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First Thing: Trump sues US government over FBI search of Mar-a-Lago

First Thing: Trump sues US government over FBI search of Mar-a-Lago

Good morning.

Donald Trump has filed suit against the US government over the FBI’s search of his Mar-a-Lago home in an effort to prevent agency officials from inspecting certain materials seized without third-party oversight.

Early Newspaper

Sources told the Guardian that the suit argued “that the court should appoint a special master – usually a retired lawyer or judge – because the FBI potentially seized privileged materials in its search and the Department of Justice should not itself decide what it can use in its investigation”.

The suit, filed in a Florida district court, also “requires the government to provide a more detailed receipt for property; and … requires the government to return any item seized that was not within the scope of the search warrant”.

The 8 August search was undertaken to look for official records and material from Trump’s presidency that the National Archives and DoJ believe was improperly taken from the White House when the former president left office.

  • Trump claims mistreatment by Biden administration. The suit filed called the search of the Florida home “a shockingly aggressive move”, adding: “Law enforcement is a shield that protects Americans. It cannot be used as a weapon for political purposes.”

Fauci to step down to ‘pursue next chapter’ of career

Anthony Fauci
Anthony Fauci, 81, stopped short of saying precisely what his plans are. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP

The top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci plans to step down from his post in December to “pursue the next chapter” of his career, after leading the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Niaid) since 1984.

Fauci, 81, stopped short of revealing precisely what his plans were. He pledged to pursue a new professional phase while he still had “energy and passion” for his field. “I want to use what I have learned as Niaid director to continue to advance science and public health and to inspire and mentor the next generation of scientific leaders as they help prepare the world to face future infectious disease threats,” he said.

Joe Biden praised Fauci as “a steady hand with wisdom and insight honed over decades at the forefront of some of our most dangerous and challenging public health crises”.

  • U-turn. Earlier this year, Fauci bluntly said he would quit if Donald Trump managed to take the Oval Office back from Biden in the 2024 election. He previously indicated he would stay through Biden’s first term and leave by January 2025.

CIA unable to corroborate Israel’s ‘terror’ label for Palestinian rights groups

Smoke billows as a bomb is dropped on the Jala Tower during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on 15 May
Smoke billows as a bomb is dropped on the Jala Tower during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on 15 May. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images

A classified CIA report shows the agency was unable to find any evidence to support Israel’s decision to label six prominent Palestinian NGOs as “terrorist organizations”.

Last October, Israel claimed that the organizations were front groups for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a leftist political party that has a paramilitary branch.

Earlier this year, Israel passed intelligence about the designation to the US, but a CIA intelligence assessment of the material did not find any evidence to support the claim, according to two sources familiar with the study. The CIA report “doesn’t say that the groups are guilty of anything”, one source said.

  • Terror designations ‘unfounded’. Numerous states, including allies of Israel, have rejected the terror designation as unfounded. The United States has not publicly criticized or questioned it, but nor has it placed the groups under a US terror designation.

In other news …

Fumio Kishida
Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida, faces a popularity crisis over his party’s links to the Unification church. Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko/AP
  • Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida, has urged senior members of his party to sever ties with a controversial religious group after his approval ratings nosedived. The church has been in the spotlight since the fatal shooting of Abe Shinzo because police say the suspect targeted the former prime minister over his links to the church, which he blamed for bankrupting his family.

  • Chinese authorities have punished 27 people over the publication of a maths textbook that went viral because of its “tragically ugly” illustrations. A months-long investigation by a ministry of education working group found the books were “not beautiful”, and some illustrations were “quite ugly” and did not “properly reflect the sunny image of China’s children”.

  • Hundreds of Taiwanese are among unknown numbers of victims being held captive and forced to work in telecom scam networks by human trafficking operations in south-east Asia, authorities have said. Police forces in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Macau and Vietnam have launched big operations to rescue their citizens and shut down the trafficking syndicates.

  • Flash floods hitting the American south-west in recent days have closed parts of national parks, including in Moab and Zion, shut down highways in Colorado, submerged cars in Texas and trapped tourists in a New Mexico cave. A young woman is missing after being swept away while hiking in Zion on Friday.

Stat of the day: regular physical activity may lessen Covid risks

Person on a treadmill
Experts know that regular exercise has a protective effect against the severity of respiratory infections. Photograph: Leo Patrizi/Getty Images

Regular exercise lowers the risk of developing Covid-19 or falling seriously ill with the disease, with about 20 minutes a day providing the greatest benefit, a global analysis of data suggests. The analysis of the available evidence published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine says a weekly total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity appears to afford the best protection.

The link between regular physical activity and Covid-19 severity is poorly understood, but probably involves metabolic and environmental factors, say the researchers. Overall, those who included regular physical activity in their weekly routine had an 11% lower risk of infection with Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid. They also had a 36% lower risk of hospital admission, a 44% lower risk of severe Covid-19 illness and a 43% lower risk of death from Covid-19 than their physically inactive peers.

Don’t miss this: James Webb telescope shows incredible view of Jupiter

A Nasa image shows a false color composite of Jupiter obtained by the James Webb space telescope
A Nasa image shows a false color composite of Jupiter obtained by the James Webb space telescope. Photograph: Nasa/Zuma Press/Rex/Shutterstock

The world’s newest and biggest space telescope is showing the solar system’s biggest planet, Jupiter, as never before, auroras and all. The James Webb space telescope took the photos in July, capturing unprecedented views of Jupiter’s northern and southern lights, and swirling polar haze.

Scientists hope to behold the dawn of the universe with Webb, peering all the way back to when the first stars and galaxies were forming 13.7bn years ago. The infrared images were artificially colored in blue, white, green, yellow and orange to make the features stand out.

Climate check: Lula vows to take on Amazon crime if returned to power in Brazil elections

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said he would address the Amazon devastation if elected in October. Photograph: André Penner/AP

Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the leading candidate to become the country’s next leader, has vowed to crack down on the illegal miners and loggers laying waste to the Amazon after the “barbaric” murders of the Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and the British journalist Dom Phillips.

“We will put a complete end to any kind of illegal mining. This can’t be simply through a law – it must be almost a profession of faith,” Lula said, undertaking to make the global climate crisis “an absolute priority” if elected.

Last Thing: I knew I didn’t have a drinking problem – but I had a problem with drinking

Bottles in the trash
‘I was taking a big bag of clinking bottles out to the recycling bin every week. Something occasional had slowly turned into a nightly habit again, and I couldn’t pinpoint when.’ Photograph: Andrew Fosker/Rex/Shutterstock

On holiday in Spain at age 16, writes Emma Gannon, the author and host of the creative careers podcast Ctrl Alt Delete, “I got so sick on sangria that, let’s just say, I never drank anything ‘with bits in’ ever again. Then, university happened, and those three years went by in a white wine blur. Cheap ‘trebles’, bright blue shots, the Snakebite concoction of lager, cider and blackcurrant.

“Constant low-hum headaches and empty wine bottles rattling about under the bed. Entering the world of work, it was ‘after-work drinks!!!’, where you got to find out all the juicy stuff about your colleagues and your boss. I drank my way through all of those nights too without ever stopping to ask: is there an option not to do this?”

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First Thing: Trump sues US government over FBI search of Mar-a-Lago – The Guardian US