Justice Department will not seek charges in Mike Pence document case by washingtonpost in politics

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From reporters Perry Stein and Devlin Barrett:

The Justice Department has closed its investigation into former vice president Mike Pence’s possession of potentially sensitive government documents after leaving office and will not pursue charges, according to two people familiar with the matter.

A Justice Department official sent a one-page letter to Pence’s lawyer Thursday informing him of the decision, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a federal investigation.

The Justice Department declined to comment. A spokesman for Pence, who is expected to enter the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination next week, said the former vice president was “pleased but not surprised.”

The investigation into Pence’s potential mishandling of government materials launched earlier this year. A Pence attorney said in January that after news broke that both President Biden and former President Trump were under investigation for alleged mishandling of government materials, the former vice president brought in outside counsel with experience handling classified materials to search records stored in his Indiana home “out of an abundance of caution."

The lawyer, Greg Jacob, said in a Jan. 18 letter to the National Archives that the outside counsel “identified a small number of documents that could potentially contain sensitive or classified information interspersed throughout the records.” Jacob said that Pence was “ready and willing to cooperate fully.”

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

Debt ceiling deal passes Senate, a Trump investigation and Phoenix water shortage. Here's the news to know this Friday. by washingtonpost in u/washingtonpost

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Want to catch up quickly with “The 7” every morning? Download The Post’s app and turn on alert notifications for The 7 or sign up for the newsletter.

The debt ceiling deal passed the Senate last night.

What to know: The bill would suspend the debt limit, which controls how much money the U.S. can borrow, until Jan. 2, 2025. It also cuts some government spending. Why this matters: It prevents an economic catastrophe. The deal is on track to take effect by Monday, when the government would no longer be able to pay all of its bills. The final step: President Biden must sign it into law.

A key Trump investigation has expanded.

What investigation? It’s examining efforts by President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 presidential election defeat in Georgia. The latest: Investigators are looking at activities in Washington, D.C., and several other states beyond Georgia, The Post reported this morning. What this means: It’s a sign that prosecutors may be building a case for a far-reaching criminal scheme under Georgia’s racketeering laws. A charging decision is expected this summer.

The jobs market is still going strong.

What to know: The U.S. economy added 339,000 jobs in May, according to figures released this morning. It was the 29th straight month of solid job growth. The big picture: There are signs the economy is cooling down, as rising prices and interest rate hikes take a toll, but the jobs market has helped keep the U.S. from slipping into a recession.

One of the biggest cities in the U.S. is facing a groundwater shortage.

What’s happening? The Phoenix area, where more than 5 million people live, doesn’t have enough groundwater to meet demand over the next 100 years, a new study found. Why this matters: It’s a preview of a hotter, drier future. Communities on the outskirts of Phoenix are growing fast. This could bring that development to a halt.

The 2023 hurricane season has officially begun.

What to expect: Unusually warm Atlantic waters could fuel more intense storms, experts have warned. The season is expected to peak in late August and into September. This weekend: A tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico, which could become the first named storm, is expected to bring unsettled, rainy weather to Florida.

California is changing how it charges for electricity.

How? Customers will be billed based on income as well as how much power they use, according to a new state law. The richest Californians could end up paying $500 more a year. Why? California’s electricity rates are sky-high. This is an attempt to make power more affordable, though critics say it will eat into progress of energy efficiency.

An eighth-grader from Florida won the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

What to know: Dev Shah, 14, came out on top in the country’s most-watched spelling challenge. Charlotte Walsh, also 14, from Virginia, came in second. How he did it: By correctly spelling “psammophile,” a plant or animal that thrives in sandy areas. Walsh dropped out after misspelling “daviely,” meaning listlessly.

Analysis | America’s doughnut capital. Can we stop at just one? by washingtonpost in donuts

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From reporter Alyssa Fowers:

People all over the world eat fried dough, and nobody does doughnuts like the United States. Doughnuts can be found year-round across this great nation in a huge array of flavors, shapes and styles.

But astute reader Susan Green suspects that America may be riven by a hidden doughnut divide. She observes that some parts of the country are saturated with a single doughnut brand, while others host a profusion of independent doughnut purveyors.

On National Doughnut Day, we wondered: Is Susan right? If so, can we map the nation’s deep-fried fault lines? And where is America’s true doughnut capital?

