Tuesday, March 05, 2024 |
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Trump’s bond with GOP deepens after primary wins, FBI search
In battleground Wisconsin, Donald Trump’s pick for governor defeated the favorite of the Republican establishment. In Connecticut, a state where compassionate conservatism was born, a Senate candidate who promoted Trump’s election lies prevailed over the state GOP’s preference. And in Washington, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined congresswoman and conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene in defending Trump against an unprecedented FBI search. That was only this week. As the 2022 midterm season enters its final phase, the Republicans on the November ballot are tied to the divisive former president as never before — whether they like it or not.
US insists it will operate around Taiwan, despite China’s pressure
The Biden administration is vowing to continue sailing warships through the Taiwan Strait and to conduct air operations in the region in response to Chinese military drills that U.S. officials say are evolving into a long-term strategy. In interviews and public statements, American and Taiwanese officials made clear they now believe China used Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island last week as a pretext to step up its operations to intimidate Taiwan for months or years to come, and perhaps speed the timetable of its plans to establish control over the island’s 23 million people, much as it did in Hong Kong.
Los Angeles bans encampments near schools
In a highly contested move, Los Angeles this week significantly expanded restrictions on where homeless people can sleep as the city, the nation’s second largest, grapples with a housing crisis. The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to prohibit homeless people from setting up tents within 500 feet of public and private schools and day care centers, during a contentious meeting that demonstrators halted for nearly an hour and that resulted in injuries to two police officers and one arrest. The council’s decision reflects how severe the region’s housing crisis has become, experts say.
U.S. Justice Dept. charges Iranian in plot to kill John Bolton
The Justice Department charged a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Wednesday with planning to assassinate John Bolton, who served as the national security adviser to President Donald Trump, as payback for the killing of a senior Iranian official. The charging document, filed in federal court, read like the synopsis of an international espionage novel. The plan was ultimately foiled by a confidential federal informant who posed as a would-be assassin. At one point, an operative in Tehran provided details of Bolton’s movements that could not have been known through public sources. The accused plotter, Shahram Poursafi, 45, is not in custody and remains at large.
London children offered polio vaccine booster as more virus is found in sewage
Every child in London age 1 to 9 should be offered a booster dose of polio vaccine, British health authorities said Wednesday, after traces of the virus turned up in sewage samples across one-quarter of the city’s boroughs, though no individual cases of the disease have been reported. Normally, routine surveillance of sewage in Britain picks up the virus once or twice a year, the U.K. Health Security Agency said in a statement, but between February and July, 116 samples of type 2 poliovirus were detected in samples from eight London boroughs. Britain’s last known case of polio, which can cause paralysis, was in 1984.
Beluga Whale Dies in France During Last-Ditch Rescue Mission
A malnourished beluga whale that had been stranded in the Seine river for several days, causing its health to deteriorate rapidly, died on Wednesday a few hours after being removed from the water in a last-ditch rescue operation. Florence Ollivet-Courtois, a veterinarian, said the whale had been euthanized after scientists realized it was having difficulty breathing while being transported by truck to a saltwater basin. It was a tragic end to an ambitious rescue operation that ultimately aimed to return the whale to the sea. The beluga’s fate had drawn attention far beyond France, generating financial donations and aid from groups and individuals, officials said.
North Korea claims disputed victory over virus, blames Seoul
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has declared victory over COVID-19 just three months after acknowledging an outbreak, claiming the country’s widely disputed success would be recognized as a global health miracle. State media also said Kim’s sister said her brother at one point suffered a fever himself. Some experts believe North Korea has manipulated disclosures on its outbreak to help Kim maintain absolute control and they believe the victory statement signals his aim to move to other priorities. Kim’s sister blamed the outbreak on leaflets flown from from South Korea and warned of deadly retaliation, remarks experts worry may portend a provocation. South Korean and U.S. officials have said North Korea could be preparing for a nuclear test.
Ukraine says 9 Russian warplanes destroyed in Crimea blasts
Ukraine says that nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in a deadly string of explosions at an air base in Crimea that appeared to be the result of a Ukrainian attack. That would represent a significant escalation in the war. Russia denied any aircraft were damaged in Tuesday’s blasts — or that any attack took place. Ukrainian officials have stopped short of claiming responsibility for the explosions at the Saki air base. Satellite photos taken Wednesday showed damaged warplanes. In Ukraine’s east, where fighting has raged for eight years, a Russian attack on Bakhmut in the Donetsk region killed seven, wounded six and damaged stores, homes and apartment buildings, setting off fires
Japan PM purges Cabinet after support falls over church ties
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has reshuffled his Cabinet in a bid to distance his administration from the conservative Unification Church over its ties to the assassinated leader Shinzo Abe and senior ruling party members. The reshuffle was the second in just 10 months since Kishida took office. He says it’s important to gain people’s trust and that the new Cabinet included only those who agreed to strictly review their ties to the church and help the victims of the allegedly fraudulent religious businesses. Abe’s assassination on July 8 and its impact on politics increased uncertainty as public support for Kishida’s Cabinet plunged. Seven ministers were removed including Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, Abe’s younger brother. The church leader criticized Kishida’s purge.
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