Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023 |
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Trump Prepares to Surrender in New York as Police Brace for Protests
Donald Trump prepared Friday to surrender to prosecutors in Manhattan next week as New York police braced for protests and sharply partisan responses from Democrats and Republicans ushered in a tumultuous time for a deeply polarized nation. A day after a grand jury indicted Trump and made him the first former president to face criminal charges, metal barricades were up around the criminal courthouse on Centre Street in lower Manhattan. Trump is expected to enter the often grimy and ill-lit building with his Secret Service protection to answer charges before a state judge Tuesday.
Tornados Kill At Least 3 in Arkansas as Storms Tear Through Midwest and South
Two tornadoes that struck in Arkansas on Friday killed three people and injured at least two dozen, tearing down trees and destroying homes as a dangerous storm system swept through the Upper Midwest and South, officials said. The first tornado, which struck about 3 p.m. near Little Rock, killed one person in North Little Rock, Pulaski County Coroner Gerone Hobb confirmed. Frank Scott Jr., the mayor of Little Rock, said on Twitter that at least 24 people had been hospitalized and described the damage as “extensive.” A second tornado, in Wynne, Arkansas, struck about 6 p.m. and killed two people, Arkansas Emergency Manager Rebekah Magnus said.
Fetterman Checks Out of Hospital After Treatment for Depression
Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., announced Friday that he had checked out of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, six weeks after having admitted himself to be treated for clinical depression, using the occasion to urge those with mental health challenges to seek help. Fetterman is set to return to the Senate on April 17, after a two-week holiday recess, according to his spokesperson, who said that the senator planned to spend the time until then in Pennsylvania with his family and constituents. His office said that Dr. David Williamson, the neuropsychiatry chief at Walter Reed, had determined that Fetterman’s depression was now in remission.
Justice Dept. Sues Norfolk Southern Over East Palestine Derailment
The Justice Department sued Norfolk Southern late Thursday, asking it to pay cleanup costs and penalties under the Clean Water Act after the catastrophic train derailment and chemical spill in February in East Palestine, Ohio. The 28-page complaint, filed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency in the Northern District of Ohio, charges the railroad and its parent company with two violations of the Clean Water Act. One accused it of “unlawfully polluting the nation’s waterways” and another was related to a measure that allows the government to recover damages from companies that break environmental laws.
Washington State Man Charged in Series of ‘Swatting’ Calls
A 20-year-old Washington state man was arrested Thursday on federal charges that he made more than 20 hoax calls to law enforcement agencies last year and falsely reported bombs, shootings and other threats that sometimes led police officers to enter victims’ homes and detain them, prosecutors said. The man, Ashton C. Garcia, of Bremerton, Washington, made the so-called swatting calls last year from June through early September, according to an indictment charging him with 10 felonies, including extortion, threats and hoaxes, as well as those regarding firearms, aircraft and explosives.
Minneapolis Agrees to Sweeping Changes in Policing
The city of Minneapolis agreed Friday to make sweeping changes in policing, including a pledge to rein in the use of force and discontinue the practice of using the smell of marijuana as a pretext to search people. The promised changes are part of a legal settlement following a report last year that the Minneapolis Police Department had routinely engaged in racially discriminatory practices and failed to punish officers for misconduct. “I feel optimistic,” Mayor Jacob Frey said on Friday. “The agreement isn’t change in and of itself, but it charts a clear road map.”
Sanna Marin, Finland’s Political Rock Star, Could Be Slipping
At a recent campaign rally in her hometown, Tampere, Finland, Prime Minister Sanna Marin defended her time in office and tore into the rising right-wing populist Finns Party, which opposes immigration and is fiercely critical of the European Union. Marin remains remarkably popular after governing for 3 1/2 years, through the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and Finland’s rapid decision to join NATO — despite her assurance only a month before Russia invaded that Finland would never join the alliance on her watch. But with most Finns now focused on other matters, particularly inflation and rising public debt, she is at risk of losing her job in Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
For Ukrainian Convicts, a Strange Odyssey Through Russian Prisons
In October, Ukrainian troops were pressing an offensive that would ultimately liberate the southern city of Kherson. As Russian occupation forces prepared to withdraw, they took with them 2,500 Ukrainian criminals from the city’s jails, including Oleksandr Fedorenko. What followed over the next several months was a bizarre journey that took some of the convicts more than 4,000 miles through five prisons and five countries. “We were received with shouts, beatings, humiliations,” said Fedorenko, 47, who had been serving time in Kherson for theft, describing his introduction to a Russian-controlled prison. “Face to the ground, don’t look, don’t speak, and blows, blows, blows.”
Bracing for Fights Ahead, Russia and Ukraine Step Up Recruitment
Their soldiers battling and dying across muddy trenches, ruined towns and sprawling minefields, Russia and Ukraine have stepped up recruitment drives to bolster their badly depleted militaries, in another sign that both sides are steeling themselves for a long war. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed a decree authorizing a larger-than-normal spring draft, with a target of about 147,000 men, about 10% more than the goal of Russia’s 2022 spring drive. Ukraine, which is also trying to replenish its ranks, said that it had received more than 35,000 applications for a new force that it is forming, the Offensive Guard.
In Taiwan’s Waters, a Hunt for Tiny, Treasured Eels
Around the world, there are far fewer eels than there used to be. Conservationists say that the most commonly traded eel species are threatened. In Taiwan, as elsewhere, their numbers have dropped because of overfishing, the loss of their riverside habitats to development and, more recently, climate change, said Han Yu-shan, a professor at the Institute of Fisheries Science at National Taiwan University. In the 1980s and ’90s, Taiwan’s eel industry was thriving, fueled by Japan’s appetite for unagi. There were years when exports to Japan alone totaled $600 million. But those days are gone. In 2022, Taiwan exported just $58 million worth of eels in total.
Pope Is Expected to Be Released From Hospital on Saturday
Pope Francis is expected to be discharged from the hospital Saturday and will preside over Palm Sunday celebrations, the Vatican said Friday, after he was unexpectedly hospitalized earlier in the week for a respiratory infection. Francis, 86, will be permitted to leave the hospital after being treated with antibiotics for bronchitis and undergoing some final tests Friday, according to the Vatican, which has otherwise given few details about his condition. Matteo Bruni, the Vatican spokesperson, said in a statement that Francis had eaten pizza for dinner Thursday and that his recovery had been “normal.” On Friday, he said, Francis resumed work.
U.S. Says Russia Wants a Food-for-Arms Deal With North Korea
A senior White House official said Russia has been trying to arrange a secret food-for-weapons deal with North Korea. Facing huge losses on the battlefields of Ukraine, with its weapon stocks running low and international sanctions piling up, Russia is hoping to be resupplied by North Korea, which is facing one of its worst food crises in years, said the official, John Kirby. “We have new information that Russia is actively seeking to acquire additional munitions from North Korea,” Kirby said at a briefing Thursday. “As part of this proposed deal, Russia would receive over two dozen kinds of weapons and munitions from Pyongyang.”
By wire sources
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