We kicked off our investigation with our friends at Yelp, who shared all 24,612 doughnut shop listings on the review site. By grouping stores with the same name and calculating the most common doughnut shop in groups of census tracts around the country, we found that our reader’s observation was right on: The United States is a federation of at least nine distinct doughnut nations.

Along the entire Eastern Seaboard, sprawling from Maine to Florida, we find Greater Dunkin’land. Here, Dunkin’ lives up to its billing as “America’s favorite coffee and baked goods chain.” (The Massachusetts-based behemoth, once known as Dunkin’ Donuts, dropped the Donuts in 2018 in a bid to transform itself “into the premier, beverage-led, on-the go-brand,” chief executive David Hoffmann told reporters at the time.)

The Dunkin’ hegemony falters as we head West, however. Regional chains such as Daylight Donuts and Shipley Do-Nuts flourish in the middle of the country. Outposts favoring Donut Palace emerge in the Southwest. And through the Rockies and on toward the Pacific, a preference for doughnut independence prevails as smaller, local brands with three or fewer locations dominate broad swaths of the landscape — broken by occasional islands ruled by Winchell’s & Yum Yum (both owned by Winchell’s Donut House) and Mochinut (which features a mash-up of American doughnuts and Japanese mochi).

Why do independent doughnut shops flourish out West while chains rule the East?

In Southern California and Texas, at least, credit goes to Cambodian immigrants. Multiple sources including doughnut documentarian Alice Gu contend that as many as 90 percent of independent doughnut stores in these areas are Cambodian-owned (although we could not independently verify that figure).

Cambodian immigrants came to the United States in the late 1970s as they fled the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge. One of them, Ted Ngoy, discovered doughnuts during a late-night shift at a California gas station. A year later, he bought his first doughnut shop. By opening new stores and selling them to recent arrivals, Ngoy helped create a network of more than 1,500 Cambodian-owned doughnut stores across Southern California.

The doughnut business turned out to be ideal for immigrant families looking to establish an economic toehold in America: The shops require relatively little start-up capital. Bakers clock in as early as 3 a.m. — brutal hours that don’t appeal to many American workers. And if the entire family pitches in, even labor costs can be kept low.

Read more about doughnut shops across America here, and skip the paywall with email registration: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2023/06/02/donut-capital-america/?utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social&utm_source=reddit.com

Edit: An updated version of this map includes part of Northern California where Dunkin' is prominent.

D.C.’s 10 best bottomless brunches by washingtonpost in washingtondc

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From reporters Fritz Hahn, Olivia McCormack and Sophia Solano:

D.C. is a city that loves its brunches, but we really, really love our bottomless brunches. We like to look at the bigger picture: You might finish an order of eggs Benny and home fries in 30 minutes, but you can spend a lot longer chatting with friends or a date while lingering over never-ending carafes of mimosas. (Time to head home? Well, actually, maybe just one more …)

When we started discussing which restaurants and nightspots we might put in a guide to bottomless brunches, we were almost overwhelmed by the number of options, which shows just how much brunch has come roaring back from pandemic-enforced closures. So we spent more than a month dedicating our weekends — sometimes Saturday and Sunday — to exploring D.C.’s bottomless scene, for better or worse. We made the reservations, paid for our food and tried to figure out who we’d bring back: A bachelorette party? A third date? Our dog, or a friend’s dog?

Still, we’re only three brunchers, and this guide could have included dozens more options. So we’re asking you: What’s your favorite brunch spot, and what makes it rise above the competition? Fill out this form to tell us, and we might use your recommendation in a future story.

In the meantime, bottoms up.

Best for large groups

Mission, 1221 Van St. SE. missionnavyyard.com.

When: Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What’s bottomless: $28 for mimosas, margaritas, Bud Lights and bloody marys.

What to eat: Tex-Mex breakfast dishes, like tomatillo chilaquiles or steak and egg tacos.

