Your Wednesday briefing: the F.B.I. searches Trump’s home

Also, a deadly flood in Seoul and a tense presidential election in Kenya
Author Headshot

By Daniel E. Slotnik

Metro Reporter

Good morning. We’re covering the F.B.I. search of Donald Trump’s home, a deadly flood in Seoul and the Kenyan presidential election.

Donald Trump supporters journeyed to Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., after learning of the search.Saul Martinez for The New York Times

The F.B.I. scours Trump’s home

News of the search at the former president’s Florida residence rocked American politics, coming against the backdrop of multiple investigations into Donald Trump as he mulls running for president again in 2024.

The search appeared to be focused on Trump’s handling of materials he took from the White House when he left office, which included many pages of classified documents, according to multiple people familiar with the investigation. Such materials must be handed over to the National Archives.

Neither the F.B.I. nor the Justice Department explained the basis for the search, in line with their policies of not discussing ongoing investigations. Aides to President Biden said they were stunned when they learned about the search on Twitter.

If Trump is convicted of breaking a law that prohibits hiding, destroying or tampering with government documents, he could be barred from the presidency, but experts said that outcome was not guaranteed.

Reaction: Trump, who was in the New York area at the time, described the search as a “raid.” Republican politicians decried the search, and far-right groups and media outlets spoke of civil war.

Seoul’s heavy development makes some parts of it prone to flooding.Park Dong-Ju/Yonhap, via Associated Press

Seoul flooding kills at least 9

Nearly 17 inches of rain inundated the South Korean capital between early Monday and early Tuesday, roughly the same amount that ordinarily falls during a summer month, sweeping through homes, streets and subway stations.

Three of the dead were found when emergency workers pumped out their semi-basement home. Officials said that six people were still missing after floodwaters pulled them into manholes, underground passages and streams.

More heavy rain was expected in the capital area and in provinces east and south of it, the Korea Meteorological Administration said.

Context: The low-lying southern districts of Seoul have often been vulnerable to floods. The area is heavily developed with tall buildings, which deflect rainwater into streams that can’t release it into the Han River fast enough.

History: South Korea used to suffer heavy human casualties during the monsoon season of June to early August. But in the past decade it has annually reported a single digit number of casualties, except in 2011 and 2020.

Counting votes in Kenya could take days.Ben Curtis/Associated Press

A tense election to lead Kenya

The hotly contested race drew to a close as 22 million registered voters flocked to the polls to choose between William Ruto, the current vice president, and Raila Odinga, who is making his fifth run at the presidency. (A third candidate, George Wajackoyah, is not likely to win but could push the vote to a second round.)

The results are not expected until later this week, along with almost inevitable claims of rigging by the loser.

Ruto is the self-proclaimed embodiment of Kenya’s “hustler nation.” Odinga, the smiling eminence of Kenyan politics and a perennial outsider, would be the first member of the Luo ethnic group to be president. His running mate, Martha Karua, would be Kenya’s first female vice president.

History: Elections in Kenya have turned violent in the past, and some Kenyans were apprehensive about voting. The polls have been fairly peaceful, but distrust has made the country’s elections among the most expensive in the world.

Stakes: Kenya is in peril after the coronavirus pandemic halted its tourism industry, Russia’s assault on Ukraine drove up global food prices and a four-year drought threatened millions with starvation — all on top of endemic graft.

Region: Democracy is increasingly rare in Africa and an orderly election could help ensure stability in an important country.

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THE LATEST NEWS

Asia
Xi Jinping has declared that China is rising while “the West is declining.” Li Gang/Xinhua, via Associated Press
  • President Xi Jinping of China has encouraged extreme national pride to such an extent that it could become a weakness, our New New World columnist writes.
  • Rare earth mining has destroyed forests, polluted water and funded militias in Myanmar, The Associated Press reported.
  • A coalition led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party was set to lose power in Bihar, the third-most-populous state in India, Reuters reported.
War in Ukraine
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Mexico’s police forces have long had major corruption problems.Luis Antonio Rojas for The New York Times
What Else Is Happening
A Morning Read
Jumping spiders’ twitches while resting resemble R.E.M. sleep in other organisms.Daniela C. Rößler

Do spiders dream? A recent study shows that at least one species of jumping spider just might.

Lives lived: Issey Miyaki, the Japanese designer famed for his micro-pleated clothing, died on Friday at 84.

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ARTS AND IDEAS

The enduring appeal of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The latest version of the heroes in a half shell.Netflix

Nearly 40 years ago four wisecracking turtles sprang from the New York City sewers into our hearts.

The pizza-munching terrapins, who first appeared in a comic book by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, became a merchandising juggernaut after an animated series debuted in 1987. Within the first four years of what came to be called Turtlemania, more than $1 billion of Turtles toys were sold worldwide, making them the third-best-selling toy franchise ever at that time.

Ninja Turtles felt extremely of the moment. There was something about the attitude — hip, defiant, a tiny bit subversive — that made kids feel like they were tapped into something more aspirational than the other cartoons on TV at the time. And the moment has yet to come to an end.

Since its inception, the franchise has repeatedly reinvented itself with new iterations: live-action features, after-school cartoons, video games, graphic novels. It’s now back on Netflix with a new feature-length animated film, “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie.”

These reboots have drawn younger viewers, but an essential factor in the ongoing popularity of the Ninja Turtles are the children of the ’80s and ’90s who never outgrew them. Their nostalgia has effectively fueled the continuing relevance of a franchise that might have otherwise faded into quirky obsolescence, becoming another He-Man or Garbage Pail Kids.

PLAY, WATCH, EAT

What to Cook
Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Sue Li.

To make the perfect s’more, first make a campfire.

What to Read

In “Bad Sex,” Nona Willis Aronowitz traces the history of the sexual liberation movement and her journey to understand her own desires.

How to Exercise
Now Time to Play

Play today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Symbol carved on a pole (5 letters).

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Dan

P.S. Martín González Gómez is joining The Times as a graphics editor.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is on Democrats salvaging a major bill.

You can reach Dan and the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

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