Nation and world news at a glance
Supreme Court seems ready to throw out race-based college admissions
The Supreme Court on Monday appeared ready to rule that race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina were unlawful, based on questioning over five hours of sometimes testy arguments, a move that would overrule decades of precedents. Such a decision would jeopardize affirmative action at colleges and universities around the nation, particularly elite institutions, decreasing the representation of Black and Latino students and bolstering the number of white and Asian ones. Questioning from members of the court’s six-justice conservative majority was sharp and skeptical. “I’ve heard the word diversity quite a few times, and I don’t have a clue what it means,” Justice Clarence Thomas said.
Police: Pelosi suspect wanted to break speaker’s knees
Federal prosecutors say the man accused of attacking Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told police he wanted to hold the speaker hostage and “break her kneecaps.” David DePape has been charged with two federal crimes and a state count of attempted murder. Police say DePape broke into the Pelosis’ home in San Francisco and struck the Democratic leader’s 82-year-old husband in the head with a hammer. Pelosi was seriously injured in the attack. San Francisco’s district attorney announced additional state charges as well against DePape. He was arrested Friday on suspicion of attempted murder, elder abuse and burglary.
Trump asks Supreme Court to block the House from obtaining his tax returns
Former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Monday to intervene in the long-running dispute over whether a House committee can obtain access to his tax returns. In a 31-page filing, lawyers for Trump asked the court to freeze matters while they prepare a formal appeal of a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which held that the House Ways and Means Committee had a right to see his returns. If the Supreme Court does not grant the request, the appeals court would issue a so-called mandate completing its ruling Wednesday, which would free the Treasury Department to turn over the records.
After defeat, Bolsonaro is silent, and Brazil braces for turmoil
For months, President Jair Bolsonaro claimed the only way he would lose Brazil’s presidential election was if it was rigged. On Monday, a day after he lost, he declined to immediately concede to his leftist challenger, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, leaving Latin America’s largest democracy on edge over whether there would be a peaceful transition of power. Bolsonaro spent much of Monday holed up at the presidential offices, meeting with top advisers and Brazil’s minister of defense. At least some of the advisers urged the president to concede, but it was not clear if he had yet reached a decision on what to do.
Russia recruiting U.S.-trained Afghan commandos, vets say
Afghan special forces soldiers who fought alongside American troops and fled to Iran after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal are being recruited by the Russian military to fight in Ukraine. That’s according to three former Afghan generals who spoke to The Associated Press. They said the Russians want to attract thousands of the elite Afghan commandos with promises of $1,500-a-month payments and safe havens for themselves and relatives so they can avoid deportation home to what many assume would be death at the hands of the Taliban. Said one general: “They don’t want to go fight — but they have no choice.”
Antibody treatment tested as new tool against malaria
Research in Africa has found a one-time dose of an experimental drug protected adults against malaria for at least six months. The drug is a lab-made antibody. It works by breaking the life cycle of the parasite that causes malaria, which is spreads through mosquito bites. The antibody targets the parasites before they enter the liver where they can mature and multiply. The strategy may be an important complement to malaria vaccines. The new research was published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at a medical meeting in Seattle.
Cholera outbreaks surge worldwide as vaccine supply drains
A record number of cholera outbreaks around the globe, driven by droughts, floods and armed conflicts, has sickened hundreds of thousands of people and so severely strained the supply of cholera vaccines that global health agencies are rationing doses. Outbreaks have been reported in the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. Untreated, the disease, which is commonly spread through contaminated water, can cause death by dehydration in as little as one day. Cholera is typically fatal in about 3% of cases, but the World Health Organization says it is killing at an accelerated rate in recent outbreaks.
By wire sources