Mar-a-Lago Raid, Olivia Newton-John, and the Prison Money Diaries Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Tuesday, Aug. 9, and we're covering news of an investigation in Florida, the death of a musical icon, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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Mar-a-Lago Raid 

Federal agents carried out an unannounced search warrant on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence yesterday, according to a statement released by Trump. Sources indicated the raid was related to allegations he improperly took classified documents from the White House to his Florida residence. Read his statement here.


The former president has faced a number of direct or indirect probes since leaving office, including those stemming from the House Jan. 6 Committee. It was unclear whether the search was specifically related to the committee's work or undertaken separately by the Justice Department. According to reports, officials from the National Archives and Records Administration notified Congress in February they had retrieved 15 boxes of documents from Trump's Florida residence, among which were some classified materials, and believed there to possibly be more materials remaining at the location.


As of this morning, it was unclear what issues, if any, the documents seized related to. 

Federal Sentencing in Arbery Killing

The three defendants convicted in February of a federal hate crime in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery were sentenced yesterday. Travis McMichael, who fatally shot the 25-year-old Black man while he was running in Georgia, was sentenced to life in prison plus 10 years. His father, Greg McMichael, also recieved life in prision, while neighbor William Bryan was sentenced to 35 years. See background on the case here.


The sentence comes after the McMichaels had asked to be transferred from state prison to federal prison, as the Georgia prison system is the subject of a Justice Department investigation for violence between inmates. However, the judge denied the request—because they were first convicted in a state court, current rules require them to return to the state prison system.


The sentences are mainly symbolic; the McMichaels were sentenced to life without parole earlier this year on state criminal charges, while Bryan will be eligible for parole at age 82. The McMichaels face additional penalties for using firearms in a violent crime.

Olivia Newton-John Dies

Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John, who starred in the 1978 movie musical "Grease" alongside John Travolta, died yesterday after a 30 year battle with breast cancer. She was 73. 


The British-Australian actress had been diagnosed with cancer in the early 1990s and twice more in recent years. After landing chart-topping numbers on the Billboard's top country hits in the 1970s, Newton-John went on to perform No. 1 hits "You're the One That I Want" and "Summer Nights" in the classic musical film "Grease." Released not long after, her album "Totally Hot" went platinum, followed quickly by the single "Physical" which was regarded as one of the top songs of the 1980s, in addition to being one of the earliest music videos of the era. She would go on to win four Grammy Awards throughout her music career.


See a photos of the iconic performer's life here

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> David McCullough, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, dies at 89 (More) | Family of Gabby Petito files $50M lawsuit against Utah police (More)


> Alabama, Ohio State, and defending champs Georgia are Nos. 1, 2, and 3 in college football's preseason Coaches Poll (More)


> Actress Anne Heche in "extreme critical condition" and still in coma following car crash (More) | Ashton Kutcher reveals autoimmune disorder left him temporarily unable to walk, see, and hear (More)

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Science & Technology

> Traces of pathogens found in ancient dental remains suggest the decline of two Bronze Age empires—Old Kingdom of Egypt and the Akkadian Empire—may have been fueled by outbreaks of the plague and typhoid (More)


> Rotting fish analysis reveals why some fossil specimens include fossilized soft tissues; study finds the chemistry unique to each internal organ determines likelihood of mineralization (More)


> Scientists uncover mechanism that produces oxygen from hydrogen peroxide from geological faults; process may have driven evolution of microorganisms deep in the Earth's crust (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets end mixed (S&P 500 -0.1%, Dow +0.1%, Nasdaq -0.1%) to kick off the week (More)


> Japanese tech giant SoftBank posts $23B Q2 loss as investment values fall amid stock market decline (More)


> Digital news provider Axios to be acquired by media giant Cox Enterprises for $525M (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> The US pledges an additional $1B in military support, including weapons, for Ukraine (More) | See updates on the war here (More)


> House Jan. 6 Committee reportedly acquires radio host and Infowars founder Alex Jones' recent text message history; documents became available after Jones' attorneys mistakenly provided them to the plaintiffs during a defamation hearing (More)


> China extends military drills encircling the island of Taiwan; exercises started in response to a trip to Taiwan by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D, CA-12) last week (More) | China-Taiwan 101 (More)



Prison Money Diaries 

The Marshall Project | Beth Schwartzapfel. A look at the thriving underground economy behind bars—the money people in prison earn, what they spend, and the lengths to which they go to secure basic needs and comforts. (Read)

Hybrid Brains

Nature | Kendall Powell. Transplanting human neurons into animals has expanded in the past several years, bringing insights into development and disease and raising questions about the ethics of blending human and animal brain tissue. (Read



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Historybook: The US drops atomic bomb on Nagasaki, killing 40,000+ (1945); Whitney Houston born (1963); Actress Sharon Tate, four others murdered by Manson Family (1969); Gerald Ford becomes US president as Richard Nixon resigns (1974); Musician Jerry Garcia dies (1995).


"Success doesn't change you. Fame does."

- Whitney Houston

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