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Paul Manafort trial, Hurricane Hector and California wildfires: 5 things to know Wednesday


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Editors, USA TODAY
Published 3:49 a.m. ET Aug. 8, 2018

More fireworks expected at Paul Manafort’s trial?

Paul Manafort’s bank fraud and tax evasion trial rolls to a seventh day Wednesday as lawyers for the former Trump campaign chairman are expected to cross-examine Rick Gates for another day. Manafort’s former business partner and the prosecution’s key witness testified that he engaged in a seven-year criminal conspiracy with his former boss in which he assisted in filing false tax returns and failed to disclose multiple foreign bank accounts. In cross-examination, the credibility of Gates was attacked as defense lawyers confronted him with millions of dollars in questionable expenses that in part financed a secret relationship with a mistress in London. The case against Manafort is the first to be tried by special counsel Robert Mueller and is focused on his business dealings.


The star witness at former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s fraud trial says he stole from his former boss because of personal struggles. AP’s Eric Tucker was in the court room and says it was “by far the most dramatic day of testimony.” (Aug. 7)

California wildfires: Firefighters try to gain ground

A Northern California school district is delaying the start of school Wednesday due to the damage from a wildfire that is now the largest in state history. The Mendocino Complex Fire is actually two blazes — the Ranch and River Fires — that are burning a short distance apart, among more than a dozen roaring across the state. The other blazes in California include the Carr Fire, the 12th-largest in state history. The fire in and around Redding has burned more than 260 square miles and destroyed at least 1,077 homes, which makes it the state’s sixth most destructive. More than 14,000 firefighters are battling the blazes, which have been fueled by dry vegetation and hot, windy weather.


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Hurricane Hector forecast to roar south of Hawaii

Residents of the Big Island of Hawaii will escape the worst of Hurricane Hector as it roars just south of the island on Wednesday. Although some rain and wind is likely across the island chain, most of the hurricane’s winds and heavy rain will stay offshore. However, large and dangerous surf will pound the Big Island’s south and east facing beaches. Meanwhile, the center of Hurricane John is forecast to stay well offshore of the west coast of Mexico and the Baja Peninsula on Wednesday, though some rain and rough surf is possible along the coast.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just released its 2018 hurricane forecasts. Here’s what you need to know.
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Muslim civil rights group to sue U.S. over terror watch list system

A Muslim civil rights organization plans to file a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the constitutionality of the federal government’s terror watch list system, including a program in which air marshals have secretly monitored passengers with no known terrorist links. The suit, which will be filed on behalf of 10 Muslim travelers, claims due process rights were violated and will ask the federal court to grant an injunction to “prevent the federal government from putting innocent people, people who have not been charged, arrested or convicted of any crime, on any type of watch list.”  The TSA, created after 9/11, recently acknowledged a program called “Quiet Skies” in which air marshals conduct secret observations of passengers for behavior including using the plane restroom repeatedly or displaying nervousness. 

CVS to offer nationwide telemedicine service through smartphone video

Drugstore giant CVS Health announced Wednesday that it plans to offer a nationwide service to treat easy-to-diagnose maladies and other medical issues via its smartphone app. The $59 telemedicine service will be offered for diagnosis of conditions like colds and flu, skin issues and general wellness matters. Analysts say the company is taking steps to overhaul its business as it faces the retail industry’s decline and calls for alternative forms of health care services. The chain is initially offering the service in Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Virginia and Washington, D.C. 

Contributing: Associated Press

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