Your Monday Briefing


As Republicans continued to defend Donald Trump after an unprecedented FBI search of the former president’s Florida residence, deep fissures were visible in the party’s support for law enforcement. While some congressional Republicans attacked the FBI and other leading law enforcement agencies, others chided their colleagues and were more reserved in their criticism.

On Friday, a federal judge unlocked the warrant authorizing the search warrant and an inventory of items removed from Trump’s property by federal agents. The list revealed that the FBI recovered 11 sets of classified documents as part of an investigation into possible violations of the Espionage Act and two other laws.

Many Republicans have called for the release of the affidavit supporting the search warrant, which would reveal what had convinced a judge there were likely reasons to believe a search would find evidence of crimes. Such documents are usually not made public until the charges are filed.

Hazards: A gunman attacked an FBI office in Cincinnati on Thursday, and on Friday the Homeland Security Department warned of “an increase in threats and acts of violence” against law enforcement, “including a threat to plant a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI headquarters. and issuing general calls for ‘civil war’ and ‘armed insurrection’.”

For more: Trump claims he released the top-secret files that the FBI seized from his Florida home. This is what makes that legally irrelevant.

Author Salman Rushdie, who was stabbed about 10 times Friday, has been removed from a ventilator and is on the mend, his agent, Andrew Wylie, said yesterday. “The road to recovery has begun,” he said. “It will be long; the injuries are serious, but his condition is improving.”

Rushdie was attacked onstage minutes before he was due to give a lecture in western New York. Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old New Jersey man, was arrested at the scene and charged with second-degree attempted murder and assault with a weapon. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Rushdie was put on a ventilator Friday night after undergoing hours of surgery at a hospital in Erie, Pa. In a statement, his son Zafar Rushdie said the author underwent extensive treatment. “While his life-changing injuries are serious, his usual snappy and defiant sense of humor remains intact,” he said.

Background: Rushdie’s 1989 novel, “The Satanic Verses,” fictionalizes parts of the prophet Muhammad’s life with images that offended some Muslims. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led Iran after the 1979 revolution, issued an edict known as a fatwa on February 14, 1989, ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie, who had been in hiding for years.

The main front in the Russian military attack on Ukraine appears to have shifted dangerously south, threatening disaster at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

Over the weekend, Russia used the area around the nuclear power plant, which it captured from Ukraine in March, as a staging area for attacks on Ukrainian positions. It unleashed a barrage of howitzer fire on the nearby Ukrainian city of Nikopol, local officials said. The intensification of fighting near the factory, which is about 60 miles from the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, has caused residents to flee and raise the alarm about possible dangers from radiation far beyond Ukraine.

Russian forces in Kherson have been largely cut off from their main supply source since Ukraine destroyed the last of four bridges over the Dnipro River. Some reports said Russian commanders had already left the city, but sources in the Ukrainian military said they had seen no evidence of a retreat.

Risks: Engineers at the nuclear power plant say that meter-thick reinforced concrete structures protect the reactors, even against direct hits. However, international concern has grown that shelling could cause fire or other damage that could lead to a nuclear accident.

In other news from the war:

The superstorm that California has long feared is very likely to take shape in the Pacific Ocean, near Hawaii. No one knows exactly when, but from the vast tropical air around the equator, atmospheric currents will pull a long tendril of water vapor from the sky and direct it to the west coast.

“We’ve been a bit lucky to avoid it in the 20th century,” said one climate scientist. “I would be surprised if I prevented it from happening in the 21st.”

When the B-52s played their first gig in 1977, the self-described “freaks” from Athens, Georgia, couldn’t imagine ever becoming rock stars. “It was a hobby,” singer Fred Schneider said. “We’d gotten stuck once or twice. We didn’t even have the money to buy guitar strings.”

But the B-52s had an undeniable appeal—sharp guitars, screamed choruses, campy wigs—that transformed them from a cult band to one with multiple Top 10 hits, most memorable being the 1989 song “Love Shack.”

“The Princess” is a brutal look at Princess Diana using only archival footage.

Here’s today’s mini crossword, and one clue: take a breather (five letters).

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