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Trump Found Guilty On All Charges

Your unbiased daily news brief

Good Friday morning. A British woman with cystic fibrosis recently ran 36 marathons in 36 days, becoming the first person with the disease to pull off such an incredible feat. Have a great weekend!

In Today’s Brief

  • Roberts: Rejects Senate ask

  • Slovakia: PM out of hospital

  • New Jersey: Menendez update

  • Markets: Another rough day

  • Madonna: New fan lawsuit

... and more

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Top Tips

1) Clean sweep

A New York jury convicted former President Donald Trump on all charges in his hush money trial.

  • The history: Trump is the first former president to be convicted of a crime. He will become a convicted felon when sentenced.

  • The response: Trump called the verdict "a disgrace" and the real verdict will be handed down by the nation's voters on Election Day in his anticipated general election showdown with President Joe Biden.

  • Next steps: Trump can still run for office despite the conviction. He will almost certainly appeal, perhaps going directly to the Supreme Court. His sentencing before Judge Juan Merchan is scheduled for July 11, four days before the Republican National Convention. Trump could face prison time, but most legal analysts say it is unlikely.

  • Big picture: Will the conviction impact the presidential race? That remains to be seen. Some polls have suggested Trump could lose a significant amount of support with a guilty verdict. Others have indicated a conviction would have no tangible effect and could even boost him. But Trump is now a convicted felon, Biden can campaign on that fact and the former president still has three more active criminal cases against him.

2) Stop the sale

House Republicans want to stop Chinese entities from buying American farmland.

  • The news: A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report found Chinese investors own about 350K acres of farmland in 29 states. Lawmakers are concerned Chinese interests are targeting land near military installations and seeking to grab control of food supplies.

  • New proposal: The upcoming House Farm Bill is set to include regulations restricting foreign entities from buying farmland. Iowa Rep. Ashley Hinson, a GOP member, has driven the effort for national security and to protect food supply chains. The government's ability to track farmland purchases would also be enhanced, as well as set minimum penalties for false filings.

  • Big picture: There are over 43M foreign-owned agricultural acres in the U.S., so the Chinese holdings are a fraction of the total. Some argue the threat is overblown. But past efforts to buy land near an Air Force base in North Dakota and a National Guard training facility in Michigan, among other examples, have done little to ease concerns.

3) Battlefield adjustment

Ukraine has received a partial green light to use U.S. weapons in cross-border strikes against Russia.

  • The news: The Biden Administration told the Ukrainians they can use American arms inside Russia to defend Kharkiv and the surrounding region. Russia has mounted an offensive against Ukraine's second-largest city in recent weeks. But Ukraine is still prohibited from conducting other operations inside Russia with U.S.-provided resources, including long-range strikes.

  • The reason: U.S. officials have held firm on the prohibition since the war broke out in 2022, fearing cross-border strikes with American weapons could ignite a Russia-NATO direct conflict. But the Russian move on Kharkiv, as well as signs the Kremlin is amassing troops for an incursion on nearby Sumy, has spurred Biden and other Western leaders to reconsider and approve Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's requests despite past Russian warnings.

  • Big picture: The U.S. is not alone in the thinking; Biden's decision came after French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg all said Ukraine should be able to use Western weapons in Russia. The Ukrainians hope the policy shifts can change the trajectory of the war.

Quick Tips

U.S. News

  • Chief Justice John Roberts turned down a meeting request from Senate Democrats to discuss Supreme Court ethics issues. The ask came amid the controversy over Justice Samuel Alito's decision to stay on Jan. 6-related cases before the court (More)

  • Over 126K people immigrated to the U.S. from Canada in 2022, according to Census Bureau statistics. That is a 70% increase from 2012 figures; about a third of the migrants were Americans returning home (More)

  • A third dairy worker has contracted bird flu, according to the CDC. The infected worker is the second case in Michigan and the first to exhibit respiratory issues; the state's cases originated from different farms (More)

World News

  • Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico is out of the hospital two weeks after surviving an assassination attempt. He was shot four times at close range; officials said he has begun rehabilitation and returned to the capital city of Bratislava (More)

  • Israel's centrist National Unity party introduced a bill to dissolve the Knesset and force an early election. War Cabinet member and party leader Benny Gantz has become increasingly critical of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his rival, and the war in Gaza (More)

  • Election returns indicate South Africa's ruling African National Congress will lose its parliamentary majority, setting the stage for a coalition governmentThe party of the late Nelson Mandela has been in power since the end of apartheid (More)

Campaign News

  • New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez has collected the signatures necessary to run for re-election as an independent. The Democrat has said he will seek another term if acquitted in his federal corruption trial; his presence could create a competitive three-way race (More)

  • A television producer said former President Trump said a racial slur while filming The Apprentice. Bill Pruitt detailed accusation, previously made by others, in a column for Slate after his non-disclosure agreement recently expired; Trump’s campaign denied the claim (More)

  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Trump will have separate town hall events with NewsNation and X. President Biden has not agreed to participate at this point; live feeds will be available on the social media platform (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes closed down yesterday. New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said he is confident inflation will soon begin to subside (Dow -0.86%, Nasdaq -1.08%, S&P 500 -0.60%).

  • The U.S. economy experienced even slower Q1 growth than initially believed. Revised GDP numbers downgraded the growth to 1.3% from 1.6%; early estimates say Q2 growth could hit 3% (More)

  • Elon Musk has agreed to testify in the SEC's investigation into his 2022 purchase of Twitter, now known as X. The agency sued to compel the billionaire's cooperation last year; Musk agreed to sit for no more than five hours (More)

Entertainment & Sports

  • Madonna faces another class action lawsuit related to her current tour. A man alleges he was not given proper notice about sexual content during her concert performance; he also complains about a show starting late in his filing, echoing another lawsuit against the singer (More)

  • Sony and an unnamed investor are reportedly in talks to buy Queen's music catalog. The band's work could be worth $1B; it would be the biggest such deal in industry history (More)

  • A Pennsylvania jury issued a $5.25M ruling in favor of a former Penn State athletics team doctor. The physician alleges he was fired as retaliation for complaining about James Franklin, the school's head football coach, interfering with player treatment (More)

Quick Hitters

  • Be Safe: Things happen in the kitchen. If you ever encounter a grease fire, it's smart to know how to put it out, as water will only make it worse.

  • New Fad: Drinking okra water -- regular H2O infused with pods or slices of the green fruit -- is the new hip thing. Are the health benefits ascribed to the practice legit?

  • Go Deep: NASA plans to return astronauts to the moon in 2026. An Arizona volcanic field recently served as the lunar service for a simulated exploration mission.

  • Take Note: There are many apps to use for GPS and map services in your car. A former Uber driver reports one was superior when he was on the road.

  • Life Hack: Everyone's shoes stink at some point. It's just a part of life. But here are some tips to get rid of odors and keep moving.

  • OPTIMIZE ME: Researchers “found convincing evidence that higher intake of ultra-processed foods was associated with 50% increased risk of cardiovascular disease-related death, a 48% to 53% higher risk of anxiety and common mental disorders, and a 12% greater risk of type 2 diabetes.”

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Walter Cronkite and Popular Science made predictions about the year 2000 in 1967. They got some things astonishingly right ... and wildly wrong.

Looking Ahead …

Actor Jeremy Renner has lined up his first film role since surviving a serious snow plow accident last year. He will appear in Wake Up Dead Man: A Knives Out Mystery.

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