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Happening Today: Paul Manafort, California Wildfires, ‘Vaginal Rejuvenation,' James Gunn, Les Moonves

What to Know

  • Paul Manafort's trial on tax evasion and bank fraud charges gets underway at a courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia
  • Federal health officials are sounding the alarm over 'vaginal rejuvenation' procedures that can actually lead to 'serious adverse events'
  • Several main cast members of 'Guardians of the Galaxy' have issued an open letter in support of ousted director James Gunn

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Trial Set to Begin for Ex-Trump Campaign Chairman Manafort

Two questions loom large as Paul Manafort prepares to walk into a federal courtroom: Will Donald Trump's former campaign chairman spend what effectively could be the rest of his life in prison? Or will special counsel Robert Mueller be handed a defeat in his team's first trial since his appointment more than a year ago? Those questions will be answered by 12 jurors selected this week as Manafort's trial on tax evasion and bank fraud charges gets underway at the courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia. The pool of jurors will face questions from both sides and U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III as they try to weed out potential prejudice in what has become a highly publicized and politically divisive investigation. That task comes as the president and his lawyer-spokesman, Rudy Giuliani, have intensified their attempts to undermine the Mueller investigation in the court of public opinion and as the president continues to waffle on whether he'll sit for a private interview with prosecutors. The president criticized Mueller by name over the weekend and continues to refer to the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference as a "witch hunt" and "an illegal scam."

Twin Wildfires Threatening 10,000 California Homes

Twin wildfires tearing through vineyards and brushy hills threatened some 10,000 homes in Northern California — yet another front in the seemingly endless summer of wildfires that have ravaged some of the most scenic areas of the state. The two fires straddling Mendocino and Lake counties had burned seven homes along with some 107 square miles of rural land. In Lake County, evacuation orders were in effect for the 4,700-resident town of Lakeport along with some smaller communities and a section of Mendocino National Forest. In all, some 10,000 people have been warned to flee, fire officials said. Lakeport, north of San Francisco, is the county seat and a popular destination for bass anglers and boaters on the shores of Clear Lake. But now it was a ghost town, the main streets deserted.

Health Officials Sound Alarm Over “Vaginal Rejuvenation” Treatments

Federal health officials are sounding the alarm over “vaginal rejuvenation" procedures that can actually lead to "serious adverse events.” The officials say the procedures, can cause “vaginal burns, scarring," CNBC reports. The Food and Drug Administration issued the warning to doctors, advising them not to use laser or other energy therapies to treat sexual dysfunction and other problems affecting women after childbirth or menopause. CNBC reports the treatment is becoming more popular as doctors use it as an alternative option to relieve symptoms that can cause painful intercourse.

“Guardians” Cast Issues Open Letter in Support of Ousted Director

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper and six other main cast members of "Guardians of the Galaxy" have issued an open letter in support of ousted director James Gunn. The Walt Disney Co. fired Gunn from directing the third installment 10 days ago over old tweets where he joked about subjects like rape and pedophilia. Cast members write they aren't defending Gunn's jokes from years ago but wished to speak about his upstanding character on the set of "Guardians" 1 and 2. They say they look forward to working with Gunn in the future. The letter also cautions against weaponizing mob mentality and character assassination. Pratt says in an Instagram post that he would love to see him reinstated as the director of the third film.

CBS Keeps CEO in Place During Sexual Misconduct Inquiry

CBS will keep CEO Les Moonves in place during an investigation of sexual misconduct charges against him, the company said. It will hire an outside counsel to conduct the probe. A New Yorker article quoted six women who accused Moonves of sexual misconduct over a span of three decades. The alleged behavior included forced kissing, unwanted sexual advances and career retaliation against women who rebuffed him. CBS issued a statement even before the article was published saying it took the allegations seriously and would begin an investigation. The CBS board also voted to postpone the shareholder meeting that had been scheduled for Aug. 10 to a later date yet to be determined. Shares closed down 5 percent at $51.28, and were largely unchanged in after-hours trading. If its CEO is suspended or departs altogether, CBS would lose its chief amid rapid change in the entertainment industry and a corporate battle with media mogul Shari Redstone, who controls both CBS and its corporate sibling Viacom.

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