world? (Read)



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How teens use social media in 2022.


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Death Valley's historic flooding, in photos.


When you feel like you have to take your phone everywhere.


Divers recover gold treasure haul from 17th-century shipwreck.


Enter the hummingbird haven. (via Reddit, w/video)


Meet Laddie Boy, the White House's first famous pet.


This zoo gorilla knows how to make an entrance.


Clickbait: Get super strong bones with one weird trick.


Historybook: Author and historian Alex Haley born (1921); Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak born (1950); Actress Viola Davis born (1965); Final US ground combat troops leave South Vietnam during Vietnam War (1972); Robin Williams dies by suicide (2014).


"There’s no shame in failing. The only shame is not giving things your best shot."

- Robin Williams

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