The scene: Imagine the nightmare brunch scenario: You have a date on the calendar, the evites are sent, the reservation is made, the outfits are picked. Then your crew arrives with a few too many tag-alongs, leaving waiters to scramble for extra chairs as everyone packs around a too-small table and the whole thing devolves into cramped, grumpy awkwardness. That doesn’t happen at Mission Navy Yard, where there are eight (eight!) different event spaces available to rent — granted, some of these spaces are, literally, a nook between the edge of the bar and the wall. But you can also rent private rooms, or even the entire restaurant. Mission Navy Yard has four bars, including one it claims is the largest in the city, measuring a whopping 150 feet. And on the second floor, six garage doors open to balconies. There’s no room rental fee, but some spaces do come with a minimum — a perfect way to encourage plus-one invites to graduation gatherings, wedding after-parties, alumni events and corporate receptions.

Best for drag brunch

Return to menu

City Tap House Dupont Circle, 1250 Connecticut Ave. NW. citytap.com.

When: Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 2 p.m.

What’s bottomless: $35 for mimosas.

What to eat: The Big Chick (fried chicken sandwich with sausage gravy and fried egg on a biscuit) and pecan pie French toast.

The scene: “Is that an aperol spritz? Chug it.” That’s the order drag queen Crystal Edge gives to a patron in her introduction to City Tap’s drag brunch. Though it’s barely noon, the mimosas are already flowing as queens (including “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season 2 star Tatianna) strut across the restaurant in sky-high heels and glittery outfits. Lip-syncing hits by Beyoncé, Pink and other icons, they collect dollars from diners who dance as best as they can between forkfuls of avocado toast and gravy-smothered “hangover pizza.” Expect audience interaction (read: don’t be shocked at the announcement of a twerking competition), especially at the end of the meal when guests are invited to a restaurant-wide dance party. Unlike at some other local drag brunches, the menu is a la carte, and an ATM is provided in case you don’t have cash on hand for tips. Mimosas are the only drink included in the bottomless deal, but you can get $9 mimosas, bloody marys and “beermosas,” which are cheaper than bottomless if you don’t plan to have more than three drinks, or tag on a $10 shot. They come in varieties like “single ladies,” “bridezilla shooter” and “birthday blitz,” though a waiter couldn’t tell me which liquors constitute each drink — just that “they all have whipped cream.”

Read about more of the best brunch spots in D.C. here, and skip the paywall with email registration: https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2023/06/01/best-bottomless-brunch-dc/?utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social&utm_source=reddit.com

A catatonic woman awakened after 20 years. Her story may change psychiatry. by washingtonpost in EverythingScience

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Here's another excerpt from the piece:

“I’ve always wanted my sister to get back to who she was,” Guy Burrell said.

In 2020, April was deemed mentally competent to discharge herself from the psychiatric hospital where she had lived for nearly two decades, and she moved to a rehabilitation center.

Because of visiting restrictions related to covid, the family’s face-to-face reunion with April was delayed until last year. April’s brother, sister-in-law and their kids were finally able to visit her at a rehabilitation center, and the occasion was tearful and joyous.

“When she came in there, you would’ve thought she was a brand new person,” Guy Burrell said. “She knew all of us, remembered different stuff from back when she was a child.”

A video of the reunion shows that April was still tentative and fragile. But her family said she remembered her childhood home in Baltimore, the grades she got in school, being a bridesmaid in her brother’s wedding — seemingly everything up until when the autoimmune inflammatory processes began affecting her brain. She even recognized her niece, whom April had only seen as a small child, now a grown young woman. When her father hopped on a video call, April remarked “Oh, you lost your hair,” and burst out laughing, Guy Burrell recalled.

The family felt as if they’d witnessed a miracle.

“She was hugging me, she was holding my hand,” Guy Burrell said. “You might as well have thrown a parade because we were so happy, because we hadn’t seen her like that in, like, forever.”

“It was like she came home,” Markx said. “We never thought that was possible.”

House passes debt ceiling deal, Trump documents and abortion bans. Here's some news to know this Thursday. by washingtonpost in u/washingtonpost

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Want to catch up quickly with “The 7” every morning? Download The Post’s app and turn on alert notifications for The 7 or sign up for the newsletter.

The debt ceiling deal passed the House yesterday.

The details: The bill would suspend the debt limit, which controls how much money the U.S. can borrow, until Jan. 2, 2025. It also cuts some government spending. Why it matters: The bipartisan vote was a big step toward preventing a disastrous debt default. The U.S. has until Monday before it can’t pay its bills. What’s next? The deal heads to the Senate. Lawmakers may have to work through the weekend to pass it in time.

