▶️ Trump says he took the Fifth Amendment in NY investigation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump says he invoked the Fifth Amendment and wouldn’t answer questions under oath in the long-running New York civil investigation into his business dealings.

Trump arrived at New York Attorney General Letitia James’ offices Wednesday morning, but sent out a statement more than an hour later saying he declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution.”

Anything he said during the deposition could have been used against him in a criminal case.

While James’ investigation is civil in nature, the Manhattan district attorney is running a parallel criminal probe.

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US inflation slips from 40-year peak but remains high 8.5%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Falling gas prices gave Americans a slight break from the pain of high inflation last month, though the surge in overall prices slowed only modestly from the four-decade high it reached in June.

Consumer prices jumped 8.5% in July compared with a year earlier, the government said Wednesday, down from a 9.1% year-over-year jump in June.

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On a monthly basis, prices were unchanged from June to July, the smallest such rise more than two years.

Still, prices are spiking across a wide range of goods and services, leaving most Americans worse off.

Average paychecks are rising faster than they have in decades — but not fast enough to keep up with accelerating costs.

Washington GOP congresswoman who voted to impeach Trump concedes

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler conceded her race in Washington state’s top two primary for the 3rd Congressional District.

The six-term incumbent was one of two Republican members of Washington’s congressional delegation who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump and drew an intraparty challenger.

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Trump had endorsed Joe Kent, a former Green Beret, in the 3rd Congressional District contest, was leading Herrera Beutler after several days of vote counts.

The district is in southwest Washington state, across the border from Portland.

▶️ Trump supporters urging him to announce White House run on heels of FBI raid

NEW YORK (AP) — For much of the year, small cracks in Donald Trump’s political support have been growing. But the FBI’s search of the former president’s Florida estate has unified Republicans behind Trump as almost never before.

By Tuesday, the day after the unprecedented search, the overwhelming majority of Republican officials were accusing the Biden administration of “weaponizing” the Justice Department. And for a day, at least, Republican concerns about Trump’s past behavior and political shortcomings were forgotten.

The FBI search also triggered a shift among Trump’s advisers, who had been privately urging him to wait until after the midterm elections to announce another presidential run. Suddenly, they were urging him to launch his campaign now.

 

 

Justice Department asks judge to pause Idaho abortion ban

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice asked a federal judge this week to bar Idaho from enforcing its near-total abortion ban while a lawsuit pitting federal health care law against state anti-abortion legislation is underway.

The Idaho law is set to automatically take effect on Aug. 25. It makes it a crime for anyone to perform abortions, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Physicians who are charged can defend themselves at trial by arguing that the abortions are necessary to save a patient’s life or that they were performed because of rape or incest.

Meanwhile, a Wyoming judge is considering whether to put that state’s abortion ban on hold while another lawsuit moves forward.

US sued in bid to force decision on Rockies wolf protections

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates are suing federal officials after they missed a deadline to decide if protections for wolves should be restored across the northern U.S. Rocky Mountains.

Republican-led states in the region have made it easier to kill the predators.

That’s raised worries that wolf numbers could be reduced to unsustainable levels.

The Biden administration said in a preliminary finding last September that protections for wolves may need to be restored. A final determination was due June 1.

The Humane Society of the United States and Center for Biological Diversity on Tuesday asked a federal judge in Montana to order officials to make a decision.

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▶️ Rescuers to move whale stranded in French river to saltwater

PARIS (AP) — French environmentalists are preparing to move a beluga whale that strayed into the Seine River last week to a saltwater basin in the Normandy region.

The president of the conservation group Sea Shepherd France said Tuesday that a medical team plans to transport the 4-meter-long (13-foot-long) whale to a coastal spot for “a period of care.”

Experts think the whale is sick and in a race against time for survival.

Conservations groups said it would take 24 people to load the beluga into a refrigerated truck for the approximately 160-kilometer (99-mile) nighttime trip to the northeastern French port town of Ouistreham.

 

Biden signs $280 billion CHIPS act in bid to boost US over China

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has signed a $280 billion bipartisan bill to boost domestic high-tech manufacturing.

The measure is part of his administration’s push to boost U.S. competitiveness over China.

The Tuesday morning signing ceremony in the Rose Garden ceremony comes as Biden looks to highlight a new law that will incentivize investments in the American semiconductor industry.

The aim is to ease U.S. reliance on overseas supply chains for critical, cutting-edge goods.

The White House says Micron is announcing a $40 billion plan to boost domestic manufacturing of memory chips.

Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries are announcing a $4.2 billion expansion of an upstate New York chip plant.

Most electric vehicles won’t qualify for federal tax credit

DETROIT (AP) — A tax credit of up to $7,500 could be used to defray the cost of an electric vehicle under the Inflation Reduction Act now moving toward final approval in Congress.

But the auto industry warns that the vast majority of EV purchases won’t qualify for a tax credit that large.

That’s mainly because of the bill’s requirement that, to qualify for the credit, an electric vehicle must contain a battery built in North America with minerals mined or recycled on the continent.

And those rules become more stringent over time — to the point where, in a few years, it’s possible that no EVs would qualify for the tax credit.

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Olivia Newton-John, superstar singer and actress, dies at 73

NEW YORK (AP) — Olivia Newton-John, the Grammy-winning superstar who reigned on pop, country, adult contemporary and dance charts with such hits as “Physical” and “You’re the One That I Want” has died. She was 73.

Newton-John, a longtime resident of Australia whose sales topped 100 million albums, also won countless hearts as everyone’s favorite Sandy in the blockbuster film version of “Grease.”

“Dame Olivia Newton-John (73) passed away peacefully at her Ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends. We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time,” read a post on Newton-John’s social media pages.