Donald Trump was caught on tape talking about classified documents.

When? The recording is from 2021. The former president appears to brag about having a document related to Iran, The Post reported yesterday. What this means: The audio suggests that Trump understood the legal and security issues around having such restricted information. Why it matters: Trump is under investigation for potentially mishandling government information. Hundreds of classified documents were found at his Florida home last year.

Two abortion bans were struck down in Oklahoma yesterday.

Why? The state’s Supreme Court said a pair of laws passed last year were unconstitutional. They allowed private citizens to sue anyone who performed or enabled an abortion. What now? Abortion remains largely inaccessible in the state due to a much older ban. But that one is less strict about allowing abortions in life-threatening situations.

Hundreds of Amazon workers walked off the job yesterday.

Why? The white-collar workers, many in Seattle, were protesting the company’s return-to-office policy, as well as climate issues. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Post.) The big picture: This was part of a greater wave of anxiety spilling over in the tech industry after rounds of mass layoffs at multiple companies this year.

Medicare plans to expand coverage for a new type of Alzheimer’s drugs.

What are they? The first medications shown to slow cognitive decline from the disease. One of them could be granted full FDA approval as soon as this summer. The plan: People enrolled in the outpatient part of Medicare, and who meet coverage criteria, will have the cost of these drugs covered, officials said this morning.

The NBA Finals start tonight.

The details: The Denver Nuggets and the Miami Heat are playing in the best-of-seven series. Game 1 in Denver starts at 8:30 p.m. Eastern. It airs on ABC. What’s at stake: If Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets win, it would be their first championship since joining the NBA. The Heat would be the first No. 8 seed in NBA history to take the title.

NASA held its first public meeting on its study of UFOs.

What to know: A team has looked into more than 800 sightings of mysterious objects in the skies, it said yesterday. Of those, between 2 and 5% can’t be explained. What now? The panel said it needed better information to understand these objects. But there’s no evidence — so far — that the UFOs are linked to alien life.

A catatonic woman awakened after 20 years. Her story may change psychiatry. by washingtonpost in EverythingScience

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New research suggests that a subset of patients with psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia may actually have autoimmune disease that attacks the brain.

The young woman was catatonic, stuck at the nurses’ station — unmoving, unblinking and unknowing of where or who she was.

Her name was April Burrell.

Before she became a patient, April had been an outgoing, straight-A student majoring in accounting at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. But after a traumatic event when she was 21, April suddenly developed psychosis and became lost in a constant state of visual and auditory hallucinations. The former high school valedictorian could no longer communicate, bathe or take care of herself.

April was diagnosed with a severe form of schizophrenia, an often devastating mental illness that affects approximately 1 percent of the global population and can drastically impair how patients behave and perceive reality.

“She was the first person I ever saw as a patient,” said Sander Markx, director of precision psychiatry at Columbia University, who was still a medical student in 2000 when he first encountered April. “She is, to this day, the sickest patient I’ve ever seen.”

It would be nearly two decades before their paths crossed again. But in 2018, another chance encounter led to several medical discoveries reminiscent of a scene from “Awakenings,” the famous book and movie inspired by the awakening of catatonic patients treated by the late neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks.

Markx and his colleagues discovered that although April’s illness was clinically indistinguishable from schizophrenia, she also had lupus, an underlying and treatable autoimmune condition that was attacking her brain.

After months of targeted treatments — and more than two decades trapped in her mind — April woke up.

The awakening of April — and the successful treatment of other people with similar conditions — now stand to transform care for some of psychiatry’s sickest patients, many of whom are languishing in mental institutions.

Researchers working with the New York State mental healthcare system have identified about 200 patients with autoimmune diseases, some institutionalized for years, who may be helped by the discovery.

And scientists around the world, including Germany and Britain, are conducting similar research, finding that underlying autoimmune and inflammatory processes may be more common in patients with a variety of psychiatric syndromes than previously believed.

Although the current research probably will help only a small subset of patients, the impact of the work is already beginning to reshape the practice of psychiatry and the way many cases of mental illness are diagnosed and treated.

“These are the forgotten souls,” said Markx. “We’re not just improving the lives of these people, but we’re bringing them back from a place that I didn’t think they could come back from.”

Read more, or skip the paywall with email registration: https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2023/06/01/schizophrenia-autoimmune-lupus-psychiatry/?utm\_campaign=wp\_main&utm\_medium=social&utm\_source=reddit.com

House approves debt ceiling deal. Here’s how your representative voted. by washingtonpost in politics

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Before the vote, President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) made the case for the deal they had negotiated to their respective parties. The legislation accomplishes much for both Biden and McCarthy.

Before the vote, President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) made the case for the deal they had negotiated to their respective parties. The legislation accomplishes much for both Biden and McCarthy.

Biden can point to a deal that, at least temporarily, frees him from the headache of the debt ceiling, while staving off Republican demands for steep cuts to domestic spending. McCarthy gets a deal that curtails federal spending, and increases some work requirements on federal aid programs, such as food stamps.

Some of the more liberal and conservative members, however, withheld support, citing concerns with the compromises party leaders made in the deal. In all, 46 Democrats and 71 Republicans opposed the bill.

The Washington Post approximated each member’s ideological score using a measure called DW-NOMINATE, which estimates each lawmaker’s ideology based on their voting record.

Please support our work. Read more, including the full list of House members, via our gift link here. Make sure to copy and paste into another tab: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/interactive/2023/house-vote-debt-ceiling-deal/?pwapi_token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWJpZCI6IjE0OTEzMDU4IiwicmVhc29uIjoiZ2lmdCIsIm5iZiI6MTY4NTU5MjAwMCwiaXNzIjoic3Vic2NyaXB0aW9ucyIsImV4cCI6MTY4Njg4Nzk5OSwiaWF0IjoxNjg1NTkyMDAwLCJqdGkiOiJmZDY1ZjI1NS1hNGE2LTQ0MzMtYmYxMC1jNDZlOGI0MTNmNzQiLCJ1cmwiOiJodHRwczovL3d3dy53YXNoaW5ndG9ucG9zdC5jb20vcG9saXRpY3MvaW50ZXJhY3RpdmUvMjAyMy9ob3VzZS12b3RlLWRlYnQtY2VpbGluZy1kZWFsLyJ9.q2a2QEnkllyRHVK9MkjjZjs3OoOrAYUfktRok2piTMA&itid=gfta

Advice | 6 money tips new graduates should know by washingtonpost in povertyfinance

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Advice from Michelle Singletary:

Since a lot of personal finance advice doesn’t change — even when the nation is freaking out about the possibility of a government default — I like to revisit the advice I often give to new high school and college graduates.

Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson complained that students aren’t taught basic life skills: “We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for 10 or 15 years and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing.”

How true that statement is, especially as it relates to money.

Here are some basic yet vital tips to help young adults keep their debt burden down and their net worth climbing.

Don’t get used to the grace period for your loans

If you’re graduating college with student debt, don’t wait until you have to start paying back the loans (typically six months after graduating for federal loans) to figure out what you owe.

The grace period is a time to practice. You need to feel the pressure of how those payments will affect your monthly budget.

For whatever time you have before the payments kick in, put that monthly amount in a savings account. Get used to how it feels to have less to spend because of the loans.

Don’t believe people who say there is good and bad debt

Referring to debt with an adjective is unhelpful. It’s just debt, and it all can be destructive if overused and too oppressive.

At a Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting, billionaire Warren Buffett was asked by a 14-year-old what financial concepts he would give young people who still have time to implement them.

Buffett, one of the most successful investors in the world, didn’t talk about how to pick the right individual stock, as many might have thought he would.

His first tip was about avoiding debt.

“If I had one piece of advice to give to young people, you know, across the board, it would be just to don’t get in debt,” Buffett said.

Don’t just focus on the monthly loan payment

Always look at the totality of what you’re borrowing. And by that, I don’t just mean whether you can handle the monthly payment and the interest you’re being charged.

What will that loan cost you in the long run?

Consider what else you could do with that money if you weren’t servicing debt all the time.

If you borrow too much for a car, that’s money you can’t invest. If your mortgage is too high, overextending your budget, you can’t build an emergency fund for when life happens.

Read more tips from Michelle here, and skip the paywall with email registration here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2023/05/31/money-tips-new-graduates/?utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social&utm_source=reddit.com